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She Was Smothered With Suicidal Thoughts & Depression – Here’s How She Found Happiness

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Why are you unhappy and depressed?

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I remember, as a young adult, hearing this term of “stress” for the first time… and not really knowing what it was.

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Like our current trends of instant gratification and FOMO, stress was the hot trending topic.

I even remember watching a local news show documentary where this “new concept” of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was introduced.

Nowadays we need “trigger word warnings” on articles in order to not to trigger people’s PTSD.

No one could really explain stress at the time, and I remember that making an impression on me.

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Fast-forward 20 years later and now everyone knows what stress is, along with depression and suicide – with some estimates stating that as many as 13% of the US population are on anti-depressants. Read more at http://time.com/4900248/antidepressants-depression-more-common/

My How The World Has Changed

As a former chronic sufferer of depression and suicide, along with epilepsy, which also causes mood fluctuations, I had also bought into the idea that these were medical issues, and that science had to have the answers.

This was chronic, inherent to my system, and I would always need help for it. A disease in other words.

And so I became addicted to believing I needed doctors and medicines to manage my disease.

But it never seemed to help.

I couldn’t break out of the cycle of depression… I’d get okay for a little while and then go crashing down again.

And so I really started investigating alternative routes, alternative healing, and while I got some relief, it wouldn’t last.

And so I got serious about sorting out my life through my spiritual journey, and I learned a lot along the way about what was making me depressed.

A few years later, I’m now in a place where stuff like that – and most illness in fact – can’t touch me. It certainly would not shake my peace of mind.

The good news? It’s possible for you to get there too.

The bad news? It’s going to require you to look at every single aspect of your life – and accepting that it’s the life you’re choosing that is making you depressed.

You were born into this world, and while you have been offered the illusion of choice, the range of options available to you are limited by the accepted rules of the society in which we operate.

So, in plain english, there are things you think are ‘normal’, ‘everyday’ and ‘acceptable’, just because you grew up with them around you.

If you grew up in a mainstream Western culture, then monogamy is your norm. But if you’d grown up as a devout Muslim, or as a Mormon, having sister wives and polygyny would be your norm too.

One of the most disturbing recent examples I found was the Hampstead Kids Pizzagate interviews… these kids have been raised with Satanic and pedophilic practices by their father, and when you listen to them, they speak of being raped repeatedly by adults and drinking blood as if it were the most normal thing to do.

So many of the aspects of your life are driven by what you grew up thinking was normal – this is why you see cycles of patterns passed down along family lines: abusers breed abusers, alcoholics breed alcoholics, and the devout breed the devout.

So what are the areas, that you think of as normal, that are actually causing challenges for you?

Relationships of obligation

Relationships of obligation are the relationships you are born into.

These are relationships where the person has a title that denotes the expectation of the relationship, e.g. a mother should care for and love her children and want the best for them.

The moment you think mother, you have all these ideas of what a mom should be, should do, how she should act.

There are tons of these titles in our lives: parents, cousins, siblings, grandparents; and we add a couple along the way, in friend, lover/partner and child. Eventually also boss and employer.

What they all have in common is that there is expectation built into them – expectations of behavior, actions, words, etc.

This expectation comes from both sides, and in many cases the relationship devolves into nothing more than meeting the minimum requirements of the expectation, in order to maintain the relationship.

So you do the minimum you have to do in order to keep the relationship going, e.g. We HAVE TO go see my parents this weekend. It’s been so many weeks since we last saw them, or We HAVE TO go to my parents/siblings for Christmas this year, or I MUST call my sister.

This turns the relationship into a chore. And a chore is just another task you add to your to do list – the one that’s already putting so much pressure on you.

Relationships of proximity

Many of our relationships of obligation actually form because they are relationships of proximity – we are around the person and so get to know them, forming a bond because of the shared time and experience we have passed together.

School and work are great examples of this… you know everyone there, and CHOOSE your friends… but you are limited to the people who are available to choose from, the people sharing the same space as you regularly.

This turns the relationship selection into an interview style… you pick the ‘best candidate for the job’ out of what is available to you to choose from.

So again, you don’t quite land up with the relationship you want – and so you’re not completely committed to it.

Fitting in and editing

In essence, what this means is that majority of the relationships you have in your life are not relationships you would have chosen, and are not really with people you honestly relate to. And most of them feel like a chore.

But we do it anyway, because life is all about people.

