Tag Archives: ego

Letter 2: What I Believe

This post is written in the format of a letter to my son.

I think it’s important to share my beliefs with you, because that is a very quick and easy way to gain a lot of understanding about who I am. We have not talked about these things, except in passing. Partly because as I became more clear on what I believed and my spirituality became a priority in my life, you were becoming a teenager, and I was afraid of being judged by you.

I realize now it was a big mistake not to share the path I was on, what I was learning, who I was becoming. Even though I believe that we each have our own path and our own beliefs, and yours may not look anything like mine, I let go of the chance for the discussion, and for you to see that it’s okay to talk about what you believe even when others may disagree.

My beliefs have been developed and honed over many years of both internal and external exploration. However, I also believe that I have always had a knowingness of their truth, and the journey has been more one of remembering than learning or discovering. Many people speak of this remembering, and it rings true for me, as each of my beliefs is something that resonates deeply within me whether I have had experiences that validate the belief (for me – not external validation), or not.

In this letter, I’ll briefly share what I believe. In a later letter, I may dive deeper into one or more of these topics. This is a varied list, and in no particular order:

  1. I believe that my path may or may not be like anyone else’s. We each have a right to take our own experiences and decide for ourselves what we believe. Even though I may not have the same beliefs as you do, I respect your right to believe as you do – if what you believe (and the actions those beliefs may fuel) does not harm anyone. It is not my right, nor anyone else’s, to impose their beliefs on someone else. Period.
  2. I believe that we are each divine. We each have a soul that is eternal, and that soul is divine.
  3. I believe in reincarnation. We come here (or somewhere else other than Earth) many times. The purpose of these lives is to learn. I believe that prior to each life we choose what it is we want to experience and to learn in that lifetime. Though we always have free will, opportunities will present themselves throughout our lives to facilitate what we have come here to learn.
  4. I believe we are all connected. Each of our divine souls are part of a divine whole. We are separate yet all one at the same time. It’s like each soul is a drop of water in the ocean. When in the ocean, the drop is indistinguishable from the ocean itself. Yet the drop continues to exist, as its own thing.
  5. I believe an internal shift in me affects the whole. Because we are all connected, if something shifts in me, then something shifts for every soul.
  6. I believe in surrender. Surrender is having faith that what shows up in my life is there for my benefit and accepting it rather than fighting it. It’s not about being passive, but rather going with the flow rather than trying to swim upstream. I accept that I don’t know the big picture, but trust that whatever is in my life is ultimately for my learning and growth.
  7. I believe in the power of intention. My thoughts create my reality, and I can direct those thoughts to create a better reality, or I can choose to be a victim by not accepting responsibility for my life.
  8. I believe that peace, both internal and in the world, is a product of surrender.
  9. I believe in taking inspired action.
  10. I believe that everything happens for a reason.
  11. I believe that love is the core of our divine souls. There is no such thing as evil. People take actions that are not loving for several reasons. One may be that it is their role in this life, in order to facilitate the growth of others. Another common reason is that they are in tremendous pain and don’t know that surrender is the only path through that pain, so they lash out.
  12. I believe that as humans, we each have an ego. This is part of the human experience and is not part of our divine soul. The ego is necessary for the human experience, and facilitates our learning and growth as we work to transcend it.
  13. I believe in intuition and psychic abilities. Through accessing my higher self – the divine soul – I can have access to information that is not learned through traditional methods.
  14. I believe it is possible to communicate with souls who are not currently in a body. We all have this ability, but most of us have not developed it.
  15. I believe that dreams contain information and messages, either from my higher self, or from the collective we are each part of.
  16. I believe the material world, including our human bodies, is made of energy. We can shift our experience by shifting energy in our bodies and around us through energy medicine like acupuncture and EFT, or simply through intention.
  17. I believe in astral travel.
  18. I believe that we reincarnate in soul groups, and have had many lifetimes, in different roles, with the primary people in our lives.
  19. I believe in synchronicity.
  20. I believe in the validity of many metaphysical tools such as astrology, numerology and handprint analysis.
  21. I believe that, ultimately, we each are on a journey of enlightenment that takes place over many, many lifetimes. We each have the same goal in the end, to reach the place of unconditional love and peace.

