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Four Simple Hacks That Can Help Liberate Anyone From Experiencing Stress

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This is an excerpt of a workshop coordinated by VÉRONIQUE BRASSELET and EMMA MILESI during the Heartfulness days at the Cité Internationale in Lyon in January 2016.

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The Heart’s Simplicity Reduces Stress

Stress is everywhere in our daily lives. When it is positive (eustress), it is considered beneficial; when it is negative (distress), it inhibits our potential and prevents us from accomplishing our objectives.

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What is stress?

Stress is something that causes a state of strain or tension.

What hides behind stress?

Our fears. Fear is part of daily life, and it is present everywhere. According to its intensity, stress will be more or less severe, uncomfortable, challenging, or crippling.

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Various sources of stress

1. Daily worries — for example, missing the bus and arriving late, or being unable to finish all that was planned for the day.

2. Undergoing fear — for example, speaking in public, being interviewed for a job, not reaching our parents’ expectations, or required job performance.

3. Undergoing binding, sometimes crippling fear — for example, reliving an old wound that made us suffer. Examples include not being loved, being abandoned, failing, hurting others, or the fear of being judged by others.

4. The growing pace of life — for example, fear of anything new, of change, or of not adapting.

Fear/Stress is a film we create for ourselves, a mental scenario, which confines us to a narrow vision excluding reality. Our interpretation distorts reality into false beliefs about ourselves and others.

Stress, in particular distress, reveals that something is not quite right, and allows us to question ourselves: “What is causing me to feel stressed or frightened?”

Various Reactions Under Stress

Our survival instinct forces us to act in one of three ways: defend ourselves, flee, or stay dumbstruck on the spot!

Stress acts specifically at different levels

1. The Brain

spiritual-self-beingStress specifically targets the brain areas implicated in coordinating cognition and emotions:

a) The cognitive functions coordinated by the prefrontal cortex, such as language, memory, and the ability to reason, plan, and organize.

b) Adaptability — calmness, problem solving, and decision-making.

c) Emotions, such as aggression, fear, and pleasure, controlled by the limbic system.

According to the degree of stress, we more or less lose these faculties, and this can lead to lack of spontaneity, to depression, and even to psychomotor retardation.

The limbic system is the seat of our impulses, fears, and angers. It emotionally colours any information received and grades it as agreeable or disagreeable. Its main function is survival by suitable adaptation to the social environment. Under stress, it focuses on survival — fight or flight — and deprives us from thinking clearly, e.g. blank page syndrome.

Consequently, with stress (distress), we lose our capacity for reflection, and emotions take over. Take, for example, a job interview; some will have clammy hands while others will not turn up, the stress being too unbearable.

How Does the Brain Treat Information?

Imagine your brain as a multi-storey house.

First of all, information goes to the reptilian brain, the instinctive brain. If the body is in survival mode, as when you are hungry, for instance, the information will be slowed down, even completely blocked if the hunger is severe. If body survival is not threatened, the information moves to the second storey into the limbic system, the emotional brain.

Here the information is classified as agreeable or disagreeable. If it is agreeable, it passes through to the cortex and then you may have an answer to your mathematics problem! If it is considered disagreeable, failure is guaranteed! In the worst of cases, the limbic system will not allow the information to pass to the cortex.

How does the limbic system assess information? Like an arbitrator, it adds up the plusses and minuses.

For each disagreeable thought it allocates a minus, and for each agreeable thought it allocates a plus. Say you have a math problem. If you say, “I am hopeless at math,” or “This teacher is poor,” or “My family has never been good at math,” it is a minus. If, on the other hand, you are feeling positive, then you create a plus.

To continue the metaphor of the multi-storey house, let’s say there is a door to go from the limbic system to the cortex. The plusses try to open the door, while the minuses try to shut it. The team that has the most wins.

What does a team coach do before a football match? He talks positively to the players, saying, “We will win,” and “We are the best,” so the information passes directly to the cortex and the team can play at its best level.

In fact, when information is considered agreeable or very agreeable by the limbic system, the limbic system passes it to the cortex, and then the cortex deals with it as a priority.

2. The Hormones

The hormones adrenaline and noradrenalin are released in stressful situations, and they accelerate our heart rhythm and breathing to allow the organs linked to movement to increase their functions and thus to support defence or escape.

