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A Truth About Karma That You Won’t Hear From The Mainstream Version

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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.

Now as a man is like this or like that,

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according as he acts and according as he behaves, so will he be;
a man of good acts will become good, a man of bad acts, bad;
he becomes pure by pure deeds, bad by bad deeds;

And here they say that a person consists of desires,
and as is his desire, so is his will;
and as is his will, so is his deed;
and whatever deed he does, that he will reap.

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Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 7th Century BC
In the West we look at Karma as a cosmic law of justice — cause and effect, what goes around comes around, etc. You may be of the large majority in the West that look at karma as the balancing scale of justice that distinguishes right from wrong. Esoterically we look at karma as something that will affect you lifetime after lifetime, as in, the actions that you make in this life will affect the way you live in the next life. I don’t have any knowledge of what is beyond the here and now; with regard to this present moment, living in the now, you and I are still here, and that is as much certainty as we can get. It is for this reason why I will not talk about karma with regard to its effects on the next life. What I will talk about is the way in which karma affects you in this lifetime.

There are a lot more subtleties and layers of the human psyche involved in the way karma plays out. Your reality is your perspective, and over time your perspective of yourself is going to change based on your memories of your past actions and intentions. This will project an identity of who you think you are, which will enhance or diminish your sense of self worth. One thing that is for sure is that who we are at the present moment is not who we will be in the future. As we live life and collect wisdom in our library of experience, we become more conscious of ourselves. Whether we choose to use this ever growing consciousness to guide our actions is up to us (bearing in mind the consequences if we don’t). The simple awareness of your ego, past actions, and intentions gives you the freedom to carve a new destiny that will release you from your karma.

“No matter what happened to you in your past, you are not your past, you are the resources and the capabilities you glean from it. And that is the basis for all change.” – Jordan Belfort

Awareness is the first step when it comes to removing karma. If you are not aware of your actions, intentions, and feelings, you will continue to make free choices that are heavily influenced by these same feelings–>intentions–>actions. People who are unconscious do not evolve. They are forced to learn things the hard way in life, and the more stubborn they are the more difficult it becomes for them to break free of their karma. Living an unconscious life, even if you get away with your choices, puts you in situations that don’t allow you to be free. For example, greed will attract the most fickle and conditional friendships and relationships in your life. Your ego will be built on a false identity of fleeting possessions which can lead to status anxiety. You will attract situations in your life where people make unconscious greedy decisions against your best interests. There is a wide spectrum of less than optimal scenarios that can and likely will occur as a result of living an unconscious life.
Again, this isn’t a universal punishment, or a cosmic law of justice. The universe is indifferent, and the notion of good and bad are constructs in our own minds. The more selfless you become, the more chaotic you become to humanity. The more selfish you are, the more disharmonious you become with humanity. This person has a total lack of empathy for the situations they cause and in time they will increase the likelihood of running into situations that reflect their behaviour towards them. This is the aspect of karma where the external environment that you attract becomes your karma. When you take from someone or harm someone, you are adding chaos and causing more disharmony in your life and in the collective. When you are empathetic and selflessly contributing to the collective, you are more in harmony with it.
People who have awareness of themselves are in a much better position than the unconscious person. This person may still continue to make selfish, ego-based decisions, but they are far more likely to be slapped in the face by the guilt. This guilt may even become further magnified if a psychedelic is taken. The guilt one experiences should not become your identity, but rather a wake up call to rise to the occasion toward becoming a more evolved person. This is the type of karma where you’re feeling judged from within; your own mind is telling you that you are out of sync with your higher self. A bad trip can be nothing more than a look in the mirror, seeing all the ugly sides of yourself that disgust you to the point where you feel very uncomfortable with yourself. This is how psychoactive substances force us to break out of negative patterns of behaviour; they show us our shadow side, which ultimately scares the shit out of us. You become aware of the two fighting wolves inside you, one which is good, the other which is bad. From this point on you know that you are responsible for the wolf that wins, which is the one that you feed.
Karma is real, part of it starts with how you’re starting to feel.
Karma is not just about bad deeds but it is also about how you feel about yourself. Your feelings and emotions have a lot to do with your karma. Eckhart Tole talks about the “Pain Body,” which is another identification with the ego. It makes us feel like victims whenever we don’t get what we want, feel misunderstood, or victimized. There are legitimate times when we feel wronged, but the degree to which we wallow in sorrow and/or anger can create bad karma for ourselves, even if we truly were the victim. Continuing to identify with these emotions will affect your perspective, adding a negative filter to your world. You will then make actions based on this perspective, which could lead to more circumstances that caused the initial sadness/anger. You will begin to cause problems in your reality that don’t even exist, all because you are identifying with your pain body all the time.
When working on your karma, everything on the radar is just a tip of the iceberg. Karma is often a lack of awareness of how your patterns of behaviour (which often come from your emotions) are holding you back. This is why psychedelics are popular among some people, as they have a way of showing you the karma that you’re not aware of. Emotions can cause a lot of misunderstandings because they filter your ability to process reality when in an emotionally charged state of mind. Subconsciously, unresolved emotions navigate our Ego through potentially destructive terrain. This can leave karmic imprints that create a repeat cycle of more unhappy circumstances. Emotions that we hold onto can manifest into stress which can cause all sorts of physical symptoms. It can even change the way the brain is hardwired. This is what is called in Vedic and Buddhist philosophy as “Sanskara.”

