What have you done NOW?



Listening to the voices in your head

A couple of weeks ago, I began thinking a little more about that little voice in my head when I had this experience:

my puppiesIt was morning and I got the dogs ready for their walk, grabbed the leashes, my house key, some poop bags and left the house. It was early, so I absently locked the door and put the key in my pocket. BUT I do remember thinking to myself, I should put the bags in that pocket and the keys in that pocket so that I don’t lose the key.

Needless to say, I did not listen to that inner voice and lost the key, probably when I took out a baggie to clean up one of the doggie deposits! I spent the next hour scouring the local park with the dogs – who were more than happy to have an extra hour of fresh air. It took me three laps of the park to locate my house key, and a lot of stress. I was late for work, I didn’t have time for breakfast… all of this anguish because I didn’t listen to that inner voice.

This kind of thing happens all the time. We think to ourselves – I better write that down or I’ll forget it. We don’t end up writing it down, and lo and behold two days later we are left scratching our head wondering what it was we were supposed to remember.

Why is it that we don’t listen to, or trust, that inner voice of ours? I think perhaps the inner voice is basing its suggestions on previous experiences – so we probably should listen to it! My theory is that it’s likely one of two things, and often it’s likely a combination of the two:

  1. Our ego gets in the way and reminds us that “we know better and will do as we please” even though we don’t realize that both the ego, the inner voice, and the “us” that’s listening to this conversation are ALL THE SAME PERSON – YOU!
  2. The inner voice is so passive and often occurs when we are on auto-pilot or passive-minded and it’s more of a subconscious suggestion that we don’t hear loudly enough.

I would like to take time to make a more concentrated effort to listen to that inner voice. Often, it knows things before we consciously accept them and can come in very handy – like the time it knew the relationship you were in was not going anywhere, or the time you left your bagel on the kitchen counter as you left for work, or perhaps the time you were on the way out the door and needed to put your keys in a different pocket because you might lose them! Listening to this voice is easier said than done, but at least being aware that it’s usually right might help me listen to it (myself) more 🙂

No egos allowed, only comfortable pants

Recently I’ve been thinking about self esteem and how we view ourselves. Moreso – I have been thinking about how much we concern ourselves with what other people think of us… or more specifically what we think other people think of us.

Too many times we make decisions based on making sure you will look good, or putting in the extra effort because you want to make sure the recipient of said effort thinks the best of you. Not only that, but we make choices on fashion, music, and lifestyle based on what we perceive other people to approve of.  Why do we need the approval of others to make these decisions?

I have decided that as long as what I’m doing is not hurting anyone, that if it pleases me I’m going to do it, or wear it, or buy it. If those jeans are comfortable and I like them, but my friends all think I have terrible pants, I’m going to wear them anyways! I feel as if there is a caveat to this, though. Using this example of jeans, one must be careful that they are not simply wearing the jeans because they have been influenced by the majority or by clever marketing – this is still making a decision based on what others will think! But, if the jeans happen to be popular, and you like them anyways because they are good jeans, I think this is a perfectly fantastic decision 😉

Who hasn’t bought a shirt or some music because it’s popular? Because it’s the fashion or the fad? I certainly have.  This act is related to the ego too! It’s a desire to be part of the masses, so that you can be accepted and loved. The ego is sneaky, so we have to use our conscious mind to make decisions. Regardless of who likes your jeans, or who else is wearing them… try to separate yourself. Do you like them? Do they look good on you? Do you feel comfortable? If you answered yes to all of those questions, then it doesn’t matter if your friends hate them, or if you will look like a sheep following the latest trend. Don’t blatantly not be a sheep because you want to be unique. Be and do what makes you comfortable and happy – regardless of what anyone around you is thinking or doing!

My point? Who cares what other people think?! Make your decisions based on you 🙂 It’s difficult to remove the influences – but everyone is capable.

Where is the middle ground?

