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Here Are Your ‘Tarotscopes’ For December

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Tarot cards have been used for decades mainly as a tool of divination. But their purpose is not just limited to fortune-telling. They can also serve as an excellent tool to seek guidance, probe a situation deeply, and meditate and set positive affirmations with to improve the quality of your life.

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Here are Tarot messages for each zodiac sign for the month of December. These apply not just to your Sun sign but also to your Moon and Rising signs. These are general guidance messages and may not resonate with everyone. Take what resonates and leave the rest. Have fun reading them, and if you do come across similar situations in life during the course of the month, apply the guidance included in these messages.

Aries

Ariens, December is a month of renewal, de-cluttering, and clearing the old to make way for the new. Some areas of your life may undergo a shift which at first may seem chaotic. But through this chaos comes order, so don’t resist. Misunderstandings may arise with those around you, so be clear about what you say and mean. Competition surrounds you. But if you recognize and know how to channel your strength, you will overcome all obstacles. Be more expressive in your relationships. Sometimes words have to be backed up with action. Wonderful moments in luxurious settings are likely to keep you mesmerized. Your relationships will gain more strength this month. An important epiphany will hit you at work. You will find more clarity and a sense of direction about your purpose. You will also need to be mentally active in order to give your best to work. A new opportunity is likely to come your way, Ariens, and it will bring the much-needed mental stimulation you have been waiting for. Stay balanced and practice moderation when it comes to your health and well-being. Healing is underway. Be patient with the recovery you are expecting.

Taurus

Do you believe in magic, Taureans? Whether you do or not, magical moments await you this month. You will feel supported by the cosmos and your intuition will communicate more strongly with you. Pay heed and do not brush off the inner wisdom that seeks you out. It is also important to not let your emotions overwhelm you. Decisions are best made weighing in the facts and by staying practical. Apply logic and attain emotional mastery. Love can seek you out through social events and celebrations. If you are single and ready to mingle, show up at places where you are likely to meet new people. Engagements and wedding bells are also in the air for some of you. Keep your relationships exciting by going out and doing different things together. If you are already in an established relationship, giving your partner some space and connecting with your friends may just be the ticket this month. Some of you may feel demotivated and disconnected at work. You may be searching for more inspiration or perhaps, looking for something new and exciting that can stimulate you. Opportunities will come by, Taureans. Projects will be offered. Be open to exploring all your options, even if they don’t look too promising on the surface. Avoid overworking, and take a break to recharge from time to time. Important information concerning your well-being will come to light. This is a wake-up call. Take good care of yourself and pay attention to the red flags. Recovery is also on the cards for many of you who have been through a challenging time with your health.

Gemini

Geminians, a stressful situation is seen coming to an end this month and with this end comes a new beginning. Do not mourn for what is gone; instead get excited because new horizons await you. This is an excellent month to travel to far and away places. Opportunities will seek you out, so just be willing to accept and explore. Singles, it is best to focus your energy on yourself this month. Nurture and nourish your precious selves. Enjoy your independence and fall in love with yourself. Some of you may meet a very practical, down-to-earth person as well. Stay grounded. Relationships in general will require care and support in order to flourish. At work, all may not seem well. You may be feeling uncertain about your path. Don’t rush into decision-making. Trust your intuition. This is not the month to take risks and place your complete faith in others. Gossips and lies may create tension, so stay extra cautious. When it comes to your health and well-being, avoid overindulgence. Treat your body with care and compassion. Watch out for emotional eating and excessive consumption of alcohol.

Cancer

Being a water sign ruled by the Moon, you are naturally sensitive and attuned to the Lunar cycles, Cancerians. In December, capitalize on these lunar cycles to manifest your dreams. Set new intentions for the New Moon and release what you no longer need in life during the Full Moon. Notice how your energy shifts from time to time and take good care of it. There will be days when rest and withdrawal will be important for you. Do not ignore this need. Your focus should be directed toward the future and not the past. There is a dream calling out to you this month. Follow the whispers of your heart. Things are moving quickly in personal life and relationships this month. Communication will be more swift and opportunities will come out of nowhere. Some of you may travel for love or with your beloved. Spice up your sex life. Someone new may sweep you off your feet. But don’t expect commitment, settling down, and planning for the future just yet. Go with the flow and have fun. When it comes to career and work, don’t let your emotions do the talking, Cancerians. Be firm and vocal about your needs. Take charge. You may come across someone in a position of authority who expects nothing but the best and can be a bit demanding. The only way to please this person is by delivering the results. Make sure you don’t do a choppy job and use your intelligence to solve problems, effectively. You will finally start seeing the results of the efforts you have put into your health and well-being. That diet plan or the exercise program will start showing you positive signs, if you have followed the rules, painstakingly. Be a little patient when enrolling in new programs or starting a new treatment. Changes don’t always happen overnight.

