I was standing waist deep in a desert mineral hot spring when it happened.
Over the week leading up to this, I had been plagued with a myriad of dark thoughts.
What was happening to me? The mind was slowly separating from the ego.
It had been two weeks since we finished work, and during that time we made the move into our RV. One night in the first week, I had a panic attack and had to do breath-work until I calmed myself enough to fall asleep. I hadn’t had a panic attack since I was 15!
Each day I would wake up feeling good, hopeful and full of energy and enthusiasm. Each night I would struggle under the weight of thoughts that made my stomach churn. This was becoming a crazy pattern and no matter how much I took it into my meditation, I couldn’t find answers; or relief.
Eventually I started arriving at an understanding surrounding the nature of the mind. You see, I began to recognize certain similarities between physical detoxing I had done and what was happening within my thoughts. Whilst I had lived within the system of society, these thoughts had been there; I just had no time or space to acknowledge them.
We tend to keep ourselves so busy in modern life that we don’t have time to explore the source of our uneasiness. If I’m honest with myself, there was always an uneasiness present but I’ve consistently distracted myself from it throughout life.
Distraction is a beautifully horrible thing!
Now that we had created so much space for ourselves by being out here away from the busyness of society, it was exactly the same as a physical detox. The fat cells split open so as to release stored toxins and the body then eliminates them. For me, the landscape had become so very quiet that all of these darker aspects of myself could now be seen clear as day.
I wasn’t content with merely knowing what was happening. I wanted to push deeper and arrive at more powerful understandings of myself. Eventually I arrived at the evening where I was standing waist deep in the desert hot springs. The realization hit me like a ton of bricks, and I had no choice but to laugh.
The mind is a powerful servant! However, the thing is, it will either serve the ego, or the higher nature of the self.
There are definitive telltale signs that the mind is following the guidance of the ego:
- Solitude. The stories the mind creates drives us towards being perpetually alone. Time in solitude is very healthy, but when driven from ego, the mind does not want us to live in a state of connection; ever!
- Judgement. The mind will be in a state of constant judgement when it is working as a servant of the ego.
- Seriousness. Whilst there is definitely a time and place to be serious, if we are unable to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes, our mind is working for the ego and not our highest good. There’s a reason that Monks who have renounced all sense of ego are constantly laughing.
- Identity. When the mind is serving ego, we have a constant need to define ourselves. We need to stand out, be different to those around us.
- Duality. There is a real need to stand in either one or the other. We can only work in terms of black or white and fail to recognize all of the shades of grey in between.
It hit me hard – And it was funny!
And so there I was, standing in a pool of warm water when it hit me that all of the work I had been doing meant I was no longer in possession of a mind that was working as a servant to the ego. There was true freedom, and accordingly I started laughing. I laughed because I knew in that moment that all of these horrible dark thoughts were the ego’s attempt at regaining control to once again enslave my mind.
I laughed because the ego would try and make me fearful in order to become the master of the mind once again.
The best bit was, much the same way I KNEW during fasting that I was not hungry yet merely experiencing hunger, I knew in that moment that I was not my thoughts yet merely observing a thought play out.
It was right then and there that the ego lost all of it’s power and the mind became an obedient servant to my highest good!
How and where does ego show up in your life? Comment below and share with us.