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When we let go it all flows

When we let go, it all flows. However, the ego won’t have it like that. Do you find yourself so wrapped up with stuff that you can’t solve it or make it work, and the more bogged down in it you get the worse it gets, and still you don’t want to let go of it? Today I was having great problems with my website. I couldn’t figure out why it was misdirecting links and I felt bogged down in a problem I felt unable to resolve.

In the middle of “all that stuff”, there was a distant and growing “honking” of geese: a huge flock of birds was flying overhead. We rushed outside in time to see wave upon wave of geese formations coming up from the direction of the Pyrenees and Spain, no doubt on their migration to Northern Europe. The Lot valley here in South West France must be a marker point for them. There were huge lines of birds in V-shaped formations, the birds flapping their wings and then gliding and then flapping again, with this constant sound of the birds calling, stretched out right across the sky. And they just kept coming. Beautiful!

Then I came back to my computer and suddenly thought of another way to deal with the issue, one that was very simple but one I hadn’t tried before. The problem was fixed!

Why was it that, before, nothing seemed to be working, and then after time spent with the uplifting, soaring sight of the birds in flight, all was simple and easy?

Whatever the real reason, what struck me was how I had left go of the problem and was enraptured by flight, and then all seemed to go with the flow. It just worked!

Let go and allow things to be

This to me is a simple illustration of the power of letting go and allowing things to just be.

You may well have this experience a lot in one form or another. It’s when we left go of the rationalising, thinking mind and let the unconscious do its work. Many possibilities all coexist in the present moment. Being present and “in the moment” releases all sorts of things that come to us when we allow it. It’s that thing of “getting out of our own way”, letting go of ego and its machinations that don’t serve us.

Ego in this case could be running all sorts of stories like, “I must sort this out”; “I can’t go out and play till this is done”; “I’m no good if I can’t do this”; “I’m stupid”: “I’m not good enough”; or whatever your or my repeat pattern is at core. One part can be thinking that you should do it, while another part doubts your ability. One part wants to get it done while another is concerned it won’t be right unless you spend more time on it. You might be worried that there are other things that need attention too and you are holding things up. The ego can run all sorts of stores like this, all to bolster or question some belief about your identity, who you think you are as this personality.

Yet, when we let go, all this “stuff” just goes. It’s like we drop it. Then in the moment we are calm, clear and centred, at peace, at One. We’re not being driven, or driving ourself. Then paradoxically we are at last in the real driving seat of our life. All flows, all works as it is meant to.

This is where we feel true freedom, at One with Spirit. As we are meant to Be.

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Is practicing mindfulness something you don’t get round to?

The hard bit about mindfulness is the discipline of practicing it every day, particularly when we don’t feel like it. It’s one powerful way the ego has of deflecting us from what we need for our path. Thus it can be very easy to drop the practice after a while because it seems like “it isn’t working”. Practicing mindfulness needs to be regular to see the benefits.

Lets say your practice includes an early morning meditation. You’ve committed to this time to give yourself some space before the day starts for you to go within, be still, let go of thoughts and enjoy your inner calm. Maybe you’ve been told it is a good time to do this, and certainly seasoned meditators affirm the value of the quiet of the early morning, particularly just before sunrise.

The busy mind

Yet one day you find your mind is really busy with the day’s activities and your schedule, like you’ve already started work! So you find it difficult to settle and have a mediation where instead of focusing on your breath you get all these thoughts buzzing round your head. It’s not easy because one reason you took up the practice was to still your mind. On another day you get ready for your meditation but you realise you are a bit late, and so you have the worry of being late and it “spoils” your meditation, like it didn’t come up to your expectations and you feel stressed. Another time, you feel hungry and want a good cup of coffee to start your day. This day you badly need that coffee, and so you decide that has to come first and then you’ll meditate. But you don’t because its late and your mind is busy. Then things slip more and before you know it you haven’t been doing your meditation a while and it seems no point. Then you decide “it doesn’t work” and give it up.

Now I’m not saying that you the reader are like this. I’m just giving a list of common reasons why people find the sustained, regular practice difficult. You might like to check through the reasons above and look at what is common amongst them. There’s the busy mind, lots of thoughts; there’s feelings, like worry in this case; there’s the list of what to do; there’s expectations about things being as we want; there’s stress; there’s the desire for something; there’s our excuses. I could go on.