I realize this list is a bit of a hodge-podge, but I hope it gives you a bit of a view into who I am and how I approach being in the world.

Collaborating Instead of Competing With Ego

Last night I had a scary dream. I have always had a lot of dreams, and find tons of insights in them. So when I woke up this morning, the dream was on my mind. I know that whenever I wake up and am feeling upset by something in a dream, that there’s something there to look at (after I remind myself that it is just a dream, not real).

The gist of the dream I had was that there was a kidnapper who kept taking members of my family. I would rescue them, but he would always get someone else. No one else seemed to be too concerned about it. In fact, one time I found the front door wide open when someone had been kidnapped.

At first the kidnapper was not visible to me, but eventually I tracked him down and confronted him face to face. I could have killed him in that moment if I had chosen to, but I didn’t. Instead he has an army of about 50 people – that were more like robots – appear out of thin air. I felt defeated, and knew that I could not win against him.

When I woke up and started thinking and writing about the dream, it occurred to me that the “kidnapper” is my ego. It keeps “stealing” parts of my authentic self. My soul, or true self, is the one who has to stand vigilant to get those parts back from ego. The parts themselves (my “family members) don’t care who’s running the show: ego or my true self. So they do nothing to keep ego from taking them over.

I noticed that when I confronted ego directly, it got stronger (the army of 50 robots). The robots are my automatic thoughts that kick in when I get scared. Once I realized that the kidnapper was my ego, I knew I couldn’t banish it, or kill it off. Having an ego is part of being human.

So what I needed to do was to collaborate with it. During my meditation this morning I asked it what it wanted. Why it was kidnapping my family members. The answer was that it wanted me to pay attention to it. As much as my ego is based in fear and can get really out of control with fearful thoughts, it also pays an important role in protecting me. And as much as I wish it and its fearfulness would just go away, I know it won’t.

I also asked my authentic self what I needed to be able to trust ego. To be in a place of collaboration, not competition or war. (I’m just now seeing as I write this that trust is also involved, as in my post a few days ago.) I need to be the one in charge. I’m the general, ego is my trusted advisor. I make the final decisions, and ego shuts up if I tell it to.

So we had a conversation and reached a truce and a peace accord. I agreed to listen to ego when it tries to get my attention, and ego agreed that I was the one in charge of the final decisions.

Now I need to think about what this looks like in reality. What are the signals that ego is trying to get my attention that I’ve been ignoring or trying to banish? And, how do I tell the difference between ego’s fear and its valuable advice about danger? More to come…

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On – 4 Techniques for Managing Anxiety about Change

Over the past several weeks I have been experiencing periods of anxiety. Anxiety is just another word for fear. I know that this anxiety is my ego, my warning system, trying to tell me that I’m venturing into unsafe territory.

A few weeks ago I suddenly had a knowing that I was supposed to move. I acknowledged out loud a feeling I’ve had for a while that I am meant to leave Seattle, at least for now. That unleashed a whole lot of discomfort and fear.

Even after I worked through the immediate fear reaction, I have continued to have moments of anxiety pop up, seemingly for no apparent reason. However, I know that it is my system adjusting to this new idea.

Whenever we are making changes in our lives, whether they are big or small, whether we think it’s a good change or a bad change, our systems get shaken up. As humans, we like to maintain equilibrium, to keep things the same. When we start to make changes, our ego – whose job it is to protect us – starts making noise.

Warning! Warning! Things are changing! We’re no longer in equilibrium. Pay attention!

Here are a few things that help me whenever this happens:

1.      I take some slow, deep breaths. When we get anxious our breathing becomes quick and shallow. This is part of the fight or flight response. By consciously changing my physical response, I can also change how I feel emotionally.

2.      I remind myself that both fear and excitement have the same chemical reaction in my body, and ask myself if I can choose to feel excited rather than anxious. Especially in my current situation, excitement is part of the equation. Yes, I have some fear about how things will all work out. But I’m also excited about this change.

3.      I don’t get attached to the anxiety. In the past, whenever I felt anxious I would search for the reason, and of course I could come up with a dozen of them. Searching for reasons I might feel anxious only perpetuates the feeling. Now I choose to notice and acknowledge the fear: “I’m feeling anxious,” but don’t get caught up in justifying that anxiety by looking for reasons to be fearful.

