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14 People Were Asked: What Does Life Mean To You? Their Answers May Surprise You

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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.

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.” – Alan Watts

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The meaning of life is a burning question that has inspired some of the greatest literature/art, fueled heated debates between atheists and spiritualists, and prompted existential philosophers to wax poetic on what the human experience really means (or doesn’t mean). But… what does life really mean?

--> Our latest podcast episode: Were humans created by extraterrestrials? Joe sits down with Bruce Fenton, multidisciplinary researcher and author to explore the fascinating evidence behind this question. Click here to listen!

It is easy to find insightful opinions on this query from influential authors, teachers, sages, mystics, and scientists with a quick Google search – but, what about from our peers, or people we wouldn’t necessarily think to ask?

As an experiment, I decided to ask this question to a diverse group of friends, artists, creators, and strangers alike – and the results were really incredible.

What Does Life Mean to You?

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“What does life mean to me? Life is love, love is immunity. Life the beginning of ends to start again. Life is the grounding and understanding of your purpose in the moment. Life is the death of the old. Life is courage to let go and freedom to move on. Life is the balance of energy in vessels of flesh and bones. Life is the infinite spectrum of vibrations and motivations. Life is respect for all life forms. Life: User discretion is advised. Life is neither either or. Life is currently undergoing metamorphosis. Life is intending the future and living the moment. Life is love. Love is the flow. Go with the flow. Love is the undercurrent permeating consciousness. Life is the inexplicable moments and catching glimpses into the unknown. Fear is the antithesis of life. Life is tireless and evermore. Fear is wayword, life is forward. Life is the infinite maze of unravelling of truth. Life is knowing your power and using it wisely. To use it wisely is to use it for the greater good of the universe. Life is knowing the longer I stay, the more trouble I have adjusting, but realizing it all begins at the end of my comfort zone. Like the universe, I am beautiful, complex, harmonious, conflicting. I am a part of this universe and the universe is chaotic and constantly evolving. Dare to be. Believe in yourself, believe in others. Believe in your mission. You must remain open to receive. Life’s mission is clear: make bonds, claim time, right wrongs, leave fear and love through to come through.” – Nas Cilia

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“Life, to me, is the quest for perfect balance. the balance between spontaneity & planning, so that things are fresh enough to avoid monotony, yet stable enough to lead to action. the balance between finding the good in the bad & attending to the bad when everything is good, so that one never becomes too caught up in the sadness or too distracted by life’s fleeting delights. the balance of doing things for you & doing things for other people, so that one may be devoted to themselves & the part of themselves that resides in every person in the universe. the balance of believing, loving, & supporting people, while committing to surrounding yourself with higher vibrations, & understanding that attitudes & vibrations are contagious. & the balance of respecting the multiverse of opinions, while speaking your own truth, so that people may, hopefully, come to see the beauty that is the spectrum of human experience in this life. life, to me, is about living the most positive experience possible, uplifting as many lives as possible, questing for knowledge & a higher understanding of the various truths experienced in this world, & avoiding complacency at all costs.” – Alyssa Rochelle, Student, Santa Monica, CA

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“i believe in one rule and one rule only – ‘do whatever you want in life, absolutely anything that feels right to you and evokes your own true happiness; as long as it has no negative effect on another soul.’ i believe in connectivity and the concept that ‘we are united’; and we are. we are one big conscious entity operating in unison; humans, creatures and planets alike. i affect all that happens in the universe, as you affect all direction and reaction also. i believe in more than human. i believe i can learn more from the trees than i can from human words on paper made from them. i believe in more than what the eye can see and more than the science will temporarily find proof of; for what i can see may not necessarily be what you can see right now. i believe in reaching your goals in your own time. i believe there is no point in competing for or stressing about what you most want of your time in this name and form; it’s never too late to make a go at it. most importantly, i believe in the silent magic – the moments not fit for words – that feeling of content pure ecstasy; whatever may evoke it. we are privileged – not by situation or class – but by the mere idea that we have all been created from complete nothingness. we developed senses; birthed into the opportunity to feel and be more than what we have collectively been conditioned into believing of ourselves. i believe in living past the borders of potential. i believe in the power of positive progression – individual for collective.” – Rico Garilli, Acoustic Musician, UK

