But in order to make sure our needs are met, the ego seeks out what we lack. And in order to keep us safe, it seeks out threats. The ego personality functions from a place of fear.
But when we know we are safe, we can let go of that contraction.
We can let go of thoughts about the past and future, regrets and worries.
We can let go of inner criticisms.
We can let go of all the mental chatter that keeps the ego contraction in the lime light.
There is a saying that on the spiritual journey there are many paths that lead up the same mountain. All those paths, all the different kinds of Yoga and meditation, all the mystical paths of the monotheistic traditions – all of them – are about letting go of our habitual tendency to see the world from the contracted perspective of the ego.
In Hatha Yoga, we practice moving our awareness not only inward but downward. We practice staying conscious of our body. And through this mental discipline, through this particular kind of self-remembering, the ego contraction is removed from center stage.
So, as you move on your mat, notice when you become trapped between your ears. When thoughts come up, instead of getting tangled in words, come back to your breath, to your body, and to that quiet stillness between thoughts.
That is where you can reconnect with your true self, who is beyond words. That is where you let go of contraction and begin to expand.