That Ego Feeling

by Andrea Chilcote

The following post appeared originally on The Spirited Woman where Andrea is a weekly blogger. This summer, followers of this blog will enjoy bi-weekly archived posts that have appeared on The Spirited Woman but never before on this site. 

Earlier this week I was talking with a client about balancing the seemingly contradictory demands that create a significant amount of angst in a corporate leader’s life. In day-to-day practice, it’s really tough to make decisions for the good of the company when sometimes those decisions are not good for the business unit. It’s a challenge for executives to be involved and connected at all levels without usurping lower level managers’ autonomy. And, anyone who works in a for-profit business knows that at every turn, the delicate balance of delighting customers and maintaining profitability must be maintained.

We talked about how human ego plays into these decisions, and very quickly the conversation became philosophical. “What do you think ego is?” he asked me. “Is it ever a good thing?”

He cited Eckhart Tolle’s classic work The Power of Now, and we both agreed that Tolle might say there’s nothing good about ego. I told my client I saw ego as a separation from who we really are, and that “who we are” is not a unit but a part of a whole. In that way, no individual is ever separate from his or her corporate peer or competitors – we just think we are, and that’s the problem.

There’s more though. As humans living on the earth, we are each a “self,” connected to all things visible and invisible, but still separate. If this human experience is the ego, the only way to rid ourselves of it completely is to no longer be here in form and that’s certainly not the answer for me or my client.  But here’s the gem. The very moment we observe, rather than identify with, our egocentric “I-me-mine” thoughts and feelings, they dissipate. And our unique and grand selves can go about the work we signed up to do, making decisions that are sometimes imperfect but come from our best and highest self. From our hearts perhaps, not from our egos.

After that call, I came upon a post by a friend. He titled it “Hearts eye.”

Heart’s Eye
“Ego looks at things and people with the eyes in our head. Intuition looks them with the eye in our heart. Have your ego’s eyes gifted you with opportunities (most call problems) that caused you angst? Mine sure have. The eyes in our head see much less than what we give them credit for seeing. Spend time getting to know your heart’s eye, the source of intuition and inner knowledge – for it comes from your soul or Higher Self. Its guidance always is for your highest and best good for all concerned.” – Jackson Hanks 

For some time I’ve been writing that we must learn to lead with our hearts, and make decisions from a place of balance. Our heart provides the guidance we need when either choice seems flawed or contradictory.

The next time you get that ego feeling (you know, superiority, judgment or even the ugly ones like righteousness and victimhood) – stop, and as Tolle would advise, become aware. Look with your heart, and feel the shift. I’ll be practicing along with you.

“You got to look at things with the eye in your heart, not with the two eyes in your head.” –Lame Deer, Medicine Man of the Oglala people

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