EGO OR HEART

Which do you feed?

hungry monsterIf you’re trying to satisfy the ego, that’s a Sisyphean task.  Oh, sure.  For a moment the hungry monster ego feels gratified and happy when you knock em dead in an audition or win some coveted award/contest/game.  The ever-expanding Python-like ego smiles broadly, burps, and looks really pleased—for about an hour.  Kinda like Chinese food though, anything that feeds the ego just does not last.  Gotta keep feeding it. Filling it is not gonna happen.

The heart, however, is easily and sweetly satisfied.  And, oddly, what feeds the heart is open heartabout sharing and giving:  sharing one’s creativity, helping someone else with their creativity, offering a helping hand, contributing to others.  The heart says, “Here.  Here’s what I have.  Let me feed you.  Oh, good.  You like it?!  You think it’s wonderful?!”

And, in that moment, that dangerous moment of hearing someone thinks it’s wonderful, the ego races in and snatches the food away from the heart because it does not have a clue about sharing.  “Gimme that!  They liked it!  It’s mine! I need more applause!  More validation!  More approval!”

Being an artist is so treacherous in that way.  The loud, hungry monster ego is always there ready to leap in.  And if it doesn’t get what it wants, it cries.  It stomps its feet.  It has temper tantrums.  “I didn’t get enough!  I didn’t get that part!  I hate this world.  I’m going to retreat and never come out again!”  And, the poor little heart is trampled all over by the feet of the dragon ego as it races into isolation.

It is so difficult not to fall into the trap of wanting to GET love rather that knowing life is best when we SHARE the love we have.

The good news is that the heart is unbelievably resilient.  It will come back to life in the smallest places.  All it needs is a little room and it is ready to give and to share.

Love the poor ego.  Embrace it.  Hug it, but don’t feed it junk food.

Instead, feed your heart by sharing your light today.

FEED THE HEART FIRST

I was driving home from an early meeting thinking about how to schedule everything in my day and get to a rehearsal at 4 PM for a reading of A Delicate Balance..

A thought or whisper wafted through my distracted mind:  “Feed the heart first,”  I heard. It seemed like a direct message from the Big Whatever, Higher Power, God—you supply the name.

As I drove on, I thought about the word “feed.”  Why “feed?”  And then it made sense.  Energy for action comes from passion, and the home of passion is the heart.  The more one loves something, the more energy is available to take care of it, promote it, or do whatever is needed.

So “feed” is the perfect word.

I thought of the many things that feed my heart:

1. Writing.  Top of the list.  When I have a good writing session, I feel as if I have been given a vitamin I didn’t even know I needed.  I feel energized to do the other stuff.  When I don’t write, my energy drains and I get depressed.
2. The Getting Present Process.  (If you don’t know what that is, buy my book.  Hit the Paypal button over there.  It will be worth it.)
3. Support.  Any kind of support feeds me whether giving or receiving.  My weekly writing group, my action partner with whom I talk every morning, and the Twelve Step meetings I attend all supply my heart with energy.
4. Friends.
5. Meditation.  It’s 5 on the list here but not necessarily fifth.  Sometimes meditation very powerfully restores my heart and my soul.
6. Great art.
7. Nature and animals.

My HP said to feed my heart first—which I take to mean do something that feeds my heart when I wake up in the morning.  I also take it to mean that I should make feeding my heart my first priority.

May I pass on this message reminder from my Higher Power to you?

What feeds your heart and will put that first?