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Are You Afraid of Others Judging You?

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judgeI sometimes judge myself even when I look at my cat. I then think about what he thinks is not good about me. Ain’t that something? A being which is by its nature Zen. And I think it’s judging me 🙂

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It seems to me that most of us are afraid of other people judging us. And what do we do? We don’t give other people the chance to judge us, because we choose to judge ourselves before they even spend one second thinking of us. I have been so obsessed with other people’s opinions even though I thought I wasn’t. Lately I’m starting to realize I’ve held on to some very limiting ideas about how the world and people work. Judging is one of them. You might recognize it.

If you really think other people are judging you, have you ever considered that all the others are thinking just like you? Which is to say; they all think they’re being judged. In this way we keep this judging cycle in its place, without questioning it. We go along with gossiping and discussing other people’s lives, rather than looking at our own life. We seem to have forgotten that we are in control of ourselves.

It takes some courage to step out of this negative judging cycle and to see what it really is. To me judging is part of being a victim, whether you’re conscious of it or not. Most of our lives we have been taught that we need to follow certain guidelines; we need to respect authority and listen to our parents and teachers. And there is nothing wrong with that, in our early years we need help to assist us on our way. But if you are taught you need to become more successful than your parents, because you have the opportunity to go to university and they didn’t, you’re being taught the wrong way. Parents should never project their own failed dreams on their children. Children should be guided to fully express themselves without being judged. And what to think of teachers telling you you’ll never make it in life?

All this judging comes with a price. We lose our ability to just be ourselves. We get caught up in this game of trying to gain popularity, money amongst other things. What has this all to do with judging? It’s the belief that when we’re famous or rich, people will like us. It’s a projection of the limiting belief we are taught. The limiting belief which is saying: “I’m not good enough”. So we strive and strive to reach ever higher heights and yet people are still not happy or satisfied.1 The self-help industry has never been this big, right?

What can we do to stop this all? We should examine our own core belief (e.g. to me it’s the belief that I’ll never be good enough or worth it). And if you do the examination, you may find out that this belief is not your own. It’s been imprinted on you since you were young. When you were a child, you weren’t concerned about what other people thought of you. No, you were just playing and having a good time or sometimes a bad time. But there was no inner dialogue telling you you’re not worth it or that you couldn’t do something. You knew you could do those things.

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And to me it has proven very helpful to look at all my addictions: thinking, smoking, drinking (coffee and alcohol), eating without even tasting the food etc. I started to see the negative impact all these addictions have had on me. They’re all there to block me from seeing the negative belief I carry with me. I was judging myself by giving myself over to the addiction. “Oh you’re so weak, drink some more beer.” And the next thing would be “Did you drink too much beer? You’re so weak”. So I started to recognize the pattern. It’s a negative cycle which keeps itself in place when left unnoticed.

As I’m now finally paying attention to it, I can hear all the judgments in my head. And the good thing is that by being aware of the judgments, I can choose not to follow their lead. We’re always free to let the judging go and instead start looking at the good things about ourselves and others. If you’re feeling you’re judging yourself too much, write down a list of things you do well. It might be you’re just focusing too much attention on the negative, while leaving out all the good things in your life.

The process of self examination can be painful, but it’s so worth it. I can tell this from my own experience. I thought I knew it all, that I was happy and that I had things going. But then a good friend of mine suddenly died and I was in shock. It took me years to overcome this and in the last couple of months I’m starting to realize I have to change if I want to make something out of my life. By examining my own judgments I’m starting to learn my own limiting beliefs. This gives me the space I need to grow. One by one I’m working on the judgments and facing them for what they are: illusions. Because in reality I am a beautiful person and so are you! We’ve only covered ourselves because we think we need to be ashamed of ourselves. But there is absolutely no thing in the world to be ashamed of, however bad you think it is. Because you are alive! And if you appreciate life, why not start appreciating yourself with or without all the judgments?

