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The special lady from the catering who always took such great care of us would finally join us in one of our ceremony’s. I had jokingly said that she was only welcome if she would bring her delicious dessert "heavenly mud". That did not fall on deaf ears. By the end of the first day of the ceremony, all the participants were enjoying this chocolate treat.

During that day I had enjoyed the relaxed way she had of accepting her own light and love. That same ease showed on the second day as well. She was genuinely amazed at the simplicity with which she could dance in her own heavenly light. At the end of the ceremony she was grateful for the deep healing she had experienced. That was the heavenly piece. The muddy part still had to come.

Two weeks later, I ran into her while she was serving meals a little somberly. The simmering of the mud had begun. She told me that she had been feeling wonderful for the days after the ceremony and had suddenly fallen into a negative mood. It was as if the gateway to a promising world had been slammed shut in front of her with a bang. I was now sure that the integration of her ceremony was in full swing.

The experience of a narrowing of consciousness after it has been in full expansion is called a contraction. If your ego senses that you have entered a path of serious renewal it may use a contraction to distract you from the new steps you are taking. This is because your ego's goal is to keep everything the same and has little interest in the expansion of your system. The cramping can occur in all elements of your system. It is the goal of your ego to get you out of your natural balance and it uses exactly the element that has the most impact on you.

Air: if your mental space is populated with negative critical thoughts about yourself and life then your ego uses your thought world to distract you. You get thoughts like 'I did it wrong', 'what a loser I am’, 'I didn't even remember the most important insights'. When your mind is hijacked by these thoughts your ego has succeeded in distracting you.

Water: the ego can also darken your emotional life to distract you. Suddenly you feel that you are empty or gloomy and life seems meaningless and filled with woes. Somewhere in the periphery of your consciousness you know this is nonsense but within this contraction it feels like it’s impossible to evoke positive feelings. You seem to be stuck in an emotional pit.

Earth: the ego is anything but "nice" in the physical realm as it tries to distract you. You get these strange aches and pains that you can't pinpoint. Enough to make you a little worried. Did I catch something physical? Is my heart still okay? Do I have that same hernia again from ten years ago? Chances are that the only thing you've sustained is an expanded consciousness that forced your ego to stop your impulse to get to the new you.

Fire: the element of fire represents our energy, passion, the will to live. If you are vital then your body sparkles with energy. If your ego is using your energy body for distraction then it is either lifeless or it is giving off irregular energy shocks. There is nothing serious going on but your ego creates enough consternation to distract you from renewal.

It is highly advisable to be alert to the workings of the ego in the weeks after the ceremony and to recognize the signs above as distractions. If you have real concerns about your body then of course visit a doctor but chances are… they will not find anything out of the ordinary.

Recognizing and neutralizing ego spasms is a valuable training. If you recognize that your ego is distracting you then you have already gained a lot. Your ego generally uses fear and worry to hold you back from new steps. Sometimes it uses anger or disappointment. In fact, it can be very frustrating to recognize how a part of yourself is standing in the way of healthy development. If you fight this part, then it has won because you are fighting and thus forgetting that you wanted to take a new step.

If you recognize that your ego is sabotaging you then it is important to shift your attention to what you were doing. If the ego is trying to get you in a contraction then it had a serious reason for doing so. You were taking a real step. When you remember which one it was then you just take it. The art of dealing with ego-cramps is the art of shifting your attention and just moving on again. Don’t get caught up in the distraction.

If you find that the cramping remains remember there are gates in all the elements to bring back relaxation.

Air: breath consciously, air the house, watch light-hearted series, recall loving insights from your diary, wear a nice scent.

Earth: get a massage, dance, play sports, move around, pet animals, hug trees or people, play the drums, hold a crystal, have a great dinner.


Water: shower, swim, go to the sea, listening to sensitive music, read beautiful poetry, make love, drink a glass of water with full attention, seek intimacy.

Fire: sit by a fire, have a gratitude ceremony for yourself, pamper yourself, share your love with a friend, burn sage or incense.

In the contraction, make sure you can find the relaxation again and the bit of confidence you need to step up to a lighter frequency of yourself. Your ego is a cunning adversary who sabotages you on one level but it is also your sparring partner who ensures that your consciousness is fully grounded. It sometimes tries to test you to see how robust and serious your renewal drive is. It can help you ground your heavenly experiences by putting your feet back in the mud.

Heavenly mud, what a special dessert!

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