DAY 3: THE RECOGNITION
Once we understand the concept of the EGO and start getting familiar with it by actively observing it, we can begin to work with recognizing it in a practical way. We can start to realize what the methods the ego uses to keep us in THE BOX and continue to look for comfort and security that strengthens our fears and keep us limited.
For today's practice there is no guided meditation, it's just journaling through the tools below. It's all about going deeper within with honesty. Take your time with the answers and don't forget to breath and be gentle with yourself.
Methods of the Ego
Method 1: External Factors
This method is related to when the ego is looking for external causes/factors to give it the security, the comfort, the validation it constantly needs.
Some of these methods can be quite harmful, some aren’t a big deal. It’s really not about the external factors, it’s about how we use them UNAWARE to avoid feeling insecure, afraid, confused etc. What we have to take from this is the perception that the MORE we rely on these methods, the MORE we are remaining in the same situation, we are increasing the suffering, the disconnection, the fear. The emotions we are trying to get away from, intended by the ego as a way to “survive”, will only get stronger.
Again, let’s be gentle with ourselves, this isn’t about self-shaming or self-judgment. We’re slowly unveiling what methods are used by the ego, which sometimes we use blindly or we use them to just deny or suppress the emotions and thoughts are coming as a way of coping. It’s how we use this information that will give us the “power” to work with it.
Recognizing the external factors
When you feel anxious, sad, lonely, afraid, guilty, bored, insecure or any type of emotion accompanied by a train of repetitive thoughts. What do you normally do?
Write down / Journal using the questions below
Is shopping a way of coping?
Is food or alcohol something that you turn to?
Do you bring yourself up with drugs, sex or constantly seeking for adventures?
DO YOU ENGAGE IN CONVERSATIONS ABOUT GOSSIP?
Do you try to fill space by making phone calls, texting, spending hours of the day on social media or watching tv?
Do you overwork yourself?
Do you over schedule yourself?
Do you hold on to constant thinking, worries, supositions?
Do you shame yourself, as placing yourself as “the bad guy”?
Now, can you identify and explore why you use one or more of these methods?
Method 2: Beliefs
Beliefs are a huge “pillar” for the illusion of EGO, to keep things as they are in THE BOX.
Through establishing these beliefs, the ego gets the certainty that it needs when things around us are all about uncertainty, transition and constant change. The ego holds on to the beliefs as a way to keep the self right. There is a gratification that comes from the validation to make ourselves right while making the others wrong. In perspective, what happens is that we stay stuck in our limited and narrow view on things, we stay “safe” in our stories and opinions that were constructed by the ego and the accumulation of emotions, little by little. Beliefs can be a dangerous way to keep the walls up. The beliefs can happen in a very subtle level when comes to our opinions about little things in life and can happen in deeper levels when comes to our own stories, the beliefs about the others, situations, inner and outer circumstances.
Recognizing the beliefs
Let's examine them through the questions below. Write down / Journal.
How do you use your beliefs, stories, opinions to give yourself the illusion of certainty?
How do you feel when your beliefs are not accepted or challenged by others?
How do you tend to hold on to the beliefs based on fear of feeling vulnerable, judged, misinterpreted or hurt?
How much of your self-identification is strengthened by all of your deep-rooted beliefs?
What parts of you still hold on to the drama, to the story and the beliefs just as a way to stay safe and alive because if you let that go, you have the idea that you'll need to forgive, to start over, to be someone new?
Method 3: The projection
Let’s recap: if we live only through the confines of our egos, we are conditioned to live in limitation, inside THE BOX.
Inside this box, the self, the mind (subconscious level), the accumulation of emotions, desires, likes and dislikes are producing part of the reality that we live in.
In this scenario, we most likely as all human beings can feel the discomfort, anxiety, fear, suffering as a result of all of our experiences and our habits but because the limitation is still so predominant, since the EGO is in charge, very little is done for us to actually “break free”. The self has the impression that it, much rather prefer to stay in the drama, in the pain, in the discomfort than act upon, jump, fly, take down the walls. This is really a very important realization, if not the most important one of this whole thing!
The ego projects us to the past and the future, as a constant way to avoid the present moment, the experience of the here and now because in the past we can always stay stuck with our beliefs and comments on how things happened, "how I did this" or "you did that", we reconstruct situations and/or memories going back and forth. Taking up space in our body, our mind and emotions.
And, the future projected as a possibility, as the idea that in the future we can always be better, more successful, more seen, more loved. In projecting the self to the past and the future, as a method of evasion, the EGO blocks the present moment.
Recognizing the projections. Let’s go deeper
Write down / Journal using the questions below
What parts of you still prefer to hold on to the past, because this way you can do/undo things according to what you desire, like or dislike, inner reality/perspective?
What parts of you live in the future, as a way to escape the present, because in the future things can actually happen, you can actually accomplish what you want because you think you will be happier, more confident, more successfull or safer?
How is it to be in the present moment for you? Does it feel uncomfortable or comforting, does it feel liberating or make you feel anxious?
If your answer, is being in the moment gives you discomfort, and fear or anxiety, why do you think that? What makes you feel this way?
After you do this deep work of recognition, it might be that you feel your head is overworking, past memories might come up, perspective on things and people might slightly start to change. This is normal. You will be getting more of these glimpses throughout the next few days and weeks, this is awareness coming in. If it feels overwhelming, practice sitting and breathing through it. If it feels scary and confusing, journal. Go back to the questions. You are slowing undoing some deep beliefs and stories, so be gentle, be patient. This is an ongoing process.