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Day 31: Officially 1 Month on the Road

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It has officially been 1 month on the road. Does it feel like that? Absolutely not! Time is sure flying by. We are having a blast. Since we last updated a lot has happened! After coming back to the mainland from Victoria we got to have a few nice visits with some of my grandparents and other family members. I would like to thank everyone for your hospitality 🙂 It was so great to spend some time with you guys.

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So, coming into the US of A we were a little paranoid that we might be harassed a bit at the border as our car is decorated with ‘COLLECTIVE-EVOLTUON.COM’ and ‘SHIFT-PROJECT.ORG,’  really, we had no troubles, but did get harassed a tiny bit the border cop people saw our case of DVD’s that we have. They assume we are trying to sell them in the US to make money.. Joe’s conversation with the border guy went something like this:

Cop: So you are distributing these DVD’s?
Joe: No we gave a couple out along the way in Canada.
Cop: So you’re selling them in the US?
Joe: No not selling
Cop: So you’re distributing these in the US then.
Joe: No
Cop: So you are handing these out in the US then.
Joe: No

Cop: Oh ok so you are selling them in the us then.
Joe: No, not selling and not handing out.
Cop: OK (2 minutes go by) So you are handing these out then?
Joe: No, not at all.
Cop: ok so selling them then.
Joe: No! Not handing out or selling anything. They ONLY sell on our website.
Cop: I see. Well it seems like your not distributing these then but you either pay $10.75 to get across the border with these (25 DVD’s) or we turn you around and you head back to Canada.
Joe: Here’s the money.
Joe in his head: Your job has a finite life span because of these DVD’s. One day you will recognize me as a human being just as I see you.

So silly. In the end we had to pay $10.75 because the cop was somehow convinced that we would be selling them.

Anyhow, after that we headed into Seattle and had a nice visit with our friend Noah and his friend Josh. It’s so great to meet people that have the same level of drive and understanding. This SHIFT is real, and is happening all around us 🙂

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From Seattle to California in 1 day and then we had the most wonderful interview with Inelia Benz. After feeling some uncomfortable vibes, it was so great to meet Inelia and her daughter Daniella and be around higher vibing energy. We asked some questions and received some pretty amazing answers. If you do not know Inelia Benz I suggest you check out her website: http://ascension101.com/ or check out her interview with Bill Ryan from ‘Project Avalon’ here. She has a pretty incredible story and we are thrilled to have her as a part of CE3.

From there we headed down to San Francisco and got to meet hang out with the beautiful Nicole McGall, we had a lovely visit! It’s so nice to finally meet some of these people that we have been networking with for awhile 🙂

Yesterday we had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Batty of ‘Hydrogen Garage’ http://hydrogengarage.com/ we filmed some great information about hydrogen boosters for vehicles, and just free energy in general.

Today we have a day off in the beautiful sunny Santa Monica, CA and we plan to go to the ocean for a swim.

Much Love!

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Consciousness

How We Can Become Better Listeners For Each Other

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We all like to have great listeners on our side, especially among the people closest to us. However, many of us are not the great listeners that we want others to be for us.

  • Reflect On:

    Is becoming a great listener based simply on learning good skills and tactics, or is there something more involved?

In order to foster truly deep, meaningful relationships with others, whether they be professional or personal, at least half the battle is knowing and respecting how the other person wants to be heard. Likely they are not so different from you in this regard.

As a life coach, I have come to learn that there is an art and science to listening, one that needs to be cultivated through practice and conscious effort. In my book Parables for the New Conversation, several parables are devoted to showing how problems are created between people not so much by the message that is sent, but how it is received. The receiver of the message is really in control of whether or not the conversation will turn out to be fruitful or not.

Active Listening

Assuming that we have a desire to listen and we want our partner to feel that they have been heard, what might our behavior look like?

Well, let’s start with the basics. Most people would agree that not talking when the other person is speaking is essential. If we can add in timely facial expressions and verbal sounds (“Mmm-hmm”s), this may certainly help make our partner feel that he or she is being heard. And then there is that quintessential sign that we are actively listening–if we are able to remember and repeat what the other person has said, in some form like, “What I’m hearing you say is…”.