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Leo

December’s energy offers you plenty of creative stimulation. You will have loads of new ideas and creative urges that can’t wait to be given form. Use this energy wisely and create something beautiful and unique. A new emotional beginning is also in the cards for you. This could show up as a new friendship, a proposal, wedding, the birth of a child, a new offer, etc. Do not dismiss the intuitive nudges you receive, Leos, for they will carry the messages and guidance you are seeking. Your confidence and charisma will win you the admiration of many in personal affairs. Stay positive and own your power. If you are single, be ready to be swept by proposals and date night invites. Your social life will put you in the limelight. Know that you deserve nothing but the best and that’s what you will get. Established relationships, too, can use some warmth and affection. Don’t just be a lover but also a friend to your partner and find ways to make your love life exciting. A stressful situation is coming to an end at work, Leos, and you can finally heave a sigh of relief. The change may not be what you expected, but at least you don’t have to suffer and struggle anymore. You will gain clarity on a matter. If things have been tough, know that new beginnings are very much on the horizon, even if it doesn’t seem like it right now. Let go of the old first and stay optimistic. Also, don’t put blind faith in others at work. Stick to tried and tested methods where health and well-being are concerned. Overindulgence may lead to complications later on. Cut down on stuff that can be bad for your health. Make exercise an important part of your routine and do not succumb to laziness.

Virgo

Virgos, you are called the perfectionists of the zodiac. But there are times when one has to be flexible and bend rules where necessary. Your stubbornness can create many hindrances for you this month, so be open to trying out new methods and techniques where old ones are no longer of use. Helpful advice may come from a professional or a wise person. Do not shy away from asking for help and guidance. This is an excellent month for learning a new craft, enrolling in a course, or picking up a new subject to gain more knowledge. A news of victory is also on the cards for you. Some of you may have the chance to go on a world tour or an exotic new destination on the map with your beloved. Even if you are single, travel and explore new places. You never know how much fun you can end up having or whom you might meet. Some relationships are undergoing a big change this month, for the highest good. Be open to embracing this change and welcome the new chapter that awaits you. To some, this may mean reaching a new milestone in the relationship. Or, it could also mean moving onto something better and new. You may have a restricted view of yourself and your potential when it comes to work. It is time to start thinking outside the box and tap into your potential. You are ambitious and there is a way to make your dreams come true — only if you free yourself from all the limitations that you are placing on yourself. Attain freedom on a mental level first and you will soon know how to proceed and bring about the desired change on the physical and material level as well. Explore alternative healing techniques. Your emotions may affect your well-being and make you prone to mood swings and even a mild sense of depression. Get help if necessary or learn to manage your emotions well. Hormonal changes could affect your health as well. Be more compassionate toward yourself.

Libra

Librans, this is a time of doing, not just dreaming. There is a danger of getting caught up in daydreaming and maybe even buying into illusory thinking. An important decision has to be made this month and the fear of making the wrong choice may paralyze you. If you don’t know what is the right choice for you, make a list of the pros and cons of each choice and look beyond the surface. Do not waste too much time daydreaming. If you are looking for love, push yourself out of your comfort zone and explore all possibilities. This may include travelling, taking up a new hobby, and so on. Look beyond your immediate environment and expand your horizons. Struggling relationships could use a third party intervention or a mediator to bring help. Travel with your loved one is also on the cards. At work, a situation could make you feel trapped this month. Don’t let fear get to you. Find effective ways of dealing with this situation. Some of you may need to question your current path. It is possible that you are stuck in a stressful or an unhappy job just for the money. If yes, ask yourself if this job is worth the bargain. Explore your options. Avoid greed and obsession, as they will lead to the road of unhappiness in the long run. Too much stress could lead to anxiety or other stress-related issues when it comes to health and well-being. You may also be more accident- or illness-prone. Take all the necessary precautions for your safety and well-being. Watch your temper.

Scorpio

Blessings and gifts are on their way into your life this month, Scorpio. You may the recipient of someone else’s generosity. Or, you may be feeling charitable this month. Be willing to share your goodness with others in the form of financial gifts or any other help that you can offer. If you are caught up in a difficult situation, help will find its way to you, unexpectedly. Be careful to whom you loan your money. Caution is advised in personal affairs, as someone may not be acting from an honest place. Do not put too much trust in others, especially if you have your doubts about them. Singles, be careful around people who seem too good to be true. Lower your expectations, as others may not always fulfill the promises they make. At work, do not challenge or question the status quo. Instead, learn to fit in and accept the traditional ways of doing things. If you want to progress, you may need to align yourself with those in a position of authority. Build your network and form strategic alliances, as this will help you in your career. Listen to the advice given by a mentor. Rest and rejuvenation are highly recommended for you this month, Scorpios. Do not wait until you reach a point of burnout. Find effective ways to deal with stress. A break or a retreat could do you a world of good.

