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 In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about the path to self-acceptance.

 

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Showing 9 comments
  • O
    Reply

    – I love that you started the podcast off with the story about your kids fighting in the back of the car. It brought back memories of staging all-out violent, emotional, vicious kicking wars with my brother, probably driving my mother crazy. It’s something so visceral that was easy to resonate with.

    – I practice zen meditation, which is all about getting into the watcher’s POV and observing the ego without judgement: exactly as you said. And then taking another step back and watching the watcher, and so forth. It was actually quite exciting to hear you talk about this, because I’ve only ever heard my meditation teacher discuss these concepts and I haven’t seen them come up much elsewhere. It was helpful to hear this information from a different perspective. Like you said, it can be hard to get to that space at first, even with instruction, because it’s not a muscle that (most of us) are used to exercising with intent. I’m lucky because I came into my meditation practice with some natural ability to step back from myself, sort of, but I still feel like I’m stumbling in the dark and partly succeeding by accident. I’m glad to hear that you’re planning on doing more episodes about ego work. I’d love to hear more of what you have to say on this subject.

    – I’m definitely going to watch for when my ego flares up and I get upset or angry with someone, and use that as an opportunity to try to glean some insight into myself. Getting out of judgement and into a place of curiosity sounds difficult! Antonia, thank you for saying that it is so intolerably hard at first that it feels like your body is burning. (It helps to know that the wave generally subsides in 8-10 minutes. I’ve never put a timer on it before.) I feel like people don’t acknowledge how hard it is to sit with intense emotions, and the literal physical pain that they can cause. This resonated with me so hard, right down to the notion that the intensity is rooted in things that I’ve been avoiding thinking about. It did actually make a difference to take a moment to acknowledge that this is so difficult, but it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t try.

    – It also helped to hear you talk about how that translates into how we perceive other people and their intentions. This one’s a bit easier for me. When someone explodes at me, instead of thinking that they are terrible people, I try to step back, be curious, and silently ask, “What happened to you in your past that you’re like this now?”

    – It was a great motivator to hear that people who do work on themselves in this area tend to have a certain magnetism to them; people want to be them. I’m not going to lie. I totally want that for myself. It was nice that you ended the podcast on a positive note.

    Thanks again for a very strong episode. I definitely encourage you to keep exploring this area in future podcasts.

  • Tori
    Reply

    First, I would like to say thank you guys for your beautiful work, that is made easily available to the public. I am a 23-year-old ENTJ educator and freelance musician. I teach a middle school student population, some with severe trauma. I am married to a brilliant and kind ENFP, who also suffers from severe PTSD. I have been listening to your podcasts since this summer, and they have significantly helped me develop the strength within myself to live up to my career and marriage.

    My question is, would you say that the ‘ego’ and the ‘watcher’ fit somehow related to the car model? My ego flare-ups are usually self-directed. At times, it feels like negative, egotistical thoughts appear too fast for me to combat. They usually have a theme of not living up to others expectations, being unclear about what I want in this world, or not living my life to its fullest potential. Other times, I am able to view my work, life, and relationship with satisfaction, with a deeper understanding of myself.

    During my ‘watcher’ moments I realize that my ego flare-ups were unproductive, self-deprecating thinking. However, as you discussed, our evolutionary need to survive can be blinding of the realities of our modernized world. I notice that my ego is out of control when I am in question of my authenticity, in my case my 3-year-old function. Do our ego-attacks show themselves in the form of our 3-year-old function? For example, I notice that my wife, an ENFP, is most triggered when reminded of traumatic memories, which could just as well be a symptom of her PTSD. This somehow also connects back to her other functions, especially her Authenticity co-pilot, and truly affects the way her mental functions until she finds herself back in that calm state.

    Perhaps I am reading too hard into the models, but I am looking for some new patterns to learn to gain control and bring myself out of my triggered moments. For me, it is very difficult to regain my perspective when in the middle of an ego-attack. When I do try to work on my 3-year-old process from a calm state of mind, it often just induces more anxiety. At these times, is there anything my other functions can do to rebalance myself? Or do the ego and watcher states encompass all functions?

