Let me share a story that illustrates the power of the false self:
In the l960’s, the United States received a gift from another country, which was a rare and beautiful white tiger named Mohini. For years, Mohini lived in the Washington, D.C. National Zoo, spending her days pacing back and forth in a12-by 12-foot cage, continuously walking the same figure-eight pattern hundreds of times a day….every single day.
After many years, zoo officials decided to build her a much larger habitat, which would include several acres of trees, grassy hills, and a pond.
In this lush environment, Mohini would be able to run, climb, and explore.But when she arrived at her spacious new home, Mohini did not respond the way they had expected. She did not rush out to eagerly explore what would seem to be her natural habitat. Instead, she immediately ran to a far corner of the compound, near a wall, and began pacing back and forth within an area 12- by 12-foot square. She paced the same figure-eight pattern until the grass was worn bare. She continued this behavior until the day she died.
My clients find this story of Mohini to be a powerful image that helps them to see how they get stuck walking their own ‘figure eight’.
What does Mohini’s Figure 8 represent in human terms:
Mohini walks the same pattern even though she could run free. Her conditioning is to stay safe by waking the same pattern over and over.
How do you walk the Figure 8 in your own life?
- Is there an old self-concept that believes “I can’t do that” that keeps you from creating your dreams?
- Is there an addiction to staying busy so that you won’t see or feel your true desires?
- Do you doubt your own wisdom by comparing yourself to others and thus stay silent?
The conditioned mind is the past. It is based on survival and keeping safe. It’s hard-wired. We all have conditioning and we always will. The key is to learn how to master it when it arises in the moment to limit your expansion and evolution.
What to do when you know you are in your Figure 8 pattern:
- Bring your full awareness to it in the moment.
- Accept that it is operating without judging yourself.
- Adjust: make a choice to believe something new.
One of my brilliant clients did just that this past week. One of the beliefs in her Figure 8 pattern was that it was her job in life to make sure others were okay. This is a deep belief for most women. When it becomes toxic is when the belief overrides a woman’s authentic self-expression and empowerment. My client saw this belief come up once again and took action to move beyond it in her life. Big changes are happening for her. She is finding her voice and standing behind it.
One final thing about the term ‘letting go’. It’s a popular thing right now for coaches and spiritual teachers to say ‘just let it go’! But letting go does not happen just once. Letting go is a practice. Letting go is part of mastering the present moment. The ego or conditioned mind rises up every time you approach a new threshold of expansion or evolution. It always will. You can’t make the conditioned mind go away forever. But you can learn to harness the power of your own awareness and spiritual consciousness so that you can exercise choice and move beyond your own personal figure 8 patterns.
CLICK HERE to read about Nancy’s Find Your Voice program.