Authentic Self and Our Ego

The line between the authentic self and ego is often blurry. While many of us believe we are living our authentic self, in truth we are being guided by our ego.


To understand this, let’s begin by answering an important question. So tell me, what is the opposite of Love? Many think it is hate, some say it is indifference, in reality though, it is Fear. Yes, the opposite of Love is Fear; with a big F. Now that this is established the difference between authentic self and ego is easier to understand. Ego operates from a place of fear whereas our authentic self or the highest self operates from a place of love.

Fear is so deeply embedded within us that it clouds everything and drives our ego leading to our wants. We want more because we fear we do not have enough, we are not enough. This puts us in a loop, a vicious circle of unsatisfactory feelings. As soon as one want is met 10 more rear their ugly heads. Wants are never ending and because they come from a place of fear, meeting our wants give us only momentary happiness and mostly never peace. Ego makes us controlling, we want to control ourselves and others and want to change the world’s perception about us. We seek external validation, some of us might become people pleasers or take on a false identity to be liked by others or develop narcissistic traits. Ego does not care about what we need, it is never inwards.

Once we start looking at ourselves and our surroundings from a place of love, we becomes more accepting of ourselves and let go the want to control. We soon realize that we have enough, we are enough and we have or we are exactly what we need. We start loving ourselves unconditionally without looking for external validation. We start believing in the divine and understand that the Universe/God/ Supreme power loves us. Our trust in self and the divine timing develops. We manifest everything at the right time. Authentic self draws the right energy and the universe aligns itself to our needs.

Living authentically is beautiful.

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Starting over

Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather learning to start over.

Nicole Sobon

It all started during the first lock-down. This never ending feeling of emptiness, of paranoia, of time rushing by and I not being able to catch up with it. I tried meditating, exercising and blamed it all on the pandemic that had forced us into isolation and lock-down. I lost my job, got a new job, spent time with family but this feeling never left me.

I was unhappy in my marriage, my husband was too involved with him parents to give me anytime and I guess somewhere deep within me without my being aware of it, I was done with the breadcrumbs of his attention. I would wake up in the middle of the night with tears running down my face. I did not know who to talk to, who would understand this restlessness.

So I decided to take a trip to Goa for a few days to spend sometime with a dear friend. It was she who made me realized how low and unhappy I looked. She pointed out how my posture is always closed and defensive and how badly I am hurting from being in an unhappy marriage for last 7 years. That was the first time in years I became aware of what I had become. How scared and lonely I was in spite of living in a joint family and how unsettled and unsure I was of all myself. This realization shook me but it also gave me the courage to do two very difficult things. Firstly ask for help from a psychotherapist and secondly get out of my marriage and START OVER.

I Loaf You

Cooking and eating has always been therapeutic, add a dash of baking and the cathartic experience goes to different level. After all who doesn’t like the smell of freshly baked food.

I have a been practicing baking bread for last 3 months. I looked up various blogs and food sites to get the perfect recipe and trust me the world wide web is full of them. But baking like a lot of other skills are acquired by practice.

And after a lot of trials and errors I have finally started baking the near perfect bread. Ta-Da. And I can’t stop feeling happy about it.

So what did I finally do right. A lot of things actually – from precise measurement to making sure the yeast is activated, using the butter at room temperature and adding butter and salt a few minutes after I start kneading.

Knowing that one cannot really over knead the dough helped. I prefer using my hands to knead it. It takes time but it sure is comforting. I always window test the dough, it is a good way of know when the dough is ready for the next step — Resting

Every recipe instructs to let the dough rise to twice the size. I never paid much attention to it until I forgot the dough for almost 3 hours!! Yes I forgot, a mistake as this led to over proofing which is not good for the bread but then neither is under proofing so remember twice the size is perfect.

Finally giving the bread a desired shape, (my favourite is french loaf) proofing for 30 minutes and finally baking.

Ahh! the heavenly smell. Once the bread is baked you can knock on it to hear the hollow sound, let it cool then slice it and eat it.

Remember there is nothing more delicious and wholesome than a homemade bread.

For the Love of Poems

Happy Friday everyone! Today I am sharing one of my favourite poem.

Poems are beautiful😌. They have a way of touching the deepest corner of our souls where a part of our true being is hidden.

The best poems are those that feel like a cup of hot coffee on a rainy day. This particular one is written by P.B. Shelley and it is titled Love’s Philosophy.  First published on 22 December 1819.

Investing time

Businesses have started opening up in India, however the job scene still haven’t picked up pace.

