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Feeling Awe May Be The Secret To Health & Happiness

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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.

Have you ever been awestruck? This is an emotion that leaves you speechless, completely amazed by something that you are witnessing, something that perhaps takes your breath away, or simply makes you forget about all of your problems, or at least makes them feel insignificant. This is the feeling that makes you realize how amazingly powerful and incredible the Universe that you are a part of really is.

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New studies are starting to show just how powerful this intense emotion is, and how it has the potential to inspire, heal, change our ways of thinking, and even bring people together. When was the last time you were left in awe?

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According to psychologist, Dacher Keltner, from the University of California, “Awe is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast of beyond human scale, that transcends our current understanding of things.”

How Does Awe Make Us Feel Better, Overall?

In 2013, Keltner’s lab began a three-year research project that was funded by the John Templeton Foundation; this has initiated more research into the subject than there has been in the three decades prior.

An example of awe would be that feeling you get seeing a newborn baby for the first time, seeing a beautiful sunset, a shooting star, or having a beautiful psychedelic experience, you know, that feeling that leaves you feeling so indescribably amazed.

“People often talk about awe as seeing the Grand Canyon or meeting Nelson Madela,” Keltner says. “But our studies show it also can be much more accessible – a friend is so generous you’re astounded, or you see a cool pattern of shadows and leaves.”

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Over several decades, only the big six emotions got much scientific attention: happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, and surprise. “Awe was thought of as the Gucci of the emotion world – cool if you have it, but a luxury item.” According to Michelle Shiota, Arizona State University psychologist, “it’s now thought to be a basic part of being human that we all need.”

Scientists are discovering that awe is something that connects us all. It makes sense that humans are wired to feel this emotion, as Keltner says, to get us to act in more collaborative ways, ensuring our survival. When you are in the face of a remarkable view, a starry sky or a great pyramid, it reminds us that we are a small part of something much larger than ourselves, and inevitably, our thinking shifts from me to we. We get out of our heads, and realize that we are all part of this grand plan, no matter what our belief systems are.

The Overview Effect

Astronauts are often left feeling this same way, but in maybe more of an extreme sense. Frequently reported are intense “far out” feelings of oneness as they are looking back on Earth; this has come to be known as the “overview effect.”

According to Edgar Mitchell, “something happens to you out there. You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it.” He has described this emotion as an “interconnected euphoria.” Many other astronauts have reported similar feelings of awe.

How Does Awe Make Us Feel Better & More Connected?

Awe can help us to see things in a new light. Fear and excitement strike our fight-or-flight response, awe puts on the brakes and allows us to be still and attentive to what lays before us. Being able to stop and think makes us more receptive to the details and new information that we are learning.

Albert Einstein himself actually described feelings of awe as “the source of all true art and science.”

Awe has the ability to make us nicer and happier. “Awe causes a kind of Be Here Now that seems to dissolve the self,” according to social psychologist Paul Riff from the University of California. It even helps us to act more fairly, ethically and generously.

One of the experiments that was conducted to measure the effects of feeling this emotion had the subjects spend a full minute looking at either a remarkable stand of the tallest eucalyptus trees in North America or a plain old building. You may have guessed those staring at the trees reported greater levels of awe, and subsequently, when one of the testers “accidentally” dropped a bunch of pens in front of the participants involved in the study, those who felt awestruck were more eager to help pick up the pens versus the ones who didn’t experience the emotion.

Awe also has the potential to heal. The science around this emotion is still pretty new, although it is already being applied to the real world. At a high school in Long Island City, New York, teacher Julie Mann takes her students on “Awe Walks” to connect them with nature or art. The students then write about their experiences when they are back in the classroom and share them with their classmates. She says that even the students who keep to themselves and never talk in class actually come to life and they begin to pay attention to the other classmates. “It helps them feel less marginalized, with a sense that life is still good,” she says.

So the next time you catch yourself feeling disconnected, down, or uninspired, perhaps you just need to witness some beauty, get up early and catch the sunrise, hike to the top of a mountain, or look into the eyes of a newborn. You never know, it could turn your life around!

Much Love

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

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Consciousness

How To Embrace New Ideas & Envision A Better World

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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.

In this video I explore how to look in our minds and bodies for resistance towards new solutions and ideas. If we are to create a more thriving world, what has to happen within us? How do we use new and emerging solutions in a pure form, without applying the old dominance or capitalistic stories to them?

It can, very understandably, be hard to imagine something different than what we’re doing now. Especially when we consider we don’t know HOW things would change or what will happen to the current life we’ve built.

