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The Benefits Of Doing Nothing

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We live in a society where sitting in stillness and silence, void of any stimuli, is seen as doing nothing – a view polluted with a negative stigma, with the implication that doing nothing is synonymous with being nothing. However, this could not be further from the truth. To sit in stillness is not actually to do “nothing,” in the sense that time is wasted and there is no gain. It is, in reality, closer to doing everything, as being in touch with our inner stillness, or consciousness, has a powerful ripple effect on every single aspect of our lives in one way or another. Of course, failing to wake up to this truth also effects everything, but only by ensuring that what we consider to be “everything” in our lives has little substance and limited depth.

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The type of downtime I am referring to is one in which we quiet our minds and do not work to acheive any particular goals, execute any task on our to do lists, or engage in external stimuli. It is not one and the same with leisurely downtime such as vacationing with friends, watching TV, or reading a book. That indulging in downtime – the kind in which we enter a state of idleness, quieting our mind – is unproductive and lazy is not merely an idea, but more of a belief a large portion of society has adopted as an absolute truth. However, concrete evidence proving it to be true is grotesquely lacking, leaving statements implying that always being on the go and doing something equates with a successful and meaningful life as nothing more than that: statements. semantics. words with no depth to penetrate.

As it turns out, neuroscientists are now finding the exact opposite to be true, and a new stance on how we expend our time is gaining momentum: always busying ourselves with something diminishes the quality of our lives. When we do not carve time out of our lives to be idle and create empty space in our heads for new ideas to arise, the areas most essential to living a productive, creative, and vibrant life are negatively impacted – or, in the least, brought to either an outright standstill in progress or complete and utter chaos. The reality is, when we “empty” our minds we are not wasting time. On the contrary, we are actually greatly reducing the odds that the time we spend engaging in external activities – whether work related, personal, or social – is wasted or of little substance.

Continuously busying ourselves and filling every waking minute with something to check off our to do lists allots little to no room in our minds for fresh ideas and renewal to arise. You don’t have to become a monk or go on a retreat where you sit in isolation in a room and meditate for months in order to reap the benefits of doing nothing in the manner I am referring to. You only need to silence your mind, to devote yourself to idleness, for five to ten minutes a day, preferrably a few times throughout the day. If you are thinking you do not have so much as one increment of five to ten minutes to dedicate to doing nothing every day, much less various ones, all hope is not lost. You can still enter a state of idleness in which you are not focused on doing anything and your interior world is not swayed by stimuli of any kind while performing mundane, habitual tasks such as household chores like laundry or the dishes, since “doing nothing” in this case essentially means to make space in your head – to quiet the mind, to do nothing mentally, to be conscious, to enter a state of heightened present moment awareness. There are simple strategies to do so even with a schedule full of activities, and adopting them can result in significant health benefits.

The Health Benefits Of Doing Nothing

When we are constantly doing something, we are simultaneously constantly stimulating our nervous systems to the point of exhaustion – and an overexerted, depleted nervous system can most certainly give birth to an array of health problems, as well as make it all but impossible to overcome them. For optimal health and healing, we need our nervous systems on board and rooted in our bodies with expendable energy to place towards any problematic areas that may arise which need excess nourishment to be replinished. Otherwise, acheiving a state of homeostasis and living a balanced, healthy life is highly unlikely.

Regularly carving out time to devote to doing nothing, to sitting in idleness and dropping into a conscious state of being, produces many health benefits including, but not limited to, reduced heart rate, better digestion, improvements in mood, and a boost in overall emotional well-being – which, of course, affects everything on a biochemical and physiological level, thereby serving as a major deciding factor on whether or not we fall ill, and/or remain ill. Mental downtime also replenishes glucose and oxygen levels in the brain, and allows our brains to process and file things, which leaves us feeling more rested and clear headed, promotes a stronger sense of self-confidence, and enstills within us a deep trust in life. When we trust in the unfolding of life, we trust change. We do not resist it, or any experience for that matter. It is then that we are able to transmute even the worst types of pain – physical, mental, or spiritual – into meaningful experiences that change us on deep, fundamental levels for the better. It may seem as though such changes only impact us or those directly associated with us in some way; but collectively, they impact the world, both shaping and embodying the form that defines the nature of humanity.