Sagittarius

You will mostly feel drawn toward intellectual pursuits in December, Sagittarians. The focus will be on learning and relying on your knowledge to navigate through the month. A detached view will help you see things clearly and make the best decisions, so don’t be swayed by emotions. A highly intellectual, sharp and knowledgeable person may play an important role in your life. This person can aid you in learning something, but don’t expect them to be sympathetic. Relationships will need work this month, Sagittarians. Do not expect them to work out on their own. Do what is necessary to show the ones you love that you care. If you are going through a rough patch, know that you can still salvage your relationship if both parties are willing to put in the efforts. Singles, your focus may be on work and not romance this month. If you want to spice up your love life, find time for love and make date night plans. Work could be exhausting in December, Sagittarians. Prioritize and cut away distractions to make the most of your time and finish the tasks on your to-do list. Do not overburden yourself, else you may be in for a burnout. Take a break and de-stress from time to time. Avoid taking on more than you can handle and do not hesitate to ask for help if you cannot handle things on your own. Your health also needs attention, Sagittarians. Most of the exhaustion could come from work, and brief periods of illnesses may be seen this month. Seek medical attention when necessary.

Capricorn

The last month of the year brings the energy of completion into play, Capricorns. It is time to let the past go by tying in all loose ends and preparing for a new cycle of beginning and growth. You will notice that situations will resolve on their own or sometimes, an ending will be inevitable. Embrace this ending. Your connection with people from around the world is strong this month and can be used for your benefit. Travel is very much on your cards, especially to a new destination, perhaps even overseas.

Relationships and personal affairs may not be easy this month. Challenges may create a sense of detachment between you and your partner. Financial matters may create tension in established relationships as well. Be more compassionate towards each other. Singles, this may not be the month to find your lucky guy or gal. Do not overspend on dates. This is an important month for work matters, Capricorn. You will gain more understanding of your current path and will know whether to continue on the same one or switch. Some of you may feel drawn to a new line of work as well. You will also get rewarded for your efforts this month. You are likely to achieve a deeper understanding of your purpose. Self-care and nurturing are highly recommended this month for you, Capricorns. Ask your body what nourishment it needs and do things that make you feel good on a mind, body, and soul level. This is a fertile period and news of pregnancy is on the cards for some of you. Spend more time outdoors.

Aquarius 

Aquarians, mental blocks may be keeping you stuck in a situation. Try to change your perspective and be willing to explore your options. Where there is a will, there is indeed a way. You also need to work on changing your perceptions about yourself. You have a great deal of energy and potential to take your dreams further, but negative thoughts about yourself may be keeping you from making any progress. Do not feel victimized. Love may seek you out through work. You may find a connection with someone you work with or someone you meet in a professional setting. In established relationships, it is possible that you and your partner may be dealing with a practical situation. As long as you team up and work things out, this will not only strengthen your relationship but also help you overcome the minor obstacles in it. Avoid taking shortcuts at work or dealing with a situation in an underhanded manner, as the consequences will not be pleasant. Work smart but don’t do a choppy job. Others may have hidden agendas, so be wary of putting blind faith in people you work with. Keep your integrity intact. You are likely to feel more energetic this month, Aquarians. Put this energy to good use. Start a new health regime, if you are feeling motivated.

Pisces

Many projects will successfully conclude this month, Pisces. This naturally puts you in a relaxed and blissful state of mind. Take it easy and indulge yourself a little. If security and stability was a problem in the past, you will feel a lot more balanced this month. Your hard work will pay off. Treat yourself to something nice and special and enjoy the fruits of your labour. It is okay to slow down the pace of life sometimes. If you have not yet reached your goal, keep at it. You are close to the finish line. Selfish and hidden agendas could create unpleasant experiences in personal life. Be careful who you trust in matters of the heart, Pisces. If you want to leave someone or escape a situation, make sure you communicate your feelings honestly and don’t do things in an underhanded manner. If someone seems too good to be true, they are. Do not buy into persuasive talks. You are making good progress at work and word of your skills is likely to spread far and wide, bringing you appreciation and more business. Do not let initial success get to your head, though. Continue excelling at what you do and you will go places. This is a good month for business, and many will seek you out for your services. A promotion may also be in line for many. When it comes to health and well-being, do not be impulsive. Take a steady and cautious approach. Recovery may be slow but that does not mean progress is not happening. Be patient. Continue following your routine and stay focused.

