Letting Go of Ego

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Dear Claudia,

I’m having trouble “awakening” to the present moment with my meditation and letting go of ego. I am plagued by anxiety and can’t just let go of it, even though I know that it is useless and unnecessary. Do you know why I can’t let go of this anxiety, or what I can do to be more at peace?

Michaela

Dear Michaela,

Many people forget that Eckhart Tolle awakened to his enlightened state the moment he realized he didn’t want to live. He was about to kill himself when he experienced his awakening, and the rest is history.

What this means is that for him to achieve presence with what he was feeling, he had to know what that was.

Often, there are unspoken feelings, sensations, and dynamics that we have not put our finger on. When you don’t yet know exactly what it is you’re feeling, you can’t always achieve presence with it.

Now, anxiety, psychologically speaking, is what’s known as a “secondary emotion.” That means we feel it in response to other, more primary emotions. Maybe sexual. Maybe aggressive. We don’t always know what that primary emotion is. That’s why we have anxiety.

I can’t tell you how many times I have helped people to discover their primary thoughts and feelings, only to witness their anxiety vanish.

And that’s when you can achieve presence with what you feel: when you know it.

The way to discover the thoughts and emotions that you are not knowing and experiencing in your conscious awareness is to allow your mind to wander, on a yoga mat, therapist’s office, or on a written page. Eventually ‒ and especially if you can be helped to accept your emotions ‒ you will land on thoughts and feelings that will feel like “aha” moments, things you did not realize or that may even feel like complete revelations. And when that happens, you will feel at peace.

You can’t attain sanity by just trying harder, exercising a positive outlook, letting go, forgiving or meditating. What you need for sanity, when reason fails, are emotional experiences. Not ideas. Experiences.

– Claudia Luiz, PsychD in Where’s My Sanity? Stories That Help

We are here to evolve, and enlightenment is not something you can turn on like a switch in your brain. It is something that requires continued meditation, continued deep knowledge of your “pain body” and continued practice in observing the ego. Don’t get discouraged – I admire you greatly for seeking answers to reconciling what is happening within you to what you recognize outside of yourself.



What Your Sleeping Position Reveals About You

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I know it’s better for me as a woman to sleep on my back, arms at my side or resting on my torso peacefully. But no matter how hard I fight, the lure of sleeping in my favorite position—curled up on my side, legs tucked bent towards my chest—is just too much to resist. Sleeping in this position simply comforting to me, and sends me right to sleep, whereas sleeping on my back is a struggle. You might have a similar predicament, with this pose or a different one. Why is it like this? Why can’t we just automatically shift to the position that’s better for us?

Your sleeping position may actually have a connection with your personality and the way you think, feel and behave. There’s enough research to indicate that the posture adopted while sleeping has a lot to tell about the kind of people we are – introverted, confident, fun-loving, trusting, or something else.

It’s along the same vein as body language. How you sit, stand, or gesture when you’re awake can be unconscious signals, such as leaning away from someone you don’t like or crossing your arms during an argument. Sleeping positions are similar, and maybe even more revealing, as you have very little control of where you end up when you’re asleep, thus sending signals that are true to you without any filters.

Here are the top six most common sleeping positions, as well as a general overview of what they can mean:

sleep fetal position

  1. Fetal Position

What It Looks Like:

Curled up on your side.

What It Means:

This is the most common sleeping position (though it’s more common for women than men). According to research on this sleep subject, those who sleep in the fetal position were found to be sturdy and strong on first impressions but introverted and sensitive at heart when better known. These people are reserved and usually take time to open up to others but when they do, they are relaxed and comfortable. The outwardly tough appearance and brave face is actually a protection against the world. People with leg cramps or conditions like the restless legs syndrome generally experience leg discomfort, and tend to adopt the fetal position.

Health Considerations

If you’re like me and are constantly curling up to your left side, you may be increasing the pressure and stress on vital organs such as the liver, the heart, the stomach and the lungs. So, if fetus is your position of choice, take care to curl up on the right side of your body.

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