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Shield #1 of the Ego: The External World

Shield #1 of the Ego: The External World

This week we start to explore the Ego a little bit deeper. There are three ways our Ego puts up a wall and says NO! to the softening power of Bodhichitta. This is when we look to things outside of ourselves to help us feel solid, safe and comforted. It’s our method of escape from the pains and aches of daily life, no matter if they are mental, physical or emotional.

Another way to think about this is our coping strategies. What do we do when we are bored, anxious, depressed, tired, lonely, angry? Do you reach for food, a good book, a walk in the woods, a phone call to a friend or a favorite TV show?

Some of these methods are harmless, others have consequences. No one is immune to these coping strategies – we all have them. What we can do is become more aware of them and why they exist. Think back to the last time you reached for your favorite coping strategy – was it this morning? Last week? Just a minute ago? Most likely you do this strategy often, and it may be innocuous.

This week, however, after you identify a coping strategy that you use often, take a deep breath and pause before “opting in” and let yourself pause in that moment. Don’t guilt or shame yourself for having it – in fact, don’t even try to stop yourself from doing it eventually. Just allow yourself one breath in between your stressor and your coping strategy. Allow yourself to soften within that breath and FEEL the Bodhichittta. That softening. Allow yourself just that one moment and see what happens.

This week I did some fun things to play with fear – check it out in this blog post!

 

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