For starters, before I had any personal contact with Rev. Denise regarding the class, my ego went right to the money issue (my Achilles's heel!), "$179 for six weeks and it's only a one hour phone call? That's a lot of money for six hours of telephone time. And you've tried these things before, and you've never stuck with it. Waste of time, waste of money. Forget it!"
I explained to my ego that the price also included a workbook and six CDS, and that Rev. Denise is a nationally known personality who really impressed me when I heard her speak, took her sound healing workshop, and experienced a healing session with her. And damn it, what about the butterfly? I worked hard to fight back!
And then, when Rev. Denise responded to my email requesting a Discovery Session to help me determine if this class might be of value to me, her email started out with 'Hello there,' and my ego said, "Really? Hello there? She can't even mention your name in her greeting? Does she really even know who she's sending the email to? Does she even care? You want to spend good money for a class where the instructor doesn't even have the courtesy to address you by name?"
Rev. Denise went on to offer me a couple of options for a session. I could choose Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, between 2 and 4 PM EDT. I emailed back my choice for a session on Wednesday at 2 PM EDT, and told her I looked forward to hearing from her at that time. Her response started with 'Hi There.' and she informed me that it would be best if I called her.
My ego was off and running again: "What? She still can't use your name? And you have to call her? Doesn't sound to me like she cares about anything except getting your money. She can't even make the call! This is bullshit! I told you it's a waste of time. You don't need this."
So an hour later, when this email from Rev. Denise hit my inbox, my ego went wild:
'My bad. Mixed up my days.
Thursday at 2:00 works best for me.
"My bad? Really? Talk about unprofessional language in a business communication! And she can't even keep her calendar straight! She's the one that gave you the options and then she screws up! And you want to take advice and direction from her? Come on, Bonnie. You need to rethink this, big time! I'm telling you, this class isn't for you!"
Singing Zippity Do-dah in my head every time that little voice started up, I managed to keep ego's nagging to a minimum between that last email and today's phone call with Rev. Denise, without changing my mind.
Wouldn't you know it, though, when I called at the appointed time, I got voice mail! And right away my ego started in again: "She picked the date and time. She told you to call and you did, and she isn't even there! How many more messages do you need that this really isn't for you?" On and on it went. As I left my message, I was praying she'd call back quickly, if for no other reason than to drown out that persistent, negative egoic voice screaming in my head.
Thankfully, about two minutes later, she returned my call, and after our discussion I was even more determined than ever to register for the class. And then my ego had another opportunity to pick up its tirade once again, when Rev. Denise mentioned the start date of the class as Monday, January 7.
January 7 is a Tuesday, not a Monday, and when I mentioned this to Rev. Denise, she told me I was mistaken. She said she always teaches this class on Monday, and January 7 is a Monday. I explained I was looking at the calendar and it was Tuesday!
She asked me to hold on as she checked things out, and during the silence on her end of the phone, my ego began its song and dance once again: "Ha! I told you this class wasn't for you! She screwed up! AGAIN! This is the person you want to give you guidance? To help you figure out the next step? You're looking at the calendar and she's telling you you're wrong! She can't even keep her own life straight. How is she going to help you? And you've already got your own things scheduled for Monday nights anyway." I could just visualize my ego jumping up and down in ecstasy, visualizing victory.
Rev. Denise got back on the phone and acknowledged she made a mistake, but said she is teaching the class on Monday evenings and the start date will be January 6. My ego started up again. "You've got things scheduled. You can't do Monday nights. This isn't going to work, yada, yada, yada."
I explained the situation to Rev. Denise and we figured out a way I can still make this work. She took my address to send me the CDS, and we hung up. I immediately went to her website and hit the Pay Now button to lock in my registration. I was exhausted!
But I fought the good fight, and at least for now, I've won the battle with my ego. But the course is still a few weeks away, and there's still ample time for my ego to get in a few more licks. And even once the class starts, I can allow that voice in my head to dissuade me, to keep me too busy to participate or make me 'forget' I have an obligation. So many ways my ego can work to keep me from following the Guidance I received.
Our egos don't like change. They like the status quo because staying in the same place is familiar, even if it isn't comfortable. They know how to do familiar, they don't know how to do new and different and bigger and better, and so when an opportunity for expansion presents itself, our egos will do everything in their power to convince us the opportunity isn't what we think it is. They are really just trying to keep us safe, but playing it safe isn't a very good recipe for growth.
I could allow myself to be convinced that this class really isn't for me. I could see all the little missteps up to this point as being 'signs' that I made a mistake, that the orange and black butterfly at the top of Rev. Denise's webpage doesn't really mean what I think it means. It would be easier to do that: I'd save money, I wouldn't have to worry about the class interfering with my own events schedule, I won't have to hold myself accountable for attending, I won't have to find the time to do the work, etc., etc. But that orange and black butterfly was a powerful message to me when I walked into that bedroom in Anchorage and saw that wall of butterflies. And I don't believe in coincidences. I just don't. Synchronicities? Yes. Guidance? Absolutely! Coincidences? NO!
I know my ego isn't done with me yet, and I can't rest easy until I complete the class, because I know if I let down my guard, my ego will take every opportunity to keep me from finishing. I don't know where this class will lead me, but I think my ego must have an inkling that it's going to lead to significant changes. I think so too. So even though I have no doubt my ego's work isn't done, I'm prepared for the battles to come. And by the time the end of the class comes around, my ego will be out of work... at least until the next time!