4.       I accept that anxiety is a by-product of making changes. It is natural and normal that when we step outside our comfort zone, that when we upset our equilibrium, our ego is going to try to get us to move back to where it is “safe.” I know that as I move through the change that I am making, this fear will eventually dissipate as I reach a new equilibrium point.

The Blue Heron Wisdom Internet TV Show Goes Live Today!

If you have enjoyed reading my posts here (which I will continue to do), you might also enjoy tuning into the inaugural episode of my new Internet TV Show, Blue Heron Wisdom.

To find out more about the show and to watch the archives, go here: http://www.realcoachingradio.net/content/blue-heron-wisdom

To tune in live at 7 PM Pacific / 10 PM Eastern click here: http://www.realcoachingradio.net/content/live-studio-call-vip-show-hot-line-303-872-0503

So, you’re probably wondering what this show is all about. Let’s start with the name of the show: Blue Heron Wisdom. The blue heron is a symbol of self-determination, discovering and walking a path of authenticity. My mission is to inspire you to want to be more of who you truly are, to enlighten you on how to move forward on your own unique path, and to encourage you along the way.

In my weekly radio show I will share information about ways to work through common problems and stuck-points, including exercises and tools that you can use at home. We’ll then open up the phone lines for live coaching on any questions or situations you need help working through.

On the first and third Thursday of each month I will introduce you to a practitioner who offers an alternative approach to discovering and walking your own unique path. Some of the guests scheduled include hypnotherapists, EFT practitioners, acupuncturists and a Kundalini yoga instructor. There will be time in the last half of the show for you to call in with questions for the guest, or for me. Or why not get input from each of us?

I hope that you will be inspired by my stories and the stories of my guests, that you will find enlightenment in the ideas, tools and techniques that we offer, and that you will feel encouraged and supported through receiving live coaching for your own questions. My ultimate hope is that by experiencing this inspiration, enlightenment and encouragement, you will in turn inspire, enlighten and encourage others to be more of who they truly are.

Here is the schedule of topics and guests for the first four episodes:

June 14, 2012
The Inaugural Episode with Wendy Wagoner
I will be interviewed by veteran broadcaster Wendy Wagoner. We’ll be discussing my hopes and dreams for how the show will make a difference in the world, how I came to be doing the show, and sharing what’s in store for the coming weeks. We’ll be sure to leave time for you to call in and get some help with situations in your life.

June 21, 2012
Psychic, Medium and Teacher Melissa Peil
Melissa will share how she became aware of her own intuitive gifts, how using your own intuition can help you move in the right direction, and how she uses her gift to help others find the right path. Call in and to get Melissa’s input (or mine) on a problem or decision you need help with.

June 28, 2012
Overcoming Perfectionism with Ina Stockhausen
Join me and my friend and colleague Ina Stockhausen to find out what perfectionism is, why it interferes with being authentic, and what to do about it. Ina and I will address questions you may have about how to set your perfectionism aside and be more of who you truly are.

July 5, 2012
Astrologer and Writer Rhea Wolf
Rhea will share some information about an upcoming astrological event that will require us to call upon our skills to live with change and uncertainty. We’ll have a conversation about resiliency: what is it, why is it important, how to develop it. Call in to ask for an astrological perspective on current events, or for coaching on a difficult situation.

I am incredibly excited (it seems like I use that word a lot lately) about this new chapter in my business. I look forward to your feedback, and talking to you live!

Here are the links again:

To find out more about the show and to watch the archives, go here: http://www.realcoachingradio.net/content/blue-heron-wisdom

To tune in live at 7 PM Pacific / 10 PM Eastern click here: http://www.realcoachingradio.net/content/live-studio-call-vip-show-hot-line-303-872-0503

Eagles, Part II – The Battle Between Ego and Higher Self

On the second day of my Olympic Peninsula adventure, I decided to go to Cape Flattery. Cape Flattery is the most northwest point of the continental United States. I’d been to Key West which is the most southern point, so it seemed kind of fun to go to the most northwest point. Not to mention that it’s in my home state, so why hadn’t I been there in 55 years?

Also, part of the goal of my trip was to spend some time at the ocean, and Cape Flattery is the point where the Strait of Juan de Fuca meets the Pacific Ocean. Pretty cool.

