Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My "I" Made Me Do it.

Today's blog post concludes discussion of the ways we draw upon the use of "I" and "Me" in daily discourse to strengthen our sense of self--and separateness. Previous blog posts are found here and here.

Having begun to notice our use of "I" and Me" and experiment with not using it at times, we now bring the "awareness" we are cultivating in our mindfulness practice into the conversation. . . literally.

When we practice mindfulness, whether while sitting, or engaged in daily interactions and situations, we notice the rumblings of the ego. We can feel urged to act in ways that we sense are not kind or helpful, but nonetheless have a satisfying quality, or soothe an irritated and agitated self.

At times, we will utter "I" or "Me" as part of the exchange. When you do, in your mind (or verbally if you feel comfortable doing so) replace "I" with "My I."

Doing so, "I need to get this done" becomes "My 'I' needs to get this done."
"I think you're acting irresponsible" becomes "My 'I' thinks you're acting irresponsible."
"I am so sad" becomes "My 'I' is so sad."
"I can't believe this is happening" becomes "My 'I' can't believe this is happening."

If you find that the use of "my" imparts its own egoic grab (though one step removed and offering a measure of perspective), you can reframe the way you hear the word "I" in the first place. Pause after saying "I" so that it stands apart. That subtle and simple shift can also change the experience.

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