Choose Spirit Now
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Choose Spirit Now
Wake Up to an Exquisite Life
Published:
12/16/2014
Format:
Perfect Bound Softcover
Pages:
238
Size:
6x9
ISBN:
978-1-45259-827-7
Print Type:
B/W

Ponder this a moment: Before it was proved that the world was round, could you imagine trying to convince someone that they were really living on a huge round planet spinning around the sun? People would look at you like you were crazy!

What if I told you that most of us are living immersed in a thought and belief system (the ego) that is completely running the show, that is completely responsible for our suffering in many forms? Crazy, right? What’s crazy is the stress, anxiety, jealousy, insecurity, worry, depression, anger, guilt, loneliness, etc. that this thought and belief system causes as the ego bogs us down in the busyness of life and old engrained belief patterns, enabling us to forget the most important truth we need to remember amid this human experience.

Choose Spirit Now is a how-to for spiritual awakening, bringing together the best of both the ancient practice and teachings of yoga and the spiritual teachings from A Course in Miracles to finally free us from this ego thought and belief system by shining the light on every nook and cranny where it is hiding out. Are you ready to begin the most fascinating exploration of your own self and in the process reveal your absolute right to wholeness, happiness, and contentment as God-given gifts to all of us?

Check out ChooseSpiritNow.com to experience this book as an online retreat and for continued support for living a life fully awake.

Chapter 3

The Search for Home & Ego 101

After long searches here and there, in temples and in churches, in earths and in heavens, at last you come back, completing the circle from where you started, to your own soul …

—Swami Vivekenanda (Cope 1999, 290)

Depression

Since the childhood drama, I was prone to depression; this was my suffering to bear. I felt very alone and sad and couldn’t figure out why. Little did I know that I was probably experiencing PTSD from living in such a toxic emotional environment for so long. By this time, my parents’ fighting had stopped for the most part, but my brother, whom I loved dearly, had gone off to college. I wrote a poem at age eighteen, explaining this feeling inside of me, titled, “Abyss of Loneliness”:

Loneliness creeps into my room like smoke, quietly, but after awhile I begin to smell it and breathe it in, and it begins to choke me. But unlike smoke it won’t kill me, it will just slowly cause my body to melt into a depressing shape. My eyes search desperately for a means of escape, but then I realize I don’t want to escape. I want to become it, so I open the gateways of lonely thoughts and let them flow through my brain and around my body like a net, trapping me but enabling me to see through to the other side, the side I could be on but choose not to. The thoughts and feelings are the same ones as all the other days and nights, but they are magnified this night, bigger and more distinct. Like sharp, giant thorns burrowing into every cell of my body, piercing my nerves and pulling the corners of my mouth down hard as I sob with no clear vision of the end.

I felt very alone, very cut off from anything good or meaningful. I loved my family, but I also wanted to end the pain and suffering, the achingly deep loneliness I felt night after night. Little did I know, I had been cut off completely from what yoga calls my true nature. The ego had done what it does best in this human experience: it made me forget who I really was as one with all of creation and with God Himself. It’s interesting, though, how in this poem, I allude to my understanding that I have a choice to stay in this suffering or cross to the other side. It’s just like the ego and its thought system, to convince us to stay in the suffering, to wallow in it. It is evident here that I am deeply homesick. I am lonely for something that I cannot put my finger on, but also, on some level, I am choosing this suffering.

The Search for Home

I’m about to share two quotes. The first is from an Eastern man, Swami Vivekenanda, and the second one is from ACIM, so you can imagine that it’s Jesus speaking through this sacred text.

Both of these quotes are beautiful and seem to speak to my soul.

