How To Keep Your Ego In Check So It Does Not Hinder Your Spiritual Growth?

Living aligned with values and truth is not always easy and, even less so, when you feel pressure to compete in order to survive. With the recent explosion of all things related to wellness and health, yoga is feeling the pressure too. The proliferation of yoga has attracted a lot more resources than it has in the past, making yoga a more attractive commodity. However, dovetailing on this popularity is “bottom line” thinking needed to survive in what has become, to me, a cut throat market. This in turn, compromises yoga’s very foundation as a spiritual practice.

I believe yoga is spirituality and spirituality is yoga- they are one. Spirituality is in the realm of the soul and resides in the loving heart. It is not possible, in my humble opinion, that spirituality is connected to something other than true love. That to me, is just not spirituality. Running a business, on the other hand,  happens with the help of the ego in the head. Inevitably the ego will but heads (excuse the pun 🙂 with your Spirit. So what can you do, as a student of yoga to keep your ego in check so it does not stand in the way of your spiritual growth?

  1. Commit to your spiritual growth. One of the  many Universal laws that govern life states that if you are not growing you are shrinking. Therefore, in my opinion, when you commit to your spirituality you are also committing to growing spiritually.  Spiritual growth cannot happen unless your spirit is running the show so your ego needs to take a back seat. There is a steep learning curve here and it doesn’t take long before realizing that moving your ego from the front seat to the back takes work and then getting it to stay there takes time.
  2. Understand growth is out of your control. Growth does not happen in a vacuum. Your Spirit is unbounded and limitless and cannot be contained. There are many components to spiritual growth. First of all the three dimensions of Body/Mind/ and Spirit need to expand. Sometimes the three grow in unison and sometimes they don’t. Furthermore your B/M/Spirit needs to keep pace, without getting too far ahead or too far behind, with the growth of others around you. This further gets complicated by the fact that every living thing has a consciousness that vibrates differently and is seeking others that vibrate at the same speed. Growth seems to have a mind of its own so all you can do is learn to flow with the flow. Like a flowing river, at times the flow is strong, at others it is weak and then at others it appears stagnant.                                                                                           
  3. Notice the role your ego is playing. Your ego will want to keep you trapped in fear where you will be worried about your “safety”- lacking in financial resources, in danger or isolated somehow. This fear will push you to be in a constant state of wanting more- To fortify your fort and stockpile resources, as it were. This need for more is what keeps you trapped in stress and anxiety until you realize that you will only feel safe when you connect to your true nature. Nothing outside of you will ever provide true safety. No amount of money, status, friends, job will ever be able to create the  “safety” you are looking for. Greed and waste are the bi-products of the ego chasing after what it thinks it needs to be safe rather than what it truly desires to be free. The ego is never happy with what is. Spirituality is all about dwelling in the perfection of the present moment.
  4. Notice the role your soul is playing.  When you experience love, peace, trust and are in a place of oneness with all there is, you are living in your soul and being guided by your inner wisdom. This wisdom wants you to remember your soul and connect to its perfection.  In Oneness there can be no competition only cooperation. How can you compete with yourself?  Does your hand compete with your foot? No they both work together, honouring the different roles they each play. Likewise, how can you compete with your neighbour who is part of the same whole as you ?
  5. Notice attachments and practice detachment.  Notice what you are attached to: money, spouse, friends, family, children, pets, home,  status, health, job, addictions, youth…Detaching from your attachments does not necessarily mean letting them go, it means realizing that your “happiness” does not depend on them. Like everything in life, the magic happens when you begin to accept.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Next event in Montreal:                                                                                                     “How meditation and mindfulness can help”                                                              Info night to learn how these practices can help you lower stress and increase inner peace.                                                                                                                  Tuesday November 27, 2018 from 6.30 to 8.30 pm                                                        2962 Rue Lapierre in Lasalle.                                                                                                  RSVP to reserve your spot Here                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance”  and the owner of Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation (NRYM)

Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation
Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness Coaching
T (1) 514.824.8510
​info@nicolerolland.com

 

 

 

 

 

How to Hold Sacred Healing Space for a Loved One?

Let’s face it, most people are uncomfortable with strong emotion- be it anger, sadness, negativity, fear, passion and even love often scares people. As a result, many will go to great lengths to avoid being confronted with emotion in themselves, or in others. They are then surprised when they witness violent outbreaks, pandemics of depression, suicide, drug abuse, mystery illnesses or even homelessness.

Emotions are catalysts for growth and change so a potent healing tool is not being used each time an emotion is suppressed.  In fact, I believe we are each being invited to learn to honour our emotions for the gifts they truly are. What can you do to allow your emotions to guide you and your loved ones into deeper levels of health and wellness?

Choice to wound or to heal 

You each have the capacity to heal or to wound with every word you utter, action you take and thought that goes through your head. (Of course, the recipient also has to make the choice to be healed or hurt). When children are forced to swallow tears, anger, criticism, or sadness for example,  feelings of shame are perpetuated  where it’s not ok for them to get their needs met by the outside world. When needs are met, children learn to trust and when they trust they can grow into adults that learn to meet their own needs. The reality is that many children, despite well meaning parents,  do not learn this lesson in the safety of the family nucleus so they need to learn it as a grown up. It’s never too late to learn this skill.

So how to learn to navigate strong emotions?

