You may here it called many other names, the false self, the inner critic….. here is a brief explanation to understand what might be holding you back from more joy & satisfaction. The way to feeling at peace within.
An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
“One is evil – he is anger; envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.
“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
“This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”The old chief simply replied,
“The one you feed”
IT’S STARTS AS A MASK
Have you ever watched a cat chasing its tail? It is like the tail is a separate entity to the animal; almost as if the tail has a mind of its own, teasing the cat to catch it. Our ego can be compared to this, it is part of us but a separate entity, an illusory I a mask. There is a psychological process that starts at a very young age, this process of masking who we really are.
There is power in self awareness, it brings relief, control and mastery.
It makes us doubt? Have I done the right thing
The above story helps explain further this illusory self and two states of mind; our core, our true natural state, our very inner being, that is in touch with our source and our connection to all others. Often called our spiritual self, higher self, the real self or even the god self. The other state is known as the ego, an illusory self or our saboteur, false self, judge, external persona, taking us away from understanding who we really are. A self -created identity, and persona that is responsible for many of the thoughts that we hear in our heads or the feelings that are perceived. It creates an idea of separateness from our true natural state which is joy, the bundle of joy when we came into this world. It is the unconscious state, the self-doubt, our mask to the exterior world to cover up our authenticity. It controls our thoughts and most often keeps us in a negative state, criticises us, self- judging, self- sabotaging, doubting character who wants to hide you from who you really are. It gets pleasure from struggle and making us believe we have a problem, lack of money, self -esteem, fear, unworthiness, acceptance, conformity.
Find your pearl within
Why do I say this? Well because when we judge ourselves we are denying who we really are and causing ourselves to suffer. Why do most people suffer? The answers sadly being due to the personal perceptions and interpretation of what is true and/or false and how much we decide to believe this, the mental noise in our heads, more often than not this comes from exterior influences, soceity, our childhood limits, put there by the Ego who likes to make comparisons. How you are seen by others often becomes the way you describe and see yourself.
Imagine now a nut with its exterior hard shell protecting the seed inside. This is your inner core, your true natural state. It is the beautiful seed inside that grows and gives birth and life to new plants new seeds, to creation. It is like the pearl in an oyster. It is what you, me and everyone has which connects us all but allows us to be individuals. Each seed sprouts with its own flower, its own magnificence, it’s own colour.
However, one has to let go of the shell before this can happen. It is not easily broken…we often struggle to smash it to get to its interior. The Ego is like that hard outer shell. This self-created persona and hard external protection, a state of mind that wants to stop us from seeing our real beauty as a representation of who we are. It is a mental state which believes in struggle and fear, self-criticism and self-comparison, judgment and dissatisfaction. We don’t know there is beauty, the natural seed within unless we crack the shell.
Where it comes from ?
The Ego is created by our past experiences, by our family history, often as me and my story. It is created by the identification with things, roles, labels, possessions. If I asked you to define who you were, you would probably start by saying your age, your nationality, your job title, what you do. You may take the words of others and start describing your character traits, I am intelligent, I am kind, fun, gentle or strong willed. You may describe what you look like, tall, short or muscly. This is all but a muddle of a process like in a factory line, the ingredients that have been added along the way, what we have identified with over the years and not who we really are. It is the “I” of the ego. Each ego is individual based on these past experiences. There is however but one vital ingredient the core, the true natural state.
When it might be helpful
I would like you to consider that the it is possible to live from our true state, from joy and happiness, that which knows who we are with no perceptions and that which brings us to that point in our life when we ask……what are we doing this all for? What is my purpose? What do I want to change? What is important to me? How can I stop judging myself? How can I love who I am?
How do we know when we are living in the ‘Ego’? The majority of time we are living in this ego state, it creates fear so that we won’t let go of it. We see this in our physical reactions for example when someone says something about us that we do not agree with, we try to defend ourselves. If we were at peace with who we were we would not need to defend ourselves.
The Ego can also be noticed in an argument, we often want to be right and show the other they are wrong. We want to show our superiority, or we when we are fault finding. When we don’t accept our situation, we suffer and we struggle. The ego likes us to struggle and suffer, create problems. It believes this is how life should be.