Sanskara is “mental impression, recollection, psychological imprint,” and this meaning in Hindu philosophies is a foundational element of karma theory.

According to various schools of Indian philosophy, every action, intent or preparation by an individual leaves asanskara (impression, impact, imprint) in the deeper structure of his or her mind. These impressions then await volitional fruition in that individual’s future, in the form of hidden expectations, circumstances or unconscious sense of self-worth. These Sanskaras manifest as tendency, karmic impulse, subliminal impression, habitual potency or innate dispositions.” – Wikipedia

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Embrace your karma, use it as a teacher, make friends with it. It’s not judging or punishing you, but it is telling you the truth about yourself without holding anything back. It is the most honest account of how to conduct your human experience. As long as you choose to evolve, you can suffer successfully through the events in life that slow you down and/or make you feel insecure.

Karma is a very real thing. It is not just our actions that create karma, but also the way we think, especially the way we think about ourselves. The grumpier you are, the more assholes you meet. Our Ego and the actions that spur from it brings us into resonance with situations and people of similar vibration. These conditions that we unknowingly put ourselves in facilitate more actions and ways of thinking that lead to more karmic consequences. Does the Ego create the conditions or do the conditions create the Ego? It’s a chicken and the egg paradox, but a cycle that traps us all. I’m not telling you to abandon society and become a monk in the mountains, rather I am telling you to just become more conscious of how you live your life.

Don’t try to be superior to your fellow man, aim to be superior to your former self. Who you are at the present moment is a different incarnation of who you were before. If you allow yourself to devolve, you will then become more confined to the conditions of your karma. If you evolve through reason and intuition, you will gradually escape the conditions of your karma.

Karma is nothing more than a path you put yourself on. As you become more aware of your decisions and actions, you will then learn to make choices that are mindful. The more conscious your choices are the more you will find yourself in situations that benefit you, and less in situations that cause frustration, anger, sorrow, guilt, or sadness. Bodhidarma said that your choices are like seeds, each of which will harvest at the right time in your life. Karma hits you at an unexpected time in ways you cannot prepare for, therefore making the consequences of your actions more devastating due to the inability to prepare for them.

If you feel guilty about something, that’s your karma.

If you feel insecure about something, that’s your karma.

If you feel frustrated about something, that’s your karma.

If you feel angry about something, that’s your karma.

If you feel sad about something, that’s your karma.

