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On Donald Trump & The Need For A New Definition Of “Successful Man”

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I have a confession to make: When Donald Trump won the U.S. election, part of me was happy.

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Crazy, right?

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Before you start judging me, let me explain: I did not vote for him, or support his campaign. And like most, I was concerned about his controversial morals and political inexperience.

But I also believed his election was the perfect Harajuku moment — “a moment in time when you have a revelation that change must happen now, and fast.”

More specifically, I felt like Trump’s presence in the spotlight would wake us up to the fact that our world is run by men who embody an outdated model of “Masculine Success.”

By many modern standards Trump is a successful man. He has achieved impressive feats and made tons of money, but his approach to life is rooted in self-serving beliefs.

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Is that what success should really look like?  

I believe this issue is at the root of many societal problems (for example, corruption, social inequality, and abusive relationships), and that by addressing it head-on we can solve challenges that have plagued society for centuries.

Together, we need to redefine what it means to be “a successful man.” Then, we must work diligently to practice this new ethos and build, in the words of Buckminster Fuller, “a world that works for everyone.”

In this article, I’m going to take you on a journey into the concept of Masculine Success, how it’s affecting you, and how upgrading your own definition will yield you greater happiness, wealth, and impact on society.

Donald Trump and the Old Paradigm of Success

Donald Trump is a living, breathing paradox.

On one hand, the man is brilliant: He’s a billionaire, has been an executive to over 500 companies, and became the first ever U.S. president with no political or military experience.

You can say what you want about the guy, but this remains pretty damn impressive.

On the other hand, he’s a deeply flawed individual: He exhibits clear misogynistic and racist tendencies, has a long history of deceptive tactics, and is a master manipulator of the highest caliber.

In this paradox, we can see a blueprint for the old definition of a “Successful Man”:

  1. He’s great at making money and providing for his family — even if it employs the “I Win, You Lose” methodology that sacrifices the greater good for personal gain.
  2. He’s tough, hard working, and highly skilled in certain areas — however lacking compassion, kindness, and care for others.
  3. He’s a powerful man and influential leader — who’s willing to cut corners and sacrifice integrity in order to achieve his goals.

As you can see, he’s got some great qualities, some that you and I could benefit from mastering. But simultaneously, his “success formula” is painfully unbalanced and produces severe collateral damage.

Is Trump a Product of His Generation?

Before we start vilifying Trump (and men like him), let’s look at the bigger picture:

What shaped his approach to success?

What cultural forces forged his belief system?

What conditioning generated his character?

I believe there are 3 dominant forces that made Donald Trump the man he is today, and influenced an entire generation of Baby bBomer males (born between 1946 and 1964):

  • Scarcity and the Tribe Mentality
  • Stoicism and the Emotionally Closed Man
  • Capitalism and the Rise of Greed

Scarcity and the Tribe Mentality

You and I live in the most prosperous time in history. Our basic needs are met, we face few (if any) threats, and technology allows us an unprecedented level of comfort (cars, grocery stores, central heating, fridges, computers, cellphones, etc). With these favourable life conditions, it’s easy to forget that for the vast majority of history, things were different. Homo sapiens have been around for ~200,000 years and high standards of living only appeared in the last 100 years. This means that 99.95% of human history was rooted in struggle for survival.

For thousands of years, our ancestors lived in a state of scarcity: They never knew if there would be enough food, water, or heat. Survival was a day-to-day affair that naturally created a scarcity mentality: “I need to get mine before you get yours.”

To increase chances of survival, humans banded into tribes and the tribal mentality was born: “You’re either with us or against us.”

Recently, these states of consciousness were further amplified by the advent of World Wars I and II. When Donald Trump was born, in 1946, the world had just suffered through six horrific years of mind-bending loss, trauma, and fear.

As a result, the expectation for a man of his era was to become a great provider and ensure his family/tribe survived, whatever it took. Caring for the greater good was the responsibility of social servants, not businessmen.