Sonnyaa Siingh

To order a Tarot reading with me, please visit my Facebook Page here :  www.facebook.com/hermitmoon444

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Consciousness

Studies on Plants Suggest Consciousness Exists As A Separate Entity From The Brain

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Monica Gagliano, a thirty-seven-year-old animal ecologist at the University of Western Australia has conducted multiple experiments with plants that suggest they are a living, thinking, feeling and emotional beings.

  • Reflect On:

    Does consciousness reside in all things? Is a brain necessary to posses consciousness? Is consciousness dependant on a brain?

When it comes to the topic of consciousness, it’s something, in my opinion, all living life forms posses. Including plants, and I believe there is conclusive evidence for that. In fact, the question of whether consciousness is something that resides outside of the brain, or is a product of it, has long been the subject of scientific debate. Parapsychological studies, which have gone through rigorous testing and according to statistics professor, Dr Jessica Utts at UC Irvine, have tighter controls than any other area of science, hint to the idea that consciousness is not solely located within us. This is evident by the fact that humans have the ability to “perceive” remote locations regardless of geographical distance (remote viewing) and it’s also evident by the fact that human thoughts and intentions can alter physical material reality at a distant location, at both the quantum level and at the human level.

For example, a paper published in Physics Essays explains how the double slit experiment has been used multiple times to explore the role of consciousness in shaping the nature of physical reality. The results clearly indicated that human intention, via meditators, were able to collapse the quantum wave function in that experiment, similar to the way observation or measurement does. The study received a 5 Sigma result, the same result that was given to CERN when they were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2013 for finding the Higgs particle, which turned out not to be Higgs after all).

I also like to point towards this document I found in the CIA’s electronic reading room titled “Research Into Paranormal Ability To Break Through Spatial Barriers” as another example that goes beyond the quantum scale.

Again, the point I am trying to hammer home is that I don’t believe biology is necessary for consciousness, but perhaps sometimes acts like a vessel for it without consciousness being dependant on biology. Near Death Experiences (NDE’S) are also a great great example hinting to the idea that consciousness is not dependant on biology, and perhaps one of the best.

But what if plants are conscious? But they don’t have a brain. Would that destroy the idea of the brain being a vessel of consciousness?

What comes to mind instantly here are the books written by hypnotherapist Delores Cannon. She has hypnotically regressed thousands of people with regards to supposed past lives, and found that many people have experienced past lives on our planet as well as on other planets as multiple different life forms, including trees, animals and plants. Now, how would one in a regressed state access these experiences? Where are they stored? These are questions that remain unanswered. The regression sessions are legit in the fact that the patient is actually in a hypnotic state sharing these experiences, there is no question about that, but we have no way of knowing whether or not what they are sharing is real, but the consistency with regards to past life regression among thousands of subjects is interesting. Many children also share stories that can even be verified regarding their past lives.

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When it comes to plants, I’ve always thought that they were living, thinking, breathing, conscious beings. Grover Cleveland Backster Jr., was an interrogation specialist for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), who became well known for his experiments with plants using a lie-detector machine. Through his research, he believed that plants feel pain and have extrasensory perception (ESP). Author Michael Polan describes his experiments quite well in a piece he wrote for the New Yorker a few years ago regarding plant intelligence:

(Cleve) hooked up a galvanometer to the leaf of a dracaena, a houseplant that he kept in his office. To his astonishment, Backster found that simply by imagining the dracaena being set on fire he could make it rouse the needle of the polygraph machine, registering a surge of electrical activity suggesting that the plant felt stress. “Could the plant have been reading his mind?” the authors ask. “Backster felt like running into the street and shouting to the world, ‘Plants can think!’ ”

Backster and his collaborators went on to hook up polygraph machines to dozens of plants, including lettuces, onions, oranges, and bananas. He claimed that plants reacted to the thoughts (good or ill) of humans in close proximity and, in the case of humans familiar to them, over a great distance. In one experiment designed to test plant memory, Backster found that a plant that had witnessed the murder (by stomping) of another plant could pick out the killer from a lineup of six suspects, registering a surge of electrical activity when the murderer was brought before it. Backster’s plants also displayed a strong aversion to interspecies violence. Some had a stressful response when an egg was cracked in their presence, or when live shrimp were dropped into boiling water

His (Backster’s) work on this was published in the International Journal of Parapsychology. 

Poland also describes the work of  Monica Gagliano, a thirty-seven-year-old animal ecologist at the University of Western Australia. He describes an experiment she conducted with the plant Mimosa pudica, a fast moving plant that can be seen by the naked eye, kind of like the Venus Fly Trap.

Gagliano potted fifty-six of these plants, and had a system that dropped them from 15 centimetres every five seconds. When they are in danger, these plans curl up, and close their leaves. The plants did this after a few drops, but then realized that the drops weren’t really harmful so they remained open after that. It wasn’t just fatigue either, when the plants were shaken they closed up, and furthermore, the plants retained this knowledge because Gagliano tried again a month later and got the same response.

