For generations, wisdom keepers the world over have explained that within us are two halves, two equal partners (think of the Taoist symbol); the ego and the soul. In a perfect world, the ego is the bodyguard for the soul; it is the ego that trips the switch for fight or flight to protect the soul. In a perfect world, the ego and soul work together to navigate one’s life journey. As we all know, this is not a perfect world. When the ego steps outside this role of bodyguard (the fall from grace), the dance becomes a body slam and a control drama ensues. The expression “control dramas” is code for stress, and there is no shortage of stress with a big ego. In the Eastern culture, there is an expression to promote this balance between the ego and the soul; domesticate the ego.
Stress Tip for The Day:
How does one regain a sense of balance between ego and soul? How does one domesticate the ego? The words surrender, detach, and release come to mind. While there are many ways, the time-tested method is meditation; where one learns to not only observe one’s thoughts, but observe oneself observing one’s thoughts. (If you have ever said, “a year from now this will be funny,” then you have attempted to domesticate your ego). Carl Jung also gave some great advice: learn to embrace the shadow (your dark side) and bring light to it. The expression, Walking in balance, speaks to the nature of ego/soul balance. Make an effort today to walk in balance.
Links and Books of Note:
There are many books on the topic of ego/soul balance, including Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. There is also a great book called Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water.
Quotes of the Day:
“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” — C. S. Lewis
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead to an understanding ourselves.” — Carl G. Jung
Photograph of the Day
Today’s photo is a picture of Dunguaire Castle in County Galway, Ireland. Tower Castles such as this were built as a means of protection (much like the ego). Enjoy!
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 12 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.