Ego Pop-Ups: Drama on Demand

If we listen only to our ego, we are never enough and never will be.  The essence of ego is to chatter constantly for that is how it thrives. Ego is not concerned with what choice we make ultimately for as soon as we make a decision, ego considers the choice not chosen and cites consequence after consequence.

The chatter is deafening at times yet it is ego’s duplicity that does it in for at some point, we realize we are caught up in ego’s never ending storyline. Ego is like the pop-ups on our computer screens—drama on demand—our choice is whether to allow or to block.

As humans, our ego pop-up blocker is found in joy, love, gratitude, and compassion where ego dare not tread for within these emotions, we are always enough. There is no need for drama.

Compassion, love, joy and gratitude remind us to be thoughtful in our speech, not to take things personally, to stay present in what we do so we make no assumptions about anyone or anything for when we are mindful, we really are doing the best we can.

Still, some days it seems as if all we ever do is deal with our ego pop-ups. Ego seems to know our vulnerabilities better than we do no matter how hard we try to remain present.  Why is that?
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Michael Singer says that “reality is just too real for most of us, so we temper it with the mind….”  Often, we just avoid those places where ego pop-ups abound or we run rather than facing what is occurring. Other times, rather than blocking the emotional pop-up, we stay with its storyline for it is a drama we know.

It is not for us to cling to our ego drama nor to suppress it. It is for us to acknowledge our ego’s existence:

Like two golden birds perched on the selfsame tree, intimate friends, the ego and the Self dwell in the same body. The former eats the sweet and sour fruits of the tree of life, while the latter looks on in detachment. Mundaka Upanishad

We are not our ego but we are the one who experiences emotions; we are the one who hears constant chatter. When we allow our ego to block us to our true self, we are not enough. Continuously, we surf screen after screen searching for freedom from our ego. Yet, exist with ego we must.

We are partners with our ego, one emotional pop-up after another. If we view our emotions as passing thoughts, momentary screenshots, we ground ourselves in the eternity that is the life force.

Ours is the compassionate response, grateful for the experience of being, of knowing love and joy.  We live as we breathe, inhaling each moment so that we may let it go. We are alive, and it is enough.

The Eternal Now of All Seasons

The holiday season and I have an ambivalent history. Some years, I was unable to let the season go, and other years, I never quite showed up for it. Yet, there is one seasonal constant: tradition says we harvest in fall and give thanks; as winter begins, we give gifts, goodwill among them.

All that is left

to us by tradition

is mere words. It is up to us

to find out what they mean.

~ ibn al-`Arabi~

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Each holiday season, I reconsider its traditions in words well-worn as well as new ones:  “…to be detached from both the past and future [is] to live in the Eternal Now.  For in truth neither past nor future have any existence apart from this Now; by themselves they are illusions” (Alan Watts).

The promise of the Eternal Now is life as a seamless season, gifts available in every moment of eternity. If we embrace this holiday season as the Eternal Now, we open ourselves to a way of life that extends goodwill this day and every day.

Yet, any moment of the holiday season offers us experiences that unwrap us raw. These are gifts that cannot pass quickly enough–or so we think–whether it is the first holiday of loss or just another year that we mark a loss. We remember, as we should.

Like the holiday season, the Eternal Now is not a matter of endurance but a matter of meeting each moment just as we are. We may only manage a breath but that is enough to take us into the next moment. Emptying ourselves into loss opens us to gratitude for having loved at all. In love, we let loss go.

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For those holidays I could not let go, I was clinging to the bright and shiny rather than experiencing them. I never really opened their gifts. In those years I completely avoided the holidays, I was surrounded by sparkling gifts not only unopened but unnoticed.

In trying to hold onto a moment and make it stay, we cause ourselves to suffer; if we refuse to show up, we are still seeking what is not and we suffer.  Yet, the field of infinite possibilities is always available to us as long as we breathe for we are never out of sync with the Eternal Now, no matter what.

“You may believe yourself out of harmony with life and its Eternal Now; but you cannot be, for you are life and exist Now—otherwise you would not be here” (Alan Watts). We can celebrate our entire lives with the warmth of the holidays if we remember that existence— the Eternal Now — is always in perfect harmony.

My gift to you, and thus to me, is a life lived in the Eternal Now in all seasons.

Regular blog posts will resume December 8, 2013.

Thursday Tidbits: Getting What You Want

Welcome to Thursday Tidbits, choice bits of information that celebrate our oneness with one another through our unique perspectives. It is how we connect, how we have always connected but in the 21st century, the connection is more immediate than it has ever been.

As I continue to explore detachment—or not trying to control the outcome of a moment—it seems to be a matter of attention and intention, which Deepak Chopra says are the two qualities of consciousness. In other words, through attention and intention we create the reality we live:

“Intention combined with detachment leads to life-centered, present moment awareness. And when action is performed in present moment awareness, it is most effective. Your intent is for the future, but your attention is in the present. As long as your attention is in the present, then your intent for the future will manifest, because the future is created in the present” (Seven Spiritual Laws of Success).Old Woman Tree; KMHuberImage; Tallahassee Park in Winter

But what follows is not quite as easy, at least for this human: 

“You must accept the present as is. Accept the present and intend the future. The future is something you can always create through detached intention, but you should never struggle against the present” (Seven Spiritual Laws of Success).