Gagliano said, imagining these events from the plants’ point of view. “You see, you want to be attuned to something new coming in. Then we went back to the drops, and they didn’t respond.” Gagliano reported that she retested her plants after a week and found that they continued to disregard the drop stimulus, indicating that they “remembered” (source)

Clearly, they learn, remember and apply that knowledge. These are all factors associated with consciousness and thinking. There has to be something or someone in there that’s responsible for that learning.

Fascinating isn’t it? Brains and neurons don’t seem to be a necessary requirement for factors associated with consciousness. What makes us assume that we need brains and neurons to be conscious? Why can’t we see any other type of possibility?

It sort of reminds me of the idea that planets have to be “Earth-like” to sustain or have life. How do we know? How do we know there aren’t beings that breath some sort of gas we’ve never even discovered? How do we know there aren’t beings that don’t need to breath?

Humans and their assumptions/limited imaginations…We are conditioned to ‘see’ things a certain way.

In the video below, in the second half of her interesting talk, Gagliano describes another experiment that suggests “someone” is in there. She conducted a similar experiment as Pavlov did with his dogs and makes some very interesting points.

“There is someone in there.”

The Takeaway

Consciousness is not limited to humans and animals. It’s something that extends to plants, trees, insects, perhaps even the soil we walk on and much more that we take for granted. Perhaps our entire planet is awake and aware in ways we have barely yet to understand, perhaps our entire universe is?

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Awareness

50 Things You Could Be Doing Instead Of Staring At A Screen

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The average adult spends as much as 12 hours a day in front of a screen while at home.

  • Reflect On:

    How much of our screen time is providing value to our lives? Is our screen time benefiting us or taking time away from doing what we love and spending real, quality time connecting with friends and family?

There is no doubt about it, screens have become a central part of many of our lives. From the moment we wake up and turn off our alarms and do a quick check of Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter notifications, email, and other apps — screens have the capacity to suck us in, right from the start of the day. The act of checking our screens has become so common nowadays that many of us spend the majority of our waking lives staring at various screens including smartphones, tablets, and computers.

There are some people who argue that before smartphones and tablets, it was the television set, and before that, the radio, and before that, the newspaper. However, we can’t ignore the fact that it is currently an epidemic, as many people (myself included at times) are so sucked into this virtual reality, they do not realize that it is a potentially harmful addiction.

Some believe that this type of technology is just a natural part of human evolution and that in may ways it benefits our lives. To a degree, this is true, as there are many amazing perks of technology and it absolutely can be used to benefit our lives — being able to access any information we are seeking, learning a new language, instrument, or practically anything we want, attending online courses, webinars or education programs, connecting with loved ones that are far way. But really think about your screen time and how it’s spent. Is it benefiting your life in any way? Or is it a compulsive habit? Whenever you have a spare moment–waiting in line, in an elevator, whenever you feel that you are bored–is that when you reach for your phone? Are you mindlessly scrolling through your Newsfeed, photofeed or Twitter feed? Potentially comparing your life to others, getting lost looking at the pictures from people you hardly know? Obsessing over celebrities and “influencers” that actually provide no value to your life? Sometimes we might have the T.V. on, watching a show, whilst at the same time mindlessly scrolling through our feeds. This is a double screen-time wham-o! Essentially getting lost in whatever is available to take you away from yourself and basically inhibit your ability to give love, care and attention to yourself.

We Are Wasting Valuable Time

Many of us, again often including myself, have dealt with a deep dissatisfaction with our lives — maybe we are not happy with our careers or our relationships, or perhaps we lack purpose, passion and drive. Yet, instead of doing something that could benefit ourselves, we instead choose to escape those feelings. We reach for our screens in a desperate attempt to get our next “fix,” our dopamine hit that gives us temporary relief from our dissatisfaction with our lives. This IS an addiction and it is important to be aware of that. What would happen if instead, we leaned into our feelings of discomfort and spent time in deep reflection about what is working in our lives and what’s not?

Using Tech To Help Moderate Our Use Of Tech

A great tool for me has been an app called “Moment” that basically tracks your screen time and how much time has been spent on each app. Without consciously trying to change your screen time habits, I challenge you to download this app and check out your screen time at the end of each day. Much like I was, you may be surprised to learn how much time you might be completely throwing away on social media.

After all, “Lost time is never found again.”

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If you’re like me, you may be thinking, “Well, what the heck else am I supposed to be doing?” And you may still enjoy spending some time on social media, but as with pretty much everything else in life, moderation is key! You may want to try setting a daily limit for screen time for yourself and sticking to it. If you can’t, then you know you may have a problem worth exploring.

