Before you start the difficult task, go outside and walk around. Get your blood flowing. Take advantage of inertia: once you start moving the tendency to keep moving continues.
Become familiar with what typically happens and what the solutions are for ego’s traps.
After you've moved a bit, stop and observe what's going on with you. Prepare for the inevitable by facing the voices of ego rather than hoping you won't have to deal with them. It's harder for ego to convince you of irrational things when you're calm and centered.
Now that you've prepared, move a little more before you go back inside to work.
Remind yourself all the ways that you have been taken care of and all the people that have loved and continue to love you.
Now that you have Primed the Pump of Life, go inside and R/L about what you plan to do. Things to remember:
The fear of certain tasks is a habit. You have been afraid of doing things even when there was overwhelming evidence that things would go well.
- Ego will make it personal. Notice how much easier it is to do a task when you don't take it personally. For example, when the stove is dirty you just clean it, you don't think it means anything more than the fact that it's dirty.
- Ego will focus on the extremes of a situation. Ego wants to make everything black and white.
- The ego story always leads to dissatisfaction (because it is tied to fear). It ignores the positive things and highlights the negative.
- Ego will try to predict the future with the task and project all kinds of meaning that it can’t possibly know. And the prediction often involves disasters based on arbitrary criteria that it can’t know either.
- Remember, we can’t know the future but it’s OK, because life always delivers right now when we dwell in presence. If we can’t know the future its best to learn how to love each moment as it comes. If nothing else, take advantage of the opportunity to love thisherenow regardless of circumstances.
- Ego often lies, concluding the opposite of what life is presenting. Ego grows stronger when you don’t do things to support yourself and so encourages you to do things that don’t work.
- Don’t forget, ego LOVES to distract you with things that are not important in that moment
- Ego is just like a computer program. It just repeats what it remembers from the past (and that memory is selective) and repeats its conclusions over and over, even when those conclusions don’t make sense.
- The only purpose of ego is to get your attention. It highjacks your life for itself, generating a dopamine loop that goes nowhere and leaves the real you enervated.
- Remember, ego pretends but doesn’t really know what the task means and doesn’t understand what will happen when you actually do the task.
One hour is enough. You are learning how to enjoy life, enjoy work and to put love into whatever you do. As you progress with your task and perhaps get frustrated, ego is more able to trigger an identity. Stopping work after an hour gives you the opportunity to break the ego cycle.
This task isn’t nearly as important as ego says it is. If you find something unacceptable, draw a bigger circle of acceptance around the issue. Don’t stop until you have included everything. Remember, we are just practicing! Keep an open mind and just see what happens!
We are learning about dwelling in awareness. While performing the task, direct your attention to the opportunity this task offers and aspects of this task that you love. Can you love this task and love yourself while doing it (yes you can!).
If all else fails, make a process map to get more familiar with the messages of ego throughout the process and, most important, what is really true about that situation. R/L about it.