“I shouldn’t have yelled at him like that.”
“Why did she get that promotion?”
“I’m too fat to get on that treadmill.”
We go through our daily lives anticipating what’s next, worrying about the next day. Thinking about what should’ve been said. Comparing ourselves to others. Wondering what the other is thinking or feeling.
Sometimes we realize that our thoughts and worries have never come to pass, yet we continue to believe them anyway. But, most of us assume: this is just the way things are.
As we begin Chapter one in Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth, as part of our Summer Soul Series, we delve into how true awareness (formless) differs from our involuntary thoughts (form) and what we can do separate them.
The liberating truth is that thoughts aren’t real. They don’t exist in the physical realm. They’re only made-up constructs in your mind. Thoughts are only within you – and sent to you by your ego (but we’ll get to that later). Once you realize that the thought is merely a thought, you are free to discern if there’s any meaning from the thought. This is the beginning of Awareness.
You know that incessant loop of chatter inside your mind spouting how everything is wrong in your life? The constant narrator who seems to have a vendetta against your happiness?
Meet your ego.
The ego is the part of your psychological makeup that is only concerned with self, and how self-measures up to the rest of the world.
Hear the voice in your head. See how you’re contributing to it. Look at your own mind. How you react to everyday situations. Observe your own mind, be there as the witness of your own mind. Your journey towards evolutionary consciousness involves realizing this plague that has drilled its way into the human psyche so that you may take back control. You must strip ego of its authority as the voice of reason.
Your ego intends to set you apart from every living thing around you. Most believe the ego when it says that you are less, or more, than the entities around you. However, this is a well-crafted lie that ego creates in order to protect itself. It is time to let go of those falsehoods, and recognize the infinite space within. To understand that human beings are the opposite of what the Ego tells to be true. Instead of separate, we are a collective consciousness.
Consciousness cannot recognize separateness. It thrives in individuality but still sees the thread that connects all of humanity. When conscious, you can defy the restraints of what you should be and become what is needed: an inspiration to those around you. For when you choose to bloom into a state of joy and love, it spills over into the gardens of those around you. Your once green stem that turned into a colorful, fragrant flower ignites a chain reaction that brings spring early.
Am I still breathing? Feel the air flowing into and out of the body. Really appreciate the quality of the air, taking in the temperature, the scent, as it fills your lungs. Feel how your entire body is affected. You’ve entered the present.
Presence can be experienced through every day, seemingly mundane activities. When washing hands, feel the running water on your skin, the temperature, the smell of the soap.
When you’re in the yoga studio, feel the contact of the soles of your feet, the muscles of your hamstrings cushioning your down dog or forward fold. Feel your hands and their direct contact to the mat. Do these things consciously. Feel it. Sense it.
The more presence comes in, the more the old conditioning gets eroded. The simplest things can retrain the mind.
We are so used to having everything being a means to an end. The end is something to get to. When making the coffee, we’re only thinking of drinking it after it’s made. We take showers, never experiencing it because we’re thinking of what’s after (breakfast, being late to the office, etc.). The end is always the next moment of the future which never arrives, because all we ever really have is the present moment.
Make the decision of what is true for you. Ask, “How can I be used by Life, rather than what Life can do for me?”
Tolle reminds us that “you don’t become good by trying to be good”. Something bad or negative will always come along to challenge it. Find the goodness that’s already within by allowing it to emerge. It can only emerge through fundamental change. Go deeper where the mind is no longer operating. Be in the stillness. This is where the eternal lies.
When walking through a park, or when hiking a trail and you see a beautiful tree, don’t just say “That’s a beautiful tree.” Just be with the tree. Experience its size, its shape. Forget what you think or know about trees and just experience it as if it was the first time. A child doesn’t care about its “treeness,” it just sees the tree and is in wonder of it. A bird doesn’t wonder about what to call it: it just appreciates the tree for all it provides. You will experience the majesty of it. The stillness. The peace. Its essence.
Ego has ran rampant and caused many misinterpretations of others. With the evolution of technology, these misinterpretations have led to an increase in the violence and pain around us through nuclear bombs, genocides, internment camps, forced beliefs, race wars and so much more. It has created a cycle of hurt, and fooled everyone into believing that it has no repercussions on us, or those closest to us.
Imagine what the world would be if everyone could see that they’re not their thinking, but rather they’re the awareness before thought. That their awareness is the space in which thought, emotion, and perception takes place. Meaning that they control their ego not the other way around. If every human’s inner realm of consciousness elevated to this, then the outer manifestation of the collective would change the very fabric of society.
Remember the first flower that graced its presence on earth so many million years ago. All you need to do is to just be with the self. Enjoy stillness. The feeling of your heart beating. Recognize the ego that wants you to remain unconscious. Become the awareness.
Share your thoughts on this week’s lesson and how you’re separating thoughts and awareness on Evolutions Annapolis Facebook Page.