Stoicism and the Emotionally Closed Man

To succeed in those times of scarcity and tribal mentality, men had to master a few important personality traits: toughness, resilience, and inner strength. Those were essential in order to provide for their family day in and day out, no matter what challenges came up.

One of the best ways to do so was to master stoicism, also known as “the endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feelings and without complaint.” While an effective survival strategy, this approach came with a hefty cost: it made men insensitive, disconnected from their hearts, and lacking compassion for others.

When we look at the traditional model of Masculine Success, we see men that are tough, hard working and capable of high achievements. But they’re also largely devoid of compassion and genuine kindness.

Capitalism and the Rise of Greed

The third societal force we’ll look at is capitalism, and how it’s brought about an unprecedented wave of greed in the world.

First off, let me say there are a lot of of good things about capitalism. I am constantly in awe of the fact that I can use a piece of plastic (my debit card) to acquire just about any product or service imaginable, instantly. Wow!

But capitalism also encourages excess: both from a consumer and a producer standpoint. There are no inherent mechanisms to prevent people from abusing the system (ie. making more profit at the expense of the greater good), and consuming too much (ie. overeating and overspending).

Juxtapose that with the fact that scarcity was until recently a major part of humanity for thousands of years, and you have the perfect recipe for greed. With greed comes a tendency to bend moral guidelines, and to sacrifice integrity in the name of profit.

This has been done by businessmen from generations, and Donald Trump is just another example of that.

An Outdated Success Model

As you can see, 200,000 years of human history have conspired to create a very clear, and deeply ingrained model of success:

  • Men evolved into hard-working, skilled providers who are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.
  • Difficult life conditions made them tough and resilient but emotionally closed off.
  • Capitalism allowed for an unprecedented rise in prosperity that was paralleled by deception and greed from successful businessmen worldwide.

All of these traits, despite their flaws, have served humanity over time — they got us (for better and worse) to where we are today. But they simply won’t get us to where we need to go. Rather, they will destroy us. Unless we create a new model of masculine success, starting today.

The New Standard of Masculine Success

Now that we’ve set the stage, let me ask you an important question:

How can we take our individual lives and society at large to the next level?

I believe we need build on the strengths developed by our predecessors while developing the qualities they were lacking.

We need to become:

  • Great at making money and providing for our family… in a way that benefits all of mankind. (“I Win, You Win.”)
  • Tough, hard working, and highly skilled… while being deeply compassionate, kind and caring to others.
  • Powerful men and influential leaders… who are shining examples of strong morals and impeccable integrity.

That, right there, is what I believe a “Successful Man” needs to be from now on. It’s a high standard, a challenging one to achieve, and one that is essential to the survival of humanity.

Sounds dramatic? Think again.

Without it, we will continue to fight one another, destroy our planet, and let egos run the world. Who knows where that will lead us?

One thing is for sure: We are at a turning point in history, and it’s time for you and I to step up. It’s time to become the kind of men the world needs. It’s time to become Kings.

Upgrading Your “Success Operating System”

So, how do we actually do it?

Over the last few years, I’ve been experimenting extensively with this. I’ve worked very hard to reprogram my mind, open my heart, and upgrade my “success operating system.”

Along the way, I’ve found a few key mental models that are critical to become a “successful man 2.0.”

  1. Upgrading From Scarcity to Sufficiency
  2. Upgrading From Tribalism to Inclusiveness
  3. Upgrading From Stoicism to Emotional Fluency
  4. Upgrading From Capitalism to Conscious Capitalism

Let’s dissect each one, decipher how you can make the transition, and upgrade your entire life.

Principle #1: Upgrading From Scarcity to Sufficiency

The scarcity mentality is based on the belief that there aren’t enough resources for everyone: “If you get more, I get less.” This makes us competitors, and I must beat you to survive.

