This month I focused on how becoming more present and aware of the ego can help us let go of the binds we have with identifying with our belongings and the constant need for more. I was very inspired and gained a lot of clarity myself after reading Eckhart Tolle book A New Earth, on why it’s so hard for people to let go of belongings, beliefs, thoughts and lifestyle habits.
He talks about the main human dilemma as thinking without awareness. By shifting from thinking to awareness we are able to bring consciousness in our lives. Most of all when we are aware and conscious we act less from our ego and the need for identification and to have more.
In my work I talk a lot about being intentional and the easiest way for this to happen is to become more present. This takes us out of human “doings” and being caught up in the rat race to reconnecting to “Being”. We are then able to slow down and ask ourselves in the moment, what am I doing right now and focus on what’s in front of us instead of what lies ahead.
Our ego is a huge topic and there are many aspects that can be discussed. One thing about the ego is that it consists of thoughts, specifically when you are thinking without being aware that you are thinking. The ego also equates having with being so the “the more I have, the more I am” which couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The ego also measures progress through having more which means it’s never satisfied. When we identify through things (the ego) it’s never enough because it’s satisfaction is short lived. It’s also that voice that says that “I’m not enough” and “I don’t have enough” which then in turn creates the vicious cycle of the need for more.
Eckart Tolle talks about object proliferation which is when you don’t have a sense of who you are so you fill your life with things to fill that void. When we let go of ego we can let go of things that don’t really serve us and we can create space for the present moment. This allows us to enjoy things and experiences but not identify with them as who we are, so if they are taken away, it doesn’t destroy you and your sense of self. What’s helpful to remember is that things are constantly changing so being present allows you to let go and not suffer when change does occur.
Why It Matters
When you become aware of your ego and the voice in your head, you are better able to make decisions that are in alignment with your true self. Your life slows down and as the process of becoming present grows you will be calmer, more fulfilled and less driven to have more.
How You Can Let Go Of The Need For More
Our beliefs and identification are formed from repeated thoughts. For example, “I am…” Which means we are not really attached to the belonging but to the thought about the thing, opinion, viewpoint, belief. In order to shift away from identifying from our thoughts, becoming aware of those stories is the first step.
As soon as you become aware of your thoughts, you are giving them less power. When you no longer seek identification in things then your attachment to belongings lessens. Instead, you free up energy to connect with what you care about more intentionally. This then has a beautiful domino effect in all areas of your life.
If you want to dig deeper and let go of the need for more try these questions below:
Letting go of attachment questions by Eckhart Tolle:
How much more time do you need before you will be ready to let go of it?
Will you become less when you let go of it?
Is your sense of self bound up with things you posses?
Do certain things induce a subtle feeling of importance or superiority?
Does the lack of them make you feel inferior to others who have more than you?
How do you feel when someone has more than you?
Some questions I ask clients:
Why is it important for you to keep this item?
How often do you use this item?
How much do you love it on a scale of 1 to 10?
Does it match your intentions for your new space/ lifestyle?
What are you noticing about why you were keeping these items?
Why did you purchase this item?
Has it served its purpose?
Does it align with your values?
Is it creating mental or emotional clutter for you?
What’s important to remember is that this is the world we live in. It’s not you. You are not alone in having an ego, and everyone around you is experiencing these same dynamics. If you remember just one thing from this blog, it’s to not judge yourself when you notice the ego arising. Create space and kindness for it, and that will weaken its hold on you, bringing you closer to yourself and your true purpose in life.
This is very deep work and it is a life time practice that will require commitment and the acceptance of the process vs. the end goal. This is not a quick fix, but I am not one for quick, short-term, solutions.