For those of you who were inspired by Lisa Messenger’s incredible story and personal insights from Part One of our podcast with her, then you’re going to love Part Two of our interview where you’ll get more of Lisa’s beautiful, raw honesty as well as a look inside her latest…
Why the Eff didn’t they call me?
So two weeks ago I put my first book out into the world. It is an exciting and interesting time. Exciting for obvious reasons; seeing your name in print, finally being a published author, the first time seeing the book in the book store (front cover out – a big deal!). All very exciting. And it has been interesting in many ways too.
The most interesting thing I have witnessed over the past few weeks has been my almost daily (if not hourly) journey between ego, fear and spirit. Let me explain. When we are in our ego, it is all about ‘me’. Me, me, me, me, me. We are the center of the universe, and the phrase that pops into our minds and out of our mouths sounds something like ‘Don’t they know who I am?’. Yes I know, sounds nice doesn’t it? Not so much! But we all live in that place from time to time. And the time when you put a book out into the world is certainly a key time for the ego to raise it’s pretty little head and say, ‘Yo – here I am world, what you got?’
This has been especially relevant for me in the past two weeks, with the book just fresh out on the shelves, and my publicist busy drumming up interviews. My book is called Getting Real About Having It All, and since the July Anne-Marie Slaughter article in The Atlantic called, ‘Why Women Still Can’t Have It All’ it has been a topic written about widely, deeply and frenetically. In the weeks since my book was published, you could hardly pick up a magazine or newspaper without the topic being front and center. Of course with my content fresh into the reader sphere, I instantly expected that journalists would know who I was and be calling in rapture to speak with me about this very topic that anyone and everyone wants to comment on (of course right!).
So on Sunday I pick up the ‘Sunday Life’ lift out in the Sun Herald and see the cover story and feature on What Women Want, with about eight pages dedicated to survey results from women commenting on everything from body, to sex to work and you guessed it, to having it all. I sat reading the article, and, you guessed it again, the thought screaming in my head louder than a freight train was ‘Why the f**k didn’t they call me????’ I have this hot new book on this exact topic, my publicist has been talking to the paper about a feature, etc etc etc. Why didn’t they call???
It is funny to look at that now, after having had a good laugh with my best friend about my reaction. But it wasn’t funny at the time. I felt miserable and I felt like a failure because the journalist didn’t call me. This is how we react to things when we are living in our ego. It is all about us, all of the time, and it feels pretty awful to be in that space. Think back to a time when you have been living from that place and you will feel that energy and know what I am talking about.
I also reflected on this recently when I heard about Oprah doing her Super Soul Sunday special on a new generation of spiritual leaders. She is featuring Mastin Kipp from the Daily Love; Gabrielle Bernstein, author of Spirit Junkie; and Marie Forleo, a leading teacher for female entrepreneurs. The first thought that occurred to me when seeing this line up was, ‘I wonder how Danielle is feeling?’ Danielle LaPorte is a beautiful author and kick-ass spiritual teacher, and in the same power posse as Gabrielle and Marie. It would not have been out of line for her to have the thought, ‘Why didn’t they pick me?’ and I have wondered many times since if this was a thought that ran through her head. Yes, this would have been ego based, but not off base if you ask me.
Now all of this is not just about the ego, because the ego’s best friend is fear. Thinking back on my reaction today, once I had the thought about why no one called me for the article (ego) my next thought was, ‘well, what if no one calls me – ever?’ Yep, that is the fear right there, and at the base of that thought, is the question that we all grapple with from time to time if we are to be really, truly honest with ourselves – ‘what if no one loves me?’ That is perhaps the most fear inducing thought we can have, because at the heart of it, everyone really just wants to be loved.
The problem with ego and fear, other than the obvious – you know, they make us feel like crap – is that they take us away from our spirit, and they make it really difficult for us to tap into our intuition about what is really going on. One of the most important qualities we have is our inner voice, our inner wisdom. It is the thing that can guide our lives toward living our passion, living on purpose, and fulfilling our dreams. But we have to be tuned into it to get on the right station.
There is a line from A Course In Miracles that says ‘when you are certain of the outcome you can afford to wait and wait without anxiety’. I just love that. In the process of launching my book this has been a very meaningful sentence for me. It holds great wisdom. I know on a very deep level that my book is going to serve many women, women who are seeking to build a successful career and create true wellbeing in their lives. I have an amazing publisher in Hay House, the dream publisher for self-development authors, and I have absolute faith in the journey I am on. That is my knowing. And I know that the book’s journey is going to be exactly what it needs to be, exactly when it needs to be it.
But that doesn’t mean that the ego doesn’t want to come to the party, and that fear isn’t also along for the ride. They both want their shot of vodka and they will be the last stayers at the party if we let them. So what do we do to tune in to our inner voice, to trust our knowing, and stay connected to spirit?
– Just breathe – Sounds simple right? Well it is really, but we don’t do it effectively all of the time. I have felt myself this past week literally holding my breath, and finding it really challenging to do the deep belly breathing that is usually normal for me. When we breathe deeply into our belly, we engage the relaxation response, we become present and we are in the moment. This helps connect us to spirit and let go of the ego.
– Meditate – Once you have the breathing down, sit quietly in meditation and just be still, focusing on your breath. When we quiet our mind, we help to silence the inner critic that our ego fuels with fear induced thoughts. Sitting in quiet meditation twice a day, and whenever you need to bring back your balance and connect with your spirit, is a fast track way to disconnect from the ego and get back to your knowing.
– Think abundance, not scarcity – the ego really has a field day when we are thinking with a scarcity mindset, instead of an abundance one. When we are in scarcity mode, we think that if one person has something – a feature article, an interview with Oprah, a book deal – that there is no room for anyone else. This is simply not true. We live in an abundant universe and the more we can hold that thought and live from that place, the more we can hold space for magic to unfold in our lives.
– Have faith – when we are tuned in to our inner voice, we get very clear on what is real for us, what our truth is, and what path we are on and why. When we know and trust this voice, it becomes easier to look at the hysterics of the ego as a small child who is misbehaving and trying to get our attention any way possible. The less we buy in to that, and stay tuned in to our truth, the less power and grip ego and fear have on us.
Whilst we can laugh at the title of this post, and it is funny in retrospect – it is not amusing to live in fear where our ego rules the kingdom of our lives. Tuning in to your inner voice, listening to what is true for you and trusting yourself, are powerful and life-changing tools to live a life in spirit, and feel the love wherever you may find yourself.
This blog post was first pubished on the Wellness Warrior blog by the fabulous Jess Ainscough. Check it out, and sign up for Jess’s daily blog on all things wellness related. The girl totally rocks!