As Anthony de Mello points out so beautifully:

“The understanding will melt the addiction. And you will be free. And you will understand the loveliness of what prayer is. Then you will discover what reality is. What God is. Cause we will have dropped one of our biggest illusions. The illusion that we need to be appreciated, to be popular, to succeed, to have prestige and honor and power and popularity. There is only one need and that need is to be real and that need is to love. When one discovers that, one is transformed. Once life becomes prayer.”

1 You can read many examples in the books of Wayne Dyer, which helped me to start examining myself. The book I read was https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Your_Erroneous_Zones

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Alternative News

How The Education System Limits Your Consciousness

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Higher Education has come under fire lately as being expensive, and students wonder whether or not it's worth it, from a financial perspective, to get a degree.

  • Reflect On:

    Does the system of education truly educate us? We have to question, why are we accepting a society that doesn't allow humanity to TRULY thrive? We made it this way, we can change it.

The debate around whether or not a college degree is worth it has become ever intensified over the last few months as people begin to beg answers to the question: when will students pay off their debt? How long does it take?

Further to that question, I believe “how many students end up in a job or career they actually enjoy?”

But economics seems to be the big question here, and that’s fair given our world always seems to push us to consider those numbers as the height of importance in society as opposed to creating a society filled with passionately acting individuals who do what they love.

It’s all too often we hear that thinking we could all do what we love is ‘a pipedream’ or ‘not thinking like an adult.’ In these responses, if we pay close attention, we are actually saying we’ve come to accept that the way the world is should simply be accepted. Sure, in some cases these days we are working towards making a difference in areas of society like equality and poverty, but are we truly changing our system radically enough to make it so humanity can thrive? Or are we accepting enslavement?

In a recent podcast about my philosophy on how shifting consciousness and understanding conspiracies theories are intimately connected, I explored the system of education and how that functions. The education system seems to be a learning tool for us to accept the world the way it is. While we think we are educating ourselves, and we are in some ways with specific skills, there is something more to the story we aren’t exploring. We essentially are taking an ever expansive consciousness, with full capability, and molding it into a tiny tight system of living and being that doesn’t even support our ability to truly BE.

I truly believe we need to begin dreaming bigger and imagining bigger about what we are capable of changing in our society. We have to question, why are we accepting a society that doesn’t allow humanity to TRULY thrive? We made it this way, we can change it. What if we could learn about the technologies we truly had and were capable of without having to hold them back because of commerce? What if we learned medicine without the influence of pharmaceutical money and drugs? What if we learned about how we could act as a global community creating abundance for all instead of learning how we’re all separate and we need an economy to operate? Are any of these things real? Or just a story? Why are we being told these things as if they are facts?

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Check it out in the video and podcast below.

Subscribe to the CE Podcast on iTunes or via email.

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Consciousness

A New Study Suggests People’s Egos Get Bigger After Yoga & Meditation

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Study shows how Western practices of meditation and yoga can actually inflate the ego, rather than lower it — which is typically why people choose to do these practices in the first place.

  • Reflect On:

    What we do, no matter how spiritual it is, doesn't make you better than others. What is it that makes us want to feel or appear better than others?

In an attempt to try and limit our ego from running the show and move closer to our spirit and connection to the divine, many of us are on a path towards enlightenment.

This path generally includes a process of waking up to the reality around you, personal development books, plant medicine, yoga, and meditation can all be great tools along the way. We feel we are becoming wiser, more connected and sometimes even more evolved than those who are not on the same path as us.

A recently published study directly contradicts that approach and found that typical meditation and yoga practices can actually inflate your ego. Who knew?

We all know those spiritual types, that seem to have it all together, they are diligent in their daily practices and are the first to give you advice and explain what you are doing wrong and why you haven’t yet found peace within. Sure, these people generally have the best intentions, but the concept of being better, above or more enlightened than our fellow brothers and sisters on this planet is, believe it or not, pure ego! It is very easy to fall into this trap.

When I first “woke up” over a decade ago, I felt like I had so much information that no one else had yet awakened to, in this way I admittedly felt superior to many of my peers and put myself on a pedestal. This wasn’t an intentional action however, it’s just what happened.