3. Behaviour and Emotions

Stress leads to:

  • Dependency, jealousy, withdrawal, and even submission,
  • Withdrawal due to fear of showing weaknesses and not meeting expectations
  • Difficulty in saying no, tendency to avoid conflicts,
  • Hindrance of all action and relations,
  • Withdrawal due to sadness and despondency,
  • Compensation, such as eating disorders, drinking, and smoking.

Activity: How to Liberate Stress in Four Stages

spiritual-self-beingAsk a friend to guide you through the steps.

Step 1: Observe it

Put yourself at ease, breathe calmly, and close your eyes. Observe any current stress that you feel.

Identify the emotions that take place inside you when you are aware of that stress.

Identify the physical symptoms that appear, such as sweating, breathing, clammy hands, etc.

Identify how you react to this stress: Do you run away, stand up to it, or become inert?

Note the stress level on a scale from 1 to 10.

Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, and breathe out through your mouth.

Step 2: Feel it

Recognize it, expressing inwardly, “I feel stressed because…”

Inhale slowly through your nose, and exhale through your mouth.

Feel this stress as deeply as possible, so as to integrate it.

Feel the emotions that surface. We are often afraid to feel these emotions because we think they are bad and we will become like that.

Inhale slowly through your nose, and exhale through your mouth.

Step 3: Accept it

Welcome your stress without judging and with benevolence, as it is part of you.

Inhale slowly through your nose, and exhale through your mouth.

Accept it. What feelings occur when you do? What physical changes do you observe?

Welcome this new sensation, explore it, appreciate it, amplify it while breathing naturally, let it spread throughout your body, and feel the energy circulating.

Step 4: Integrate it

Do you feel that something has changed or loosened?

Be ready to listen to a new understanding.

Bring your attention again to the same stress: How do you feel now with it? If there is no improvement, wait some time and if necessary, try again.

Note the stress level that you feel now on a scale of 1 to 10.

Thank yourself that you took care of yourself.

When we take the time to welcome what happens inside us and acknowledge it, we digest it better. We give ourselves permission to live in the present. Then, slowly, we will accept it, integrate it, and then transcend it.

This is our personal work.

When we cut ourselves off from our feelings, we try to stand back and intellectualize, and then our emotions take over. To free ourselves from our stresses is a proof of maturity and wisdom.



Article and activity by VÉRONIQUE BRASSELET and EMMA MILESI

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Consciousness

New Moon In Capricorn: Power Struggles, Intensity & Renewal

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We are having a New Moon in Capricorn on January 13th throughout most of the world and on the night of the 12th in Central to Western North America. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned in this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This cycle will include a Full Moon in Leo on January 28th/29th.

Capricorn season began on the December 21st solstice, just over three weeks prior to this lunation, and will end on January 19th/20th when Aquarius season begins. However, this New Moon will carry some of the Capricorn energies into the earlier part of Aquarius season.

This is a good period of working with and co-creating with the energies of this sign. Capricorn is associated with structure, ambitions, achieving goals, mastery, business, career, social status, responsibilities, duty, authority, governance, and hard work. It is cautious, worldly, conservative, and pragmatic. As an Earth sign, it has the qualities of practicality, reliability, solidity and being grounded. This element is very much orientated around the physical and material world. Negatively, Capricorn energy can be too serious, cynical, cold, controlling, and unrelenting.

New Moon Conjunct Pluto

This New Moon is aligned with Pluto which is also in Capricorn. This energy can be strong willed, focused, calculated, strategic, secretive, transformational, probing, deep, regenerating, sexual, cleansing, purging, and evolutionary. It can also be destructive, heavy, controlling, intense, subversive, obsessive, compulsive, jealous, power seeking, authoritarian, abusive, violent, manipulative, and dark.

Pluto rules investments, taboos, transmutation, hidden matters, repressed feelings, shadows, psychoanalysis, and the underworld. It is associated with power struggles, conspiracies, viruses, death, fears as well as fearlessness. This Plutonian energy will be strongly felt during the New Moon and in the two days following it, but it will still affect the entire Lunar Cycle.

Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008 and will be there until 2024. Collectively, this is a period of major changes affecting government, financial structures, and business in a big way. This has been more obvious in recent years as Saturn, the Lunar South Node, and Jupiter have all joined Pluto in the same sign. This will continue to be a big theme over the remaining years of Pluto in Capricorn and beyond. We also recently had a Great Conjunction in Aquarius on December 21st which also reflects changes affecting society in a big way over a long period.

