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Starve your ego, feed your soul

June 24, 2018

I believe it’s possible to live fearlessly with the freedom to go after a life full of purpose & meaning. I believe it’s possible to immerse ourselves more deeply into relationships through a greater sense of connection & love. I believe it’s possible to feel a burning desire for life & the opportunity the future presents. I believe it’s possible to be able to forgive more easily & accept people as they are, without judgement or comparison. I believe these options are available to all of us, but it requires a different way of being to what most of us know. If we want to achieve what most people don’t, we must live more in tune with our soul & less in tune with our ego:

Our ego is best explained as the voice we can hear inside our head. Think of it as a sophisticated computer that is programmed to, first & foremost, keep us safe, secure & free of embarrassment. To do its job well, it has a negative bias & focuses on the difficulties on our path ahead. It doesn’t need to pay attention to the good things, they aren’t a perceived threat.

The safest place our ego can keep us is within our comfort zone. So, in an attempt to steer our behaviour away from challenges, our ego is quick to recall & remind us (through thoughts) of any negative perceptions of past events or experiences. Because we hear this voice loud & clear within our own head, we believe it to be meaningful & something that we should therefore pay close attention to. This is why our least risky option usually feels like the most attractive one.

As someone who lived to serve my ego for many years, my drive was to tick social boxes to fit in & fundamentally look good to others. I was disconnected from love, connection & what truly made me happy. Instead, my happiness came externally from chasing girls, parties, money & materialistic possessions. These times provided moments of happiness but when they passed I was left with an empty feeling that something was missing. On the outside I was “living the dream”, but on the inside I felt an overwhelming sense that there had to be more to life!?

Whilst the voice in our head sounds like a voice of truth & staying safe is definitely a good idea, our ego won’t lead us towards a deeply fulfilling life. Instead, we will be driven to compare ourselves negatively to others & focus our thoughts on the challenges rather than opportunities around us. This way of being can lead us to feel anxious & depressed. Furthermore, by staying within our comfort zone we aren’t tapping into our greatest potential.

Fortunately there is an alternative…

It may not be as easy to hear, but we also have a natural instinct inside of our body that isn’t bothered about comparing our life to others, external validation or having more money or possessions than we need, because it’s only concerned with living in line with our deepest values. This instinctive energy is our truth, it’s what we feel within our body when our soul speaks to us.

Unlike our ego, our soul isn’t influenced by external circumstances, so it can’t be impacted by other people’s opinions or external circumstances, it’s who we are in our rawest form. It’s happy when we are living with love, compassion & kindness, unlike our ego which wants us looking good, winning, buying possessions & staying contently in our comfort zone, safe & free from perceived threats (including change and growth). One way leads us to a sense of real pride & deep rooted fulfilment, the other keeps us safe & content but, without deep fulfilment, it relies on short term gratification fixes from external sources.

In today’s developed world, it’s incredibly challenging to move away from the allure of the ego & to instead be led by the messages from our soul. Having grown up listening to an education system that told me success was a good job, money, house, car and a wife, I was once doing well in achieving what I believed would bring me “success”, & with it, happiness. The reality was I didn’t know there was a difference between surface level happiness (short term gratification) which would come & go, & deep rooted happiness (fulfilment) that would have me feeling an inner sense that I was living a full & purposeful life.

So I believe our education system conditions us to live in line with our ego from a young age, & it takes a conscious & out of comfort zone effort to change. I was lucky, in looking to confront the issues I had around sex I had strong motivation to actively look for help to change. Without that motivation, there is a chance I’d still be living my ego driven life, vacant & disconnected.

If you want to make a shift from your ego to your soul, you’ll need to learn to process the messages within you hear within you in a different way. It’s important you learn to connect with the true values within your heart & soul, because if you don’t know what really matters to you, how are you meant to live in line with those things? Meditation is one strong technique to help us do this, because by quieting our mind / ego, we allow our soul to speak. We can also awaken our soul by spending time in nature, journal writing, by choosing to be open-hearted & authentic, & doing more things that you love.

Once we know what makes us truly happy, it’s about living true to yourself. That means being prepared to live your own life that serves you, regardless of whether this is the “norm” or not. It requires bravery and a deep connection, but soul living offers us inner peace & the ability to share our true potential with the world. On the contrary, if we stay stuck in our heads, we risk living an empty & anxious life, with a lack of meaning & purpose.

