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Have You Ever Woken Up In The Middle of Night Paralyzed? You’re Not Alone

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

How many of you have ever woken up unable to speak or move? If you have, you are not alone.

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This phenomenon is called sleep paralysis. It may last a few seconds, several moments, or much longer, and usually occurs right before you are about to fall asleep or wake up. Many people report feeling a “presence” that is often described as malevolent, threatening, or evil, and often feel terrified while it’s happening.

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The presence can be seen, felt, and even heard. People also report unique experiences like the sensation of floating or being outside the body. They believe the phenomenon to be an extremely spiritual one.

In the modern medical world, these experiences are defined as hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations (0), which is often the explanation when modern views of spiritual experience are combined with medical ideas that label them as psycho-pathological. It is well understood that sleep paralysis coincides with physiological mechanisms in the brain, but the strange feelings individuals have when experiencing sleep paralysis are still puzzling to scientists. The idea of spiritual experience as an explanation for a bizarre and complex phenomenon has been suppressed, thus discouraging discussion of it in modern society. (1)

“Beginning in college and graduate school I was particularly interested in the beliefs of ordinary people, especially the ones that were treated as nonsense in the academic world. The academic world treats spiritual belief in general that way. I was interested in alternative medicine at the same time for the same reason. Right from the beginning I was convinced that ordinary people are smarter, are more sensible than they’re given credit for by scholars, and that traditions that are widespread and deeply held probably have more rational basis, and more observation built into them than the theories that I was taught in graduate school. I couldn’t believe that all the beliefs of ordinary people that are not part of the academic worldview were nonsense. I have the impression that the academic world might be a little too narrow, and that regular people might have something to offer about it (sleep paralysis) through their experience and what they believed about things. There are beliefs that are based on experience that have been dismissed as superstitious beliefs that bear much more investigation, these are experiences that are built into the spiritual traditions all over the world. In the modern western world, for at least the past one hundred years, these phenomena have been explained on the basis of psychopathology. So the discovery that those experiences are common and that they occur among ‘normal’ people, that they are not in fact indicative of any type of disease, has tremendous importance for medicine. This isn’t a new phenomenon, we erased the knowledge of these experiences from the cultural repertoire.”

– Dr. David J. Hufford, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus, Penn State Medical School (1)

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Almost all scientific approaches to sleep paralysis assume that the experiences it causes are hallucinations and dismiss any other theories. Just because there are measured biological and chemical activities occurring during sleep paralysis does not mean there is a causal relationship between the two. There are other things we must take into consideration and, as quantum science is showing us, there are definitely worlds within our world that we are not yet able to perceive easily. There is definitely a non-physical aspect to science in general that we are just beginning to wake up to.

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”

– Nikola Tesla

Spiritual Experience

Modern scholars have found spirit and spirituality difficult to define and, as mentioned earlier, usually place these topics within the circle of ridicule amongst the scientific community. Many reading this probably have a good idea of the terms that fit under the umbrella of “spirit” or “spiritual.” They involve out-of-body experiences, visits from entities not of this world, near-death experiences, frequency, vibration, and more.

It’s important to realize that many experiences people have within the “spiritual” realm occur when they are fully conscious, awake, and alert, and not during what sleep researchers call sleep paralysis. It’s quite possible that our level of scientific understanding is not advanced enough to explain certain phenomena, so sometimes they are grouped into the category of hallucinations, even though they are simply things we do not understand and cannot yet explain scientifically.

At the same time, some of what people experience during sleep paralysis could very well be hallucinatory, although I don’t believe this to be the case. I am very open to the idea that what is experienced for some during “sleep paralysis” is indeed intertwined with the true nature of reality — a reality we clearly do not yet fully understand. The point is we don’t know for sure, and for the scientific community to assume and label them as definite hallucinations and as a figment of the imagination is limiting.

Scientific evidence for out-of-body phenomena is sorely lacking, but it’s difficult to add to this body of research when so much of it is suppressed. I’m referring to developments within the world that are classified for the sake of national security. Recent leaks from the NSA were responsible for the very first public disclosure of a black budget, and the Canadian government was recently outed for muzzling scientists. (2)  This coincides with the remote viewing experiments that involved the intelligence community and Stanford University, among others. (3)(4)

Yet there is some science and official research behind these types of phenomena, though it lies within the hands of the intelligence community and remains highly classified, as with the experiments conducted at Stanford University. Among the varied hallucinations associated with sleep paralysis, out-of-body experiences and vestibular motor sensations represent a distinct factor. (5) Remote viewing is the ability of individuals to describe a remote geographical location up to several hundred thousand kilometres away. This phenomenon has been proven time and time again, and shortly after its publication the program was shut down by the Department of Defense.

