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JillianZ

being present & overcoming ego

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Does anyone have any tips or personal practices they use to help stay present?  I want to live in the now and focus on the present moment, but so often I find myself dwelling in the past or anticipating the future.  Eckhart Tolle's book The Power of Now turned me onto this concept.  It is so simple and brilliant, yet feels so impossible!  And for the Ego I am well aware it is there and how it is constantly trying to sabotage my true self and my new positive choices, trying to keep me stuck in my comfort zone and in a place of fear rather than love.  But again, even with the awareness, the struggle is overcoming the ingrained false beliefs and old egoic ways that have taken such a strong hold.   If anyone has any advice or helpful hints to offer on any of this I would greatly appreciate it! 

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Hi Jillian,

Thank you for sharing your reflections. I can definitely relate, as most people who are on this path can as well I'm sure. Awareness of the ego comes and goes in waves, and yet I do think that overtime with continual practice, awareness becomes more present than it is absent.

One thing that has helped me is to become aware of what is happening in the body when strong emotions arise. I might silently ask myself, "What is really here?" when I feel myself becoming swept away by a story line that is rooted in the ego. Depending what the emotion is, I might notice a heaviness in the chest, tightness in the forehead, or a lump in the throat. And then I just stay with that sensation until it slowly dissolves.

Now, I must admit that I do not always remember to do this, but I am practicing. I also find great value in listening to videos by Rupert Spira and Amoda Maa (and Eckhart as well!) to help reaffirm and nourish deeper understandings of who I really am.

Are there any practices yet that have helped you at all, even if only in small ways?

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Thank you Gillian!  The only practice I am using is my awareness and then trying to bring myself back to where I need to be.  I actually think my awareness is pretty good, its the action that I am challenged by.  I can recognize when I have been thinking about something that is not happening now and tell myself "stop, that doesn't matter now."  But eventually I find myself there again.  I'd like to prevent that from happening or at least less often.  

The physical awareness you mention is interesting and something I have not paid that much attention to.  Recently I did however recognize that I was feeling rather numb or indifferent at the time that a lot of really positive, and what should be exciting, things were unfolding for me.  I also was having some physical pain in my body during this time that I believe was manifested by stress.   It was brought to my attention that this could be my physiology trying to keep me stuck in my comfort zone by making it uncomfortable for me to move forward.  This is very intriguing to me and I would like to learn more about how it is all connected, do you have any insight on this or resource recommendations?

Gratefully,

JZ

 

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Hi Jillian! My apologies for the delay - I've been on vacation and am limiting screen time for the week.

On 7/24/2020 at 3:46 PM, JillianZ said:

I actually think my awareness is pretty good, its the action that I am challenged by.  I can recognize when I have been thinking about something that is not happening now and tell myself "stop, that doesn't matter now."  But eventually I find myself there again.  I'd like to prevent that from happening or at least less often.  

In regards to this experience, I do believe that it is through a natural process of unfolding that our tendency to get consumed by our egoic thoughts lessens. For me, there has been no single trick for 'stopping' this, but what has really helped me is what Tara Brach might call 'radical acceptance'. It invites us to witness and be compassionate towards all of our experience - the mental wandering included. So rather than trying to 'stop' the thoughts from arising, you might try shifting the approach to one of acceptance and curiosity. For instance, what might happen if you notice even the thought that says, "Stop thinking about that" or any inner judgments of the mind's tendencies?

On 7/24/2020 at 3:46 PM, JillianZ said:

The physical awareness you mention is interesting and something I have not paid that much attention to.  Recently I did however recognize that I was feeling rather numb or indifferent at the time that a lot of really positive, and what should be exciting, things were unfolding for me.  I also was having some physical pain in my body during this time that I believe was manifested by stress.   It was brought to my attention that this could be my physiology trying to keep me stuck in my comfort zone by making it uncomfortable for me to move forward.  This is very intriguing to me and I would like to learn more about how it is all connected, do you have any insight on this or resource recommendations?

The mind-body connection is really interesting. In fact, these two 'parts' of us are integral to one another! Here are a few suggestions to dive further into this:

Body Scan Meditation Worksheet (written instructions)

Anodea Judith's 'Eastern Body, Western Mind' - explores the chakra system and how the energies of each chakra are interconnected with the physical body

Louise Hay - metaphysical teachings about how different beliefs manifest in physical ailments - the book 'Heal Your Body'

If I think of other resources or suggestions, I will let you know! 🙂

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