Archive | May 2016

Being Real- And Letting Go Of Your Ego

Ego. One simple word, so much weight. If you are on a path to self-discovery, improvement, enlightenment or whatever you want to call it, I am sure you have read tons about what this word means. I too have read so much about the Ego and have discovered that overcoming the Ego or in other words, breaking your attachment to the Ego, is maybe THE most vital part to living a life of peace. There are so many different philosophers that have given their definition of the word but I will just give you my personal understanding of it.

Ego in it of itself is not necessarily a “bad” thing. Some people consider it the mind and your thoughts about life and in a lot of ways it does serve some purpose, but essentially it is an image or ideas of who you are and who others are. It is also what gives you the idea that you are separate from others, on a heart or a soul level we are all connected but the Ego will want to tell us otherwise. In some respects we need it in our human existence to function in all of the roles that we play, man, woman, mother, father, job titles, etc., but all of the biggest problems in the world stem specifically from over identification with the Ego. The second you try to cling to an idea of who you are, an image to uphold so to speak, this is when you have become overly identified with the Ego. My main purpose of writing today is to help even one person learn that when you let go of your Ego you can be who you truly are and you can finally let other people be who they are. This is authenticity…I’m sorry this word is used to absolute death….but being who you are to the core without any ulterior motives and interacting with others based exactly on who they are, is true authenticity.

Here are just a few examples of what identifying with your Ego might look like:
Thinking you are superior OR inferior
Basing your worth on your financial status or job title
Being judgemental of the way other people live their lives
Having a hard time giving other people credit for their accomplishments
Taking credit
Making others wrong or always needing to be right
Boasting or bragging
Lying or exaggerating to uphold an image
Constantly looking for sources of outside validation (social media is really, really testing this one)
Being threatened by someone else’s success (jealousy, envy, etc)
Judging yourself or others based on things like the size of your home, the car you drive, how much money you make
Striving for recognition for everything you do
Anger
Resentment
Playing the victim
Basing your worth on how others view you

I could probably go on, but you get the idea. I ASSURE you, I am not being preachy here in the least. We are human and part of the journey to enlightenment is to connect with your soul and disconnect with your Ego. We obviously need something to work on in the first place. If you are living a human life, you are currently faced with these egotistical behaviors daily in order to challenge yourself to grow. Think about it, I can almost guarantee you have constant situations where you can easily do or be one of the above OR you can make the choice in that moment to let it go and choose love instead. It’s always about choosing love. It’s hard. Our Ego is slowly diminishing as the world progresses and more people “get it” and it is clinging on for dear life. It actually just dawned on me recently that when I get annoyed for someone else having a “big Ego” that’s actually MY ego judging and labeling someone else. My true self is only concerned with my journey and being the best person I can be, if I become frustrated by someone else I am just as bad.

I know we see this play out in our children. Part of my goal when sharing these ideas on this blog is to take my teeny tiny corner of the Internet and do my best to make the world a better place. If we can help our children to identify with their heart and soul and not their mind and Ego, we will all find peace and our future will be very bright. Think of your toddler. I had an experience with my son recently that showed me how opportunities to help our kids dis-identify with Ego can reveal themselves. My son is an all around mild and peaceful child. He is good natured and kind. I don’t worry to much about the man he will grow into, which is why every now and then I think I need to be thrown for a loop and shown how my parenting is required all day everyday. He had a baseball game recently where he didn’t play that well. He is typically a good player, gets a lot of recognition from his coaches, the other players and my husband and I. He also has no problem encouraging other children and being happy for their successes, which is why I never think twice to acknowledge him when he plays well. At this specific game he was just off. Struck out at every up to bat, dropped balls in the outfield, throwing lots of balls at the pitchers mound etc. He’s 7, by the way, and all of these things were complete non-issues in the real world. I care way more about how my son is as a human being than how he is at a sport. Which is why I was seriously upset at the behavior I saw. He was not only completely down on himself and in a terrible mood, but as I watched him I noticed he did not once cheer for his team mates or give them recognition for when they played well. It was almost as if he couldn’t be happy for others’ successes if he himself was not experiencing success. OH HELL NO, I needed to cut that crap immediately.

I don’t often get disappointedd in my children, they are children for a reason, but it was very clear to me that the universe was giving me a wonderful opportunity to give my child a lesson in Ego and how attachment to the Ego can lead to a lot of unhappiness. I explained to my son that his mood can not be determined by how well he plays in a game and that his performance can absolutely NOT dictate who he is as a person. This is a naturally friendly kid who let his view of himself in that moment (his Ego) affect how he treated those around him. I also took a moment to explain humility to him and sometimes when we are really good at something we need to be shaken up so we can learn. So we can grow. I think he got it. I also thought how if my husband and I had been overly identified with our own Egos we could have really screwed up in this moment either by being hard on him for his performance (showing him that how well he plays a sport defines him) or we could’ve displayed similar behavior to him which would have modeled that that type of thing is ok.

