How to embrace the present and shush your sabotaging ego.
The emotional world of a human being is complex, intricate, and ever-changing. Emotions can range from feelings of happiness, peace, and contentment to feelings of anger, frustration, and despair. These emotions shape the way we think, the way we feel, and ultimately the way we make decisions, thereby shaping our lives.
One’s ego, which is often driven by the need for external validation and recognition, can be a source of negative emotions. The ego creates an illusion of control and mastery over one’s life, leading to feelings of superiority and self-importance. This can result in feelings of anger and frustration when things don’t go as planned. Moreover, an over-reliance on the ego can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, as people can become overly concerned with what others think of them. This creates a constant need for recognition, attention, and praise from others, causing negative feelings when these needs are not met. When we are consumed by our ego, our thoughts become focused, if not obsessed, on past regrets or future worries, robbing us of the peace and contentment that can be found in the present moment.
Examples are device distractions: we are glued to our phones or computers, instead of fully engaging with people and experiences around us. Living in the past: holding onto resentment, anger or bitterness towards past experiences or people, allowing them to define us. Living in the future: Always worrying or thinking about the future, instead of enjoying and what we have already accomplished failing to realize that we are right in the middle of what we used to look forward to. Multitasking: attempting to do too many things at once rather than focusing on one task at a time; striving to be the perfect employees, parents, partners, friends, and lovers that society expects of us. Comparing ourselves to others: feeling inferior to others and their achievements rather than focusing on our own growth and progress. We must only compare ourselves to ourselves to get better and not bitter.
We are all aware of it, but very little we do to make a conscious decision to shush the ego and embrace awareness.
Living mindful and nurturing awareness can lead to a greater sense of peace and contentment. When we are present in the moment and observant of our thoughts and feelings, we are able to experience life in a deeper and more meaningful way. This increased consciousness allows us to see the world from a different perspective and can help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
As motivational speaker Jim Rohn beautifully said, “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”
One way to increase mindfulness is by living in the “here and now.” When we are focused on the present moment, we can connect with the world around us undividedly. This allows us to experience life as it is, without being bogged down by tomorrow’s worries or yesterday’s regrets. It also allows us to be more attentive to our thoughts and feelings, which can help us identify negative patterns and make positive changes. But how?
By meditation and mindful breathing: practising mindfulness meditation, focusing on the breath, and being aware of how we feel right now. Engaging in hobbies: When we are fully immersed in an activity we enjoy, such as painting, cooking or playing a sport. Spending time in nature: being surrounded by peace in nature and taking in the sights, sounds, and sensations. When was the last time you fully observed a bird in its natural environment? Engaging in meaningful conversations: Being fully present and attentive during a conversation, instead of thinking about other things, or how to top up to be validated. Enjoying simple pleasures: Taking time to appreciate small joys, such as a cup of tea, a beautiful sunset, or a good book to read or even to write. Gratitude practice: pausing to enjoy what we already have, or journaling about the things we are grateful for in our lives. Helping others: empowering others takes the spotlight off of our own ego and puts it onto the good we can bring to the world. And this is why I love coaching and I facilitate women´s circles!
Living a mindful life can also bring numerous holistic benefits to the mind and body. It has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood and cognitive function, and increase physical well-being. The majority of our physical diseases are psychosomatic; in other words, our bodies are screaming for our attention. Don´t miss my favourite book “When the body says NO” by Canadian physician Gabor Maté. This book investigates the hidden links between mental health and physical illness. Modern medical science frequently tries to reassure us that our minds and bodies are completely separate – when, in fact, they are deeply interconnected.
There is no doubt that the way we feel, and the emotions we experience, play a significant role in shaping our health and ultimately our lives. By nurturing awareness and living in the “here and now,” we can reduce negative emotions and increase positive ones, leading to a happier, more fulfilling existence. My favourite spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, tirelessly teaches humans that the present moment is all we have. “Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
So, let’s take a step back from our busy lives and embrace the present, letting go of negative self-narratives and emotions, and watching our ego fade away. It is a journey of self-discovery, growth, and inner peace that makes room for joy. No wonder Buddha himself taught us that the mind is everything: “What you think, you become.” By doing so, we can create a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life for ourselves and those around us. The greatest gift you can give to others and yourself is the gift of your own happiness.