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Strategies For Creating Downtime To Do Nothing

In the morning: Immediatly upon opening our eyes every morning, many of us do the same thing, as there is a relatively limited selection of actions to choose from. Options range from hitting snooze on our alarms, getting up to brush our teeth, yelling at anyone who is brave enough to talk way too loud for 6 AM (or to talk, period), eating breakfast, or making coffee. There really aren’t many other options than that, at least not ones not deemed significant enough to make the list of the most common things people do when they first wake up. Except, there is one undoubtedly more significant thing that should be added to the list, as it is more essential to life than anything else we can do to start the day: the most powerful thing we can do upon waking is nothing. To remain idle and quiet our minds, and enter the present fully into a state of conscious being.

Choosing to start the day consciously, to clear our heads before new stimulus bombards it, profoundly changes everything that happens throughout the day ahead of us. While it may not so much change what happens on an external physical, aesthetic level, delving into the day consciously changes what happens on an internal level. This indirectly changes the feeling sense of all that happens around us, giving greater depth, meaning, and a sense of aliveness to every moment of the day not only for us, but for everyone connected to our daily activities both directly and indirectly.

If you find it hard to take five to ten minutes to do nothing but sit or lay still, for five to ten minutes while quieting your mind (falling back sleep doesn’t count), then the following practice may help: Starting at your feet and working your way up, scan your body for any areas that feel tense or uneasy. When you run into one, focus your attention, which is to say your energy, on it and imagine you are breathing into it, with each rise and fall of your chest relaxing it more and more. Doing so not only quiets the mind, it balances the mind-body connection, making way for a more grounded state of being throughout the day.

At work: Although sitting at your desk – or whatever your workplace environment entails – and staring out the window is infamously hailed as lazy, unproductive, and a general indicator that someone is either unmotivated or incompetent to work, research conducted by The Energy Project paints a different picture. The Energy Project, a consulting firm specializing in engagement and productivity among workers, vehemently begs to differ. According to their Vice President of business development, Andrew Deutscher, the longer people work without taking breaks to rest and replinish their minds, “the worse they feel and the less engaged they become.” [1]

The Energy Project’s research results on workplace productivity and idleness found that individuals who took five to ten minute breaks from work to do nothing a few times a day displayed an approximately 50% increase in their ability to think clearly and creatively, thus rendering their work far more productive. Results like these are what prompt the firm to advocate for the allowance of employee breaks and short, restorative naps while on the clock. This, of course, benefits everyone involved -employees, employers, and the people using their services.

When Tackling Daily Chores: When we execute daily household chores like dishes or laundry, we feel like we are doing nothing – in the sense that we are not doing anything significant, which is actually quite perfect. Rather than turning on the TV, radio, or calling someone to escape the uncomfortable feeling of doing nothing important, we can instead free fall into that feeling. Rather than resist the feeling of doing nothing significant when performing repetitive tasks and chores, we can instead make the conscious choice to fully enter it, and in doing so give it great significance.

Daily chores like washing the dishes and folding laundry become so habitual due to their repetitive nature that our physical actions are basically on cruise control when executing them. This can either be a really boring or really rewarding reality – we get to choose which. Since we do these tasks automatically without much thought, our minds are already quieted to a significant degree, making them great tools rather than burdens. Since our minds are already quieted more than usual, we have an advantage – the only effort we have to place towards doing nothing is to simply be aware that our mind is quieted more than usual and choose to tune into it without implementing any external stimuli to busy our mind.

In the space that external stimuli would have otherwise filled, there is consciousness. And where there is consciousness, there is deep peace, even when external factors are unsatisfactory. And where there is deep peace, there is a love whose existence could never be threatened by any external source or event. And where there is love such as this, there is the richest source of what we call life.

Sources:

1. Experience Life Magazine, May 2015 Issue

2. www.theenergyproject.com

3. www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/opinion/sunday/relax-youll-be-more-productive.html?_r=0

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Awareness

Why Vegan and not Vegetarian? Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh Answers The Question

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh explains why he chooses not to consume any meat or dairy products, and points towards the overwhelmingly cruel food industry.