The ego distracts us

These are aspects of how the ego operates to distract us from our true goal and keep us safe in our limited state because that is what it beliefs enables us to survive. But we know how to survive and we want to grow further and move beyond the ego to know who we really are. The ego resists this and uses techniques like deflection, to shift our attention to things like desire and attachment, what we believe we want and what we are attached to and don’t want to let go of. Yet through mindfulness you can get to see how your ego gets in the way.

Steady practice

Mindfulness involves the steady practice of using the breath or a mantra to help us focus or concentrate, to step back from the activities of the mind and observe our process. In this we notice what occurs, rather than be caught up in it, and be in the state of non-attachment, where we let go of the ego’s ways, and rest in our inner stillness. Here the mind can still chatter on and we rest in our stillness within. Each meditation is another chance to practice, and to notice the ego at work, let go and rest in our stillness. This is ongoing as we gradually find our stillness more and more.

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Is the love-hate relationship between peoples out of control today?

Am I imagining it or is the love-hate balance tipping too far towards hate? Are you feeling uncomfortable about the seeming rise in antagonism towards minorities? Where’s the love and peace? We seem to be in the middle of one of those phases in public life where there’s a desire to blame the ills of life on scapegoats, be they Muslims, benefit claimants, Roma gypsies, immigrants, another religion, another nationality or whoever. Equally we have extremists who have fundamentalist outlooks and see themselves engaged in some climatic struggle against the forces of evil. So, how do we respond from a mindful perspective?

Just recently Muslim fundamentalists in Paris killed a number of journalists for publishing cartoons of the Prophet and attacked a Kosher supermarket. Around the world there’s been protests: “Je suis Charlie”, banners proclaimed, as many asserted the right to free speech. Others insisted on the right to offend, while many Muslims protested against the insults to their religion. All this of course is great recruiting material for extremism, Muslim, Neo-fascist or whatever. You might get the passions aroused, the mutual indignation, and sense of righteousness.

So what might God think of this? Righteous too on one side or the other, or bemused? I remember some words of a teacher of mine, “the benign indifference of the universe”. Taking “sides” doesn’t really fit from this perspective. S/he might simply be reflecting on how humans experience themselves and s/he too through them.

It’s not so easy to see our own shadow at work, that we too can be like this at times. How often have you flipped from respect to antagonism towards another? It’s hard to acknowledge that we humans have this inside us, that we have both the polarities of love and hate at the ego level. Yet this kind of awareness and humility can be helpful, since change starts with ourselves and releasing hate within us. Then we can more truthfully love. As Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”, and he campaigned through non-violence.

There’s also a clue here, about our state of being. If you breathe, step back and witness all this, what are you aware of? I don’t know, but there might be you being aware of having just taken a breath and paused, and then a remembrance of all those thoughts about humans in the world of duality, of being polarised, and love and hate, and all that stuff. And here’s you, being more present and aware.

So, that stuff is not all of you. There’s also you, being present. So you can change your state of being, just like that.

So, there’s all that love-hate stuff “out there”, and “in here”, now here, not nowhere, there’s another sense of who you are.

You could explore “now here”, mindfully, and not be caught up in “out there”. The world of duality, the world of illusion, is how we experience life at the level of ego. But it doesn’t have to be like that. The more we live “now here” the more connected to love we are likely to feel. Then we can manifest “as That” when we make contact with those “out there” who might still be caught up in ego. We can feel God within, whatever our belief system and however we understand it, and we can also see God in each other too.

Then we can be at peace, which by the way is one meaning of the word “Islam”.

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Thoughts about what you want or don’t want can cause problems

Noticing that you are caught up in too much thinking is useful. It is also useful to become aware of what it is you are thinking about a lot, even as you seek to become unattached to these thoughts. Lots of these thoughts are likely to be around what you want or don’t want, in other words desire. It is a very strong undercurrent to our lives, needing, wanting, desiring. Whatever you might understand about the semantics, there are often common threads and they can screw up our lives.

What do you want in your life? Let’s look at some examples. Wanting more money is a very big one for us, or to put it another way, to believe we don’t have enough of it. We might focus a lot of our thinking on regrets and resentments about a lack of money. We might be very focused on getting more. “We want more!” chorused a group whom I was facilitating when I once raised the cash question. Money feels in short supply at present, with falling real incomes for many people during this Great Recession. Or you might be very driven to generate more cash, and get highly motivated in a very positive way about it. But it is still desire. Very addictive stuff. One thought common to many rich people is that they don’t have enough of it. It’s not just those less well-off.

