Why I officially bench the ego each morning
“The knowledge of how to joyfully live simply is still within us. Stand still, stop running, just BE.”—Robert Wolff
So I collect stories about people of a certain age who still bike, dance, hike up mountains. For example, I once wrote about Lou Batori, a Hungarian-born aeronautical engineer who skied (he even had his own parking space at Crystal Mountain Resort) until he was 107. When I met him, he was only 100 and was getting ready to take a cross country motorcycle trip with his new bride (she was in her 80’s) sitting in a sidecar.
Then there was “Papa” Jack Weil who showed up every morning, sat at his little wooden desk in the front of the Denver Western wear store he started six decades earlier. As he said, “I check the obits in the paper and if my name’s not there, I head to work.”
Clint Eastwood is the latest to make my collection. At 92, he’s starring in a documentary that dropped a week or so ago called “Why on Earth?” Someone asked him how he found the stamina to keep making movies, to keep coming up with new projects.
“Well,” he explained, “An old man knocks at my door every morning, but I refuse to let him in.”
That’s kinda how I feel about my ego that tries to jump in every morning with a report on all things going wrong. Its entire mission, it seems to me, is to diminish the gift of life’s wildly perfect moments, to override the benevolent, radical abundance of reality.
It waits for that first moment of consciousness, squawking desperately “put me in. put me in.” It always wants to be in the game, to run the show, to block the sweetness of my one short life.
So every morning, before the ego can get too carried away, I attempt to disqualify it.
“I hear you,” I say. (It never hurts to acknowledge it). “But today, you and your message of fear and scarcity are going to sit on the sidelines. I have way too many wonderful gifts to notice today, gifts that, if you have your way, will sadly be obscured. Life is too short to miss even a moment of all that goodness. So here’s your red shirt. Sit quietly on the bench while I enjoy.” #222 Forever!
Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).