This is not a religious post.
I went to Saturday evening Mass yesterday at the small church on Phuket island that I had been going to for the last four years. It is a very small church built by a few families and the homilies there are always simple, warm and not really that heavy in theological content: it’s always about family, helping the poor, simple things.
Yesterday, I must admit, my mind wandered a bit as the young priest said something about aiming to be the last instead of having the ambition to be the first, the greatest. He mentioned something about ego, which drew my attention back to what he was saying. I know that word.
As a yoga teacher, that word ‘ego’ is familiar to me. We need to have ego, grow it even, at the start of our life for it is that which gives us our experience of life and its bitter lessons. But as we grow older and if we choose to embrace spirituality, we will learn that the path to long-lasting happiness and peace (=bliss) is actually to lose that ego we spent our early life building up. We begin to look inwards towards the path home, rather than hungry eyes seeking everywhere in the external world. In a yoga class, I would often say, “Shut your eyelids and turn your eyes inwards. Look inside yourself.”
You will find a rich and verdant world within. There is more adventures to be had inside than it is in travels around the globe. This is when you find peace and beauty, when you sit alone in silence on a small piece of earth, which could be your humble backyard.
When you turn your eyes inwards, you see the abundance too. You begin to feel gratitude for what you have, from the people in your life who love you, to your body, to your breath, rather than longing for what or who you don’t have. When you either chase or run away, that bliss eludes you. In my personal life, I found bliss when I stopped asking for what I don’t have or try to hold on to what that is not right for me, and said thank you instead for what I have. About four years ago, I was at Westminster Cathedral everyday, lighting enough candles to cause global warming, begging all the dead saints and apostles to give me what I had lost, going crazy and out of my mind, when I had my moment of epiphany: I realised that I already have something infinitely more valuable in my life right beside me.
So, because we are flawed humans rather than perfect spiritual beings, go chase your ambitions and dreams with the remnants of your ego, live, love and learn but don’t forget to come home often and rest in what you have.
And remember this: all you ever need is within you. The little things that you overlook in your busy life. Once you go quiet and feel the abundance of your Self, that’s when you start to radiate. Kind of like having a little sun within you ❤