So you might get how our thinking can get hooked by some repetitive thought that hangs around a lot and through which we feel anxious or angry or sad.

What other examples come to your mind? How about wanting a relationship? The desire for a partner is a very powerful instinct and it can also be a cause of much upset. It depends where the energy is directed. One thing that will occur in conversations of single people is their desire for someone else in their life. And why not, you might ask. Of course, but do we get unhealthily attached to the lack of it, rather than living in the pure intention of it? The former can keep a distance between us and our desire and that of the object of our desire. The sense of lack drives it away. Equally being in a relationship can be full of unfulfilled desire, like you want more (or less) from your partner than you get, or you want it differently, or even not at all. Then there are those in a relationship who don’t want to be in one, or want another instead.

Think of where your fantasies go. What do you dream of? A beautiful person, a superb house, some dream location, a fabulous holiday, an ideal job (or no job at all but loads of money!)? Maybe it is all that stuff that you see advertised. How drawn in do you get around all that kit you would like to be able to buy. Maybe you’re busy thinking of that next model of that latest techno wizardry that’s now available.

It is a tricky one since much of our prevailing western culture emphasises getting what you want.

My point here is to be aware of your own process of desire, of wanting or of needing (semantics aside). Then see how and where it keeps figuring in your life. It can be very subtle. Choose to notice it. And also notice how quickly you are on to the next desire!

It is one of the most powerful ego tendencies, to which we’re generally very attached to.

Think of those people in lets say parts of Africa or Asia where they have nothing, happily share their little seat and their food with you, are totally hospitable, smile, laugh, and dance, and know not unhappiness.

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I want it now won’t bring you happiness

You might be pardoned for thinking that the words “I want it now” might be what you hear your small child say when he or she wants something that you are reluctant to agree to. Except that it is also something we adults have come to accept as the norm too, as a recent conference on ethical capitalism showed. While we might feel indignant at the practices of bankers and corporate executives in their chasing short-term rewards at the expense of long-term needs like investment or the needs of the wider society of which they are a part, it is worth reflecting that they, just like us, are at another level also mirrors of the wider society in which they and we live.

We’ve grown used to instant gratification: “me now” includes being able to get things quickly through the channels that now exist in our consumer society. Suddenly being cut off from such access can today be deeply traumatic, as people who’ve been summarily made redundant and had to surrender car and phone on the spot and be escorted off the premises will know, or those who have lost money, credit cards and passport when abroad, or when a business goes spectacularly bust like Lehmans did in 2008. We’re so hooked into rapid satisfaction of need that we can seem unable to wait and be patient, or less inclined to consider the needs of others when we’re on a “me now” trip.

A lot has recently been said about the last few decades’ shift to market capitalism as compared to the collectivist post-war period and the dismantling of many of the welfare state structures. On a personal level, aspirations can seem to count for more than satisfaction for what is.

This could hold a certain confusion about the “now” experience” and this is where it is important to distinguish between the desire-orientated “me now” driver and the “now” of present-moment awareness. They are quite different. The former is driven by an egoic desire for more which can have as its underpinning such root thoughts as “there’s not enough”, “I might lose out”, or “I’m not OK” if I don’t get something I want. There is that element of the needy, impatient, rebel child within, who unconsciously felt he or she never got their deepest needs met, like being loved and appreciated. After all we can enrich ourselves, and have everything we want, as some can, like it seems about 10% of the UK population at present, and still not know peace and happiness.

Yet when we are being mindful and in the state of present-moment awareness we are aware as the witness of the power of desire within us, but not caught up in it, and can let it go. Instead of it being a compulsion, we can take the bigger picture and see that we do not “need” what we seek in order to be OK, because we are already OK. Life is complete right now. So, what’s the point of it all?

When we’re driven, we’re at risk of perpetuating our unhappiness, because we’re addicted to desire and wanting. Yet this is not who we are. We are so much more. The danger is that we can keep being drawn back into desire addiction. It’s such a powerful pattern.