These principles may represent some of the science of listening, but not so much the art. What I saw a lot of during my life coaching certification, especially when doing coaching role-play with other students, was the formulaic application of the principles of active listening that sometimes had a hollowness and predictability to it. Of course this is understandable, especially when people are starting off trying to do what they are not accustomed to doing. While these fundamentals are important first steps, we need to understand more the ‘why’ of active listening processes, and then get beyond formulas in order to be felt to be a great listener by others.

Understanding What People Want

If you think about someone who you consider a great listener, or think back to a conversation within which you felt you were really heard, what was that listener providing? Were they merely listening, or were they actually helping you get more clear and articulate about what you were thinking and feeling inside? Did they accept everything at face value, or did they subtly challenge you? Did you find yourself actually feeling more relaxed and confident about what you were saying?

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In this Harvard Business Review study, data from 3,492 participants was distilled into four main points that people felt were characteristics of good listening:

  • Good listening is much more than being silent while the other person talks. To the contrary, people perceive the best listeners to be those who periodically ask questions that promote discovery and insight. These questions gently challenge old assumptions, but do so in a constructive way. Sitting there silently nodding does not provide sure evidence that a person is listening, but asking a good question tells the speaker the listener has not only heard what was said, but that they comprehended it well enough to  want additional information. Good listening was consistently seen as a two-way dialog, rather than a one-way “speaker versus hearer” interaction. The best conversations were active.
  • Good listening included interactions that build a person’s self-esteem. The best listeners made the conversation a positive experience for the other party, which doesn’t happen when the listener is passive (or, for that matter, critical!). Good listeners made the other person feel supported and conveyed confidence in them. Good listening was characterized by the creation of a safe environment in which issues and differences could be discussed openly.
  • Good listening was seen as a cooperative conversation. In these interactions, feedback flowed smoothly in both directions with neither party becoming defensive about comments the other made. By contrast, poor listeners were seen as competitive — as listening only to identify errors in reasoning or logic, using their silence as a chance to prepare their next response. That might make you an excellent debater, but it doesn’t make you a good listener. Good listeners may challenge assumptions and disagree, but the person being listened to feels the listener is trying to help, not wanting to win an argument.
  • Good listeners tended to make suggestions. Good listening invariably included some feedback provided in a way others would accept and that opened up alternative paths to consider. This finding somewhat surprised us, since it’s not uncommon to hear complaints that “So-and-so didn’t listen, he just jumped in and tried to solve the problem.” Perhaps what the data is telling us is that making suggestions is not itself the problem; it may be the skill with which those suggestions are made. Another possibility is that we’re more likely to accept suggestions from people we already think are good listeners. (Someone who is silent for the whole conversation and then jumps in with a suggestion may not be seen as credible. Someone who seems combative or critical and then tries to give advice may not be seen as trustworthy.)

The ‘Art’ Of Listening

Listening only elevates into an art when you are no longer just doing it by rote, based on a set of principles, but when you truly attempt to connect to the other person, and ground your conversations in respect, care, and, let’s say it–love. The insights from the study made above need to be more than just steps to follow, they need to act as pointers towards the disposition you have to be willing to embrace within yourself to become a great listener. And the easiest way to cultivate this is to actually care what the person is saying!

But beyond caring about what they are saying, caring about why they are saying it is even more important. If you can align at a deep level with why a person is communicating with you, and what, at a deeper level, they are trying to get from the conversation, that is when they will really start to feel listened to.

For some people this is natural, and is probably why they are pretty good listeners to begin with. But many of us are not quite as intrinsically motivated to care about the other person or what they are saying. Still, if you want to be a good listener and experience connecting with people in a more satisfying way that goes beyond just learning the ‘highly effective habits’ of good listeners, then care is pretty fundamental to the process. If this seems daunting, here are a few entry-points into becoming a great listener for real:

Curiosity. When we speak to others our minds can revert to trying to gain control, seeking satisfaction from speaking out under the assumption we know what the other person is trying to say. This is especially true with a spouse or close friend we know well. The result is often a conversation that is lifeless and boring, if not confrontational. To mitigate this, simply decide that you will make a conscious effort to let go of all your preconceived assumptions and be curious about what the other person is saying. Be willing to gently dig deeply wherever things are unclear until you get a fuller picture. Enjoy the conversation as though there are mysteries to be solved.

