Ego Versus Intuition : How to Identify the Difference

How can you tell the difference between ego versus intuition? How do you recognize your intuition in tough situations? Here are 3 spiritual insights.

This year, I’ve seen a recurring pattern to talk about identifying ego versus intuition. Of the many questions I get asked, I laugh everytime I hear this one because I don’t consider myself intuitive, as such. But I have found a workaround, and it works well for me.

But a small caveat before we proceed. I have heard many people advise that intuition will come from the gut, and you’ll feel neutral, even if it’s a negative intuition.

But, to understand if a feeling is coming from the gut or not also requires some level of intuitiveness towards our body.

And honestly, I don’t have that. Atleast not yet. Especially in a situation where I’m feeling triggered or unsafe, I can hardly remember anything else, and focusing on what my body has to say is more confusing than comforting for me.

So what do I do? And what can YOU do to find out if it’s your intuition speaking to you, or your ego? A couple of things.

#1 – Have an Internal Dialogue with the Universe

I’ve learned this the hard way, that I don’t know what’s best for me. And while that leaves my ego feeling attacked, it opens up the possibility that something else can happen to me, now that I’m not trying to plan or control the outcome too much.

When you’re in a fix about how to proceed, ask for Divine Intervention. In the exact moment that you need to take a decision, allow the universe to guide you through a simple and straight forward question in your head.

If you see a sign, great! If you don’t see a sign, remember that’s also a sign.

I’ll explain this further with a few stories from my personal life.

Story #1 – Cafe : To Eat Or Not To Eat?

The huge foodie that I am, it should come as no surprise to anyone that once fine day, I set out to try another new cafe. My sister-in-law picked the spot for us, on a whim. We were very hungry and willing to eat just about anywhere that came at the next turn, as long as the food met our expectations.

cafe, neon boards, spiritual meeting, intuition, ego

As soon as we entered, the cafe triggered a “red-flag” siren within me. I couldn’t understand why, exactly. The lights were dim, but there were a lot of tables occupied. So I asked for a sign.

“Dear universe, if we’re not safe here, please give us a sign to leave”.

Remember how I told you a while back that no sign is also a sign? Well that’s what happened. There was absolutely no sign. I waited for a few minutes even as we got seated. And I let the anxiety settle down in me by reminding myself that the Universe always has my back.

This place turned out to have the best sizzling brownie I have ever had. No jokes! Had I listened to my siren, which proved false in this situation, I would have missed out on some great dessert.

Story #2 – The Time The Universe Asked Me To Shut-up 🙂

This another story from my time at a cafe. Cafes seem to be important in my life, no guessing why though!

I sat across an excited girl, as she shared her spiritual awakening story with me. It had been quite some time, as I sat quietly and listened to her story. I was trying to be a good listener, but my ego was beginning to grow restless.

white conversations printed mug near smartphone, ego, dialogue, commnication

I didn’t know if I should pitch in, or just keep nodding. But the moment I decided to say something, I noticed the projector flash behind her. The song had changed, and it was called “quiet”.

I was grinning ear to ear, now, and I bit my tongue, doing as told to by the Universe. She saw that my mood had changed. I told her what had happened, and we both amused at this beautiful synchronicity!

Story #3 – The Time I ALMOST Went To Vancouver

If anyone knows me well enough, they’ll know that my shifting to Canada has been the longest and slowest process. It’s uncanny, how fast our wedding happened and ironically how slow our actual married life took to begin.

So this is the story of when my visa came and I had 4 days left before my flight. We were all in a flux.

“Should I go, will it be safe?” The virus scare had been rising in India.

flight, ego versus intuition

But I realized something – my intuition wasn’t saying anything to me. Nor was my ego. While there was ambiguity all around, there was silence within. So I did what I do best. I surrendered, with a practical prayer.

“Dear Universe, I have no idea if I’m supposed to go or not. So you do something that makes if clear. Very clear.”

The next morning, I wake up to the news that airways amongst all other transport has been put under lockdown. And bam! There was clarity. While this was a tough call for me to take, I consider it a blessing that the Universe showed up for me with such a grand gesture.

#2 – Separate Ego From Self-Esteem

Have you had the rush of energy to do something negative in your life, like

  • reveal a deep dark secret that could shake someone’s life,
  • say something nasty during a fight that is ‘crossing the line’
  • give empty breakup threats when you’re mad at your partner
  • and so on?

Well, as much as we want to believe it’s our intuition or self-esteem guiding us, it’s really our ego.