This is a very small example of the ways in which we can see when our kids are beginning to identify with their Ego and how we can parent from our heart and shut that shit down. When you think of the ways you might overly identify with your own Ego, try to figure out how you can begin to live from your soul, which I promise you will lead to peace. Every time you want to put someone in their place, make someone else feel wrong, feel threatened by someone, try to make yourself seem “better than”, feel envious, feel inclined to boast or brag…take pause and try it a different way. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but that is GROWTH. It’s why we are here and if we don’t figure it out we can never fully live a peaceful happy life. Be your real self, it is so much more comfortable and way less exhausting than clinging to the tings you are not.

Love,
The Enlightened Mama

This entry was posted on May 25, 2016. 2 Comments

Great Job, Mamas!

I think I spent about a solid year of my life as a mother feeling inferior to other women. I was a new mom trying to find my way, focusing my energy outwards when it should ALWAYS be focused inward. I can’t tell you when or how that shifted for me, but what I can now say for sure is that I am a confident mom. That doesn’t mean I don’t question what I do or that I don’t continuously strive to be better, but what that does mean is that I DO NOT compare myself to other mothers. I know deep in my heart that my journey is mine and mine alone. My children are uniquely mine and my intuition knows who and how to be to them. As a mother, this is freedom. You can have real genuine relationships with other women without superiority, inferiority, jealousy or cattiness. Honoring the type of mother you are is honoring your soul’s purpose. In honor of Mother’s Day I want to send love and acceptance to ALL moms. You are all doing a great job.

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To the mom with the picture perfect vaginal birth- You did it! Your body went through an incredible journey and at the end your body was used to birth your child in the most natural way. It was hard, I know, but you should be so proud of yourself. I am so proud of you. Great job, mama.

To the mom with the unplanned c-section- You did it! I’m sure you tried to do it the “conventional” way and for whatever reason your body and your baby had other plans. You went through a major surgery to have your child and that is incredible. You made an educated choice to get your child here as safely as possible. You should be incredibly proud of yourself. Great job, mama.

To the mom who carried her children- Conception and pregnancy are miracles. Even with several children that is never lost on me. You and someone you loved came together and created life. It’s beautiful and magical and something to be honored. Great job, mama.

To the mom who did not physically carry children- Being a mother to an adopted child, a child through surrogacy or a step-mother is a beautiful thing. What a miracle it is that you were able to become a mother to a child in your own way. I’d imagine you never gave up until your dream of motherhood came true. It was a journey that was designed for YOU. I have no doubt that before your soul was even here that child was planned in perfection just for YOU, regardless of how that child was placed in your arms. Great job, mama.

To the mom who stays home with her children- If this was your dream like it was mine I am so happy for you! You get to spend your days exactly as your heart desires and that is so important for your children. Maybe this wasn’t your dream. Maybe you don’t have the type of job that makes childcare worth it and here you find yourself at home. You’re doing a wonderful thing. You are there for it all and THAT is priceless. I know it can be hard, but you are giving your child such a gift. Great job, mama.

To the mom who works outside of her home- Perhaps you love your career and it is an important part of your identity. Maybe you need to work and it is not what you would necessarily choose, either way YOU are giving your children such a gift too. You are showing your children how to be who you are and do what you want (or need to) to raise a family. You have (most likely) meticulously chosen your childcare and I am sure that your children are getting enormous gains by being around people outside of their family during the day. Great job, mama.

To the mom who breastfeeds- I am a huge lover and supporter of breastfeeding. I breastfed all of my children and am currently still breastfeeding my 1-year-old. If you are breastfeeding I am so proud of you. You are giving your child the gift of nature, the gift of using your body as it was designed. The bond is incredible. I also know that at times, especially in the beginning, it can be a challenge. If you desire breastfeeding your children, stick with it, it gets so much easier and so much more rewarding. Great job, mama.

To the mom who bottle feeds- I am a huge lover and supporter of feeding and nourishing your baby any way YOU see fit. Maybe you tried and tried and it just wouldn’t work for you. Maybe you made your own educated decision to skip the breastfeeding and start right away with the bottle. Whatever the reason, I know that you did it out of love. If something stresses you out, you can be assured that it stresses your baby out as well. By choosing to bottle feed I’d imagine you made yourself happier and therefore your baby happier. Great job, mama.

To the mom who makes her own baby food- What a gift you are giving your child. A natural, healthy diet will set them up for the rest of their lives. I’d imagine they will probably crave healthy foods in general and the effort you put in to making that happen does not go un-noticed. Great job, mama.

To the mom who lets her 1-year-old eat McDonald’s (this may or may not be yours truly)- You want the best diet for your children too. I know they eat fruits and vegetables and a well balanced diet most of the time, but hey you are busy. And you are probably busy giving your older children a full life. Sometimes that means fast food. You are teaching your children balance and I’m sure they will have a healthy relationship with food understanding that sometimes they can have treats. Great job, mama.