I arrived at the parking lot and saw that there was a trail through the woods that led to the coastline. As I walked the trail there were side trails that led to overlooks of the water crashing below.

I am so bad with distances, but I would say the cliff is a couple of hundred feet above the water crashing below. It is quite rocky, with inlets of water on either side of the land where the trail was.

From these overlooks I could see caves that had been created in the rock from the unrelenting crash of the water. There were lots of birds flying, in the water, and on the rocks: seagulls and several types of water fowl. I was overcome by the power and majesty of nature. To say it was beautiful is a severe understatement.

When I reached the end of the trail there was a raised wooden platform with benches. The vista from this lookout was spectacular! To the north I could see Vancouver Island. directly in front of me to the west was little Tatoosh Island, with the lighthouse. To the south were more rocky cliffs and rocky islands with surf crashing around them. It was spectacular!

I stood and took in the view for a while. Watched all the various birds. Eventually I decided I wanted to just sit and listen to the sound of the ocean. There was no one else around, and I sat on one of the benches and closed my eyes.

I’ve always found the sound of the ocean so soothing. I sat and listened, meditating on the sound. After a few minutes I felt the urge to open my eyes. I had intended to sit like this, just listening, for ten minute or so. But for some reason I felt it was time to open my eyes after just a couple of minutes.

When I opened my eyes, I saw directly in front of me two eagles in the air. I got up and walked to the railing at the edge of the platform to get a better view. This was not two eagles soaring on the thermals as I have  seen before. One of the eagles was definitely chasing the other.

At one point, the eagle being chased landed on an outcropping of rock directly across the cove from where I was standing. However, he didn’t stay long as the second eagle dive-bombed him. He took off into the air again.

On the next pass, the eagle under attack rolled his body so that his claws were facing up. The attacking eagle was flying directly above him, and they struck at one another with their claws in mid-air. This took place at eye level from where I was standing, perhaps 100 feet away.

I felt very distressed witnessing this violence. I was worried that one of them would be seriously injured, and I didn’t want to see that. I said out loud, “Don’t hurt him.” At that point the first eagle flew off to the north and around a point of land to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

I had hoped that the second eagle would let him go, as he had now successfully run him off. But he followed behind, although at a distance.  I was grateful that whatever may happen next (maybe nothing?) would be out of my sight.

Now that they were gone, I had time to process what had happened. I feel that I was meant to open my eyes when I did. The eagles were only there for a minute or two. If I had continued my meditation (as I originally intended), I would not have seen them.

So, what was the message in this scene? Eagles represent Spirit (God, Source, the Universe). What could two eagles fighting mean? I was highly affected emotionally by what I had witnessed, so I believed there was a message there. But what was that message?

Although I leave myself open to further insights about this experience, what I believe these two eagles locked in battle represent is the battle between Ego and the Higher Self. I view the eagle being attacked as the Ego, and the attacker as the Higher Self.

I have been going through a process of identifying more and more with my Higher Self. Sometimes with greater success than other times, but always with more awareness of which part of me is in control.

What I came to understand from the experience with the eagles, is that both parts of me need to exist; both parts will continue to exist. This is why I cried out “Don’t hurt him.” Ego cannot, and should not, be killed or destroyed. It serves a purpose when kept in check.

But my Higher Self is becoming stronger and more dominant than my Ego. It’s the part that’s in control more of the time now. When Ego tries to assert itself inappropriately, the Higher Self can run it off and send it back to its own territory –firmly, but without harming it.

Conversely, I can see this as a warning that if I allow it, Ego can chase away my Higher Self. Ego cannot kill the Higher Self. It will still exist, but will not be dominant in my perspective and in my choices.

I know this all sounds kind of woo-woo and out there. And at the same time I know I witnessed this scene for a reason. There was a message here for me.

I’m open to other interpretations.  Please share your thoughts.

Sometimes Fear Means I’m On the Right Track

The past six months have been a time of transformation for me personally, and this has led to transformation in my business as well. I know that something new is coming for me, but it hasn’t always been clear exactly what that is. The week after I returned from vacation I had extremely low energy and felt like my brain was in a fog. I felt unmotivated and scared about being unmotivated.