As ever we’re being presented with opportunities to know who we are, and bankers’ bonuses and our insistence on instant gratification present us with more opportunities to see beyond the ego and know who we are.

I give coaching to help people re-orientate their goals and get more real and lasting satisfaction in their life. To learn more, click here

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Do you feel driven by wanting and desire

How much are you driven by issues around wanting and desire? As notions like getting what you want or getting your needs met are very common, this might seem an odd question to ask. Surely, one might think, asking for what I want is a natural thing to do? We as humans have needs that need to be met, as it were.

Yet desire, wanting, has huge issues attached to it that can lead us into all sorts of difficulties, ones that don’t serve us. So it’s worth reflecting on how much desire can get in the way and where to let it go.

What thoughts have you recently been having that are desire-related? For example, as you get into your work today, and the day’s nice and sunny, did a part of you want to be somewhere else, doing something else, being with somebody? Have you recently been wishing you had more money, that there isn’t enough at the moment for what you want? Do you feel frustrated by what you have currently and that you’d like to change, like your house, your job, or something else? Do you long for a particular person in your life, or not feel satisfied with the person you are with at the moment.

If you start to think about it, you can notice that thoughts that are desire-related can run through your mind all day and in your dreams too! In the world out there others who make contact with you will ask the same question! “What do you want?” they ask! Our economy functions on desire: notice the importance economists attach to consumer demand. Overreaching, frustrated or competing desire can lead to wars.

You might still be wondering, what’s the problem? From a personal development perspective, one answer could be that being mindful of the function of desire can alert us to where our thoughts about desire are interrupting our balance and equipoise and leading us to unhappiness.

Meditators are often cautioned about how desire can be the great interrupter of a calm meditation. It is often desire that engages the ego and takes us away on to often negative paths. So, also in life in general, if you attend to it, pay attention to it, you will see how it can kick in very easily, especially if you are already well-attuned to it and it is part of your wiring, so to speak.

That doesn’t mean that wanting what we might consider to be the basics of life are legitimate. It’s perhaps about make the distinctions about what serves you and what doesn’t, a different matter, and about being aware of where you or I get unhealthily attached to less useful strategies. So you might need to get fed, clothed and housed and have a good relationship, let’s say, but not necessarily be attached to having an income that is proving impossible for you to achieve.

To follow this single example, many of us go through our lives feeling we’ve not got enough, that there is always something missing. A common way this shows up is an attachment to not enough money. The more we want, the more we get the “want of it”, or in other words the lack of it. And then we feel unhappy.

I could extend this to all sorts of areas of our lives where there is a sense of unfulfillment. And it shows up repeatedly and causes us suffering. Till we learn to let go of it and not be attached to it. Make the distinction.

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Having expectations can be a set-up for not getting what you want

People are often mystified when I challenge them in coaching for having expectations. “What’s wrong with that?” they ask. I don’t mean it is wrong because that would be a judgement, but I do question its efficacy in certain situations. It usually requires some explanation, and invariably is related to the particular expectation the individual is making and the level of investment they have in the outcome. Here are a few general pointers.

Expectations from a self development perspective  is a requirement of other people, life and the universe by you or I. We are expecting that something will or won’t occur. This is distinct from intention, which is a goal, aim or plan, is related to the originator, and is generally a lot more powerful. When you set an intention, you engage your own creative force and do it with freedom, letting go of any resistances you may have and instead allowing things to occur, so that the universe can flow accordingly. With expectation, you are requiring something from others, which may or may not fit with their free will. Moreover, with expectation, you are pushing against the flow of the universe, and potentially setting up barriers for yourself. It will depend on your investment, and any negative involvement, even at subtle levels.

The potential danger is that actually we get invested in the outcome, at the ego level. Some aspect of our ego identity is at stake. In effect we are saying that “I” (often at a fear level) want something to be, with some level of penalty if it doesn’t occur. It can feel like, “it had better be, or else.” If we explore it, from a self-enquiry perspective, we may find we are afraid it won’t happen or that things are at stake and we may lose out or be disadvantaged.

With expectation, there can be a requirement that life unfolds in a particular way. We may want certain things to occur in our life, but instead of going for the intention, we invest the energy of expectation, and our hopes and fear get involved in the outcome. When we get invested like this, with our wellbeing or whatever other important aspect of “us” is involved, then the failure of the expected outcome to occur will leave us feeling a lot, like anger or disappointment. So there’s a lot at stake, and “we” might lose out. And of course, in Law of Attraction terms, it is potentially setting us up for failure.