And by that I mean, you need people to like you in order to ensure you can stay alive.

People need to open doors for you, take a chance on you, and you need a network around you because everything in the world is people – even sales for your business.

So you edit yourself to fit in – basically ALL THE TIME.

You’re never yourself completely, because the way to ensure survival is likability (read more at http://lifecoachestoolbox.com/index.php/what-is-the-system ).

So you shave off parts of yourself to be likable, to fit into the “good enough” relationships of obligation and proximity around you, to ensure you don’t become an outcast.

External Validation

When you bring it all down to a nutshell, it’s about external validation – we’re looking for society and those around us to deem us “good enough” to be trusted in a relationship, with children, with a job.

The problem here is that external validation needs to be constantly coming at you in order for this strategy to work – so the moment you hit a rough patch, and that person no longer approves of you being around, and so does not validate your worth by engaging in a relationship with you, then you feel a failure.

Ditto on “I can’t find a job” – no company will externally validate my worth. This is where the pressure of interviews comes from – you want the external validation of acceptance.

Ditto on “I can’t find a relationship.” And even on “I can’t have a child” – I have not been found worthy enough by my own body to have this relationship I desire with a child. My body does not validate me as a mother and so society does not accept me.

So without even realizing it, you start training yourself to make sure you stay acceptable to everyone… but when you’re taking everyone’s needs into account, there’s only a small place of overlap.

And so you land up living in that overlap zone, doing the few baseline things that nobody can get offended at.

No wonder you feel stifled, stuck and trapped. And it’s even littler wonder that you have communication issues in your relationships.

Medicine and health

Often, instead of getting introspective and starting to look at the aspects of our lives that are causing us unhappiness, we turn to medicine.

Because depression is a disease.

There are two ways the medicine impacts you – and the first is that it makes you reliant on the medication. It becomes a crutch.

Most importantly it becomes a crutch because each medicine you take lands up creating symptoms that you need another medication to solve. And many of the medications are designed to make you physically reliant on them, so addiction genuinely occurs.

Or at least violent symptoms occur in your body, when you try to to STOP taking the medicine. See how that works?

The second addiction and problem that forms, is addiction to medical advice – as you participate more and more in medicine, you buy further into the idea that you HAVE TO listen to what your doctor says, despite what you feel or think inside of you.

Accept this idea for long enough, and you are going to believe that you are powerless to change your circumstance, and that what you are experiencing is beyond your control.

So you see your doctor for fifteen minutes every few weeks or months, get a medication and brief advice, and then you’re on your own again.

Come 3 AM, when you really need the hands on help and advice, the doctor is not around – and you feel powerless and incompetent to make any decisions for yourself.

When people feel powerless, hopeless and incompetent is when they are most likely to throw in the towel, and want to commit suicide.

You don’t know how to rest

Among the many things that our strange society has left us unequipped to do, resting is the most bizarre.

We are a culture that craves entertainment and the things of holidays and weekends – it’s all supposed to be about our rest time.

In fact, we live in one of the most advanced societies on earth, and living conditions around the globe are pretty much better than they’ve ever been in world history – and yet we have such a high percentage of the population on medication for depression.

We aren’t taught how to rest.

You take time off, but you don’t stop thinking about the things of your life… your bills, your obligations, the expectations placed on you.

We fill our lives with distractions and ways of keeping ourselves busy, but we are never taught the skills required to actually manage our thoughts.

And so you often get back to work even more tired than when you left, because at least work is a meditative state that allows your body to rest.

This is why you feel better at the start of a weekend too probably, lol 🙂

Entertainment is a distraction

Speaking of distraction, the things you think of as entertainment are designed to distract you – not entertain you.

So while you’re engaging in that game, at the casino, at the movies or whatever, your mind is full and busy, and you feel completely immersed in the experience.

But immediately afterwards, as you step out of the place, and are left with your own thoughts again, the boredom and silence of your mind sets in, or your inner voice starts to run rampant again.

In that moment of contrast, you feel empty, and so your system looks for the most recent experience where you did not feel empty – and you crave another dose of your distraction fix.

You’re only going to sort out the stuff inside you by going into those quiet spaces in your mind, and hearing your inner voice. And each time you resist hearing it – by filling your mind with distraction – it only becomes harder for you to face it at all.