This Lunar Cycle can really trigger the collective impact of this energy especially considering the current landscape. To learn more about all of this, I recommend reading my Pluto in Capricorn article from 2017 here and my more recent Great Conjunction article here.

Mars Conjunct Uranus In Taurus Square Jupiter & Saturn in Aquarius

The action oriented Mars recently changed signs into Taurus on January 6th/7th and has since been approaching Uranus, the planet of surprises and rebellion, in the same sign. They are both applying squares to Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius which are still in close proximity with each other.

During this New Moon, from January 12th-14th, Mars is in a square with Saturn which is the first exact aspect made between these four planets. Our actions can be faced with obstacles, delays, resistance, or limitations. Conflicts around boundaries or restrictions can play out. Doing tasks may require extra patience and caution.

As this is finishing, Jupiter will be going into an exact square with Uranus from January 14th to the 19th. This energy can be freedom seeking, rebellious, scattered, idealistic, or even risk taking. It could be good for exploring, learning, education, or expansiveness around things that are new to us, unconventional, technological, scientific, progressive, or metaphysical.

Mars then makes its exact conjunction with Uranus from the 19th to the 21st while it is finishing its square Jupiter. It can really crank up the energies mentioned above and this energy can also be impulsive, erratic, experimental, disruptive, surprising, irritable, and quick tempered.

From the 21st until the 24th, Mars will then be in exact square with Jupiter. We may feel like doing things in a big way but it’s important to be cautious around what we do because we can more easily apply ourselves in a way that is overextending, overestimating, or overlooking of important things. Conflicts around beliefs, opinions, judgements, and principles can play out.

During the later part of this period, the Sun will be in a conjunction with Saturn from the 23rd to 24th. This can have a serious tone, and perhaps the need to be realistic, cautious, orderly, disciplined, committed, or responsible, may come up. Following this, the Sun will be making aspects to Jupiter, Uranus, and Mars in the last week of January and into the first few days of February which can trigger some of the energies mentioned earlier in this section.

The combination of all of these planets in close proximity to aspects with each other throughout January can be good for applying ourselves in new ways that are congruent with changes that are happening personally or collectively. However, it can also be a time of anger, impulsiveness, and rebelliousness towards obstacles, restrictions, opinions, beliefs, authority figures, as well as other recent or upcoming developments, circumstances, or changes.

Venus Square Chiron &  Trine Uranus, Mercury Entering pre-Retrograde Shadow

Venus in Capricorn is in a square with Chiron in Aries at the time of this New Moon and in the day leading up to it.  This can bring up wounds, blockages, negative patterns, or can reflect themes around healing, holistic perception, or perhaps solutions when it comes to love, our social life, friends, pleasures, values, or monetary issues.

Venus is also in a trine with Uranus in Taurus which is strongest in the day and half following this New Moon. It can bring a new, stimulating, unusual, exciting, inspiring, liberating, unexpected, or unique energy around our relations with others.  This can also reflect surprises, positive changes, or freeing type of developments around financial matters. In some cases it can be good for exploring new ways of making money that can be innovative, online, metaphysical, or technologically oriented.

On January 15th, Mercury in Aquarius will be entering the shadow period of its retrograde that will be beginning on January 30th/31st and last until February 20th/21st. It can increasingly start to feel like it’s retrograde during these weeks leading up to it as delays, technological/mechanical problems, mistakes, miscommunications, misunderstandings, or other complications can be more probable than in the previous six weeks.

Certain developments, interactions, connections, or issues that occur at this time can be connected to how this retrograde will affect us in February through its adjusting and perceptive changing qualities. There can be something we are not seeing clearly that needs to unfold throughout the upcoming retrograde and post-retrograde process. I will be writing a separate article on this, you can join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

What changes do you need to make when it comes to your ambitions, career, structures, or business matters? What can you do to make your profession more congruent with a changing world? What are you fighting for and what can you do to be more calculated, effective, and persuasive? What kind of strategies can you employ to help you achieve your goals? Do you need to be more innovative when it comes to making money? What area of your life is calling for some sort of purging, cleansing, empowerment, and/or transformation?

