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Why You Don’t Need To Drop Everything And Travel To ‘Find Yourself’

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People desire change. Even though we often fear the unknown, we still want to experience new things and become better versions of ourselves. And so we immerse ourselves in new territories and situations in the hopes that we will unveil a new side of ourself — one we are proud of for having taken the plunge into unfamiliar waters.

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I can see the appeal in all of this. Just this year I whisked myself away to Hawaii for a retreat, hoping it would force me to grow and learn, hoping that I would discover a new part of myself that had been lying dormant up until now. Yet while I did learn some new things and meet some new people, ultimately it was still the same person taking that flight home.

Every day people are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to learn more about some secret they believe they are harbouring within themselves. We buy books, we listen to podcasts, we take expensive trips — none of which are inherently negative by any stretch of the imagination, but all of which I think signal a common, misguided behaviour: people are still searching for answers outside of themselves.

I did change when I came back and I was proud of the person I became, but that change mostly happened before I even left. I was so proud of myself for making a big decision like traveling by myself that I knew anything positive that happened while I was away was just a bonus to this growth I had already done.

Choosing to travel to see the world will have a profound effect on your being. You will undoubtedly experience things you never would have if you were sitting at home, talking to the same people and seeing the same places. If you choose to embark on a retreat to either meditate or practice yoga, you will come back with a better understanding of yourself spiritually. These are things that cannot be taken away or bought but these are also things you can experience at home, every day.

Finding yourself doesn’t begin or end the moment you choose to take a trip and come back. It is a never ending process. The biggest and most important lessons I’ve ever faced that attributed to my growth happened in my very own home/town, like the time when my parents got divorced when I was 10 years old and I had to tell my mother I wanted to live with my father instead of her. Or there was the time when my boyfriend’s mother converted me into a ‘new born Christian.’ And there have been other lessons, too: failing my driving test 5 times and never giving up; falling in love; falling out of love; exposing myself through countless online articles to the truth of the state of our world; and learning about the power of consciousness and realizing religion isn’t for me.

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I overcame all of these hurdles because change forces us to face our insecurities and to adapt to new situations and perspectives. All of these experiences forced me to look within myself and ask, “What do you really want? What will make YOU happy?”

There will always come a time when we have to make decisions for ourselves despite what people may say; when people can’t help us and we have to help ourselves. Life offers us opportunities every single day to further our growth in the most mundane and simple of experiences. Change doesn’t have to happen through some grand gesture to ourselves — no, not at all. Change is sprung on us at every moment, begging for us to just pay attention, to look and listen. It is always there.

Taking a trip to find yourself isn’t a guarantee that you will. You can be the same person in another country as you were in the one you left. The problems you wanted to leave behind will always be there, but perhaps by exposing your eyes to new scenery and engaging in conversation with strangers who view the world through a different lens, you can gain a new perspective that will help you solve your problems. But there are no guarantees.

You can find yourself every day. Pay attention to your own actions, to how you respond to people and situations, and to what emotions come up when you say “yes!” to a new experience and what emotions come up when you say “no.”

When you are uncomfortable with yourself, that is a sign you need to change. And when you change into someone you don’t understand, that is when you will change again.

“When you are going through a process of transformation, awakening or even healing, you will be broken down, re-shaped, and molded. And whether you’re conscious or unconscious about all the events and lessons in your life and why they appeared, you cannot hold on to the old when you’re forced to create the new. We are forced to change, to gain wisdom out of our healed pain, to learn and I believe that is our own resistance and fear of change that is actually causing our growth to be more painful than it already is. Everything in life is in constant flow so why expect or even want to stay the same. Let it be. Let it come and go.”

– Feliciana Cacciapuoti

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Consciousness

Life Lessons For A Modern Peaceful Warrior

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The parable told in the Bhagavad Gita remind us of the eternal challenges that humans face and how to conquer our demons even if we'd rather do nothing.

  • Reflect On:

    How do you approach tackling the challenges life brings you? Do you find yourself being hard on yourself? Forgetting to be compassionate towards yourself?