50 Things You Can Do Instead Of Staring At A Screen

Below I have provided a list of 50 things you could be doing instead of scrolling or staring at a screen. While some of these are going to seem extremely obvious, you may not always think of them when you are sucked into the glowing light of a screen. This is meant to be a quick reference, it may be even beneficial to print this list off or copy it onto a physical piece of paper so that you ironically don’t need a screen to view it.

  1. Read a book
  2. Read a magazine
  3. Go for a walk
  4. Go for a hike
  5. Clean out your closet
  6. Write in your journal
  7. Play an instrument
  8. Play with your pet
  9. Practice a new language
  10. Listen to a podcast
  11. Draw a picture
  12. Paint a picture
  13. Literally sit and do nothing
  14. Meditate
  15. Stretch
  16. Do yoga
  17. Go to the gym
  18. Workout from home
  19. Call up a friend (use headphones or speakerphone to chat)
  20. Write a letter you intend to send
  21. Write a letter you don’t intend to send
  22. Plan out tasks you intend to accomplish within the next week
  23. Bake something
  24. Cook something
  25. Meet a friend for tea
  26. Play a board game or cards
  27. Go swimming
  28. Do a massage exchange with a friend
  29. Redecorate your home
  30. Give yourself an opportunity to really feel your feelings
  31. Notice the urge to reach for your phone
  32. Practice grounding
  33. Volunteer your time
  34. Go to a comedy show
  35. Listen to music
  36. Color
  37. Write a list of 10 things you are grateful for
  38. Go to the library
  39. Try something new
  40. Sit in quiet reflection
  41. Study something that sparks your interest using books
  42. Get clear on your vision for the next 5 years of your life
  43. Go to a Meetup group
  44. Dance around your living room
  45. Practice eye-gazing with yourself in the mirror, or with someone else
  46. Clean out your fridge
  47. Take a cold shower
  48. Have a bath
  49. Downsize your belongings
  50. Repair something that is broken

Bonus* Make a list of things that you’ve always wanted to do, but felt like you haven’t had the time.

Much Love

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Consciousness

Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 15: The Mayor)

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The following is a chapter from my book ‘Parables For The New Conversation.’ One chapter will be published every Sunday for 36 weeks here on Collective Evolution. (I would recommend you start with Chapter 1 if you haven’t already read it.) I hope my words are a source of enjoyment and inspiration for you, the reader. If perchance you would like to purchase a signed paperback copy of the book, you can do so on my production company website Pandora’s Box Office.

From the back cover: “Imagine a conversation that centers around possibility—the possibility that we can be more accepting of our own judgments, that we can find unity through our diversity, that we can shed the light of our love on the things we fear most. Imagine a conversation where our greatest polarities are coming together, a meeting place of East and West, of spirituality and materialism, of religion and science, where the stage is being set for a collective leap in consciousness more magnificent than any we have known in our history.

Now imagine that this conversation honors your uniqueness and frees you to speak from your heart, helping you to navigate your way more deliberately along your distinct path. Imagine that this conversation puts you squarely into the seat of creator—of your fortunes, your relationships, your life—thereby putting the fulfillment of your deepest personal desires well within your grasp.

‘Parables for the New Conversation’ is a spellbinding odyssey through metaphor and prose, personal sagas and historic events, where together author and reader explore the proposal that at its most profound level, life is about learning to consciously manifest the experiences we desire–and thus having fun. The conversation touches on many diverse themes but always circles back to who we are and how our purposes are intertwined, for it is only when we see that our personal desires are perfectly aligned with the destiny of humanity as a whole that we will give ourselves full permission to enjoy the most exquisite experiences life has to offer.”

15. The Mayor

One warm summer day the arborist and her daughter were busy transplanting potted saplings in the village park on the island of Allandon. A portly gentleman who was casually picking up trash noticed them and said brightly: “Good morning ladies. Beautiful day isn’t it?”

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“Yes it is,” the arborist said.

Her daughter nodded, and moments later said to her mother: “Every time I see that guy he acts like he hasn’t got a care in the world.”

“Maybe he hasn’t,” said the arborist.

“Who is he anyway?”

The arborist laughed. “Don’t you know? That’s our village Mayor.”

“He’s the Mayor?” she asked incredulously. After pondering for a moment, she added, “Well, that’s very odd.”

“What is?”

“Well, what kind of Mayor is he? I mean, hasn’t he got more important things to do than pick up trash in the park?”

“Apparently not,” said the arborist as she continued to enjoy the scent of the young evergreens in their new home.

“So how did he become Mayor?” asked her daughter.

“He became Mayor because he’s a great leader.”

“What’s so great about him? I didn’t even know we had a Mayor. I always thought this village kind of ran itself.”

“Exactly,” the arborist replied.

