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empowerment

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Your Spirit Is Stronger Than Your Ego

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going." The first time I heard that, I was a kid. I had no idea how many times I would be confronted with that lesson in the years ahead.

I remember hearing stories of mothers tearing car doors off burning vehicles or overturning them to rescue their trapped children, or similar stories of physical strength in emotional situations such as those. Adrenalin, they say, is what makes those stories possible.

That kind of physical strength is impressive but it is also fleeting; it cannot be sustained.

Then you hear remarkable stories of survival in unbearable, horrible conditions, people trapped or lost for days, weeks, even months, given up for dead after terrible accidents. How do they carry on?

It's more than just a will to live. That kind of survival is driven by the spirit that is inside each and every one of us.

So where is it, then, when we feel defeated? When we want to just give up and check out? Where is it when we've been slammed onto the pavement over and over again after repeated disappointments?

It hasn't gone anywhere. It's still there. We've just allowed Ego to get in the way, and no, I don't mean Ego as in "boastfulness", which is what people often take that word to be. The Ego is a sense of self and personal identity. It's your human side.

When things go wrong, it is Ego that says, "I'm a failure." Or it might point the finger of blame at someone else and say, "It was your fault!" It is Ego that says, "I'll never be able do that! I'm not even going to try!" Ego says, "I've been beaten down too many times. I simply cannot get back up again."

When we remain locked into these kinds of thoughts, invariably we will be overwhelmed with "negative" emotions, such as sadness, grief, jealousy, frustration or anger. What you're thinking about will always lead to what you're feeling. So if you don't like how you feel, you must change your thoughts.

If you choose to remain attached to your Ego, you will continue to have these negative thoughts, which will lead to the negative feelings. You will remain stuck, unhappy, frustrated with your life or your situation and will be unable to move forward. It is only when you reconnect with your spirit that you will experience its power. All the adrenalin in the world won't do you any good without that mighty spirit urging you on, telling you "Yes, you can do it!"

When Ego is in the way, it is easy to make choices out of pain, need, anger, revenge, guilt and all sorts of other toxic influences. A decision that comes from a toxic foundation cannot possibly yield a healthy result.

But when you let go of the Ego and reconnect with your spirit, you are giving yourself access to the greatest power that is available to you. Your spirit believes and trusts in Divine wisdom and in your ability to use it. When you get out of your own way and listen to your spirit, it will guide you to the best choices you can make for yourself. Its enduring strength and mighty power will see you through anything, if you make the decision to use them.

To be 'in-spired' is to be filled with spirit - to be guided by Divine influence. When we are inspired, we get up and get moving. We create, we accomplish, we achieve. We are motivated, urged to do, to be, to build. That spirit never leaves you because it IS you! Ego shoves it out of the way, given half a chance, but if you make the decision to reconnect with it, your spirit will make its presence known very quickly.

Ego will steer you wrong, every single time. Your spirit never will.

Ego will get you into trouble. Your spirit never will.

Ego will allow you to self-destruct. Your spirit never will.

Ego will con you into self-deceit. Your spirit never will.

Ego will always be weak and fragile. Your spirit never will. 

Your spirit is far stronger than your Ego could ever hope to be. But Ego is a master of trickery and illusion. It will make you think it is the one in control, or that it is all-powerful, or that it is calling the shots and you have no say in the matter. It will make you believe you're weak, that you cannot achieve or accomplish, that you cannot create or move forward. It will make you believe there is reason to fear, and it will push you to make poor choices because of that fear.

It will make you think there is no reason to live, no reason to fight for what you want, no reason to love.

Your Ego would have you think there's something inherently wrong with YOU, and that your spirit is some separate and elusive entity that is hiding somewhere dark and difficult to find. But in reality, it is Ego that is a separate entity, a human identity that is not the real "You" at all, for you are a spirit contained within a body.

Any time you are thinking self-destructive or negative thoughts that make you feel disempowered, dark, unhappy, fearful and so on, this is your Ego speaking. Just as it shoved your spirit aside, reconnect with your greatest, purest power and let your Spirit shove your Ego aside.

In doing so, you will find the strength to move forward and to heal. You'll find the passion to create and accomplish. You will find the joy of living; you'll discover your greatness.

You are a beautiful, sparkling, extremely powerful spirit who just happens to transport itself through this Earthly life by using a body as a vehicle - a body that is comparatively weak and powerless, and that has an equally weak and powerless Ego attached to it.

To remember your spirit and to reconnect with its power, just get out of your own way and tell Ego to take a long walk off a short pier.

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Need Help Saying "No"?