The strength to face the challenges in our life always rewards us with a refinement and evolution of our soul regardless if we win or lose the battle.

We all strive to live our soul’s purpose, but sometimes our mind conflicts with our feelings and causes confusion. The Bhagavad Gita is an ancient Hindu text that has an important teaching for those of us who experience this internal struggle. In this story, Arjuna the peaceful warrior is faced with a choice to act or not act in what he feels is a no-win situation for himself. If you have ever felt confusion or inner conflict holding you back, then the timeless wisdom in this story can bring clarity and relief.

Ahimsa is the principle of non-violence, which is a fundamental tenet of Hinduism. It is rooted in the belief that all lives, both human and non-human, are sacred. This is why on the eve of a great war, the choice between duty and non-violence leaves Arjuna in a state of inner conflict in this story. Being a peaceful warrior requires you to stand firmly in your spiritual path, dharma, but sometimes we don’t have the clarity to know what the best choice is. This requires an active fearlessness and non-attachment, which is embodied in the famous parable of Arjuna and Krishna’s discussion on the battlefield.

The story begins with a young prince, Arjuna, who realizes that the enemies he’ll be fighting in an upcoming battle are his own relatives, beloved friends, and revered teachers. He turns to his charioteer confessing his conflicting emotions and his fears. His charioteer is actually the eternally wise Krishna. Here Arjuna talks to Krishna about his confusion:

…it is not proper for us to kill our own kinsmen, the sons of Dhritarashtra. For how, Krishna, shall we be happy after killing our own relatives? If the sons of Dhritarashtra, weapon in hand, should kill me in battle, me weaponless and not defending myself, that would be better for me. – Bhagavad Gita

As he contemplates no action at all and allowing his enemies to kill him, he hopes to stay true to his dedication to non-violence (ahimsa), but Krishna recognizes this as a cop-out. Compassion is said to come in the form of a lamb and a lion. We must accept that we are not perfect. This humility allows each of us to evolve forward from the place that we stand, rather than jump to absolute ideals.

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Though Arjuna has mentally justified that he is being fearless and selfless to let his enemies kill him unarmed, he is actually avoiding his own dharma and here Krishna reminds him of this:

One’s own duty, though defective, is better than another’s duty well performed. – Bhagavad Gita

This is a call to hone one’s own inner voice and stay true to it; trusting that there are no wrong choices, only lessons to be learned. Duty is usually associated with something we don’t want to do, but it can feel quite empowering once we accept our role in a situation. When I was in my 20s, I was passionate about the environment and saving the world, but I was broke. I had gone past being able to be picky about a job that would help me pay the bills or feed myself, so I begrudgingly took a job as a landscaper.

Swinging a pick-axe in the hot sun, I was given the task of putting irrigation lines in to grow plants and grass that should not have been planted in the arid climate of Arizona. Non-native, drought-tolerant plants waste precious water in the desert landscape. I was miserable while I worked and felt a bit self-righteous about my sustainability ideals. Angry at the universe that I should have to do such a lowly chore, I put my nose to the grindstone and woke up early every day to make ends meet.

If you have ever felt conflicted about your life path then you will understand this feeling. In acceptance of the task at hand comes a certain humility, self-compassion, a sense of service, mental liberation, and even empowerment. This is central to karma yoga, which teaches us not to be attached to the outcome of our work, but to do it as a form of devotion to our own inner evolution.

Your business is with action alone; not by any means with the fruit of action. Let not the fruit of action be your motive to action. Let not your attachment be fixed on inaction.Therefore, always perform action, which must be performed, without attachment. For a man, performing action without attachment attains the Supreme. – Krishna to Arjuna

Even the most mundane actions in our day-to-day life are the result of choices we have made. The parable of Arjuna’s indecision on the battlefield is an extreme expression of this common circumstance and that is why it holds such value for us today. With clarity of mind, or mindfulness, along with personal accountability and non-attachment to outcome, we can have the courage to face any battle. A situation can be terrifying and feel like life or death even if it is not. The strength to face the challenges in our life always rewards us with a refinement and evolution of our soul, regardless if we win or lose the battle.