Since, I have learned that the moment you think you have all the answers and have it all figured out is the exact moment that you need to take a step back and realize that in reality, you know nothing at all. What’s true to you may not be the truth for someone else. We are all on different paths, and different journeys, yes to the same place, but not a single one is better or superior to any other. No matter how off track others may appear to be.

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The Study

The paper was published online in the journal Psychological Science, researchers noted that Buddhism’s teachings that a meditation practice helps overcome the ego conflicts with the US psychologist William James’s argument that the practice of any skill at all ignites a sense of self-enhancement. So, the practice of bettering yourself does exactly that — makes you feel better, better than you were, but in many cases better than those around you.

There has already been a lot of evidence in support of James’s theory, but a team from Mannheim, Germany decided to test it specifically including the practice of yoga and meditation.

93 yoga students were recruited and over the course of 15 weeks, researchers evaluated their sense of self-enhancement. A few measures were used to monitor this. First, they asked the participants how they felt they compared to the average yoga student in their class. Next, participants completed an inventory that assesses narcissistic tendencies by asking them to rate how deeply phrases such as “I will be well-known for the good deeds I will have done” related to them. Lastly, they administered a sort of self-esteem scale asking the subjects if they agreed with statements such as, “At the moment I have high self-esteem.”

An hour after their yoga practice the participants showed significantly higher self-enhancement than when they hadn’t done yoga within a 24 hour period.

Another study examined 162 people who practiced meditation, they were scouted through meditation groups on Facebook. These participants proved to have a similar impact on self-enhancement as those from the yoga study. Participants were asked to evaluate themselves in relation to statements like “In comparison to the average participant of the study, I am free from bias.” The results showed that the participants had a higher self-enhancement in the hour following the meditation practice than when they hadn’t meditated for a 24-hour period.

Participants level of well-being was also measured using two measures — the satisfaction with life measure and the eudemonic well-being measure, which assesses satisfaction with autonomy, personal growth, positive relations with others, purpose in life, environmental mastery and self-acceptance. They found that the level of well-being increased with self-enhancement, this suggests that self-enhancement correlated with an increased sense of well-being.

Authors of the study concluded that “Ego-quieting is a central element of yoga philosophy and Buddhism alike. That element, and its presumed implications require some serious quieting is often called upon to explain mind-body practices’ well-being benefits. In contrast, we observed that mind-body practices boost self-enhancement and this boost — in turn — elevates well-being.”

Another Theory

An alternate explanation for this study suggests that the participants may be in fact doing meditation and yoga all wrong. The participants were all based out of Germany and many academics have theorized that the Westernized practices of Buddhism fail to include an eye towards selflessness that would otherwise characterize the goals of these efforts.

Westernized versions of yoga and meditation marginalize the acts when compared to the more ‘pure’ forms, if you will.

What Now?

Should you stop doing yoga and meditation or laugh at those who are committed to these practices? Absolutely not! This study serves as a powerful reminder that regardless of your practice or lack there-of, not one person is above anyone else, regardless of the activities they choose to do. Yoga and meditation can be great tools to assist us along our journey and find the clarity and insight that we may be needed, but just remember to always keep that ego in check. It is fine to have an ego — we all have one and I hate to break it to you, we can never get rid of it. But a good question to ask yourself is whether or not doing these practices makes you feel superior to others, and if so, why?

We are all on a path to self-discovery, and we are all just walking each other home. We all face challenges, and some of these practices can help us to handle ourselves differently in times of struggle, but in reality, we are all one anyways!

Much Love

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Awareness

New Study Shows What Disrupted Sleep Does To Your Mental Health

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new study showed that those with less distinction with activity and sleep were 6 percent more likely to develop depression and 11 percent more likely to have bipolar disorder.

  • Reflect On:

    Your sleep is important. What are you doing to ensure you have good rest? Are you eating before bed? Using your phone? Both of these things contribute to poor sleep. You can use some of the tools below to improve your sleep.

We all know just how important it is to have a good nights rest, unfortunately for many of us, this is a fleeting dream. New research has emerged showing just how impactful a disrupted body clock and natural circadian rhythm can be for our mental health.