With intention we let go and allow. “We” are not invested in the outcome. “We” in the ego sense is not involved. Thus, if it doesn’t happen, “we” are unaffected in essence. From a mindfulness perspective, we simply observe the process. We remained centred. In this space, it’s much more likely to happen.

Funny old world.

I coach people to accomplish their goals: click here to learn more.

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Limiting beliefs can limit our outcomes

The mindset of pessimism and limiting beliefs can run deep. I was struck recently by a headline in the UK’s “Telegraph” that “We’ll never have it so good again“, with a report about the declining opportunities facing today’s middle class young. From the self-development perspective, it was the mindset and outlook on life of having disappointed expectations and also that the outcome was bound to be worse that grabbed my thinking. Whilst appreciating that young people are having a particularly difficult time in the current Great Recession and acknowledging that this is far from acceptable in public policy terms, it was however the assumptions behind the article that were to me striking. Why should it be never “so good again”?

A downward spiral of negativity is probably something many readers will be familiar with, where we can get locked into seeing only the negative and can struggle to reframe a situation in more positive terms. It can get addictive. In this context, having the underlying assumption that your life can’t be “so good again” sounds very much like a set-up for getting what you don’t want. It you take this course of thinking, then what happens won’t be so good, and you’ll get what you think about. Events will play out in consequence. Our creativity, according to this way of thinking, will be focused on the “not so good” outcomes.

This is of course a good example of the negative power of holding limiting beliefs. It doesn’t allow for the notion that the said young people might individually and collectively decide to buck the trend and start having “good” outcomes. We can change our thinking, we can “change our mind”, and different outcomes can follow. Such is the power of the mind.

Of course macro-economic trends can be powerful, as can the power of living within collective mind-sets, where if many think the same it will be a much stronger force. Then it’s about stepping outside the force of the collective and thinking for yourself, including challenging assumptions.

Expectations are very powerful, and can themselves be limiting too. It may not seem an obvious point but an expectation does not allow for change and can be inflexible. It is something about expecting things that might actually involve other people’s choices, and they might want something different, and also by holding on to expectations we might rigidify the process when we might be better served by stepping back and allowing things to be. So, expectations can also be a set-up for not getting what we want. When we instead set an intention and then let go, we allow the creative forces to work unhindered by the ego. We’re letting go of the ego investment in an outcome, for example a fear-based expectation. If, while attached to expectation, it doesn’t work out, then we’re disappointed, and thus we create more suffering for ourselves. This is why the ego characteristic of expectation is a powerful one to let go of. Then we’re no longer holding on to a given outcome through fear. We’re not invested in it.

Thus to step back and allow the possibility, through intention, that we will create a “good” outcome brings with it a letting go of expectation, having no attachment to whatever occurs. This gives freedom to the universe to flow in abundant ways and we can, as per the Law of Attraction draw to us what we really want. There is wisdom here too, because what we attract may be far more beneficial to us that what we were attached to in ego terms. Maybe the real “good” is far more valuable to us that what we had conceived of in ego terms. It’s an excellent example of how real freedom lies in letting go.

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Acceptance frees us from attachment to desire

In an age accustomed to change, improvement and betterment, it can seem unfashionable in the extreme to accept what you have and where you are. But it is an option not to be neglected. A way round being dissatisfied with what is, is to accept it. Thus we can loosen the bonds keeping us attached to wanting and needing, to desire.

Think of something you aren’t happy about and want to be different. I’ll give you one. I’ve been feeling indignant about the recent revelations about alleged spying and intrusions on internet privacy by spooks from all sorts of nationalities, as I was before by Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper’s alleged hacking of phones. Now instead I could just accept it. Well, it happens, and surveillance of citizenry by the state is as old as the hills, well before the internet. So, just let go and accept it. Breathe in deeply, and when you breathe out let it and accept it. Be aware of whatever bugs you about it, and let it go. Accept it.

You can take this further. Whatever goes on in your life that you tend to get hung up about, accept it. It happens. It is. So accept it.

When you notice yourself thinking, “Now hang on, I’m not going to give up like that. That’s being weak and feeble.” And accept it. Notice the judgement you have, and let it go. Accept it.