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“Life, to me, is an amazing opportunity. We all play a part in our individual and collective evolution. We are given a body to house our souls and how we choose to use it is up to us. Personally, I feel I am on a constant journey of self improvement because everything starts from within. As humans, we were not designed to be perfect; it’s a learning process. But we leave our mark on everyone we meet and it’s up to us to decide what that will be; everything we project has an impact. One small act of kindness could spark a chain reaction of positivity and I think connecting with people is one of the most valuable things we can do. I want to meet people with a similar mindset, people who disagree completely, and everyone in between. I want to learn as much as I can and use it in a way to bring people happiness. We’re all interconnected at the deepest of levels and I think our growth comes from learning from each other, we need to treat each other with kindness and compassion and we need to listen. I feel that we are here to play our part in the growth of the earth and its inhabitants, it’s our collective responsibility to work towards an increasingly conscious and compassionate world. It all sounds very serious but it’s not! I just think we need to take care of ourselves and each other, we need to find our happiness and share it.” – Emma Summer, Model, UK

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“Life means loving your body, your mind, nurturing your soul, creating with your community, your planet, and understanding your universe.” – Katy Walker, Things Are Changing Productions/Time is Art, Brookyn, NY

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“The meaning of life to me is a little bit different than most people, I have the ability to connect with spirit as a psychic medium. The meaning of life for me is to face all these battles and lessons in order to help heal other people but I don’t find that to be the reason other people are here. I know the only reason I am on this earth is to connect people with their… loved ones and teach reiki. In the meaning for them I think everybody is on their own beautiful journey of their soul’s growth sharing their little bits of their soul that could help make this world better. I think the meaning of life is to stop trying to find the meaning of life and just live the most positive amazing beautiful life that you can and always make sure to help others. I think it’s to evolve your soul enough to see clear, that we create our own destiny with a little help from our higher sources and to have faith. ” – Alex March, Tattooer/Psychic Medium/Reiki Practioner, NJ

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“Life is about connections and experience: learning from each and every person we come into contact with and giving others a new piece of insight from our own experiences resulting with positive encouragement to evolve and ascend.” – Jennifer Crimmins, brand ambassador/community manager Tarte Cosmetics, Pt. Pleasant, NJ

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“Try to be the best version of yourself. Help other people try to be the best versions of themselves. Look at bugs doing their thing. Wrestle some dogs. Give someone a present when its not their birthday. Improvise a song about the person in the car next to you. Take pictures of your poop. Learn to laugh at your own misfortune. Be a sponge. Pay attention! There are a million things going on at any given moment and our senses limit us to only being aware of a very small fraction of those things. You should cherish every experience and observation because this whole “you-being-alive-right-now” thing doesn’t last for very long.” – Richie Brown, artist/animator/alien, Toms River, NJ

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“The meaning of life is an endless question. It’s something that can be unique to every, single human being. And so every lifetime is an opportunity for a person to reinvent who they want to be in the world and how they want to impact every being around them. The meaning of life is there is no meaning, so you get to create it.” – Jesani Drew, Love and Empowerment Coach/Motivational Speaker, Brooklyn, NY

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“I would just like to begin by saying that to speculate about the meaning of life is both an interesting and beautiful pursuit. However, the nature of life is much like the nature of that which created it: the great mystery or Wakantanka as the Lakota people describe it. For a person to say that they are certain of the answer to this question would be foolish to say the least, not to mention a bit of an admission of arrogant ignorance. I doubt I will ever really know the meaning of life. Perhaps in death I will receive that information. I have come closer to death than I wish I had or would ever want to again and don’t think it brought me any closer to understanding life’s meaning.
What I can share are a few humble insights I have had on the way. First, I believe the purpose of all life is simply to live, otherwise I suppose there would be no life. Therefore, if you are a squirrel be a squirrel: Eat nuts, climb trees, etc. If you are a human, be a human. Many transcendentalists say to avoid sensory experiences and “transcend” humanity. The way I see it, we are humans, if we weren’t meant to be humans we wouldn’t be human. It seems pretty obvious that the key to humanity is the same as the natural world: balance. Alright now, what is the meaning of human life? What to do? How to live? It is scientific law that neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed. Matter and energy interact and exchange in a kind of dance perpetually transferring and transforming.
The way I see it, there is only one tangible thing that is completely created where there wasn’t something before and that is you and your life. I do not mean the physical person you are. I mean the personality you are, the people/places/things you touch and the way the world changes as a result of your presence is actual palpable genesis. Therefore, in my ever so humble opinion, there must be some meaning to that, so create something amazing! Before I get too long winded I’ll wrap this up by sharing what a colorful and insightful medicine man once told me. He said people were always asking him advice about their lives. “What should I do?” “What is it I really want?” “What is the secret?” The list went on and on. He said that his answer to them was always the same. He said that when it all boils down, “everybody just wants TO…BE…HAPPY! So…I am happy!!!” It hit me like a load of bricks because it rang true. Why do you want love? Love makes you feel happy. Why do you want money? Money provides comfort, entertainment, etc., and these things make us happy.
You can see that the list also goes on and on forever and at the end of all these roads we really just want to feel satisfied with a smile on our faces. He insinuated that happiness is really a choice and he chooses happiness. There you go. These things may not be the meaning of life but they bring a lot of meaning to MY LIFE!” – Ben DeVoe, artist/fabricator, Brooklyn, NY