What if real global solutions involve shifting our long term plans? How do we gain a sense of comfort and stability in challenges we seek to solve at their core?

Every time I’ve been faced with some pretty big changes I had to make in my life, if I ever sensed resistance in myself, I had to find it in my body as well as navigate it in my mind.  I explain more in the video below.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Consciousness

Raising Our Vibration Through Compassion & Unconditional Love

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

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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.

An internationally recognized nonprofit research and education organization, the Institute of HeartMath dedicates itself to helping people reduce stress, self-regulate emotions, and build energy and resilience for healthy, happy lives. HeartMath tools, technology, and training teach people to rely on the intelligence of their hearts in concert with that of their minds at home, school, work, and play.

It’s becoming clearer to many of us that working together with kindness, compassion and acceptance are the missing pieces for resetting humanity’s fast and furious trajectory into separation and division. It’s also becoming obvious that we cannot create solutions from the same consciousness level that’s creating the problems. Raising our consciousness vibration for drawing peaceful solutions is an undertaking that calls for kindness, forgiveness and an inclusive love that respects our differences.

A large portion of their research has investigated heart and brain interaction. Researchers have examined how the heart and brain communicate with each other and how that affects our consciousness and the way in which we perceive our world. For example, when a person is feeling really positive emotions like gratitude, love, or appreciation, the heart beats out a certain message. Because the heart beats out the largest electromagnetic field produced in the body, it can yield significant data for researchers.

HeartMath has discovered that  emotional information is actually coded and modulated into these fields. By learning to shift our emotions, we are changing the information coded into the magnetic fields that are radiated by the heart, and that can impact those around us. We are fundamentally and deeply connected with each other and the planet itself.

This is very important work, as it shows how the heart plays an important role far beyond what is commonly known. For instance, did you know that your heart emits electromagnetic fields that change according to your emotions, or that the human heart has a magnetic field that can be measured up to several feet away from the human body? Did you know that positive emotions create physiological benefits in your body, and that you can boost your immune system by conjuring up positive emotions? Did you know that negative emotions can create nervous system chaos, and that positive emotions do the complete opposite? Did you know that the heart has a system of neurons that have both short term and long term memory, and that their signals sent to the brain can affect our emotional experiences? Did you know that in fetal development, the heart forms and starts beating before the brain is developed? Did you know that a mother’s brainwaves can synchronize to her baby’s heartbeats? Did you know that the heart sends more information to the brain than vice versa?

All of these facts, published research papers, and more can be accessed at heartmath.org.

I recently came across an article published by HeartMath titled “Raising Our Vibration Through Compassion & Unconditional Love” written by Sara Childre, Pres. of HeartMath Institute and Doc Childre, HeartMath Founder. I thought I would post it below for those who are interested.

Vibrations

HeartMath and many systems use the term vibration in reference to the quality of thoughts, feelings, emotions and attitudes that are generated and influenced by our beliefs, memories, choices, environmental stimuli and more. For example, you often hear people say, “I had to leave that office, the vibes were so low it was draining my energy, or, “I felt a lift from being in her positive vibration.”

The vibration of our moods, attitudes, thoughts and feelings can rise and fall throughout the day, based on our actions and reactions to others, ourselves, or to life’s issues. The vibes we emanate to others and to the environment vary, based on our resilience for balancing our mind, emotions and disposition – especially in today’s dynamic emotional climate.

Lower-level vibrations can occur at every turn in connection with frustration, anger, disappointment, sadness, judgment, comparisons and much more. These emotions are part of being human, but it is within our power to shift out of these debilitating feelings into higher vibrational attitudes and perceptions.

An easy way to maintain a higher vibration is to interweave the qualities of our heart in our connections and interactions. These heart qualities include love, care, compassion, kindness, appreciation, forgiveness, and more. Anyone who experiences these qualities knows their power to lift our feelings into a kinder and more stress-free outlook.

Raising Others’ Vibrations

For evidence that the heartfelt intentions of one individual can raise the heart vibration of others, HeartMath cites studies it has conducted. You may be familiar with the study in which a dog’s incoherent heart rhythms became coherently aligned with a boy’s heart rhythms as he radiated intentional love and care to his dog. Go to Josh and Mable to read more.

Science tells us that human beings and all creatures radiate an electromagnetic field produced by the heartbeat. Our feelings broadcast like radio waves through this field. When you are in the presence of a group of friends, family or others, everyone’s thoughts, feelings and attitudes are intermingling in your immediate area — which HeartMath calls the field environment.

