I started this blog by posting what I had already written, so the introduction is not the first post but it's fine. Who's paying attention anyway? ;)
I wasn't totally sure what I was doing with this when I started it. I had intentions of writing down pretty much everything that I knew about the topics that I talk about. Where I was struggling was in finding a place where everything came together. Cohesion was my biggest challenge. I have finally figured it out and I'm excited to call this The Art of Self-Mastery.
The blog started from self-awareness because that was the general idea; become aware of yourself within the experience, but it's more than that. Becoming aware of yourself also means becoming aware of what's going on around you, but not in such a way that it forces you to take everything on. You become aware of what's happening around you so that you can decide when to intervene, get involved, or offer advice or opinions. It gives you a choice in what you do with what's happening around you. It also frees you to walk away when you are no longer needed. This is how you stay in your power all the time.
Before you can stay in your power, you have to know you have power and you have to know how to access that power. That's where healing comes in. You see, all the stories you tell, the crazy things the mind makes up, and the emotional drama you create for yourself all keep you from accessing your power. This may sound strange, but your power will not fight to override the mind and the emotional chaos. Your power will wait for you to take control over the mind before it settles into its place within you.
Why does it work like that? Because your power knows that it doesn't have to argue. It knows that it doesn't have to demand anything from anyone. It knows who it is and why its there. It's purpose is a given and it doesn't need to prove that to anybody or anything. It waits for you to decide you're ready for it. It waits for you to figure out that it's there. You decide you're ready for it by deciding that the brain and the out of control emotions are no longer in control. You decide you're ready for it by taming the ego that you were born with.
By taming I don't mean transcending. We aren't transcending anything. The ego and personality that your body came with are part of you and they are necessary for as long as you are in human form. We don't want to or need to get rid of them. We want to give them limits and show them their rightful place in our world. All you have to do to figure out what happens when the ego takes charge is to look at your life right now. Don't like it so much? Okay, then it's time to take back your power from the ego.
The ego doesn't drive the bus, you do, and you are not your ego. The spirit's job is to guide you. It's the GPS or navigation system. The ego's job is to help you navigate the 3D reality you live in. The ego helps you in your relationships with other people. It helps your human form get things done. It allows you to function on planet Earth. It's also a passenger on the bus. You are the driver. Your spirit is the map. When you understand those roles you can teach the ego aspects of yourself how to be good passengers on the bus. To drive the bus though, you have to kick the ego out of the driver's seat and that's the hard part.
The ego gets used to running the show and it doesn't want to give up that power. The first steps and stages in the process of self-mastery are actually a show-down of sorts with your ego to gain control. When you try to take your power back from your ego, it will throw a hissy fit because it likes to be in charge. What does that hissy fit look like? The stories get wilder. The voice in your head gets louder. The emotional drama gets more dramatic. Everything increases in intensity until you finally ignore long enough that it gives up and stops. It goes and slumps down at the back of the bus and pouts for a while until it understands that it still has a role to play.
While it's slumped at the back of the bus you'll get to drag it around like dead-weight for a while. It's not confident in its new role, it's not quite sure what it should be doing, and it would much rather cause trouble than be helpful. But that's okay. The idea here is that we're slowly teaching ourselves how to be in the world in a very different way than we have been up until now.
This first part of the journey is the most bumpy. It's when the most fear and anxiety show up. It's when you question your existence the most. It's when you wonder why you're doing these things. It's when you question whether it's worth it or not. That's the ego having its fit and the only thing you can do with that is recognize it for what it is. Just allow it to be there without buying into it at all. You kind of have to ride this part out a little bit.
You're still learning how to drive at this point. The ego is having a fit. You're still figuring out how to parallel park, and the GPS seems broken because you have no idea what direction you're going in. It's a complete re-orientation in terms of how you function in the world. It takes time to adjust to. If you can get through this part and stick with it, you'll find it gets easier as you go along.
