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The Problem With Professional Sports Today

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As a reflection of our society, and from the perspective of Collective Evolution, the modern state of sports, most of which has become “professional”–is bizarre and unfortunate.

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Watching ten year olds on ESPN as they face the pressures of a national audience during the Little League World Series is enough to make any sane person cringe. Winners are hailed as “heroes,” interviewed by sportscasters as though they were adults, while the poor boy that strikes out or drops a fly ball is scarred for life by his failure.

Where is play? Where is sportsmanship? The whole sports world is run by jocks and people who take themselves way too seriously.  These are meant to be games, but now they’ve undoubtedly become a business.

discusThe 24 hour sports stations and television in general have ruined the original intention of sport. The original Olympics in ancient Greece were a spiritual competition among men and women who respected one another and the games themselves.  The notion of cheating in a competition to honor the Gods would probably never have occurred to them.

As television began to dominate professional sports like football, basketball and baseball, the Olympics also changed forever. While it is true that they were first perverted when they began being seen as representing nation states like Nazi Germany or Communist Russia, and the competition got very tense and heated, it was, ironically, 1984, when the Olympics were ruined for good. Peter Ueberroth, a Los Angeles businessman who ran the Olympics in L.A., introduced the concept of commercialism on a massive scale, selling sponsorships to pay for the event.

shopolympics

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Wikipedia:

“Under [Peter] Ueberroth’s leadership and management, the first privately financed Olympic Games resulted in a surplus of nearly $250 million. This was subsequently used to support youth and sports activities throughout the United States.   Ueberroth created a committee of over 150 members (mostly business people and entrepreneurs) to generate ideas, opportunities and solve problems.

His aggressive recruiting of sponsors for the 1984 Olympics is credited as the genesis for the current Olympic sponsorship program. Due to recruiting competitors between the Los Angeles Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), after 1984 all Olympics in the US had their local organizing committees enter into recruitment agreements with the USOC to jointly recruit sponsors and share revenues.”

But what this really began was the corporate takeover of professional sports, so that now even college football stadiums have sold their “naming rights” to corporations, and space on their uniforms to sponsors.

Along these lines, now comes the desire to unionize college “athletes” – who have been subsidizing the NCAA and the big business of collegiate sports for decades.  If you’ve ever read Tom Wolfe’s terrific “I Am Charlotte Simmons?” you know what a joke big time college sports have become and sure, why not pay the athletes?  They are professionals.

But perhaps most pernicious are two complementary aspects of the new sports landscape:

The constant over analyzing of what already happened, and worse, predicting what may happen by the jock-experts; and the obnoxious play-by-play “commentary” over a televised event adding little value in most cases, and just telling the viewer what he or she just saw.

What this inane chatter really does is reduce any sense of beauty or inner appreciation of what is transpiring, overlaying the visual with a hypnotic track that promotes beer, sex and violence -amongst many others.

Of course a great deal of modern sports is also about gambling, and the results of many big time events are almost certainly as fixed as professional wrestling. Tim Donaghy was a former NBA official who “blew the whistle” on fellow refs, confirming in a book log suppressed by the NBA that the referees controlled games by calling fouls on players they didn’t like, or on teams that they wanted to lose (or were told to “help” lose).

Anyone who has watched sports playoffs objectively has seen this first hand. In pro football the pass interference penalty is so obviously used to control outcomes that it is laughable.

As ridiculous as “flopping” is in the NBA, or college basketball, it is now an accepted practice which involves fooling the officials.   Compare this to a tennis player who calls a close shot good for his opponent because he saw it hit the line.

And now that instant replay has supposedly improved officiating — all that has happened is the removal of the human element — extending the games and many key calls are still incorrect.  One must wonder why.

Still the athletic abilities and achievements are hard not to appreciate at the professional level, but it is hard to watch what the obsession with winning and commercialism has done to our youth.

Instead of teaching young people to master their inner demons and compete fairly and honorably, the sports world is populated by athletes who now pride themselves on “getting away with” bad behavior –whether it is knowing that a ball bounced twice in tennis, that a pitch hit the batter in baseball, or that the ball hit the rim in basketball.

Have you ever seen a pro basketball player NOT complain about a foul call?

The true value of sport, as represented by ancient games and also eastern thought, was briefly popularized in “zen” works devoted to tennis and golf.

In his book, Inner Tennis, Playing the Game, by Tim Gallwey, Gallwey wrote, “Every game is composed of two parts, an outer game and an inner game.” The former is played against opponents, and is filled with lots of contradictory advice; the latter is played not against, but within the mind of the player, and its principal obstacles are self-doubt and anxiety.

Of course within this framework, the notion of cheating is non-existent and abhorrent because ultimately you are cheating yourself—denying yourself the ability to master your own mind and find the flow that makes sports so exhilarating.

In my own case I have found sessions where I play tennis and just “rally” –timing and zinging the ball with a strong partner, far more satisfying than “winning the last point” in a match with lots of conflict, controversy and dull points.

I also remember watching surfers on the north shore of Oahu pitting their athletic skills against immense waves, for the sheer joy of it, and then waiting tables at the hotel where I worked. Now they are competing in professional events, for sponsorships, and a competitive scoring system has been imposed on what might be the most beautiful natural sport on earth.

I think that many of us, even those who still enjoy watching pro sports on TV, know that the essence of competition and sports has been badly corrupted. Unfortunately it is part and parcel of the overall domination of modern life by false material values and corporate interests—but hopefully on the grass fields that bloom in the Spring the true values of sportsmanship and the pure joy of real “play” can live in the pickup games of young boys and girls.

And perhaps they won’t try to emulate the barbaric jocks that are glorified in television, but simply enjoy the sun on their skin, the wind in their hair, and great feeling of hitting a ball, running full speed and participating on a team.

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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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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.

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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.

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