Ego storms are similar to atmospheric storms in that they are the manifestation of agitated emotional energy in the body. Depending on our personalities these storms can take the form of anxiety, despair, anger, blaming, addictive patterns, isolation, etc, but whatever the content of the storm it's sure to cause some upheaval in your life.Read More
I won't lie to you, I originally planned to write about the connection between learning to let go and how that can attract more abundance…interesting topic, mostly because it seems counterintuitive. However, while I was brainstorming, I somehow ended up thinking a lot about another concept which seems to be not only related, but may actually be the underpinning to our resistance to letting go. So, here we are. Let's talk about struggle.
Don't worry, this isn't going to turn into a political rant or a commentary on social class. It's not even a pity party. I'm just going to skip the punch line, which is this: we all struggle. It's a reality, it's a part of life, and it isn't going anywhere right? Great, now we can move on the important part, which is how to let go of it.Read More
Expectations are a funny thing and they crop up everywhere. I've written about expectations before but it is a topic that is worth revisiting. Perhaps for my own catharsis and because someone else might need the reminder too.
We have expectations for most things in our lives. I like to claim I have no expectations, as a cursory defense mechanism against disappointment, but I think for most of us it's relatively impossible not to walk through life without some expectation for how we want events to turn out. I think some expectations are helpful and healthy to some extent. "I expect to be physically safe", or "I expect my partner to love me" are reasonable expectations for human contact. However, I think most expectations are shoulds in sheep's clothing. And we all know what shoulds can do to us.Read More
"I want to find my purpose". Most people at some point in their lives have made this statement (either internally or externally). There's a whole subset of the self-help/career development industry that have used this idea as a marketing strategy (and made a lot of money). But what are we really looking for when we are looking for "our purpose"?
Of course we can talk about the external, role-oriented purpose many of us take in the journey to becoming more self-actualized in the world. But there is a more profound inner purpose in our lives that if pursued can take the anxiety out of searching for something. Understanding our outer purpose can be important, but should not be all consuming, because that is ultimately our secondary purpose. Our inner purpose is awakening, and is primary.Read More
In the West the concept of enlightenment always seems to go hand in hand with a little joke about being a Buddha on a lotus flower. Totally zenned out without a care in the world. No reactions, no needs, just love embodied. Buddha is like the ultimate chill guy. Unfortunately most of us will not likely achieve that state in this lifetime, nor are we meant to I think...I once heard someone say "spiritual people don't eat shrimp". Uh...what? There are all kinds of misconceptions about what "spiritual" people should and shouldn't be doing, feeling, thinking, etc...
It's easy to feel judgmental and jaded when we hear of a respected spiritual leader or mentor committing some sort of minor or major transgression (fill in the blank here with the thing you couldn't imagine someone spiritual doing) .
We think, "why would someone spiritual do that...maybe they're not so spiritual after all." Sure, they could be a slick snake-oil salesman: someone playing the role of a spiritual person who in actuality is more concerned with feeding their own egoic desire. But in many cases the person could just be like the rest of us; blown about occasionally by the whims of their ego at a given moment.
Aaron and I have learned that personality (or ego) development and spiritual (or soul/spirit) development are not necessarily mutually exclusive. When we share this with people this it makes intuitive sense to most (as it did when it was taught to us). However, facing the truth of that lesson can be a hard pill to swallow.Read More
As I sit here on another tenuous "severe weather afternoon" in Norman, Oklahoma I'm reminded of the energy of fear and how it has a way of sneaking its way into our lives, in insidious and frequently undermining ways. Fear, in my opinion, is the one emotion that drives the other low frequency emotions. Some people are more hard-wired to recognize their fearful thoughts, while others allow it to smolder undetected in this case it often fuels other complimentary emotional frequencies like envy, anger or sadness.
There is "appropriate" fear, or what is more aptly referred to as "right action". This is the impulse that rises which informs the organism (your body) to run, jump, hide or attack if necessary. This impulse happens involuntarily when we are faced with an immediate or impending threat to our physical survival (or the survival of something or someone who cannot protect itself).
To understand our soul's desire it might be helpful first to understand our ego desire. The best way to do this is to understand how to categorize the ego. We like the Enneagram personality system because it is a useful tool for categorizing human behavior.
Some critics of personality models say things like "the Enneagram just puts people into boxes, and creates division". You may be one of those people so just bear with me.
Indeed the Enneagram is categorical, however, in our opinion, the tendency to name things is an inherently human tendency and has a practical usefulness in understanding the world, when not used dogmatically and inflexibly.Read More