How Can I Help?
How can I help?
Such a simple question. But with huge potential.
Asking "how can I help" in any difficult situation, is a great way to get out of ego and into your true self. It takes you away from "I am just looking out for myself" to "I am interested in creating peace".
Let me tell you something about ego, more specifically, MY ego.
Going to work every day is like an ego-party for me.
I am greeted like a rock star every day by the children in my "Teddy Bear Room" at work calling my name "Katja, Katja, Katja".
Being needed (and popular) is such a good feeling and although I am professional, of course, and I know it's not about me, there is no denying that doing this work is good for my ego.
Ego is a tricky thing because we can so easily think everything is all about us and that we are the only one who "gets it".
Just look at the new President-Elect. That's how scary it is when ego runs away with the circus!
Let's talk about our ego for a minute
Our ego is not our true self. But we often think it is.
Our ego is like the thinking part of your personality. It is wondering what you look like, what others think, it gets you embarrassed, angry, offended, flattered etc. Your ego claims to know what is right.
We go to extraordinary lengths to protect our egos.
Your true self is pure energy, it is love and creativity. It is the soul of you.
How Can I Help?
Here are a few examples of how you can use this question. A couple of them may have been taken from my own practice ;-)
Your child is having a hard time. Ask, how can I help?
You're fed up with work. Try asking, how can I help?
Your sister is driving you nuts. Notice the energy you feel when you ask, how can I help this situation?
Asking this simple question will take you out of ego and into a kind frame of mind where you are looking for the greater good.
I've been listening to a 21-day meditation guided by Oprah and Deepak and in one of the meditations, he talks about "Seva" - the connection of joyful service.
What Deepak talks about being of service to others, is not the same as sacrificing yourself and doing everything for others and not looking after your own needs.
Because that makes me go "Arghh!!".
I am someone who believes that peace and joy come from the inside. Not from being a martyr and trying to please everybody else. The responsibility of your life lies with no one else but you.
So Deepak explains that by asking "How can I help?" in any given situation, we practice seeing from a place of kindness and not "what's in it for me" (ego).
Creativity and Ego
Letting your ego run the show when you create is also a sure way to actually stop your creative juices flowing.
If you have grand illusions of writing a best-seller book because anything less is not important enough, you might want to rethink your reason for writing in the first place.
Comparing your own creative journey to someone else's is another sneaky way your ego is holding you back.
But don't let it!
You are special and unique in your own soul's way of being with kindness, fairness, and curiosity. There are room and creative space enough for all of us.
Believing this is kinda going against the tide of what we're taught to believe, and so we need reminding. I know I do.