We have many examples of phenomena that would fit under the “spiritual” umbrella, and who are we to say that sleep paralysis experiences are imagined? Sometimes, ideas and concepts can be a threat to power, to control, and to the overall perception humanity has of reality as a collective. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. If the planet changed the way it looked at sleep paralysis and other inexplicable occurrences, surely this would contribute to one of the biggest paradigm shifts the planet has ever seen, and this is exactly what is continuing to unfold on planet Earth today.

Remote viewing can be defined in multiple ways. It’s the ability of individuals to describe a remote geographical location up to several hundred thousand kilometres away (even more) from their physical location. – See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/08/08/shocking-discoveries-made-studies-confirm-the-reality-of-remote-viewing/#sthash.L5wdaoUm.dpuf
Remote viewing can be defined in multiple ways. It’s the ability of individuals to describe a remote geographical location up to several hundred thousand kilometres away (even more) from their physical location. – See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/08/08/shocking-discoveries-made-studies-confirm-the-reality-of-remote-viewing/#sthash.L5wdaoUm.dpuf
Remote viewing can be defined in multiple ways. It’s the ability of individuals to describe a remote geographical location up to several hundred thousand kilometres away (even more) from their physical location. – See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/08/08/shocking-discoveries-made-studies-confirm-the-reality-of-remote-viewing/#sthash.L5wdaoUm.dpuf
Remote viewing can be defined in multiple ways. It’s the ability of individuals to describe a remote geographical location up to several hundred thousand kilometres away (even more) from their physical location. – See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/08/08/shocking-discoveries-made-studies-confirm-the-reality-of-remote-viewing/#sthash.L5wdaoUm.dpuf
Remote viewing can be defined in multiple ways. It’s the ability of individuals to describe a remote geographical location up to several hundred thousand kilometres away (even more) from their physical location. – See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/08/08/shocking-discoveries-made-studies-confirm-the-reality-of-remote-viewing/#sthash.L5wdaoUm.dpuf

“The ridicule of these phenomena is a level of social control. Scholars, academics and elite intellectuals in general constantly describe these things as, if not indicative of insanity, them being primitive, and being the product of a lack of education. These concepts in the realm of anthropology and history are taken to be the product of imagination.”

– Dr. David J Hufford (1)

My Experience With Sleep Paralysis

When I was a child, I remember having a number of lucid dreams. They seemed so real and I felt completely conscious during the experience. I was able to do whatever I desired while dreaming. My first experience with sleep paralysis didn’t occur until I was a little bit older. The very first time it happened, I remember suddenly waking up from a loud bang, a bright flash of light (although my eyes were closed), and a loud ringing in my ears. I could open my eyes, but I couldn’t move my body. It was almost as if my brain was awake but my body was still sleeping. I was terrified, and the reason I didn’t open my eyes is because I felt the presence of two beings on my left side, and two beings on my right side, and I didn’t want to see. I have no idea if they were real or not, or if I was simply dreaming..

Keep in mind that experiences like this can occur when people are totally conscious, driving down the street, going about their everyday lives. Many people have totally conscious experiences with things that seem to be beyond our understanding, and they are not paralyzed or asleep. I have also had bizarre experiences while conscious, which might contribute to my bias on this subject. I do believe that what people experience during sleep paralysis is more than just a trick of the mind. This particular experience I had during sleep lasted approximately five minutes, until I totally regained consciousness.

On another occasion, I again woke up in the middle of the night. I could open my eyes and I was totally aware of my surroundings. I was on the road in a hotel room by myself, I could see the TV, I could see the lamp in the corner of the room as well as the chair. I could not turn my head but I could look around. Although my eyes felt heavy, I could still open them. I couldn’t move and was pretty scared, and I remember thinking, “not again, why is this happening to me.” I saw a dark, shadowy figure come through the window that seemed to be about five feet tall. I was on the left side of the bed and the window was in the right corner of the room. It came across the room and across the foot of my bed to the left side of my head. It put its mouth up to my ear and started to whisper rapidly. I could not understand what it was saying, but it was whispering extremely fast.

