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Losing Your Mind To Find It

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Before the rain stops we can hear a bird. Even under the heavy snow we see snowdrops and some new growth.  – Shunryu Suzuki

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There & Back Again

When my wife and I were first married, we spent a summer on Madeira Island with her family. They lived three hours from the airport in a small, poor farming village, high up in the mountains. After a hair raising 3 hour taxi ride on winding, narrow mountain roads with drops of 1,000 feet or more, we arrived at the family home. I noticed quickly that there were no phones, no TVs or radios, no refrigeration, and only sporadic electricity. There was one road in and the same road out.

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In my time there, I discovered many interesting things about the skills and attitudes of the villagers. One characteristic in particular has stayed with me all these years. The shortcut to the center of town was a narrow, single file path along the side of a ridge with a drop of about twenty feet to the ravine below. In pitch darkness, townspeople could travel barefoot along this path at high speed, with no flashlights and without hesitation. No one, including the older folk, seemed to fall or fear the trek. It was as if they could see in the dark. My attempts to do this myself were met with polite smiles and giggles as I stumbled and demanded a flashlight. They couldn’t quite grasp what my problem was.

Madeira 3Three weeks into our stay, we were visiting relatives higher up the mountain. We stayed longer than anticipated and had to start down the mountain in the pitch dark. There was no road, only a primitive path with crevices, holes and boulders jutting into the path. It was a steep descent. As we started down, I could feel the fear of falling and being injured growing. In spite of that, I was moving faster and faster down the mountain. And then it happened. It was as if one part of my mind turned off and another turned on. I began to run. Incredibly, it all seemed to be in slow motion. I could see every crevice, every stone along the path. I neither tripped nor stumbled during the entire descent. Some part of me knew where to step. I leaped over crevices, dodged boulders and all at top speed. I saw the world in a totally new way; somehow I was aware of everything around me despite the darkness. My mind was clear, focused and in command. But it was not my conscious, everyday mind. There were no words or concepts, only awareness. It was what I have come to call the Instinctual Mind. A mind in which the world appears seamless and our senses fully integrated. But more of that later.  Let me get back to the story.

Upon arriving at the relative’s home, we partook of the obligatory homemade Madeiran wine and crackers while sitting for hours talking about the farm, the children and past experiences. There was little food to share but the Portuguese hospitality was magnificent. My mind was placid and content in the here and now, primed for a new experience.

Years later, after a career at the university and in private psychotherapy practice marked with the stresses of incessant multitasking, sitting for hours at computers, and driving in massive traffic jams, I began to jealously reflect on the extraordinary skill of the Madeirans.  How could we be so different?  Was their ability to use the Instinctual Mind inherently human but lost to us through some social or mental atrophy? Could regaining this ability contribute a clarity and focus to life that seemed long lost in my fast paced, technology dominated world? I couldn’t help but wonder if the ability of the Madeirans to harness the Instinctual Mind could in some way rekindle a sense of place, a deeper awareness of my surroundings, of purpose and a greater sensuality. I began to look into ways, some common, some not so common that could contribute to awakening that other mind that seemed so hidden and elusive.

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Hiking the Mountain

It may be helpful to look at hiking the mountain as a way of awakening the Instinctual Mind. If you have ever gone hiking, you know that it takes some preparation. You need supplies and proper clothing and a sense of direction. For me the preparation for ascending the mountain was three weeks of being free of all technology or knowledge of the world. Only the simple facts of everyday life were real. Once on the path upward, you need water, food and proper shoes so the journey can be completed. For us the hike up was hot and demanding. We had to negotiate the crevices, holes and boulders. All of this to reach our goal.

Many believe once you reach your goal at the summit the journey is over. You see the sky and the vistas. But for me reaching the top was only the prelude to the descent. Sometimes what we think is the goal is only the gateway to something more.  It was the descent that shattered my mind and opened it to a new dimension. Each of us must find the path and journey that suits us. For some it may be the climb up or reaching the peak. For others it will be the journey down. The only way to know is to start preparing and taking the first steps along the way.

Awakening the Instinctual Mind is allowing what is already in you its full expression. You are not adding something new to yourself. This awakening can bring changes in your relationships, worldview and health. Instinctual Mind is a mind of compassion and healing. But those are stories for another day.