Swami Vivekenanda said:

After long searches here and there, in temples and in churches, in earths and in heavens, at last you come back, completing the circle from where you started, to your own soul and find that He, for whom you have been seeking all over the world, for whom you have been weeping and praying in churches and temples, on whom you were looking as the mystery of mysteries shrouded in the clouds, is nearest of the near, is your own Self, the reality of your life, body and soul. (Cope 1999, 290)

This quote gives us the sense that we are searching for God outside of ourselves. We have been convinced by our ego-self that we could never be good enough to find God within us, but once we remember that God created us in his image, then we realize that in our true nature as God created us we must be able to find God’s perfection within, God’s wholeness within, and God’s eternal nature within. If we go within, we can find (remember) what we’ve truly been searching for: our truest nature as God created us as whole, perfect, and eternal. The problem is when we are immersed in the ego thought system, the ego will convince us that this belief is egotistical (yes, the ego is manipulative enough to use itself to draw us back into its trap) and sacreligious, thus continuing to fuel our search outside of ourselves. And the cycle continues. The next quote is from ACIM:

You will undertake a journey because you are not at home in this world. And you will search for your home whether you realize where it is or not. If you believe it is outside you the search will be futile, for you will be seeking it where it is not. You do not remember how to look within for you do not believe your home is there. Yet the Holy Spirit remembers it for you, and He will guide you to your home because that is His mission. As He fulfills His mission He will teach you yours, for your mission is the same as His. (ACIM T-12.5)

Both these quotes are touching on the fact that we are homesick and we are searching far and wide for something, something that fills us up and makes us feel complete. We are searching for our true home. We are searching for God. We are searching for the remembrance of our true nature as whole, perfect, and eternal.

Everything we get or think we want in life is just a poor substitute for what we already are in abundance in our true nature, which is our true home. We have this deep memory of our true home and glimpses of it throughout life, but we don’t remember how to awaken to it or how to consciously remember it at all. For most of us, our human experience is built upon building the ego which blocks us even more from remembering our true home. It is within us, but we cannot comprehend what this means without first understanding the ego’s thought system and how to begin to undo it layer by layer.

The Ego: Constantly Building You Up or Tearing You Down

I grew up with a sister who was always told how beautiful she was; this was hard on me. I never felt pretty. I felt like I was letting my family down for my redheaded, freckle-faced looks. I actually remember my thirteenth birthday, when I opened a gift that was an ugly purse. As I opened it, this thought ran through my head: An ugly purse for an ugly girl. But I never wanted to let my mom know how I was feeling, because I felt I would just let her down.

Sometimes at night, I would sob and grab fistfuls of my belly and dig my nails into the skin as I told myself I wasn’t good enough or thin enough or pretty enough. I was experiencing the aspect of ego that likes to bash and put down and make me think I’m worthless. On the flip side, I experienced another aspect of ego that told me that one day, I would be good enough. One day, I would get the chance to make these kids see me, really see me, instead of walking right past because I wasn’t cute enough to be noticed. I realized much later that this two-faced personality/thought system going on was indicative of the ego and its goal of either tearing me down or falsely building me up. The ego’s belief system had been built so strong in me that it had totally cut me off from who I really was inside. Now I was identifying with a negative self-image, and the ego was driving me to be something more.

Ginger has been in her own “self-study” since being a kid and has enjoyed reading books on spirituality, psychology, and a number of other topics ultimately leading her to the Yoga Sutras and A Course in Miracles. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a minor in human development from the University of Alabama in 1998. She is a nationally certified and licensed massage therapist, Kripalu-certified yoga teacher and is the owner of Quiet Mind Massage Therapy & Yoga Studio. She is living the happy dream with her husband, little girl, 4 dogs, 3 cats, and lots of wild creek animals in a very hot, humid, and beautiful part of southern Alabama.

This book came to me at such a great time. I have struggled with my own insecurities for many years and this book has freed me from some of those. I am still a work in progress. I am grateful that I am not alone in this. Thanks Ginger for this book and teaching me to let go of things in my life that are only blocking me from truly being happy with myself and who I am with God.
Barkley Landis 
 
 


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