Thursday, April 14, 2011

Week 15-Lesson 15: Let Go of Your Ego

If someone approaches you with boxing gloves, do you take the first punch? If not, do you put up a defense or duck to protect yourself from the blow heading right towards you? If the ego is attacked or threatened, it will always fight back. But you are not the ego, so why do you fight so hard to protect something which only exists in your mind.

Recently, I've felt a lot of challenges concerning the ego. What I've realized is this:

I'm not completely free from the ego because I still use words like "I," "mine," and "me."

But don't we all?

Today I decided to try and loosen my grip on those three little words that cause so many problems. Instead of saying, "I wrote a book about my life," I've decided to try "I wrote a book about a life." What a difference!

It started with a phone call from my editor. It was a good phone call full of great feedback and constructive criticism. Some of this criticism would have been hard to take had I not decided to drop the word "I."

But in the end, I suppose, it was a lost cause because I stood up for my voice. I wanted my voice, which I felt might have been lost a bit in the editing process, to be heard.

It's hard to tell our own stories and not be attached to the story we are telling, especially if it is the story of our lives. Even though I stood up for my voice, I'm learning to see the writing I am doing from different angles and different perspectives. I think this is important and I also think there is validity in much of the criticism we receive if we'd just LISTEN and get beyond this "I."

The irony of it all is that much of the story I am telling in my book is about learning to listen to the "voice" inside of you (and me) and to follow it. I think that this voice inside is very different from the ego. The voice inside knows much more than the ego we try so hard to protect and the images of ourselves that we create in our own minds and the minds of others.

The voice inside of you is very wise. It doesn't care about "how you look" to others. It is not interested in keeping up with appearances. In fact, when you choose to follow your inner voice or inner wisdom, you may feel like your outer world is falling apart. This is because your ego is fighting to survive. It doesn't feel comfortable with the changes going on inside you. It doesn't want to give up or lose its "shininess" or "good standing" on the outside.

But believe me, if you choose to follow that inner voice or inner wisdom and loosen up on the ego or the "I" a bit, you'll find that there's nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 14-Lesson 14: You Can't Do Everything

It's Sunday. I have so much to do, I don't even know where to begin. It's 9:34pm and I think I'm about to call it quits in a half hour or so because, well, I can't do everything. This is the reality. I am not super human. I don't have 10 arms. As far as I know, there isn't a clone of me wandering around anywhere who could pick up some of the slack.

I received my copy edits back from my publisher. So much was changed and my editor needs my feedback so that they can get the ball rolling on my book. I worked on them a little, but not as much as hoped too. I'm teaching a new class at the college and it eats up a lot of my time and requires a bit more work. And then there's my lovely blog. Do you know what's funny? I think it was easier to keep up daily posts (I wrote 365 blog posts in 2010). With weekly posts, I tell myself, "I can do that later." Before I know it, later is here and the week is over. It's Sunday. There are no more days left. I didn't have that option when I was posting every day.

So here's my solution:

Do what you can and then give yourself a BREAK!

We are not machines. I need time for myself and I'm sure you do too, so take it easy. Lighten up. I'm writing this post for myself, but if you can also relate, then that's a bonus! It will all get done in due time and if it doesn't, maybe it wasn't that important anyway.

Enjoy your week! Even if you have a lot on your list, may you always find time to stop and nurture yourself. Off I go to read, drink a cup of tea, take a bath and then hit the sack. Until next week!!