Even with things that are not your fault and genuinely caused by circumstance, the way in which you handle them ultimately affects your karma. In life, there is only one direction… FORWARD. Allowing your emotions and circumstances (no matter how hard) to hold you back from happiness is another form of karma. Self survival and self aggrandizement of the ego are the source of all karma. We have to allow ourselves to go through the process of what we need to feel, let them go, and then move on. The problem is that most people don’t move on.

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How To Ground Yourself: A Simple Yet Powerful Technique

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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.

Mental health challenges, depression and even physical illness, are all on the rise. All three are believed by emerging research to be linked to trauma.

Thankfully, nervous system health and trauma are becoming a big part of what people talk about as it seems people are looking to get to the root of these issues more now than ever before.

After coming to my own realization that I was traumatized from experiences I had, I began studying trauma to not only help myself but to see how I could further improve my own media work – which has been, in essence, trauma-informed, since 2009.

What I’ve come to feel is that trauma affects almost all of us in some way, while there is not much data to back that up, I truly believe this to be the case. Learning useful skills to work through that trauma is becoming important in order to take our health into our own hands.

In the video below, I talk a bit about how events going on in the world can make us feel anxious and worried, and how that affects our bodies, minds, and health. I also share a simple yet powerful technique for sensory grounding.

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Consciousness

Why Hugging Is Powerful: Especially When We’re So Isolated

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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.

When’s the last time you had a good hug? Can you even recall a time when one lasted longer than 10 or 15 seconds? Hugging releases oxytocin, a bonding hormone, as well as serotonin and endorphins. These hormones are a big part of what makes us feel good and build a sense of community and connection with others.

When we hug our friends or family, or even spend a good few hours with them, we often don’t know what exactly the mechanism is that makes us feel good, but often times it’s touch, eye contact and reading facial expressions.

Throughout COVID, once we got a sense of what it feels like to not have as much touch, see smiles, see our friends or family, we might have gained a greater awareness of how important this really is. Intense isolation, like we’ve all experienced, leads to touch deprivation, and one could argue, has led to collective traumatization throughout the course of this pandemic.

Humans biologically need touch, it’s built right into our physiology. When we are babies, touch is a crucial part of our ability to regulate our nervous systems and feel safe. When we’re very young, our bodies have not yet built the ability to self-regulate (feel safety and comfort), and thus our caregivers play the important role of not only touching to bring regulation and safety, but also using facial expressions to send the message that ‘all is OK.’

Further, humans thrive in a sense of community and connection. When we are too isolated, without a deep and dedicated practice like monk’s might do in a cave in Tibet, we begin to lose the benefits of co-regulation, and in turn our psychology can begin to suffer over time. Humans have built incredible things – together – when in community, and touch plays an important role in that.

It most cultures around the world, hugging is part of daily life. Other cultures might decide to greet one another with cheek kissing instead, but touch is often a common denominator. But it’s true, there are places that may be ‘less touch-y’ and will certainly find other ways to connect.

One thing I can say though, especially during this unprecedented time of isolation, make it a point to hug those close to you when you can. Make it a good one, 15 or 20 seconds! Pay attention to how you feel after.

As mentioned, hugging is not the only way we get a sense of co-regulation and connection. Looking into one another’s eyes, sensing facial movements and reactions are also important. We have millions of mirror neurons in our brains that are constantly reading what is happening in another person, and sending information to areas of our brain, subconsciously, that tell us how a person might be feeling, for example. When we witness someone taking an action, neurons in our brains respond to that action in the same way as if we were taking that action ourselves – hence ‘mirror neurons.’

This might mean that when we watch a nervous moment in sports for example, although we are not playing, we might take actions like covering our mouths or holding our chest, feeling the nerves the players are likely feeling. As you can imagine, this is not a perfect science. Sometimes we are nervous but the player is cool as a cucumber, but generally, mirror neurons tend to help us connect to what others are feeling or doing, giving us a sense of empathy.

