From Ego Action to Essence Embodiment
By Audrey Seymour
You've heard the saying "You must be the change you want to see" and "You can't create a new paradigm with old paradigm thinking." What does that mean, really? And then, once we've shifted our thinking, how do we change our actions and priorities to embody the inner wisdom we've gained?
Back in the 80's I was a Certified Rolfer, giving clients better postural alignment. One client was a prison guard with severe back pain. Although he was intent on getting rid of the pain, as soon as his body started getting flexible, he felt too vulnerable emotionally and stopped the process. He wanted the pain to go away without having to face the internal shift required.
At some level he also likely recognized that staying with his newfound openness and flexibility would have caused him to need a new career.
Have you noticed that if your priorities don't change to match your inner transformations, the results you get don't change either?
Burnout and injury forced me out of the software development industry 11 years ago. I was very excited to start a new lifestyle as a business coach and consultant. But within a few months I was suffering the same level of exhaustion and joint pain as before, because I was approaching my new career with the same type-A workaholic behavior! I had to learn the hard way that a more balanced lifestyle required more balanced behavior on my part, not only good intentions.
What I'm talking about here is the deeper level of integration and effectiveness caused by healing the split between inner truth and outer expression. Ultimately we are looking for a way to fully embody our essence in the world.
Essence embodiment means that we make choices on a daily basis that honor our deepest calling.
Here are a few of the ways we typically act from ego habit rather than essence embodiment:
- Ignoring our purposeful priorities - We get distracted and lose track of what we know we are meant to do. For example, we may spend hours online rather than writing our book or developing our strategic plan.
- Avoiding risk - We allow our inner protectors to keep us small and safe, such as by avoiding public speaking or not taking a controversial stand.
- Belittling ourselves - We believe the part of ourselves that says "Who am I to think I could..." and adopt a form of false humility that keeps us from fully contributing what we have to give.
With a bit of courage and commitment you can shift these habits by getting curious about the underlying motivations.
Do you keep getting distracted from your most purposeful priorities? Notice what activities you are doing instead. Are you going for the quick rewards available from easier tasks? The answer is to break your purposeful project into easier steps. Does your priority require a lot of time working alone? Then schedule connection times throughout your day.
If you find yourself avoiding challenges, negotiate with your inner protectors and set parameters that will allow you to moderate the risks.
If self-deprecation is a familiar habit, inquire into why this behavior is so important for you and develop a kinder strategy that will meet the same objectives.
When we embody our own essence, we don't show up in the world like anybody else. It's the most creative challenge we face. But as you taste more and more of it, the old ways will never satisfy again.
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
© 2013 Audrey Seymour. All rights reserved.