My ego took a trip yesterday.
It wasn’t a long trip, but it was long enough for me to realize that no matter where I go, my ego comes with me.
You gotta pack the right ideas, thoughts, feelings, beliefs or your ego will attempt to step in and sidetrack your journey.
One of the foundational processes of Choices Seminars is to find your contract word(s) that will remind you, in those tight or sticky moments of life, about how and who you need to be to create the more of what you want in your life.
When I first went through the program in 2006, my contract statement was, “I am a passionate and fearless woman.” It didn’t take long for Thelma Box, the founder of Choices to ‘out’ me. It happened in one of the Coaches circles that take place before the trainees come into the room. The coaches talk about the process and how to move the trainees through it. In this instance, we were discussing Contracts when Thelma mentioned that one word contracts are best but two words are okay too.
As I sat and listened to the conversation I started to smile at myself. I hadn’t played the ‘Contract Game’ with much integrity when I went through the program as a trainee. In fact, the chip on my shoulder was big enough that my ego and I figured I knew everything they were trying to teach because I’d already done all my work.
Coming back to coach I quickly realized how I had been playing self-defeating games while I was in the room as a trainee.
On this morning, as we discussed the Contract process with Thelma, I put up my hand and said, “I have a two word contract but it doesn’t actually work for me.” When Thelma asked for clarification I explained how anyone who knows me quickly recognizes that I am passionate about what I do. I had stuck the word I was comfortable with before the word I most needed to be. It was kind of a smokescreen, I told her.
For the next seven years, “I am a fearless woman” became my contract.
And then, a series of events gave me pause to consider if Fearless was keeping me walking with integrity in my life. With the help of Mary Davis, Thelma’s daughter and facilitator of Choices, I changed my contract statement to, “I am a trusting woman.”
For me, trust is a big word, and being trusting can be a real challenge. It means I have to trust myself to be okay, no matter how the winds blow. And that’s what a Contract word is about. It’s meant to be that statement of self that reminds you of your power, your capacity to live your dreams, to stand tall and proud when your ego/critter is pounding you with thoughts and feelings of your deficiencies. It’s that statement that says, “Your limiting beliefs are not the truth about you. The truth about you is….” And you fill in the blanks with your contract statement.
For three years, I am a trusting woman, was a powerful statement for me. And then, as often happens as we grow more assured and confident in our capacity to stand fearlessly and lovingly in our own light, I realized that I was still hiding behind a contract word that, while powerful for me, did not keep me walking fearlessly in my truth, in every circumstance, every kind of weather.
In April, when I coached for the first time in a couple of years, I realized how my Contract statement was still my ego’s way of keeping me from walking my truth. Yes, I need to trust myself. I need to walk with and in integrity to do that.
And that is where my ego most often challenges me.
It wants to lure me off my path by telling me it’s okay to not ‘do the right thing’.
It wants me to let go of taking care of myself with its insistence I’m too tired or don’t have enough time.
It wants me to act out when I am feeling frightened or alone or like nobody cares or like I don’t matter.
Or, like yesterday, it wants me to take a little trip that does not serve me well.
Our egos have their purpose. But, when the ego hisses from the darkside of our fears with its insistence we get small and hide our light, the ego is not acting in our best interests. It is acting out of fear.
For me to stand fearlessly in the light of my own brilliance and be a light for others to stand in theirs, no matter how dark the times, I must claim my truth – I am a woman of integrity. (A woman of integrity will clean up her messes, and even more importantly, avoid making one in the first place.)
Ego trips can be fun (in a sick kind of way) but what’s even more fun is to know we are living life, no holds barred. No stone unturned. No dream unlived.
To do that, we’ve got to give up ego trips and play the game of life as if everyone is watching. Because what we do in the dark is a reflection of who we are in the light of our own brilliance.
May you shine bright today. May you dance as if no one is watching and live as if everyone is. Because, what you do today, who you are and how you are, matters.
Contract words are found through a process of discernment and self-assessment. For me, it has been an evolving process. One where listening to my heart required being able to discern the difference between my ego/critter’s insistence it knows best versus my heart’s truth calling me to stand in my own light. It has required patience, self-compassion and love.