Openness to learning. If you think you know everything, or enter into a conversation with a rigid perspective that you don’t want to change, you are unlikely to listen in a way that is satisfying to the other person. Try enter into each conversation thinking that there is something for you to learn, and actively seek out to learn something, either about the person, the issue they are having, or life in general. Another human perspective on things is the spice of life, and rather than focusing on the merits of your own perspective, consider trying to expand your worldview by paying close attention to how others see things.

A higher purpose. In the bigger picture, humanity will find greater unity as we coalesce our individual perspectives into a beautiful and complex tapestry. We contribute to this whenever we make each other’s point of view feel like it is something of value. In this endeavor, which I call ‘the new conversation,’ our listening is imbued with the a sense of deep reverence for life and our growth, not only as individuals but as a species. In each conversation that we partake in, we have an opportunity in the way we listen to further the evolution of collective consciousness. What greater motivation do we need than that?

The Takeaway

Devoting yourself to be a great listener for others, in a way that comes from the heart rather than simply the mind, will likely return your efforts tenfold in the magical connection and fulfillment you will feel.

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Snakes In Suits: Are Psychopaths Running The World?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    By comparing traits of psychopaths, as determined by experts, to those of people in corporate or political positions of power, we can see a clear link.

  • Reflect On:

    Psychopaths feel no remorse, guilt or empathy for their actions. When we look at the many inhumane acts that are currently taking place on our planet, it begs the following question: Are psychopaths running our world?

Often when we think of the word psychopath, we think of deranged serial killers that are hopefully locked up in prison for life. While there are many psychopaths who kill for reasons that are unfathomable to most of us and who are indeed in prison, there is an even greater number roaming free in our society and often using their condition to their advantage in any way possible. In fact, it is very likely that you know some–they might even be your colleagues.

Most of us do not know or work with any serial killers, at least not that we are aware of. So, what exactly is a psychopath and how can we define them? The dictionary definition is as follows:

“A person suffering from a chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.”

As you can probably tell, a lot more than just serial killers will fit into this broad definition. In fact, according to Canadian psychologist Dr. Robert Hare, a world-renowned expert on psychopathy, an estimated 1% of the Earth’s population is psychopathic and around 25% of the population of male inmates at federal correctional facilities are psychopathic.

Psychopathic Traits

It is important to note that, in contrast with the popular image of the ‘deranged psycho,’ psychopaths tend to be very well composed, take good care of their appearance and are very charming (think of Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho). Because of this you may have a difficult time spotting them out, as they are masters of deception and are able to fake a lot of the qualities that define regular people. Some other psychopathic traits, according to Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist, are as follows:

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  • Glib and superficial charm
  • Grandiose estimation of self
  • Need for stimulation
  • Manipulative and cunning
  • Complete lack of remorse or guilt
  • Pathological lying
  • Have a parasitic lifestyle, often latching onto and taking from others
  • Have a history of early behavioral problems
  • Overly impulsive
  • Are very irresponsible
  • Unable to accept responsibility for actions
  • Unable to commit to long-term relationships
  • History of juvenile delinquency
  • Display criminal versatility
  • Experienced a “revocation of conditional release”
  • Lacks realistic long term goals
  • History of promiscuous sexual behavior
  • Have poor behavioral controls
  • Are callous and lack empathy
  • Have a “shallow affect” (psychopaths show a lack of emotion when an emotional reaction is appropriate.)

You can actually rate yourself to find out if you are psychopath. On each criterion, the subject is ranked on a 3-point scale: (0 = item does not apply, 1 = item applies somewhat, 2 = item definitely applies). The scores are summed to create a rank of zero to 40. Anyone who scores 30 and above is most likely a psychopath. Hare has used this test and checklist to detect which inmates are psychopaths.

Snakes In Suits

What many of us don’t realize is that psychopaths actually thrive in the corporate world. Hare has actually co-authored a book with Dr. Paul Babiak on this topic entitled, Snakes In Suits: Understanding and Surviving the Psychopaths in Your Office. Psychopaths manipulate others to accrue power, sometimes pitting them against each other in an attempt to divide and conquer. They are often attracted to bigger, dynamic corporations with very little structure or supervision. They generally don’t work well in teams because they don’t like to share information or skills and it brings them joy to watch others fail. They are addicted to power, status and money. Sound familiar?

Sadly, the corporate world is set up to favor psychopathic traits such as fearlessness, dominant behavior and immunity to stress. Because of this, psychopaths often find themselves in these types of positions, and then have an easier time climbing the corporate ladder and obtaining positions of great power. This is where they can do real damage to society.