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“Life to me is about doing the things that make you happy. People spend their whole lives searching for happiness and when they find it they never want to let it go. It can be spending time with a person or a group of people, it can be a specific activity. What makes me happy is playing Basketball. I let that go last year and I had one of the worst years of my… young life. When you let go of what makes you happy you don’t feel like yourself. When you are truly happy you feel like you belong and there is no better feeling than that. The best feeling in life is being truly happy. When you’re happy all the little things that bother you don’t matter. All that matters is that moment and feeling right there. Some people go their whole life searching for the feeling so when you find it, don’t ever let it go.” – Arick Sodini, Student, Manalapan, NJ

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“Life, for me, has always been beautiful and simple. It is being childlike and always searching for new truths. It is setting your heart free, so love can pour out. It is allowing your mind to break the chains of ignorance. Change is the only constant–spiritual, mental, emotional growth is necessary to live a life of fulfillment, love, & happiness here on earth.” – Kait Moorefield, Student, Freehold, NJ

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“My meaning of life is centered around experience. I like the idea of going in the cold without a jacket, in order to understand the cold. Some call it Tantric, because you absorbed positive and negative aspects as a means to have a firm understanding. Although, these experiences only shape you and your story, and give you a basis to understand. Our journey in life is to seek balance and enlightenment, whichever path takes you there is up to you. Some of us prefer the road less traveled. There are many doors to the universe, and love is the key to unlocking them. We come into this earth as pure souls, but our environment and social development shapes us into the adults we are fated to become. The underlying theme is understanding karma, while connecting to the path toward your destiny. Destiny is written, and fate is malleable. Life is beautiful, and it’s the story that gives it definition.” – Billy O’Brien, co-founder of EvolveandAscend.com, Asbury Park, NJ

And, finally… here’s my take on life’s meaning…

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“We incarnate on this planet with a sort of curriculum of learning, where life puts us through tests, trials, and tribulations in order to deconstruct our ego to reconstruct our heart. The paradox about this is that we are born exactly how we are supposed to be, but life tricks us into thinking we are to “become” something. The reality is, is that there is no “becoming,” there is only an unbecoming to reconnect with the heart we are born with in the first place. The key to appreciating life, and understanding it’s meaning, is to maintain a childlike enthusiasm during your curriculum, and to never lose faith in the satire of your story. Life is its own ouroboros of learning and unlearning, but maintaining passion, curiosity, and love for all that you experience during the cycle will help your heart stay light. Love, above all else, is the true destination of the journey… love is why we are created, love is the source of creativity, and love is ultimately what we return to when our time here is up. So, with all of that being said, this is my take… life is about letting your heart guide you as you live, learn, unlearn, stay light, let go, laugh through the darkness, and love every person/experience/moment as if they are an extension of yourself.” – Jennifer Sodini, Founder of EvolveandAscend.com, Asbury Park, NJ

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What does life mean to you? Let us know via the comment section below!

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Awareness

How Does Anesthesia Work? We Still Don’t Know: What Happens When Someone Goes “Under”?

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Before you begin...

Coherent icon

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.

When patients ask anesthesiologists what we charge for putting them to sleep, we often say we do it for free. We only bill them for the waking up part.

This isn’t just a way of deflecting a question, it also serves as a gentle reminder to both parties regarding the importance of “coming to.” If we couldn’t regain consciousness, what would be the point in having the surgery in the first place? Nobody wants to experience pain and fear if it can be avoided. If the only way to avoid the pain of an operation is to temporarily be rendered unconscious, most people will readily and willingly consent to that, as long as we can return to our natural state of being alert and interactive with the world around us. We are awake and aware and that–rather than any particular conception of health–is our most precious gift.

How does Anesthesia work ?

From an Anesthesiologist’s point of view, we really shouldn’t charge for putting someone to sleep. It’s too easy. With today’s medications, putting someone to sleep, or in more correct terms, inducing general anesthesia, is straightforward. Two hundred milligrams of this and fifty milligrams of that and voilà: you have a completely unconscious patient who is incapable of even breathing independently. The medications we administer at induction are similar to the lethal injections executioners use. Unlike executioners, we then intervene to reestablish their breathing and compensate for any large changes in blood pressure and the patient thereby survives until consciousness miraculously returns sometime later.