While I’m at it, I might as well accumulate as much as possible so I can be “safer.” My excessive hoarding might cause you and your family to struggle… but that’s not my problem. We’re competitors, remember?

Conversely, the sufficiency mentality is predicated on the fact that there are enough resources for everybody — as long as everyone uses only their fair share.

Did you know that since 1970, there’s been enough food on the planet to feed the entire human population? And yet, billions of people are starving, while more than two-thirds (68.8%) of American adults are overweight or obese. This is one of the saddest facts about humanity, and one that we need to address now. Practicing sufficiency is a great way to start.

To do so, you need to install two beliefs into your consciousness:

  • I am resourceful and can acquire resources whenever I need. I trust myself and I know I will be OK.
  • I only need a certain amount of resources to live comfortably—anything in excess doesn’t serve me or the world.

I know, this is radically different than what most of us have been taught our entire life. But don’t let your conditioning close you off to this alternative way of thinking. Just because some rappers and pop culture in general tell us we need to be balling and “rolling billies deep” doesn’t mean it’s true.

A 2010 study from Princeton shows that after $75,000/year, there is no correlation between money and happiness.

Remember: we live in the most prosperous time in history. Money is everywhere. Acquiring it is not rocket science, and we don’t need to be multi-millionaires to be safe or happy.

Exercise: Figure out how much money you need to live a beautiful life, and make that your target. If you simply aim for “more,” you’ll be stuck on the hamster wheel that will compromise your happiness and lead you to accumulate more than your fair share, thus unbalancing the global system.

Principle #2: Upgrading from Tribalism to Inclusiveness

One of the things Donald Trump did masterfully during his electoral campaign was to create an “Us Versus Them” mentality. He played on our evolutionary fears, and reinforced the idea that “these people are out to get us!” (so let’s build a wall!)

The problem is, tribalism keeps us in a state of fear, puts us at odds with each other, and promotes conflict at the individual and global level.

It’s a very low level of consciousness, one that was appropriate 10,000 years ago but is now outdated. As we’ve seen with Principle #1, the world is different now than it was before: There is enough for everyone. We don’t need to aggressively compete against each other anymore.

Instead, our best strategy for a happy and productive life is the opposite: collaboration.

And as such, one of the most helpful beliefs you can install in your consciousness is:

Everyone is on my team. We’re all in this together.

This belief is incredibly powerful. Just writing it, I feel my nervous system relax and my mind open to bigger possibilities.

Now you might be thinking, “Well that’s a nice philosophy but that’s not how it works in reality.”

Let me tell you this: I’ve been actively employing this philosophy every day for the last two years, and it does work. Here’s why: As we know from quantum physics and the Double-Slit experiment, the expectation of the observer directly affects the behaviour of the observed. In simpler terms, this means that if you go through life expecting people to be selfish, mean, and dangerous, you’re drastically increasing the chances you will experience that. Conversely, if you expect people to be kind, generous, and friendly, you’re much more likely to bring out the best in them, and consistently have positive experiences with others.

But don’t take my word for it; try it and see for yourself.

Exercise: next time you leave home, set the intention to interact with the world as if “everyone is on my team.” Smile to people. Say hi to them. Assume friendship. Then, notice what happens…

Principle #3: Upgrading From Stoicism to Emotional Fluency

To be a powerful man and an influential leader, we need a tremendous amount of inner strength. Stoicism is one way to get there.

But there’s a big downside to this approach: By disassociating with our emotions, we reduce our existence to a cognitive experience that lacks depth, beauty, and aliveness.

I don’t know about you, but that’s not a deal I’m willing to make. Especially when there’s a better way: emotional fluency.

While stoicism produces strength through the suppression of emotions, emotional fluency strengthens us through the ability to use them as positive fuel.

Emotions can only impair us if we’re incapable of dealing with them in a mature way; if we let them control us and throw us off. With emotional fluency, we are able to feel our emotions, harness their energy, and intentionally use them for good.