I watched this video the other day, where a police officer giving a routine ticket to what I assume was a speeding driver kept his cool while the driver went off on him. This led me to wonder if the cop’s response actually did any good for this guy. He simply stood there calmly, finished his job, and made sure that justice was done. But it didn’t seem to me like the driver got the message. The driver was angry that he got a speeding ticket, and also angry that he would have to take time off work to go to court to fight it. He didn’t seem to realize that if he had not been speeding in the first place, that he would not have gotten the ticket.

So I’m left wondering – what is the appropriate way to get the message across to people like this – and would the message get across at all, regardless of how you deliver it? Would it have been better if the cop had not exercised such restraint – pulled the guy out of the car and taught him a lesson? Or would that simply have been a waste of the cop’s time, and unnecessary stress for both parties?

In this instance, I think the officer’s conduct was commendable even if the driver didn’t get the message. At least the cop was calm and didn’t let this guy’s negativity or anger affect him and cause him to react negatively. I believe that this chain reaction happens all too much in society today. One person’s anger ignites the anger of another person. The second person now goes to the bank and has to wait in line for a teller, but seeing as they are already angry from the previous situation begin to huff and puff and make a scene at the bank. This, in turn, affects all the other people in the line… and  these people all take their experience with them on to other situations in their life. And so on, and so on. It’s like a ripple effect.

If this cop had reacted differently in this situation, I think things definitely would have escalated unnecessarily – leaving this driver with an even worse taste in his mouth about authority and the police. It sounds like he already has a chip on his shoulder about it – or perhaps he was just at the bank and had to wait in line a little too long 😉

Our ego can be a tricky beast – causing us to act defensively in the face of almost any conflict… even when the attack is completely non-personal, it can be taken that way all because of the ego. Take a moment when something like this happens, and ask yourself if it is worth it to react emotionally and defensively, or if this situation is really that important that you need to fight against it so hard. Often times, taking a moment to let your fur flatten down again after feeling threatened and thinking about things can not only diffuse a situation, but offer you time to rationally think of a response (an educated one!). It’s easier said than done though – because we have been acting like this all our lives!

I suppose my conclusion is that we all have to assess situations and try to react accordingly. Sure, we all overreact sometimes – but if we try and approach things calmly like this cop did, maybe we could minimize the ripple effect of anger and negativity that is caused by conflict. If we can exercise compassion and understand that maybe this person is having a really bad day, and try to give them just that little bit of understanding – or at the very least don’t add fuel to the fire.

Goodbye Left Brain

Gut instincts are definitely a plus. These inklings are usually right! Your intuition often tells you well before your senses – and before any in-depth experience. But why don’t we trust those feelings? Our EGO gets in the way and tells us that this ‘gut feeling’ can’t possibly be right – and that we really need to see for ourselves! Often, we don’t trust others either. Our gut tells us something, the people around us tell us the SAME thing… yet our ego says “I need to see for myself… I need to be right” and we LISTEN! Ego is often, but not always, the problem.

El Brain and El Ego

So how do I SQUASH my ego and listen to my gut, or those around me? I’m convinced that the ego is safely housed in the left side of my brain, along with that feeling of separateness from others, the environment, energy, the universe. If only I could turn off my left brain completely, and trust the energies around me. It’s definitely a scary idea – this leap of faith.

Recently, I have been learning to meditate. I believe that meditation is a way of turning of your left brain and experiencing the energies around you in an unfiltered way. I obviously need more practice, because I’m pretty much the same as I ever was – but it’s DIFFICULT to remove the programming that I have learned and experienced since birth. I do think it is possible, though.

I’d love to drive my ego out into the desert and drop it off so it can’t find its way back. I bet the ride home would be the most spectacular I’ve ever experienced!

In the spirit of turning off our left brains – I would love to share this video with you. It’s 18 minutes long, but COMPLETELY worth the watch. Not only is this lady an amazing speaker, but her experience may serve to enlighten us all – and give us hope that the left brain can be tamed and conquered – and with it, the EGO!

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