In addition, those in my field have to contend with the reality that we really don’t know what we are doing. More precisely, we have very little if any understanding of how anesthetic gases render a person unconscious. After 17 years of practicing Anesthesiology, I still find the whole process nothing short of pure magic. You see, the exact mechanism of how these agents work is, at present, unknown. Once you understand how a trick works, the magic disappears. With regard to inhaled anesthetic agents, magic abounds. 

Take ether, for example. In 1846 a dentist named William T.G. Morton used ether to allow Dr. Henry J. Bigelow to partially remove a tumor from the neck of a 24-year-old patient safely with no outward signs of pain. The surgery took place at Massachusetts General Hospital in front of dozens of physicians. When the patient regained consciousness with no recollection of the event it is said that many of the surgeons in attendance, their careers spent hardening themselves to the agonizing screams of their patients while operating without modern anesthesia, wept openly after witnessing this feat. At the time, no one knew how ether worked. We still don’t. Over the last 173 years, dozens of different anesthetic gases have been developed and they all have three basic things in common: they are inhaled, they are all very, very tiny molecules by biological standards, and we don’t know how any of them work.

Why we still don’t know…

If you have never closely considered how our bodies do what they do (move, breathe, grow, pee, reproduce, etc.), the answers may be astounding. It is obvious that the energy required to power biological systems comes from food and air. But how do they use them to do everything? How does it all get coordinated?

These are the fundamental questions that have been asked for millennia, by ancient shamans and modern pharmaceutical companies alike. It turns out that the answers are different depending on what sort of perspective and tools we begin with. In the West, our predecessors in medicine were anatomists. Armed with scalpels, the human form was first subdivided into organ systems. Our knives and eyes improved with the development of microtomes and microscopes giving rise to the field of Histology (the study of tissue). Our path of relentless deconstruction eventually gave rise to Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. This is where Western medicine stands today. We define “understanding” as a complete description of how the very molecules that comprise our bodies interact with one another. This method and model has served us well. We have designed powerful antibiotics, identified neurotransmitters, and mapped our own genome. Why then have we not been able to figure out how a gas like ether works? The answer is two-fold.

First, although we have been able to demonstrate some of the biological processes and structures that are altered by an inhaled anesthetic gas, we cannot pinpoint which ones are responsible for altering levels of awareness because inhaled anesthetic agents affect so many seemingly unrelated things at the same time. It is impossible to identify which are directly related to the “awake” state. It is also entirely possible that all of them are, and if that were the case consciousness would be the single most complex function attributed to a living organism by a very large margin.

The second difficulty we have is even more unwieldy and requires some contemplation. As explained above, western medicine has not been able to isolate which molecular interaction is responsible for anesthetics’ effect on our awareness. It is therefore reasonable to approach the puzzle from the opposite side and ask instead, “Where is the source of our awareness in our bodies?” and go from there.

We do know that certain neurological pathways in the brain are active in awake patients, but if we attribute consciousness to those pathways then we are necessarily identifying them as the “things” that are awake. To find the source of their “awakeness” we must then examine them more closely. With the tools we have and the paradigm we have chosen we will inevitably find more molecules interacting with other molecules. When you go looking for molecules that is all you will find. Our paradigm has dictated what the answer would be like if we ever found one. Does it seem plausible to think we will find an “awareness molecule” and attribute our vivid, multisensorial experience to the presence of it? If such a molecule existed, how would our deconstructive approach ever explain why that molecule was the source of our awareness?  Can consciousness ever be represented materially?

A more sensible model would be to consider the activity of these structures in the brains of conscious individuals as evidence of consciousness, not the cause of it.  To me it is apparent that, unless we expand our search beyond the material plane, we are not going to find consciousness or be able to understand how anesthetic gases work. Until then I know I am nothing more than a wand-waver in the operating room. And that is being generous. The magician is the anesthetic gas itself, which has, up to this point, never let us in on the secret.

What happens when someone goes “under”?

The mechanistic nature of our model is well suited to most biological processes. However, with regard to consciousness, the model not only lends little understanding of what is happening, it also gives rise to a paradigm that is widely and tightly held, but in actuality cannot be applied to the full breadth of human experience. We commonly believe that a properly functioning physical body is required for us to be aware. Although this may seem initially incontrovertible, upon closer examination it becomes quite clear that this belief is actually an assumption that has massive implications. To be more precise, how do we know that consciousness does not continue uninterrupted and only animate our physical bodies intermittently rather than the other way around, where the body intermittently gives rise to the awake state? At first, this hypothesis may seem absurd, irrelevant and unprovable. I assure you that if you spent a day in an operating room, this idea is not only possible, it is far more likely to be true than the converse.