The Ego strengthens itself when we think or feel guilt. It is very hard to get rid of the Ego, it is not about getting rid of it, although one can, it is more about making friends with it. We can at least begin to observe it at work, on ourselves and perhaps others and identify ourselves with this state. To remember I am not my problem my struggle.
The mind creates struggle because the ego plays on that and needs it to stay alive.The first step in understanding our Ego is realising we are not this entity. What is your illusory self? What am I identifying myself with? What am I defending, an illusionary self a mental perception? Start to be the observer of the mental noise and the emotions created by it. By no longer identifying with the ego it will help you to reach your core, that of the other and the illusions. Once you recognise the illusion and that all your relationships, interpretations and misinterpretations become based on this you can start to see the Ego at work, and from this point decide whether you want to make your decisions coming from your core and love or the ego state and fear…
If you need help balancing and finding harmony with time out, work, relationships and children, it would be a pleasure to help. I also offer a Joy of Money program to deal with the stresses and challenges of transition through times of change.
Please contact me to find out more on +61 497 062902, firstname.lastname@example.org
WELCOMEWORK WITH METhe Emotional Freedom Journey LifecoachingTHE JOURNEY INTENSIVE EXPERIENCESuccess Tools for SchoolsABOUTCONTACTBLOGInspiring ExperiencesThe Art of YogaFull Moon YogaMindful about herbsJourney with the self WELCOMEWORK WITH METhe Emotional Freedom Journey LifecoachingTHE JOURNEY INTENSIVE EXPERIENCESuccess Tools for SchoolsABOUTCONTACTBLOGInspiring ExperiencesThe Art of YogaFull Moon YogaMindful about herbsJourney with the self 5 ways to start a business & transition on a low budgetBeing creative with money is an acquired skill and can help you transition with ease from a job to a business, or moving house or after a break up, hear are some tips and tricks to get you started Helping your children grow with confidence and resilience is not an easy task. We all have that protective instinct in us to want to keep our children safe and when they get to the age of exploration, testing and experimenting. It can be hard to balance how much freedom to give them. You may find you are always looking over your shoulder hoping they won't get hurt, running behind them. How much freedom do you give them to trust they have the capacity to learn by themselves and be ok? How much freedom is too much and dangerous? Not fall off the climbing frame or off the swing. How do you cope with those moments? How do you allow them to develop their own self confidence to continue to develop self esteem and trust in their own capacity for later in life, rather then teach them fear or to avoid pain. Its all about balance. This exploration period is a vital time to help your children build self confidence, to allow their curiosity. It is during this time that they need to be encouraged and supported, however we sometimes run around telling them don’t do this or don’t do that, be careful. Which can have the opposite effect of boosting their confidence !! Why? because it can instill fears and limits which very often are our own fears and limits. Confidence after all is having the ability to trust in ones own capacity to accomplish and do what we want to do and if we don't know how, to learn. This can be instilled from a very young age.How can we help our children, and why do some children dare and others don’t?The simple answer is to be an example for your children, not do as I say but do as I do, and have a look at how you yourself deal with your own fears, and feelings, and what you might be teaching your child. Children are learning from us all the time until they begin to develop their capacity to make their own opinions and become responsible, which they begin to formulate from ages 12-18 in early teens, a sometimes very conflictual period for all. The most significant phase of learning is between 0-6 years when they have not developed the capacity to analyse as yet, only to learn. During that time they take in from everything in their environment and especially from those people that are important to them, learning, mimicking, replicating, . From age 6 on they then begin to form cognitive abilities to slowly analyse, to transform things, add things, separate things, order things. It is not until and from the age of 12 onwards that they begin to think about possibilities, form new ideas, consider many points of view, become aware of their own or others thought processes, to understand if what they have learnt corresponds.During these early periods in life they want to gain our approval so as to continue to feel loved.It is therefore an important time in which we we need to learn how to validate their efforts not as good or bad but as a way to help them learn, to be ok to fail and to guide them to try again. Helping them to begin to believe in themselves and their own abilities.It is also during this time that we teach them how to act and feel, understand themselves and their emotions. One of the biggest emotions that destroys confidence is fear. Fear is partly innate and partly learnt effecting how we feel about ourselves and our self trust. There is much research into whether we are born with fear or it is learnt, varying opinions. However scientific research says that there are only two real innate fears, the fear of falling and loud noises. The rest are learnt from evolution from our ancestry or fear of a future event, the thoughts of what might happen. Therefore certain fears are an illusion or imagined, although we don’t always