Beginning The Climb

Here are a few ways to begin preparing for the climb:

  • Make a decision to free yourself, temporarily, from your cell phone and IPad or all technology for that matter. You might choose one hour a day so you can sit without the devices. Wean yourself from the constant clatter. Start to become accustomed to sitting, speaking to family, friends and colleagues without technical interruptions. You can expand this time as you grow stronger.
  • Limit your time listening to the news. All the calamities of the world will still be there when you get back. Cut the ties to 24 hour cable network news. Re-traumatizing yourself all day long is unhealthy and destroys composure.
  • Learn relaxation techniques to reduce stress. Relaxing is a good preparation to stilling your everyday mind that chatters on and on.
  • Go hiking, take up Tai Chi. These practices allow you to put aside the ordinary mind. Being in nature can be very helpful in the journey.
  • Start a meditation practice. There are many forms of meditation. Choose one that suits your temperament. Sitting is a path to awakening. Meditation is a way of scratching away at all the obstacles to knowing and giving expression to our true mind.
  • Find a teacher, group or someone you trust who can help you along the way.

Tools for the Hike

Ram Das: https://www.ramdass.org/

Original Mind: http://www.originalmindbrilliance.com/

Centering Prayer: http://www.centeringprayer.com/

Beginner’s Mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCOVusLqXmk

Go Wild: http://www.johnratey.com/Books.php

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Alternative News

Togo, West Africa Bans Glyphosate

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Togo, a country in West Africa has decided to ban the use of toxic chemical pesticide, glyphosate because of growing health and environmental concerns.

  • Reflect On:

    Togo joins 20 other countries who have decided to ban this pesticide, do you think your country will ever do the same?

Recently, a country in West Africa, Togo has prohibited the ‘import, market or use of glyphosate and any other product containing it.’ This decision was finalized in December of last year by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Production and Fisheries, Noel Kouerta Bataka.

If you are unfamiliar with glyphosate, it is a chemical pesticide made by none other than agricultural giant, Monsanto, Bayer. Glyphosate can be found in RoundUp and used on crops that have been genetically engineered specifically to resist its toxicity, allowing farmers to kill the weeds and pests without killing their crops. The problem is, it is extremely toxic not only for the consumer of products containing it, but for the land and soil as well where it is grown.

There have been numerous studies, many of which CE has reported on that link it to cancer, liver disease, autism, birth defects, brain damage and more.

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage (et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691)

After 2 years of political discussions in Togo, regarding the worlds most popular herbicide, many are celebrating the decision that was finally made to have it outright banned. Bataka has allowed a 12-month moratorium for all of the current glyphosate supplies to be either used or destroyed.

Ban Of Glyphosate Around The World

As awareness grows regarding the health concerns of glyphosate, so does government level support worldwide. Not only has Key West, Los Angeles, Miami and The University of California banned or restricted the use of this toxic chemical so, have 20 countries around the world. These countries are,

  • In Africa — Malawi and Togo.
  • In Asia — Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar.
  • In Central America — Bermuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Costa Rica
  • In Europe — Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, The Netherlands

So we still have yet to see bans in Canada, United States, Mexico and many other countries, but hopefully stories such as these will keep the awareness and momentum going and help others to see that this toxic chemical pesticide should not be anywhere near the food we are eating or on our precious Mother Earth.

It’s a big problem, and it’s now entered into our food supply.

How To Avoid Glyphosate

One might believe that they simply have to avoid genetically engineered foods to avoid glyphosate, and while that is a good start, unfortunately it’s not that black and white. There are many non-GMO foods that are still sprayed with this chemical and thus have high concentrations of it.

In reality your best bet would be to grow all of your own fruits, vegetables and even nuts, but unfortunately in this day and age this is not very plausible for everyone.

The foods that are highest in glyphosate are: soy, wheat, almonds, peas, beetroot (including beet sugar), carrots, sweet potatoes, quinoa, peas, tea, meat and dairy, corn and oats. However, many other unsuspecting foods have also have tested positive for high levels of glyphosate including many fruits and berries such as: apples, apricots, cherries, grapefruit, grapes (wine as well), lemons, olives, peaches, pears and more.

To avoid glyphosate altogether sticking to an all-organic diet is necessary. If this is an obstacle for you, consider locally grown produce where you can talk directly with the farmers about their growing practices. Many farmers grow organically , but cannot afford to obtain the organic certification. You can also wash your produce in baking soda and vinegar click HERE for instructions.

