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5 Vital Steps to Starve the Ego and Feed the Soul

5 Vital Steps to Starve the Ego and Feed the Soul

We are so fortunate to be alive and possess the potential to create the life we truly imagine. However, at times it may not feel this way due to the overwhelming stress and suffering that seems to take over our lives. How can our lives be so much different at times and what can we do to tap into our infinite potential and experience peace and stillness in the majority of our lives?

Ultimately, it comes down to whether we choose to live our lives according to the demands and delusions of the ego or make the conscious intention to align ourselves with the infinite soul. Choosing to always be conscious and to live according to the soul provides you with infinite possibilities and the peace, passion and purpose that you deserve as a human being.

Conversely, living unconscious and according to the ego results in stress, unnecessary resistance and much less desirable consequences that you do not deserve. As a unique and awesome human being, you deserve much more than the ego offers you. You have two alternatives to choose from and I’m positive you want what the soul has to offer you. You must simply slow down and journey into your inner being and decide between the two. Soul living offers you complete peace and infinite potential while ego living offers you stress and the ordinary life that you are seeking to transcend.

Honestly, I don’t think any of us choose to live according to the ego. I believe we get conditioned to live this way throughout our lives and never realize there is a more effective alternative.

Ego and the Soul

We are very familiar with both our ego and our soul. We come in contact with them daily. Our ego is that voice within us that demands everything and pulls us along a path that is difficult and filled with obstacles. The ego robs us of the peace that we deserve. Our soul is the deep, profound, and infinitely tranquil place within us that knows nothing but empathy, love, compassion and truth. The soul is who we truly are. Every human being truly desires to live the best they possibly can. However, the ego interrupts this process with endless mind games. It’s time to take back what is ours and quiet the ego.

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    The 5 Vital Steps

    I am going to suggest 5 vital steps you can take to begin living the life you truly desire. These simple actions will help you to slow down and venture into your inner world in order to make some important decisions concerning your continued journey of life. They will give you the peace, passion and purpose you desire.

    1. Connect with the Whole of the Universe

    Look around and take in the absolute perfection and miracle of the universe and contemplate your unique connection with the totality of it. You are part of this exquisite beauty just like all living beings. We are intimately connected with all of the universe at the cellular level.

    Just think, if the sun didn’t exist we would not be here.  If the clouds did not produce rain we would have no food and we would not exist nor would there be flowers or trees and so on. If everything did not exist the way it is now we would have nothing. Thus, we are part of this eternal cycle of existence that works in harmony to create this spectacular universe.

    Nurture this connection with nature and other living beings by getting outside and quieting your mind.  Always make time to enjoy nature and the company of other human beings, as well as animals of course. We all share this miraculous universe. Each part of the living cosmos deserves to be part of the universal puzzle just as much as the next.

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    2. Be Grateful for Everything You Have

    Our soul is content and appreciative of what we have and embraces the gifts that are available to us. I’m sure you have experienced the fact that the ego always craves more and more external gratifications. Our ego is insatiable. The ego’s path for you is to endlessly seek happiness outside of yourself which results in an endless cycle of wanting.

    Living according to the soul means that we always have everything we need and most importantly we are grateful to be alive. In reality, someone always has it worse and the soul has compassion for this fact and realizes how fortunate we are to be living in luxury compared to many others. When we awaken our understanding and compassion we are mindful of those people who may not even know where their next meal is coming from or if they can access clean drinking water.

    Our gratitude list is infinite when we choose to abide in the appreciation of the soul.  Make a gratitude list daily and express your gratitude freely to your loved ones.  You will be amazed how wonderful life is when we live it with a grateful heart.

    3. Embrace Change

    Change is the only constant in life and our soul realizes the impermanence of everything in the universe. Our ego consistently seeks control and tends to resist change and anything that interrupts its existence. Control is the ego’s greatest game and it will fight this illusion to the end. This constant fight only causes more suffering.

    Living according to the soul allows you to live graciously with the flow of life rather than constantly battling it. This, in turn, gives you great peace and equanimity. In your daily life keep in mind that change will consistently take place and approach it with acceptance and flexibility. Changes may surprise you and actually turn out to be incredible gifts.

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    4. Live with a Compassionate Heart

    Our ego often limits our focus and keeps us involved in our head.We are often trapped in our minds worrying, obsessing and creating more problems that just don’t exist. It stops us from actually connecting with nature and other living beings as discussed in #1 of this list.

    Compassion for all living beings stems from our connection to others and the understanding that every human being wants and deserves to eliminate suffering in their life and we need each other to accomplish this. We are just like everyone else and when we begin to realize this we begin to demonstrate compassion for all human beings. This compassion leads to a genuine intention to help others eliminate suffering and experience peace and happiness. When we make the decision to truly care about others outside our circle and help them in any way possible we begin to unleash the power of our soul and manifest incredible things in the universe.

    On a daily basis create an intention to help others in anyway possible. You will be amazed how many opportunities avail themselves. Just connect to this compassionate place within you and simply connect with others by saying good morning, opening the door for them, and listening to people that need to express themselves.