To one that is born, death is certain; and to one that dies, birth is certain. Therefore, you should not grieve about things that are unavoidable. – Krishna to Arjuna

Sometimes it is the fear itself that dies (or an ego death) on this journey. Each one of us is here at this time for something greater than we can know or understand. The world is filled with terrifying possibilities, and mistakes are easy to come by. Sometimes the fear of making the wrong choice is scarier than the choices themselves, yet we are all here to fail as much as we are here to succeed.

Anyone with great success can also boast many failures. In this process, we learn to be more compassionate to ourselves and to those who have wronged us with their own poor behavior. The journey of soul evolution continues regardless. We must always put one foot in front of the other, and the path will appear with each step.

In this path to final emancipation, nothing that is commenced becomes wasted effort; no obstacles exist; and even a little of this form of sacred duty protects one from great danger. – Krishna to Arjuna

Knowing that we are in line with our dharma, and on the path (not the right path or the wrong path, just on the path), we begin to liberate and empower ourselves. These ancient parables, like the one told in the Bhagavad Gita, are meant to remind us of the eternal challenges that humans face and how to conquer our demons, even if we’d rather do nothing. Arjuna contemplates not taking up arms in battle, but after speaking with Krishna he follows his dharma and fights.

Being a peaceful warrior does not mean that you should be without your sword, as you never know when you might be called to unsheathe it. You can stand fearlessly in whatever circumstance you may face, knowing that you are not alone on the journey to personal evolution.

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Consciousness

Great News: Meditation Is On The Rise Among U.S. Adults & Kids

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Meditation is on the rise in the US amongst adults, kids and teens! A new NIH survey revealed increases in both yoga and meditation amongst said age demographics over the last 5 years. It appears people are turning within!

  • Reflect On:

    Have you tried meditation before? What is your perspective on what meditation even is? If you find yourself falling off meditation regularly, simplify your process and practice. Try out the free meditation at the bottom of the article.

11 years. The amount of time I have been observing the truth about what is going on in our world.

10 years. The amount of time I have been meditating while also learning about what is going on in our world.

Point blank: the benefits of meditation for health, lifestyle, wellness, and being able to see more clearly what’s going on in our world are undeniable.

I’ve said this for a very long time, there is no separation between what you can learn via independent media about what’s truly happening in our world and spirituality. Sure, this is a more specific statement when you are accessing conscious media, like what we do here at Collective Evolution, but in general, the world around us IS a reflection of our individual and collective consciousness. For us to properly understand our world and move past what we don’t favor, we must understand the nature of why certain things are happening in the first place. And no, it’s not because of political policies.

This is why it’s inspiring to see that more and more people are becoming friends with meditation. Trying it is half the battle!

The good news is that in the last 5 years, the number of American adults and children who practice meditation has significantly increased. This is known through the results of a questionnaire administered by the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) every 5 years. Thousands of Americans respond to questions about their health, wellness, and illness-related experiences.

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Results indicate that about 14 percent of adults practiced yoga and meditation in 2017. That’s up from about 9.5 percent and 4 percent respectively compared to a similar survey fielded five years ago.

“The survey data suggest that more people are turning to mind and body approaches than ever before,” NCCIH acting director David Shurtleff said in a press release.

 

Yoga and meditation have grown in a big way since 2012 in the US according to a national survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Kids & Teens Are Meditating More Too

Children between the ages 4 to 17 are also practicing yoga more often. Those numbers jumped from 3.1 percent in 2012 to 8.4 percent in 2017. Meditation rose by around 5% as well amongst younger people, jumping from 0.6 percent in 2012 to 5.4 percent in 2017.

What is the cause of this increase? It’s tough to say. Personally, I point to what we have pointed to over the last 10 years in reporting about news, consciousness and more here at CE: there is a shift taking place within our individual and collective consciousness. At a foundational level, we are moving from the mind to the heart a hell of a lot more often because we, as a collective, feel the old ways simply aren’t working anymore and it’s time for something different.

