Next week, I will be joining the HR department to oversee staff training and employee welfare in the family company. It is a move that I have been wanting to make for a while, but until recently, I was obsessing over my voluntary “demotion”. You see, the role that I agreed to undertake is a rank lower than my current position. And I’ll be taking a pay cut too. My soul was saying, “Yes! You are dedicating a life of service to others.” But my ego was grappling with the downgrade. Was I really okay with a lower salary and a less significant job title? HR isn’t traditionally viewed as an important unit in the company. Will my colleagues be wondering why I have chosen to go into HR, when there are more crucial business functions to carry out? Will they look down on me? Am I even good enough to get the job done? After all, I have zero experience in HR.
To add on to my inferiority complex, I was comparing myself to my friends. My friend’s wedding was coming up in a couple of months and she wanted to discuss wedding details. I was going to be a bridesmaid again. I was happy for my friend, but when was it going to be my turn? Screw feminism and the spiritual path. Being 34 and single sucks. My friends were doing a good job of adulting. Successful career? Check. A husband? Check. Kids? Check. Everyone was moving ahead with their lives, but I was stuck in the spiritual gutter speaking to my dog’s higher self. Really? I mean really?
“Seriously human, are you done berating yourself? Because I’ve got an important message to deliver.”
In a previous post, I shared that I was receiving guidance from an amazing coach and spiritual mentor. Every week, we meet online for an hour and at the end of the session, my coach gives me homework to assist in my personal growth. The homework was to get in touch with my spirit guides; not through meditation, but in my waking moments. “Talk to them as if you are in conversation with them,” said my coach. She can access her guides faster than I can say abracadabra. Wow. If only I could be “tuned in, tapped in, turned on” as Esther Hicks likes to say. Is it really that simple? I guess it could happen for me too.
One morning, I was sitting on the train on my way to the gym. I glanced at the adverts on the opposite wall. One of them read “Jobs that matter”. It was a recruitment advert. The one next to it said “Show that you care”. It was placed above the seats reserved for the elderly and the disabled. Was that a message from the universe? Kind of? Sort of? Like a half-message? “Oh, for heaven’s sake! Stop looking for a sign. Just speak to your guides,” I told myself. I figured I would call on Morpheus. I needed advice on how to quiet the ego. Dogs do not have an ego. I bet he could help me.
As I walked through the entrance of the gym, I was greeted enthusiastically by the receptionist. She is a taciturn woman who doesn’t say much at all, but she gave me a broad smile. “How was your weekend?” she asked. “It was good thanks!” I replied. “Enjoy your workout!” she chirped. Weird. Earlier that day, I was crossing the road and a delivery driver gave me a big smile. Where were all the smiles coming from? Was I radiating invisible rays of light? Did I have toilet paper stuck under my shoe? Was I ascending to the 5th dimension? Beam me up, Scotty!
“I gotta stay grounded,” I reminded myself as I hopped onto a treadmill. I started running. “Where are you Morpheus?” I called out to him in my mind. He didn’t come immediately, but when he did, he launched into it right away, “The ego is an imposter,” said Morpheus. “Would you let an imposter into your home let alone your inner sanctum?”
“Geez, a hello would’ve been nice,” I thought. His tone was more insistent than usual.
No time for hellos. He took off running into a golden wheat field (very much like the picture I have at the top of this page). I followed him with my third eye. In reality, I was running on that bloody treadmill. “I hate cardio,” I thought.
Morpheus barked at me to keep up. His tail was wagging.
(That’s him going for a run in the garden when he was a tiny pup.)
All of a sudden, I was on a racecourse looking down at the head of a big brown horse. This majestic animal had a mane of jet-black hair that was streaming in the wind. We were running in the middle lane, and I could feel the energy of two horses on either side of me. As a city girl, I have never been in the presence of real horses, but in that moment, they felt like powerful beings. The horses were snorting and panting as they galloped full speed ahead. The pace was breath-taking.
Morpheus spoke, “The game of the ego is very much like a racecourse. The ego lives in a world where there are winners and losers. The fastest one is declared the winner and receives many accolades. The slowest one is called a loser and receives nothing. You humans even place bets on who is going to win or lose. The ego plays this game over and over again. It is like an addiction. The more time and money you invest in the ego, the more it wants to win.”
“It’s a dog-eat-dog world,” I thought. No pun intended.
Morpheus wasn’t amused. He was being unusually serious. He continued, “These horses couldn’t care less about winning or losing. They love to run for the sake of running. Speed and power are in their very nature. They do not need a group of spectators to validate their power. The question is, do you choose to be the horse or the rider? Do you choose to play the game or do you choose to be free like the horse? It is all about perspective. You’re not here to win. You’re here to transcend the game.”
I began to rise up. I could see the crowds cheering below in the stadium. I had a bird’s eye view of the scene unfolding. Everyone wanted to win big. I could sense their heightened emotions, but I felt strangely disconnected from it all. I could see the whole set-up. It’s just a game. There are no winners or losers, only those who see through the illusion and those who don’t. It gave me goosebumps.
I felt like I was in a daydream. My mind was somewhere else, but I was still aware of my feet pounding the treadmill. I was physically and emotionally tired. “How can I feel better about life?” I asked Morpheus.
“Make a conscious decision to step out of the game. It begins with a choice. Cooperation or competition? Working together or against each other? The ego dies when you make “sacrifices” for the collective. Sacrifice your salary and the fancy job title. Who cares if others perceive it as regression on the corporate hierarchy? Every choice you make for the greater good is the undoing of the ego.” He left me with those words.
I realised then that I wasn’t making a sacrifice. I was making a contribution. I wasn’t regressing, I was progressing. I was bowing out of the game with grace, and I was taking a step forward in service of the collective. The spiritual teacher, Ram Dass, once said that the objective isn’t to become a somebody, it is to become a nobody. When we shed the ego there is nothing left but conscious awareness. In that space of nothingness, you will find oneness.
As I’m writing this, I feel I am meant to share a message that appeared on my salad box. I bought a salad for lunch today and there was a sticker on the takeout box that read, “One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone”. To all of you who feel alone in your struggles, know this “Separation is an illusion created by the ego. You are never alone, because we are all ONE.”
Separation is an illusion created by the ego. You are never alone, because we are all ONE.