Then Monday morning I awoke with new sense of purpose. The fog had cleared and I felt ready to get on with things – if I only knew what those things were!

I went through my morning ritual for the first time since I had returned from vacation a week earlier. I was inspired in what to write in my daily blog post, I read my emails, posted on Facebook and balanced my bank accounts, had breakfast and went to meditate.

Several months ago I had an inspiration that I was meant to have a weekly television show something like Oprah’s Life Class, yet different. I would share a lesson in authenticity that came from my personal life (much like I do in this blog) and then take call-in coaching calls.

When I first set my intention for this show, lots of things happened. I had inspiration about people to contact and ways to produce it myself. Opportunities for new contacts presented themselves. Then the past month – nothing. Last week while I was in a fog and feeling unmotivated I was rather worried about this.

During my meditation Monday morning a whole vision for the next phase of my business – and for fulfilling my life purpose – presented itself. I saw how I would get started with my television show, how that was related to the book I am writing, how I would shift from being a local coach to being a national (or even international) coach.

I knew that I could immediately act on this vision. It was not dependent upon anyone else approving or providing access to what I needed. And I immediately became scared out of my wits!

All my fears about worthiness and failure presented themselves, and very loudly, too. Who am I to think I can have a television show? What do I have to offer that anyone wants to hear? How will I ever think of enough topics to speak about? How will I fill up an hour of time every week? What if I can’t help whoever calls in?

And almost as quickly I remembered several things I had been told recently.

  • “The ego is never ready to do the soul’s job.” (Robert Holden)
  • Fear and excitement create the same chemical reaction in your brain; when you’re feeling fear it may really be excitement.
  • “Fear, Laura, like joy, usually means that you’re exactly where you should be, learning what you’re ready to learn, about to become more than who you were.” (Mike Dooley – TUT Messages from the Universe)

Remembering all these messages about what fear can mean in the context of moving into the unknown helped me very quickly let go of that fear. I am pleased and amazed that I was quickly able to move from fear to excitement, and stay there.

I am incredibly grateful for having received these messages over the past months so that they were in my memory bank to call upon when I needed them. It is a reminder that I am always supported by the Universe (spirit, God, whatever name you prefer). I get what I need, when I need it.

Moving through the many experiences of fear and uncertainty over the past six months has been incredibly enriching for me. Each time I encounter an opportunity to give in to fear or to move past it I strengthen my belief that I am on the right path, fulfilling my life purpose.

I’m learning to embrace fear as an indicator that I am on the right track, and that I am moving into an area that will bring far more fulfillment and reward than I can possibly imagine.

I Never Met a Self-Improvement Program I Didn’t Like

A couple of years ago I was telling my therapist at the time about some book I was reading or an online program I was doing to improve my life.  I don’t remember specifically what it was or how it was supposed to make my life better, just that I was excited about it.  He responded by saying, “You never met a program you didn’t like.”

I was a little taken aback at first.  Then I realized that what he was saying was that I didn’t trust my own instincts about how to move forward and become who I wanted to be; that I believed that others knew the answer to this better than I did.  My therapist’s belief was that I already knew how to get where I wanted to be if I just tuned into my authenticity.

Intellectually I got what he was saying, but I still felt like I needed a roadmap laid out by an expert to reach any major destination in my life.  It was comforting to me to know that if I did step A through Z I would arrive safely where I wanted to be. This is a very black and white way of thinking and doesn’t take into account that we all have our own path, and what resonates for one person may not resonate for another.

Using this program approach was sometimes helpful for me and got me to the destination I wanted. Other times I ended up feeling frustrated because the program just didn’t fit for me.  In those cases I would end up blaming myself for not doing it “right” instead of acknowledging that this particular program was just not a good fit for me.

You can see that I valued the experience and opinions of others over my own.  I did not yet trust that I am the one who knows me best, and that with guidance from my higher self I know how and when to act.

I think we all would like to know the magic formula that will transport us to being the person we want to be, or being in the relationship we dream of, or having the success we want for our lives. I’ve come to realize that the magic formula is not outside of me in a book or a teleseminar led by an expert. It’s already in me, and I’m the expert.

This is not to say that there is no value in the experience and expertise of others; there is. I still read books on personal growth topics that interest me. I recently did a teleseminar series on connecting with my soul mate that I found to be very enlightening. Learning new tips, tools and techniques keeps me from having to reinvent the wheel.

