Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lego my Ego

I've taken numerous Facebook personality tests since signing up back in March, silly tests such as: Which old movie star are you? What famous painting are you? What color is your Spirit? Which of your chakras is most open? Which 60's musician are you? etc, ad nauseum. I'm lured into these tests like I'm lured to chocolate. They are highly addictive, and they feed The Ego. I am currently reading Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth (I've read The Power of Now 2-3 times) and I am learning more about the ego and the mind. He urges us to be observers of our egos and our minds, and in this way we can be free, we can be fully in the moment. I have been maditating (ha ha - now that is a great Freudian typo) meditating daily for the past month or more and practicing being present in whatever I am doing. I have been trying not to do more than one thing at once, e.g. simply walk - do not talk on cell phone while walking - simply drive - do not play radio while driving, etc. It's tough! My mind/ego wants/needs more more more.
And I've been noticing what forms I am attached to. Let me re-state this. I am noticing HOW EXTREMELY ATTACHED I am to forms. Tolle teaches us that we can appreciate form, while staying detached from it. Whoo, boy. Easier said than done. There is so much of, That thing is MINE! and This thing is ME! going on in the stubborn ego. So much labeling, judging, criticising, categorizing. So these Facebook tests are interesting in that regard. I've noticed how attached I feel to some of the results, like, "Hell yes, I'm James Dean! Damn straight!"
Tolle teaches us to become aware of our inner bodies. To tune into the energy inside of ourselves. I have been doing this exercise (close your eyes and feel your inner hands, and feet, etc.) It has been helping me to see past the external in myself and in every person I encounter - to sense their energy systems, their Spirits. It is helping me realize that we are all made of the same stuff. Of course, this is not News. It's one of those lessons I've learned before but am now able to take in a bit deeper.
Last year I had an interesting experience involving ego that I want to share. I was walking downtown on a bright summer day grappling inwardly with issues around aging and losing my younger looks when a drop dead gorgeous young woman crossed the street in front of me. She was wearing a skimpy dress and heels, and was beautiful in all the ways that our culture defines beauty. And for a few seconds I felt so thoroughly less than - she seemed to own the street - I had the most awful feeling that I could not enjoy the day as fully as this magnificent creature - that I didn't even deserve to enjoy the day as much as her (must write more soon on the topic of ageism...).
So for a brief moment I felt miserable - I was in that compare and despair state of mind - when I heard a musical tinkling of bells. I turned to see a most unusual looking young woman striding towards me on the sidewalk now, her gate uneven and jolting. She was obviously physically challenged, and as she drew near, I could see that the jingling sounds came from a tumble of small bells that she had attached with colorful ribbons to her walking stick. She was wearing a brightly patterned shirt and as she passed me, she smiled openly and stretched her face up to the sun with eyes closed, relishing the warmth. This unlikely angel set me straight right then and there, and I laughed out loud at myself.
Yesterday afternoon I was taking a break on the front step to my studio building, thinking more about the topic of ego when I heard those bells again. Lo and Behold, I could see my angel friend from last summer heading towards me. So I sat down on my step in time to catch her going by...
video

8 comments:

Jeane said...

wonderful post, Martha thanks so much - I'm traveling a very similar road right now.... :)

Susan Beauchemin said...

I just started reading the new earth--I'll let you know what I think of it in time. Think I'll go tie on some bells!

Sarah said...

I love this post Martha! So much of it resonates-especially the bit about aging and how you feel. When I think rationally I know beauty is not about looks but it is sometimes difficult to fight recieved ideas and culture. Looking forward to watching the video of the angel!

Martha Miller said...

thanks, jeane! nice to know i'm not alone! i have some interesting links re: ageism and will post about that soon...

Martha Miller said...

hey, sue - yes - let me know what you think!

Martha Miller said...

hi sarah - thankyou - we do live in an ageist culture - it's often up to artists to challenge these deep rooted dictums!!!

Carol Anne Strange said...

Hello Martha ... I've just stumbled across your blog, and I'm glad I did. What an inspiring post!

Wishing you lots of magic in your day. :)

Martha Miller said...

thankyou, carol anne! i really like your blog, too!