Final Thoughts

While it may seem hopeless at times to even try to avoid environmental toxins like glyphosate, we have to remember that the more we do, and the more we put our money where are mouths are and vote with our dollars, the less these chemicals will be used. We have already seen many big brands step away from using GMO ingredients because of consumer demand, so it may not be as far off as you think.

As countries like Togo step forward and do what is right for their citizens and the planet, awareness will continue to grow and it will assist others in seeing the truth about these chemicals and inspire others to make a change as well. We have more power than we realize and anything can change, with enough awareness.

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Awareness

Study: Exercising With Mask Induces a “Hypercapnic Hypoxia Environment” – Not Good

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A study published in June 2020 raises some health concerns about people wearing masks while exercising. It also calls into question the ability of masks to stop Covid-19.

  • Reflect On:

    Are the mandatory orders that we are being given from government health authorities really the right thing to do? Why is there such a back-lash for questioning these measures? Should we not encourage questioning and discussion?

What Happened: A recent study published in the Journal Medical Hypothesis titled “Exercise with facemask; Are we handling a devil’s sword? – A physiological hypothesis” claims the following:

Exercising with facemasks may reduce available Oxygen and increase air trapping preventing substantial carbon dioxide exchange. The hypercapnic hypoxia may potentially increase acidic environment, cardiac overload, anaerobic metabolism and renal overload, which may substantially aggravate the underlying pathology of established chronic diseases. Further contrary to the earlier thought, no evidence exists to claim the facemasks during exercise offer additional protection from the droplet transfer of the virus. Hence, we recommend social distancing is better than facemasks during exercise and optimal utilization rather than exploitation of facemasks during exercise.

According to the authors, exercising with facemasks induced as “a hypercapnic hypoxia environment [inadequate Oxygen (O2) and Carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange] . This acidic environment, both at the alveolar and blood vessels level, induces numerous physiological alterations when exercising with facemasks: 1) Metabolic shift; 2) cardiorespiratory stress; 3) excretory system altercations; 4) Immune mechanism; 5) Brain and nervous system.’

Further, poor saturation of haemoglobin would be anticipated due to increased partial pressure of CO2 at higher exercise intensity Fig. 2 demonstrates the extreme right shift of the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve, which would be higher than that expected during exercise. This acidic environment would unload O2 faster at the muscle level, but due to higher heart rate and reduced affinity at the alveolar junction, the partial pressure of O2 would substantially fall, creating a hypoxic environment for all vital organs.

In the figure below, the authors present a dissociation curve that “is showing the extreme right side shift with the carbon dioxide rebreathing (PaCO2) and inadequate available Oxygen (PAO2). Red dotted lines show the right shift of the curve due to exercise without masks (↑PaCO2, PH and temperature). Violet dotted lines show the extreme curve shift during exercise with masks (↑↑↑↑PaCO2, PH and temperature). (For interpretation of the references to colour in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)”

The authors also point out that “wearing of facemasks to prevent the community spread of the novel Covid-19 is itself debatable, considering the limited evidence on the subject matter. WHO recommends masks only for Covid-19 patients but the usage of masks is morally “exploited” among community individuals.”

This is important to recognize, the use of masks is indeed debatable. Right now, “fact-checkers” are going around the internet censoring and labelling any information that seems to question the efficacy of masks when it comes to Covid-19, or anything that contradicts the WHO organization. Why do voices looking at facts ad science, and providing another perspective get silenced?

The purpose of the paper cited in this article is to explore and question: Does the use of facemasks offer any benefit for ‘social exercisers’ during this pandemic; 2) Does exercising with facemasks alter normal physiological responses to exercise; 3) Does exercising with facemasks increase the risk of falling prey to Coronavirus; 4) How could “social exercisers” combat the physiological alteration?

Here’s another interesting claim by the researchers:

The study concludes:

Exercising with facemasks might increase pathophysiological risks of underlying chronic disease, especially cardiovascular and metabolic risks. Social exercisers are recommended to do low to moderate-intensity exercise, rather than vigorous exercise when they are wearing facemasks. We also recommend people with chronic diseases to exercise alone at home, under supervision when required, without the use of facemasks. Given the identified and hypothesized risks, social distancing and self-isolation appear to be better than wearing facemasks while exercising during this global crisis.