To the mom who co-sleeps- I have only co-slept when it was of necessity or to make my night go smoother. If I had the choice I’d be sprawled out in my king with no one to elbow me in the face. I did however have my child within arms reach for an extended period of time. I completely appreciate and understand how constant accessibility and physical contact is a great way to nurture and raise a child. It’s admirable. Great job, mama.

To the mom who lets her baby cry it out- I can almost guarantee you don’t want your child to cry. But I can also guarantee that you and your spouse hit a point where the sleep deprivation became too big a burden to bear. Took too much of a toll. I’d also imagine you did your research and followed a plan. Maybe it was hard for a night….or even a few nights, but maybe now your child can blissfully fall and stay asleep. You have a healthy attachment to your child and want the best for your household. You are providing your child with self-soothing techniques. It’s the best choice for your family because it’s YOUR choice. Great job, mama.

To the mom with the supportive partner- A family unit. It’s probably what you’ve always wanted. It isn’t always easy is it? But when you have that one person on your side to share the burden with, you feel like you can do anything. A life partner who is your equal and brings out your best can only enable you to be the best mother you are capable of. That relationship takes nourishment too and I know how hard it can be to give yourself to another when you already give so much of yourself to your children, but the effort is so worth it isn’t it? From that unity you get another person to travel this journey with. You are giving your children the gift of seeing how to nourish a loving partnership. Great job, mama.

To the mom doing it on her own- I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of you didn’t intend to fall into this category, and maybe some did and that’s great too, but which ever way you slice it, raising a child on your own has got to be one of the most challenging things I can think of. Maybe you feel like your kids are missing out because there is only one of you. One of you to blame, one of you to pick up the pieces, one of you to be the good guy and the bad. You know how much admiration your child will have for you when they are grown? Do you know the pride you will feel when you look at that grown child and know you have no one to thank but yourself? You’re doing it, it might be hard, but you’re doing it. Great job, mama.

To the mom with the healthy kids- Keeping our kids healthy is so hard, isn’t it? A good bit of it is luck but on the other hand I know how much energy you put into making sure your kids get the right amount of sleep, take their vitamins, brush their teeth, have a proper diet and go to their check-ups. All we ever want is for our children to be healthy and I know that in any way that it is within your control you are doing your best to help them stay that way. Great job, mama.

To the mom with a sick child- You have done everything right like the rest of us. You have made the healthiest possible choices for your child that were within your capabilities. You have a sick child, and that is out of your control, but within your control? How you continue to mother. I am in awe of you. Parenting healthy children is tough enough and your burdens are greater, but you persevere. Your child will learn strength and bravery from watching you on this journey. Great job, mama.

To the mom back to her pre-baby body- You are amazing. You have found the time to invest in yourself and you are showing your children how to be strong and healthy. I know that they notice that and they will grow up to take care of themselves too. Great job, mama.

To the mom carrying extra weight- You’re tired. You want your pre-baby body, but your energy is so drained. You know you’ll get there someday. You are showing your children self-love and self-acceptance through your journey. You are also showing them how amazing a woman’s body is and that you aren’t in a hurry to erase the evidence of carrying them. Great job, mama.

To the mom with a large family- Having one child is work enough and you have chosen to expand beyond that and give your children the gift of siblings. You have built-in opportunities to teach your children about respect and flexibility and getting along with other human beings. You have also given your child the gift of built-in friends. I know it can be overwhelming to have so many people who need you, but the love of a large family is so rewarding. Great job, mama.

To the mom of an only child- Whether by choice, or not, you have the incredible ability to devote all of your love and energy on one little human being. That has got to be so amazing for your child. You still have quite the task ahead of you and don’t let anyone take that away. I honestly think I was a more stressed out mom with 1 than 4, so don’t feel like you aren’t putting in as much work as everyone else. Your child will learn a valuable lesson in independence and creativity that children who have others around them constantly aren’t privileged to. Great job, mama.

To the mom of young children- Girl, you are in the THICK of it and I am right there with you. We have been given the responsibility of raising up these little humans and we so desperately don’t want to screw it up. You are under so much pressure, but you are doing it. Great job, mama.

To the mom of children who are grown- It must be so nice for you to admire your grown children and to enjoy the years of work you have put in. Your job is still not over and I know it must be hard to nurture adult relationships as a mother. I know it must be difficult to stand by and let them make their own choices. You are transitioning into a new role and it’s the way the journey of life unfolds. Great job, mama.

Join me in uniting and celebrating all moms. I have never felt so close to another group of women as I have since I have become a mother. I can look into the eyes of another person walking the same incredibly difficult, incredibly rewarding path as me and instantly feel love towards them. We need each other. We are in this together. Great job, mamas.

Love,
The Enlightened Mama

This entry was posted on May 6, 2016. 4 Comments