Eventually, in your rush to get away from all that pain inside you, you start turning to deeper forms of distraction – ones that occupy you for hours. Think drugs, triathlons, excessive exercise and yoga, obsessive dieting or workaholics.

Each time you go out and participate you get more addicted to the distraction, and more dependent on it – until the cost of maintaining it becomes an additional pressure to deal with.

The content you’re consuming TELLS YOU you’re depressed

I’m a content producer and I’ve been that for years, and so I’ve gotten to see what content people use and what they engage with – and I haven’t been surprised to see how much people love these little online tests and gadgets.

They also love click bait style, sound bite filled articles that leave little real time to go into any depth at all.

Thirdly you have the rise of personal growth and self help stuff, alongside the LGBTQ movements, female empowerment and the suicide and depression league out there spreading content.

Each of these aspects on their own is not a killer in itself, but combined they are a lethal weapon, and what they’ve resulted in is engineered articles and tools that are designed to convince you that you need help.

In order to understand that, you need to know that almost all of the tools and pieces you see out there are some sort of PR thing… designed to bring in or retain customers and readers.

So they play to your worst fears in the hope that you will click through. They pick symptoms designed to be a common baseline experience, because that way MORE PEOPLE will relate to their articles or use their tool.

The point of the article or piece is usually to keep you engaged with the platform, and then to drive business by showing the writer as an expert. The tools simply exist to harvest email addressees for mailing lists.

In life, you rarely come across people like me, experts in an area doing their own marketing and digital work. So for example, when I build a tool, I do the expert spiritual/healing side of it AND I work out the actual delivery mechanism in the digital sphere.

In most cases, in fact, the expert sits on one side, and then the digital experts (usually a team) sit on the other, and then they try to create a tool as a marketing gimmick that will attract the MOST email addresses to harvest.

The expert provides the info, and a writer makes it palatable…so a writer can write a “respected” piece by referencing a whole bunch of scientific research. But again, the topics they focus in on are the ones most likely to draw ongoing traffic to their website.

Most of the marketing and media you consume today is designed to speak to your fears, and generate some sort of emotional response in you. Even in “positive” lifestyle ads showing what you can be, the fear inherent is that you are not that, and will never achieve it.

And your mainstream media are the worst at catering content that will keep you distracted and focused, and give you incorrect messaging.

And often that messaging is packaged into sound bite style info so that you feel like you’re growing smarter, but are not forced to focus for very long.

All of this messaging is designed to make your mind slower, and to make you feel like you have an issue so that you keep coming back for more.

The content you’re consuming makes you depressed

Beyond that content, there is the rest of the content you’re consuming – and even fiction is FULL of the drama and chaos of life.

Nobody wants to watch a movie about a quiet hermit who lived a life of peace, calmly interacting with animals, slowly learning a few skills, and spending a lot of time in quiet contemplation.

So instead you watch a gory adventure or action film; a sexy romance, which of course requires a break up, because boys meets girl, it all goes well and they all live happily ever after doesn’t exactly make the greatest storyline does it?

Throw in a sinking passenger liner, one of the worst mass casualties we’ve had in history, the deaths of hundreds by drowning and hypothermia, a love that could never be, and then a love that ends a few weeks after meeting with the untimely death of the romantic hero… now you have Titanic – the greatest love story of our time.

You don’t watch a movie about the guy who calmly accepted his wife’s death and his lot in life, said a prayer of gratitude and moved on… but you’ll watch the movie about the tormented father who rips his family apart and commits murder, or even the tormented ghost that is still holding on, murdering people who had nothing to do with the torment that caused the hell that traps it on this plane.

You aren’t interested in the story of the mother no one knew about, who lost her child to sex trafficking, and quietly mourned her loss, never knowing the fate of her only beloved daughter. Because it was unremarkable.

But Liam Neeson blowing up half of Europe and taking down a veritable army of guys in a few foreign countries? That’ll do, donkey.

And you wonder why your lives are so filled with drama and chaos and torment?

It’s the ONLY excitement you know.

Heroes are always having a bad day. Have you ever noticed that?

So in order to have heroes who face stuff, you have to have demons and dragons for those heroes to face.

Combine this with the fact that you cannot distinguish between what you watch and reality ,and you have a cauldron of opportunity for your mind to look for ways to create drama in your life.

Think back to a horror movie you’ve watched… remember the fear that made your heart beat, your pulse quicken, your breath catch sharply as you got a fright, your palms sweat? That was your body reacting on a mental, emotional and physical level to the visual stimulus in front of you.

