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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.

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.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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Consciousness

Supermoon Total Eclipse In Leo: Making Changes To Support Our Self-Expression

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We are having a Total Lunar Eclipse, commonly referred to as a ‘Blood Moon’, which will appear in its totality on the night of January 20th leading into morning of the 21st in the western world. It was also be a Supermoon which is when it appears larger due to its closer proximity to the Earth. The entire eclipse process from beginning to end will be visible from the Americas as well as parts of Northern Europe and parts of the European West Coast, including the UK.

It will also appear in totality throughout Western Europe, most of Central Europe, Western Africa, and parts of Russia. It will appear partially in the Middle East, Africa, parts of Russia, and the Northern half of Japan. It will peak at 5:16am Universal Time (12:16 EST), and will begin just over 2 hours prior. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

This Lunar Eclipse follows a Solar Eclipse in Capricorn that occurred on January 5th/6th and initiated this lunar cycle. The energies of each Eclipse generally plays out over the following 6 months and can begin up to 6 weeks prior. However, they are also part of a 2 year process in which the Lunar Nodes and other Eclipses are in the same signs.

This eclipse season has the energies of the Eclipse/Lunar Node process that began two years ago in the Leo/Aquarius axis and also the new process in the Cancer/Capricorn axis in which we have been transitioning into. This Blood Moon in Leo marks the final Eclipse of the Leo/Aquarius re-orientation, and it’s possible that the themes that play out in your life can be connected to something that has already been playing out.

Total Lunar Eclipse In Leo Opposite Sun in Aquarius & Mercury, Square Uranus

A Lunar Eclipse is a supercharged Full Moon which is when the Earth gets in the way of the Sun’s light and dims it during its climax. This reflects a furthering shift in our lives in relation to the Leo-Aquarius polarity.

Leo is about our individual self-expression, what brings us joy, and inspiration from the heart. It is also associated with creativity, performing, passion, children, romance, hobbies, and leadership. Leo is about what makes us great as individuals.  This sign is also associated with the ego and the eclipses that have been occurring here can help to facilitate changes in how we express our ego.

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Although Aquarius has individualistic qualities that it shares with Leo, it is also the sign of friends, groups, social networks, the team, and humanity. It views the unique and authentic qualities of an individual as an important and contributing factor to the collective. Aquarius is also intellectual, progressive, and innovative. It can be aloof, overly objective, too scientific, dispassionate, impersonal, and detached.

This eclipse process over the last few years can reflect changes in how we apply both Leo and Aquarius aspects of our lives, and also how they correlate with each other. The focus is more about stepping into Leo energies in new ways and changes on the Aquarian side to help support that. Both beginnings and endings around themes connected to both signs can occur.

Similarly to the Last Lunar Eclipse in the Summer, this one (along with Mercury) is in a square with Uranus on the Aries/Taurus cusp. Uranus here emphasizes change as well as the individualistic qualities of both of these signs, while also sharing other Aquarian themes as well.

Being in a square, it can also manifest in a challenging or strong way. It can be separative, rebellious, or disruptive. Perhaps sudden and unexpected things can play out, or bring instability to an area of our life. It can also be liberating and revolutionary for us. With Mercury here on the South Node, this could also indicate changing or releasing something connected to the way we think or communicate.

Venus Conjunct Jupiter, Square Neptune

Venus in Sagittarius is moving towards a conjunction with Jupiter, while they are both in a square with Neptune in Pisces and a trine with Mars in Aries. This energy can be expansive and fortunate socially, romantically, and for some people financially. Fun and pleasure can be connected to things like travel, education, or even spiritual and creative pursuits.

However, their can also be some confusion around these area as well. Being excessive around indulgences, pleasures, spending money, escapism, intoxication, or anything fantasy based can also be a theme. This energy is strongest from January 21st-22nd.

Mars Square Saturn & Trine Jupiter, Saturn Sextile Neptune

Mars is in a square with Saturn while moving towards a trine with Jupiter. Saturn is also in a sextile with Neptune. This can be a great energy for taking disciplined or structured action towards goals, aspirations, ideals, or anything that broadens our horizons.

Saturn pushes us to be realistic and cautious in how we take action while Jupiter reflects acting in an expansive way. Saturn can also bring some restrictions or obstacles which can help us change our course towards something more ideal. Much of these energies mentioned in this section are strong from January 20th-26th.

