The biggest shift in my life, the one that has radically transformed all aspects of my health, relationships, and work – is the transformation from living in ego to IGI.
There are many different definitions of what ego is, but the one that resonates for me is one I read years ago in a book by Wayne Dyer in which he referred to ego as “Edging God Out”. This definition simply and directly reveals how our self-obsession closes us off from the higher power and intelligence which is all around us and is the very source of our existence. We become like a tree without roots, disconnected from the very source of our own life.
My own journey has been the same as the perennial human quest to learn to transform from an ego-centered consciousness to a more expansive consciousness in which the ego is the servant of a higher power. A path I am still walking daily.
As I daily seek to live in a way that does not edge goodness out, inspiration struck and I coined a term that is the exact opposite of ego in every way.
This word is IGI: Inviting God In.
(Or Inviting Goodness In if you prefer not to use the word God with all of its accompanying theological baggage.)
Where ego isolates you from existence by the false belief that you are separate from everyone and everything else, IGI is a reminder that you are intimately connected with all of creation. Where you once pushed goodness out in your ignorance, you know invite goodness in because you understand the power of surrender and allowing your life to be informed by a deeper purpose.
My own life has been the story of moving from ego to learning to surrender into IGI. I was always attempting to fill that hole in my soul, that inner longing, yet attempting to fill it in all the wrong ways. I was living in ego, edging God and goodness out through seeking business success while succumbing to alcohol addiction and neglecting my relationships and health.
By seeking God in all the wrong places and all the wrong ways I was only reinforcing my ego. Rather than inviting goodness in and allowing my life to unfold, I was continually shutting it out. It was only when my own suffering and my impact on those I loved the most became so great that the shell of my ego was broken and a little light was allowed to enter my being.
I saw the two paths that my life could go. Down one path I saw a broken old man who would die unfilled, down the other I saw a healthy man full of life and joy. When the consequences of my way of living were seen so directly, I had no other choice but to radically change. Since that day, my life has completely been transformed as I practice every day the discipline of remaining in IGI.
Now, my daily mantra when I am faced with a decision is to ask myself: “Am I in ego or IGI?”
This brings me back to what is truly important, back to my inner orientation. Taking a moment to be inwardly silent and tune in to the energy behind my actions is a constant reminder to act in IGI.
All too often, individuals in their ignorance believe that ego is “bad” and needs to be eliminated. However, a healthy ego is a good thing and an entirely necessary aspect of being human. It is good to love yourself, to take care of yourself, and to seek your own happiness. If you didn’t have an ego, a separate sense of self, you wouldn’t be able to feed yourself or protect yourself from others who may take advantage of you.
However, the ego must be in its proper place. It must be the servant of your heart and mind, never the master. The ego only becomes a problem when it becomes a tyrant and serves to “edge God out”. That is, when it sees itself as God, sees itself as the greatest power in existence. The person acting in ego pushes God out by believing that they are God – that they are the center of the universe.
Essential to transitioning from EGO to IGI is learning to let go and trust. Like myself, individuals who are seeking success in business are often highly goal-oriented and like to be in control. They operate under the belief that they must do everything themselves and make everything happen.
This attitude can serve you as you learn to be self-sufficient and understand that success won’t fall into your lap without your hard work. However, there comes a time in our lives when we come to understand that along with our hard work and attempt to realize our goals, we must also learn to surrender our personal will so as to open ourselves to an intelligence that transcends our own.
By moving from ego to IGI we learn that by “inviting God in” we gain more than we could ever possibly have by acting alone. We surrender our egoic separate self and open ourselves to being supported and inspired by a force that is infinitely more wise and powerful than our limited, thinking self.
Many see surrender as a giving up of one’s power. However, surrender is not giving up your power, but surrendering to the power you already and have always contained but didn’t even realize. We are suggesting that by inviting goodness in one surrenders their false, pseudo-power for their true power which they tap into when they allow themselves to follow their heart and be in service to the whole, rather than a selfish, separate self.
If we can do this, we may find that things magically fall into place better than we could ever have imagined. That when we relax our expectations and insistence upon a particular outcome, something better than our wildest imaginings can manifest. The fact is that we don’t know what the best possible outcome is, and by relinquishing our white-knuckled grip our lives can naturally and spontaneously provide us with exactly what we need.
EGO is Edging GOod Out
IGI is Inviting GOod In
The IGI principles I am daily learning and applying have transformed my life. I encourage you to use this same simple word to remind yourself to forgive, surrender, and be in service in your life.
I think you will find, just as I did, that the peace and fulfillment that you so deeply seek is already yours and present always. You just need to get out of your own way and open yourself to your true purpose of being on this Earth.
Try incorporating IGI in your own life as you shift your inner orientation from edging GOod(ness) out to Inviting GOod(ness) in!