I always say this, that the ego loves drama and the soul loves simplicity.
ego versus intuition, breakup, heartbreak

So right before you do something controversial, here are two things worth thinking about:

One, will this satisfy my ego and give me a ‘high’, or is this actually necessary for my growth?

Two, is this an attempt to put somebody else’s ego down or create drama?

You’d think that it’s okay to make someone feel worse because they hurt you, but you may want to think a hundred times before you try to even the score.

It can be tricky because your ego will say “no, that’s not what’s happening”. So let me step back and say that if you even feel like asking these questions then there’s a large possibility you’re operating from a place of ego.

In such cases, let that moment pass. And remember, you can always have this conversation again, in a more detached yet compassionate way. Don’t let yourself get caught in the ego trap, thinking it’s about self-esteem or that you have the right to hurl nasty comments on someone’s character because you’re triggered.

#3 – Seperate Trauma from Intuition

When you surrender and let Divine Intervention lead your way, you can then realize that many of the false alarms are your wounds and traumas. For me, here were the pain points I discovered.

In the first story, I was scared and uncomfortable because most of the tables were occupied by groups of men drinking alcohol and laughing out loud. My subconscious was wired to think the worst of such situations, but I never realized it until that day.

woman kneeling with arms folded over chest inside dim-lit room, pain, trauma, healing

In the third story, when I was trying to interrupt the girl with my own insights, I was really just trying to validate my experience and become preachy. This is an old subconscious behavior which resurfaced in that moment, but wasn’t able to make space in the reality thanks to divine intervention.

So as you begin healing these false hits, your intuition naturally becomes stronger and you’re able to create more space between intuition and ego.

Concluding Thoughts

I know the word ‘intuition’ can sound woowoo to most of us, because we’re so habitual of being logical and practical in day-to-day decisions.

But the moment we start acknowledging how little we really know about anything, and that there’s much more happening behind the scenes than we can even fathom, we open our crown chakra. And an abundance of wisdom and guidance showers on us!

This journey is a fine thing, learning how to work with the universe and speed up our healing. So when we say unlearn old ways, it’s really just saying stop living in the ego, and start moving into your intuition. 🙂

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10 Religious Rituals & Traditions and Their Spiritual Meaning

Here are 10 everyday religious rituals that actually have a deeper, spiritual significance. Eastern and Western rituals explored spirituality.

Have you ever stopped to think why religions and societies around the world have promoted superstitions? Perhaps because when fables and fear-mongering stories came into existence, most people couldn’t comprehend the science behind these religious rituals and traditions.

Instead of teaching us why something is genuinely good for us, we’ve been fed fear to ensure we don’t do the opposite. The intention was right, but the method has become outdated.

In today’s day and age, we question EVERYTHING. We want logic, and we want science to back something before we can trust it. Unfortunately, we now discredit genuinely sacred rituals, because we no longer understand their importance.

And therefore, don’t find a need for them to be done.

So now, I want to throw some light on the spiritual nature of many day-to-day religious practices. I hope to inspire you to start doing them more seriously, knowing why they matter.

#1 – The tradition of burning incense sticks, camphor or lighting a candle at the alter.

In a traditional Hindu family as mine, we light a diya.

Incense, Indian, Aromatic, Stick, Smoke, Hindu Rituals

The spiritual essence behind such religious rituals, you ask?

We are Love and Light, as the saying goes. So lighting a candle is an extension of spreading our light in the physical dimension, thus omitting the darkness.

And if you’re familiar with the five elements of nature – earth, water, fire, air & ether; then burning incense sticks and camphor are ways to cleanse the energy of our surroundings at an ethereal level.

#2 – The tradition of folding hands, bowing down at temples, and touching elders’ feet.

The two deepest forms of humility are begging, and bowing down infront of others.

Praying Hands, Faith, Hope, Religion, Hindu Rituals, Namaste

These small gestures are about acknowledging and honoring the Divine being infront of us. Once you do this, you omit any ego and resentment in the relationship.

Another metaphysical aspect to this, is preserving one’s energy. When we physically mingle with our surroundings, touching other people and objects, we create a ripple in our own energy.

That’s why renunciates like monks and sages are seen as reserved and withdrawn from human touch. They’re limiting the creation of new karma that occurs mingling or touching.

#3 – Ceremonies and rituals to remember our ancestors.

Religious gurus and pundits have made death a business. There are countless demands for providing clothes, food, footwear and whatnot for the pandit’s family. Apparently, our ancestors get that food and protection through them. Of all the religious rituals, this is perhaps the most strange ones.