These are just some examples of what to consider or focus your intentions on at this time. However, it is good to reflect on anything else that is coming up for you. It is generally best to make any intentions within the first 24 hours following a New Moon. The exact moment it will occur is 5:00am Universal Time on January 13th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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

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Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Consciousness

Mermaids: Ancient Mythology or Actual Reality?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Mermaids have been written about by several cultures across multiple time periods, from Babylon till now. There have even been claims of recent sightings. With all of the lore that exists, it's not hard to imagine these beings could be real.

  • Reflect On:

    How many examples exist where ancient knowledge has turned into ancient fact? How much do we really know about our true suppressed history? Could there be a whole world we don't know about our there?

Photo credit: Ramakien Murals depicting the hero Hanuman meeting the mermaid Suvannamaccha, Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok, Thailand, 1831.

Ancient lore is fascinating to say the least, especially if you dive into mythology. What’s always attractive about mythology is that there are good reasons to believe that a lot of it isn’t actually mythological, but real in some cases.

We see this in many examples, Plato’s (among others before and after him) description of Atlantis could be one, especially when you tie in all of the evidence that’s emerged of its existence. Another example could be people with ‘superhuman’ abilities, like clairvoyance, telepathy, and psychokinesis that we find in a lot of Buddhist and other ancient Eastern texts.

Today, there are many documents and examples of people who demonstrate these types of  abilities. Another great example is Nikola Tesla, who derived his ideas of “free energy” and electrical generators from ancient Vedic concepts.  Let’s not forget about modern day quantum physics and neuroscience and their close correlation with ancient eastern philosophy and buddhism.

There are many topics to choose from, and it seems that we always place ideas and concepts that don’t fit within the frame of  accepted reality into the  ‘mythological’ category. This is obviously quite understandable, but remember that those who actually spoke about these creatures and studied the lore are certain some of these so-called mythological concepts were completely real. Why is that so?

Perhaps they were? I don’t think we should completely rule out the possibility. Mermaids are a great example, and one of many.

Mermaids

We see images everywhere today, Starbucks even uses the two-tailed mermaid as their logo. According to Greek mythology, mermaids, also known as sirens, were predatory in nature, masters in the art of seduction. They would seduce men at sea with songs and promises of sex, only to kill those who succumbed to their lure. But stories of their benevolence and malevolence differ.

One study in the Journal of Academic Study of Religion explains,

The mermaid blurs the boundary between woman and fish, femininity and carnality, land and sea, human and other. She is also held to be an astral entity in various metaphysical circles, in the mermaiding industry she is often marketed as an ambassador for marine preservation, and in the general pervasiveness of this character, competing with inhuman beings such as vampires, werewolves, and angels in the heavily mediated realm of contemporary culture, the mermaid represents an additional opportunity to invest in an other-than-human identity.

They are also depicted in ancient Vedic lore, the story of Suvannamaccha, for example, comes from the Asian versions of ancient Hindu mythology. They are not always depicted as luring, tricky beasts, some stories speak of them as protectors, falling in love, and more. They also tell of a history of capture, which isn’t surprising, reflecting a dark tendency of the human race in our current state of consciousness. It would be no surprise why these beings may not take to kindly to the race of men, and perhaps still don’t. After all, look what we’ve done to the oceans and continue to do. Look what we are doing to life on this planet…

Etheric Domain

According to one of the foremost authorities on the subject, Manly P. Hall (from his book, The Secret Teachings of All Ages), the Undines, as they were also known, were water elementals, that function “in the invisible, spiritual essence called humid (or liquid) ether.

This is particularly interesting because that’s another thing that’s been spoken of in ancient “mythology” for so long, but now physics is showing it to be true. Here’s a great quote that illustrates that:

“And they allowed Apollonius to ask questions; and he asked them of what they thought the cosmos was composed; but they replied; “Of elements.” “Are there then four?” he asked. “Not four,” said Larchas,  “but five.” “And how can there be a fifth,” said Apollonius, “alongside of water and air and earth and fire?” “There is the ether,” replied the other, “which we must regard as the stuff of which gods are made; for just as all mortal creatures inhale the wire, so do immortal and divine natures inhale the ether.” “Am I,” said Appollonius, “to regard the universe as a living creature?” “Yes,” said the other. – The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Philostratus, 220AD (source)

According to Nikola Tesla,

“All perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the akasha or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never-ending cycles all things and phenomena.”– Nikola Tesla, Man’s Greatest Achievement, 1907

Other-Dimensional Visitation

This is why, in my opinion, it’s not hard at all believing that forms of life, invisible to our senses, also dwell in the ether and in realms we cannot perceive with our senses. Other beings would be nature spirits like fairies or gnomes who, according to the lore, can also appear in our ‘dimensional’ reality as well, on our frequency, if they choose to do so.

