This post was an afterthought. I wasn’t planning to write anything for Thanksgiving. Last night I realized how crazy it was that last year I was rescued from homelessness by Indians in Costa Rica, this year I’m in India. But as I sit here in India, about to dive into a 3-day wedding festival of epic proportions, I tried to think of something to say on this unique holiday.
I’m thankful for so much, truly. For my family, for my education, for the ability to do what I’m doing. But I wanted to present something else I’m thankful for: consciousness.
For me, consciousness is the inner me, my soul if you will. Having been exposed to various forms of spirituality over the past year, whether the book The Power of Now thanks to some amazing Australians a year ago, or my time in the Buddhist temple, they all advocate the same thing: killing the ego and awakening your conscious.
Unfortunately, recognizing that it’s there is just the first step. It takes a lifetime to really get in touch with the inner you. That’s one of the reasons monks forgo all material possessions. They live a life of simplicity, which helps eliminate desire and want. It helps kill the ego.
But we need not all live the life of a monk. Just recognizing that the inner voice is separate from the voice in one’s head (the ego) is a huge step forward, and can help lead to one’s true passions in life.
Though I would have called all of this “crazy talk” not too long ago, it’s not really so different from what I advocate in The Happiness Plunge. I say to look within and ask yourself those difficult questions we often avoid asking ourselves. The hard part is filtering out the noise to really hear what the answers are. It’s a matter of semantics. But for sure what the “soul” wants (love, happiness, positivity) is different from what the ego wants (wealth, fame, power).
When I talk about living from the heart (#25) it is just that – suppressing the ego to get in touch with that voice within. Some might call it the gut, others the soul. Whatever it is, I’m thankful for being conscious that it’s there.