When there is an innate evolution of consciousness like this taking place across the planet, trends begin, increase and we eventually see what sticks. Meditation is an age-old practice and its benefits were always widely discussed. Now that people are realizing the corporate influence over science and general health care, they are turning to different methods for certain daily challenges and illnesses. Maybe not virally yet, but it’s growing.

As I have always said, if you feel our world around us is chaotic with all that is going on, there is no better reason to begin meditation. I work in media every day, combing through the different stories, drama and crazy reactions people are having to our world events. You would think it’s exhausting, negative or taxing, but it isn’t. The reason for this is I have developed a deep meditative practice over the years that has helped me see the truth about myself, the world and us all as humans. Drama, negativity and polarity are things of the ego. The less you exist in that state, the more you see things for what they are and remain in peace. It’s powerful. Once again, this is why CE is built the way it is. neutral, conscious media that explores the deep truth behind our daily events.

We believe this form of media is truly what the world needs in a time where things are so divided, bias, misleading and emotional. This is why we created our conscious media movement campaign as well.

Here are some further details from the report regarding adults:

– Yoga was the most commonly used complementary health approach among U.S. adults in 2012 (9.5 percent) and 2017 (14.3 percent). The use of meditation increased more than threefold from 4.1 percent in 2012 to 14.2 percent in 2017.
– The use of chiropractors increased from 9.1 percent in 2012 to 10.3 percent in 2017.
– In 2017, women were more likely to use yoga, meditation and chiropractors in the past 12 months than men.
– Non-Hispanic white adults were more likely to use yoga, meditation and chiropractors than Hispanic and non-Hispanic black adults.

And here are some for children:

– The percentage of children aged 4-17 years who used yoga in the past 12 months increased significantly from 3.1 percent in 2012 to 8.4 percent in 2017.
– Meditation increased significantly from 0.6 percent in 2012 to 5.4 percent in 2017.
– There was no statistically significant difference in the use of a chiropractor between 2012 and 2017 (3.5 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively).
– In 2017, girls were more likely to have used yoga during the past 12 months than boys.
– In 2017, older children (aged 12-17 years) were more likely to have used meditation and a chiropractor in the past 12 months than younger children (aged 4-11 years).
– Non-Hispanic white children were more likely to have used yoga and a chiropractor in the past 12 months than non-Hispanic black children or Hispanic children.

The Takeaway

When it comes to daily life, or when you dive into understanding what is happening in our world, there are serious benefits to including meditation into this practice. I go into this in deep detail when I discuss the link between ‘conspiracies’ and spirituality in an episode of the CE podcast.

Meditation is an excellent practice to be using regularly as it not only helps in exploring our consciousness, changing our lives, making an impact on our world but also helps us to find ease and peace within what we see happening around us. From there, from the state of peace, we actually see VERY CLEARLY the actions to take in order to help make change. You will notice they never come from an aggressive, emotional place – like much of what we see happening today.

Not sure where to get started with meditation? Grab this meditation I have used for the last 10 years that I built from a number of different techniques. It’s simple, quick and effective.

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The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Consciousness

New Moon In Scorpio: Deep Growth & Constructive Change

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We are having a New Moon in Scorpio on November 7th at 4:02 pm Universal Time. This is initiating a 29.5-day Lunar cycle and a new wave of energy for the coming month. This cycle will peak at the Full Moon in Gemini that is occurring on November 22nd/23rd.

The Sun has already been in Scorpio for the previous few weeks yet this New Moon will trigger this energy even more so. This sign is associated with power, transformation, sexuality, regeneration, passion, and depth. It is calculated, complex, mysterious and also associated with money/resourceS when it is shared, as well as inheritances, and debts.

It can be also vengeful, secretive, manipulative, fearful,  compulsive, and obsessive. As a fixed water sign, it is emotional, intuitive, and strong-willed. However, Scorpio can be very stealthy when it comes to exposing their true feelings, emotions, and vulnerabilities.