With more awareness & resources around mental health, I believe we all have the opportunity to work on ourselves & make the conscious decision to align ourselves with the deeper feelings from our soul. If we can learn to make that connection & act on the messages we hear from a deeper place, we tap into a source of unconditional love, courage, wisdom, fulfilment & joy. It’s something I continue to work on (and no doubt always will), but life has changed considerably for the better for me, I know first hand the difference it can make, I recommend to you all that this is something you consciously try to work on.  

Your ego is the mask to the world. In a world full of masks, be brave enough to share your soul, its what makes you authentically and powerfully you.

7 Replies to “Starve your ego, feed your soul”

  1. My experience has included not just the tools the lie within ourselves (that you’re describing) but also something akin to divine intervention, or universal synchronicity. When I found my life changing drastically, I realized a deep unhappiness in myself that stemmed from not being in tune with my true values and thus the “real me.” I began to consciously ask “Am I the kind of person who would stop and help if I saw a car wreck? Or help a stray dog on the road?” And within a month of posing these questions, I’d been put into those situations. So I feel very strongly that, in putting those questions out to the universe, it answered and allowed me to begin to find my way back to my authentic self.
    Thank you for your openness. I believe you are bringing light to this world. And that is a truly beautiful thing.

    1. I’ve had similar experiences Jess and I firmly believe living in line with your values is the key to living with inner peace. It’s by living that way that we make ourselves truly proud of ourselves and thats a great way of living! Thank you for sharing and thank you so much for your engagement and kind words, they are truly appreciated.

  2. Wow…every time I read your posts I’m blown away…and tend to sit in peace for a while trying to process your thoughts,feelings,advice and encouragement to help others find a new way of thinking…but sadly I find it hard to be happy on the inside..I struggle to be positive ..I’ve always been a negative person as life events have made me that way…I know I don’t want to be that person,but can’t seem to be anything but that negative person…I look at my 2 children and want to be the best person I can be for them..and not have them feel the same way I do…but I just don’t know how to go about it…now your post makes complete sense…my ‘ego’ is telling me to play safe and be negative and not allowing my ‘inner soul’ to break through…there are times I am the ‘real me’ but then I tend to panic that people don’t want to hear that or see that side of me..it’s vicious circle…and now as I’m writing this I’m thinking ‘goodness your rambling on,no one wants to hear this’….so you have any books/websites I can read/follow to help me become less of a negative person and more of a positive one…

    1. Hi Louise, I am so sorry for not getting back to you sooner, I somehow missed this comment. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, you really weren’t rambling, just opening up your heart. Im not sure which book is best to recommend around this post, a lot of my understanding around this came from personal development workshops, I am more than happy to recommend these to you if that is helpful?

  3. Ben, you are so insightful and are obviously really connecting with your inner soul in the work you do.. I love this!

    I have seen the conditioning in schools often – failure does NOT seem ok. Pressures to be ‘the same’ seem to be ground into us from the minute we step into the school system. With such young, inpressionable minds it is so hard not to follow the path we have been given as we are often told as children that adults know best. Children are powerless on so many levels!

    You are such a positive advocate for mental health!! I am behind you 100% xx

  4. What an absolute inspiration to all of those children out there wondering how to ‘be’ in the big wide world. I am 100% behind you Ben! I see it first hand in the work that I do. children are conditioned Into ‘being’ just like others rather than being accepted for themselves. What an inspiration you are 💕

  5. Ben yet again I connect completely with your words. I was allowing myself to driven by my ego, my pride and reflections of negativity. This has had serious physical effects for me and my family. Fortunately I have very much opened up in the past month. I have been progressing to this point but to the outside world it looks like i’m loosing the plot. I’m not driven by fear anymore and i’m not forcing my kids into school. I have decided to unschool them and honestly believe they have learnt and grown more in the paste week than they did in 6 weeks of curriculum based education. True open mindedness is not for everyone, I get that. But getting deeper connections with myself and others is now my focus and i’ve never felt so contented or loved.
    Thank you very much for sharing yourself. You have definitely had a deep impact in my life and i’m so grateful to walk beside you
    🙏🏻🙏🏻❤️

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