This is what causes you to run away from making any sort of change or creating any kind of balance in your life. Your ego throws a tantrum every time and every time you buy in and so it does it again the next time you try. The more you try to do something different the more it yells. If you run away, it just learns to yell louder. It's a cycle and a vicious one at that but you can change it. You have to put up with the noise for a while. You have to allow that phase to pass by without giving into it.
Sometimes I ask the question on social media - how much pain do you need to be in before you do something differently? Usually it's being maxed out on pain that causes us to finally take control back. We wait until we can't handle it anymore before we change anything. It's sort of like we wait for the ego to finally wave the white flag because that's the only way we feel like we can do what we want.
Believe me when I say I get this strategy, because it was the strategy I ended up using too, rather unintentionally. I was so miserable by the time I decided to change things, that I had scared myself. I had been depressed before. I had even tried suicide twice and what I felt in that moment was terrifying. It was a black hole that didn't seem to have a bottom and I didn't want to go exploring long enough to find out. I literally quit in that moment. I just stopped and hit the brakes. I questioned whether there was a better way to do this. I remember saying out loud to myself, "How the f*ck did I get here? What the hell do I need to do to fix it?". I got an intuitive answer which was to fix myself.
I'll be honest with you, it felt like a cop out. I was in so much pain by that point that even the thought of just focusing on myself offered relief. I hadn't even done anything yet and I felt better because it wasn't that terrifying black hole that I had been staring down not minutes before. It seemed too easy, but I agreed and decided to go with it. I had no idea what I was signing myself up for but I'm glad I did it. It not only allowed me to help myself but now it's allowing me to help other people too.
I set a couple of goals for myself that I was quite attached to because they would help motivate me when things got hard, which they inevitably did. My masculine energy, the drive, kicked into gear and I started down the path. It was a very internal journey for most of the next 5 years. I was sorting me out while trying to make sense of the crazy in my life.
The last 3 years have been far more external. It's been very focused on how I react and respond to my external world. I've been shifting relationships, setting boundaries, changing my behavior, and getting a much better understanding of how I impact my own reality.
In some ways this is easier than the first few years were. I have lots of "mad skills" now that allow me to question things, not get caught up in crazy thinking, and manage the emotions so that when life does happen, I can manage my own response even if I don't necessarily know how to respond to start with. I know how to get the clarity to figure out what I need to do and I can manage myself well enough to do that. It's been a long process and there was a lot of work to do to get there, but the reward is a much calmer life.
Your own self-mastery will come in layers. You'll have to get sorted out internally first. Once you do that, then you'll be able to start shifting the external. What will happen is that you will outgrow your reality. You'll learn how to make your existing reality more comfortable. That will give you the skills to that you need to change it without creating more pain.
Sometimes I use the analogy of getting more comfortable in the chair you're sitting in. You wiggle around, fiddle with the pillows, and maybe grab a blanket. You keep moving until you find a comfy position or spot. That's what we do with our realities. We just kind of wiggle them around a little bit. We make some minor adjustments in terms of balance in relationships, jobs, habits, lifestyle, self-care, and so on, and we use that as a launch pad to create the life we actually want. This also works if you don't necessarily have a goal in mind, you just know you don't like where you are. Adjusting your existing reality without making massive changes gives you a better idea of where you're going. It will unlock the mystery of what you truly want.
In the coming blogs and chapters, I'll be talking about all the individual bits and pieces of this process. I've already started talking about the mind and how wonky it is because it is much easier to do this if you have your brain on board. So, that's where we're going to start. Let's get your brain on board and begin the process of finding some balance. We'll talk about all the things that go into creating a balanced life and how that stuff may be playing off of the pain you carry around. Yes, we'll talk about pain too.
Don't forget to subscribe and come along for the journey. I'd love to have you.
Love to all.
This first part of the journey is the most bumpy. It's when the most fear and anxiety show up. It's when you question your existence the most. It's when you wonder why you're doing these things.