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Consciousness

The Self-Help Trap: Are You In It?

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Imagine you are studying for a test, and once you truly understand the subject and have memorized all that is needed to pass the test… you buy another book to study and understand the same stuff you already understand. Sure, maybe it helped you bring a slightly different perspective to help with your test. Great!

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But then you get another book about roughly the same subject. And another. And 2 more. And 12 more. And you just keep swallowing content you already “get” and never actually get up and go pass the damn test.

I see this a lot in the spiritual and self-development crowd, and I have been guilty of the same. We tend to forget that books, words, and perspectives may be pointers to important truths, but the real test — the real advancement and “training ground” — happens in real life. In YOUR journey. Not on paper, not on a screen, not even in your head, but in the very moment you are in, waiting to be lived, felt, and explored.

Much like we can get addicted to looking at a cell phone screen to avoid simply being with ourselves, we can also get addicted to keeping our noses in endless research and self-help books — because letting go of constantly “intellectualizing” our way through life may bring us face to face with our fear of uncertainty and the unknown.

In a way, getting caught up in researching theory and concepts is kind of like reading a bunch of video game strategy guides, but never actually playing!

“Even if you think you know the “Truth,” you have to let it go to experience it.” – Unknown

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Addiction To Processes

There is another, equally as deceiving but far more subtle trap that we can fall into as well: the addiction to continually putting yourself through all of these complex processes to “clear your emotions” or “slash your negative beliefs.” There’s nothing wrong with working on yourself, of course; quite the opposite. But the ego is a sneaky little thing, and just might want to stay in charge by keeping you stuck in these processes endlessly, making you perceive growth as an all-consuming, serious and heavy mission that will make you forget about enjoying life itself, or even being present with your loved ones. (a.k.a the most important things in life that people on their death beds regret not doing more often).

“Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”

– Kurt Vonnegut

When you’re engaged in your own life and start living, instead of endlessly conceptualizing about ways of living; the ego doesn’t have much of a say and can finally take a back seat. Your heart and soul finally get to drive. Your mind becomes a tool instead of a dictator, and you can finally follow your true calling from a grounded, trusting, and peaceful space. I don’t mean to say that the ego is an evil thing; it is just our way of avoiding whatever scares us about giving up mental control and sinking into the moment we’re in.

Personal anecdote: The other day, I felt agitated and uncomfortable, and after unconsciously trying to avoid the feeling by putting my awareness elsewhere (Facebook’s newsfeed, YouTube videos, etc.), I decided to just give up and relax my awareness in the moment without distraction. And when I did it, I initially felt my body tense up, with nervous spasms traveling through my arms and neck. I felt my awareness trying to escape my body by fighting to stay inside my head. And the more I consciously relaxed and created space for what I was experiencing — even for my mental resistance — I felt my tenseness weaken. I was simply being there for myself, unconditionally present. And I could finally relax… kind of like a child who calms down as soon as you rest them on your chest and give them your presence.

We often underestimate the power of simply giving up “trying” anything and simply relaxing. Of giving ourselves a break, taking a few deep present breaths and hearing the birds sing. It does not always HAVE to be done with candles, crystals, step-by-step guides or a $200 session with a coach. All of that can be a great help and push in the right direction, but in any case, that direction should be towards your own freedom to live your life fully and wholly.

“If you wait until you’re really sure, you’ll never take off the training wheels.”

– Cynthia Lewis

Knowing how (and when) to turn off the mind and simply enjoy life is the most important gift you can give to yourself and others. It makes you not only feel lighter, but be lighter to be around. It helps others step into that same vibration. And by putting this mindfulness into practice, you might notice your issues dissolve much faster than when you relentlessly try to release them with complex processes, without ever taking moments to simply be.

Arrogance Because Of What You “Know”

I’ve also noticed that the more you live in your head and attach to your own theories, the more arrogant, self-righteous, and combative you may become. Your knowledge becomes something you’re proud to show off or use in arguments to simply prove you are “right.” And this is COMPLETELY missing the point of what growth is about. It disconnects you from others and instills an elitist mindset within you. It brings you further away from a state of love, bringing heaviness rather than the lightness you seek.

Sounds pretty useless to me.

When we are REALLY interested in Truth, we dive into the experience of life more than we protect our opinions. We become kinder rather than condescending. We know that Truth is a state of being more than this “thing” to explain or use as a reference for judging others.

Inner-Transformation vs. Behaviour Change

True growth doesn’t happen in your head as you think about it, talk about it, or justify yourself with it — not even by acting more “evolved.” It happens as you transform from the inside out. It happens when you truly realize, accept, and own up to the root cause of your issue, and genuinely want to shift because of a heartfelt realization that there is another, more loving, and truer way to live. And then, you can quit reiterating the realization in your head and start living it.

Fake growth is a strategy more than an inner-transformation. It is a sudden and superficial change of behaviour rather than a continual practice that transforms you from the inside. It is just swapping one mask for another. You change storylines, yet you remain unchanged underneath. And sometimes, it feels very real and convincing until you find yourself repeating the same patterns and feeling the same pains all over again.

I have to check myself constantly to see where I stand between both versions… because I am freshly out of this trap! But ultimately it’s easy to discern. True growth initially feels challenging, but ultimately feels light, humbling, heart-opening, expansive, and loving. Fake growth still feels like you’re walking a fine line between being being a nice person and defending your poor ego against even the slightest threat. I am sure glad I’m getting off the fake growth train.

“For the next while, simply be. Don’t strive to stand for ANYTHING. It’s dark and it sucks, so don’t let it depress you. But you need that silence. It will show you clarity. Boredom, but clarity. And you won’t feel great or unique in any way. You will feel very ordinary and dull. The key is to let your true self have breathing room, so that you can come to understand yourself.  If you adopt a persona you admire and you try to become that person too fast, your true self remains unchanged in the background and feels judged and repressed. Accept your current self. As you do so, you may feel as though you are sacrificing all you have worked for. But in reality, you are simply giving yourself the chance to do things right this time around.”

– Corey-Ross Miles

Want to get moving on putting things into practice? Take the 30 Days of You Challenge and get started!

 

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Awareness

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

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

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

  • Reflect On:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Are We Even Designed To Eat Meat?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Takeaway

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

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

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Alternative News

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

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

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

  • Reflect On:

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

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

In my article about this statement I stated:

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

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

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

Williamson Admits She Was Unaware

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Takeaway

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

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

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Pisces: Navigating Ideals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Moon Opposing Mercury and Venus Conjunction As They Change Signs

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

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

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

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

Things To Consider During This Period

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

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

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

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

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

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