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The Truth About Having a Body & How Long It’s Taken for Me to Be Real With Mine

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The story I am about to share is not new. You’ve heard it countless times.

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The story I am about to share stems from many things. The media. Entertainment. Cultural norms. Historical lineage. Education. Our upbringing. 

The story I am about to share is one that for many people has created chronic physical and mental illnesses, lifelong shame, self-sabotage, and isolation.

I am a 30 year old woman and for at least 18 years of my life I have struggled with my body image.

My body has always been something that needed to be fixed, changed, or transformed. From around 12 years old, I remember being self-conscious when I looked in the mirror. I always thought that my body was soft and short, and I most certainly wasn’t thin enough.  

High school and college were riddled with patterns of disordered, emotional eating and excessive exercise. I was either meticulously watching everything I ate, overeating on sweet, sugary foods to numb any feelings of discomfort or sadness I was feeling, or working out like a maniac at the gym for hours on end to make up for my previous behaviors. My tendencies were vicious and my cycles on repeat.

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I know that you’ve heard this story an infinite number of times.

What’s different with what I am about to share with you is that I have somehow, miraculously made it to the other side. And I have been having such profound experiences lately in appreciating my body, exactly as it is, that for the first time in my life I feel comfortable enough to publicly share the journey I have been on to get to this place.

When I was young, I always looked healthy, even though for many years of my life I was dealing with some form of chronic, autoimmune-related condition. This is often true for individuals suffering from illnesses like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Lyme disease.

You look fine but you feel like shit.

Being sick happened in tandem with me first defining my beliefs on attractiveness of the female body. Not only was I beginning to crystalize an unrealistic external image of perfection, I was also making note of what the ideal inner functioning of a body should be. The ways that illness affected these inner workings made living in my body incredibly uncomfortable. I had constant digestive discomfort, breakouts of psoriasis, ongoing bouts of fatigue, a long term loss of voice, and brain fog.

As all of this was going on, I was regularly comparing my internal experience and external appearance to other young women my age. Not only did so many of them seem to have ease with their health, but they were also my ideal image of the perfect body: long, strong legs, a flat, tight tummy, a small waist, and thin, lean arms.

This dynamic created between me and my body was deeply influenced by the interweaving of illness and image at such a crucial, formative time in any young woman’s life. The result was years of me talking to and treating my body like it was less than, broken, and disgusting; like something to be ashamed of.

During my early teens, I had already started on a spiritual path. To me, spirituality is an experience or road that one does not get to choose, but one that chooses us. Spirituality is often a journey brought on by such significant suffering that there is no way out but through. And when choosing to go through, we are actively committing ourselves to facing our fears, flaws, and shadows, because continuing to live the way that we had been living is an absolute impossibility. Once the door to spirituality becomes opened, there is no looking back to the room that was left behind.

So I dug in.

I practiced yoga. I saw a therapist all throughout high school. I practiced yoga. I taught yoga. I saw a new therapist my freshman year of college. I took a 10-week course in mindful eating during the summer after my freshman year. I practiced yoga. I taught yoga. I attended weeklong workshops in self-discovery and self-reflection. I practiced yoga. I taught yoga. I journaled. I meditated. I went to alternative doctors and healers and energy workers. I participated in shamanic journeys. I practiced yoga. I went back to therapy. I went back to school to receive my master’s degree in integrative health. I taught yoga. I read every self-help book I could get my hands on. I saw a Reiki healer. I found yet another therapist. I took an Enneagram class. I sat silently for 10 days of a vipassana meditation. I prayed. I screamed. I cried. I spent countless hours in nature.

Suddenly, probably somewhere in my mid-twenties, things started to shift, to move, to undo. I couldn’t hold it all in anymore and so I started to speak freely about my experiences. I spoke about my imperfections, my vulnerabilities, my illnesses, and the ways I had shamed and disapproved of myself for so many years.

I began to pay attention to my thoughts. I would catch them when I was subconsciously saying something about my body that was ridden with disgust, fear, or anguish and change them to be in alignment with the truth of who I was (strong and beautiful and so much more) and what I wanted in my life. I became compassionate and accepting of my body in ways that I would often express to others, but had never done so for myself. I began to look at myself in the mirror through the eyes of love and wisdom, paying attention to all of the things that I appreciated instead of what I wanted to change.

Today, I am still not a master at all of these actions, but I am consciously working at it moment-by-moment. I notice that I struggle when I look at pictures of myself, finding ease in my old patterns of picking myself apart instead of loving myself exactly as I am. In these moments when I can’t easily access grace, I go back to therapy. I return to yoga. I increase my meditation practice. I call in my troop of healers. I re-evaluate my tribe.

