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  • Heidi Broecking

Leggo my Ego


Last week, for the first time in a long time, I allowed my ego to get in the way of better judgement and posted a remark on a thread on a FB page specific to the village of Nyack. While it was marked and direct, it was also ham-handed and insulting. It was also judgmental. I was immediately drubbed in a way that called me pretentious and hypocritical. While I would agree that my post was not the kindest, nor the best worded, I stand by the sentiment and the honesty of the post itself. It was neither pretentious nor hypocritical, that perception belongs to the individual who delivered the drubbing.

Ego. The I-am. The great differentiator. According to yoga philosophy (as far as I currently understand it), the ego is our sense of separateness. It is the thing that seeks experience. Experience would be accompanied by wisdom (at least one would hope so). The part of the psyche that helps to impart that wisdom is the Buddhi. In sanskrit, Buddhi translates to "to know" or "to be awake". It is our personal intellect. It helps the mind (ego) to analyze, understand, discriminate and make decisions. My Buddhi was clearly out having a beer when my ego decided to post but that's okay. I'm human, and we all make mistakes. Again, I own the words and the sentiment. My intention was to get people to stop what they were doing and take a deeper look at why they were doing it. That did not work because...ego and angry. In any case, the whole incident made me take a closer look at my own use of social media. Where it started, where it is has gone and where do I want it to go. Ultimately, ALL social media is about ego gratification on one level or another. To use any and all social media outlets effectively and within the tenets I work hard to live life by—the eight-fold path, the yamas/niyamas, the eight limbs of yoga, all very similar—it's important to look at the intention behind every single post, tweet or instagram photo. To do the math in advance.

I came very close to just deleting everything but understanding that in order to communicate for business, to the cyclists I lead for GFNY, to maintain connections or make new connections, etc., it is just not realistic. Rather than taking all my toys and going home, I have created a new set of rules for myself.

  1. What is the intention behind the post?

  2. Is is written with ahimsa (non-violence) and satya (truth telling) first and foremost in mind?

  3. Is it written with right knowledge? Meaning, no assumptions, made-up narratives, imagination or story telling.

  4. Understanding it is totally fine to disagree with people's opinions, is that disagreement written respectfully and with fact to back it up? No insinuations, attacks or just BlahBlah because you pissed me off. That last one is a thing for me ; )

  5. I will stay away from intentionally provocative pages where it is a known fact that there other egos looking for attention and instant gratification.

  6. Anyone who is mean-spirited, unkind or insulting will be unfriended and blocked immediately. There is enough anger and upset in the world to be blindsided by that on my timeline or feed.

I'm sure I'll come up with more, but for now, my timeline and iGram will be filled with family, cycling, STJ, home, adventures, people and places I love, beautiful photos and all things good. Because social media really isn't a place to have substantive discussions, at least in this climate right now. We really need to be doing that in person.

#yoga #yamas #niyamas #socialmedia #buddhi #getourofyourownway #selfpolicing #ego #leggoyourego

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