Are Psychopaths Running The World?

Not only as corporate heads do psychopaths find success in our modern-day society, but also within our governments and political system — often as front-line politicians. This may come as a shock to you, but when you really look at some of the atrocities that are taking place on our planet, and if you’ve ever wondered how things that are so inhumane could actually be happening, well, therein lies your answer.

When you consider the war, genocide, senseless murder of civilians, treatment of the indigenous cultures of the world, chemicals in our food, air and water supply, acts of “terrorism”, war crimes and so many other unjust and cruel actions which are often instigated by our political leaders, it becomes easy to see how psychopaths actually fit the requirements for these types of roles quite well. As mentioned before they are masters of deception, pathological liars and often quite charming.

Many soldiers go to war and because they are conditioned to believe that they are fighting an enemy in the name of peace. They do as they are told and commit these heinous acts against other human beings. The reason why so many soldiers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder is because it is not within human nature to murder other humans, and especially innocent civilians.

We already know how many politicians are crooked, but perhaps its time to start looking at them with the psychopath checklist in mind so that we can be better equipped to protect not only ourselves but our society from their malicious acts.

But Can’t We Help Them?

It is natural for anyone who is an empath or those involved in spiritual work to have compassion for these individuals and feel compelled to help them overcome their psychopathic behavior. However, most research has pointed towards the understanding that psychopaths are born, not made and therefore cannot be cured. This is one of the main differences that separates sociopaths from psychopaths. Another is that sociopaths have a conscience, albeit a weak one, and will often justify something they know to be wrong. By contrast, psychopaths will believe that their actions are justified and feel no remorse for any harm done. Sociopaths are made, and have a higher likelihood of overcoming their condition. However, many of those with sociopathic behavior will find themselves in similar corporate positions.

Hare’s research discovered that by attempting to heal or help a psychopath, you might actually be strengthening their cunning abilities, as they will find a way to manipulate you into believing that they are remorseful and understand how their actions were wrong.

The best we can do is learn to recognize the traits of psychopaths and be sure to stay clear of their actions and behaviors to protect ourselves from the wake of their inevitable destruction.

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Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Sues Rep. Adam Schiff For “Censoring Vaccine Debate”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons are suing Rep. Adam Schiff for "censoring vaccine debate."

  • Reflect On:

    Should information that creates and generates concern among the population about vaccines and vaccine safety be censored, even if it's factual and not actually 'fake news?'

Vaccines are a hot topic right now, and vaccine hesitancy is growing and quickly gaining momentum. The reality of vaccine hesitancy is no longer a secret, as many studies on the matter have been published. And it is no longer simply among concerned parents. This study published in the journal EbioMedicine discusses how practitioners in France are becoming increasingly hesitant to prescribe some controversial vaccines to their patients.

The World Health Organization believes vaccine hesitancy is one of the biggest threats to global health security. Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project, was one of many academics to speak at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit, where she explained why this is being considered a major problem:

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider. And if we lose that, we’re in trouble.

Dissenting Professionals, Conflicting Statements

This type of hesitancy among health professionals has begun to spawn organizations looking for answers to their questions. ‘The Physicians for Informed Consent’ is one of multiple examples. It’s promising that doctors, scientists and health safety advocates that have come together to share resources about vaccines, and more importantly voice concerns that they have about certain vaccines and their safety.

At the summit, Dr. Martin Howell Friede, Coordinator of Initiative For Vaccine Research at the World Health Organization, brought up the issue of adjuvants, noting some of the problems with using adjuvants that do not have a proven track record of safety. Many people at the conference also emphasized the need for more safety testing and studies to address the concerns that are being made by vaccine safety advocates. Personally, I think this is encouraging. Science should never cease to question, and who wouldn’t want more safety studies and testing on medications that are being administered worldwide?

As this issue becomes more scrutinized by the public as well as health care professionals, more and more conflicting statements made by high-ranking health authorities are being uncovered, which in themselves may lead to a breakdown of confidence in vaccines. For example, Soumya Swaminathan, MD and Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, stated at the conference,

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I don’t think we can overemphasize the fact that we really don’t have very good safety monitoring systems in many countries and this adds to the miscommunication and the misapprehensions, because we’re not able to give clear cut answers when people ask questions about deaths that have occurred due to particular vaccines
 One should be able to give a very factual account of what exactly is happening, what the cause of deaths are, but in most cases there’s some obfuscation at that level and therefore there’s less and less trust then in the system.