Another study, with 40 participants, explored the effects of being in a coherent field environment. The participants were divided into 10 groups of four people who were seated around a table. They were all connected to equipment that simultaneously measured their level of heart rhythm coherence. Three of the participants had been previously trained in the Heart Lock-In technique and were instructed to get into a coherent state at random times unknown by the fourth untrained person. Overall, as the coherent vibration of the three HeartMath-trained participants increased, the untrained person’s coherence level also measurably increased from being in that more coherent field environment.

Poised in Higher Vibrations

When poised in our higher vibration, we experience many benefits. Decisions and solutions flow more easily due to increased access to our heart’s intuitive wisdom; our discernment becomes more inclusive and our choices become clearer and more effective; it gets much easier to deflect frustration, anxiety, impatience and other chronic stress producers that strain our critical thinking and reasoning.

Most all of us feel more self-secure when in our higher vibrational composure, yet it can be harder to maintain in the midst of challenges and ramped up stress. We can learn to lift our vibration to meet challenges by adding heart qualities of conscious care, kindness, gratitude or compassion in our interactions. As these qualities of love move through our system, it lifts our attitudes automatically for the highest way to deal with the situation at hand.

Unconditional love and compassion are among the highest vibrations of love and are not subject to preconditions, limitations, or requirements of others. They serve the greater interest and benefit of all sentient beings and the environment in which they exist. Many people are realizing that unconditional love and compassion are from our higher consciousness potentials with the capacity for healing and attracting solutions for social transformation.

Uncountable numbers of people have experienced the benefits of compassion and more individuals are resonating with this powerful expression of love in these times of robust change. Practicing compassion is something we can do that benefits all, yet it takes heartfelt commitment to anchor this responsibility to the whole of which we are a part.

Summary of Benefits From Raising Our Vibration Levels

  • Increased care and kindness flow more automatically in our connections.
  • We are more clear-minded and self-secure in our choices and actions.
  • Our mind and emotions interact more harmoniously to suit our needs.
  • We deflect common stress triggers – frustration, impatience, intolerance, etc.
  • We are much more resilient and resistant to fears and self-doubt.
  • Our heart’s deeper care is not overridden by our disruptive mind and emotions.
  • The lift in our attitude wards off anxiety, excessive worries and overwhelm.
  • We tend to lift others and the environment when our vibration is up.
  • We are less judgmental and intolerant with others and ourselves, which prevents mega stress accumulation.
  • Lifting our vibration amplifies our intuitive heart feelings for better choices and outcomes.

Simple Exercises to Raise Your Vibration

(Adapted from exercises in the Heart Intelligence: Connecting with the Intuitive Guidance of the Heart book.)

How to replace lower vibrational feelings, such as sadness, anger, insecurity, anxiety, self-judgment, rejection, etc.

1. Exercise: Find a quiet place where, for a few minutes, you can breathe easily, imagining with each breath that your mind, emotions and body are becoming still inside. In this stillness, desire the uplifting feeling you would like to have, and as you breathe, imagine breathing this new feeling into your being for a while. Imagine you are creating it with your breath.

2. Another Exercise: When feeling low, just sit quietly and imagine radiating love, compassion and stillness into your mental and emotional nature. Self-care is often allowing ourselves to have a low moment without compounding it with self-criticism. When our light is dim, it helps to give ourselves the feeling of compassionate heart warmth that we would give a child or a pet that is infirm. Even if it doesn’t stop the pain, we know it can help energetically. If we feel awkward while trying this, it helps to ask ourselves, “What’s the difference in nurturing ourselves with compassionate intention than taking the vitamins and health foods we consume for self-care?” Or, “Why do we teach kids to put their hand over a hurt area and radiate sunshine from their heart to help it feel better?” We do this because it’s a natural expression of self-compassion, with benefits to their mental, emotional and physical nature.

You can soon feel a difference when doing these exercises, unless extremely challenged. If it doesn’t work the first time, be patient and simply try again later. Being genuine makes a difference. This activates your heart energy. Practicing for a few days in a row strengthens your capacity to reset unwanted feelings and lower vibrations.

Simple exercises such as these can do more to lift your vibration than you may think. Make it fun to consciously reset your vibration throughout the day and watch your spirit lift and the stress accumulation diminish.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Consciousness

How To Have More Patience & Manage Uncertainty

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CE Staff Writer 6 minute read

Before you begin...

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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.

Many of us can relate to the fact that our world is chalked full of uncertainties right now. Whether it be in our careers, relationships, or state of the world, it’s normal to feel a sense of uncertainty. This can lead us to want to find solid ground quickly and surely, even if it means we make choices that are unclear or rushed.