  • Megan
    Reply

    Good podcast as usual! My own ego triggers seem to be pretty obvious once I knew what to look for (doing it IN THE MOMENT and finding the reasons behind still need some work…) But I would be curious about what insights could be gained from noticing the moments when the ego is being fed/boosted too…. Do you think this could be a valuable exercise?

    • O
      Reply

      Hey Megan! Yes, I think that’s definitely a useful exercise. To me, it’s about the intensity of the effect on your ego, more so than the “goodness” or “badness” of the emotion.

      Joel and Antonia talked about when your ego flares up and your emotions hit a 10 because you’re feeling angry or upset, but I think the same holds true when you’re overwhelmed by a positive emotion. For example, further down on this page, I noticed that a person named Jodi left a comment that said, “I know that I have a tendency to be drawn to people and overwhelm them.” Or, it can be something as simple as getting so enthusiastic in a conversation that I start to cut people off and interrupt. Or feeling so good about all of the attention that I’m getting in a group conversation that I start to brag. I get so caught up in the joy or enthusiasm that I’m feeling in the moment that I end up acting in ways that I’ll later regret. (And then there’s another level of awkward, because when that social feedback finally does break through and I realize that I’m being overbearing or rude, I get hit with another massive wave of emotion – this time embarrassment.)

      I think that situations like these ones are a great time to try Joel and Antonia’s exercise of sitting with your emotions and stepping back from yourself.

  • Michael Puett
    Reply

    Dear Joel ,

    Maybe you should read the book “ ego is the enemy “ before you let your ego get triggered and shiver at the thought that it is the enemy 🙂

    After reading “ spiritual warfare by Jed McKenna” I’d argue on the side of ego being enemy ( if your goal is “ seeing what really is “ in the world ) . If your goal is leaving a legacy then you’re right , ego isn’t the enemy . ( so I’d invite you to read spiritual warfare )

    Love to both you and Antonia ,
    Michael

  • Amy Francis
    Reply

    If you guys talk more about ego work, I’ll be taking notes! 🙂

  • C
    Reply

    There’s a word for the realization you mention at the 21 minute mark: sonder – “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sonder

  • Andrew C.
    Reply

    Great podcast. I found myself thinking about Heidegger’s conception of Death as the “possibility of the impossibility of any existence at all”. To be aware of death as an omnipresent possibility can allow for a more authentic way of living, a feeling that your life is “yours”. “My death is mine in a radical sense; it is the moment at which all my relations to others disappear.” Heidegger calls this one’s ‘ownmost’. To orientate oneself towards death(acknowledgement) can be done in an authentic way that contributes in living a life of care and making it one’s own. An anticipation for the possibilities of diverse ways of being come into view when one considers the possibility of one’s own “non-being”.

  • Josi
    Reply

    Hey so I’ve been listening to you guys for a while and have really enjoyed your podcasts! I’m an ESFp and am so grateful for the clear conscise information you guys have provided. With regard to this podcast it was crazy because I had recently been triggered. But before hearing this I did exactly what was mentioned here.
    I stood back from the situation, dissected why I was feeling emense pain for such a nonschalant matter that was dear to me. I usually feel the need for assurance and the situation that came up was especially needing that. Assurance. I know that I have a tendency to be drawn to people and overwhelm them. This was the case with a girl. Anyway I wasn’t getting any immediate response and couldn’t help but beat myself up about it. But I kept looking at the looker. But I only went about 1 dimension. Like I had mentioned I didn’t hear this podcast. But I knew it was my ego. So I started to question my own motives because I am the only person who is allowing them self to feel what I feel. After about a week of literal stomach pain, I found the solution. I had been to focused on what others were thinking of me. So now I’ve been practicing self Fulfillment. But I still like to show off. Anyway if you read through this disoriented combobulation, since then and now that I have heard all of the techniques and perceptions, I am thoroughly enjoying looking at all of my Watchmen objectively!!! Thank you so much! It has been icing on the cake!!!

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