Practices To Help You Move Toward Your True Self (And Away From Ego)

mbg Contributor By Deborah Hanekamp
mbg Contributor
Deborah Hanekamp, also known as Mama Medicine, has been called “fashion’s favorite healer” by Vogue Magazine. She facilitates Medicine Readings out of her Space in Soho, New York.
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Image by Sergio Marcos / Stocksy

Our ego is our attachment to identity, and it serves one and one purpose only: to keep us safe. But for most of us, due to societal and generational conditioning, our reptilian brain has our ego running the show. With the ego in charge, we hold ourselves back in so many ways.

Do you feel stuck? Trapped? Lonely? Hello, ego. 

The ego keeps us from courageous moves that will help us grow into more open and loving people and leaves us searching outside of ourselves for answers, frozen to some external identity yet simultaneously feeling lost. It also puts fear around judgment. If you change, what will they think? What will they say?

The they that you fear isn't real.

The fact is, no matter what you do—if you keep yourself really tucked in or if you are "too much"—someone will be judging you either way. But how can others even really see you if you are only showing the projection of yourself that you think they want to see?

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Practices to help you move away from ego and toward intuition.

In medicine readings, I'm asked all the time, "How can I get more in touch with my intuition?" I believe that we are all very intuitive. It's just that we've been taught to not trust how we feel. Intuition is in flow with the great mystery. Ego makes us afraid of this mystery; it wants to know exactly what comes next. 

Asking ourselves, "Who am I seeking acknowledgment from and why?" is one powerful way to hold a mirror to your ego. The question exposes all the ways we pour ourselves into molds in order to people-please and is the first step toward tapping into the intuition that the ego tries to shield us from.

Once you ask this question, it's time to turn your attention to your habits. Ego will always find a way to excuse numbing habits, such as overuse of alcohol, drugs, and screen time, because when our senses are numb, we are easier to control. But tune-outs and distractions will really just cause more stress over time.

Don't let the ego trick you; the tools you use to numb out are not a ritual; they are habitual

Do you ever feel curious about what your potential could be if you stopped numbing out? Maybe great shifts would occur. Maybe you would cry, scream, heal. Maybe you would recall how to truly have fun and let loose. Maybe you could stop pretending that what you think, say, and do doesn't matter. 

To start to overcome numbing habits and tap into intuition, pick one habit that you have that you are willing to admit to yourself is holding you back in some way. Vow to step away from that one thing for a minimum time span of seven days. Notice how your ego screams for that habit to come back. Take notes in your journal or simply notice how courageous you feel without it.

Throughout this time, you'll know you're following your intuition instead of ego if you start to see more synchronicities. If you are not sure exactly why, but you feel the need to reach out to a certain person or be in a certain place at a certain time. There will be less needing to know and more trusting how you feel. When you trust your intuition enough to follow it, you are in the flow—peaceful and grounded. When you are grounded, you are so supported, so held, so loved, and so protected. 

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