Let us first consider how we measure anesthetic depth in the operating room. We continually measure the amount of agent that is circulating in a patient’s system, but as described earlier, there is no measurable “conscious” molecule that can be found. We must assess the behavior of our patients to make that determination. Do they reply to verbal commands? Do they require a tap on the shoulder or a painful stimulus to respond? Do they respond verbally or do they merely shudder or fling an arm into the air? Perhaps they do not even move when the very fibers of their body are literally being dissected.

There are many situations when a person will interact normally for a period of time while under the influence of a sedative with amnestic properties, and then have absolutely no recollection of that period of time. As far as they know, that period of time never existed. They had no idea that they were lying on an operating room table for 45 minutes talking about their recent vacation while their surgeon performed a minor procedure on their wrist, for example. Sometime later, they found themselves in the recovery room when, to their profound disbelief, they noticed a neatly placed surgical dressing on their hand. More than once I have been told that a patient had asked that the dressing be removed so that they could see the stitches with their own eyes.

How should we characterize their level of consciousness during the operation? By our own standards they were completely awake. However, because they have no memory of being awake during the experience, they would recount it more or less the same way a patient who was rendered completely unresponsive would. This phenomenon is common and easily reproducible. Moreover, it invites us to consider the possibility that awareness continually exists without interruption, but we are not always able to access our experiences retrospectively

During some procedures where a surgeon is operating very close to the spinal cord, we often infuse a combination of anesthetic drugs that render the patient unconscious but allow all of the neural pathways between the brain and the body to continue to function normally so that they can be monitored for their integrity. In other words, the physiology required to feel or move remains intact, yet the patient apparently has no experience of any stimuli, surgical or otherwise during the operation. How are we to reconcile the fact that we have a patient with a functioning body and no ability to experience it? Who exactly is the patient in this situation?

What can Near Death Experiences (NDEs) tell us?

If we broadened our examination of the human experience to consider more extreme situations, another wrinkle appears in the paradigm. There are numerous accounts of people who have experienced periods of awareness whilst their bodies have been rendered insentient by anesthetics and/or severe trauma. Near Death Experiences (NDEs) are all characterized by lucid awareness that remains continuous during a period of time while outside observers assume the person is unconscious or dead. Very often patients who have experienced an NDE in the operating room can accurately recount what was said and done by people attending to them during their period of lifelessness. They are also able to describe the event from the perspective as an observer to their own body, often viewing it from above.

Interestingly, people describe their NDEs in a universally positive way. “Survival” was an option that they were free to choose. Death of their body could be clearly seen as a transcending event in their continuing awareness and not as the termination of their existence. Very often the rest of their lives are profoundly transformed by the experience. No longer living with the fear of mortality, life subsequently opens up into a more vibrant and meaningful experience that can be cherished far more deeply than was possible prior to their brush with death. Those who have had an NDE would have no problem adopting the idea that their awareness exists independently of their body, functioning or not. Fear and anxiety would still probably arise in their life from time to time, but it is the rest of us who carry the seemingly inescapable load of a belief system that ties our existence to a body that will perish.

What happens when we wake up from Anesthesia?

The waking up part is no less magical. When the anesthetic gas is eliminated from the body, consciousness returns on its own. Waking someone up simply requires enough space and time for it to occur spontaneously. There is no reversal agent available to speed the return of consciousness. I can only wait. In fact, the waiting period is directly related to the amount of time the patient has been exposed to the anesthetic. At some point the patient will open their eyes when a threshold has been crossed. Depending on how long the patient has been “asleep,” complete elimination of the agent from the body may not happen until a long while after the patient has “woke.” 

By the time I leave a patient in the care of our recovery room nurses, I am confident that they are safely on a path to their baseline state of awareness. Getting back to a normal state of awareness may take hours or even days. In some cases, patients may never get their wits back completely. Neurocognitive testing has demonstrated that repeated exposure to general anesthesia can sometimes have long-lasting or even irreversible effects on the awake state. It may occur for everyone. Perhaps it is a matter of how closely we look.

Interestingly, it is well known that the longterm effects of anesthetic exposure are more profound in individuals who have already demonstrated elements of cognitive decline in their daily life. Indeed, this population of patients requires significantly less anesthetic to reach the same depth of unconsciousness during an operation. This poses an intriguing question: Is our understanding of being awake also too simplistic? Is there a continuum of “awakeness” in everyday life just as there is one of unconsciousness when anesthetized? If so, how would we measure it?

Does our limited understanding of awareness keep us “asleep”?

Modern psychiatry has been rigorous in defining and categorizing dysfunction. Although there has been recent interest in pushing our understanding of what may be interpreted as a “super-functioning” psyche, western systems are still in their infancy with regard to this idea. In eastern schools of thought, however, this concept has been central for centuries.

