Thursday, June 11, 2015
My first blog post of 2015 was about what’s out and what’s in for me for this year. There are ten items on the list and, earlier this year, I wrote a more detailed blog on each of these items- with the exception of the last one. The last item on the list of what’s out and what’s in is:
OUT: Letting My Ego Run The Show
IN: Allowing The Divine To Take The Lead
Why has it taken me until now to write about this? Not only was it the most difficult one for me to implement but also the one I wasn’t sure I knew how to implement, until recently. First – a bit of background about where this item actually came from….
Last year I read a book by Tosha Silver called Outrageous Openness: Letting The Divine Take The Lead. The book inspired me to add that item to my list of what’s in for 2015. Tosha’s book is “a collection of spiritual lessons, anecdotes, and thoughts on the Divine’s intervention in our lives…Through its thought provoking lessons, the book opens the door to a profound truth: By allowing the Divine to lead the way, we can finally put down the heavy load of hopes, fears, and opinions about how things should be. We learn how to be guided to take the right actions at the right time, and to enjoy the spectacular show that is our life.” (As described on amazon.com).
This book showed up at a perfect time – on the heels of my Dad’s death and as I was finishing up my life coach certification training with Martha Beck. This training also occurred at the perfect time for me, during a year when much of what happened in my life seemed beyond my control. Martha’s teachings and philosophy (which you may be familiar with) are closely aligned with Tosha Silver’s book contents: being led by your inner compass versus the culture we live in; surrendering to a Higher Power, The Universe, The Divine, God, or whatever term you choose to use. Being exposed to a year of Martha Beck’s teachings and principles via her life coach training made it somewhat inevitable that I would begin to implement them in my life. One big lesson Martha teaches is to coach from one’s own inner compass and intuition and allow coaching to be led from that intuitive space. By paying attention to what my intuition tells me is occurring with a client (versus what they may actually be verbalizing), and coaching them from that nudge, I am able to help them reach wonderful life transformations. I don’t take credit for this; it’s truly something that comes from within me. It’s my intuition speaking to them – not my brain or what I think is the “appropriate thing to say” but instead what comes from my heart and gut.
Successfully coaching clients from this place led me to pay more attention to what my intuition was saying about me. It led me to want to start letting all my decisions and actions be led by my own inner compass rather than being led by what culture or society dictates. I witnessed how acting from this place works and leads me to coach my clients to amazing outcomes in their lives. I also saw how so many of my Martha Beck coaching colleagues lived their fabulous lives from this space (and Martha too is a perfect example) so why wouldn’t I adapt it for myself? Seemed like a no-brainer, right? Not quite. My ego got in the way.
When I speak of “ego” in this context I’m referring to the part of us that creates a sense of “self” and separates us from the rest of the world. Deepak Chopra describes it as the piece of us that identifies with labels, masks, images and judgments. It’s an idea that each of us has about ourselves. My mentor, Lissa Rankin calls it our “small-self”; the part that wants to keep us “safe” despite the fact that safety may equate to stagnation and dissatisfaction with life. In this context, ego-driven actions and decisions are typically based on fear: fear of loss, failure, losing control, etc. This was exactly what was getting in the way of me living my life from my intuitive inner compass guidance. It was my ego-driven fear that if I did this, there was potential for loss and that felt scary. This was my ego-based perspective, which at that time was running the show.
Going through Martha’s training and witnessing the miraculous outcomes that come from being guided by our inner compass and our intuition impacted me deeply. The other profound impact on my life at that time was watching my Dad lose his battle to pancreatic cancer; a battle he desperately tried to fight – everything about that seemed so wrong and, to me; it was not how things were “supposed to be”. I then found Tosha’s book, which took Martha’s teachings to another level. Tosha’s lessons about surrendering to the Divine and giving up the need to control, worry, struggle and fear what may happen spoke directly to my heart. When my Dad died, I not only lost him but also began to question many of the fundamental truths I’d held about life for most of my life (I’m writing about this in a new book). I felt pretty lost so the principles in Tosha’s book coupled with Martha’s teachings pulled me forward to wanting to live in a completely different way – a way that was not led by ego-driven fears but by allowing the Divine to take the lead.
What if I could stop the struggle my ego creates by filling my mind with fears of what may (or may not) happen and instead, know that regardless of what’s going on around me, everything is always working out for the greater good? What would my life look like if I lived it from that place and totally allowed myself to be led by my heart and intuition (which is how the Divine speaks to us)? How would my life unfold if I stopped forcing everything to happen and simply allowed what was meant to be to unfold in perfect timing?
I want to answer those questions and that’s how number ten on my list of what’s out and what’s in for 2015 arose. I’m finally implementing it. How? First, with the guidance of two wonderful spiritual mentors I’ve been working with since April. I’m also working to rebuild the foundation that was ripped away from me when my Dad died last year. For my entire life, he was a huge presence, an anchor, and a guiding influence. When he passed away, that all fell away. I had no choice but to rebuild a new foundation and, as it turns out, it’s shaping up quite differently than the one I had been living on for most of my life. This, like the other items on my what’s in/what’s out list, is a daily practice. It’s a choice I make each day – to not let my ego run the show and instead, to let the Divine lead the way. I’m learning new ways to do that each day, which I’ll be sure to share in future posts. For right now, I treat it as I do any other life change I make: I take it one day at a time, one moment at a time, and one conscious choice at a time.