Prior to this statement, the WHO released a promotional video just days before the conference began, where Dr. Swaminathan contradicted her statement above, saying “we have vaccine safety systems, robust vaccine safety systems.”

It would be nice to have answers as to why the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid close to 4 billion dollars to families of vaccine injured children, and what that says about these ‘safety systems’ she is talking about. Clearly, there seems to be a need to make our vaccines safer and more effective. Personally, I believe forced vaccination to be quite unethical given the fact that so many questions remain unanswered.

Read more about the conference here: Scientists Share Facts About Vaccines At World Health Organization Conference For Vaccine Safety

Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Sue Rep. Adam Schiff

The growing vaccine hesitancy has led the pharmaceutical industry and its supporters to a dangerous strategy: mass censorship. For those of you who haven’t heard, politicians and social media outlets are taking action steps to censor information about vaccines that is not aligned with the industry and its regulatory ‘arm,’ the CDC. In other words, just about anyone who is even questioning vaccine safety, let alone providing evidence that vaccines are not safe, is liable to be discredited, de-monitized, or de-platformed from social media.

Leading the charge is Congressman Adam Schiff, an advocate of vaccine safety and friend of the pharmaceutical industry, who has used his power and influence to immediately strengthen censorship efforts. His moves have been seen as unfair, unethical, and even illegal. In fact, on Jan 15, 2020, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, along with Katarina Verrelli, on behalf of herself and others who seek access to vaccine information, filed suit against Adam Schiff in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Schiff has abused government power and infringed on their free-speech rights.

Here’s how the association characterizes the situation:

Who appointed Congressman Adam Schiff as Censor-in-Chief?” asks AAPS General Counsel.  “No one did, and he should not be misusing his position to censor speech on the internet.”

In February and March 2019, Rep. Schiff contacted Google, Facebook, and Amazon, to encourage them to de-platform or discredit what Schiff asserted to be inaccurate information on vaccines. He then posted the letters and press release on the House.gov website.

Within 24 hours of Schiff’s letter to Amazon dated Mar 1, 2019, Amazon removed the popular videos Vaxxed and Shoot ’Em Up: the Truth About Vaccines from its platform for streaming videos, depriving members of the public of convenient access.

Under a policy announced in May 2019, Twitter includes a pro-government disclaimer placed above search results for an AAPS article on vaccine mandates: “Know the Facts. To make sure you get the best information on vaccination, resources are available from the US Department of Health and Human Services.” The implication of this disclaimer is that if information is not on a government website, then it is somehow less credible.

On Facebook, a search for an AAPS article on vaccines, which previously would lead directly to the AAPS article, now produces search results containing links to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visits to the AAPS website have declined significantly since March 2019, both in absolute terms and relative to the decline that would result from a story’s losing its recency.

“The internet is supposed to provide free access to information to people of different opinions,” stated AAPS Executive Director, Jane Orient, M.D.

Dr. Orient continues, “AAPS is not ‘anti-vaccine,’ but rather supports informed consent, based on an understanding of the full range of medical, legal, and economic considerations relevant to vaccination and any other medical intervention, which inevitably involves risks as well as benefits.”

AAPS argues in the complaint against Rep. Schiff: “The First Amendment protects the rights of free speech and association. Included within the right of free speech is a right to receive information from willing speakers. Under the First Amendment, Americans have the right to hear all sides of every issue and to make their own judgments about those issues without government interference or limitations. Content-based restrictions on speech are presumptively unconstitutional, and courts analyze such restrictions under strict scrutiny.”

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.

The Takeaway

The terms “anti vax” and “pro vax” are really not serving in the best interest of the collective. All they do is divide people when in reality, all of us want the same thing, healthy children, and effective and safe medications if we are going to use them. With all of the concerns that are still being made about vaccines, questioning vaccine safety should not be a problem and in fact, should be welcomed by everybody. Forcing mandatory vaccination policy and censoring information on vaccines, in my opinion, seems to be quite tyrannical and immoral at this stage. I may have a different opinion if vaccines were 100 percent safe and effective for everybody, but they’re not.

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