“Whenever we are grasping for something or pushing something away, we are in our ego.”
~Adyashanti, Zen Buddhist Teacher
Probably the number one question I get from patients and Yoga students is how can I discern what is my ego and what is my intuition. Your ego is your perception of yourself, as well as the part of you that reacts to the outside world. It’s that voice in your head that is like your very own inner critic. It is that voice that judges others, as well as yourself. The ego is often a voice of fear, wants you to stay the same, avoids change and wants you to play it safe in the world. It is the voice that analyzes, critiques and ultimately makes you feel separate from others. The ego is shaped by our childhood, friendships, family, work, what we see, what we do and how we are treated. It is your choice whether it’s expanded or depleted and is affected by our expectations.
Our ego is not all bad. We need that part of ourselves to push us forward when we are feeling low or defeated. Using your ego to remind yourself of your worth, your accomplishments and that you are more than capable is a very beneficial thing! You can use your ego to remind yourself of all your successes, challenges, parts of your journey that you can be proud of and that you’ve come a long way! When you find yourself playing it safe, telling yourself you can’t accomplish what you want and doubting that you may fail at the task or goal, this is the best time to tap into your egoic self and remember “I can and I will.”
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
Intuition is defined as a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without conscious reasoning. Your intuition is that voice from your Higher Self of inner wisdom and truth. It is that whisper of your Soul that tells you what you need to do to proceed, move forward and heal. It is often a quick, clear and concise message that comes as soon as you ask the question. Teal Swan, the Spiritual Catalyst, says, “Intuition comes with a feeling of correctness and affirmation. Intuition will come as a sudden knowing, a gut feeling, thought, image, emotion, or bodily sensation. Even if the message of intuition is about something negative, it will come across as being delivered in a neutral tone.” This was immensely helpful for me when I realized our intuition is emotionally neutral, as it really helps to discern whether the message is from the fearful ego or the intuition.
Many people are simply out of the habit of truly listening and trusting themselves. When you ignore that first answer you receive and start second guessing yourself, you’ve already missed it and then get lost in the logical mind. We have been conditioned by childhood experiences to not listen to or trust our own perceptions and intuition. We receive negative messages from friends and family along the way that makes us doubt our own perceptions. For example, you may receive intuitive messages to leave a destructive relationship, but consciously you are not ready to let go so you choose to ignore your gut feelings. Although we may ignore the intuitive messages we receive for many years, our Higher Self will always send them, so it is impossible to lose the ability to be intuitive. It is your choice to even listen to your own intuition. You have to invite it. You can ask to be shown signs. Most importantly, you have to be willing to be honest with yourself about the intuitive wisdom you are receiving.
~Excerpt from chapter of my book ‘Becoming Your Own Healer’
Founder of YogaDoctors.TV
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Kundalini and Hatha Yoga Teacher
CranioSacral Therapist & SomatoEmotional Release Practitioner