Part of the evolution of consciousness we are going through today is a change in the way we see the leaders of our nations. We no longer put them on the pedestal we once did, nor are we willing to follow them blindly. The very word ‘politics’ immediately conjures up images in our minds of deception, corruption, and self-interest. We are convinced that hypocrisy is now built right into the system, and that someone who makes it to the top must be a person who owes a lot of secret favors and is good at making false promises that won’t be kept. We don’t believe any more that our leaders will do the right thing for us, for the community, the country, or the world. We have more than lost faith and trust. We have lost interest.

And I see this as a good thing.

Why? Because the time has come to be leaders ourselves—all of us. Instead of looking and listening for inspiration, it is time to be self-inspiring. Instead of waiting to be told what we have to do, it is time for us to decide how it’s all going to be. When Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see in the world,” he was exhorting each one of us to lead by example. He knew that lasting change does not happen by political decree but rather inside the minds of individuals, one at a time. Each time an individual has an insight, expands their vision, or learns something new, then the collective human consciousness that we all dip into is forever transformed.

Today our politicians don’t even try to influence the evolution of consciousness. The best they can do is react to it, and they are usually pretty slow at that. In fact our leadership and the institutions that support them may be the last things in our society to evolve as we move away from the outmoded belief that our leaders will save us and do what we actually came here to do.

In Ancient times leaders were considered far above the common people. Often they were not even considered people themselves, but gods, or at least having a direct link to divinity. In Egypt, for example, the faith that followers had in the divinity of their leaders was enough to move—or build—mountains. The great pyramids stand today as a testament to that. The rule was simple in those days: leaders command, subordinates obey. In this traditional master/servant relationship there was no place for conversation, debate, or differences of opinion. A hierarchy or chain-of-command passed edicts down in one direction, from top to bottom.

This format is the legacy of our modern institutions, not only in politics but in all spheres of life. The hierarchy of the church is a most obvious example. Followers were not capable of direct conversation with God but had to communicate through the priest, whose return message back to the follower was to be accepted as sacrosanct and beyond reproach. Our education system was founded on desks rigidly set in rows, with students uniformly dressed, all eyes forward and sitting in fear, as the teacher walked menacingly through the aisles, ready to slam the ruler down on the hand of any student not absorbing the immutable doctrines. Business was modeled after feudal society where the Lord had complete domain over the field workers underneath him. The Industrial Revolution’s production line only strengthened the conviction that workers were self-same cogs in the production wheel. And in the family, a man was the ‘king of his castle’, where his children ‘should be seen and not heard’ and his wife had to be subservient to his will.

This kind of leadership, which employs control and a reliance on unbending structure, is ultimately rooted in the perspective of the Ego Self. Since the Ego Self worries about being separate and insignificant, the leadership it sponsors drives leaders to try to elevate themselves above others. This way of being a leader means always being right, and never showing any doubt or hesitation. Ever afraid to reveal that they are not all-powerful and do not have all the answers, Ego-Self leaders tend to be rather inflexible and dismissive of contrary opinion.

Even though our society has been politically democratic for some time, our institutions still tend to be run by this control-oriented hierarchical leadership. Subordinates are implicitly expected to conform, and are not encouraged to have a point of view. Much of the thrust of this leadership amounts to maintaining order and exercising power, which means making subordinates follow the leader’s vision.

This is not to suggest that it is easy to lead in a more open and inclusive way; the power implicit in leadership can corrupt the most well-meaning among us. Here’s an example that history has revealed to us before, in a variety of iterations: a dissident leader in an oppressed country, a true ‘man of the people’, starts off with noble intentions and a vision of equality for all. With the people’s support he succeeds in orchestrating the overthrow of a brutal tyrant. However once in power himself, this leader is slowly overcome by his new-found sense of self-importance. His vision of ‘equality for all’ takes a back seat to his growing vision of his own grandeur. Lacking a deeper self-awareness, he doesn’t even recognize that he is changing. Soon enough he is faced with an ever-growing discontent among the people, and has to fight mercilessly to keep power and suppress revolt. He often wonders why the people are no longer happy about his victory over tyranny until the fateful moment, perhaps as he is being put to death, when it finally dawns on him that he himself had become the brutal tyrant that he once loathed.

Since our society is dominated by the Ego Self, it should come as no surprise to us that our leaders may have gotten seduced by the idea that their perspective is the right one, and that in some ways they are better than those they lead. This is only exacerbated when they surround themselves with yes-people who will not challenge them.

The thing is that we are rather fed up of being yes-people, and it’s beginning to show. Leaders have noticed that we don’t seem to be following orders as automatically any more. We have become less afraid to challenge the status quo, and have started asking our leaders to consider our unique visions, our talents or our aspirations. While some are paying attention, others have reacted by leading in the only way they know how: by shouting louder and banging harder on the drum of obedience. This may give them some results in the short term, but they are only stemming a far larger tide that will not hold for much longer.