  • Reflect On:

    What gives us the right to torture animals, steal their babies, abuse them simply for our consumption? Where is our compassion, morality and empathy? Have we been made and brainwashed to believe that it's ok?

The most heartbreaking thing to see and to witness is an innocent benevolent being getting tortured and suffering. This is the realty of eating animal products today. Billions of animals are raised for slaughter every single year, and the overwhelmingly large majority of them go through horrific and terrifying experiences. It’s hard to imagine how anybody could eat or wear the clothes of diseased animals knowing what they went through. It’s also hard to believe that anybody who does eat or purchase products that have used animals in their manufacturing process would do that kind of “labour” themselves.

The truth is that many people still don’t know what these beings are going through. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, immoral, and unethical. Morality, empathy, and love are all emotions that need to return to planet Earth, and as long as we have multiple industries exploiting animals, that can’t happen.

If you’re unaware of what these animals are going through on a daily basis, a recent PETA investigation on two of the world’s top cashmere exporters revealed extreme cruelty, including the violent killing of cashmere goats. You can read more about it and see some footage of that here, if you’re interested.

You can view more examples of graphic footage in the trailer of “The Buddha Bowl,” a documentary in the making featuring personalities and some of the most influential and renowned spiritual leaders from all over the world sharing their perspectives on veganism. These include viewpoints from Buddha himself and from spiritual leaders from the past and present, totalling about 30 interviews on animal rights, environmental issues and health.

One of the people in that documentary is Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who is recognized as a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist. The video below is not part of the documentary listed above, but from an interview taken a few years ago at a conference.

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Are We Even Designed To Eat Meat?

There is no doubt our world is becoming more awake, aware, and compassionate. Millions of people around the world have transitioned towards a plant-based diet. This represents the kind of compassion and empathy our world needs more of, and this diet can do nothing but benefit human health, the planet, and the animals.

It’s no secret that eating meat and animal products is destroying the Earth, as clearing land for animal grazing and slaughter is one of the leading causes of deforestation, and factory farms are an environmental disaster.

More people are also starting to become aware of plant-based diets and their health benefits.

A recent study conducted by researchers in California and France found that meat protein is associated with a very sharp increased risk of heart disease, while protein from nuts and seeds is actually beneficial for the human heart. The study is titled “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: The Adventist Health Study-2 cohort,”

It’s one of many studies that’ve emerged over the years showing the benefits of plant-based diets and their ability to reverse diseases. On the other hand, many studies published have shown how the consumption of meat has the exact opposite effect.

Below is a clip from a recent CETV episode where CE founder Joe Martino and I go into the discussion a little deeper, with a specific focus on plant-based protein compared to meat protein. If interested, you can watch the full episode here by signing up for your free trial. CETV is a platform that we created to combat the censorship we’ve experienced over the past couple of years.

I also go into this type of discussion, if you’re interested in reading about it, in an article I recently published: “Another Study Suggests Humans Are Not Designed To Eat Meat.”

The Takeaway

Human beings are born with compassion and empathy. What we are doing to animals on our planet today, and how many continue to ignore it and be unaffected by it, is simply as a result of mass brainwashing and marketing by big food corporations. The truth is that we’ve been taught to ignore it, we’ve been taught to believe that it’s OK and it’s our right to do this to others who share the planet with us. No child would ever stand for such a thing unless they were taught to do so. It’s the same thing as racism, we are not born with it, we are taught it. I urge all those who are reading this to do their research into where the vast majority of our food and clothes are coming from, watch what these animals are going through, look into their eyes and and feel what they are feeling.

The ability to feel and understand the emotions of others, animal or human, is a HUGE and VITAL step towards creating a better world and a better overall human experience.

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Alternative News

Marianne Williamson Admits “The System Is More Corrupt Than I Knew”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Marianne Williamson stated in an interview on Fox and Friends that she did not realize the political system was as corrupt as it is.

  • Reflect On:

    This is an important revelation of how leaders often don't quite see the full truth of our system at hand. Through them and their experience, we can learn a lot about what is truly going on. Is it time to let go of the systems we have?