Feeling fear? Use it to work harder and sharpen your senses.

Feeling sadness? Use it to soften your heart and connect more deeply with others.

Feeling anger? Use it as a signal that something is off and that changes are needed.

By doing so, you will become a much more effective individual and you develop much more compassion towards others.

Additionally, when you allow yourself to feel the unpleasant emotions, you’ll feel the pleasant ones more strongly: joy, love, bliss, and compassion will be amplified.

Exercise: Next time you feel a strong emotion arise, pause. Resist the urge to suppress it or to numb yourself. Stay present with it, and get curious: Why is it there? What’s it telling you? And most importantly, how can you use it for positive action?

Principle #4: Upgrading from Capitalism to Conscious Capitalism

As I stated earlier, capitalism has a lot of positive aspects to it. A free-market economy provides us with an incomparable access to goods and services, and rewards hard work, initiative. and value-creation.

But let’s be honest, just like the old definition of “a successful man” had upsides but was severely incomplete, so is the capitalist system.

Thankfully, we don’t need to completely overhaul the system. I’m not suggesting we switch to communism or any radical system. Rather, we need to upgrade the current system. Enter Conscious Capitalism.


Here’s an overview of this approach:
While making money is essential for the vitality and sustainability of a business, it is not the only or even the most important reason a business exists. Conscious businesses focus on their purpose beyond profit. By focusing on its deeper purpose, a conscious business inspires, engages, and energizes its stakeholders.

In other words, we need to approach our career and business within a larger context: Making money is critical, and doing it in a way that benefits everyone involved is equally important.

To make this more concrete, here are two contrasting examples:

  1. Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. In this venture, the sole aim is to maximize profit. To do so, they get customers to spend as much money as possible at the casino (even if it’s detrimental people’s health, well-being, and sanity). Meanwhile, they pay employees and suppliers as little as possible to keep expenses down. None of the profits are redistributed in the community.
  2. Toms Shoes. In this venture, profit is only one of many aims. Every time you buy a pair of shoes, Toms donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. Their model is elegant and effective: Create a great product, sell it at a fair price, redistribute some of the profits to those who need it most, and make sure that everyone who’s involved in the process (employees, customers, suppliers) are generously rewarded for their effort.

According to traditional capitalism, Toms Shoes is throwing money away. But using a greater lens, they’re doing better business.

Moving forward, I invite you to expand your own lens: Don’t settle for work that pays you well but doesn’t serve a greater purpose. Think of all the people who are connected with your business. And create an ecosystem that uplifts every single person.

Exercise: Challenge yourself to think broader. How can you create more value for society through your work? How can you aim not to maximize profit but rather maximize utility for all?

The Higher Road is the Better Road

I started this article with a confession, and I’ll end it with another one: Walking this path is not easy.

Every day there are countless temptations to take the path of least resistance, to conform, and to revert back to the old model.

Practicing sufficiency requires superb discipline and commitment.

Practicing inclusiveness requires incredible acceptance and open-mindedness.

Practicing emotional fluency requires immense humility and tolerance for discomfort.

Practicing conscious capitalism requires exceptional generosity and selflessness.

It’s not easy. But it’s so immensely worth it. For yourself, those you love, and the world we live in. If you’ve read this far, I know there’s a calling in your soul to step up. So let’s do it, together.


Day after day, week after week, let us strive for higher ideals with a strong conviction that it’s worth it, and that our love, courage, and strength will inspire millions to follow suit. This, my friend, is how we change the world. One person at a time. Starting with ourselves.

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Consciousness

Can We Expect Peace Between Nations When Our Most Basic Relationships Fail?

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To say that I’m tired of hearing about politics is an understatement. I’ve pondered wearing earplugs to muffle the pundits. I’ve considered using Google glasses to program “Trump” and “Democrats” and “Republicans” out of my visual spectrum.

Perhaps there’s one issue that must come before politics…

It’s marriage.