understand that. So what does this mean and what can we do? When you don't acknowledge your own fears about what is happening for your children, or for you, they then do the same and your fears become theirs. If also you don't acknowledge the fears of your children nor have compassion for what is going on for them they begin to feel rejected and begin to lack confidence to trust themselves.Many of us have not been taught how to accept our own feelings, perhaps they were never acknowledged when you were younger. Emotional Intelligence (being aware of our emotions and being able to acknowledge and express them) is very new, we are only beginning to learn more about it since the nineties. School didn't teach us.You may then be doing the same to your children that you do to yourself covering up your fears, laughing them off, saying things like don’t be scared, there is nothing to be scared of, how silly “what are you scared of”? Have you heard yourself saying those things to your child?It can be these, our own fears that then stop our children from experimenting or trying. Instead of instilling confidence and security that we trust they will be ok experimenting, guiding them and being the safety net if they fall climbing the climbing frame, or jumping off the rocks. we often say no or stop them doing it.What happens is that Instead of teaching them to trust their own capacities or intuition or to experiment we teach them to doubt themselves. Later that may also effect their motivation.We ask our children to do things that we ourselves may be scared of, because we ourselves might lack a bit of confidence, scared to fail, worried about other peoples opinions or tell ourselves inside don’t be scared when really we are.So what can you do?Start by learning how to be compassionate in acknowledging your own fears in life, to be prepared for what might happen, and then begin to learn how to acknowledge your children's, to teach them to do the same and help them step by step until they feel comfortable and safe. How do you begin to acknowledge your kids fears? Let me give you an example: I was with one of my clients a child age 6 boosting their confidence and self esteem through play. Whilst at the park the child wanted to go down the firemans pole and I could see that he was wary, scared. That innate fear of falling coming up!! Instead of telling him not to be scared I acknowledged his fear to reassure him that it was ok to be scared, with words such as “I can see that it is difficult for you, that you are scared, but I believe in you, that you can do this and I'm here to help you". The first time he shyed away, then as I reassured and acknowledged his fear and I gave him some tips, he began to feel better to want to try. The second time I stood by him and guided him, we did this a few more times. Slowly he found his own confidence and finally did it alone. You could see how proud he was with himself.Do you know that feeling of being proud when you have achieved something, confident that you succeeded when you never thought you could, maybe supported to get there, it’s a wonderful feeling. It reinforces your self confidence. You see confidence is not about waiting until you believe you have it to start, it’s about starting and then confidence is built, experimenting, adjusting and learning how. If you can guide them, they will gain confidence in themselves, in their capacities to be supported and able to work it out. That learning lasts a life time. Being with compassion and listening to our children and saying “even though you are scared, I believe in you” can be some of the most powerful words that you can say to your child. It is essential that they are heard and understood in what they feel because when they aren't it feels to them like you are rejecting or judging them to be wrong in what they feel and who they are in their very essence. By taking a different approach the child will learn to accept themselves and all their feelings and not feel unloved for feeling what they feel and will begin to face their fears alone to try until they succeed. Even f they don’t succeed the first time, they won’t be scared about making mistakes. Once they have won and felt certain those skills are integrated they begin to trust themselves in the future. Remember to not push your children to try and achieve things before they are ready, or to compare them to others. Understand that sometimes they are slower in one area then others. Take time to see your own child and what level they are at, to compare them to themselves and what they are feasibly able to do. We often push them to be better because we want to be proud of them. However if you give your children challenges that are too hard, pressure to do more then they feasibly can without acknowledging that the child might have fears or reservations, shyness or is not at the same capacity to learn as others, instead of confidence it instills failure in the wrong way. They feel they have not lived up to your standards, may feel inadequate or criticised and it teaches them to give up on their projects. This will continue in later life. Lets give our children this gift of time to guide them, validate their fears or feelings, encourage them to dare, make their own mistakes and try again and not be scared to experiment or feel wrong, and perhaps by supporting them that way we can teach ourselves to do the same thing. I offer classes to create confident happy children or training for teachers with strategies for Calm & Emotional Intelligence. 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Creativity is not always about being an artist, creativity is described as “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness”. Inventiveness can be found in all ways including being resourceful and creative with money.