It didn’t matter that you were not actually living the movie – seeing it was enough for you to experience it as real.

When you see something, it anchors you in that experience – think of any dream. It always feels real when you are in it.

Whatever you see in other words creates the “reality” of the environment you are experiencing.

Sometimes this can feel so real that you can’t return to real life… like when you can’t snap out of a dream, or forget a movie.

So once you’re watching the movie, your body begins to “experience” that experience as real, and your mind adds that range of experiences to the continuous catalogue it is building in your mind.

Whenever you approach any experience, your mind looks back on every similar experience you’ve ever had, and chooses from all those responses, the best response for what you are facing. The best one you can see.

This is why experience makes you better at doing something – your mind has narrowed down the ways to approach it, and understood how to do it, enough times that you know the ‘best way’ to approach it now.

When you experience the ups and downs and highs and lows of the drama and chaos in television and movies, that also becomes part of your range of experience.

So when you are in your normal life, you will find yourself responding as your favorite character from your favorite show would, saying something they would say – especially if you watch the shows repeatedly, In fact, if you watch the shows ongoing or repeatedly, you even get a sense that these people are your friends, a real part of your life.

Eventually, you will not only draw on mannerisms from these shows, you will begin to draw on the emotional responses too… and the hero is ALWAYS having a bad day.

Each time you watch stuff that Hollywood feeds us, you are literally training yourself to create drama in your life, because it is what you have come to know as excitement and entertainment.

Nothing makes us more depressed than drama and chaos in our lives – we want everything to run smoothly and be happy and peaceful; have it be easy.

News is not real

In order to keep pace with our need for excitement and distraction, news has to have the sensationalism that movies do.

News channels have to compete with entertainment channels in order to keep your attention, because they make their monthly income the same way that all broadcasting services do – advertising revenue.

The simple rule is, the more people that watch a show, the more you can charge for the advert to be broadcast. Think of the big deal they make of Superbowl adverts, for example.

So news channels are having to up their game, and you even see it in smaller, private and alternative media, with stuff that we term “click bait” – thumbnails and article titles that actually have nothing to do with the content on the page, and are just designed to grab your attention.

Of course these places are finding out what rattles your cage and using that information to manipulate you into watching or clicking through.

Combined with the almost drug like effect spending large amounts of time on digital devices has, it is easy for you get addicted to certain news channels and media platforms that are designed to draw you in as their “primary target market”.

Doing a NEWS FAST was actually one of the first steps I took on my journey towards healing – and now my life is permanent news fast.

I go out and FIND media on alternative outlets – I seek for specific topics and pieces, and never just scroll or go to the front page of anything.

If there is a big piece of news, someone will let me know.

I’ve lived like this for about four years now, and it is one of the most powerful changes I ever made in my life.

You cannot be positive when all you hear all the time is bad news. And the media lives on bad news.

There’s an advertising piece of urban legend passed down when you study advertising, and it is about a day when the media decided to only run good news. Think it was back in the 60s. Sure someone will fill us in in the comments lol 🙂

Sales dropped to 25% that day – people were only interested in bad news.

If we want the media to change, we have to change the media we consume.

The Internet offers an incredible range of alternative media platforms and resources – get out there and find out what’s on offer.

The way to stay in the know in the information age is to be in charge of the content you consume – careful in your choices.

This is a difficult change at first, because it forces you to really think about what you want to consume next, but it is one I guarantee you will be happy you made.

Monthly payments and lifestyle

It really doesn’t matter what you do for a living anymore, everything seems to be reduced to making a monthly income… and month end always seems to be around the corner.

We’ve created this artificial of month end and it ties us to this idea of time, and we always seem to be moving from one month end and round of bill paying, to the next.

Likewise, once we’ve achieved something, say medical insurance, having to decide to go without it feels like a sacrifice or loss, which in many cases causes shame and guilt and doubt and vulnerability about our perceived lack.

Once we’ve achieved something, we feel that that’s where we should be and stay, and so when we need to make choices about how to cut back, we find it very difficult.

And our monthly expenses just seem to be growing and growing.

We are very likely the first generation in many, that will do worse than our parents did

So many are chasing the American dream, and our fear of missing out (FOMO), and instant gratification cultures, drive vast volumes of people to incur debt they really shouldn’t require, to keep up with the Joneses now – because patience is a long forgotten art.