I had a few other experiences after that which were pretty scary, and I started to desire more because I realized that although I couldn’t move, my consciousness was still there. I was still awake, alert, and able to perceive the environment around me. The next time it happened, I assured myself that I would not react in fear, and that I would instead embrace the experience and try to “play” with it, explore, and use this state of consciousness for further discovery about a potential world we are not usually able to experience. The next time it happened, I reminded myself to stay calm, enjoy it, and see what happens; this time I actually wanted to communicate with whatever I perceived to be there. When I did this, nothing presented itself. I still couldn’t move, but didn’t try to jolt myself out of it. I tried to float out of my body and was successful. I fully floated out of my body, but could only go so far, about one meter. I tried to go further but it was as if I was still attached to my body. This was a very cool experience, but unfortunately, after making the decision to try to manipulate the situation, the experience ended and I never had it again.

These type of occurrences are definitely intriguing, and nobody, including scientists, should dismiss the experience one has during sleep paralysis as illusory. The scientific community should be comfortable in a place of neutrality, instead of characterizing something as false without sufficient evidence to back up the claim. There is no need for ridicule. I hope I’ve provided enough information within the article, as well as adequate sources, for you to further your research if interested.

If you have experienced this phenomenon, I’d love for you to share your experiences within the comments section. Thanks for reading.

Sources:

http://tps.sagepub.com/content/42/1/11.abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15881267

(5)http://www.newdualism.org/nde-papers/Cheyne/Cheyne-Cortex_2009-45-201-215-1.pdf

http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/pastoral/sites/Hufford_Spiral.pdf

(0)http://arts.uwaterloo.ca/~acheyne/S_P2.html

(2)http://o.canada.com/2013/09/22/new-york-times-criticizes-harper-governments-alleged-muzzling-of-scientists/

(3)http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/pdfs/1979-precognitive-remote-viewing-stanford.pdf#sthash.LJSMW1Ny.dpuf

(4)http://www.irva.org/library/pdfs/puthoff2001cia.pdf

(1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qhS_47BqoY

http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/pdfs/1979-precognitive-remote-viewing-stanford.pdf#sthash.LJSMW1Ny.dpuf

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Consciousness

New Moon In Aries: Taking Bold Action

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a New Moon in Aries during the later hours of April 11th in the Americas and on the 12th everywhere else in the world. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned throughout this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This cycle will include a Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26th/27th.

Aries season began at the Equinox (on March 20th globally this year) as it always does, as per the framework of the Tropical Zodiac. Being the first of twelve signs, and initiator of a transitional season, it begins the Astrological New Year. However with this New Moon actually occurring in Aries as well, it will crank up the energies of this sign even more so in comparison to the previous weeks that were part of a lunar cycle initiated by a New Moon in Pisces.

Aries is the domain of self, independence, and individual needs. As a Cardinal Fire sign ruled by Mars, it is assertive, courageous, direct, pioneering, and leading. It is initiating, quick, bold, energetic, and warrior-like. Negatively, this energy can be inconsiderate, selfish,  hot tempered, combative, restless, impatient, aggressive, and overly competitive. Aries lacks thoroughness due to its quick forward energy.

New Moon Conjunct Mercury & Venus In Aries

This New Moon is close to both Mercury and Venus. This can reflect a period in which our social interactions and engagement with others can be more lively. Both Mercury and Aries have a busy moving type of energy and we may feel more active, physically and/or mentally, as a result.

The conjunction of both of these planets with this New Moon also means it is tied into cycles that each of those planets have with the Sun. Venus recently joined the Sun in the last week of March and it is now travelling ahead of it in zodiacal position.

In recent weeks this has been a time in which we experienced shifts, developments, endings, beginnings, or more clarity around Venus areas of friends, love, social dynamics, values, worth, or financial matters in some cases. This New Moon and the weeks following can continue this process, especially when it comes to beginnings or newer ways of expressing ourselves in these areas.

Mercury is now approaching the Sun as they will make their conjunction on April 18th/19th. At that time we may experience developments, which may be significant, connected to what has transpired during its previous retrograde in February and how things have unfolded since then. From there, these things may develop further with a better perception, or circumstances may indicate lack of sufficiency, not what was anticipated, or that something needs to change.