The first step is to give yourself permission to feel. Ignoring an emotion or using your will to push it away does not teach you to navigate the emotion, it simply strengthens the wound. When you skillfully navigate an emotion you allow the emotion to lead you to the healing you need. Growth happens when you heal and decay happens when you avoid.

For many, this is no easy task so you may need a loved one to be there to support you through the process- This is where learning to hold sacred space can be very handy. The trick is to become a compassionate, silent witness to whatever emotion is being expressed without allowing yourself to be triggered. If you are holding space for yourself you do this by separating yourself from the emotion. You are not the emotion after all, you are simply experiencing it at this time.  You then can become your own personal witness to the emotion you are feeling.  By the same token, if you are holding the space for someone else, all you need to do is  to compassionately witness their emotion without reacting in any way. You become the mirror that validates their experience. So, for instance if your child is crying inconsolably you can just hold them lovingly in your arms until the crying stops. If your partner is raging you can lovingly hold your ground and let them vent as much as they need to. The key is to not try to stop the flow of emotion, try to fix, argue back or give advice in any way.

Watch out! you may become triggered yourself 

What often happens here is that the pain you are trying to hold space for triggers your own pain, and you suddenly find yourself overcome with emotion. When this happens, unless you learn to hold space for your own pain, this emotion will be directed to the person you are trying to support and negate any support (and possibly even deepen their wound).

If you become triggered by your loved ones pain, you can hold the space for yourself by noticing what you are feeling- sadness, anger, frustration or whatever is surfacing for you. Get curious “Ummm, interesting- I wonder why these feelings are coming up for me as I show support for this person.” Accept the feelings without judging them, breathe and allow them to wash over you until the charge is gone.

What I appreciate most about this process is how we can each heal each other – Teacher/ student, parent/child, therapist/patient…. The limiting belief that certain people, by virtue of the role they play, are more entitled than others to heal or to teach is just not correct.

Notice the shaming statements you perhaps experienced by a teacher or a family member when you were growing up and probably even used yourself at some point: “Stop crying! Don’t be a baby! Crying is for sissies! Stop manipulating me! Stop making me feel guilty! “You may have some others to add here. As you bring your awareness to these memories,  hold space for yourself and enjoy some gentle healing.

Visualize your sacred healing space

When I hold space for others or myself, I like to visualize a bubble that fills up with the emotion and then when the emotion has been fully expressed and the charge is gone the bubble vanishes. You could also visualize a mirror, a container, a body of water or anything that makes sense to you. Simply setting an intention does the job too if visualization is not your thing. There is no right or wrong way to do this. A genuine desire to support a loved one in pain is all it takes to get the ball rolling. When you “hold space” for someone the space suddenly turns into a healing space and you become a healer.  This healing space then becomes a “sacred healing space” when this space moves you one step closer to remembering the wholeness you are, have always been and will always be.

Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland

Nicole Rolland is the author of  “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, and Abundance”  and the owner of Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation (NRYM)

Nicole Rolland Yoga & Meditation
Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness Coaching
T (1) 514.824.8510
​info@nicolerolland.com

 

 

 

 

Are You Running with the Herd or Flying with the Flock?

Like so many of us, caught on the treadmill of life, you may feel like you need to run with the herd in order to feel safe and secure. In many ways you are right. The herd does provides a measure of safety and security, but is it real?

As children, we are taught the rules of herd behaviour. As we grow up we locate and join our herd- some of us become “chargers”, you know the ones I mean- the overachievers; that charge forth fearlessly, and others find their stride easily and keep up- I call them the “striders”, a third group the “strugglers” are those that never seem to get it together, and then the “helpers” are the souls that dedicate themselves to helping their brothers and sisters when they stumble and sometimes fall. A last group, the ones I refer to as the “saboteurs”, are often maligned, but their role is oh, so crucial. Saboteurs offer an advanced course in learning and growth. Saboteurs chose to hurt themselves, or others and get whacked by the karma stick in return.

Take a few moments here to identify your role within the herd-past, present and future…

  • Charger- Charging the way
  • Strider – Running in stride in the middle
  • Struggler – Struggling to keep up
  • Helper – Helping others when they fall
  • Saboteurs – Tripping themselves and others up

You have no doubt experienced each one, in varying degrees, at different times in your life, you may perhaps notice how each one plays out in your daily life. Each role has a lesson to teach, each role is important, no one role is better, no one role is worse. Honour yourself for each role you have played.

zebra herd

Learning to be part of the herd is a good thing. When we have mastered this lesson, we no longer need the safety and security provided by the herd. When this happens it is time to leave the herd, take flight and join the radiant flock ahead.

butterflies emerging

The radiant flock of brothers and sisters  who have Stepped into Consciousness before you, shed their limiting beliefs, faced their fears and transformed.

Just like the hungry caterpillar who has turned into chrysalis, emerged as a glorious butterfly, you too are transforming into the glorious butterfly you have come here to be. You too will join the radiant flock ahead of those who have transformed before you…

Take a few moments and notice where you are.

  • Are you flying with the flock?
  • Are you looking for your flock?
  • Are you getting ready to join the flock?
  • Other? …

Soar, Be Free and Join your brothers and sisters.

Welcome to the world of Stepping into Consciousness…

Namaste,

Nicole

Nicole Rolland: Yoga, Meditation Teacher

cropped-Nicky-.jpg

Author of “Stepping into Consciousness- A Guide to Living a Life of Joy, Meaning, & Abundance

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