Our romantic relationships are the basic unit of civilization. Men and women have children and build families, which make up neighbourhoods, communities, cities, states, and nations. Basic logic, right?

And it takes civilized people to make a civilization. So how can we expect to have peaceful nations when our most basic relationships are downright crude? We have missions to Mars and particle colliders that are rumoured to open portals to new dimensions. But, when it comes to love… we’re dragging our knuckles on a flat Earth.

Our version of love is a cycle of insecurity

We can’t stand to be alone. But rather than learning to love our lives and find meaning alone, we place impossible standards for fulfillment on our lovers. We get a little security, and a lot of pleasure. But when the chemicals wear off, we’re left with the truth: We don’t know anything about our lovers.

And when we do get to know each other, we hate what we find. Then we split. But each split tears a thread in the fabric of our society, because family is our foundation.

We can thrust ourselves into heady political conversations, and pretend that our red (or blue) rage is going to build a better world. But those political solutions aren’t addressing the root cause of our pain. We just need to fix how we love first.

Foundations of love

Foundations are, well, foundational to success. So we pave them for our houses, we practice scales before learning a difficult piece of music, and we learn the fundamentals of math before going on to algebra and calculus. We know that we need a strong foundation for successful relationships, too. But who actually takes the time to build one?

Loving responsibly is hard. It seems outdated or religiously nonsensical by today’s standards (getting to know someone inside and out before you take them to bed?), but if you don’t have a strong foundation, you’ve got a house of cards. Just like every one of my previous relationships.

From age 12 I trained myself to objectify women by watching porn. And until my early twenties, I was more concerned about my next sexual fix than my career. I hooked up with girlfriends not because I wanted to love them with all my heart, but because they were my key to security and satisfaction — which I got, for a time. But the net result was an increasingly lonely, unfulfilled, and depressed version of me.

By the end of my last relationship, I seriously considered taking my own life. What was I doing wrong? After picking up reflective habits like journaling and meditation, I figured it out.

I wasn’t fulfilled alone. I was bored alone. And I was unsuccessful alone. But in my mind, relationships were magical things that would wash all the bad stuff away and make me happy — kind of like a drug. In reality, for each desire that I lacked on my own, like joy, or security, I was strangling my relationships with conditions.

I’d “love” a girl until I was no longer joyful with her, or until she bored me. Then, for each condition that she failed to meet — no one can be perfect 100% of the time — I withdrew my love from her, bit by bit. The withdrawals happened on her side, too.

By the end of my relationships, whether they were six-month flings or two-year engagements, the end was predictably uncivil. We abused each other with our language. We cheated on each other, and betrayed each other’s trust. We blamed each other on and on for what the other had failed to do. Almost sounds like our relationships with other countries…

But the real failure was in choosing each other as romantic partners. It was in pursuing love without getting to know each other’s values and character traits first — before we built a foundation. We gambled on placing our faith in each other. And, like most people, we lost. Big time.

Rather than castrating myself, or settling for an endless string of heartaches — somebody shoot me — I worked on the foundation of my next relationship. I worked on me.

I learned to lean into my insecurity

Instead of running for another girl when I got lonely, I leaned into my insecurity and learned more about me. I developed a prayer life and a relationship with God. And I stuck to my new habits of journaling and meditation.

Through mindfulness, I channeled my sexual desire into my goals and self improvement. I felt the urge to ogle gorgeous women, of course, and at 27, their beauty moves me now more than ever. But I trained myself to move in a positive direction, to express healthy emotions at a woman’s beauty — like gratitude, inspiration, and awe — instead of imagining how she could please me.

Then I took it a step further.

I disciplined myself to think of a woman’s future husband. Would he respect me for the way I was thinking about her? And then I’d think of my future wife. If I couldn’t expect myself to view other wives with dignity and respect, how could I expect that of other men in looking at mine?

