Stick with the plan
The ego has a lot of tricks up its sleeve. It will use all kinds of distractions to keep us off course. It tends to get really uppity right when we start to listen to our Inner Teacher.
Just about all but a saintly few of us are works in progress. Assume you and I are going to have egoic energies influencing our thoughts and feelings and behaviors for a long time. The key is not to try to be without ego (impossible) but to begin to identify faster and faster when our ego has taken over and is running the show.
Afterall, it's been in charge so long we think its dysfunction is "normal" and the chaos that it creates is just "how things are."
Remember, too, we can't see what's unconscious. A Course in Miracles teacher Ken Wapnick said, "If you look in the mirror and someone looks back, assume you have an ego." Now that's pretty final for most all of us. It is SO much better to assume there could be more ego lurking than to pose as "enlightened" and set ourselves up for a crash.
That's right. Just get over the idea that there's a finish line...that will save you lots of traps. Wouldn't it be the ego that would worry about it in the first place?
Good. You heard that one. Now you can settle into your work.
Stick with the plan
One of the ways that the ego will come in and derail us is by casting doubt on the plan of action we're about to take. The ego is actually a defense against truth, so when a deep part of us determines to step back and be led by Truth, it will pull out all the stops trying to steer us off course. (My previous post - Navigating Tips On The Spiritual Journey - Part 2 - offered pointers for helpful structure to stave off the kind of chaos it likes to keep us busy with. You may also want to read that one.)
When we received the inspiration earlier that morning (or last week, last month, last year) etc. we may have known clearly it was guided:
We could feel the idea drop in from a source of inspiration that was not part of our thought stream perhaps.
We could sense a peace and spaciousness in us around the plan....a feeling of release and lightness and maybe even happiness/joy.
We may also have been given the first step -- or two or three -- that would launch us on our way.
But then -- the moment we're to actually take the step at hand, we suddenly start to question whether we're doing the right thing.
That devil named "Doubt" sets in.
Maybe we don't FEEL like it suddenly...
"Ugh, get on a plane to Florida? But the plane coffee is terrible, and there will be PEOPLE in Florida...."
We think of other crushing priorities we should be doing...
"I can not wait a minute longer...I really must get to the task of cleaning that that sock drawer..."
We are suddenly overcome by irrational fear...
"But what if I go broke, they hate me, I forget my point, the sky falls..."
There are very few times when this sudden change of heart is actually guidance. It's much more likely to be egoic resistance.
Still, it is possible that yesterday's guidance is not today's guidance. So how do you tell the difference?
That's not easy at first. I encourage you to discipline yourself to staying the course unless you get clear input that reconfigures your plans. Release ALL your preferences and attachments to outcomes, comforts, security, etc. While we are holding on to our wants/preferences/fears, we are most likely going to receive a bounce back that we call "guidance," but which is really ego. It's like yelling our confused desires into an echo chamber.
Have you released? Good.
Now ask again - what would the Holy Spirit (Universe, Jesus, Angels, Self, whatever symbol you prefer) have you do?
If you aren't sure, you can a) pause, or b) go about your business following the original plan. The ego makes everything seem urgent, so pausing is a great way to turn the tables. And if you just continue to follow your plan -- but you are unattached to outcomes and willing to follow -- you'll be rerouted effortlessly if that's in The Plan.
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