Having a Spiritual Ego is not a big thing, most of us do. The big question is how you relate to it. Do you believe what it’s saying about you and the world, or are you observing what it’s doing from outside of it? Are you believing that you should keep your shadow self hidden, or are you taking action to integrate and welcome all parts of you?
In episode 14 of the Uncover YOU podcast, I talk about effective ways to dissolve the Spiritual Ego and answer questions from listeners.
Listen to episode 14, recorded during our Live Session in the Self Mastery Community, here:
A summary of what I cover in the episode:
Dissolving the Spiritual Ego
Dissolving the Spiritual Ego is much more about un-identifying with the ego-mind rather than trying to get rid of it. Getting rid of it is probably what another part of your ego-mind is telling you to do, because having a spiritual ego doesn’t fit with the image of being spiritual your mind is trying to live up to.
Does that sound somewhat complex? Let’s say that again, in slightly different words.
Your mind is aware that having an ego is not considered spiritual. So it’s trying to cover up the fact that you do have one. And when you bring awareness to that you might have one, the solution from the ego-mind will probably be “We need to get rid of it! Meditate more! Try harder!”
The path out of operating from the Spiritual Ego is to do the opposite. To welcome the Spiritual Ego AND the shadow, the unwanted parts of yourself. When you do you’re taking a very different action than what the ego-mind would, and you’re disrupting the old program.
Let’s look at some practical examples of how to do this.
3 powerful ways to shift out of identification with the ego-mind
These three examples are far from the only things you can do to shift out of identification with your ego-mind, but they are effective, playful, and available to you right now. A powerful combination.
Let’s have a look:
1. Bringing awareness to your Spiritual Ego
This might seem obvious but I want to be very clear about its importance. Bringing the patterns of your Spiritual Ego into the light instead of letting it lurk in the dark is where change begins.
There’s a trick your mind might be pulling though. Have you noticed the difference between being self-conscious and being self-aware?
Self-conscious could sound like:
“I know I’m judging myself, I shouldn’t be doing that.”
“I know I have a big spiritual ego but what can I do about it?”
This is your mind feeling bad about what it’s doing and is trying to protect itself against criticism (from itself…). Phew. A lot of energy goes into that pattern.
Self-aware would sound more like:
“I think a part of my mind just judged another part for not doing the morning meditation, and I totally believed it was talking to me. Interesting.”
“What did my mind just do there? What were the assumptions and conclusions it was making? What was driving that thought?”
Awareness is simply to be aware, without believing the reactions or the opinions, but instead observe those AS WELL. To shine the light on the whole structure, piece by piece. Turn on the flashlight and look in the dark corners. To be curious about what’s there.
Awareness is the first step to change. Let’s look at the next steps.
2. Honesty through confession
Now that you have awareness about what is happening in your mind, a very powerful disruptor to the old program is to say it out loud. To speak about what your mind is doing. “A part of me thinks I’m more dedicated and have come further on my spiritual journey than everyone else.” “A part of my mind is afraid that I won’t be happy if I don’t do my practices for a whole week.”
When you confess what’s going on in your mind, you also get the chance to ask: Is it true? Is this the only truth?
That’s one of the purposes and powers of the Self Mastery Community. That you can practice something completely new and say to others what your mind is doing.
This is NOT the same thing as judging it, as I mentioned above. No, it’s about taking away the layers of shame. To go against the program that says you need to keep that stuff hidden and only show your “best self”.
When you listen to the voice that wants to keep stuff hidden, you agree on the story that these thoughts ARE you. That they are saying something about what kind of person you are.
When you’re honest and say out loud what your mind is doing, you’re no longer agreeing with the story of shame. And you’re no longer agreeing that what’s going on in your mind is who you are.
Start taking the action of practicing honesty and confession will over time completely shift your perspective on identity.
3. Welcoming your shadow
This is the counter move of running from your shadow self. Instead of taking your moving truck and move up into the upper energy centers (as we talked about in episode 11) we’re going to do the opposite and meet everything that the ego-mind has been trying to avoid.
This will seem very counter-intuitive to the mind.
Wasn’t all the bad stuff what we wanted to change? The anxiety, the anger, the insecurity? Now we’re supposed to feel all that?
The mind is often afraid that if we go visit these parts of ourselves, we’ll get stuck there. But the fascinating paradox is that keeping the unwanted, shadow parts of yourself suppressed IS what has made them persist. The more you’re trying to deny or reject them, the more they are stuck in their old patterns. Not feeling them, not allowing them is exactly what makes them scream louder.
Three concrete ways of welcoming your shadow:
1. Welcome them in your journaling
While you’re journaling – doing inventory about your parts or describing a situation that you had a reaction to – welcome the parts you notice in your writing. It could look like: “There’s a part of me that feels small and insecure, I see you and you’re very welcome here.” “There’s a part of me who’s furious about what my spouse did the other day. You’re welcome here. I love you.”
When you practice welcoming in something tangible as your journaling, the pattern of rejection will start changing and it will trickle into your thinking and your habits.
2. Feeling all the uncomfortable emotions
Yes, there’s fear about feeling the emotions we’ve been trying to avoid. But it’s the MIND who’s afraid, not you. Your willingness to go into the underworld, to meet the fears the mind has about feeling these emotions AND the emotions themselves, is crucial to move out of the old program.
Instead of running from your anxiety, you can meet and feel it from a new place of the observer, of divine consciousness, of awareness, of love, and acceptance.
This would most likely not work at the beginning of your journey, when you’re in a victim mode about your anxiety. But now that you have had other experiences of gratitude, heart-opening and compassion, you can bring this new awareness and love into your lower energy centers. You’ve come full circle and can bring acceptance into what you previously were running from.
3. Finding pleasure in the shadow
This is not beginner’s stuff, but oh so powerful and completely disruptive to the old program of rejection. The mind has been busy saying that the experience of anxiety, for example, is bad, bad, bad. The mind has put labels on the experience of anxiety, but that meaning, those labels, only exist in the mind.
When you remove the labels and instead simply are present with the experience itself, the experience of anxiety in your body is not that far from the experience of excitement or even joy.
Previously, the expression, the experience of anxiety has not been allowed to be experienced. And life wants to be experienced, expressed. The experience wants to be had.
When you connect with the pleasure of having ANY experience, it can be felt, experienced, and celebrated as an expression of life itself. And when it’s celebrated and felt, it can let go, transform into a new expression. It’s when we resist the experience that it needs to hang around and scream louder.
Be curious. Don’t take my word for it. Instead explore if there can be pleasure in having the big cry, in feeling rage, or even anxiety.
With the practices and actions that I’ve been describing you’re completely changing the story of the shadow parts being undesirable, unwanted, rejected. Instead, you’ve taken a big leap into accepting and welcoming all aspects of yourself.
You have started to integrate your shadow, which will take you into a life from integrity, with an undivided will.
A life without an inner conflict.
A life from the heart.