About six months ago, I woke up feeling metaphorically lighter than I had in a long time. Getting dressed, I remember buttoning my shirt and sliding on my jeans with just the right amount of wiggle to get the waist of my pants up and over the soft sides of my hips and belly. I looked at myself in the mirror and the only feelings I remember experiencing were those rooted in the reality and approval of exactly how my body looked.

I have curves. My stomach has many inches that can be pinched and the skin shakes when I laugh, run, or simply jiggle it for fun. My face is round and pictures often capture a slight double chin. I’m only 5’1. There isn’t much space for weight when I gain it. I take good care of myself and no matter what, at the end of the day, my body is what it is. The only choice I have in the matter is whether I accept it or not.

These days my self-talk is much easier to hang out with. This isn’t to say that I wake up and feel like a sexy rock star every day. I have, however, started to really appreciate my body and all of the flaws, cellulite, and squishy belly rolls that come with it.

My exercise routine has become much more organic, based on how I feel and what activity feels enjoyable versus the masochistic movement chores I used to put myself through. When there aren’t healthy options of food available (you know, travel, parties, etc.), I simply do the best I can do, knowing that the next time I have more control of my circumstances or location, I will make choices that are as life affirming as can be in that moment.  

One of my all-time favorite articles on the science of our physiology, Your Body Is Younger Than You Think, vividly describes the constant regeneration of every system, organ, bone, and muscle in the human body. The actual age of our physical structure is really only seven- to ten-years-old at any given time because of the never-ending process of reconstruction, reproduction, and restoration of our cellular makeup.

In knowing these facts to be true, I can’t help but laugh. If my body is actually that of an eight-year-old, a small child that is most likely still innocent and unknowing of her own appearance and genetic imperfections, why have I been wasting so much time and energy over the past two decades fixating on something that isn’t real or true?

The truth is I will never have washboard abs or long lean legs. My arms will always be soft and undefined when pressed against the sides of my ribs. I will never fit into an XS at a clothing store because I have breasts that stretch the fabric.

And right now, in this moment, I am totally okay with that.

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Consciousness

The Wake Up Call We All Need To Hear About Politics

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We exist in a time, especially with the US in the midst of another election cycle, where we must face the reality that personal transformation and identifying the REAL workings of our world is crucial to creating change.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are we always baited into left/right politics? Why is so much media focused on taking left or right angles? Are we getting to any real truth by not addressing the real, proven workings of our world? Are we living in a delusion?

Back in 2009 I created a documentary that kickstarted Collective Evolution’s popularity. It focused on taking a big picture, conscious, look at the state of our world and what needs to change. This film was made on a handy cam with a budget of about $800, haha. But it was the beginning of something powerful, and played its role.

One of the key insights I wrote into this film was the idea that we must begin looking at our world and our political system from the standpoint of consciousness – how our inner belief systems and programming create the world we see in our world.

The current challenge we face is that people are not seeing the truth of our world and thus are living in a delusion, or illusion. They are being baited into identifying as either a democrat or a republican. Baited into various heated issues that also don’t address the truth of what’s happening in our world. These societal manipulations are distracting people from something that can actually create change, and this is why the mainstream media and culture in the US is so developed to keep people lost.

Because of this, we must begin to take a new approach to understanding our world that looks not just at policies and people who create ideas that governments push through, but also, and most importantly, the elephant in the room that few political candidates ever discuss in any meaningful way – the deep state.

A combination of personal transformation and viewing the truth of our world couragiously, is the way forward. I’m not stating this in a way where I’m suggesting there is only one pathway forward, I’m stating this as 2 key ingredients that must be brought together to properly understand our world and what we must do to evolve it. This is precisely why for 10 years the formula I built for Collective Evolution’s media has been focused on combining personal transformation with truth.

Currently, many are too afraid to have these honest and grounded conversations as they don’t want the label of being airy-fairy or a conspiracy theorist. Both of these labels, of course, are convenient forms of ridicule that seek not to answer ideas brought forth, but to brush them aside as something people don’t wish to look at and face.

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In the video below, I address a detail that is so crucial to our understanding of our world. As the US moves yet again into another cycle of elections, this message is more important now than ever.

To watch full episodes of The Collective Evolution Show every day, sign up for a free 7-day trial to CETV here.

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Alternative News

Are Human Beings “Extraterrestrial?” Did We Come From Somewhere Else?

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Photo by Drew Tilk on Unsplash

Are we alone in the universe? The obvious answer coming from mainstream science these days is a big no. It’s quite clear that we’re not alone, that’s the general scientific consensus. The next questions to ask are: Has advanced ‘super intelligent’ extraterrestrial life visited our planet in the past, and is extraterrestrial life visiting our planet now?

