Mine, Mine, Mine.
Ego, Ownership and I, Relax and Just Be Thankful.
I have been observing recently how often we human “beings” talk about owning something or doing something. Think about how many times we say, “I” “mine” “me” when linked to a sentence describing ownership. Owning is great, but the problem is that most of us form our sense of self from what we own or what we do. From birth (especially in the western world) we slowly start to identify who we are by what we have. “My toy, my candy” are some common things we start to link ourselves to early in life, or maybe the lack of toys and candy compared to other kids.
All of this, “it’s mine” or “I want” emphasis from an early age causes us to lose ourselves to “things” pretty early in life. We are generally taught to build our sense of self out of the stuff we have and/or the things we do. This craving for more and more things is pure ego and causes extreme attachment. Every time you get one of those “things” the satisfaction is short lived and then you want more of it or the next best “thing” and then it’s a viscous cycle of constant wanting. If one of those things is lost, grieving occurs because we connect those things to be a part of us. This is pretty much the start of the human drama.
Then later in life we start wanting other things, (bigger toys and probably still more candy) “My car, my house, my clothes, my education, my business, my partner etc.” More things to identify ourselves with! “Success,” is the label put on this by society, if you get lots of things that is. Ok, I’ll try to stop saying “things”…
Everyone is taught to succeed right? If I don’t have all the possessions and achievements that the other person has, have I failed in life? This constant comparing and judging (of ourselves and others) adds addictive fuel to that never satisfied ego.
Even simple things we do without thinking, we often label our ownership on it. “Take a breath,” which is more taking and owning. Quite selfish when you think about it huh? I like to think of it as experiencing the breath, enjoying a walk rather than taking a walk etc. It helps keeps me connected to nature and in pure awe of the present moment. Having true gratitude for something as effortless as breathing will help bring you back to your true nature, which is free of the agony that the ego causes.
Even the body we are blessed with is temporary and can’t be owned. We’re just borrowing it really. We don’t take it with us when we pass on, so why do we hold onto so much? When people truly realize that everything is in constant change and that living in the past, in fear or in defensive mode won’t preserve the body, but will actually age the body quicker, it’s as if a new lease on life arises. It is unfortunate however, that it often takes a life-threatening situation for most people to realize this. Don’t wait for your life to be threatened to live without ego leading the way. Let your true nature shine out to the world and live in the moment now, because now is all there really is.
A piece of land is one of the only things that can really be owned, but when you think about it, that land is not ours. We’re just borrowing it while we’re borrowing our body. Sure we sign a piece of paper and hand over money, but that land has been here a lot longer than us. It’s another very ego driven thought to think that we own the earth. We have all been blessed to be living on a planet with such diverse beauty, yet the human ego has been quite fine with destroying the earth for a little bit more “mine.” None of this is ours and the signs of pure gratitude are quite rare compared to the signs of ego driven greed.
I’m not saying this out of bitterness at our society and I’m also not telling anyone not to want things or to not have goals to achieve in life. Having possessions is great and achieving goals is amazing! Being completely grateful and content for everything that is in your life, without getting too attached is one way to free yourself from the ego’s alluring and ongoing need for more. If you catch yourself feeding the ego’s hunger for more, don’t be hard on yourself and don’t judge, as that’s just more ego mind at play… Simply pause, breathe and observe if it is the ego that wants what you’re going for or if it’s resonating within your true self. Simply observing, then taking action rather than emotionally reacting is one of the most grounding practices we can do (and will help stop you from actions like retail therapy, over eating, anger etc.)
Rather than just doing, wanting and striving without mindfulness, simply experience the wonder of the amazing life you have been blessed with. It’s incredible what doors will open in your life when you live with integrity, love, compassion and selflessness. Throw a little bit of surrender in there and wow, let the magic of life happen! You know what will also happen? Everything you need in life will come into your life. It may not happen in the order of ego mind, but it will definitely manifest when you accept what it is you need or want. Again, if you catch yourself wanting too much, doing too much, being jealous, judgmental or angry, simply observe the ego, say a friendly “Hi!” to it then exhale it out and wave it good bye. Such a freeing experience!
Living in harmony with nature… Being.
Stuart Watkins was born and raised in Perth, Australia and began his journey into the fitness industry at the age of 19. He is a fitness and lifestyle coach and a certified Holistic Fitness Practitioner, Personal Trainer, Holistic Life Coach, Yoga Teacher, Pilates Instructor, Massage Therapist and Stress Management Specialist. He believes in balance, and a harmony between mind and body that allows for a total achievement of every goal in life. You can visit Stuart’s webpage or find him on Facebook!
*Photos by Natasja Kremers