Often, not struggling seems like giving up or not standing up for one’s beliefs but I suspect that is where detachment lies. We immerse ourselves in the moment and not its possible outcome. And if we feel stuck in the moment?

In Pema Chödrön’s quote for the week, “The Sensation of Bliss,” she relays a time in her life when she was feeling quite overwhelmed, anxious and the more she “settled into” the feeling the more it consumed her.

She consulted one of her teachers who told her that he, too, had experienced a similar feeling and then asked her to describe her experience, including all of the physical sensations she felt. Here, she relates what her teacher told her:

“… He brightened up and said, `Ani Pema…That’s a high level of spiritual bliss.’ I almost fell off my chair. I thought, `Wow, this is great!’ And I couldn’t wait to feel that intensity again. And do you know what happened? When I eagerly sat down to practice, of course, since the resistance was gone, so was the anxiety” (Pema Chödrön’s Quote of the Week).

Somewhat similar was my own feeling regarding Cooper’s death. Fearful of his having another seizure, I lie awake, watching him sleep, yet as Christmas Eve became Christmas morn, the anxiety and resistance to his impending death left me. They never returned.

What has filled me is an immense gratitude for being, and with it, joy. And yes, it still amazes me. “Past and future are born in the imagination; only the present, which is awareness, is real and eternal. It is” (Law of Intention and Desire, Seven Spiritual Laws of Success).

The Deepak Chopra video is a how-to on the Law of Intention and Desire, in particular on what to focus your attention so your intention may go to work for you.

Recent Inspiring Posts:

Heartflow 2013: Made for These Times

Everyday Gurus: A Split Second To Peace

Barbara Kingsolver excerpt:  Small Wonder

Taoist Path: Attention and Intention in a Hectic World


The Mirror That is You

Love reflecting upon itself—seeing others in ourselves and ourselves in others—or Tat Tvam Asi, Sanskrit for “you are that, that you are.” All individuals comprise the connection that is oneness.

Yet in order to connect, we must detach, free ourselves from clinging to one way or another. We detach when we look into the mirror of our oneness so that we see each other.

KMHuber Image; St. Mark's Refuge, FL; mirror

Detachment is not giving up anyone or anything but rather, it is attaining freedom. My own experience tells me that when I am completely present, my life is free of past conditions and future “what ifs,” wide open to the field of infinite possibilities.

When we are completely present, we are giving the moment our full attention. Attention energizes the moment, keeping it free from the past, the future or any current situation. When we energize the moment, we set our intention, the direction we wish to travel within the field of infinite possibilities.

Intention transforms or changes the moment but intention does not attach to any one solution, any one goal. There is no clinging, no controlling how it all works out. Rather, with intention, we set our course, remaining open to the outcome as it reveals itself.

I do not find detachment easy but I find it attractive for it is staying with what is, not what was, what might be or even the outcome I think best. I cannot possibly know what is best but I can focus on a direction.

Deepak Chopra writes that in detachment, there is wisdom in uncertainty. Likewise, attachment to anything results in fear and insecurity:  “In order to acquire anything in the physical universe, you have to relinquish your attachment to it” (Seven Spiritual Laws of Success).

It seems to me detachment offers us the mirror of oneness, the reflection of what connects us to one another. Perhaps it provides us a way through our separateness.

KMHuberImage; oneness; St. Mark's Refuge FL

In detachment, our perspective broadens as do our perceptions for we are not attached only to one way or the other but are engaged only in what is. We recognize traits in one another because we know them as our own. In our oneness, we are mirrors, reflecting the world to one another.

Oneness never diminishes the individual but celebrates it–Tat Tvam Asi—you are that, that you are. All are part of the whole. In celebrating our connection to one another, our attention is on what connects us, not what separates us. The energy of attention—our connection–sparks the intention of reaching critical mass awareness.

For the first time in the history of humanity, we have the technology to create global consciousness one person at a time– the only way change is ever truly affected–as we reflect ourselves to one another through the mirror of oneness, a celebration of each and every one of us.

When we are open to what is—the infinite field of possibilities–we are not attached to value, judgment or labels but to “the dream of constant okayness” as Pema Chödrön named it. The infinite field of possibilities abounds in the state of okayness in every moment for every one of us.

The gift of oneness is that the uniqueness of every individual is what connects us, is what allows us to mirror the world for one another. It is how we recognize ourselves.

We live in a fractious and fearful world; we live in a moment unlike any other. As with all who have come before us, we have the opportunity to create a planet of thoughtfulness, mindfulness but unlike previous generations, we have the technology to criss-cross the globe, connection upon connection.

The world grows smaller as we grow closer. “It is only by risking ourselves from one hour to another that we live at all” (William James). It is up to us as it has always been.

KMHuberImage; Mud hens; St. Mark's Refuge FL