For years, if you believed that intelligent extraterrestrial life has visited our planet, you would have been put in the ‘conspiracy theorist’ category. But today, that’s not the case. Perhaps this ridicule was as a result of something specific–the very first director of the Central Intelligence Agency said that there was an “official campaign of ridicule and secrecy” when it came to the topic of UFOs.

UFOs are no longer taboo, and their existence has been disclosed thanks to millions of pages of unclassified government documents from around the world. They’ve been photographed and recorded on video as well as tracked on radars. They’ve performed maneuvers and were clocked travelling at speeds no known aircraft on Earth can travel. Furthermore, there are many witnesses, from astronauts to civilians to high ranking military personnel to academicians and more, who have been creating awareness and putting all of the evidence out there for us to see.

We are in a process of ‘disclosure,’ a slow one, and it’s a subject that leaves no aspect of humanity untouched. The implications are huge, from spiritual to technological to scientific and beyond. It really opens up pandora’s box.

The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe is one of the biggest questions in the history of mankind, along with how we got here and who created us. Perhaps they are all interrelated? We have yet to answer these questions, yet God as well as the theory of evolution seem to be heavily pushed on the population in an almost unquestionable manner, leaving humanity in a divide, constantly disagreeing with each other without ever being able to find common ground.

Did we come from outer space? I don’t watch Ancient Aliens, but I am sure many people are aware of the biblical, ancient, and indigenous lore of human beings coming from outer space. There are no shortage of stories regarding this, but it’s a perspective that we never really hear about and one that is never addressed within mainstream academia. That being said, anybody who truly has a passion for this subject is going to go down that rabbit hole.

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Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the 6th man to walk on the moon, said he “happens to be privileged enough to be in on the fact that we are not alone on this planet” and that we have “been visited many times.” He is one of many astronauts to express this. It was while coming across his comments that I stumbled upon the comments of Al Warden, who said in a TV interview:

We are the aliens, but we just think they’re somebody else, but we’re the ones who came from somewhere else. Because somebody else had to survive, and they got in a little space craft and they came here and they landed and they started civilization here, that’s what I believe. And if you don’t believe me, go get books on the ancient Sumerians and see what they had to say about it, they’ll tell you right up front.

He seemed pretty confident in his knowing.

He’s not the only one to assert such things, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins were jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology for Medicine “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material,” and they also shared this belief.

In his book published in 1982, Life Itself, Crick argues that there is no possible way that the DNA molecule could have gotten its start here on Earth and that it had to have come here from somewhere else. Within the mainstream scientific community, the generally accepted theory is that we are the result of a bunch of molecules accidentally bumping into each other, creating life. However, according to Francis, we are the result of what is now known as Directed Panspermia. Crick and a British chemist, Leslie Orgel, published their paper on it in July of 1973.

Their theory explains that, “organisms were deliberately transmitted to earth by intelligent beings on another planet. We conclude that it is possible that life reached the earth in this way, but that the scientific evidence is inadequate at the present time to say anything about the probability. We draw attention to the kinds of evidence that might throw additional light on the topic.”  (source)

As far as Crick’s thoughts on the theory that we are the result of accidentally  bumping into each other, he thinks this was as likely as the assembly of a jumbo jet hit by a hurricane in a junk yard. In other words, he thought the theory held little to no credibility.

The theory of evolution is taught today as a fact, when in reality it has little backing. In fact, 500 scientists in several fields came together a few years to create “A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism.” There are countless studies being published calling into question the theory of evolution. Not long ago, we wrote about a new genetic study that did exactly that, you can read more about that here.

recent paper published by 33 scientists in the Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology journal suggests that the flourishing of life during the Cambrian era (Cambrian Explosion) originated from the stars. This is another example of how the theory of evolution would be thrown out of whack.

“With the rapidly increasing number of exoplanets that have been discovered in the habitable zones of long-lived red dwarf stars (Gillon et al., 2016), the prospects for genetic exchanges between life-bearing Earth-like planets cannot be ignored. ” (The study)

There is a great little blurb from Cosmos Magazine, one of the few outlets that talked about the study:

With 33 authors from a wide range of reputable universities and research institutes, the paper makes a seemingly incredible claim. A claim that if true, would have the most profound consequences for our understanding of the universe. Life, the paper argues, did not originate on the planet Earth.

The response?

Near silence.

The reasons for this are as fascinating as the evidence and claims advanced by the paper itself. Entitled Cause of the Cambrian Explosion – Terrestrial or Cosmic?, the publication revives a controversial idea concerning the origin of life, an idea stretching back to Ancient Greece, known as panspermia.

