My Journey from Ego to Self: The Story of My Year Away From Instagram Fame, Just in Time For Sukkot

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Hey everyone!

So, for those of you who subscribe by email, you have received my latest blog post that I wrote right after I deserted social media, explaining why I left. I published it now, as a prelude to this post. It's been 11 months since I stopped posting on my 40+K follower Fashionisha Instagram page. And 10 months since I DELETED that page, losing all of my photos and followers. If you look up "Fashionisha" on Instagram it is now owned by someone entirely new.

I just kinda disappeared. But it was a long time coming. If you guys want the details of why I left, you can read this post (the one I mentioned abovethat I wrote back in the beginning of January of 2019, right after I deleted my page. But, today, I'm here for a totally different reason. Today I want to share with you what I've learned and discovered in this past year or so, being, for the most part, off of social media. It's been a journey of letting go of something that was a huge part of my life and identity for a long time, and what I've learned about detaching myself from the EGO and finding a healthy sense of SELF. And isn't that what Sukkot is all about? We leave the luxury of our homes for the meager and simple world of the Sukkah. A place where we find peace, humility, and connection to our innate value through the altruistic connection to our family and dependence on G-d alone.

Do you guys want to know what it was like to let it all go? Here it is:

Let's begin on last January 1st, when I deleted my very popular page on Instagram. It went something like this:

Stage 1: Euphoria

The day I deleted my page I felt EUPHORIC. Yes, euphoric! I felt like I had done something HUGE. I remember I was training for the Miami 1/2 marathon, which in itself was pretty badass; and I was running down A1A, endorphins sweeping through my blood stream, sweat droplets flying backward into the hot air behind me, and thinking, "I'm free! I"m free!" But soon after....

Stage 2: Loss

I felt a MASSIVE LOSS.  Stage 1 did NOT last very long. I was in major withdrawal. Generally, I don't have an addictive personality, although I do have my vices, but this....this felt like a huge hole. Anything and everything I did lost its value and meaning without posting it. When I went to the beach, I would think, "What's the point? I'm not going to post a story about it anyway." This stage was a huge wake up call to me about how much ego is involved in being an Instagram influencer and how addictive and unfulfilled any work that feeds the ego can be. I had to re-learn the art of actually living in real life, enjoying the precious moments in the here and now. Remember when we did that when we were like 4 or 5 years old? It's worth it to try to think back to that and taste a bit of that euphoria.  If you're addicted to social media, you may not even be able to access that pure, blissful sense of SELF. But more on that later. Anyway, after a while, this happened:

Stage 3: Freedom

Not posting everything became delicious and freeing. Like, I didn't have that horrible pressure to post my outfits anymore. And to wrack my mind as to who I was going to bother to take my pictures. And to beat myself up because I was too nice to make sure my pictures were as perfect as all the other bloggers' who just seemed to be getting better and better (and younger and thinner and fancier and more "urbane" and thicker lipped and get my drift?)  It was true FREEDOM! But, addiction is hard, and I still felt loss, so then came the...

Stage 4: Self Righteousness

SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS  OK here is where I started getting  judgmental of people that were always taking pictures and had to "document" everything. I relished spending time with friends and not having to prove to the world at large that I actually had friends. AHA moment right there. Those people that had to prove everything were so annoying! (Ouch. That had been me.) There was a lot of eye-rolls on my part in this phase. That's when I realized I had become one those poor, strange people that aren't on social media and live in the real world! That's what I used to think about people when they would say they never heard of my blog because they aren't on social media. (Poor me, my ego was crushed. Boohoo.) I would think poor them, they're missing an entire universe. When all along it was the the other way around.

Stage 5: Redemption

At some point during this journey, I started to change my answer when people asked me why I stopped posting.  I started to say that it just got too big for me. That my "Fashionisha" Instagram page with my 40+K Instagram followers did not represent the real me and I didn't feel authentic or comfortable receiving stranger fans' ravings of me being "amazing" or a "role model"or their "style icon" or a "top influencer" (that word!) or even like their "best friend" (I never saw that person before in my life!)  I know. this sounds a little bit pathetic (sucks for me, I got famous...boohoo), but after a while, too much ego, like sugar or alcohol, starts to make you feel really not well or healthy. And then when it's gone, you're in misery until you get some more again. And the cycle goes on. Because, at some point, I must have lost my SELF to EGO.