This isn’t the only paper that has called into question the use of a mask. This study, is one of multiple that conveys the idea that they might in fact increase one’s chance of contracting a respiratory infection.

For example,

According to a study published in BMJ Open in 2015,

This study is the first RCT of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection. Further research is needed to inform the widespread use of cloth masks globally. However, as a precautionary measure, cloth masks should not be recommended for HCWs, particularly in high-risk situations, and guidelines need to be updated.

We have provided the first clinical efficacy data of cloth masks, which suggest HCWs should not use cloth masks as protection against respiratory infection. Cloth masks resulted in significantly higher rates of infection than medical masks, and also performed worse than the control arm. The controls were HCWs who observed standard practice, which involved mask use in the majority, albeit with lower compliance than in the intervention arms. The control HCWs also used medical masks more often than cloth masks. When we analysed all mask-wearers including controls, the higher risk of cloth masks was seen for laboratory-confirmed respiratory viral infection.

According to another study published a year after the one mentioned above,

The physiological effects of breathing elevated inhaled CO2 may include changes in visual performance, modified exercise endurance, headaches and dyspnea. The psychological effects include decreased reasoning and alertness, increased irritability, severe dyspnea, headache, dizziness, perspiration, and short-term memory loss. (source)

There are many examples. Doctors have been making YouTube videos and giving interviews about the same concerns as well. Again, many of these videos and interviews have been deleted from big tech platforms like YouTube.

Why?

Why This Is Important: We are living in a time where simply questioning information that’s dished out to us is becoming harder and harder to do and talk about on the internet – a place where ideas are shared. When something credible opposes a narrative handed to the population via some very powerful people, not only is it censored and often removed, but a mass media campaign of ridicule ensues. Of course, the main strategy used in the mainstream is to call these ideas a “conspiracy theory” and cast doubt. Censorship + Ridicule = massive perception manipulation.

Below is a screenshot of what has happened with our YouTube channel January 1st 2019. We were demonetized and shaddow banned. This is just one example of big tech censorship we have experienced. Our Facebook page has been heavily cut, and we no longer get ranked in Google search. We often joke at the office that, if people knew what we’ve gone through to keep Collective Evolution afloat for the past 11 years they wouldn’t believe it.

This is why we created CETV. Our own platform we created to help us continue doing what we do. CETV is our inner circle membership site that provides news and tools to raise collective consciousness. You can support our work and get inside access to Collective Evolution by becoming a member of CETV.

We thank everybody who has joined so far, you’ve truly kept CE going!

Why are there a digital authoritarian “fact-checkers” going around the internet and censoring information? Should people not have the right to examine information openly, freely and transparently and decide for themselves what is, and what isn’t, instead of having people in positions of power do it for them? Does this not leave room for mass manipulation of information?

The good news is that the censorship of information has drawn the attention of even more people, and has been a catalyst for some to recognize what’s really going on here.

Our physical rights are slowly being taken away under the guise of good will. Crisis’ like the coronavirus, or terrorism have always been used to do this. Create the problem, propose the solution and make it justified in the eyes of the masses. If we continue down this path and choose to be governed by those who do not have the best interests of humanity at heart, we are going down the path of total and complete population control.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, there is so much controversy and information out there that completely opposes the mainstream media narrative. This information and evidence, once seen, has such a big impact on one’s consciousness and perception of the world we live in. Just like 9/11, this coronavirus incident is serving the collective and sparking more questions about what exactly we are doing here. Why do we live the way we live? Why do we respond the way we respond? Why do we continue to follow orders from those whom we choose to let govern us when it isn’t even clear that their recommendations are for the best interest of humanity?

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Alternative News

New Bodycam Footage Reveals Details Of George Floyd’s Arrest Prior To His Death

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    New police bodycam footage shows what happened prior to George Floyd's death.

  • Reflect On:

    Do we have solutions that can lead us to different societal outcomes, not based on new belief systems, but truly allowing people to experience peace, emotional calm and connection?

George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin was one of the events of 2020 that has brought up a great deal of collective shadows that need to be addressed. News of Floyd’s death sparked massive civil unrest and protests that are still going on today, more than two months since it happened.