Researchers from the U.K. came to this conclusion after studying the circadian rhythm, which is our natural waking and sleeping patterns throughout the 24-hour sleep cycle.

Lead author of the study, Laura Lyall, a research associate in mental health and well-being at Glasgow University said in a statement, “In the largest such study ever conducted, we found a robust association between disruption of circadian rhythms and mood disorders.

“Previous studies have identified associations between disrupted circadian rhythms and poor mental health, but these were only small samples.”

The Study

Scientists from the University of Glasgow studied data collected on over 90,000 adults between the ages of 37 and 73 years old in the U.K., between 2006 and 2010. Each participant in the study wore an activity tracker on their wrist for 7 days between 2013 and 2015.

The data that was collected was used to calculate what is known as the relative amplitude. Researchers took note of how active the participants were in the busiest 10 hours of each day and compared that to their least active 5 hours in the day. The people with less of a distinction between active and resting periods scored a lower amplitude indicating that they were either not active enough during the day while they were awake or too active during the hours that are generally intended for sleep.

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Those who scored a lower amplitude were found to be at a greater risk for mental illness. Factors such as age, sex, smoking, childhood trauma, and educational attainment were also taken into account.

The study, published in The Lancet, showed how they were 6 percent more likely to develop depression and 11 percent more likely to have bipolar disorder. This particular group of participants were also more likely to feel unhappy, alone, unsatisfied with their health and even have slower reaction times.

Around one in 25 participants were about as active during the day as they were at night. These were “people who have very poor sleep hygiene, people on their mobile phones at midnight checking Facebook or getting up to make a cup of tea in the middle of the night,” Daniel Smith, professor of psychiatry and senior author of the study, told the Times.

“It could be that there is a direct causal link where circadian disruption causes impaired subjective well-being and increases the risk of mood disorder. Or it could be the opposite, that this circadian disruption is a consequence of mood disorder and its associated risk factors,” said Lyall.

Despite these limitations, the researchers say accelerometry-derived relative amplitude is “relatively cheaply and easily measured and might be useful for identifying people at greater risk of major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder, or subgroups of patients who might benefit from therapies aimed at improving circadian rhythmicity.”

Can You Relate?

I don’t know about you, but when I am restless at night or don’t get enough sleep I definitely feel it more during the day, with some mental fogginess and I find it much more difficult to find motivation during the day. Aside from the fact that we are on average not getting enough sleep, we, generally are out of sync with our natural circadian rhythms by being up late or sleeping well into the morning, regardless of the sunrise and sunset. Throw cell phones, tablets, blue light and EMF’s into the mix and it’s no wonder we aren’t finding the time to sleep and when we do, to actually sleep deeply.

While it can be difficult to change your sleeping patterns, it certainly could provide you with an extra boost of energy, clarity and perhaps even joy throughout your day. A good night’s rest is essential, some of the things you can do to ensure you are getting a good sleep are as follows:

  • Limit screen time to no later than one hour before bed, and use a blue light filter, or blue blocker glasses anytime you are staring at a screen when it is dark outside.
  • Try to go to bed a little earlier and wake up earlier. It is essential that we expose ourselves to total darkness while we sleep, it may be worth getting some really good curtains or an eye mask. Depending on where you live, waking up at sunrise and going to bed at sunset might be worth a try.
  • Keep cell phones and if possible all electronics out of your bedroom. Consider turning off your wifi router while you sleep at night as well as these have been known to disrupt melatonin production in the brain, which is essential for a good night’s rest.
  • Be sure and get some exercise during the day, even a brisk walk in the evening can help you to sleep better at night, but the more the better as your body will truly be tired and ready for bed. When we don’t get enough exercise sometimes our bodies are left feeling restless during the day.
  • Nothing beats a nice hot bath with epsom salts and lavender essential oil to help get you in a calm, relaxed and sleepy state of mind before bed.

What helps you get to bed at night?

Much Love

Get Your FREE In Depth Numerology Reading

Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

Get your free numerology reading and learn more about how you can use numerology in your life to find out more about your path and journey. Get Your free reading.

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