We are complex human beings with our own version of reality, worldviews and behaviors that are a result of our memories, conditioned lives past/present, conscious/unconscious thought patterns, and sense perceptions. Otherwise known as the Ego, or ahamkara in Sanskrit, the “I” as maker or doer. The ego's essential function is to keep us in survival mode with the world, directing our desires, building our support system, and preserving our duties and roles. But, when there is an over identification with the ego, our sense of identity becomes dependent on the "I,” and dominated by external experiences. Thus, when things do not go according to the ego’s plan, then stress and pain in the body, mind, and emotions build up. Over time, this leads to dis-ease or problems that perpetuate into confusion and chaos, eventually leading to behaviors that may not be in alignment with the true essence of our nature - which is beyond the limitations of the ego.
In traditional psychology, the therapeutic focus is based on three values:
Physical - the external framework of who you are; your different roles, relationships, and narrative of your life.
Mental - the internal belief system; your faith, your values, your intellect.
Emotional - the feeling center; your response and reactions to your senses and circumstances in the environment.
These three principles are based on identifying cognitive perceptions and behaviors. These change and adapt as you mature and grow throughout your life. Any one of the three principles can also hinder, hurt, and keep us stuck when change is resisted.
There is a fourth principle, Spiritual - the true self - union of mind, body, and spirit as easeful whole being. The true self also known as Atman in Sanskrit, is the innermost essence of unbound potential, acceptance, and connectedness. Spiritual awareness is a source of creative, imaginative, intelligent, confident, contentment, and compassionate nature. When the spiritual aspect is disconnected, there are various levels of destructive patterns and addictive behaviors that can keep one feeling fearful, hopeless, often taking on the victim role, and perpetuating the problems.
The true self is the basis for being deeply optimistic, confident, and steadfast about how life turns out and who you really are, behind the shadow of doubt and confusion, trigger and trauma.
When all four principles are well integrated into the process of healing, then we get to choose how to live our lives - with deeper knowledge, meaningful presence, and harmony.
When I coach clients, it is often always the problem that brings one to asking for help and guidance is the struggle with the ego identification - “I need a new job but can’t find one," or “I can’t sleep”, or “I can’t lose weight,” or “I can’t deal with my partner’s x,y, and z.” We all have experienced something similar, and I think we can agree that if given a real choice, we don't want to live with that narrating and limiting our life. Simply being aware of that is the first step towards change. Next is taking the steps to ask for help, and take skillful actions without needing to predict the outcome.
When the client makes the investment in working with a certified coach or licensed therapist that specializes in total wellness within an integrative and holistic framework, healing is the essential process towards health, with lasting solutions to any problem that may arise.
To learn how the four principles work together in creating change and to receive a free meditation on how to connect with your True Self, I invite you to a free 20 mins session to learn how to tap into it quickly, and how you can access it anytime an obstacle arises.
To get started, connect here.