Instant Gratification

We live in a 30-second instant gratification culture… fast foods, drive throughs, 24-hour delivery… I was horrified to see one of our major stores open on Christmas Day last year in fact.

When you are used to getting everything at the speed of light, then any delay you experience, in achieving any desire, will feel like a failure.

One of the worst habits that conscious manifestation and the Law of Attraction gave us was to set deadlines for goals – every time you get to a deadline and haven’t achieved it, you land up feeling like a failure.

Feel like a failure enough times and you will land up wanting to throw yourself off a cliff.

Patience and divine timing are lost arts, but well worth practicing if you want peace of mind.

Both of these will take time, and the self discipline of repeated practice, until you get them right.

You will fail miserably in the beginning, but keep going, because once you’ve seen enough ways not to do it, you will start to find ways to do it.

You will feel immensely frustrated along the way – use the frustration to inspire you and push you forward. Let it make you hungry to solve this puzzle.

A little bit of patience – and a lot LESS expectation – will make the world of difference in how you see your life.

And it’s surprisingly good training for learning how to properly relax.

Fear Of Missing Out – FOMO

The last sideswipe that modern culture throws at us is the fear of missing out… get it on credit! Why wait?

Because debt drains you physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

I work with people all over the world, and the money thing is everywhere – and it impacts everybody in the same ways.

Whatever is worth having is worth waiting for, and you’ll enjoy it so much more when your inner voice is not running riot with worry and anxiety about how you are going to pay your bills, or find food for the rest of the month.

The money thing is real, and it’s hitting a lot of people – and a lot of people are committing suicide because of it.

You CAN miss out on the latest mobile phone or car, if it means that you don’t have to miss out on your life.

Yes, the purchase gives you instant gratification, but long term it only does more damage.

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Consciousness

Studies Show That Writing In A Journal Can Benefit Your Emotional & Physical Well-Being

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If you have read any of my previous articles, you may already know that I am a huge advocate of keeping a journal, or diary or notebook – whichever term you like best to describe the act of writing out your thoughts on paper, or if you prefer, typing them out on a screen.

Personally, journaling is something that has helped me get through some really tough times in my life and is also a great tool for just allowing some new perspective and a space to vent without judgment or advice. But for all of those skeptics out there who don’t understand how something like this could actually help, well, there’s science to prove it.

Scientific Evidence To Prove How Journaling Helps

Psychologists from the University of California were able to investigate the effect of journaling by inviting 20 volunteers to visit the lab for a brain scan before asking them to write for 20 minutes a day for four consecutive days. Half of the participants wrote about a fairly recent emotional experience, while the other half of the participants wrote about something neutral.

Those who chose to write about an emotional experience showed more activity in the part of the brain called the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. In turn, this relaxed neural activity that is linked to strong emotional feelings.

According to Lieberman, men seemed to benefit from writing about their feelings more so than women, and writing by hand seemed to have a bigger effect than typing on a keyboard. That’s an interesting note: could men benefit from journaling more because in general they tend to keep their feelings to themselves? A journal can certainly act as a safe space for emotionally deprived men to vent.

“Men tend to show greater benefits and that is a bit counterintuitive. But the reason might be that women more freely put their feelings into words, so this is less of a novel experience for them. For men it’s more of a novelty,” Lieberman said.

Aside from drastic improvements to your mood and emotional well-being, writing out your thoughts and feelings regularly can actually benefit your physical health as well. Journaling can increase your chance of fighting specific diseases like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS and cancer. Amazingly, it can even help physical wounds heal faster.

A study conducted in 2013 found that 76% of adults who spent 20 minutes a day journaling for three days in a row before a scheduled medical biopsy were fully healed 11 days later. On the other hand, 58% of the control group had not yet recovered. The study concluded that just one hour of writing about a distressing event helped the participants to better understand the events and reduce stress levels.

Lead researcher on expressive writing at the University of Texas and author of Writing To Heal, James W. Pennebaker, has found that by translating our experiences into our own language by writing it out, we are able to make the experience more comprehendible.

Pennebaker says: “Emotional upheavals touch every part of our lives. You don’t just lose a job, you don’t just get divorced. These things affect all aspects of who we are — our financial situation, our relationships with others, our views of ourselves…writing helps us focus and organize the experience.”

