The last thing the ego wants us to do is change. Any time we expand into a greater version of ourselves, the person we used to be essentially dies. And since the primary function of the ego is to protect us from death, it will resist our evolution at all costs.
So, in order to facilitate the process of expansion, we have to get some control over the ego.
In an attempt to stay safe, it will reach for anything that makes it feel more comfortable or gives it validation, so our work in this chapter is to get a little uncomfortable.
Don’t worry though, you can start small. Following are a few ideas you can try.
I would recommend choosing one or two things from the list below and practicing them daily.
1. Meditate for 30-60 minutes every single day. Although I wrote in the meditation chapter to practice for 10-30 min - it was for a specific reason - the ego will not like it in the beginning. Once you’re ready to get more control over your ego however, it will greatly benefit you to sit for extended periods of time.
2. Take a cold shower or end your shower on cold. Submerge yourself in it completely. The longer you can stand there, the better. The point of this exercise is to get in the practice of non-reaction to stimulus in your external environment. If you can stay in a completely relaxed state, you’ll notice that the associated discomfort actually goes away, even if just for a brief moment. And you start to realize how much control you have over your internal experience through your active surrender.
3. Speaking in front of groups or on camera. The phobia of public speaking is so prevalent in our culture, it’s mind boggling, and something I’ve struggled with quite a bit myself. I attend group gatherings as often as possible where I get the opportunity to speak in a circle, giving me practice when I’m not putting on events. For a while, I was also creating a video journal everyday to get over my fear of speaking on camera. Eventually it became so easy. It just took some getting used to.
4. Fasting. In an attempt to avoid starvation, the ego wants to eat as often as possible. It doesn’t see the logic of avoiding food. To the contrary, studies have shown that intermittent fasting is one of the best things you can do for your body. Gurus and sages, too, have been telling us for centuries that this practice helps to awaken the spirit.
5. Your turn. Let yourself get creative here. Try to think of any way your ego’s holding you back, whether it’s related to your body or self expression. Maybe it’s dancing in public without any alcohol or walking around in a bikini, maybe it’s flirting with someone you think is attractive...? You can make a list of your own or just think one up and do it!