What about giants? There are several examples of evidence that exist in support of the idea that giants once roamed the Earth. For example, stored in the vaults of the medical school at WITS University, Johannesburg, there is part of an upper leg bone with a hip-joint that would have stood approximately 12 feet tall. It’s been there since the early 1960’s and was found by miners in Northern Namibia. It is one of the most precious and rare specimens available today that clearly indicates the existence of giants in Southern Africa more than 40,000 years ago.

That’s another story in and of itself, and you can read more about that here.

Further Discussion/Takeaway

The point of this article is to show you that there is a lot more to the human story than what we’ve been told, yet we are still taught that there are only two acceptable possibilities. The truth is that we don’t know, and the evidence points to the fact that what we are being taught and what we are learning from a young age doesn’t hold nearly as much credibility compared to theories that don’t even get mentioned within the mainstream.

Perhaps there is much more to human history and the story of our origins than what we’re told? Perhaps intellectual authorities have been involved in concealing this information from humanity because it would completely change the collective worldview and the controlling mechanisms used to enslave humanity?

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Consciousness

Study Shows That Horses Understand Our Emotions & Remember Us Deeply

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In a recent study, researchers at the universities of Sussex and Portsmouth have discovered that horses can recognize and recall human expression.

  • Reflect On:

    We are all interconnected and it is beautiful to see more studies coming up that clearly showcase just how aware and in tune animals can be and are.

The more in tune with myself I strive to become, the more drawn I am to explore how connected we all are – not solely with one another, but with everything. This, like many other deeper concepts surrounding life, begs to answer the ever-present question of ‘are there other emotionally intelligent beings out there?’

One could argue that their dogs or other galactic beings (if real) could be emotionally intelligent, but as we look at all of the research, it is clear that most living organisms actually display a very obvious intelligence. From lobsters to plants, they have all been known to display some form of intelligence. This is precisely what was revealed when a recent study explored horses and their interaction with humans.

Let’s take a step back real quick. If you have ever owned or spent a lot of time riding with one particular horse, chances are good that you’ve felt some sort of special connection with them — and wondered if horses even like humans. Maybe you’ve felt like they were actually your friend, or a small part of your family, and wanted to know if the feeling was reciprocal. Research is now confirming that that connection isn’t all in your head — and anyone who has ever had a pet before, horse or not, definitely won’t be surprised at some of these recent findings.

In a recent study, researchers at the universities of Sussex and Portsmouth showed domestic horses photographs of humans with either a happy or angry expression on their faces. Then, later on, the horses were introduced to the same people they saw in the photographs, now with neutral expressions. This new study shows that horses can actually understand and remember human emotions, which is something that makes them seem even more magical than they already did.

“Researchers watched the eye movements of horses as they met the photograph subjects in real life. The horses perceived those who had been photographed with an angry face as more threatening.” – UPI

Horses were more wary of people they previously saw in a photo with an angry expression on their face. Photo by University of Portsmouth/University of Sussex

UPI reports that previous research showed horses tend to focus on negative or threatening objects and events with their left eye, as the right hemisphere of their brain is tasked with assessing risk. In the new experiment, researchers found horses stared at subjects who had been photographed with an angry expression using their left eye.

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“What we’ve found is that horses can not only read human facial expressions but they can also remember a person’s previous emotional state when they meet them later that day — and, crucially, that they adapt their behavior accordingly,” Karen McComb, a professor at the University of Sussex, said in a news release. “Essentially horses have a memory for emotion.”

Scientists have previously shown horses can recognize expressions, but the latest findings, published this week in the journal Current Biology, are the first to show the mammals can recall an expression linked with an individual’s face.

“We know that horses are socially intelligent animals, but this is the first time any mammal has been shown to have this particular ability,” Portsmouth researcher Leanne Proops said. “What’s very striking is that this happened after just briefly viewing a photograph of the person with a particular emotional expression — they did not have a strongly positive or negative experience with the person.”

This is a beautiful discovery in and of itself as stated above, outside of ourselves there had not been any recording of other mammals showing this ability.

The Takeaway

With more of us beginning to turn inward for growth, it is beautiful to see that more and more research is coming to the forefront revealing our fellow animal kingdom as being connected and in tune with us as much as their surroundings. At times when everything else seems to be chaotic, remember to be still. The real magic within us and our connectedness to everything is what oneness consciousness is all about. You are not alone in this world, let alone in the universe. It is in our awareness that we allow bonds that were seen as less than to blossom — it is in our remembrance of Self that we re-member as One with all.

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