However, I have become much more discriminating about which of these I choose to take up. I often come back to what my therapist said to me that day and ask myself if I am just looking for the next new, great thing to save me.

I’ve also gotten pretty good at knowing quickly when something does not fit for me and just moving on.  In the past if something wasn’t resonating I would have questioned myself because, after all, this was an expert telling me that this is the way it is.  Now I know that I am the expert on me, and that if something doesn’t feel right for me then it isn’t. This doesn’t mean that the expert is wrong, just that what works for them does not work for me.

I find that the programs that resonate for me all have one thing in common: they are focused on how I co-create what I experience in the world. This idea resonates for me and connects with how I live my life, which really is about me getting clearer on who I am authentically and what I want to create in my life and in the world.

I can still sometimes get sucked into wanting someone else to tell me how to get where I want to go. When I see this happening I know that fear (ego) is in control and I’m not trusting in my authentic self and the Universe to guide me.

There is great freedom in being in this place of knowing what’s right for me, and trusting my own path.

It is Safe to be Me. It is Safe to be Me.

It is safe to be me.  This is my new mantra.  With all the growth I’m going through right now, one of the biggest hurdles is a fear of how others will react to the new (real) me.  I know that if I’m really in that place of being authentic then it doesn’t matter, because I know that I’m okay.  And I also still have an ego that gets scared and thinks that how others perceive me – and accept me – is the key to safety.

The area where this shows up the most for me is my beliefs about spirituality.  I was raised in a middle of the road, protestant home.  We went to church every Sunday and never talked about god or spirituality during the rest of the week.  Going to church was more of a social activity than a spiritual one.  It’s just what you did on Sunday morning.

Once I went away to college I never went to church any more.  I can remember even as a younger child questioning the premise of Christianity: that you had to accept Jesus as your savior in order to go to heaven.  I wondered about people around the world who had never heard of Jesus, so didn’t have a chance to choose to accept him as their savior.  It didn’t seem fair that they wouldn’t get to go to heaven.  It made no sense to my 8 or 9 year old mind.

When I was home for holidays we would go for Christmas or Easter, but I was just going through the motions.  Eventually I began to feel hypocritical and it was difficult to participate in a service that I didn’t believe in.

Fast forward to today.  Over the years I’ve honed my own belief system and it is primarily in line with New Thought.  I worry about people thinking I’m too “woo-woo.”  Or that I’m “religious.”  For me, that’s an even worse label as I associate it with dogma and blind following, which is not me at all.

Add to all of this that over the past several months I’ve had a number of experience with psychics, mediums and am actively seeing an intuitive healer.  I believe strongly in reincarnation and the ability of experiences in past lives to affect us in this life.  I believe that I can know something without having been told it – except internally.

Now I start to worry that people will think I’m beyond woo-woo, and maybe one of those weird ladies who is going to begin dressing in flowing skirts and big jewelry and coloring my hair an outrageous shade of red.  So what if I am one of “those?”

I don’t know the answer to “So what?”  This is one of my struggles right now, and frankly one of the reasons I started this blog.  I want to be who I really am.  I want to be seen for who I really am.  And I want to be proud of who I really am.

Don’t agree with me?  Fine, we all have our own path.  You take yours and I’ll take mine.  Neither of us is better than the other.

Think I’m weird?  Fine, you’re entitled to your opinion. Your opinion does not define me.

Hence the mantra: it is safe to be me.

Surrender: Ask and You Shall Receive

After I returned from New York and had the experience of feeling my wholeness for the first time, I was on a high for weeks.  I was in my authenticity, I knew my purpose, I was inspired in all areas of my life.  Then one day I started feeling grumpy and out of sorts.  I didn’t know what was up for me, but something obviously was.  After a couple of days of this low level grumpiness the feeling escalated to one of despair and desolation.

As I sat at my kitchen table that morning trying to do my daily inspirational reading, a feeling of utter depression and hopelessness swept over me.  It wasn’t attached to any specific thoughts, and I really didn’t know what was going on or what to do about it.  I began to cry uncontrollably – not a common experience for me.  I cried and talked out loud about how bad I felt. In the midst of this I said, “I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do. Help me, please!”  In the moment I didn’t consider this a plea to God; I didn’t know who I was talking to, I was just expressing my misery and feeling of helplessness to feel better.