Because the spiritual significance is quite different.

Dead, Death, Final, End, Ending

Firstly, our ancestors have karmic bonds with the family, which we can help lift through prayer and service to their souls, especially at the time of their death. It helps them move on. Sadhguru’s book, Death goes into deep, deep introspection on the many rituals around dying.

But this doesn’t mean they need food and shelter. After all, why would a soul that’s outside the body have human needs?!

Second, after passing away, our ancestors also help us preserve the lineage from the spiritual realm, which most of us aren’t even consciously aware of. So to appreciate their tireless efforts and express gratitude, ceremonies have been created.

And third, it also helps loved ones and the departing soul accept that their time together is over in this lifetime. It brings a comforting closure for everyone, because we’ve bid someone farewell with utmost love and respect.

#4 – Religious fasting.

Well, fasting isn’t religious at all, I realized.

Fasting, Hunger, Food

Though done in the name of dharma, traditions like not eating rice on a full moon, observing a complete fast during the eclipse, or disposing any leftover food during such an eclipse all have spiritual significance.

Science too is beginning to honor all this. I find this explanation a great introduction to all this.

#5 – Dhyan. Zen. Meditation. Whatever you want to call it.

There are many people that don’t Meditate, because they believe it’ll take them away from their religion. But there’s absolutely nothing religious about meditating!

Man Meditating, Dhyan, Zen, Yog, Pose, Meditation, Pranayama

Back in the day, wise sages were said to Meditate for years on end and acquire special powers. But they weren’t special! Meditation is a powerful tool to become self-aware and gain sense of the infinite wisdom within.

We don’t need to go to sages to get their blessings, which they acquired from said practices. We can equally manifest that for ourselves and become powerful creators of our lives.

I highly encourage you to reconsider your relationship with Meditation, and give it another try. I run an Online Workshop to help people design a Meditation Practice that works for them.

Additional Reading Material : Meditation 101 : Tips, Tricks & Resources

#6 – Yoga.

While a part of the world is going crazy by remixing yoga with other exercise forms, and trying to keep the practice exciting for the masses, the one thing Spirituality taught me is that yoga isn’t about poses.

Silhouette, Yoga, Yoga Silhouette, Body

It is the art of becoming in absolute alignment with your body. It’s about yog, or union within.

This works in beautiful harmony with meditation because while meditation is oneness with self at rest, yoga is oneness with self in motion. Ofcourse there are various types of yoga asanas, but the essence is far deeper and sacred than we can imagine.

I haven’t attained that yog yet, but I’m getting there, one suryanamaskar at a time!

#7 – Prayer.

I used to wonder, what’s the point of praying? Until chanting the Lotus Sutra literally manifested meeting my now husband overnight.

It’s a fun story, which I talked about in my post, Is Prayer Religious or Spiritual?

#8 – Ringing the bell/gong at temples.

As a Hindu kid, I enjoyed when my parents would lift me and help me ring the huge temple bells. What’s the essence of this tradition?

Bells, Temple Bells, Temple, Ancient, Hindu rituals, traditions, eastern religion

Sound Vibrations are known to move away stagnant energy, and are a powerful way to clear the energy of a space. This is also explained in great detail by renowned western energy clearing teachers such as Denise Linn.

#9 – Traditions to honor food.

Christians offer a prayer of thanks for every meal on their table. Hindus have festivals like Lodhi which give thanks for the sucessful winter harvest.

Another noteworthy religious ritual, is offering food to God, called prasadam. The tradition goes that you aren’t allowed to waste the food now, because it’s blessed by God. And in old times, it was a practice to offer every meal to God.

Thereby minimizing any form of food wastage.

Such food is still served in temples today, which ISKON devotees call ‘feast’ and Sikhs call langar.

Lately, I’ve been thanking the grains that go in my belly, for they’ve crossed fields, farmer’s hands, markets and my mother’s loving hands, before they reached me 🙂

Langar, food at Gurudwara, religious stock photo, hindu traditions, hindu rituals

#10 – Using precious stones, gems and crystals for energy protection.

Latest to my list of realizations, is the value of healing minerals and crystals.

It was after I bought my own Rose Quartz crystal, and my heart started pounding every time I sat to meditate with it, that I realized – these things do have some powerful vibrations!

