What is the ego exactly? The Cambridge dictionary defines the ego in the following terms: “Your idea or your opinion of yourself, especially your feeling of your own importance and ability” as well as, “In Psychoanalysis, the part of a person’s mind that tries to match the hidden desires of the id (part of the unconscious mind) with the demands of the real world”.
Spiritual writers and leaders agree that in order to live a happy free life, we must dominate our egos and not let our egos dominate us. Deepak Chopra for example, someone I esteem highly, gives us the following advice:
“When the ego dominates, we assess where we stand, high or low, in any situation. We subtly put others in their place. Under the influence of grace, this behavior changes because you genuinely feel no higher and no lower than anyone else. A tremendous relief accompanies this realization. So much energy is wasted protecting our dignity, status, pride and accomplishments.”
Marianne Williamson tells us that, “Ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel at peace’. Spirit says, ‘Find your peace, then everything will fall into place’”. Thus ego is the part of our conscious selves which seeks to control reality rather than surrender to it. It is the part of us that struggles to prove itself over and over again, and it takes a lot of time and energy to let ego rule our lives.
Here are some tips on how to tame your ego. (Do I hear you say, I have no ego? Yes, well, that is ego talking right there!)
Laugh at Yourself
In Dan Millman’s famous Peaceful Warrior Saga that I have read several times, my favorite element in his books is the humor. Socrates is constantly making fun of Dan and punching holes in his big athletic ego.
Dan thinks he knows everything in life until he has a major motorcycle accident and is unable to train anymore. Once he hits rock bottom and his ego is crushed by unfortunate events, he begins to take his spiritual training more seriously and his spirit begins to take over. Throughout the process of breaking Dan’s ego, Socrates makes endless jokes and constantly laughs at him. Humor is one of the most effective ways to tame the ego.
I practice laughing at myself daily. If things get heavy in one area of my life, I begin to make jokes about it until things lighten up. If my friends take me too seriously, I will make a joke about myself and remove ego energy. When someone compliments me too much, I start complimenting them too much, and we have a good laugh. I also tell truths through jokes so as to break through ego barriers. Humor disarms the ego and caresses the heart instead.
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When your ego takes over and you begin to judge others or defend yourself again, do something crazy like break out into a jig in public or roll on the grass. Ego will be so embarrassed that it will shut up immediately and hide in its cave while spirit dances with joy.
I try to do crazy things every day to shock my ego and make my spirit soar higher. My friends think I am strange but they sure love my endless joy!
Observe Yourself Closely
Taming the ego means you are going to need to step back and look at yourself from new angles. Whatever reactions you have in life will need some serious observation. You cannot just walk around like a bundle of nerves and emotions anymore; you need to see yourself like a movie character.
When you first meet a movie character, you study the way they dress and talk and walk. You try to understand them from their behavior, because that is really all you have as information from a screen. You must do the same for yourself if you want to tame your ego.
You are now a character in a movie called Life, and everything you do must come from a place of heart and spirit, not ego. That means you must think before reacting and choose a loving calm reaction as often as possible. Hatred, envy, jealousy, self-pity -- all these come from ego not heart energy.
This does not mean to become robot without any feelings. It means that you no longer let your buttons get pushed by outside forces. You control your buttons. Observing your reactions enlightens you on your defense mechanisms and bad habits, and frees your spirit rather than cages it.
Find Your Practice to Turn Off Ego
When I began practising Tai Chi and Qi Gong, at first I did it for my physical body. I wanted to become healthier. As time went by, I realized that my spirit was dancing in the forms I was practicing, and I love dancing!
I meditate a lot in Tai Chi and Qi Gong. This art of moving meditation allows for my spirit to breathe and take over. It pushes my ego aside and makes it smaller. I find that Tai Chi and Qi Gong not only strengthen my body and mind, but my spirit too.
Find your practice for turning off the ego. Whether that is Yoga, walking in nature, swimming or breath work, find your practice and do it every single day. Strengthen your spirit and weaken your ego in your practice. One day, you will wake up to find that your spirit has expanded so much that ego has become only a little dragon next to the big dragon which is spirit.
©2017. Nora Caron. All Rights Reserved.
About the Author
Nora Caron has a Masters degree in English Renaissance literature and speaks four languages. After struggling through the academic system, she realized that her true calling was to help people live from their hearts and explore the world through the eyes of their spirit. Nora has studied with various spiritual teachers and healers since 2003 and she practices Energy Medicine as well as Tai Chi and Qi Gong. In September 2014, her book "Journey to the Heart", received the Living Now Book Award Silver Medal for Best Inspirational Fiction. Visit her website at: www.noracaron.com
Watch a video with Nora: New Dimensions of Being
Books by Nora Caron
Journey to the Heart: New Dimensions Trilogy, Book 1
by Nora Caron.
Watch the book trailer: Journey to the Heart - Book Trailer