The Most Efficient Way To Cope With A Big Life Change Is To Journal

Journaling will help you to get over a break-up or cope with other up and down relationships in your life. While it may seem to be overanalyzing, studies have shown that venting about a past relationship actually helps to speed up emotional recovery and can help build a stronger sense of self-identity following a break-up. I don’t know about you, but this is something that I wish I would have done after break-ups that leave you feeling lost and like you don’t know who you are anymore.

By venting I don’t mean to your friends. While this certainly can help, the act of writing, with a pen or pencil, will provide you with the most health benefits.

“Writing accesses the left hemisphere of the brain, which is analytical and rational,” Maud Purcell, a psychotherapist and journaling expert, told Fast Company. “While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to do what it does best, i.e. create, intuit, and feel. In this way, writing removes mental blocks and allows us to use more of our brainpower to better understand ourselves and the world around us.”

Journaling Can Provide Long-Term Benefits

Journaling helps you to cope with the experience at hand but it can also help to prepare you to face similar experiences in the future.

“Journal therapy is all about using personal material as a way of documenting an experience, and learning more about yourself in the process,” Kathleen Adams, a psychotherapist and author of Journal to the Self, told the Huffington Post. “It lets us say what’s on our minds and helps us get — and stay — healthy through listening to our inner desires and needs.”

The process of journaling allows you to get to know yourself through your feelings and experiences. It’s just plain and simply writing out your feelings. This is different than just thinking because it is more streamline; you aren’t going back and forth or writing the same thing down over and over again.

You can start right now, or the next time you’re feeling particularly stressed about something. It’s so simple you might as well give it a shot! What do you have to lose? It just might help you more than you might have imagined! Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to look back at the big events that happened in your life in 20 years or longer and see how you were able to deal with the situations? It could even provide you with some insight on how to handle situations you are faced with in the future.

We are constantly being faced with challenges. This is what life is all about, but our reactions to those challenges is what defines who we are. Are we strong and capable or are we weak and playing a victim? The choice is ours!

Much Love

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Consciousness

Loneliness: A Health Problem That Could Be Deadlier Than Obesity, Study Says

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Loneliness can reliably be linked to a significant increase in the risk of early mortality, according to a study at Brigham Young University. Head author, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, notes that “substantial evidence now indicates that individuals lacking social connections (both objective and subjective social isolation) are at risk for premature mortality.”

Holt-Lunstad believes the risks associated with loneliness are already greater than such established dangers as obesity:

Several decades ago scientists who observed widespread dietary and behavior changes raised warnings about obesity and related health problems. The present obesity epidemic had been predicted. Obesity now receives constant coverage in the media and in public health policy. The current status of research on the risks of loneliness and social isolation is similar to that of research on obesity 3 decades ago… Current evidence indicates that heightened risk for mortality from a lack of social relationships is greater than that from obesity.

Furthermore, she warns that “researchers have predicted that loneliness will reach epidemic proportions by 2030 unless action is taken.”

Why Are We So Isolated From Each Other?

From the long view, it can be said that Western civilization as a whole has fostered a gradual disintegration of our physical and social ties. With an emphasis on individual goals and an almost fanatical regard for personal achievement, the traditional institutions of family and community and their capacity to provide their members with a sense of belonging and shared purpose have become significantly fragmented.

The family unit has gone from large generations-linked mutual support systems to small and immediate units, sometimes involving single parents whose necessities make it very difficult to create a stable home environment for their children. Add to that the fact that more and more people are not even building families, and our society has more people living alone than at any other time in history. This includes the elderly, who are less likely to find a ‘fit’ living within their children’s families than ever before.

The decline of the ‘community’ is perhaps as significant as the disintegration of the family unit. In Western-style communities, people work as a collection of individual units interacting by specific functions rather than as an interrelated whole with a significant shared identity. Naturally, attempts are made today to join or build ‘communities’ all the time, but like the Meetup model, they are founded on the gathering of select people with similar interests and purposes, rather than a shared embrace of all people within a certain geographical area.

The Rise of Social Media

I believe the rise in prominence of social media has in part been fuelled by the sense of alienation we have long felt within our modern society. I don’t believe social media is the root cause of our loneliness, as some speculate, but rather a symptom of this much longer-standing social problem. Connecting via chats and web pages is just something that we have gotten into the habit of reaching for since it is so immediately accessible. But like any quick fix, it does not end up fulfilling our deeper needs, either individually or as a society.

