12 Rounds of Ego - Lessons from an Ayahuasca Ceremony
In a recent Ayahuasca ceremony I got a first-class schooling on the power of thought and how we give our power away via our thoughts. This was quite the Ego crushing experience…and I have already had quite a few of those.
To paint a little bit of a picture, the way I experienced this lesson was like being in a dojo with an apprentice and a master. The apprentice was absolutely powerless against the master and couldn’t lay a finger on him, even if he tried…..and he definitely tried. Basically, the master in this scenario was my higher self and the apprentice was my Ego. They were both me, but different parts. Through each round of “fighting” in the dojo, I learned a new lesson about how the Ego creates disharmony and gives away power through its thought patterns.
Each lesson/round weaved into another like one big web. There was beautiful music being played by the shaman that went with it. It was a beautiful symphony of destruction. Among showing me these layers it was also showing me how to stop thought patterns and let them go through my breath.
Here are the lessons/rounds I have remembered or learned since the ceremony:
Round 1: Control
The idea of control is an illusion and it gives your power away because you restrict yourself from possibility and synchronicity. It leaves you stuck in your head and is a huge waste of energy. You are not in control, you are a co-creator, and there are other forces at play here.
The opposite expression of control is surrender. Surrendering control (which is the first thing you need to do during an Ayahuasca ceremony) will open you up to co-create with these other forces. It will open you up to synchronicity, to faith, to trust, and to a whole new sense of power. Not to mention you will spend less time in your head, less time disappointed, and less time frustrated. It will be a wise decision to surrender control. Watch your mental energy rise and your sense of peace begin to flourish.
Round 2: Time
This is a tricky one for us all. It is largely a waste of energy to worry about time, especially considering round one. Constantly wondering when things will happen is what I am referring to. That constant wondering and questioning is likely to just make whatever it is you are concerned about to take even longer. It keeps you from surrendering, letting go, going with the flow, and being present.
The opposite expression of this is of course presence. Being in the here and now, the only time that actually exists. Focus on being present and you will flow through life with more joy and a greater amount of synchronicity and far less stress.
Round 3: Needing/wanting to be special
Wanting to be special and different from other people keeps you in an Ego trap that is fed from other people’s opinions. It also keeps you from seeing the inherent uniqueness of others and what is special about everyone. This is giving your power away because you are not centered on your own inner knowing of your worth.
The opposite expression is knowing you are enough and seeing everyone and everything as special. Start to notice this about other people.
Round 4: Over-thinking
Thinking is powerful, useful, necessary, and unavoidable. But to always be thinking, and not feeling, is a trap and keeps you from your true power and all your senses. We often are trapped in thinking, when we would be better served by feeling.
The opposite expression is of course feeling. Return to your feelings and let go of the over-thinking. The mind is not designed to be in control all the time, and it is usually when you allow your intuitive feelings to guide you that your life will transform. Another opposite expression could also be relaxing. Relax, let it go, whatever it is you are trying to figure out will come to you. No need to over-think it.
Round 5: Needing to know
The constant need to know is a trap towards over-thinking. It gets you stuck in the mind. Needing to know when (like round 2), where, why, and the how of everything is usually a symptom of control (round 1) and a lack of faith and trust. It can sometimes stem from excitement, but that is usually not the case and more often it stems from worry. Hold the space of the unknown and good things will befall you.
The opposite expression is trust and faith. Surrender and trust in divine timing and a higher plan.
Round 6: Being right
This is an Ego trap that keeps you from being vulnerable, learning, connection, and being open to possibility. It leads you towards ignorance, pain, and self delusion. This is a dangerous one my friends. Never hold on to any beliefs so tightly that you wouldn’t let them go when something better comes along. Most people would rather be right than happy.
The opposite expression is a beginner’s mind, curiosity, and vulnerability.
Round 7: Meaning
Asking “what is the meaning?” of everything. Wanting to know the meaning of every interaction or event throughout the day. Constantly analyzing for the meaning or problem in something keeps you in your head and out of your inner knowing. We are the givers of meaning in our lives. Don’t get caught up trying to interpret everything.
The opposite expression is letting answers come to you instead of constantly searching. You may also simply decide what something means, particularly in a positive frame.
Round 8: Significance
This is similar to needing to be special, except perhaps more dangerous. It’s dependent on opinions, will leave you drained and still feeling inadequate no matter what you accomplish.
The opposite expression is beauty and being enough. See the beauty all around you and in people, not just their significance.
Round 9: Being broken or needing fixing
If you think you need to be fixed before you can do or have something you will never get there. This keeps you small, stuck, and gives your power away.
The opposite expression is wholeness. You are always whole, even as you heal.
Round 10: When, then
The idea that When something happens, Then you will do something. For example, “When I get a raise, Then I will start putting more effort into my work.” This is a good way to never actually do make a change or reach a goal. This is totally giving away your power to outside circumstance before you decide to do something or be someone.
The opposite expression of this is when you flip the script. An example is "When I lose weight, then I will be more confident.” The truth is, deciding to be more confident is what will lead to weight loss. Another example is, “When I am financially wealthy, then I will give freely/be more generous.” Instead, it is when you give freely that financial wealth will be attainable. This is the path of personal power.
Round 11: Thoughts of others
This one came in when I heard the person next to me. Certain thoughts come into our mind that are not even ours. That’s one of the reasons why it is important to not identify or attach to your thoughts. Some of them literally aren’t yours. If you claim those thoughts instead of letting them go then you can cause unnecessary suffering.
The opposite expression or way to deal with this is by being mindful and grounded. When you are mindful you can identify these hijacking thoughts happening, recognize where they came from, and refocus on something that comes from your truth.
Round 12: Spending too much time focused on thoughts and Ego
Ironically, the last one to come to me was giving too much attention to your Ego and the ways that we give our power away. Yes, we must be aware, but it is more important to focus on living the opposite expressions, not just looking for the “bad”. So let your Ego/unwanted thoughts know who is in charge and focus on cultivating the solution rather than getting dragged down trying to identify the problem.
Of course there are endless layers to the Ego and this is not a finite list. This is simply a handful of specific ways I was shown that the Ego impacts our lives in a disempowering way. You could even look at them all as one. Like I mentioned it was like a huge web that doesn’t end but keeps weaving in and around each other, one thing leading to the other.
The main message here for me was not so much all the details of the way Ego and giving power away via thoughts is expressed, but that our thoughts are energy and they are incredibly powerful. I’ll definitely be writing more on how to heal and reprogram your mind, but in the meantime be gentle with yourself. Don’t worry about a negative thought here and there. Just catch it and reframe it. Cultivate the power of your mind. Feed your mind with positive information. Choose thoughts and words wisely. Let your mind be your best friend, not the enemy standing in the way of whatever you are working on.