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5 Core Components of the Human “Ego” We Should All Strive To Diminish, From Eckhart Tolle

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Ego: It’s something all of us have, yet most of us don’t really understand. According to Eckhart Tolle, who has written two of the most influential “spiritual” books of our time, “Most people are so completely identified with the voice in the head—the incessant stream of involuntary and compulsive thinking and the emotions that accompany it—that we may describe them as being possessed by their mind.”

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“As long as you are completely unaware of this,” he continues, “you take the thinker to be who you are. This is the egoic mind. We call it egoic because there is a sense of self, of I (ego), in every thought—every memory, every interpretation, opinion, viewpoint, reaction, emotion. This is unconscious, spiritually speaking.

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All quotes taken from A New Earth. 

He goes on to explain how our thoughts and thought patterns are conditioned by our past experiences, family life and upbringing, and overall environment that surrounds us.

“The central core of all your mind activity consists of certain repetitive and persistent thoughts, emotions, and reactive patterns that you identify with most strongly. This entity is the ego itself.”

The ego is full of thoughts and emotions with which each of us identify and which cause us to play certain roles in certain situations, without even being aware of it. And we have “collective identifications such as nationality, religion, race, social class, or political allegiance.”

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“It also contains personal identifications, not only with possessions, but also with opinions, external appearance, long-standing resentments, or concepts of yourself as better than or not as good as others, as a success or failure.”

He also describes how all our egos are essentially the same:

The content of the ego varies from person to person, but in every ego the same structure operates. In other words: Egos only differ on the surface. Deep down they are all the same. In what way are they the same? They live on identification and separation. When you live through the mind-made self comprised of thought and emotion that is the ego, the basis for your identity is precarious because thought and emotion are bey their very nature ephemeral, fleeting. So every ego is continuously struggling for survival, trying to protect and enlarge itself. To uphold the I-thought, it needs the opposite thought of “the other.” The others are most other when I see them as my enemies. At one end of the scale of this unconscious egoic pattern lies the egoic compulsive habit of faultfinding and complaining about others. Jesus referred to it when he said, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

5 Core Components of the Ego

Complaining and Resentment

What is complaining? A lot of the time it is a lack of gratitude and awareness. It’s a feeling that places us in the victim mentality, a feeling that ‘something has happened to me.’ This is the ‘I’ to which Tolle refers. Complaining is the result of your mind taking on certain beliefs about how things should be and then finding fault when they end up being something else. It’s, as Tolle points out, “a little story the mind makes up that you completely believe in.”

“When you are in the grip of such an ego, complaining, especially about other people, is habitual and, of course, unconscious, which means you don’t know what you are doing.”

Another part of this is blame, which often goes hand in hand with complaining. When you feel as if something has been “done to you” by someone else, you are completely engulfed in your ego. While this doesn’t apply to all situations, it does to most. Judging and complaining about another person often reflects ourselves and our inner state. Stating that “he is this” or “she is like that” is simply, again, a story your mind is making up based on various observations and experiences.

This happens all the time. Having thoughts about someone else in general indicates that your mind is making up a story, whether “good” or “bad.”

“Applying negative mental labels to people, either to their face or more commonly when you speak about them to others or even just think about them, is often part of this pattern. Name-calling is the crudest form of such labeling and of the ego’s need to be right and triumph over others: ‘jerk, bastard, bitch’—all definitive pronouncements that you can’t argue with.”

The ego will then gather with others, to confirm and encourage these views. We mask these tendencies by claiming they are normal, that when we are upset, we confide in others. But really, it’s just gathering with those we know will “support us” and agree with our viewpoints when we are upset.

“Resentment is the emotion that goes with complaining and the mental labeling of people and adds even more energy to the ego. Resentment means to feel bitter, indignant, aggrieved, or offended. You resent other people’s greed, their dishonesty, their lack of integrity, what they are doing, what they did in the past, what they said, what they failed to do, what they should or shouldn’t have done. The ego loves it. Instead of overlooking unconsciousness in others, you make it into their identity. Who is doing that? The unconsciousness in you, the ego. Sometimes the ‘fault’ that you perceive in another isn’t even there. It is a total misinterpretation, a projection by a mind conditioned to see enemies and to make itself right or superior. At other times, the fault may be there, but by focusing on it, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else, you amplify it. And what you react to in another, you strengthen in yourself.”