It goes even deeper. Research from Institute of HeartMath has shown that the human heart emits a measurable electromagnetic field that contains information other people can pick up on and decode in their brains. Regardless of how ‘new-agey’ this might sound to some minds, it’s a reality of our physical bodies.

Just think, have you ever walked into a room with multiple people in it and noticed the energy of it? Perhaps you noticed right away it was very tense or very jovial. This sense likely comes from having an awareness of how our electro magnetic field is interacting with the collective field of the room.

What you’re feeling is how someone’s general emotional state is affecting the field they emit. The more we feel tension, anxiety, or depression for example, the more we also put that signal out into our communities. Now, this isn’t a call to get stressed out about how we’re affecting others, this is simply a realization of what’s going on.

In our current chaotic world, it’s quite common to feel anxious or uncertain about what’s happening, and acknowledging that is OK is perfectly fine. The next question becomes: how can I manage my emotional state and create a a felt sense of calm? (Which of course will change the field you emit as well.)

Managing Our Emotions & Energy

One very simple option is written at the top of the article we post here on The Pulse. It’s a simple technique I adapted from my training at HeartMath, but I added in my own flair learned from my trauma specialist training as I felt a greater focus on interception, our awareness of sensations in our body, was important to be in the mix.

As go move through your day, stop, take a breath and release the tension in your body starting from your head all the way down to your feet. Take a few moments on each muscle group if you like. Place attention on your physical heart and breathe slowly into the area for 60 seconds, focusing on feeling a sense of ease.

I wrote a much more in-depth article here, where I share more detailed steps and how this helps improve our overall energy levels as well.

Our bodies are filled with tools that sense anything from obvious to ‘unseen’ signals coming from others and our environment. These tools suggest we are beings of connection, and we thrive when we get enough of it. They also suggest it’s important to pay attention to more than just the material aspect of our world, as there is much that needs to be ‘taken care of’ in the ‘unseen.’ By that, I mean, as we manage our emotions and regulate our nervous system’s, our felt electro magnetic field communicates a different message to others out there.

What message are you sending?

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Aquarius: Rationality & Seriousness

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

We are having a Full Moon in Aquarius on July 23rd/24th. It will appear the brightest on the night of the 23rd throughout most of the world and on the night of the 24th in the time zones East of Japan. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began with a New Moon in Cancer on July 9th/10th.

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.

This is a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Aquarius and the Sun in Leo. 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 Aquarius side and others expressing the Leo side. In some cases, Full Moons can also reflect/trigger some sort of change or release.

Full Moon In Aquarius Opposite Sun In Leo

Leo season began 36 hours before the Full Moon and will continue until August 22nd/23rd. This is the sign of self-expression, creativity, love, affection, children, courage, vitality, passion, leadership, generosity, and playfulness. Ruled by the Sun, it is also about shining in our power and being in alignment with what really lights us up and gets us excited.

The negative expressions of Leo can be egotistical, self-absorbed, authoritarian, dramatic, stubborn, jealous, and hot-tempered.  As it is associated with seeking praise and attention, it can be demanding of respect and be boisterous without considering or caring about how others respond to that.

The Full Moon highlights and brings the energies of the opposing sign of Aquarius into this Leo backdrop. This is the sign of friends, networks, social dynamics, social issues, groups, teams, humanity, and being in the best interest of the collective. This energy is unconventional, idealistic, innovative, progressive, scientific, original, inventive, technological, reforming, and even revolutionary.

Negatively, Aquarius can be overly detached, aloof, unemotional, and very invested in the mind at the expense of the heart. Traditionally ruled by Saturn, it can also be unyielding when it comes to the ideas and perspectives that it has already decided on.

Both Leo and Aquarius have some similarities. They are ‘Fixed’ signs and therefore can both be determined yet stubborn. They are also both associated with originality and authenticity. In Aquarius, this comes from its unconventional and innovative attributes while in Leo it comes from being inspired by its heart centred self-expression.

