Lovely Man bought me a mini-ipod thingy for my birthday so I can listen to my personal development stuff on long journeys (needless to say, only when I’m alone as he would roll his eyes and kids would revolt!).
So I’ve been listening to Sonia Choquette and I loved this idea of hers.
I’m guessing that a lot of the people reading this have their own understanding of the word ‘ego’. My A level students, described it as ‘being big headed’, ‘thinking about yourself all the time’, ‘being selfish’.
Then I introduced them to Freud who defines Ego part of our personality which has to balance the needs of Id (the part of us which wants in uninhibitted sex, violence, greed. Id is like a two year old that just wants what it wants and will scream and scream until it gets it.) and Superego (which is where rules, morals, social norms and expectations reside). The Ego has the unenviable task of meeting the needs of the Id so it quietens down, but doing so within the bounds of society.
I’m not talking about either of those definitions today…but Sonia’s.
Sonia says your Ego is a dog.
- What kind of dog is your Ego?
She describes her dog, her pet as a a poodle, which loves to look nice, have it’s hair done, look clean, have people notice it and get adoration.
As I listened I wondered what kind of dog my Ego was.
It was a Lassie dog.
Because I like to rescue people and sort them out. I like being outside and running free. I don’t like to look too groomed or kempt and in my life have had hair not dissimilar to a Lassie dog in terms of tangles and colour.
I’m a home girl really; ‘Lassie come home’ and I do. I like to be stroked and petted (I love having my hair played with and I love to get cuddles and affection). I want to be liked. I want to join in
I’m obedient and easily trained.
I’m safe with children.
I’m intelligent but like to be part of a family so rarely stand out.
I can be cowardly and snappy.
I can be territorial.
I like to herd people and round them up.
I don’t like it when people leave, I whine.
I like treats.
I need lots of exercise.
I don’t like loud noises or crowds or traffic.
I like things to be nice and for people to get on.
I’ve got loads of energy and then sometimes wear myself out.
Now Sonia says that the reason we need to get to know our pet and name it is so that we can train it. She explains that most of the time we are letting our pet drag us around on a lead, causing fights, eating too much or the wrong type, peeing in the wrong places. she says we need to name and train our pet so we can call it to heel.
This makes so much sense to me. I can be driven by my need to be part of a family and petted and this takes me away from myself and what I know is wrong for me. Yes I can be snappy and sometimes I’m too obedient and should just say ‘no’. The clearest realisations are that I don’t need to rescue people (not that you ever can) nor do I need to keep running round wagging my tail so that people like me.
So many of our human rows are caused by our Egos taking over. ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’ is no better than two dogs scrapping and ends in the same kind of pain.
Our dog Ego causes us to eat badly, steal,
Argue over who it belongs to,
have sex with the wrong people;
And generally do things we wish we hadn’t,
- What kind of dog is your ego
- What are it’s qualities?
- How does it behave?
- What is it’s name?
- Who’s in charge? You or your pet?
- Mine’s called Flora.
So if I’m not Flora than who am I? If I’m not going to let my pet lead me, then what else is there?
In my book I describe how I get in touch with Shanti.
I go within. I quiet my thoughts, focus on my breathing and wait. I might ask her a question or just tune in to her to see what she might want to bring to me. I do this alone.
Shanti is brave, calm and wise. She can be a warrior, and she can be a healer. She can be fierce in her passion, her love and her hate.
She is compassionate and forgiving.
She can see through to the truth of people and the situation and she can speak her truth regardless of how people will see it.
She is powerful.
She likes time alone, time in nature, time by the fire.
She eats what her body needs and rests when she needs to rest.
She listens to her body and watches her thoughts and emotions come and go.
Shanti knows more than Flora or I. She seems to have timeless wisdom. When I listen to her I don’t always hear what I want to hear, but I trust her more than Flora who will do anything for a stroke and a treat.
She is beautiful from the inside and doesn’t notice her outside
Shanti doesn’t care about what people think or if she gets rewarded or not. She doesn’t care about being alone or being with others. She accepts what is and looks it square on. Shanti has seen death, seen pain, lived through grief, loss, betrayal, abandonment and fear and yet she hasn’t taken it personally, she knows that such is life. She loves, laughs, dreams, and visions and she is not attached to the outcomes.
Shanti accepts what is and knows that all is well.
- What is the name of your inner wisdom?
- What qualities does it have?
Flora needs to be named and trained for it is Shanti who I want to guide my life.
Who will guide yours?