New police bodycam video shows a terrified George Floyd begging for officers not to shoot him. The footage is from body cameras worn by officer Thomas Lane and Alex Kueng, two of the four cops fired and charged in Floyd’s death. The video was leaked to the Daily Mail and shows officer Lane, approaching Floyd’s SUV, ordering him to show his hands. Floyd does not comply, so the officer pulls out his gun.

“Please don’t shoot me. Please[…] Please, please don’t shoot me. I just lost my mom, man.”

“Put your hands up there,” says the office. “Put your (muted) hands up there. Put your hands on the wheel.”

“I didn’t do nothing wrong,” Floyd says as he’s dragged out of his SUV and handcuffed. Floyd is then taken to a police vehicle across the street, where officers attempt to get him inside. Floyd pleads that he’s claustrophobic and scuffles to avoid being put in the vehicle.

“I’ll roll down the window,” one of the officers says.

“Please, I’m not trying to win,[…] “I’m not a bad guy, man. I’m not a bad guy.”

Floyd is wrestled to the ground after avoiding going into the backseat. As the video ends Floyd begins telling officers “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” The world is aware of how this incident ends.

The current murder case against former cops Thomas Lane, Alex Kueng, Derek Chauvin, and Tou Thao is ongoing. This piece of footage is being used as evidence in the case.

The video below shows the entire incident. Viewer be warned some of this footage may be unsettling.

Why It Matters: The Floyd death has had me wondering what can honestly be done differently when it comes to policing. Watching this video I did not feel a sense of connection and community amongst officers. I felt a separation between them and the potential ‘criminal’ they were engaging with.

In the US, stats show this type of behavior can affect black people more than others, but I never felt this incident was race-related. To me it felt like how many police interactions feel: stressful and disconnected. So why is that? Why in general is humanity so disconnected from one another?

A deeper look into the state of being of police officers points us to the fact that police are consistently under a high level of stress and are not living in a balanced state of being while on the job. Not a surprise to some, but perhaps to others.

I’ve often wondered if the larger issue here is that we have a police force that is experiencing “among the most stressful occupations in the world and officers typically suffer a variety of physiological, psychological, and behavioral effects and symptoms,” according to a 2012 study examining the role of stress and other psychological challenges in a police officers life. “Officers operating under severe or chronic stress are likely to be at greater risk of error, accidents, and overreactions that can compromise their performance, jeopardize public safety, and pose significant liability costs to the organization” the study abstract continues.

After following 59 police officers through 16 weeks that had been trained on Heart Math’s Resilience Advantage® training, it was noted that:

“The greatest and, in our view, most important effect of the self-management training was seen in the participants’ increased ability to manage their moods and emotions, which is a fundamental key to sustaining resilience. … For the police officer, the abilities to think rationally under stress, concentrate, plan ahead, remember and organize crucial information, make effective decisions, and control inappropriate emotion-triggered reactions are critically important and in some cases, can determine the difference between life and death for the officer and other parties.”

Since 2012, 300 to 400 police officers per week in the Netherlands have received heart coherence training through the HeartMath.  It was estimated that by 2016, 30,000 Dutch officers would have gone through the training, we are awaiting an update on this figure. HeartMath Benelux is an official partner of the Dutch Police Academy as clearly they see value in this form of training for officers.

The Conscious Takeaway: Why is the emotional and psychological state of an officer not one of the most important factors discussed in the media? It so often comes down to race as our social engineering has trained us to view things in that manner.

We have a potentially extremely powerful solution through Heart Math’s Resilience Advantage® training yet instead of having these discussions we point to divisive narratives like race? But does this really account for the vast majority of poor interactions with police? Perhaps it’s time for a new approach?

Maybe we can begin to address the state of being of ourselves and start taking responsibility for how we feel, what we go through, and how to master our emotions? There are plenty of tools out there, it simply requires a cultural shift in wanting to move towards peace vs staying right where we are. It moves us from a story of separation to one of connection – something that we experience directly, not are taught through beliefs and ideas.

Perhaps attuning to heart coherence can be a solution alongside other proposed ideas?

After all, are the police not people we want to feel like can truly help the community?

“It makes you not want to call the police department […] If you don’t feel safe with the police department, then who do you feel safe with?” – James Smith, neighbor who called police.

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Collective Evolution is one of the world's fastest-growing conscious media and education companies providing news and tools to raise collective consciousness. Get inside access to Collective Evolution by becoming a member of CETV.

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