In some schools of Eastern philosophy, the idea of attaining a super-functioning awake state is seen as something that also occurs spontaneously when intention and practice are oriented correctly. Ancient yogic teachings specifically describe super abilities, or Siddhis, that are attained through dedicated practice. These Siddhis include fantastical abilities like levitation, telekinesis, dematerialization, remote-viewing and others. The most advanced abilities, interestingly, are those that allow an individual to remain continuously in a state of joy and fearlessness. If such a state were attainable it would clearly be incompatible with the kind of absolute psychological identification most of us have with our mortal bodies. It may be of no surprise that Eastern medicine also subscribes to an entirely different perspective of the body and uses different tools to examine it.

Certainly fear has served our ancestors well, helping us to avoid snakes and lions, but how much fear is necessary these days? Could fear be the barrier that separates us from our highest potential in the awake state just as an anesthetic gas prevents us from waking in the operating room? It is not possible to remain fearless while continuing to identify with a body that is prone to disease and death. Even if one were to drop the assumption that the source of our existence is a finite body, how long would it take to be free from the effects of a lifetime of fearful thinking before any changes that reflect a shift in this paradigm manifest? As long as we leave this model unchallenged we may be missing what it means to be truly awake.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Consciousness

4 Key Steps To Heal From Any Kind Of Trauma

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7 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Trauma can be seen as stress that has been trapped in the body. It can affect our daily life in many ways, and given our neuroplastic brain, trauma can create undesirable habits if gone unchecked.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you feel consistent stress? Perhaps unexplainable low energy? Feeling as though you are on edge for no reason? This could be a sign of a body and nervous system stuck in a trauma trained pattern.

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

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.

Trauma can be challenging, but the moment we are willing to do work on it is the moment that so much potential for healing and growth opens up. The more aware we are of the bigger picture, the less we suffer.

As a general rule, the mind clings to negative, fear-based experiences as a biological survival mechanism. But when we can consciously step outside of our own stories, outdated beliefs, and personal perspective, we can empower personal transformation through self-awareness.

Below are some useful questions to ask yourself in different instances of trauma. They are designed to help clear your mind, open your heart, and begin the healing process.

1. Life Is About Evolution. Find The Lesson In Your Experience

The Big Bang has revealed a universe to us that is radically evolutionary. It is constantly growing, evolving, and developing, and has been for more than 14 billion years. Life is evolution. It is an ongoing process of transformation and conscious expansion. This is a natural law, and this means that from a higher perspective, all of the experiences in our lives are happening for us, not “to” us.

While things may create suffering on an egoic level, there is often a different layer of meaning from a higher perspective. You must be willing to look for the hidden order in your perceived chaos. Ask yourself:

What am I supposed to learn?

How did I play a part in the creation of this, and what habits or behaviours do I need to clear?

How can I grow from this?

These questions will take you out of a state of learned helplessness and begin shifting your mind to focus on the solution rather than the problem.

I recently worked with a client whose house burnt down. She was overcome with grief. While discussing the situation, she mentioned to me that it was also days within the ten-year anniversary of her husband’s death.

I asked her if she felt that the two situations were somehow connected. Right away, she mentioned that she had still kept all of her husband’s belongings in that house and their bedroom exactly the same, more than ten years later.

She also mentioned how consistently her family begged her to move on. One family member specifically said to her, “If you don’t let go and choose to move on, the universe will eventually force you to.” She felt that this was a lesson in moving forward in her life, and in letting go. She also knew that by holding on so tightly to the past, she was preventing new love and peace of mind from entering her life.

She knew it was time to let go, and as challenging as it would be, it couldn’t be more painful than spending every day trying to pretend that nothing had changed.

Finding the lesson is an important first step to opening our minds to the evolutionary process, and finding a higher meaning in the sequence of events occurring in our lives.

“The wound is the place where the light enters.”    – Rumi

2. See The Other Side

 Beyond simply learning from our experiences, we can also find the hidden benefits in all of the circumstances we are faced with.

Our beliefs and expectations will often create one-sided stories in our mind about whether events are good or bad. This often causes us to focus primarily on the drawbacks of unmet expectations. And yet the exact events that challenge us most in life often have the greatest unseen blessings embedded within them.

Ask yourself, “What are the unseen benefits of this traumatic experience?”

Based on the natural laws of duality that exist on our planet, this technique I’ve learned from Dr. Nima Rahmany in The Overview Method is very effective. It works to un-filter your selective perception so that you can see both sides in a traumatic situation.

Where are you being supported in the face of this challenge? How is this trauma actually supporting the things you care about most in your life?

If you are courageous enough, you will be willing to go directly into the challenges you face, open up your perspective, and do the work. The more benefits you find, the closer you will get to neutralizing the feeling of loss within yourself.