Our institutions are already showing cracks in their foundations where individual expression and influence are oozing out. The Church structure has begun to crumble, as increasing numbers of people are bypassing the need for an intermediary and establishing their own private and personal contact with divinity. In education the whole concept of the classroom itself is being questioned, where conformity and uniformity are more and more being seen as a hindrance to learning. Successful businesses are being forced to flatten out their hierarchies and move away from the strict command-and-control structure they once enjoyed, realizing that their companies are more productive when their employees take greater part in the decision-making and their individual talents are considered. And in the family, the roles and rights of both women and children have changed immeasurably in recent times, as has the very nature of the family itself. The husband/father can no longer simply ‘put his foot down’ to squash any challenges to his leadership.

As we gain awareness as individuals, our leaders will continue to evolve by necessity. More and more, leaders in our society will have to move away from feeding their own sense of self-importance and be willing to deflect the spotlight so that individual expression and contribution can shine. Leadership will increasingly be doing the work that goes on backstage and supports the roles of those who are performing. It’s gratifying that we may be finally heeding the words of Lao-Tzu, written over two and a half millennia ago:

The existence of the leader who is wise is barely known to those he leads. He acts without unnecessary speech, so that the people say, “It happened of its own accord”.

Enduring leaders of modern day like Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, and Nelson Mandela walked amongst the people, as one of them. They did not seek to be deified or given superior status. They did not feel themselves as having privileged access to the knowledge that their lives modeled, but believed that each person was worthy. Their humility was not forced: it is a natural byproduct of leading from the Dao Self where we are all equal parts of the One. Doing this requires a high degree of self-awareness because to be human means to feel the constant pull of the Ego Self.

Jesus was considered one of the greatest leaders ever because he was able to resist the temptation to lead from the Ego Self, symbolized by the Devil. When the Devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, Jesus chose instead to remain firmly in the Dao Self.[1] While maintaining his connection to the source of all things helped Jesus perform miracles, it was also the foundation of his conviction that anyone could do what he had done and even greater things.[2]

For those who could not understand, he tried to be a model in his life, and told people to follow him—not blindly, but as an example of how to live. While Jesus tried in every way to point each person back to themselves and their capacity to live from the Dao Self, most were not quite ready for it. The difficulty he faced is comically illustrated in Monte Python’s Life of Brian, a parody of the life of Jesus:

BRIAN: You’ve got it all wrong! You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves. You’re all individuals!

FOLLOWERS: Yes, we’re all individuals!

BRIAN: You’re all different!

FOLLOWERS: Yes, we are all different!

BRIAN: You’ve all got to work it out for yourselves!

FOLLOWERS: Yes! We’ve got to work it out for ourselves!

BRIAN: Exactly!

FOLLOWERS: Tell us more!

BRIAN: No! That’s the point! Don’t let anyone tell you what to do!

The irony is not lost on us. Since he lived at a time when people had not fully individuated, and so were not fully self-aware, it was difficult for Jesus to lead them to the internal and personal experience of being in the Dao Self. Instead his followers sought to deify him, calling him their savior, abdicating responsibility for their own behavior in the process.[3]

Two millennia later, we are finally ready for leadership that comes from the Dao Self, not simply in the spiritual domain but in our politics, business, family and other human institutions. Leadership has begun to move away from commanding and towards facilitating. Rather than telling us what to do, leaders will have to engage each one of us in conversation, a conversation that leads us back to ourselves. This may come as a big relief to our leaders themselves, many of whom have become dissatisfied with the limitations of their command-oriented ways. Many will seize the opportunity to inspire rather than insist, to be authentic rather than simply do what is expected of them. And as the new conversation blurs the line between leader and follower we are all called upon to take up leadership positions, to support our individual expression while strengthening a collective voice that speaks for all of humanity.

[1] In biblical terms, this was expressed by the assertion that Jesus would only worship and serve God [Matthew, 4:9-10]. Jesus had absolutely no doubts that he was one with the One he called the Father, and the fact that he had fully embodied this knowledge meant that Jesus had reached the pinnacle of self-realization in human form.
[2] From John, 14:12. Salvation was possible for all people, not because of the miracles or even the death and resurrection of Jesus, but because every person has the latent ability to attain this Christ-consciousness, the absolute realization of oneself as the Dao Self. In Christian terms this is what it means to reach heaven.
[3] When we look back on the efforts of Jesus to spread the Good News we may conclude that the profundity of his message may have been too far ahead of its time. History tells us that over the past two thousand years the Church that stood in the name of Christ-consciousness was built on a foundation of control, intimidation, discrimination, and even killing, acts that are all sponsored by the Ego Self.

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