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Have Fun With Your Ego

January 25, 2010 Fear, Fitness, Fun No Comments

Have fun with your ego! This is what my yoga instructor told us this week as class began.

Everyone likely interprets this differently — the idea of having fun with your ego. For me, I really latched onto it because I felt it was along the same vein as calorie-burning fears… I interpret it as finding the edge of where you are comfortable and pushing that edge, going beyond your comfort level. Kind of like a practical joke on your ego, in the nicest possible way.

So go ahead, have fun with your ego! Why not? What have you got to lose??

Wait.

This is not a rhetorical question. What have you got to lose?

Your balance? Your reputation? Your idealized sense of self? There is not an answer to this question that is good enough to NOT TRY. This was my second yoga class and I found myself pushing harder through stretches and poses, only to fall out of them. I found myself trying a crane pose, one leg at a time. It went so well, I might just try both legs in next week’s class! I stopped looking around me to see how far the Asian lady over there could go or, *gasp* what the white guy in the front could do.

Applying the question to your everyday life is where the money is. For me, publishing this blog has been like having a bona fide party with my ego! I also took my ego to Tahoe over the weekend. I skied moguls and through powder (a first for me) while my friends watched and waited for me. I knew I was the slowest, least experienced person among us and I didn’t let it bother me. I went at my own pace and had fun with my ego by trying new things (like speed!) and subsequently falling on blue runs and watching little kids zoom past me.

Having fun with our egos is like an invitation to play. Children at play fall when running too fast or being tackled too hard, yet don’t know it was too fast or too hard until it’s over. That’s the beauty in it.  Children aren’t worried what other people think and they’re not thinking of themselves. They put themselves out there to see just how far/fast/hard they can go until they reach the limit. They adjust accordingly so that anything negative doesn’t happen again. It has been said that we learn more from our mistakes than our successes, and having fun with our egos allows us to enjoy both success and failure.

I intend to use this metaphor similarly to how I calculate how many calories I’ve burned through my fear alone. It’s always in the back of my mind and it pushes me to find the edge and step out of my comfort zone. Who cares what that Asian lady in yoga class or the teenager on the ski lift thinks? They’ve got their own egos to worry about.

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