Planets In Aries Square Pluto & Sextile Mars Trine Jupiter

This New Moon, along with Venus and Mercury, are in a square with Pluto and sextile with Mars and Jupiter. Pluto combined with Aries and Mars energy can reflect a period of intensity. However, it can also play out as issues around power, control, manipulation, jealousy, insubordination, or subversion.  It can also be revealing, psychological, compulsive, transforming, and purging.

The sextile with Mars in Gemini adds to the lively, assertive, instinctual, and energetic expressions of Aries. The Aries’ planets sextile to Jupiter, which is also trine Mars, can be good for applying ourselves in a way that is expansive, optimistic, educational, philosophical, explorative, freedom seeking, or centered around beliefs. New doors may open up and it can even be lucky for some people.

Uranus square Saturn (mentioned here in a previous article) is still in the backdrop as it will be throughout the year. Although it’s not in one of its strong periods, themes of ‘freedom/rebellion/revolution being at odds restrictions/limitations/traditions are still playing out. This may get activated in different ways by this new lunar cycle and the Aries energy that has already been present over the previous weeks following the Astrological New Year.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

How would you like to grow and expand and what do you need to change to get there? In what areas do you need to be more bold or courageous? What have your relationships shown you in recent weeks? What is important for your individuality? What are your personal needs? What do you stand for and should you be fighting for it? Do you need to be a leader in any aspects of your life? Are there any new things that you want to explore?

These are just some examples of what to consider or focus your intentions on at this time. However, it is good to reflect on anything else that is coming up for you. It is generally best to make any intentions within the first 24 hours following a New Moon. The exact moment it will occur is 2:31am Universal Time on April 12th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Consciousness

A Symbiosis of Humans & Technology – Changing The Conversation

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Have you ever noticed that discussions about transhumanism tend to focus on technology more than humanism? The journey to reaching our highest potential as a species is usually focused externally on the technology rather than internally on our conscious evolution. This is probably because people assume that conscious evolution is more about spirituality whereas technology is more having to do with the things humans create. The two paths are interdependent so we need more conversations between experts in each of these fields. It will only be through a recognition of the symbiotic nature between humans, their technology, and the environment that we will avert self-destruction.

trans·hu·man·ism (n.) 1. A belief that humans should strive to transcend the physical limitations of the mind and body by technological means. 2. A movement of people who espouse such a belief.

Standing at a Crossroads: The influence that technology has on society and culture is called, technodeterminism. Most of us carry mini supercomputers in our pockets called smartphones. These devices act as external brains which seamlessly integrate into most aspects of our life. Most of us are completely dependent on them for travel, work, communication, entertainment, and beyond. Take a moment to consider the future implications of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, machine-learning, mass surveillance, automation, genome editing, nanotechnology, and their potential influences on society, culture, and our environment.

When I think about these things, I can’t help but ask:

Why aren’t people like the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Andrew Weil conversing more with people like Ray Kurzweil, Elon Musk, and Steve Mann?

Ancient Futures: It will become increasingly imperative for our most advanced technologies to be informed by the natural ethos of indigenous people blended with the emotional-intelligence of our enlightened spiritual masters. We must remember that the first humans who captured fire to light their cave, stay warm on a cold night, or cook their food were using technology. Anthropologists proudly call us humans “tool-makers” as one of the attributes that make us distinct from most species.

Paradigm Shift: Conscious evolution will require a concerted effort to communicate across silos and disciplines. Cooperation and collaboration towards collective goals will need to take the place of competition for personal gain. What are we hoping to accomplish, and at what cost? We are a risk-taking species and that drives us to exceed all our limitations. Let’s make these be calculated risks because with our technology also comes a great responsibility.

Start Within: Even our most sophisticated technology does not possess the complexities of organic systems. Computers and machines can do many things for us but they will never be able to feel for us. The realm of emotion is central and unique to our human experience yet it is only now starting to be recognized as a valuable form of intelligence.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” -Andrew Coleman A Dictionary of Psychology

Research in multiple fields of study shows that curiosity, creativity, taking initiative, multi-disciplinary thinking, and empathy are skills that will redefine traditional beliefs about intelligence. The ability to accommodate new information requires a certain level of mental flexibility, humility, and ultimately character. It is through our ability to feel and process our emotions that our higher intelligence flourishes.

