Do you sometimes stumble over your ego, and then realize that if you gently would let go, things would just be that much easier? For me this is an ongoing fight against my competitiveness, stubbornness, and yes quite a bit of pride. The penultimate metaphor for ego comes from Disney’s Aladin:
…which is what Ego wants.
…which is what Ego achieves. Because we are caught in the illusion.
There were a couple of conversations lately that brought the focus back on Ego. Luckily, there are always teachers when you need them:
During my undergraduate degree I did Tai Chi with sword. Our teacher was a Chinese lecturer who started the course in his spare time. Now, my friend and I were best in class, and we knew it. One day we went through a fairly complex motion, when he made us stop in the middle of it. We stood on the left leg, holding the sword in the right hand above our heads pointing to the turned heal of our right foot and holding the left hand in a fancy pose.
Now, I got rather cocky because I knew I nailed that movement, which was obviously written across my forehead. There might have been bold lettered neon signs involved.
The teacher made his way down the first line of students, in which I stood. He corrected each student, and we he came to me, he stopped. Just ever so slightly the teacher lifted the corner of his mouth, and then turned around. He proceeded to correct very slowly (gosh soooooo slowly) and deliberately every other student in class. Meanwhile, I was too proud to move, sweating blood and tears to avoid shaking—mind you all still standing on one leg, twisted like an Octoberfest Pretzel—until he finally was done with the whole class and came to me. Only to pause again—for about three hours. He just kept judging my form. Finally! Finally this barely noticeable smile emerged again, he nodded and then ever so slightly twisted my left hand (the fancy pose one) a quarter of an inch.
My friend, who stood next to me cracked up laughing.
My Ego got a big smack on the ear.
It still echoes.
I am still grateful.
It helped me do my own smacking.
But the Ego is persistent.