“Nonreaction to the ego in others is one of the most effective ways not only of going beyond ego in yourself but also of dissolving the collective human ego. But you can only be in a state of nonreaction if you can recognize someone’s behavior as coming from the ego, as being an expression of the collective human dysfunction. When you realize it’s not personal, there is no longer a compulsion to react as if it were. By not reacting to the ego, you will often be able to bring out the sanity in others, which is the unconditioned consciousness as opposed to the conditioned.”

Nonreaction, calm, and inner peace are key. This type of inner state, unless you’re a monk or other spiritual teacher, will also bring reaction from others within the “spiritual community.” Those who strive to diminish these aspects of the ego are constantly challenged by people like this. Egoic feelings of jealousy and disbelief will emerge, and you need to mitigate these through your non-reactionary state. They may also be in so much disbelief at your non-reactionary state that they simply believe you are “holding it in” or “building it up.”

“At times you may have to take practical steps to protect yourself from deeply unconscious people. This you can do without making them enemies. Your greatest protection, however, is being conscious. Somebody becomes an enemy if you personalize the unconsciousness that is the ego. Nonreaction is not weakness but strength. Another word for nonreaction is forgiveness. To forgive is to overlook, or rather to look through. You look through the ego to the sanity that is in every human being as his or her essence.”

Tolle does clarify that complaining is not to be confused with putting up with bad behaviour or quality. He uses the example of being served cold soup. You can tell your server nicely that your soup is cold and you would like it warmed up, which is different from complaining and making a statement such as, “How dare you serve me cold soup.”

The key to mitigating our complaining and resentment is to simply become aware of it and observe it. So many of us complain so regularly that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. It’s an unconscious habit that becomes a part of our everyday lives, so much so that people will even try to defend their right to complain.


“The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just as an old, conditioned mind-pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist. The old mind-pattern or mental habit may still survive and reoccur for a while because it has the momentum of thousands of years of collective human unconsciousness behind it, but every time it is recognized, it is weakened. “

Reactivity and Grievances

Reaction is one way for the ego to grow itself. We instantly react to a person or a situation in our lives that triggers and emotional response. In my experience, when you become aware of your reactivity and emotional response, those triggers begin to fade away. It’s not to say that we cannot feel these emotions, and take them on, but rather that we usually feel those emotions and let them take over more when we are unaware of our reaction. The next step is to, while feeling the emotional trigger — be it anger, hate or resentment — control your reaction and observe yourself from a distance. The more you do this, the easier it will become for you to not react from your emotional response. Furthermore, the more you practice this type of self-awareness, controlling your reaction will not only become easier, but the emotional response will diminish. You will no longer take on feelings of anger and frustration; it will be as if you have a protective shield around you, or a force field. Reaching this state brings you closer to diminishing this aspect of the ego.

Without observing yourself or becoming aware of these aspects, the cycle will just continue repeating itself. In your own life, and for collective humanity as a whole.

“There are many people who are always waiting for the next thing to react against, to feel annoyed or disturbed about, and it never takes long before they find it. ‘This is an outrage,’ they say. ‘How dare you …’ ‘I resent this.’ They are addicted to upset and anger as others are to a drug. Through reacting against this or that they assert and strengthen their feeling of self. A long-standing resentment is called a grievance. To carry grievances is to be in a permanent state of ‘against,’ and that is why grievances constitute a significant part of many people’s ego. Collective grievances can survive for centuries in the psyche of a nation or a tribe and fuel a never-ending cycle of violence. A grievance is a strong negative emotion connected to an event in the sometimes distant past that is being kept alive by compulsive thinking, by retelling the story in the head or out loud of ‘what someone did to me’ or ‘what someone did to us.’ “

This is negative emotional energy that can also impact other areas of your life, including your health, given what we know about the mind-body connection. 

Being Right, Making Wrong 

This is a great transition from complaining. As Tolle explains, “When you complain, by implication you are right and the person or situation you complain about or react against is wrong. There is nothing that strengthens the ego more than being right. Being right is identification with a mental position—a perspective, an opinion, a judgement, a story.”