Outside of uncertainty, we also tend to live in a culture that desires instant gratification. We want things right away, and if we can’t have them, we often start to lose interest or move onto something else that might bring that instant gratification. Just take a moment now to reflect on that idea alone: when was the last time you found yourself becoming inpatient about something? What thoughts did you have? How did you feel in your body?

I recall just the other day, opening up an article I wanted to read, it took about 4 seconds as it was loading, and my reaction was to hit the back button and look for a different article about the subject I was looking into. 4 seconds? I was 4 seconds into waiting for information that could have helped me and I moved on? Perhaps we should expect information in half a second these days, or perhaps we should be able to wait those 4 second – either way, it’s important we have the freedom to choose and not allow those reactions to be so automatic.

Why? Because today it might be about a website loading, but tomorrow it might be about much more important things that we simply don’t have the patience to properly assess because we have be trained into procedural memory by all the ‘smaller things’ in life.

For me, when I stopped and thought about why I rushed away from that website after only 4 seconds, I noted that my jaw was clenched, I was in my head and operating in a rush.

For us to be in a flow, create well, think clearly and make balanced decisions, it’s very helpful to be more present. When we find ourselves in our heads, rushed and impatient, we might note that we’re losing energy throughout the day, becoming more and more drained as time goes on. Yet when we are in our flow, we tend to have more energy for things, things don’t feel as ‘up and down’ and we experience a lot more joy.

This is primarily because we are more present and our body experiences greater synchronization between major systems and organs including the brain, nervous system, and heart. With greater synchrony comes more efficiency, and in essence our body isn’t in conflict with itself, but instead is moving in one direction. This creates rhythm and flow.

Think of the mother or father who loses their patience because of something their child is doing, what emotions tend to rise? Anger, frustration, or irritation perhaps. The energy of that person begins to change, as does body language, tone of voice and their decisions. In fact, sometimes people end up saying things they don’t mean or later regret as a result – why? This happens because the more we become irritated or frustrated, the more our physiological state changes and we begin to lose access to our higher thinking (prefrontal cortex) causing us to act more on procedure and emotion vs. based on connection, patience, and higher understanding.

Now, we’re always going to have moments where ‘we lose it’ from time to time, but how often does that have to be? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Perhaps it only needs to happen a few times a year? Why do some of us seems so cool and level headed in some situations, aka more patient, while others lose patience much more quickly? There are, most likely, many reasons, and each of us might have to ask ourselves that question based on our own experience to get an answer. But what we do know is we can all become more patient with simply practice and intention.

With more patience comes less frustration, less problematic choices, and less stress, while increasing flow and energy.

To build greater patience is not some magical skill you must find, it’s simply to become more present and self aware. It’s truly something that is within anyone’s grasp.

How To Build More Patience

Next time you are waiting for something or are in traffic and a sense of unease, bring your focus to your body. We’ve all felt the benefits of how a massage loosens up our muscles, in that same breath, take a moment and notice where there is tension in your body. Jaw, shoulders, hands, pelvis, and release it.

Make a forward facing effort to feel ease in your body. What does it feel like to feel ease? When was there a moment you can remember that you would describe as feeling ease? If you take some time to feel that ease, or even relive that moment of feeling ease, you are bringing that feeling to your body now and moving out of the automatic response of impatience.

You don’t have to ‘meditate’ or close your eyes or do anything special to do this, you simply are becoming aware of how you feel, what emotions might be playing out and the state of your body, and you are doing something to choose how you want to feel.

So to recap:

  1. Notice you are feeling impatient and how that feels. Accept it.
  2. Release tension in your body, take about 60 seconds to go through your body and do this.
  3. Notice what it feels like to feel a sense of ease and calm, feel that feeling in your body and let it grow.
  4.  Go on with the next few hours being in this state. Come back to this awareness and repeat if you have to.

Note, we are not running from any feelings of frustrations or irritation here. These aren’t “BAD” things that we don’t want to acknowledge. Instead, we are bringing ourselves to a state where we might be able to more closely examine why we felt this way to begin with. Was it something small, petty and not worth losing energy over? With simple awareness will this pattern of feeling this way diminish? Or perhaps you recognize something happened that made you feel irritation or frustration and you need to express something to take an action, either way, you are now in a clear space to asses and make effective decisions vs operating from a draining space where clarity is more difficult to come by.

The more this is practiced, the more it becomes your everyday state of being.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading
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