SuperHumans: Any sports fan knows that there are individuals who possess superhuman gifts. Think of popular sports stars like Michael Jordan, or any of the various extreme sports heroes who somehow manage the seemingly impossible. We also have the various musical or art prodigies who express the skills of a master before the age of 10. We have seen humans walk on red-hot coals with bare feet, walk a tightrope between skyscrapers, and exhibit mind-boggling feats of mental-focus, and will-power. Did you know that Wim Hof ran a half marathon barefoot on ice and snow, with a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 34 seconds? Humans are capable of amazing things when they channel discipline, practice, creative brilliance, fearlessness and focus. We have barely scratched the surface of what is possible!

Global Meditation: This simple practice of quieting the mind, and bringing presence to one’s breathing has a long list of documented benefits that include enhanced neural connections, deep feelings of connection and well-being, as well as a strengthened immune system. When we compound this focused intention to include tens of thousands of people all over the world, we begin to literally shift planetary magnetic resonance. The science does not lie, we are potent electrical beings with the ability to focus consciousness and create beyond our wildest imaginations.

Everything technology offers is a reflection of the technology that we, as humans are. Learning to laugh at ourselves a little while delving into our emotions and to make room for possibilities beyond our currently held beliefs is essential for this journey. In order for us to create technology that is aligned with all of life and our planet, we must first become aligned with ourselves and each other. Global meditation is where we practice together!

We can no longer claim that a technology is advanced if it is destroying our skies and rivers or perpetuating harmful practices like war and domination. These are examples of misguided technologies. Our DNA has been informed by countless generations of evolution. It is time that we focus our consciousness towards the natural wisdom kept by indigenous people, while embracing the presence of enlightened spiritual masters. This will allow us to infuse our science and highest technological advancements with ecological and emotional intelligence for the benefit of all life.

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Consciousness

A Proven Technique To Neutralize Draining Emotional Reactions

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We'll explore a simple scientifically proven technique to help neutralize emotional reactions that often drain our energy and reduce our ability to think clearly and make effective decisions.

  • Reflect On:

    How often do you check in to how you're are feeling? Do you feel you are able to self regulate your emotions easily?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Do you notice that you sometimes feel tired or fatigued but are not sure why? Maybe you can have a restful sleep and still wake up having a sense that your energy is not quite there? Maybe you notice yourself being reactive, having a short fuse and feeling unclear about what decisions to make? Maybe you say things to friends, family or people online that you later regret or didn’t truly mean. Much of this can have a lot to do with how we’re feeling emotionally on a regular basis. Emotions that are happening just a touch outside our conscious awareness.

Let’s just do a very quick check in to see what I mean. If you stop a take a moment right now to ask “how am I feeling?” What do you notice? Are you feeling good? Energized? Do you have a background tension? Are you a bit stressed? Annoyed? Are you relaxed and calm? Are you perhaps relaxed yet feeling blah? When we do these check ins we bring awareness to how we might be feeling. This is something we typically don’t do that often and thus are simply not consciously aware of how we feel. If we were a bit more consciously aware of how we felt, we’d have a greater understanding of what we could do to feel better as we know where we’re at.

Energy Loss

This is important because one of the greatest unrecognized sources of prolonged stress, fatigue and physical wear and tear on our bodies comes from living our day to day lives in a state where we consciously or subconsciously experience what we might call ‘draining emotions.’ These are emotions like worry, fear, anger, resentment, or sadness etc.

For each of us, we’re likely going to experience these emotions at some point in life, and this is normal. Typically when we experience these emotions, we’re getting an insight into ourselves. Since what triggers these emotions can often be subjective, we can learn something about our current self by paying attention to these emotions. For example, someone might cut us off while we’re driving on the freeway. On one hand, one person might react aggressively and become very angry, while another might simply see it as a mistake on the part of the other driver and move on with their day.

Why some of us react and others don’t typically comes down the the story we’re telling ourselves about why that person cut you off. Perhaps they take it personally, perhaps they see it as an attack in some way – who knows? You. Only you know, and you can get closer to knowing what that is so you don’t harbour that draining emotion for the rest of the day, and even remove the trigger to begin with so you don’t necessarily have to go down that angry road every time something small like this happens.

I want to be clear here, we’re not looking to avoid emotions or never experience them, we’re looking to gain awareness around why they come, and ultimately have the choice over what gets us bothered and what might be better to simply let go. There is a difference between momentarily feeling an emotion like this, and letting it become a ‘background state’ of being that slowly begins to shape our attitude towards unhealthy and draining tendencies.