Colorful, Stone, Rings, Cabochon, Crystals, Healing, Chakra balancing, energy protection

My understanding was deepened further once I read Autobiography of Yogi by Paramhans Yogananda, in which there was an elaborate discussion of wearing stones and amulets to rid oneself of sickness (or even death….woah).

Closing Thoughts

My grandmother always tells me, that our saints were highly evolved beings which created the ancient scriptures for us, but we didn’t take care of them.

And to extend her thought, it is my belief that now our knowledge is expanding across the globe. Divine Intervention for sure, in hopes for survival and preservation of humanity.

This isn’t just true for Hinduism. Think about the Dalai Lama spreading his works in the western countries. Or the suppresion of Tibetan Monks and their migration to other countries, thus bringing awareness.

Think of all the other Tribal and Native folk that are tirelessly working to keep the flame burning for their ancient traditions.

I’m sure every religion was made for a purpose that was profound, but over the centuries, has been tampered and contaminated.

So, I encourage all my readers to dive deeper into their respective religions and rediscover the Light that can help everyone’s spiritual evolution. 🙂

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Spiritual Meaning of Religious Rituals & Traditions

3 Spiritual Mindsets that Will Give You Hope For The Future

Coronavirus, depression, forest fires, terrorism and then some. Is there hope for the future? These 3 spiritual insights will help you navigate tough times.

Every year brings us humans (and this planet) a new set of challenges. And they make you wonder, is there any hope left for the future?

In 2019, a physical fire began engulfing one country, Australia. And on the other side, a mental fire was breaking down another, India. I was heartbroken by the statistics that 1 in 6 people from India are fighting depression.

This year, the story has been no different. We’ve had a rough start. As of writing this post, just 3 months into 2020, we are overwhelmed as a planet. An unseizing Coronavirus, growingly violent political protests and unrest, startling repercussions of global warming, and then some. Yikes!

I keep quiet on issues of such nature, for the simple fact that my own energy becomes erratic and chaotic the moment I watch the news. And I’ve heard this from many people – media provokes our anxiety and a LOT of people avoid it after one point.

To some capacity or the other, we are all an emotional sponge, absorbing emotions around us. We are not immune to opinions. And therefore, it makes sense that we become scared and seek protection from all that’s happening around.

But now, I chose to break my silence as an exception.

This post is a dedication to one of my newsletter subscribers. The lovely soul, Abu wanted to know how to keep safe in today’s day and age. So here’s my spiritual outlook on 3 ways in which we can heal ourselves in a bleeding, burning & broken planet.

NOTE : I am no expert, and these are thoughts framed based on my personal experiences and outlook. Feel free to take what resonates and leave out the rest 🙂

#1 – Understand & Reinvent the Karma

It is natural to be scared when death is so close to you.

Child, Suffering, Look, Help, Pity, Compassion, Hope for the future

We are scared of other people because they want to kill us, or because they carry a virus that may kill us.
We are scared of nature, because it might drown us or engulf us in its flames.
And we are scared, because we have forgotten that there’s more to us. More to this reality.

Everytime things go wrong, as a collective, we are shaken and quickly begin losing ourselves to the external events. Because we’ve been living in our own bubbles, when reality screams for our attention and hits us hard, we lose our minds.

The world in general, is living in one of the lowest mental frequencies possible lately. The frequency of FEAR. What kind of actions do you think we would be able to take in such a mindset? Not very inspired ones, for sure.

Because of this fear, sooner of later, we might (and we will) be adding more fuel to the flames. It’ll make you experience duality at the maximum, behaving in ways that cater to the mindset of “me first”.

There is no “they”, and there is no “me”. We are all a part of one whole. What we do unto others, is done upon us too.

This is called Collective Consciousness.

That can seem overwhelming because now you’ll wonder if I’m asking you to do nothing, or to hold a positive outlook no matter what. But that’s far from the truth.

Everything happening to us is actually very old and repetitive. It’s a human conditioning that sees the surface-level tragedy, but we need to dig deeper and identify the kind of pattern everything carries.

We can break many lifetimes of cycles, simply by becoming conscious of their occurrences and disengaging from old patterns. Start small, start with you. Start with those around you.

Hands, Cohesion, Together, Human

When the time comes to serve humanity, to display your lessons, to make or break a situation, let your display be from the highest end of the spectrum. Let go of that fear. But, how?

Let your display be that of a Karam Yogi.

Remember, we are all a part of one whole. That means healing one soul is healing every soul. So every effort counts. And every is needed now if we want to have any hope for the future.