In my new way of thinking, I shed my selfish ways and became a man — and a neighbour, and a lover. A year into the habit I became independent for the first time in my life. I discovered my writing career and found success in it. And I became a role model for other people.

My dramatic life change happened because I figured out how to harness my sexual desire in an uplifting way. And in learning how to love civilly, I became a functioning part of civilization. *But people still call me out for not voting…

How you can love civilly

The way we think about each other determines how we act: civil, or uncivil. So you’ve got to train yourself to think respectful and positive thoughts — especially when it comes to beautiful men and women.

No matter how much we hope, the magical love chemicals can’t erase reality: We either love each other with respect, or we don’t. And if we don’t, our relationships will degrade, and our families will degrade. And as our broken relationships pick up steam down the social gradient, our communities degrade, and our cities degrade. And if the cycle of uncivil romance continues, states and nations will degrade as well. It’s basic logic.

So, you can talk about what these morons in office are doing to feel important and keep you occupied… or you can do something that actually makes a difference. You can learn to love like a human-fucking-being. Pardon my crude language.

Learn to love for the long term. Build faith in yourself. Quit porn and casual sex. Become so joyful and inspired by your own life that you couldn’t imagine expecting anyone else to be responsible for your happiness. Channel your sexual desire into your highest self. Use those urges to remind yourself of the things you haven’t done yet to become the person you want to be. Direct that energy into a future you would admire, and a person you’d be proud of.

And when you’ve changed the way you live and think, you’ll change the way you love. You’ll love civilly.

By your example, you’ll inspire others to take the harder path and to love civilly themselves. And when enough people do that… I won’t ever have to hear another political pundit for as long as I shall live. And I’ll thank you.

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Consciousness

Are You Sure You Want To Cancel 2020?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Many people have been wanting to cancel 2020 given all of the challenges that have arisen this year, but are these challenges not what we need to wake up?

  • Reflect On:

    Is humanity living in a way we are truly capable of? Are we really going to change and create a world where we can thrive if we all remain in 'normal' with our heads down just getting by? Perhaps we need a shake up!

A massive evolution in the way we think and live is long overdue, and now the environment is perfectly set for it to happen. Many call this process ‘raising collective consciousness.’ It’s no secret, 2020 has been a intense year, and you may have noticed that many are creating memes calling for the cancellation of 2020. This comes from the idea of ‘cancel culture’ which is an ideology whereby anything we don’t like, even if it’s only some of us, has to be shamed into cancellation as opposed to dealing with what it truly says about us and why we’re triggered by it. But more on this in a moment.

Deep down I imagine you feel it. What we are doing on a day-to-day basis in our lives feels limiting and it feels like we are capable of much more. This feeling comes from an innate desire within the deepest aspect of who we are, our soul, to continually evolve and expand as a being. It’s almost as if we begin to feel uncomfortable when we become stagnant and stop evolving or growing.

Right now, our current way of living societally and our current mass unconsciousness is causing us to push away that deep desire. We do this because we have become so identified with thought, that if a desire to shift or change comes up, and we cannot rationalize nor see how we can change, and in turn, we push that desire away to hold onto what we have grown comfortable with.

Thus, intensity and chaos have ensued in our world in an attempt to wake us up. Perhaps it’s time to embrace this desire for change. Do we really want our world to simply go back to normal? Was normal truly allowing us to thrive?

Ridding 2020?

A lot of people have been sharing the idea that we want to get rid of or cancel 2020 because it has been such a ‘bad year.’ I understand what train of thought can lead here, and I understand what way of being can lead here, but regardless, I feel it’s an important time to embrace what’s going on and ask big questions about what we’re doing as a collective – living life so disconnected from anything that deeply resonates with us. What we call ‘chaos’ has always been a potent tool for evolution, only, we often get in the way of that evolution by remaining asleep to what’s really going on around us, and continually pushing away that knowing that we can create meaningful change.

