Spring is here and the days are becoming longer. The air still carries freshness, but the flowers are blossoming, transitioning naturally along Mother Nature’s course of creation. And so am I.
Unusually, this year I didn’t reject the cold European winter. Instead I reframed it as a “hibernation retreat”. Curious to see what would emerge, I was glad to discover that not only did I enjoy the peaceful days walking in the cold, fresh air and the cosy evenings in front of a log fire, but I was thrilled by the sensation that my self was being immersed in Self.
The cliché is true: we have to lose ourselves to find our Self!
What do I mean by that? As Self, I am in a state of surrender and grace, at one with all that is. There is no sense of striving or even of doing anything. It is as if my small ego-self has been swallowed up, and there is no sense of loss attached to this.
As Rupert Spira puts it, “All the time, underneath the body/mind/world that we assume, we are always this peaceful Self that is inherently unattached to the body, mind and world.” Deeply contemplated on, we can have the epiphany that this is who we are, rather than the more surface-bound passing thoughts and emotions.
Now, even with a new, sun-fuelled spring in my step, I remain in my winter-induced contemplation on the word “creation”. Creation is not only a powerful concept – it is also an experience. My life experience is continuously being created – but by whom? By self or Self?
What does it mean to create from Self rather than self?
According to most developmental psychologists, sometime during our first six years of life our ego starts to develop. A child normally becomes able to differentiate between self and other people around the age of one or two.
Further ego-development acts to protect us from feeling judged, or so we think; we think we are being creative, but in fact we are letting our fear-based ego-personality run our life. This tends to keep us busy resisting life rather than flowing with it. We think that we know better than life what is good for us, but as the Rolling Stones put it, “You can’t always get what you want (…) You get what you need.”
Remaining slaves to our conditioning, to our likes and dislikes, even as adults we throw tantrums when things don’t turn out as we wish they would. This, in essence, is self pitted against Self, and life can feel like one long struggle.
How to get out of this?
Step 1: Do not judge yourself, or blame yourself for any shortcomings. Instead, accept where you are at. And see that the shift needed is to do with awareness rather than the actual things that you do.
Step 2: Take a moment to retreat and reflect on the possibility of conscious creation. I would never have done this when I was still letting my life be run by my ego-personality “the senior executive”, because I just didn’t have the level of awareness to do so then. I was too busy creating from “small self”, reaching out for name, fame and claim. In many ways this was very useful, because although I was successful I could see that it all still left me dissatisfied. Somewhere along the line, my perspective had nudged towards that of Self, which now values spiritual and personal growth rather than material belongings and outer accolades.
Growth is quite a vague term, so what does it mean?
In a nutshell, it is all about understanding what lies beneath and acts as the motor for one’s actions. Starting with believing there might be something beneath the humdrum of our apparent reality.
Trust in Self
Now that spring is here, I find it to be a perfect time to reflect: How to shift our awareness to create from Self?
It has everything to do with trusting that Self is there:
Think of yourself as nature itself, creation itself. Stay still and remain quiet; what is “burning” within?
Take full responsibility for every life experience that you create. Listen to your intuition and hear what it means to you to be “you fully”. If you are holding back in any way, try to understand why that is. What are you afraid of? Or, what are you waiting for? Can you shift?
Intuition is not far from gut feeling. Your gut is connected to the rest of your body through myriad nerves. And your body is part of a larger energy body, the universe as a whole. Do not let your mind get in there to interrupt gut feeling; make sure you also hear out the voice of intuition, which can be like an inner compass. Mind often follows a story line dedicated to self-pity, and this is not the true YOU. You can be sure that any self-sabotaging self-talk is your ego (“small self”) speaking.
And, finally, remember: There is only one You, and nobody can be You better than you can. And it doesn’t need to be all that complicated. Once You understand that You are Self, all the rest will follow. All other sense of purpose is secondary only.
The moral of this story: You do not “run your life”, You are life itself. So who is making the decisions? Is it the Creator (Self, which You are, without effort) or your ego personality (small self)? And imagine the implications of the different outcomes as a result.
“Life cannot be against you, for you are life itself. Life can only seem to go against the ego’s projections, which are rarely in harmony with the truth.”
Food for your Soul is a regular column featuring short posts for moments of reflection – to look at life from a different perspective (should you choose to!). Invest a few minutes and allow your thoughts to ponder. Awareness creates choice.