Acceptance is the gentle art of letting go applied to the areas of your life that seem at odds with what you want. It’s where the ego function of desire gets engaged, wanting or not wanting something. We can get all tense and wound up about all sorts of issues. So, relax, let it go and accept it.

Now, this might mean you need to find some other way of living with what’s happening. And that might mean managing the part of you that objects to doing this. And then you might also find that your relationship with the issue changes in some way. For example, by letting go and accepting it, you might be giving the universe freedom to bring you what you really need, which might be just perfect. It could be for example that the outcome will suit both you and lets say others whom you are at odds with. By letting go and accepting, you’ve allowed other possibilities to emerge. When we are attached to something, we limit our options and we shut down on creativity and on the Law of Attraction from bringing us what we really need.

Acceptance also gives you peace. When you really let go, the conflict and tension goes, and all is easy again. Which is more how things really work at the higher level. They say, we always get what we need. There is always enough. You just have to believe it! Now, that’s a good one for another post!

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Where being there for others can be a blind spot

In the individualism of much of western and westernising society we can get ourselves into all sorts of knots about our attitude towards the wellbeing of others. In an age when community is in retreat in the mega-cities of today, it can seem as if it is “every man for himself”, “me first”. Yet by contrast we expect a lot of others: witness the current expectation for getting good customer service. However it can be less easy for us to think of others and to put ourselves out for them. And when we do, do we do this our of genuine altruism, or is it really about a referral back to us ourselves and what we might get from the exchange?

One trend in the current Great Recession that has been very evident has been the increase in numbers who regard poverty as someone’s “fault” and that it is seen as a circumstance of their own making. Thus there is wide support for cutting “welfare” payments. This sort of swing is fairly typical of economic downturns, rather in line with a broader tendency to blame others (eg. bankers), find scapegoats (eg immigrants), become more insular (eg. in the UK, anti-Europeanism), and adopt a “pull up the drawbridge” seige mentality, to adopt an appropriately medieval military term. So, in terms of our concern for others, this might seem to be in retreat.

Yet, almost in the same breath, we might see all sorts of excitement and anger at perceived threats to human rights. In Turkey right now, there’s major unrest about this aspect of public life.

It’s hard to have it both ways, to expect things from others to ensure our continued wellbeing and yet to strguggle to give to others. As a coach and personal development specialist, I frequently come across the issues people have with their awareness of others, and in particular empathy. It’s a real blind spot for very many people, the ability to see another’s perspective, to put oneself almost in another person’s shoes. Daniel Goleman considers social awareness to be one of the  cornerstones of emotional intelligence, our ability to be aware of and appropriately use our emotions in the conduct of our lives and in our relationships. I do find empathy can be taught, that people become more effective in being socially aware and responding appropriately. There is a whole school of thought that people are not born with social awareness but need to be taught, for example, to be considerate of others.

One area in which this whole area can be most striking is the notion of service. As I have written elsewhere, service has strongly negative associations in today’s society, being linked with servants and an old social order now long past. We expect it of others, but we don’t find it so easy to give it. Yet, as a powerful tool in becoming more ego-less, service is extremely useful. Service from this perspective is about doing for others unconditionally, without any expectation of a reward, self-lessly. We put our own ego on one side and we be there for others. It is the ego that objects to this: “What about me and my needs?”, it complains. It is not uncommon for those helping for example on personal development retreats to find their egos being challenged in this way and what comes up is highly significant for their growth. One example might be that one person’s ego might actually be concerned about not getting attention for themselves, of feeling too much in pain themselves to be able to serve others unconditionally.

The notion of being there for others challenges us to look at what goes on for us ourselves. What do we need to attend to in us that we’re denying support for others? What deficiency is there that we need to attend to? This whole matter brings us face to face with how the ego, the limited or illusory self, is such a deadly force in today’s human make-up, as people like Eckhart Tolle, Steve Taylor, and others have argued. Inability to deal with and more on from personal suffering and know more of who we really are is a major stumbling block not just personally but in relationships and in how whole groups and nations deal with one another. When we make this paradigm shift, another’s pain becomes our pain too, to deal with and move on from our own stuff automatically invites us to extend this to others, since they are a part of us.

I run a program to help people rise above ego and know more of who they really are. Click here