Most of what is rising to the surface right now, in terms of truths regarding current events, are all realities that people have been telling others about for years – and yet most of us just went on our merry way, heads down, living life as if none of it was happening. For example, elite child sex trafficking is one collective trauma being faced right now by many, and every day I hear of more and more people facing this reality, unsure of what to do about it as they feel despair. I cannot blame anyone for wanting to hide from this information. Life can be tough and very demanding simply to get by, so questioning our reality and why it is the way it is may not be at the top of our priority list. It may feel easier to just go on with our lives as if it’s not real, continually voting, putting these ‘corrupt’ individuals in power and accepting life as it is.

But if life is providing experiences that give us a chance to evolve beyond this old paradigm, is it perhaps time we listen? Can we truly just keep our heads down as we watch our collective uncomfort rise and mental health decline as our world no longer resonates with our being?

Just because the truth makes us uncomfortable, doesn’t mean we don’t need to address it, it just means we are avoiding it, and if we continue to choose not to look, it will ‘blow up in our face’ – just as it is right now.

May years ago people would ask me ‘Joe, do you think people will one day know about all that is going on behind the scenes?’ I said yes, there are collective truths and traumas people will HAVE to face, there is no avoiding it. This is why so many people are doing their inner work and becoming helpful members of the global community who will be able to help others through their emotional upheavals when more of this truth continues to come out, just like it is right now.

The human race has been oppressed for centuries. At the core, is the suppression of human consciousness. The less we know who we truly are and what we are truly capable of, the more we can be coddled and controlled into living lives that serve a few. The reality of this is coming to the surface.

So should we cancel 2020? Or embrace what it’s trying to bring up on a deeper level, and choose to focus on inner work, personal transformation ad collective transformation? This, as opposed to mentally and emotionally running around trying to say why everything is wrong and bad, will this truly bring about meaningful change?

We’re All Playing Roles

With that said, instead of looking at who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, I challenge others to think of it in terms of roles. What role are people playing for one another that allows us to question what’s going on, learn a lesson, and change? Do you want the world as it is today to continue in this manner? Do you feel we are capable of harmony and thrivability? What do you want the world to look like?

Viewing it in this manner will bring us to solutions as opposed to arguing about what the problems are from our political point of view. Staying within the paradigm of our current world, where we create sides, argue, and remain in a political landscape, will always create more separation and will limit our potential, won’t it? It’s time for a new perspective, a new way of looking at things, and in order for that to happen we must come to terms with what not paying attention has created in our reality.

When we live in this manner, are we living life fully? Or are we just getting by? Are we caught up in the future or the past, trying to live in those states? Or are we fully living now? Are we ready to move from a state of being where we are identified with our thoughts and ego constantly, and move to a state where we are truly who we are, our awareness, living fully?

This is what this transition is about. This is what 2020 is helping to bring forth: the necessary events and revelations that push us deeply to question our lives and society. Start dreaming again, start thinking outside the box. Whatever world you choose to plug into is the one we will actively create. If you feel humanity is capable of something different, or better, beyond just the changing of a president, then now is the time to truly put your intention and action into that.

It’s a potent time for change. Perhaps we don’t want to wish normal back into existence?

Explore this process more deeply here.

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Aquarius: Erratic Progression

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We are having a Full Moon in Aquarius on August 3rd/4th, it will appear the fullest on night of the 2nd in Western North America. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began with a New Moon in Cancer on July 20th/21st, as some of the themes mentioned in that article are still in effect.

The energies of a Full Moon are strongest in the days surrounding it yet its astrological configurations also play a part over the following two weeks. You may start to see its effects slowly build up after the New Moon prior to it.

Full Moons are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Aquarius and the Sun in Leo. It can play out as either a conflict, an integration, or some sort of dynamic playing out between the energies of both signs. The Moon reflects the expression of feeling and emotion while the Sun reflects the expression of ego and conscious self.

We may feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Aquarius side and others expressing the Leo side. In some cases, Full Moons can also reflect/trigger some sort of change or release.

