It is the New Year. The year ahead feels like a clean, clear slate, full of possibilities. You may have a list of things you would like to see happen in the coming months. You may feel open, ready and willing to grow. Yet, high hopes can soon feel dashed when you meet naysayers in the world around you or internal limiting beliefs that say you can’t be truly happy.
Of these two, your internal chatter is most like Superman’s Kryptonite. People’s negative comments only have power if you believe them to be true. You believe in them only because at some level, you likely hold a core belief that validates their words.
For the purpose of cultivating wisdom in the practice of meditation, you must go deeper into exploring the truth of these core beliefs that can undermine your best intentions with mesmerizing speed and efficiency.
When you see painful thoughts thwart your heart’s joy, draw upon an age-old key truth on the path to freedom. Know that when you believe life is happening “to” you, you are in your ego. As though under a spell, you are temporarily attached to a passing perception, generated by your ego, which only knows to divide. In that moment, you are seeing life through a limited, distorted lens.
The ego is both attached and tricky. But it has its own Achilles heel. It dissolves when questioned and witnessed. Willingness to grow involves the courage to question the reality of the painful voices that keep you feeling small. Ultimately, you need to fully understand that they are not true.
The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself straightforwardly, “Is this thought or perception true?” Should the voice say, “I am a failure”, you can retort, “Is it true that I am a failure?” By questioning it, you can see that it is not 100% ALWAYS the case – therefore it is not an absolute truth. You don’t ALWAYS fail. You can find one thing that you are good at, even if it is breathing! The same would be true for any blanket statement, such as being unloved, ugly, incapable, etc.
The ego gets high from inflations and propels you away from the present moment as a way to hide from something in this moment that you fear is too painful to deal with. Honest articulation of your uncomfortable feelings, or, while meditating, witnessing the fear or resistance that may arise, keeps the ego from leveraging absolutes. Willingness, non-resistance to what is, and humble honesty brings the light of empowering clarity that fuels personal growth and freedom.
When you notice that your ego is triggered and starting to inflate a situation, ask yourself, “What is so threatening or uncomfortable to my ego in this moment that I would rather blow it up then just be present for it?”
By asking yourself this question, you send love to that which the ego is masking. You welcome that scared, broken, unloved part of yourself into your heart. You willingly open to this moment that contains within it the potential for permanent release of suffering.
When you question the truth of undermining thoughts, you see that what you once thought was solid is in fact, just a passing mirage. Through this understanding, you can let them go. If your ego’s voices come up and say otherwise, go back to working the “is this true?” question until you feel totally clear and ready to stop giving them any power.
Take every opportunity you can to rest in the love that already is and challenge your ego’s tendency to inflate situations and turn them against you. When you no longer believe that illusions are real, the giggle that echoes in the Buddha’s belly grows in yours too. This year will be the best year you will have had yet.
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine. In addition to being an internationally acclaimed Canadian singer, songwriter, producer and performer, she is a yoga teacher and holistic educator. Having studied yoga and meditation since 1987, Parvati developed her own yoga teaching style called YEMTM Yoga as Energy Medicine. Her music, including upcoming singles “I Am Light” and “Yoga in the Nightclub”, brings forward a conscious energy into the pop mainstream. Her book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie” is a road map to a revolutionary life makeover for sincere spiritual seekers.