About a week ago Marianne Williamson told the New Yorker, I know this sounds naïve, but I didn’t think the left was so mean. I didn’t think the left lied like this.” In a segment I did on CETV, I discussed the fact that Williamson is doing a great job of bringing a bit more of a conscious conversation into the mix here, which is very important, but seems to not quite understand what politics is really about and how things function in our world.

In my article about this statement I stated:

Some have suggested that Marianne already knows these truths, and she may, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she is only uncovering these things now. I say this as I belong to a group that communicates regularly that contains many high profile conscious industry leaders like Williamson and other big authors, speakers etc. Many of them are great with spirituality but seem to struggle to see how politics truly functions. I have witnessed this first hand and this is why I’m so passionate about what I do as I feel bringing together both personal transformation and hard truth is imperative.

Some felt that my analysis was off and that Williamson is just ‘playing naive,’ but to me, this did not feel true nor did it seem to be the case. While some might view this as an unimportant detail, it’s very important as for society to truly begin to shift we must not only personally transform but also realize the true nature of the world we live in.

As outlined in the CE Protocol, the formula I built to help awaken and shift the masses, the very first step is Breaking The Illusion about our programmed reality and understand what’s truly going on. From there, personal transformation becomes key.

Williamson Admits She Was Unaware

Here we are a week later and Williamson has stated what I observed in my previous segment, she did not quite realize how corrupt our political system truly is. In an interview on Fox and Friends Williamson stated:

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“I would say that I feel that I’ve learned that the system is even more corrupt than I knew and people are even more wonderful than I hoped,

I want to state this isn’t about picking on anyone as much as it is about understanding the importance behind seeing the full picture of the change that needs to take place here. For 10 years now I have built CE to include both personal transformation and truth seeking for the reason that either one of those topics on their own doesn’t create the change we all know is possible in our hearts.

I’ve seen many ‘spiritual leaders’ still deeply support the dysfunctional nature of our systems because they believe there is truth to them when in reality they belong to a consciousness we are shifting away from.

Our political system is built and exists within a system designed for a very limited state of consciousness, some call this 3D consciousness. The goal isn’t to shift our political system, it’s to let it go. Collectively we are shifting and the new state of consciousness emerging doesn’t support the political system at hand. Hence why the chaos around it is increasing, because it’s acting as a mirror for us to see how it doesn’t resonate with our emerging consciousness.

It’s like trying to install Windows on a Mac or vice versa, the systems aren’t designed for the operating system. Humanity is faced with a challenge of ‘letting go of the old,’ not trying to fix the old.

In a brand new segment of The CE Show I did on YouTube and CETV, I discuss Marianne’s latest comments and what I feel we all must realize as we move forward in this journey of shifting ourselves and our world.

The CE Show airs multiple times per week on CETV. Membership proceeds from CETV go towards supporting our journalism and future broadcasts. You can start a free 7 day trial here.

The Takeaway

I feel that we have become addicted to the systems of a state of consciousness that we are moving away from. The choice is up to us, we stop resisting and holding onto things of the old, move through the process of watching these old systems fall away, or we continue to fight tooth and nail under the belief that we must hold up the old systems, and suffer along the way.

Ask yourself within, do you truly feel that this is about changing our current political system to be more open and evolved? Or is it about letting go of the rigidity of our current systems and creating new ones that are birthed from a  new state of consciousness, not one that is centuries old…

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Pisces: Navigating Ideals

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We are having a Full Moon in Pisces which will be exact at 4:33am Universal Time on September 14th 2019. It will appear the fullest on the night of the 13th for most of the world and on the night of the 14th for the Far East, Australia, and New Zealand.

This is the peak of the Lunar cycle which began two weeks prior with a New Moon in Virgo. The energies of it build up as the Moon increases its light and are strongest in the days before and after. However, it will still be a part of the backdrop over the following two weeks.

Full Moon’s are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Pisces and Sun in Virgo. It can reflect either a conflict or integration of both signs. We can feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Virgo side and others expressing the Pisces side.

Pisces is associated with sensitivity, compassion, creativity, and oneness. It is spiritually conductive, mystical, energy oriented, dreamy, flowy, imaginative, idealistic, and empathic. Negatively, it can be delusional, lazy, intoxicated, deceptive, confused/confusing, elusive, flaky, and lack critical thinking. Pisces energy is the least compatible with the mundane world and is associated with escapism in its many forms.