We can likely go on all day about where we should ‘honor’ some emotions in some situations or stand up for ourselves in others – I’ll let you decide that within yourself for each situation, but what the focus here in this piece is to simply look at how we can neutralize an emotional experience so we can stop it from draining all our energy and gain greater clarity on why it might be happening.

The exercise below is geared towards improving our self awareness around situations and how we feel, so we can learn to self-regulate emotions at anytime, as well as turn off triggers that might not really be the greatest to have to begin with.

Remember, we’re going to stick with a situation where we are cut off in traffic, but you can use these steps for anything. Maybe you realize you are fearful about a situation. Maybe you notice ongoing worry about something that’s happening or may happen – whatever it may be, the steps can be applied.

A Quick 3 Minute Exercise

We’ll go through the steps, this might seem long at first but it’s actually very short once you get the hang of it. This method is based on decades of scientific researching involving the heart and the benefits of creating coherence through good heart rate variability. You can learn more about that here under the section “Coherence & Optimal Function.”

1. The first step is becoming aware of the fact you’re having the emotional experience. What we’re doing here is by reading this we’re setting up a bit of an increased self awareness in our minds that can help us remember to check in when we next have an emotional reaction to something. Perhaps the car cuts us off while driving, and we react, but then shortly after we remember that we want to have a closer look at that emotional reaction and perhaps choose a different response instead of going down an energy draining rabbit hole. So the first thing we want to do is become aware that the experience is happening.

2. The next step is accepting the experience that’s happening. What this means is, if the person in front of us cuts us off while driving and we get angry and realize we’re angry, bring to your awareness that this is OK. We’re not looking to create a judgement about what happened or what we’re experiencing, instead we simply want to see it for what it is, an experience that happened and we’re now aware of and sitting as an observer of it. What this does is it empowers us to be able to look a little more closely at what we’re feeling and why. After we become aware, take note of the emotion you’re experiencing and name it. Is it anger? Is it worry? Is it fear?

As a small kicker to this, just imagine that the intention here is to turn down the intensity of the emotion so we can go in a take a look at what’s going on in the same way that a firefighter will spray water onto a burning house to stop the fire and cool it enough to go in and assess what the source of that fire was.

3. Next we’re going to take a moment and place our hand or a couple fingers over the areas of our chest, around where your heart is, and use the placement of your hand as something to focus on. With your eyes open, take some comfortable yet slightly deeper breaths. Feel your breath moving in and out of the area of your heart (where you hand is). To do this, don’t worry too much about how perfect the breathing is or whether it’s exactly going in and our of your heart area, just sit with a gentle focus that your breath is moving in and out of the area of your heart. Our goal here is to bring awareness to the physical heart and begin to influence its rhythms ever so slightly. Breath into your heart for about 30 seconds.

4. Next we want to continue our heart focused breathing while also imagining the feeling of calm or ease enter into our bodies. Spend the next 2 minutes or so breathing in the feeling of calm or ease into your heart with comfortable breaths. Notice the calm and ease come over your mind and body. What this stage does is it shows us that we have the ability to produce our own emotional regulation by creating a physiological state that is more synchronized and favorable for introspection and clarity.

After step 4 you should feel a lot more neutral in your feeling, but it may be possible you’re still annoyed or upset about the situation, this is great and in many ways the point of the exercise. Remember the firefighter analogy.

If it’s a really small situation, this awareness might already help us choose to simply let it go. If it’s a larger situation, this exercise helps us reduce the intensity so we can gain a bit more clarity about what’s going on and stop us from simply circling the experience over and over again in our minds, potentially increasing our anger and draining our energy.

Now as a final step, you can take a moment to just assess, what is the story you have been telling yourself about the situation? What might be a more effective way to approach or think about the situation? In the case of getting cut off in the car, was it really personal? If so, how do you know? If it was a mistake, is anger helping you or just providing an undesirable experience? If you had the freedom, would you choose anger at the other driver or to just let it go and maintain better health?

The point here is that with awareness we get clearer on who we are and how we function. This inevitably gives us a choice in how we choose to react.

For more information on this and to build a bit of a deeper practice, you can check out a short course I produced in our members area called CETV. The course is called Improving Daily Self Awareness, Presence & Connection. 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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