Honestly, this particular truth was the door that led me to my REDEMPTION...the ability to recognize and let go of my ego and fully embrace, accept and truly love my SELF. The me that is just me. The me that is a soul that is as brilliant as all the other shining souls in this world. You, me, her, him...we are are all imperfect. And we are all brilliant.  And we don't need thousands of people to prove it either way.

Through a lot of introspection and work (living with that feeling of loss and freedom); and with the tremendous influence of Gedale Fenster's* classes, on emuna (faith) and Rabbi Nachman's teachings, I learned to discern the difference between acting out of ego vs. self. And this, my friends is what I came here to share with you. The way to feel full and satisfied and grateful in every moment of your life for no other reason than because Hashem decided He needs you here. That not 1 or 40K people can give that to you nor take that away from you, nor should you need or allow other people's opinions, or even your circumstances to define who you are. But that you are simply a precious, necessary soul in a world that is constantly flowing with blessings if you choose to open yourself up to them.

Here are some tell-tale signs that will help you navigate your life away from your ego (which is essentially your yetzer horah-the evil inclination) and, hopefully towards a place of SELF love, SELF worth, and SELF fulfillment. Let's do this while the new year is still new!

You will know you're in an unhealthy state of EGO when you feel the following:

Self Righteous
Holier Than Thou
Feeling small
Overly Emotional
Afraid of Rejection
Left Out

BEWARE! The ego is very sly. It will make you feel like you are RIGHT to take action on those feelings! To counteract this, dose yourself immediately with loads of SELF love, SELF respect, and SELF care! Remind yourself that you are awesome, worthy and enough without needing to hear it from others. Only YOU get to choose who or what defines you.

You will know you're in a healthy state of SELF when you feel the following:

Good Enough
Relaxed in the moment of what is
Grateful for all you have
Grateful for your challenges
Being a winner by not having to win
Accepting of others and self
Loving of yourself
Loving of others
Mevater (when you "allow" others to have success or "win")
Connected to the universal energy that connects us all
In a "WE" state, not a "ME" state
Willing to give up something for peace because you want to and it makes you feel good
Like a winner without proof from anyone
Giving the benefit of the doubt.
Wishing well on competition.
Accepting there's enough for everybody
Understanding the infinity of G-d's blessings and by sharing you're opening your pipeline for receiving.
Rising above your ego and feeling damn good about it!
Accepting humbly that the ego sometimes gets you and it's OK to be imperfect.
Forgiving of yourself
Forgiving of others
Letting the ego go.
No guilt about doing what your soul is here to do!

Try to get yourself into a SELF or SOUL state as much as possible! Meditate on these concepts. Practice feeling them! You will learn the difference by the way you FEEL in your decisions and actions. (Light and happy is SOUL, tight and aggressive is EGO.)

We're right in the middle of a long Holiday season so these tools can really help you get through any intense situations that may arise.

How about this? Try to only take actions, make decisions, and speak when you feel you're in a safe space of healthy SELF. If you need a little time to get there, take the time! Knowing your inherent self worth is key to all of this!

There's nothing wrong with saying how you feel or standing up for what you believe in or asking for what you want and need. But first make sure you're in a healthy place of SELF (Meditate on these thoughts: I'm worthy, lovable, and good enough. Being imperfect is OK. The other person's reaction is from their own pain, etc.) as opposed to reacting in a highly emotional EGO state.  Think about the difference between, "How dare you" or "Who do you think you are?" vs."This is what I need" or "I disagree with you and it's OK if we disagree." or "You're right. I made a mistake. But I'm allowed to make mistakes.  Now, what can we do to rectify it?" Not only are you setting boundaries for how you should to be treated, but you will earn respect and get your message across clearly and without unnecessary drama. You be the anchor that calms the storm!

Remember: The ego never feels satisfied, but the self is satisfied right now with what it has.

If you'd like to learn more about these and lots of other tools for living a happy, calm, and peaceful life, please  email me for your very own personal coaching appointment. You're worth it!

I'm so happy to be back here. I hope you are too. Stay tuned for more great posts!

Meanwhile, have a beautiful Sukkot holiday!

I can't wait to hear from you!

With loads of love,


*For a personal invite to Gedale Fenster's WhatsApp group to listen to his daily classes, please contact me.


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