Full Moon Quincunx Venus, Conjunct Saturn, & Square Uranus

This Full Moon is in a quincunx with Venus which has recently entered Virgo. Our feelings, emotions, needs, or domestic lives may be at odds with friendships, values, finances, pleasure, or matters of love. It can be hard to integrate these areas but being flexible and making adjustments can be the solution.

The Full Moon is moving towards Saturn in the same sign. This can reflect a serious energy and we may be faced with limitations, restrictions, delays, or obstacles. We or others may be emotionally distant, pessimistic, or reserved. However, this can be good for some sort of effort that requires discipline, structure, and orderliness. After the Full Moon period, some of these energies will be strong again on August 1st/2nd.

Following the conjunction with Saturn, the Moon forms a square aspect with the disruptive Uranus in Taurus. This is activating the square between Saturn and Uranus that is happening throughout the year which I’ve covered in previous articles. Themes around ‘old versus new’, ‘restrictions versus freedom’, ‘the status quo versus revolution’, ‘commitments/responsibilities versus liberation’, ‘elder versus youth’, ‘progressiveness versus tradition’ and so forth.

Jupiter Going Back Into Aquarius

Jupiter entered its home sign of Pisces in mid-May for a short stint as it is returning back into Aquarius on July 28th/29th. The planet of expansion, freedom, beliefs, perspective, education, is unrestrained in Pisces and gets to express itself more ideally in this sign. We have seen examples of this as many jurisdictions loosened up covid related restrictions during this period.

With it going back into Aquarius, a traditionally Saturn ruled sign with Saturn currently present there, Jupiter will be more inhibited until late December when it re-enters Pisces again. It’s possible that during this 5 month period we will likely experience more restrictive measures return or new ones implemented. We may also experience this in different ways in our personal lives such as not being able to expand the way we’d like to. However, this might not be noticeable immediately.

The combination of Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius (which began last December) can be good for building towards something or planting seeds pertaining to some sort of technological integration, social networking, collective or social pursuits, activism, new scientific approaches to things, and innovation.

Venus Square Lunar Nodes, Mars Opposite Jupiter

Venus will be in a square with the Lunar Nodes which will be strong from July 28th-30th. We may be reflecting on the past and future, or perhaps at a crossroads, when it comes to friendships, love, values, or financial matters. We may need to complete something and address what is holding us back  to help us move on and take a step forward in an evolutionary way when it comes to these areas of life. Venus is in Virgo so therefore discernment, details, practicality, health, organization, or efficiency may be key.

At this time Mars will be switching from Leo to Virgo while in an opposition to Jupiter. We may begin to feel the need to apply ourselves in a way that is more productive, sustainable, healthy, and clean. However, we can overextend ourselves and take on more than we can handle. This can also play out as conflicts around beliefs, perspectives, opinions, or judgements.

Mercury’s Superior Conjunction

Mercury will be in its Superior Conjunction on August 1st/2nd which is in an important phase of Mercury’s cycle with the Sun. From this point onward we may have a better perception around certain things that were seeded or occurred in the previous two months which may also help our momentum forward. .

Circumstances and developments that happen at this time can help us gain more clarity or facilitate necessary realizations to help us make the right decisions and appropriate mental focus. During this conjunction, the Sun and Mercury will be opposing Saturn which can play out as hindrances or the need to be pragmatic as part of this process.

Things To Consider

How can you balance or integrate your personal passions with the needs of the collective? How can you resolve any conflicts between leadership and a team or group? Are you experiencing any challenges or conflict between your heart and intellect? What areas of your life do you need to be more orderly, structured, disciplined, or take more seriously? Is there anything that you need to separate from? How can you apply yourself in a more noble way?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up or ways to approach 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, it is best to do so after it begins to wane following the peak or during the two weeks afterwards when it is waning before the next New Moon. The exact peak of this Full Moon is at 2:37am Universal Time on July 24th, night of the 23rd. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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