The Sun and Moon are moving towards a sextile with Pluto which is a modern sub-ruler of Scorpio. This aspect emphasizes what I have already written especially the positive qualities of this sign. This can be a great energy for making positive change, overcoming fears, and breaking out of challenges that are holding us back. Jupiter is also in its final day in Scorpio which also reinforces some this energy.

Scorpio Ruler Mars Trine Venus Retrograde

At the time of this New Moon, Mars in Aquarius is making a trine to Venus retrograde in Libra, which will be strongest a few days later. This is occurring in Air signs while Venus is in its last week of its retrograde. This can be a great energy for social interactions, romance, or perhaps even working on something creative or aesthetic, especially if it was initiated in the past.

However, with Venus still being retrograde, whatever occurs during this period will also play a role in the reorientation of how we apply ourselves in Venus ruled areas which will conclude in the coming weeks. Venus rules relationships (socially and romantically), money, beauty, love, values, as well as creativity and pleasures. You can read more about this Venus retrograde here.

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Jupiter Entering Sagittarius, Mercury Going Retrograde Soon

As mentioned above, Jupiter is changing signs less than a day after this New Moon. It has been in Scorpio since October 2017 and transitions to its home sign of Sagittarius where it will stay until December 2019. However, its themes have been gradually building up since July after it ended its last retrograde.

Jupiter is the planet of travel, luck, higher education, experience, exploration, philosophy, religion, beliefs and is ‘big picture’ oriented. In its own sign of Sagittarius, Jupiter gets to express these energies at its fullest potential as Sagittarius is also associated with the same things. This next year is a period to expand and broaden our horizons. The area of life that will be affected by Jupiter in Sagittarius also depends on what house it is travelling in and what planets it is interacting within your natal chart.

Mercury is also slowing down to go retrograde on November 16th/17th, so it is possible that you may have started to notice some common retrograde complications. The pre-shadow period for it began on October 28th/29th and therefore some developments that have occurred since then may go through some changes and adjustments during (and following) the retrograde period which ends on December 6th/7th.

Interestingly, most of this retrograde occurs in Sagittarius, and this combined with Jupiter (and the Sun eventually) really highlights Sagittarian themes during that period. I will be writing a separate article on this Mercury Retrograde, you can be notified when it is released by joining my mailing list here.

Lunar Nodes Changing Signs, Uranus Re-Enters Aries While Square Nodes

Less than a day before this New Moon, the Lunar Nodes change from the Leo/Aquarius axis (where they have been since May 2017) and into the Cancer/Capricorn axis. They will stay there for the following 18 months and will also be triggered by upcoming eclipses as well as a previous Solar Eclipse in Cancer.

This is beginning a process of changes of how we work with energies of these signs. This is pushing us towards being more caring, protective, nurturing, and connecting emotionally with loved ones. It is also about making changes towards structures and ambitions that do not serve us.

Uranus retrograde is also returning to Aries less than an hour after the Lunar Nodes change signs (Nov 6th) while it is in a square aspect with them. This is a rare occurrence. The square between Uranus and the Nodes could reflect challenges and developments which ultimately help us to consider the past and the future, or between old behaviours and new ways of expressing ourselves. This could also indicate a turning point for some.

With Uranus changing signs its energy gets amplified and this could reflect sudden changes, disruptions, surprises, and sometimes accidents. Perhaps we can also be revisiting a theme connected to authentic individuality which has been playing out since 2011. Whenever Uranus transitions signs it can be pretty obvious by observing news media and looking at what is happening in the world in the days surrounding it.

Making Intentions And Things To Consider

What has been coming up for you over the last month regarding social/romantic relationships, matters of love, sexuality, or money? What do you need to shift in how you apply yourself in these areas? What part of your life should you approach with greater depth and realness? What can you release or transform to help empower you? What fears do you need to overcome, or perhaps you have already began doing so?  How can you expand and broaden your horizons?

These are just some examples of what to consider or focus your intentions on at this time, however, it is good to reflect on anything else that is coming up for you. It is generally best to make any intentions within the first 24 hours following a New Moon. However, the closer the better and can be as early as 30 minutes prior to the exact moment of it. This New Moon will be occurring at 4:02pm 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.

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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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