At that point, some miraculous things immediately began to occur, and continued for the rest of the day.

  • Meditation was part of my morning spiritual practice, and I got up from the table and went to my meditation spot, but I was too agitated to be still. I had been experiencing some heartburn for the previous few days coinciding with the onset of my feelings of grumpiness, as well as a stuffy nose and I decided to look these up in Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life.

Heartburn: “Fear. Fear. Fear. Clutching fear.  I breathe freely and fully. I am safe. I trust the process of life.”

Stuffy Nose: “Not recognizing self-worth. I love and appreciate myself.”

These hit the nail on the head for the core of my misery.  I had been blind-sided by fear of living in my authenticity, by doubt of my wholeness.  I could see that my current emotional state was my ego stepping in and doing its job to (theoretically) protect me.

It was telling me that being my authentic self was scary, that living only from that place of wholeness left me open for attack and hurt.  That who I am wasn’t enough, wasn’t whole and I’d better get back to work on trying to fix that.

  • I came back into the kitchen with the intention of writing in my gratitude journal.  This was also part of my morning ritual, but in my current emotional state I just didn’t feel like doing it.  I went to my computer and opened Facebook and the very first post I saw was from a friend I met at Robert Holden’s happiness coaching certification course in New York the previous month.  It said, “You can’t feel stress when expressing gratitude.”

Message received.  Could there have been a more direct indication that I needed to write in my gratitude journal?  So I did.

  • I had been reading a book called Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein, and decided to finish it.  The very next chapter was all about Gabrielle’s own dark night of the soul. It helped me immensely to read of someone else’s similar experience and to know that I would get through it.
  • I came across that famous quote by Marianne Williamson. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I knew this captured exactly what I was experiencing.  As I was fully owning my wholeness and authenticity and what that meant about who I was in the world and what I had to offer I was running up against my ego who was asking “Who are you to be special? What makes you think you have something of value to offer?”

Again, it was so helpful to know that I was not the only one who had experienced this awful, dark feeling, and to have validated that it really was about my ego stepping in when it thought I was getting too big for my britches.

  • As I went back to Facebook, someone had posted a video of Robert Holden and Tom Carpenter talking about self-image (ego).  Part of the message was to be gentle with yourself when you realize that self-image has created the very situation that is the source of your misery.

These first five “miracles” began immediately after my surrender, my crying out that I didn’t know what to do and needed help, and continued for the next hour or so.  At the end of the day the next miracle occurred.

  • I picked up the mail that had just been delivered and saw there was a greeting card with a postmark in the UK.  This happened the week before Christmas, so I thought it might be a Christmas card and wondered who I knew in the UK.  The handwriting on the envelope looked familiar and reminded me of my sister’s, but she had passed away 8 years earlier, so it couldn’t be from her.

I then realized that it was a card I had written to myself at the happiness coaching course the previous month.  They had given us cards to write to ourselves to be delivered at some time in the future.  I had forgotten all about it!  I’d also forgotten what it was I had written inside it.

I opened the envelope, and the front of the card had a beautiful picture where the predominant color was purple – the color that has come to be my favorite.  The message on the outside said “Trust Yourself.”  On the inside I had written, “Just be yourself.  Everything else will follow.  I love you.  You’re perfect.”

Wow.  That was exactly what I needed to hear that day.  I had been hearing it from various other sources: Louise Hay, Gabrielle Bernstein, Marianne Williamson, but here it was written in my own hand to myself.  How perfect was that?

The miracles that continued to affirm my wholeness and perfection continued into the next day.  I really looked at the message written on my coffee cup for the first time in ages, “Believe. Everything is possible.”  I read the message on my desk calendar for the previous day, “Less Ego + More Love = Greater Success.”  And on and on.

Although I felt better than I had the day before, it took a while before I was back in the place I had been before this “dark day of the ego.”  As I share this experience here with you, I still marvel at the power of surrender, of acknowledging that I don’t know how.  How swiftly help came for me once I let go of trying to do it myself and asked for help.  That is perhaps the greatest lesson I will take from this experience.