Being without a job for last 2 months has not been easy. To keep myself positive amidst this chaos, I occupy myself doing all the things I love. All the things I otherwise did not have time for due to the hustle and bustle of daily life.

In last couple of weeks I have learnt to cross stitch and made these 2 pretty little things that I will get framed and use as coasters.

Gratitude Ritual

“If you say only one prayer in a day, make it thank you.” – Rumi

Gratitude is an affirmation, an acknowledgement and appreciation of what’s good in our life. It is a way of being thankful for the goodness and the source of goodness.

This daily gratitude ritual helps develop a positive emotion for peaceful living and feeling great about ourselves.

  • GRATITUDE JOURNAL – Write 5 things you are grateful for.
  • Tell 2 people what you APPRECIATE about them.
  • BE KIND- do one simple act of kindness, anything from sharing a meal, or helping a neighbour, to listening to a heavy heart. It doesn’t have to be financial. It is reaching out and being kind to someone who is in need.
  • Spend 5 mins BREATHING in LOVE and BREATHING out GRATITUDE
  • Focus on Little Pieces of NATURE – it gives us positive outlook on the world around us.

Positivity

The thing about positivity, like negativity is the snow ball effect. One happy thought can lead to series of positive thoughts. Yes, it seems difficult to set the ball rolling, to get that first positive thought specially when times are tough time. These thoughts are created by us, agreed they are influenced by our experiences and our surroundings but we can direct them towards positivity with few simple practices.

Move your body – whenever I feel low, I Do anything from a happy dance to 15 mins yoga or a quick 5 mins walk. It helps me calm my nerves and clear mind.

Attitude of Gratitude – I started my gratitude journal 2 years back. Initially I use to writing about 5 things and 5 people I am grateful for. Now the journal is sort of my go to person.

Speaking to a loved one – Whenever negativity attacks connecting with a loved one or a dear friend is a quick fix.

Forgive yourself – Be kind to yourself. Mistakes are a part of life so is feeling sad and unhappy and anxious. Embrace your emotions. Speak kindly to yourself. You deserve to love yourself. Let go of all the grudges.

Meditate – close my eyes for 5 – 10 mins and just breathing. Focusing on the feeling of inhaling and exhaling bring a smile on my face.

Stay Grounded

Harmony of mind and body is paramount. It’s the mantra to mindfulness and inner wisdom. This can be easily achieved by regular grounding exercise.

The best practice to become grounded or one with Mother Earth, is walking barefoot on grass specially when it is still wet with dew viz. early morning. However, we cannot miss out an opportunity to ground ourself just because we don’t have access to garden or park. We have alternatives.

My personal favourite grounding technique is to get up at dawn, sit in an airy room facing a window or in a balcony or a veranda. Calm myself by deep breathing a few times and closing my eyes, I activate my senses. Starting with the sense of touch, feeling the ground or the chair I am sitting on. Being conscious of the part of the body that touches the surface, notice the breeze in my hair and on your face. Next I pay attention to the sounds around me. The chirping of birds, the tick – took of wall clock. Then I focus on my sense of smell, inhaling the freshness of beautiful morning air. Finally I open my eyes and notice my surrounding, grateful for everything around me. Repeating the mantra – I am the Earth, I am the Universe. I am my Creator.

Fear of the Unknown

So last few weeks have been super stressful as I lost my job due to Covid recession. I have been working for over 12 years now with various organisations. Previously I have taken a break for a month or 2 before searching for new job, so ideally I should not be fretting the way I am. But putting in your papers and being laid off has totally different affects on one’s psychology.

On top of that it’s been 6 months and the world is still not settled. This Coronavirus is still pulling strings and things are still unpredictable more so with no employment, job market on a stand still and too much time to think. I admit I am afraid without a job this time, worried of not knowing what next, worried for I am unable to plan. Afraid for I dont know when and how things will imporve.

I was discussing this with my friend a couple of days back and then she sent me this poem by Khalil Gibran. Such simple yet beautiful lines. I need to take the risk and go with the flow, maybe for once not planning is what will free us.

Chester Bennington

If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do…

Well we do….

Chester Bennington, you made some of the most difficult times of our lives easy. From reminding us that in the end it doesn’t even matters to helping us name that feeling which we could not define but felt quite often through your songs.

Your voice and songs gave us the strength to carry on and living each day, pushing us to heal and feel. Giving us a reason to live and making us realize we belong somewhere.

Thank you for raising our spirits when we felt down and lost. RIP