Full Moon In Aquarius Opposite Sun In Leo

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

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

The Full Moon highlights and brings the energies of the opposing sign of Aquarius into this Leo backdrop. This is the sign of friends, networks, social dynamics, the group, the team, humanity, and being in the best interest of the collective. Associated with Uranus, it can be unconventional, idealistic, innovative, progressive, original, inventive, technological, reforming, and even revolutionary.

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

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

Full Moon Square Uranus, Sextile Chiron

The Sun and Moon are in a T-square aspect with Uranus bringing its energy strongly into the equation. This planet is associated with Aquarius and viewed as a modern ruler of this sign, therefore it emphasizes some of the Aquarian themes mentioned above.

This can also reflect an energy that is disruptive, unpredictable, erratic, nonconforming, and rebellious. It can be hard to focus and more prone to sudden changes, accidents, loss, or separations. However, it can also reflect liberation, breakthroughs, excitement, and is a good time to shake things up and try new approaches to things.

This Full Moon is in a supportive sextile with Chiron which shares unorthodox and innovative qualities with Uranus. Chiron is also about bringing healing and wholeness to a situation and is associated with personal growth. It brings a potential for integration, learning, problem solving, finding solutions, purpose, and the elevation of consciousness.

Full Moon Sextile Mars, Squaring Jupiter & Pluto During Pre-Retrograde Shadow

The Sun-Moon opposition is in a harmonious aspect with Mars which can bring an active, asserting, energetic, sexual, or even a competitive or fighting energy. Mars is also in its own sign of Aries as it slows down to go retrograde on September 9th/10th. We will be experiencing a period of adjustments over the coming months in how we apply Mars in certain areas of our lives depending on our personal birth charts. Some of the things that are happening this month, leading up to it, will contribute to that process.

At the time of this Full Moon, Mars is also in a tight square with Jupiter which has been building up in the days prior. It also moves towards a square with Pluto over the following two weeks. We may overextend ourselves during this time or do things in an excessive, overconfident, compulsive or obsessive way.

Conflicts around beliefs, perspectives, hidden matters, or abuse can also arise. As we get closer to mid-August the energy becomes more intense with an increased potential of power struggles. This aspect can trigger passion and is good for strategic actions. All of these factors mentioned in this section are cranking up Mars energy overall. I will be writing a separate article on the upcoming retrograde as we get closer to it, join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.

Mercury & Venus In Hard Aspects With Saturn, Venus Conjunct North Node

Mercury is in a tight opposition with Saturn. This can reflect thoughts or conversations that are cautious, hesitant, pessimistic, or limiting. We may experience delays or obstacles around commuting or communications with others.  The need to be realistic around certain issues may also come up.

Like Mercury, Venus has social qualities and is also in a hard aspect with Saturn, this one being a frustrating quincunx. It can be hard to integrate or juggle Saturnian areas of responsibilities, commitments, boundaries, discipline, and structures with Venus areas of friendships, love, pleasures, sensuality, values, money, attraction, or other things that are aesthetic related. We may need to be extra adaptable or make adjustments.

Venus is also moving towards a conjunction with the Lunar North Node in Gemini in the days following this Full Moon. New relations, or developments around past relations, could have a fated quality that can bring growth and help us to move forward in a better or constructive way.  Our perception or approach to Venus ruled areas (mentioned in above paragraph) may evolve in a helpful manner.

Things To Consider

In what areas of your life should you try new approaches? What can you do to shake things up? What are some potential solutions for issues you are facing? How can you use your creativity in an innovative way? What are your relations with others pushing you towards? How can you be more of a team player? How can you better balance needs of self with the needs of the group?   What parts of your life are calling for originality and authenticity?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up at this Full Moon, it is best to do so anytime over the two weeks following when it is waning. The exact moment of this Full Moon is on August 3rd at 3:59pm Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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