3. Look Beyond Your Perspective

There is a difference between pain and suffering. Pain is a feedback loop, while suffering is the story we create about the pain itself. It adds another layer to our pain

If someone else has hurt you, ask yourself: “Why, according to this person’s life story and perception of events, did this person feel justified in making their decision?”

Every single one of us makes a decision because the combination of our conscious + subconscious mind believes there are more benefits than drawbacks in that decision.

This means that everyone is always doing the best they can with what they understand at the time. And more often than not, the people who do the most careless or destructive things are often the ones hurting the most.

The same principle applies to you also, meaning that the notion of having regret is illusory. It is based on only being able to see the conscious mind’s perspective, putting us in a state of limited awareness. If we could open up the selective filter and see the bigger picture, we would find that the subconscious mind saw greater benefits in our decision at the time, that we weren’t consciously aware of.

In the words of Yehuda Berg, “Hurt people, hurt people.” With awareness and understanding, we can work to break the cycle.

4. Find What’s Missing

In the case of a traumatic loss, developed by Dr. John DeMartini:

All positive and negative particles in the universe are created simultaneously, in perfect one-to-one balance. We are made of these particles, and if these laws apply to all matter (in both quantum mechanics and classical physics), they must apply to the whole.

This perfect one-to-one balance exists within all things, but our senses create imbalanced perceptions. It is completely normal to become attached to the form of what we’ve lost, but it can be very healing to find where what we’re missing still exists in our lives.

Ask yourself, “What do I miss about who/what I’ve lost?”

For example, let’s say that you’ve lost a friend and you miss:

  1. His sense of humour
  2. Having deep conversations with him
  3. Playing video games
  4. His awesome hugs

Keep listing until you’ve covered all of the things you miss about that person.

Now, see where these things still appear in your life, but in different forms:

  1. Who do you laugh with now/who has a good sense of humour?
  2. Who do you have deep conversations with now?

Go through all of the traits that you’ve listed. Sometimes, you’ll have to look very carefully to open up your selective perception. The things you miss in your friend might not only come in the form of other people. For example, you might laugh with your aunt or siblings more often, but you might also find yourself watching more comedy television or funny videos.

If you look carefully, you will find that what you’re missing isn’t actually gone, it has only changed forms. Universal laws state that everything is always in a state of balance, a state of wholeness. While grieving is a necessary part of dealing with trauma, it is often the form we are attached to that creates the most suffering.

Then, what are the benefits of these new forms, that the old one didn’t have?

Some of these questions can be challenging to go through, but if you truly want to create transformation, they are well worth it.

Love yourself enough to do the work, ask the questions, and set yourself free. You deserve it.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Full Moon In Virgo: Taking Important Steps Forward

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IMAGE CREDIT: Sergey Svistunov

We are having a Full Moon in Virgo on February 27th which will appear the brightest on the night of the 26th for countries West of Central Asia and on the night of the 27th for countries East of there. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began with a New Moon in Aquarius on February 11th/12th. The energies of a Full Moon are strongest in the days surrounding it yet its astrological configurations also play a part over the following two weeks. You may start to see its themes slowly build up after the New Moon prior.

Full Moons are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Virgo and the Sun in Pisces. It can play out as either a conflict, an integration, or some sort of dynamic between the energies of both signs. The Moon reflects the expression of feeling and emotion while the Sun reflects the expression of ego and conscious self.

We may 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 Virgoan side and others expressing the Piscean side. In some cases, Full Moons can also reflect/trigger some sort of change or release.

Virgo is an Earth sign ruled by Mercury. It is associated with tasks, duty, service, productivity, practicality, organizing, analyzing, perfection, physical health, cleanliness, sustainability, and purity. It is systematic, detailed, discerning, discriminating, diligent, and efficient. Virgo corresponds with problem solving, adjusting to changing conditions, and coming up with solutions. Negatively, Virgo energy can be cynical, overly critical, fussy, high strung, and too much in the head.

Pisces is a Water sign linked to Neptune and traditionally ruled by Jupiter. It is associated with sensitivity, compassion, empathy, spirituality, creativity, art, inspiration, dreams, imagination, oneness, and idealism. Pisces can be psychic, mystical, healing, and retreating. Negatively, this sign can also be unrealistic, flaky, elusive, delusional, and deceptive. Drugs, alcohol, escapism, fantasy, and illusions are also under the domain of Pisces.

Full Moon Opposing Venus and Trine Uranus, Both Planets In A Sextile With Each Other

This Full Moon is in a trine with Uranus in Taurus. This can be a stimulating energy which can be good for trying new things or anything involving originality, innovation, technology, metaphysics, or science. Some people may also experience breakthroughs or surprises in a way that is welcoming and beneficial in most cases.