    5. Live Now

    Our egos trap us in the false realities of the past and the future. These DO NOT exist. There is no past and there is no future. This moment directly in front of us is all that exists. Our ego dies when we shine the light of the NOW upon it.

    The ego thrives in the past and future and will go to any length to keep us trapped in this delusion in order to avoid its death. Our infinite soul only knows the presence and is fulfilled in the vast ocean of the Now. Embrace the Now and you will truly know what it is to be genuinely alive  Right Here, Right Now is the most vital moment of our life.

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    The totality of life simply consists of this unique and eternal moment. Throughout your day make it a point to always bring your awareness make to the Now. It takes practice, however being mindful will give you unimaginable gifts in your life and will strengthen your connection to your soul.

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      Transitioning from Ego to Soul

      Going forward and making your transition from ego to the soul is not difficult and I want nothing more for you to experience the ecstasy of being guided by your magnificent Soul. Simply begin practicing the 5 steps I outlined above and you are well on your way to manifesting the life you truly desire.

      We are so fortunate to be human beings with the infinite potential to make a difference here on earth and have the incredible opportunities that we have. We must take advantage of them. Continue to focus and be aware of the ego’s impact in your life and how it manifests itself. Just watch it and become the witness of its behavior. This part of you that becomes the watcher is the pure consciousness of your soul. Tap into this part of you and allow it to spread throughout your entire being.

      Be mindful as much as possible and continue to gently remind yourself to come back to this powerful presence. This is the presence you want to guide you each moment. You will notice at times that your ego will become more demanding and appear stronger. This is okay. It is part of the process. You are not trying to block your ego or throw it away. You are going to make friends with it and gently let it know that you hear its little child-like voice making demands and taking tantrums. However, you have decided to live according to the soul today. This is a daily practice but you will notice that it gets much easier as you continue.

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      Go and Do It!

      Now you are ready to experience the eternal journey of your Soul. This is a journey of freedom and unlimited possibility. You will experience the connection to everyone and everything in this Universe. Go forth and bask in the abundance of your soul and change the world in the process.

      If you are interested, try this quiz to find out if you are currently living from your ego or soul.

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      Richard Singer

      Author/Psychotherapist

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      Published on November 23, 2020

      How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

      How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

      Your neighbors downstairs are playing loud music. Again. How do they not get tired of partying? And why do they choose songs with such a heavy downbeat that the glass in your cupboard is vibrating every two seconds? What can you do to get some peace that you deserve? What should you?

      Human mind tends to go in circles whenever faced with a problem without a clear solution. It becomes easy to forget the big picture and get lost in anger and self-pity, wasting our precious time, energy and enthusiasm.

      Would it not be nice if we always remembered to put things in perspective?

      Would it not be more efficient to face all kinds of problems, from tiny annoyances to life-changing emergencies, with a calm demeanor, sharp focus and fearless determination to promptly take the most efficient action possible?

      Alas, humans are not like that. All too often we let anxiety or greed get the best of us and make a rushed or shortsighted decision that we quickly come to regret. Other times, we spend weeks or months at an impasse, rehashing the exact same arguments, unable to accept the compromise required to move forward with any of the available options.

      Buddhists talk about getting lost in the “small self.” In this state of mind, we literally forget the big picture and focus on the small one. We start taking our daily problems too personally and, paradoxically, becomes less capable of solving them in an efficient manner. And this is the opposite of big picture thinking.

      Let me share with you a story related to big picture thinking…

      In 1812, the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia.[1] After a decisive Battle of Borodino, the capture of Moscow and therefore Napoleon’s victory in the war seemed inevitable.

      Unexpectedly, the Russian Commander-in-Chief Mikhail Kutuzov made a highly controversial decision of retreating and allowing the French to capture Moscow. Much of the population had been evacuated taking supplies with them. The city itself was set on fire and large parts of it burned into the ground.

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      After waiting in vain for Russia to capitulate, Napoleon had to retreat in the middle of a bitterly cold winter. He won the battle but lost the war. The campaign ended in a disaster and the near destruction of the French army.

      What can we learn from this historical lesson?

      1. Focus on the Consequences

      Napoleon focused on the important part: capturing Moscow. Nobody could accuse him of thinking small. Yet he overlooked that the Russian army could still fight even after giving up the country’s most important city.

      So was Moscow not an important target after all?

      Success expert Brian Tracy has a litmus test: things are important to the extent that they have important consequences. Things are unimportant to the extent that they have no important consequences.[2]

      When faced with a choice, ask yourself, what would be the consequences of each option?

      • Want to spend an hour studying or watching the new series on Netflix? What would be the consequences of each option? Netflix can sometimes be a better choice, but it helps to put things in perspective.
      • Want to maintain your apartment by yourself or to pay a cleaning service? Would would be the consequences of each option?
      • Want to meet up for coffee with this acquaintance of yours or catch up on your work instead? What would be the consequences of each option?

      The choice can be different for different people. An aspiring filmmaker may have a legitimate reason for choosing Netflix. Personally, cleaning your own apartment can be relaxing and nourishing even if the economics of hiring a cleaner looks compelling because you are earning a high hourly rate.