If we see that our society has been slowly disintegrating over hundreds of years, then it becomes incumbent upon us as a society (if we can still even identify ourselves with our ‘society’) to take measures to remedy this situation. What those measures might be, though, given how things seem to be trending, is a matter of great conjecture.

On Being Alone  

One approach is to first acknowledge that Western society’s emphasis on the individual is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I believe that the development of personal integrity, creativity, and autonomy is a critical step in the evolution of human consciousness. Learning how to be alone with oneself is a part of that process. In his work entitled Pensées, French philosopher Blaise Pascal observed that “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

As evidenced by Eastern gurus and mystics, one can be perfectly content in isolation. This can be greatly facilitated by the practice of meditation and other such methods that give us a direct perception of our energetic connectedness not only with other people, but with all things. In this higher state, the damaging emotional impact of loneliness and social isolation are not experienced.

Our Next Step

Still, the life of the yogi remains for the few. The rest of us, it seems, have come to this planet to interact, share, and love. And we have not incarnated into this dense physical world to get better at virtual relationships. At this stage, we have perhaps gotten a bit too accustomed to social isolation for our own good.

Holt-Lunstad notes that “although living alone can offer conveniences and advantages for an individual, this meta-analysis indicates that physical health is not among them.” She also cites another study that “has demonstrated higher survival rates for those who are more socially connected.” And then there is the seminal 75-Year Harvard University study, where “it was universally clear that without loving and supportive relationships, men in the study were not happy.” The message is becoming clear: we need to come together.

We are perhaps at a larger turning point in our development than most of us realize. It seems that we have reached the extreme edge of the exploration of individualism, and we are readying to move into greater balance with a collective identity. This is not a return to traditional ways, but rather a synthesis of our growth as individuals with the shared experience we are now hungering for. This synthesis signifies the next stage of our evolution.

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Consciousness

How I Induced An Out Of Body Experience Without Substances

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Can you really have an out of body experience on command? Absolutely. While this is something that will take some time to practice and get good at, there are many methods to having out of body experiences or spiritual experiences on command using only your consciousness and physical body.

There is also a purpose to these experiences; they aren’t simply to trip out (although if you wish to do that it’s up to you). These experiences can help you dissolve fears, move past trauma, expand your consciousness and much more. I personally don’t feel inspired to do anything other than explore and expand myself when I engage in experiences like this.

Many of the stories you hear of out of body experiences happen through dreams, near death experiences, from the state between sleep and awake, and when people experiment with psychedelics like magic mushrooms, DMT or ayahuasca. But we are capable of having out-of-body experiences with just our thoughts, breath and consciousness.

Why These Experiences Can Be Helpful

I say “CAN BE” helpful because they have that ability, but it doesn’t mean we always use it. We may want to explore a past trauma, and meditation or OBE’s could help us do that, but if we don’t use them for this purpose or do the work afterwards they won’t be helpful. Likewise with any substance like ayahuasca, mushrooms or DMT. They don’t do the work for you and don’t save you. You still have to do the work afterwards and it’s for this exact reason that most people who experiment with these substances or experiences still don’t make shifts in their lives because it’s still work. And it’s the work that we often aren’t willing to do that stops us from moving forward.

Your intention for wanting to have these experiences is important. Sometimes when we think about psychedelics or having out of body experiences we are seeking a trippy-like experience out of curiosity. And that’s totally fine. Curiosity can be how we explore and learn things. But while it may be fun to play a couple times, I generally say it isn’t the best motivation for wanting to have these experiences. I typically tend to encourage people to reflect on a deeper sense of exploration and growth within ourselves when it comes to exploring our consciousness, which is a big part of what we do in CE’s Explorer Lounge you can check out here.

The reason why I believe focusing on having a trippy experience is not ideal is because I have seen many people get lost in the need to just experiencing something trippy. Not only that, but it can often become an escape from the challenges we face. Which is why I feel society utilizes cannabis, alcohol, TV and food addictively.

DMT, mushrooms, Ayahuasca and so forth were initially put on this planet when we had difficult times exploring our consciousness and external tools assisted us in doing that. Today, a resurgence of these substances is taking place as people’s curiosity to explore is once again popular. After all, there is a shift in consciousness taking place.

However, I do not believe we still need these substances today in order to have these types of consciousness based experiences. While I think they can be helpful for some of us who are in difficult situations like drug addiction or have serious trauma from war or violent experiences, I feel we are all very equipped within ourselves to explore without them, and I’m personally inspired to encourage that.