  • Stop seeking what you can “get”, all the time. Start giving.
    If you want to be spiritual, really spiritual, stop living in the lack mindset.
    Stop hoarding on food, medicines & masks.
    Stop rushing others and creating panic.
    Start spreading hope, NOT fear.
    These are all primal instincts, fear-based instincts.
greed, fear, hope fo the future, selfish
  • If you see a stranger or animal that is injured, and have even the slightest urge to help them, don’t watch them bleed or pray for them to get help. BE their help. You might have been the help the Universe sent for them.
  • Don’t take mishaps personally. The universe isn’t against you. When plans fail, it’s the universe protecting you, NOT punishing you. Only when you stop taking things personally, is when you remain detached. Otherwise, you’re busy fulfilling personal agenda and fending for yourself. And in such cases, we cannot be of service.
  • Pay your dues, and don’t cut corners (no matter what space in life). Live out your karma properly and as consciously as you can so you don’t have it coming back for another round.

    That means that even in the most dire of times, don’t lose your integrity.

Read More : 7 Things We Need to Get Straight About Karma

  • Stop ignoring or mocking messages about global warming.
    Start taking plastic-bans seriously.
    Start taking water crisis seriously.
    And, start taking mother nature seriously.

    If you want to have hope for the future, you have to admit that it’s rocky. Not live in denial.
Global Warming, Ecology, Nature, Tsunami, Hope for the future

#2 – Attract More Power to You

Here’s some more hard-hitting truth. Are you ready?

If you really were working to make the world and yourself a better place, you wouldn’t be engulfed in fear. You would be in your power.

And in a time like this, the Universe is giving such lightworkers and torchbearers even MORE strength and power to work on behalf of those that choose to be bystanders.

How else do you think Australian firefighters can serve a country tirelessly day and night? While we struggle to get up an hour earlier from bed to help our own parents at home, because we were up late at night texting and mindlessly scrolling? (I’m guilty too)

How else do you think doctors and nurses are able to be in a place of constant threat to their own lives, whether it was ebola or the new COVID-19?

Don’t you think that other people out there are scared too?

I believe that there is a firefighter, a doctor, an angel in all of us. But we haven’t called them forth to duty, and hence they’re in slumber.

Angel, Guardian Angel, Angel Figure, Sleeping, Universe, Power, Destiny, Hope for the future

So what should you do to experience your true power? I’m glad you asked.

Do things that are beyond personal gratification.
Things that are bigger than you.
Things that take courage.
That are bold and unlikely of you to do.

You may have had a flash of inspiration as you read these sentences. And then an immediate counter-thought, “no that’s too big”.

But that’s the very thing that will bring you true power to fight this. Then watch as the Universe unfolds with opportunities for you to serve mankind, in a way that will truly redeem you.

#3 – Do The Inner Work

Sure, you might not have the courage in the immediate moment to serve somebody outside on the streets.

But can you atleast show up for yourself?

You might think this sounds counterintuitive. Selfish even. But, until you aren’t grounded, authentic and self-aware, you will not be of much use to those around you.

Only when you start showing up for yourself, and stop waiting for someone else to come save you, is when you can go save the world.

Most of us are lazy. We procrastinate, complain and then get tired really easily. Aren’t you tired of not being dependable? Of not feeling ‘worth’ much? These aren’t my words, these are the inner dialogues in most of our minds.

If we are that unhappy to be alive, then why are we resisting death? We might as well say thanks because we asked for it, and now it’s here!

Man, Skull, Background, Texture, Death
The truth is, we want to live. And we want to live well.

And that’s why, these catastrophes are happening. because the planet, the Universe and the future generations need us to wake up. We’ve been asleep way too long. We’ve been powerless way too long.

It’s time to step into our spiritual selves and truly integrate everything human with everything spiritual.

Concluding Thoughts

Ofcourse there are unpleasant facts about the grim situation around us. And perhaps a gross simplification of the way ‘out’, but the solution starts with some fundamentals that we still haven’t grasped.

We need to take responsibility and claim our part in all of this, because that’s the only way we can make it through the increasing mess. We need to be near the truth, not run away from it. Once you see reality for what it is, it becomes REAL. And thus act-uponable.

And, every single one of us counts.

But if you don’t think you do, you need to ask yourself why you’re still alive. Because as the saying goes, as long as you’re alive, you have a purpose.

So my question to you is, now that you’re here and alive, when are you going to start using this life?

Love, Light & Awareness,
Vasundhra

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Hope for the Future : How Can We Protect & Heal Ourselves?