Do you need more Vitamin N?

What's Vitamin N, you ask?
 
It's the ability to say, "No."
 
It's absolutely essential to your good health, to your well-being and to your happiness - just as surely as all the usual assortment of vitamins and minerals are necessary for you, too.
 
How often do you find yourself saying "Yes" when you really mean "Oh, please, NO, I really do NOT want to do that!"? How often are you deciding whether to go through with a commitment you felt obliged to make, or to dream up some palatable excuse as to why you can't go through with it?
 
Oh dear, such a waste of energy, and so damaging to your own health and life on all levels because of the negativity associated with all of that.

Why is it that some of us have such a hard time just saying "NO"? Why is it that we worry about "hurting someone's feelings"?

The truth is, you can never "hurt someone's feelings." We choose our feelings and how we respond to the events and people around us. We can decide whether or not to feel happy or peaceful just as easily as we can choose to feel insulted or angry.

So forget the notion that if you tell someone "No", you're "hurting their feelings." They can be respectful of your decision - or they can take it personally. That's their business, not yours. If they truly care about you, they'll appreciate your honesty and your ability to stand up for yourself. They'll respect you for it and might even take a lesson or two from you for modelling these attributes.
 
Your time is precious. It's your most limited resource. Every time the clock ticks, your remaining seconds, minutes and days become that much more valuable. You can't get back time you spend on people or events that don't add anything of value to your life in some way.

Even worse is spending them on people and events that add negativity

Why would you choose to do that? Would you want that for the people you love? You ought to be at the top of that list.

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Don't get me wrong; doing things you don't particularly like but doing them out of love and a desire to help someone adds value to your life. I'm talking about something else entirely.
 
And beware the dangerous question, "What are you doing on Saturday afternoon?". This is a common way that people begin a request for a favour or to have you accompany them to some event that they would love but you would not.

If you're someone who asks questions in this way, you might want to rethink and say, "I would really appreciate your help/company for (whatever) on Saturday afternoon. Are you available/interested?" That would be much more respectful than boxing someone into an awkward and empty corner.
 
When someone asks you, "What are you doing on _____?" the best answer is "I don't know, I'll have to check my calendar. Why do you ask?"
 
Should you feel obliged to make an excuse as to why you aren't able to attend an event that is of absolutely no interest to you, for example? No. You don't have to be interested in all the same things as anyone else. You can just say, "I'm glad you're excited about it and thank you for thinking of me. It's just not for me."
 
You owe it to yourself and to the people who love you to say "No" when it's what you really want to say. Self-love and self-care are two of the best gifts in the world.

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Crank That Wheel Away From the Skid

"Oops."  (Photo courtesy of freerangestock.com)

"Oops." (Photo courtesy of freerangestock.com)

You know that heart-stopping fear that fills you with ice water when you're driving along, and suddenly you find yourself in a skid? Your car fish-tails back and forth, back and forth, spitting gravel or spinning on ice and visions of a rather messy and imminent death race through your mind.

Your stomach flips as adrenalin floods your taut body. You grip the wheel in white-knuckled terror, and you wonder if your mouth is really filled with cotton balls all of a sudden.

Those seconds hang like years, and you're sure you've lost a few off your life after this too-close-call that leaves you shaken and trembling at the side of the road.

Growing up in Western Canada where the weather can be brutal and extreme, I learned how to drive in some pretty vicious conditions. There's nothing like plowing through tons of snow on several inches of solid ice, with a raging snowstorm obscuring your vision - by night.

Many of Canada's country roads are gravel, which can send you into a nasty skid and land you in the ditch in as big a hurry as that ice under your wheels will do.

What makes it worse is the instinct that some people have to crank the steering wheel into the direction of the skid. A big no-no! And on top of that, some people find themselves staring at whatever they're trying to avoid. Another vehicle, a wall, a sharp embankment that drops off and will send them plummeting below and into a raging river... And whatever they're seeing is where they are heading.

I "came out of the chute" in the middle of a sharp skid, born to a frightened young teen and after a time was taken from her and adopted into yet another skid. Much of my life was spent fish-tailing back and forth, back and forth, every heart-stopping moment spent cranking the wheel hard in the opposite direction of that skid, and doing my best to stay focused on the road, and not on the ditch, the wall - or too many times, the cliff above the river.

I was not always successful. In fact, I was very unsuccessful on far too many occasions for far too many years.

With the passage of time and continued practice and focus, the skids are now a lot fewer and farther in between. They don't usually land me in the ditch any more either, because I've learned to stay focused on the road.

And if you don't already know how to do it, you can learn, too.