Personally, I am very passionate about information about our world, more so because so much about what is happening on our planet isn’t really presented in mainstream media. When you come across cool facts, you want to share them with others. But when you share information with others, sometimes they are viewed as challenges, and people  cut you off or ignore you, or are triggered to share even more information because they want to show that “they know a lot too.” That’s their ego. If they are challenged by new information, or by your also having knowledge, factors associated with ego will step in, and it’s a great lesson if you can watch and be aware of your emotional trigger and reaction. If, for example, you were a child sharing facts with an adult, the adult would be encouraging, and listen with wonder and awe at the child’s enthusiasm. But if you change that child into an adult and share the same information, the adult, in most cases, does not see the enthusiasm and can in fact be blinded by their own desire to know more, or to be right.

“For you to be right, of course, you need someone else to be wrong, and so the ego loves to make wrong in order to be right. In other words: You need to make others wrong in order to get a stronger sense of you you are. Not only a person, but also a situation can be made wrong through complaining and reactivity, which always implies that ‘this should not be happening.’ Being right places you in a position of imagined moral superiority in relation to the person or situation that is being judged and found wanting. It is that sense of superiority the ego craves and through which it enhances itself.” 

In Defence of an Illusion

Tolle brings up a great point here. As I mentioned above with the child example, facts exist, and sometimes we want to share them. This doesn’t mean that they always come from a place or intention of “being right,” or the ego, but rather a place of genuine passion and curiosity.

“Facts undoubtedly exist. If you say: ‘Light travels faster than sound,’ and someone else says the opposite in the case, you are obviously right, and he is wrong. The simple observation that lightning precedes thunder could confirm this. So not only are you right, but you know you are right. Is there any ego involved in this? Possibly, but not necessarily. If you are simply stating what you know to be true, the ego is not involved at all, because there is no identification. Identification with what? With mind and a mental position. Such identification, however, can easily creep in. If you find yourself saying, ‘Believe me, I know’ or ‘Why do you never believe me’ then ego has already crept in. . . . A simple statement: ‘Light is faster than sound,’ although true, is not in the service of illusion, of ego. It has become contaminated with a false sense of ‘I’; it has become personalized, turned into a mental position. The ‘I’ Feels diminished or offended because somebody doesn’t believe what ‘I’ said.”

Working in alternative media, and being an avid researcher of the entire human experience, I know what this is like. I’ve experienced anger when I share information and people don’t me. Inside, I always knew that that reaction was unnecessary, and that the response “I” receive shouldn’t matter, because I am comfortable within my own knowing.

Tolle goes on to describe the problem of the “I am right and you are wrong” type of mentality, and all of the trouble it’s caused for the world. He describes it as one of the ways the ego fuels itself, stating that “making yourself right and others wrong is a mental dysfunction that perpetuates separation and conflict between human beings.”

Does this mean that there is no such thing as “right” or “wrong?” Not necessarily. You can remain in your truth, and the truth you perceive to be, without the need to push it on others, or defend your position. To each his own.

You can still share your own truth without the need to be right, or to “win” an argument. If you are sharing information to be right or to “win,” as opposed to simply sharing from your soul, from your passion, from your excitement to share information, then you’re engulfed in your ego and allowing it to grow.

The Ego Is Not Personal

“On a collective level, the mind-set ‘We are right and they are wrong’ is particularly deeply entrenched in those parts of the world where conflict between two nations, races, tribes, religions, or ideologies is long-standing, extreme, and endemic. Both sides of the conflict are equally identified with their own perspective, their own ‘story,’ that is to say, identified with thought. Both are equally incapable of seeing that another perspective, another story, may exist and also be valid. Israeli writer Y. Halevi speaks of the possibility of ‘accommodating a competing narrative,’ but in many parts of the world, people are not yet able or willing to do that. Both sides believe themselves to be in possession of the truth. Both regard themselves as victims and the ‘other’ as evil, and because they have conceptualized and thereby dehumanized the other as the enemy, they can kill and inflict all kinds of violence on the other, even on children, without feeling their humanity and suffering.”

This is a great point, and shows how at the micro level, in everyday life, the human ego is present, which is also reflective of the collective attitude of “us” against “them.” Whether this narrative is being upheld and encouraged purposefully to create more separation between people, to further elitist agendas, is a topic for another debate, however. But the point is, we are in control. If more people on the planet worked on diminishing aspects of the ego, we would see a collective transformation as well, and perhaps that’s exactly what we’re going through: a collective evolution.

