Our ego is the self that believes that this physical world is the ultimate reality--Here are some dance steps for dancing with your ego, to reclaim and remember that who you truly are is a being of Love, Light & Power.
"The ego is all about self-importance. It has nothing to do with who we really are, where we are going, or how we will get there.”
If remembering that who you truly are is a being of love, light and power were easy to do, there’d be no need to talk about the ego. But let’s face it, the main thing keeping us from remembering who we truly are is the Ego aspect of the self associated with the realm of duality or separation. It can get very activated during full moon.
The ego exists because of the differentiation and separation involved in embodiment. Residing deeply in the ego is to believe your body, or your emotions or your thoughts are the ultimate reality. It’s the root of all suffering, where we experience all manner of emotional discomfort, fears, pains and aggressions, all in the name of believing it’s necessary for us to be safe (that is the purpose of the ego self)!
Don’t get me wrong, we need the ego-self. It’s an essential part of navigating a human experience where we have to self-refer in the world of matter and form in order to survive. But if the ego keeps us from knowing ourselves as loved, intelligent & empowered, during times when we are triggered and forget, the winning question is how can we tame the ego or at least have it work in our favor?
Do you like to dance? Well, you don’t have to like to dance in order to “dance with your egoic content” and get the ego to work with you instead of working against you. Have you ever had a necklace the chain of which is tangled and knotted? If you use too much force, tugging and pulling at it, it simply makes the knot tighter. Well that’s how the ego works. The more you fight it, resist or force things the tighter your ego becomes, the more attached you are to your unhappiness the more you'll want to defend the ego simply because it “feels” safe and comfortable to your brain.
When you’re over-attached to your ego self it can take some time for your neuronetwork to calm down. But if you are like me and you want shortcuts to working with the ego so your peace & focus can be restored sooner, you’ll appreciate the tools I suggest ahead. Let’s jump in.
The nature of the ego is to assert it’s Self as separate and above any other part of you including your Real SELF. According to the research of Neuroanatomist Dr Jill Bolte Taylor in her book “Whole Brain Living”, the part of you that identifies yourself as separate from other things or the self-referential part of you, resides in the lower left hemisphere of your brain. The right hemisphere contains the part of you that registers one-ness and understands the self as a being of love, light and power.
So how do you dance (or create some movement) with this part of yourself that is so identified with separation instead of the knowing of your SELF as love? While Dr Jill has many other examples of how to work with the different aspects of your brain in relation to the ego self, here are my go to steps to create space and to experience yourself as a being of love especially in the instance of feeling triggered into believing otherwise. I hope these take you to the heart of who you are, especially in the spaces when you forget.
Breathing | Breathing is the easiest and most subtle form of movement, but alternate nostril breathing balances the energy of the left and right hemispheres of the brain, calming your neuro-network down. This creates some space to move from over-identifying with the ego to opening yourself up to your true nature. Dancing at this level looks like depressing your left nostril with your left thumb and inhaling from your right nostril for a count of 6 and depressing both nostrils closed for a count of 3, then releasing the left nostril only to exhale for another count of 6. Then hold both nostrils again for 3, releasing the left nostril to inhale for a count of 6 and holding both nostrils closed for a count of 3, then releasing the right nostril to exhale for 6, then depress both nostrils for 3 and begin again by inhaling from the right nostril. 5-7 cycles will dance the energy in the brain around enough for you to lessen your over-attachment to the ego’s content.
Movement | All movements including yoga and meditative walking take energy away from the ego self and cause energy to travel to different parts of the body that can access different pieces of information, the ego is not aware of. So I prefer hiking on a beautiful trail or beach walks to let the dance with my ego-self tone down my degree of over-attachment. When my brain has to use energy to do other life affirming things like climbing a steep slope on a hike, my right brain gets more activated and the left (ego) side gets a bit of rest. Dancing with the ego is kinda like playing with a child who is grouchy and needs a little help getting distracted from the grouchiness. The point is simply to create space not avoid the content. Plus your body will release other information to help you dance yourself away from the ego and into the Love you forgot you were.
Dancing | In my opinion dancing is nothing more than exploring the space around your body as it moves to a beat. Curiosity, compassion & understanding goes a long way towards dancing with the ego self. Remember that the dance isn’t about avoiding the feeling or perspective of the ego, but creates space to understand and relate to the content differently. If you don’t create space, or rebel against it to defend the ego-self, that’s the same as pulling and tugging on the knot in the necklace. No one needs a knotted up nervous system since it’s a precursor of disease. Know that it’s ok to be kind and compassionate, curious, understanding and accepting of the ego’s content without needing to judge, blame, defend, protect or act aggressively, as the ego often wants to do in order to fulfill its purpose to protect you and keep you safe (overattachement in action).. Ask yourself questions a curious parent might ask, like “How do I know this is the absolute truth?”’; “What other perspectives exist around this issue?”; “What are my ego’s perspectives making true about me or for me?”. Your ego self may actually start appreciating the dance at this point because you are giving it some attention and space to feel itself as important and relevant, without making it wrong.
Choose your finale and meditate on it. | When you reverse engineer your dance routine, it’ll make things so much easier. Affirming out loud, “I am not the body, thoughts or emotions. I am the soul. I am a being of divine love, light and power. I am one with that divine spark within me. I am the SOUL'', you are claiming your finale. You are verbally claiming your SELF as the LOVE your Soul is, that you ARE, as expressed through your body and giving your nervous system a different tune to dance to. Dancing to that instead of the vibrations of the ego self will automatically put you into knowing yourself as loved, empowered and intelligent. It can’t be any other way, when you practice regularly.
How will your dancing go? Only time will tell, but I expect that as you keep solving for the ways the ego self keeps you from experiencing the love that you are, you'll only get better and better with time. Such is dancing with the ego self, whether reluctantly or whole heartedly. The love within me, bows to the love that is YOU.