I had Dave Banks as a guest speaker for a webinar this week, and he spoke of the importance of humility. He shared how humility is the key that opens the door to surrender. It was a helpful reminder to me because I can often forget to be humble and to remember that life isn’t about me. Even my actions for good causes and acts of service can become co-opted by my ego.
One of the reminders of this is when I get tired. When I overdo it, it is a reminder that my personal identity has become too front and center and is running the show. It is an indicator that I have forgotten to be humble so that I can surrender and remember I am not the doer.
I am noticing this now. I am struggling with getting a new website up. It is feeling hard. I am noticing myself pushing. But it is not about the website. It is feedback. My ego has been running the show. I have been working too hard, trying to get too much done. Yes, I do feel inspired by my work and the causes I want to support, but I also want to remain humble.
My ego runs away with me, gets excited, and wants to do everything. I forget that life is unfolding through me. Yes, I want to be a willing participant in creating a more equitable and just world, but that world I see and experience comes through me, and nothing good comes from me being burnt out.
I recognize now that burn out doesn’t happen to me from the outside. It is an experience that is the by-product of my ego getting overly involved and me feeling exhausted as a result. It is so hard for me not to push at times. This is a big learning curve for me. I have gotten so much better over the years at allowing inspiration to flow through me and to follow the natural momentum that emerges from there. I have also created more space in my life for reflection and quiet, but I still lose my humility and push at times. I forget that my value is not dependent on how hard I work.
I haven’t seen the connection between pushing and humility before. This feels new to me. An invisible layer of arrogance I hadn’t been aware of.
My little innocent ego wants to be important in the world. I want to be good. I get seduced into trying to live up to my ego's expectations and conditioning. And it is always a trap, even in the most legitimate of disguises.
I know there is no perfection here, and there is no need for it. I can accept my humanness and my foibles of self-importance. And I am so grateful when I remember and get stripped down to my ordinariness. I share this here in vulnerability. I still have beliefs that tell me if I have anything to share in public it better be good. I share here to out myself and to deepen my exploration of a new way of being that has my individual self be insignificant in its individuality and significant in its expression of the whole. As Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
This is not coming from a place of worthlessness. It comes from freedom and radical Self-care.
Humility is the key that unlocks the door to this freedom. Letting go of the striving of the individual self is radical self-care. It is the best! And in that humility, the whole has more room to express. The synergy is more easily felt. The connections and interdependence are more vividly appreciated.
When the individual self is important, it is exhausting. I have been letting it run the show trying to get things done. This is not bad or wrong. Just a reminder to come home within my Self to the one Self, not the individuated expression of a separate self.
It is in this surrender and in this remembering that the embodied experience of this individual self has a greater sense of its place in the whole. There is no real separation. We are all in this together. Each one of us plays our part as we co-create this living symphony of being, all being not just human beings.
My ego is jumping in and saying, "Don’t get too transcendental here. Remember there is work to be done. If you find your wellbeing, you aren’t going to do the work." But I know that is not true. If there is any work, it is finding the key that unlocks wellbeing and peace of mind. What emanates from there will support the whole. Each cell in a body has health in it. No body benefits from the individual cells not being in wellbeing. And the whole body benefits from as many cells as possible being in wellbeing at the same time. That is the symphony. Again not just of human beings, but of all beings down to the smallest of micro-organisms. The human body contains trillions of microorganisms — outnumbering human cells by 10 to 1. And humans may be the dominant life form on this planet but we are not the only beings.
How do we support as many beings experiencing wellbeing at the same time?
It does not come from individual beings striving and dominating. This is the patriarchal, European model that is based on duality and fear. A win-lose model that is increasingly becoming more evident that it is a lose-lose model. A new way is actually the old way of indigenous and ancestral wisdom. It comes from the humility of seeing we are all one being. There is no separation. Everything is connected and alive. There are cultures where the is no word for the individual. There seems much to be learned from the wisdom of the collective.
Humility may be the enemy of the ego, but it is the friend of wellbeing for all beings.
Give yourself the gift of experiencing your insignificance so you can surrender into the significance of the whole.
I still fight it at times, but it is worth it. It is the best self-care I can ever do. Remembering how unimportant I am and feeling the freedom of this, the wellbeing of this, the truth of this.
Rohini Ross is passionate about helping people wake up to their full potential. She is a transformative coach, leadership consultant, a regular blogger for Thrive Global, and author of the short-read Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1) available on Amazon. Rohini has an international coaching and consulting practice based in Los Angeles helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of well-being, resiliency, and success. Rohini is the author of the free ebook Relationships and the co-founder of The 29-Day Rewilding Experience and The Rewilding Community. You can also follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and watch her Vlogs with her husband. To learn more about her work go to her website, www.rewilders.org.