According to Hall, from The Secret Teachings of All Ages,

The Undines are able to control, to a great degree, the course and function of this fluid in Nature. Beauty seems to be the keynote of the water spirits. Wherever we find them pictured in art or sculpture, they abound in symmetry and grace. Controlling the water element–which has always been a feminine symbol–it is natural that the water spirits should most often be symbolized as female.

Hall writes about how there are many different groups of Undines; some live in waterfalls, others in fast-moving rivers or remote marshes, some in mountain lakes as well as in the ocean.

In describing them, the ancients agreed on certain salient features. In general, nearly all the Undines closely resemble human beings in appearance and size, though the ones inhabiting small streams and fountains were of correspondingly of lesser proportions. It was believed that these water spirits were occasionally capable of assuming the appearance of normal human beings and actually associating with men and women.

 He goes on to describe stories of these water spirits and their adoption by families. As far as the males, Hall does not dismiss their existence but writes that practically nothing is known about them. We do know of one, however, called Neptune. We also know of another.

The Babylonians worshipped a fish-tailed god named Oannes. John Ashton, author of Curious Creatures in Zoologyproposes that this is the first depiction of a merman. Also in ancient lore, the goddess Atargatis, chief goddess of northern Syria, was depicted as a fish-bodied human, supposedly constituting the first known representation of a mermaid.

He describes a group of Undines interestingly, and different from other mythology we see. Perhaps these ‘elementals’ differ from other creatures that are closer to our own frequency? Hall goes on to explain,

Their temperament is said to be vital, and to them has been given as their throne the western corner of creation. They are rather emotional beings, friendly to human life and fond of serving mankind. They are sometimes pictured riding on dolphins or other great fish and seem to have a special love of flowers and plants, which they serve almost as devotedly and intelligently as the gnomes. Ancient poets have said that the songs of the Undines were heard in the West Wind and that their lives were consecrated to the beautifying of the material earth.

It’s also noteworthy to mention that multiple apparent sightings have been recorded and spoken about in modern history as well, according to numerous eyewitnesses a few years ago, from a seaside shore town in Israel. They said it looked like a cross between a little girl and a dolphin, and only comes out at sunset. “People are telling us they are sure they have seen the mermaid and they are all independent of each other,” said Natti Zilberman, a local council spokesman, as she spoke to ABC News. It sparked so much controversy that the Mayor offered a million dollar reward for a photograph.

Perhaps there are many concepts of our reality that remain unknown to us? Always interesting to explore 🙂 There are many truths waiting to be discovered that would completely change our perception of not only our planet but also the nature of reality itself.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Who Are You Really? The Impactful Video That Could Change Your Life

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This short and sweet film reminds us of who we are at the core: the person we were before being made to believe that growing up meant giving up your creativity and your authenticity; the person we were before losing touch with nature and our true Self. We can get so caught up with the business of life that we forget the joy of it, and go about our days unconsciously, with no idea how much self-awareness we have lost. For some of us living in the corporate world, or doing any job we are unsatisfied with, we might not even realize we are living out our days on auto-pilot. Choices are presented to us and we make decisions automatically, robotically even, without putting much thought into the act — without putting much of ourselves into the choosing.

“What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.”

– unknown

So how do you find out who you really are and what you really want out of life? The answer is simple: Give yourself a day to be completely present.

Evaluate how you feel when you wake up, when you go to work, when you are at work, how you communicate with others, etc. What are you really feeling? If you feel complacent or disengaged, it might be time to reexamine your current position at work (or in life) so that you are sure you are getting the most out of what you are given, which sometimes might just go right over your head.

The beautiful thing about life is that it is ever-changing; it moves with or without us and we have a choice about whether to live actively or passively — to engage in everything life has to offer or to fall into the background of someone else’s life.

So what do you choose?

As a side note, we have a powerful course inside our membership area called CETV that helps to bring presence and self awareness to your everyday life through a simple set of tools. It’s called Profound Realization and you can check it out here.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” 

– Jim Rohn

So here it is: “I am Nature” by Alex Eslam, written by Die Rabauken.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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