Virgo is about productivity, duties, service, physical health, cleanliness, and purity. It is organized, conscientious, skillful, diligent, efficient, analytical, detailed, and practical. Negatively, Virgo energy can also be overly critical, too cautious, fault-finding, irritable, discriminating, and overly perfectionist.

Full Moon Aligned with Neptune in T-Square with Jupiter and Mars

This Full Moon is close to Neptune which has many of the same qualities of Pisces that were mentioned above. It is viewed as a modern ruler of that sign and it amplifies its energies even more so during this period. Neptune is also associated with glamour, romance, and addiction. It has a dissolving, flooding, and watery energy that doesn’t comprehend boundaries.

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Neptune is completing its last of three squares with Jupiter in Sagittarius which will be exact on September 21st and will be strong into the following week. It began last January and peaked again this past June. At best, this can be an expansive period in a spiritual, creative, or compassionate way.

However, it can also be a time of confusion or lack of discernment around beliefs, ideologies, education, and teachers. It can also be a time in which we become aware of us being like that previously. We can be more excessive when it comes to how we express Piscean/Neptunian energies mentioned above.

At the time of the Full Moon, Mars in Virgo is also involved in this configuration along with the opposition of the Sun and Moon, forming a T-square aspect. This can be good for asserting ourselves towards our ideals or with a different Jupiter-Neptune approach (mentioned above). However this can also make our actions scattered, less assertive/direct, and make it harder to apply ourselves with practicality.

Full Moon Sextile Pluto Near Saturn and South Node, Saturn Going Direct

This Full Moon is in a tight sextile with Pluto which is near Saturn and the South Node. This could trigger some of the themes of the previous Lunar Eclipse (that is still reflecting this period) in a more harmonious way. Purging aspects of our past that are getting in the way of us moving forward. This can help to facilitate empowerment through some sort of release or transformation.

Saturn will be finishing its retrograde on September 18th and will move towards its final conjunction with the South Node which will peak at the end of the month and early October. This energy was also strong in mid Spring and part of it in early Summer.

Saturnian themes get amplified and we can be dealing with limitations, obstacles, restrictions, or perhaps issues around boundaries. We may feel a need to make changes around responsibilities, commitments, career, and structures in our lives. Similarly to the last Lunar Eclipse, there can be a sort of ending playing out around how an area of our lives is being expressed.

Full Moon Opposing Mercury and Venus Conjunction As They Change Signs

At the time of this Full Moon, Mercury and Venus are in a conjunction at the very end of Virgo, (Mercury’s sign). They will then be moving into Libra (Venus’ sign) in the hours following with the Full Moon triggering after it begins to wane.

This can be a time of heightened interactions, catching up with friends and other relationships. While it is in Virgo it could lean more towards its themes connected to work, service, fault finding, etc. For some people there can be a feeling of some sort of urgency.

After this conjunction moves into Libra, especially a day after the Full Moon,  it becomes more pleasant, social, and creative. Our interactions can be more harmonious, diplomatic, and less critical. We can more easily see both sides to something, find balance, and a great time to discuss relationship matters.

As a result of both of these planets transitioning near the same time, some people may experience some sort of significant shift in other areas of their lives within a few days following the Full Moon.

Things To Consider During This Period

How can you better balance the mundane aspects of life with your ideals, creativity, or spirituality? How have your beliefs been impacted this year and what is the conclusion to your experiences? Is it possible that you may have been confused about some aspects of newly or previously acquired perspectives?

What themes are coming up for you now that have been playing out since last April? What do you need to release? What changes do you need to make when it comes to your work, responsibilities, commitments, structures, or boundaries?
These are just some examples of what could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out. If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up at this Full Moon, it is best to do so anytime after the peak of the Full Moon when it begins to wane until the next New Moon in two weeks. The exact moment of this Full Moon is on September 14th at 4:33am Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE for more astrology related content.

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

Looking for astrological insight into what is going on in your life? Or perhaps looking to better understand your life and its potentials? Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information or to order. 

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