The Dance of the Ego
Dear Blessed One,
Ever notice how clumsy, awkward, or foreign something feels in the early days when you’re first learning how to do it? It doesn’t matter what it is, typically there’s a period of time that passes before one feels confident, skilled, and comfortable in their new ability.
I’ve worked with many people over the years, supporting them in the challenges of life – be it relationship, healing, shadow stuff, or awakening. A common experience that I hear from people is a feeling of awkwardness, unsettled, or weirdly-not-themselves. “I must be doing it wrong!”, is the frequent fear. I always get excited when I hear of their self-consciousness because it’s a sign that something is shifting.
When we learn a new way to respond as we break the old patterns of reaction, there is an adjustment period. The whole system can seem a bit wonky; the foundation of the ego is being chipped away and this can cause a feeling of off-balance. It’s a new way of being. It’s throwing a wrench into the works and synapses are no longer firing in the same ole way.
Showing up in a new way creates openings for those around us to do the same. At times it can be challenging as we undo the training that has been done with those close to us. They expect us to act in a certain way and when that behavior or character doesn’t show up, it may be off-putting for the other. Just keep BEing. They’ll adjust, and potentially grow.
While BEing, see if you can be with the feeling of awkward. If you trust the person you’re with, talk about it. Name it and claim it!
“Hey, I feel like a total oddball right now, I’m not quite sure how to relate to anything that we’re talking about and I have a tight feeling in my gut that if it had a voice it would say RUN…”, etc. Once you get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, you can expand the practice from your network of close family and friends to people you’re not as familiar with.
It can be very healing to reveal the deepest truth in the midst of the experience. Just be a run-on sentence for a bit, continually putting words to what you’re feeling as you dance with awkward. Imagine you’re learning how to dance with two-left-feet, or walking on a trampoline with a tray full of beverages. Awkward, shaky. It can help lighten the experience by remembering to not take it so seriously. This practice allows for ego diminishment, or a softening of the ego’s grip.
I was out kayaking with a friend on Saturday and could see he was getting a bit too much sun. I suggested he might want to cover his legs with the (lilac and baby blue) towel I’d loaned him. I noticed hesitation, then he pulled it out and covered up…clumsily. I could see him shifting it, scrunching it, and accidentally dragging parts of it in the water before he voiced, “I feel like an old lady with this thing on me.” I smiled and said, “Mhmm, feel that.” The ego says ‘what will people think?’, and immediately wants to rebuild any diminishment that may have just happened.
It’s so valuable to feel the squirm; let more of that false-self fall away so more of the splendor of your exquisite, infinite nature can shine through you.
Wahoo! as more of That comes through!
Much Love and Blessings to You,
A Ch’an master contradicted himself (seemingly) a good twelve times in the space of an hour. Exasperated, a disciple laid bare the succession of contradictions before the amused and benevolent gaze of the master, whose entire response, simply said, without trying to justify himself in any way, was, “Really, how strange and marvelous! I’ll never understand why the truth is always contradicting itself!” ~Eternity Now by Francis Lucille