The Full Moon also opposes Venus in Pisces which will be closely behind the Sun over the next month until they make an exact conjunction in late March. Venus themes pertaining to love, relationships, friends, values, pleasures, money, and aesthetics may also be at odds with duties and other Virgo themes mentioned. This can also emphasize certain Piscean energies such as creativity, art, escapism, and intoxication. However, if we emphasize the Virgo side of the polarity, this can also be good for productive efforts around our relations, finances, art, or other Venus ruled areas of life.

The combination of all of this can also reflect taking new creative approaches to things which can be potentially for our work. Social, romantic, and financially related occurrences and undertakings can be exciting, unusual, liberating, ingenious, tech related, or experience a positive and/or evolutionary change. Generally, Venus in Pisces can also bring a magical, spiritual, or compassionate tone in our relations with others which can also play into this configuration with Uranus. This energy will build up as we approach March 3rd/4th when Venus will make its exact sextile with Uranus.

Virgo Ruler Mercury Conjunct Jupiter & In Post Retrograde Shadow

The ruler of this Full Moon is Mercury which had finished its retrograde in Aquarius on February 20th/21st. From that point until March 12th/13th it is in its post retrograde shadow which is the conclusion of the retrograde process. Certain areas of our lives that have experienced shifts, complications, changes in perception, or revisitation over the last month are becoming more clear. Things will fall into place more easily and we will be in a better position to proceed ahead in a way that is revised based on what has transpired.

Mercury is closely approaching a conjunction with Jupiter in the same sign of Aquarius. This can be good for anything educational or applying our minds in expansive or explorative ways. Thinking or communicating about the big picture, ideals, or undertakings involving media, marketing, or foreign places may also come up. This energy will be strong on March 4th/5th and build up as we approach that date.

Halfway Point Between Eclipses with Squares To Lunar Nodes

This Full Moon is in a square aspect with the previous Lunar Eclipse in Gemini which is also a grand cross when we factor in the oppositions with the Sun. The period between now and the next New Moon in Pisces marks the halfway period between the previous eclipse season in November/December (which also included a Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius) and the upcoming one in May/June.

We may experience developments pertaining to the themes of these eclipses. It can be a time of making important steps forward while also releasing certain expressions of ourselves or expired aspects of our life to help us in our evolution. The areas of our lives that are being affected by these eclipses depend on how they are configured to our natal astrology charts and are also connected to expressions of Gemini and Sagittarius.

Developments connected to communication, information, duality, intellectual matters, our immediate environment, local issues, neighborhood/neighbors, or siblings, cousins, or friends from an earlier part of our life can be part of this process. This is represented by the North Node and previous Lunar Eclipse in Gemini. The Sagittarius side of this polarity can reflect shifts connected to beliefs, opinions, dogmas, judgments, morals, higher education, travel, foreign lands, and excessiveness.

A significant part of this halfway period will be on March 5th/6th when the Sun will be in a square with the Lunar nodes. The themes and potentialities mentioned in the above paragraphs can come up more strongly at that time. Considerations may involve where we are coming from and where we are heading or being stuck between things that can be holding us back and things that can facilitate growth. Activities and developments happening at this time can also involve incorporating beneficial aspects of the past and applying/experiencing them in an evolved or forward moving way.

On March 9th/10th, Venus will also be in a square with the Lunar Nodes. The themes mentioned in the above paragraph may come up again. However, they can also involve Venus ruled areas such as love, friendships, financial matters, values, pleasures, art, aesthetics, and creativity. We may experience turning points or perhaps we may also feel that we are at a crossroads when it comes to these areas.

Things To Consider

How can you integrate creativity, compassion, spirituality, inspiration, originality, or innovation into your work, duties, and service to others? What new approaches can you take for your health or to help you be more organized, productive, and efficient? Do you need to be more attentive to details? What is coming up for you now, and in the days prior to this Full Moon, that is bringing more clarity to help you move forward in a revised way? How do your friendships, social network, groups, the collective, technology, innovation, ideals, the big picture, education, or media tie in to this?

Is there a connection between current/recent developments, issues, insights, realizations, or ideas with happenings that occurred for you back in November and/or December? If so, these newer developments can be a next step for you to proceed forward in new ways and move on from certain behaviors, tendencies, or aspects of life that are holding you back.

These are just some examples of themes that could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  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 over the two weeks following when it is waning. The exact moment of this Full Moon is at 8:17am Universal Time on February 27th. 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.

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I’m currently doing a DISCOUNT with 20-30% off personal readings Gain more astrological insight into what is going on in your life and have a better understanding of your individual 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.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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