      This is where you will need a basic idea of who you are — what are your goals, values and aspirations.

      2. Flip Defeat Into Victory

      Kutuzov managed to turn Russia’s defeat into a historic victory by recasting the problem in a wider context: losing Moscow need not mean losing the war.

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      Despite the symbolic meaning attached to the Kremlin, the churches, the priceless treasures that had been stored in the city for centuries, the outcome of the campaign was ultimately determined by the strength of the remaining armies.

      If you can adopt this result-oriented perspective, many of your personal defeats may be flipped into victories as well. Few events in a human life are absolutely good or absolutely bad, and it usually takes many years to recognize in retrospect, what role a particular encounter did play in your story.

      Therefore we have every reason to look for the good in the things that happen to us.

      This is a very practical attitude, far from baseless “positive thinking.” After all, if something unfortunate has happened to you and you find good sides in this circumstance, you will then be better positioned to take advantage of those good sides.

      Say your noisy neighbors are affecting your productivity. What if it is a blessing in disguise? How can you turn this defeat into a victory?

      • Perhaps you are too serious about life and could learn how to have more fun. Join your neighbors or go out for a walk instead of working;
      • Perhaps you only wanted to be productive while instead procrastinated on social media. Now that your procrastination has been interrupted, stop and acknowledge this much greater obstacle to your productivity;
      • Perhaps you are too sensitive to interference. Take this opportunity to practice ignoring the noise and doing your best anyway;
      • Perhaps you have a victim mentality and the feeling of unfairness drains you more than any actual nuisance your neighbors might have caused. Try accepting this lapse in your productivity the way you would accept bad weather.

      Get used to finding opportunities in your problems. This is the quintessential big picture thinking.

      3. Ask for Advice

      Both Napoleon and Kutuzov had trusted advisers to discuss their affairs with. In general, getting a different perspective — or several — can only help inform your understanding and lead to better decisions. Just ensure that the people giving you advice are competent in the particular area where experience is needed.

      Paying money for advice can also be a wise investment. Lawyers, tax accountants, medical doctors spend years learning how to assist people like yourself in living more successful, more fulfilling lives.

      A quick legal consultation can save you a fortune down the line or even keep you out of big trouble. A medical check-up can uncover potential issues and help keep you healthy and active for years to come.

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      Even big, complex dilemmas at your job or in your romantic relationship can be tackled more effectively by partnering up with a coach or a therapist or, of course, with the help of a wise friend.

      4. Beware of Biased Advice

      Many imperfect decisions occur in response to an imperfect piece of advice that you choose to act on. This advice often comes from a biased party.

      For example, we are often encouraged to buy something that we supposedly need:

      • Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by using a special lotion.
      • Fortify your health by taking multivitamins.
      • Connect with your friends by sending them elaborate gifts.
      • Brighten your weekend by consuming a delicious pastry.
      • Become more productive by getting a faster computer.

      However, most purchases are unnecessary.

      Some, such as the sunscreen, do have legitimate benefits when used properly.[3] Others, such as multivitamins, only make a difference for a small group of people.[4]

      Advertisers of those benefits inevitably want to narrow your focus in order to overstate the importance of their product. They frequently present it as the only solution to your problem, whether real or imaginary.

      After all,

      • Skin can also be protected from the sun by wearing appropriate clothing.
      • Health can be better fortified by consuming a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.
      • Spending time or talking on the phone with your friends is the foremost way of connecting with them, and it is virtually free.
      • Your weekend can be brightened by doing something that you love.
      • You can become more productive by focusing on the tasks that have the most important consequences. A faster computer can, in fact, decrease productivity by making it easier to multitask and by enabling your favorite distractions.

      There are other sources of imperfect advice. Politicians also frequently want us to focus on a particular “big picture,” to the exclusion of the alternatives.

      Even loving parents can be guilty of the same. They can advise their children to pick a career path that is safe and respectable, based on their “big picture” that in life one has to make a living. A child may disagree, however, based on another “big picture” that one’s life has to have meaning and fulfillment.

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      Bottom Line

      It is human nature to make rushed, emotional decisions based on incomplete information, then regret those decisions later on.

      You can protect yourself from poor judgment by striving to attain the big picture when careful consideration is called for.

      Focus on the consequences of your decision before considering how you feel about it.

      Play with the cards you’ve been dealt, but look for opportunities in each situation and you will find them.

      Ask knowledgeable mentors for advice, but beware of biased people who have an opinion, but do not necessarily have your best interest in mind.

      Yet remember, true big picture thinking comes from hard-won experience. Legendary military commanders Napoleon Bonaparte and Mikhail Kutuzov were both injured on the battlefield.

      Clear thinking comes from putting your big picture to the test of reality.

      More Tips on Thinking Clearly

      Featured photo credit: Haneen Krimly via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Wikipedia: French invasion of Russia
      [2] Brian Tracy: No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline
      [3] American Academy of Dermatology: Say Yes to Sun Protection
      [4] Harvard Medical School: Do multivitamins make you healthier?

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