Ultimately it’s not as much about any substance or experience as it is about what the end goal helps us to see – more about ourselves. They tell us to look within to find answers and move past our challenges. So many experiences in life are all pushing us to do that exact same thing, look within. Our core teaching here at Collective Evolution is change starts within. All for the reason that it’s at the core of how we will create a profound shift in our lives and on this planet. So what can we take from this?

If we know the core truth is about us looking within, why not just begin looking there right now?

How I Created my Own Out Of Body Experience

I was in California, attending Wim Hof’s retreat in Beverly Hills. It was day two and we were doing a breathing exercise that was about focusing on energy in our body and learning how to control and use it.

At the Wim Hof retreat in California.

There was a focus on utilizing it to activate our pineal gland in such a way that may or may not release a little bit of DMT in your brain, allowing us to have some form of experience that would be beyond the physical. I would like to say at this point that this is certainly not the core message of Wim’s work, nor is it something that I think the method is truly for. It’s simply something that you can use in order to obtain this result. These forms of breathing exercises are not new either, they have been used by yogi’s and “guru’s” for many years to attain different states of consciousness.

There were about 60 of us, we were in a beautiful room with 15 foot ceilings and the sun was shining in through the side windows. I was laying flat on my back on a yoga mat patiently waiting for the exercise to start. This would not be the first time I was going to have an out of body experience, but it would be the first I would attempt on command. My previous experiences came from dream-states, meditation or simply.. happening.

We began with Wim’s standard method of breathing. Heavy breaths in and out of the mouth. Stomach, chest, head, out. After about 8 minutes of this, I went into my breath holds (as part of his method) and I began to focus energy from around the base of my spine and brought it up my back, into my brain and ‘pinged’ my pineal gland with it.

As I brought the energy up into my pineal gland I felt what I had felt in the past with these types of experiences. Ringing and vibrations in my body and mind starting to increase. With my eyes closed, I began to see the room. I could feel my essence slowly leaving my body up straight into the air. It moved slowly and peacefully. It wasn’t a fast jolt or ‘uncontrollable’ in a sense, it was very light.

The pineal gland.

As I drifted upwards more and more I eventually made it to the ceiling and rested there. What happened next was what you might experience in deep meditation which is having all of your thoughts emotions set aside and you begin to feel like a massive, massive, massive presence that is so far beyond your physical body that you no longer identify with being a physical body. You begin to realize you are a vast consciousness that is pure unconditional love and pure potential.

From this state of being you have the ability to utilize your awareness to look at your life, situations, the planet or whatever it may be from a completely non-judgmental and unconditionally loving way so as to deeply understand why things happen. You gain clarity and awareness as to how you may move forward with something from this space. These experiences help us to get a glimpse at what is beyond the stories and the drama of our minds. This is VERY powerful in clearing our fears, worries, and traumas.

Back to my experience here. As I continued to feel immense at the top of the ceiling, I could see all of the bodies in the room having their own experience. I felt connected to them, the building, and everything around us. The difference between myself and everything else drifted away, and I was simply an essence or consciousness observing. This, is precisely how I know experientially that consciousness does not originate in the mind but is our existence. Mainstream science has not caught up to this understanding yet but it’s getting close, and that is very inspiring.

After what could have been 10 or so minutes, I slowly came back down into my physical body and began to integrate back into it. I opened my eyes and began to feel the desire to go outside and enjoy the sunlight. I felt slightly emotional at this point as I had gotten a glimpse of the difference between feeling fully clear outside of my body vs feeling certain emotional pains and mind stories that were in my physical body. This right here, is where the magic is. This is how we see more clearly what it is that we are being challenged by and have a reference point to compare what letting it go feels like.

Concluding Thoughts

When you are in meditation, you are able to re-tune into these types of higher states of consciousness and be an observer looking back at the challenges you face at any moment in your life. With detachment from them you can ask yourself how you created or co-created the experience you are having and what lesson is in it for you. How does it serve you? How can you move forward with action and so forth? You can see the greater workings and perfection that comes with these experiences to help you move beyond them.

So that’s pretty well it! Utilize and explore these experiences with clear intentions of evolving yourself and you will have the best results in not only creating these experiences but attaining more peace in your life. Have fun and keep exploring!

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