“Greed, selfishness, exploitation, cruelty, and violence are still all-pervasive on this plant. When you don’t recognize them as individual and collective manifestations of an underlying dysfunction or mental illness, you fall into the error of personalizing them. You construct a conceptual identify for an individual or group, and you say ‘This is who he is. This is who they are.’ When you confuse the ego that you perceive in others with their identity, it is the work of your own ego that uses this misperception to strengthen itself through being right and therefore superior, and through reacting with condemnation, indignation, and often anger against the perceived enemy. All this is enormously satisfying to the ego.” 

Concluding Comments 

Ego can be difficult to understand and discuss effectively, but it’s something that’s at the core of creating a change in the current human experience. Once humanity learns to transcend the collective ego, we will make tremendous advancements in how we communicate with each other, and probably enter into an age of abundance, or, “A New Earth.” It’s a key component of not just global change, but changes within our own personal lives as well.

There are many opportunities to transcend your ego, to lose your buttons so they cannot be pushed, to diminish your need to always be right or label others according to your own limited perceptions. The points made above from Tolle are simply a few important ones out of many, and you will no doubt gain a better understanding by checking out A New Earth, the book that inspired this article.

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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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Consciousness

The Benefits of Keeping A Dream Journal

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Recently, scientists from Caltech university proved that an ancient species of jellyfish has a sleep cycle. All known mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish on planet earth sleep, but this finding means sleep does not require a brain, and is one of the most ancient evolutionary traits around. So, a very important one.

If sleep is so important, could dreams be too? Dreams aren’t given much importance in modern society. In fact, dream sharing is considered oversharing around most office water coolers. But there are big benefits to taking your dreams seriously, and to keeping a dream journal. Even the Ancient Egyptians were known to keep “dream books.”

Faster Problem Solving

Many studies show that a well-rested mind is a smarter one. Students preparing for a test, for example, scored better when they dreamed about the test beforehand. Every night when you dream, your brain processes and categorizes all the day’s events. Your brain needs to dream to make sense of your waking life. But sleeping is not all you can do. By taking the extra step to remember and interpret your dreams upon waking, you are telling your brain that dreams are important to you. As a result, your dreams will take on a much more educational and beneficial role in your life.

Overcoming Anxiety

Nightmares are no fun, but they serve a purpose. Even rats have nightmares! A bad dream can help reveal your innermost fears, and give you a way to cope with them safely. If you’re like most people, you forget your dreams whenever you wake up. A dream journal will help you develop dream recall, causing you to notice different dream patterns, including reoccurring nightmares. This will give you valuable insight into all the anxieties that are holding you back in life, and give you a head start on addressing them. If you are having a reoccurring nightmare about being fired from your job, for example, you should practice positive thinking at work and confront any workplace challenges you have sooner than later.

Opportunity to Lucid Dream

Lucid dreaming, or becoming aware during a dream, can be induced by dream journaling. Lucid dreaming is a relatively fun and healthy hobby that has its own set of powerful mental health benefits. Many lucid dreamers regularly converse with “spirit guides” that give them advice and predictions to be used in the real world.

Better Spiritual Awareness

Ancient Egyptians believed that dreams contained messages from the gods, and so kept a careful record of them. The Egyptians weren’t the first to come up with this concept, and certainly weren’t the last. Every culture, it seems, from the Greeks to the Native Americans, have had similar beliefs about dreams.

Modern day mystics, including the late psychic Edgar Cayce, often focus on dreams as a way to remember past lives. Unbelievably, scientists have proven that memories and dreams can be inherited, passed on from generation to generation just like eye colour.

Whatever your belief system, keeping a dream journal forces you into a daily habit of thoughtful reflection, making you more aware of your deeper, wiser self over time.

Deciding to keep a dream journal could be one of the easiest, yet more life-changing decisions you’ve ever made! Luckily, there are many resources online to help get you started with a dream diary. Here are some beginner’s tips for keeping a dream journal:
•    Write in your dream journal every morning after you wake up
•    Don’t worry about stylist things like grammar, punctuation, or spelling
•    Keep your dream journal next to your bedside
•    Focus on dreams that are reoccurring
•    Remember to bring your dream journal with you when you travel

Before radio, television, and the Internet, people relied heavily on the dream world for entertainment and guidance, and this may have helped them to be more in touch with their inner self and spiritual side. By keeping a dream journal, you too can learn to tune out the outside world and tune up our own inner, conscious self.

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