Tue, March 31

Marta Adelsman Column: Awake and aware: a horse lesson

My husband, Steve, had the video camera ready. I felt pretty good as I trotted and cantered Jasilla around the arena. Jasilla and I have developed a solid rapport during this past year. I’ve ridden her a lot and have contributed toward her training. She has become my favorite horse to ride at the ranch.

As Steve kept the camera on us, I thought to myself, “He’s getting some great footage!” I thought of the reaction my friends would have as they viewed these clips on my Facebook page. “I look really good. I’ve come a long way in my riding skills, and it really shows. People will be so impressed!”

Suddenly Jasilla bucked. The next thing I knew, I looked up at the sky from a position on the ground! Along with the toppling of my physical body, my ego had also taken a huge fall.

Why do I have to learn the hard way where the ego is concerned? Horses reflect it back to me whenever it operates in their presence! I could imagine Jasilla saying, “Oh, so you want to use me for your own selfish ends? Good-bye!” The incident prompted some soul-searching and reaching toward self-awareness.

I saw that the show-off part of myself had taken over. I’m not making this part wrong. Everyone has some version of it. Like it did with me, it gets you into trouble only when you’re not conscious of it.

The ego loves secrecy. It delights to operate hidden in the dark shadows where you don’t see it easily. Here, outside of your awareness, it can carry on its antics and shenanigans. Here it feeds itself and gets fat from the drama it creates in your life.

When you take the floodlight of your awareness and shine its light into the dark corners where the ego hopes you won’t find it, it runs for cover. It loosens its grip because, when you choose to live from your conscious awareness, you stop feeding it. It lets go of much of its weighty influence over your feelings, thoughts, situations and circumstances.

You can expose it in different ways. You can inwardly say, “Aha! I see what you’re up to!” You can journal about how it runs you around. Or you can “tell on it,” audibly letting someone you trust know how it “gotcha.” (You can also write about it in a newspaper column!)

Should you choose to take these steps, be prepared, because the ego will want you to feel humiliated and embarrassed. Of course! It’s been exposed! However, it won’t hang around long to make you discontent, angry, fearful, confused, anxious, resistant, sad, bored, or craving something to fulfill it.

When you consistently confront the ego over time, you create for yourself a much more joyful and drama-free existence.

Dr. Marta coaches herself and others toward better communication and higher-consciousness living. To contact her, call (928) 451-9482 or write her at

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