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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.

      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.

      More by this author

      Richard Singer

      Author/Psychotherapist

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      Last Updated on June 6, 2019

      Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

      Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

      In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

      Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

      Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

      Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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         A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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        The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

        “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

        In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

        The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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          A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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          Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

          “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

          When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

          The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

          As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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          “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

          Silence relieves stress and tension.

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            It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

            A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

            “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

            Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

            Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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              The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

              Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

              But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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              Summation

              Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

              Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

              Reference

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