Mercury Approaching Superior Conjunction With Sun

Mercury joins the Sun on January 29th/30th in its ‘Superior Conjunction’ with the Sun. From our perspective on Earth, this is when Mercury is aligned with the Sun however it is on the other side of it. From this period onward, it is initiating its next phase in which it travels ahead of the Sun. We can have greater clarity regarding what has been building up or seeded since late November.

Our minds can be more aligned with our true needs and self-expression. Over the coming months, we can better implement our ideas and whatever we have been thinking about with greater confidence/direction in comparison to the previous two months.

To Consider During This Period

How can you better tap into your authentic self-expression? What inspires you and brings you joy? How can you bring more love into your life? What do need to change to make that happen? What do you want to create? Do you need to separate or liberate from something that is holding you back? How can you expand socially in way that is supportive of your authentic self? How can you make your ideals and dreams a reality?

These are just some examples of what could be coming up, but not limited to them either. If you decide to use this energy to intentionally release something from your life, it is best to start that after the Moon begins to wane after the peak of the Full Moon, or even over the following two weeks.

The exact moment of the peak will be at 5:16am Universal Time on January 21st. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone. If the eclipse is visible in your location, remember that it begins approximately two hours before the peak and two hours following, and also depends on what time the Moon rises and sets in your location.

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

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

Looking for astrological insight into what is going on in your life? Or perhaps looking to better understand your life and its potentials? Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information or to order.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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Consciousness

Some Tips To Help You Unwind Your Busy Monkey Mind

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Many of us are unable to relax entirely, as we rush through our days with constant mental chatter and to-do lists on our minds. However, there are relaxing techniques that are easy to implement throughout the day to help us calm our “monkey minds."

  • Reflect On:

    Taking more time to be still, step away from the busyness of life, and learning to unwind helps us feel more grounded and less scattered — thus positively impacting all areas of our lives.

Most people believe relaxing activities are only done in the evenings, and should be grouped in categories, scheduled, or put in an evening “routine,” as if it’s simply another item to check off your “to-do” list.

The good news? You don’t have to wait until the evening to unwind and relax. In fact, you shouldn’t. You deserve to feel grounded in your center and a sense of peace all day, not for just a few hours at the end of your day. You shouldn’t have to, and you absolutely do not have to and mustn’t do so. It is time to do away with the philosophy that it is only safe to entertain the idea of relaxation at the very end of your day, after spending the large majority of your waking hours walking through the day scattered, stressed, anxious, drained, ungrounded and thrown about. You deserve more, and there’s a way to get there. There is a way to unwind that busy, chaotic monkey mind which owns most of your waking hours and is not aligned with your true nature, or the place deep within where stillness and serenity reside. 

Understandably, this may seem quite impossible once you’ve trained your body and mind to operate in a “go, go, go” mode without any sense of stillness.

The thing is though, you don’t have to take time off or become a monk … you can rest in stillness while doing the same things you’re currently doing — and an added bonus to the already amazing benefit of not living a frantic life is that everything you do will be of higher quality. I think you’ll find that all other aspects of life outside of work (relationships, health, etc.) will dramatically improve as a result.

So, here are some tips for unwinding that busy “monkey mind” not only in the evenings, but throughout the day too:

  • Start your day with a “mental dump.” Write out all the things you need to do in a notebook. This relieves a lot of stress, and by getting it all down on paper, you typically realize most of it is just mind made and you really only need to make one or two things your priorities. There is zero reason to even stress about the rest.
  • Every so often, ideally once an hour if you can, set aside as little as 3-5 minute blocks of times for stillness and silence throughout your day. Meditate or go outside and sit in nature or take a walk (which, of course, are also forms of meditation). This will help you return to your core and stay more rooted throughout the day. 
  • Engage in creative activity or “play”: Do something purely for the pleasure of doing it, do it just for fun, with no end goal in mind. An aside: unstructured time for “play” (an activity done purely for fun rather than to gain something from it), is said to be crucial to your creative process. So, if you’re an artist of any type and you’re feeling “blocked,” just keep this in mind. You might just need some unstructured time to enjoy whatever you feel like enjoying at any given moment without having to justify it.
  • Almost all articles on anxiety and insomnia suggest putting away all electronic devices or turning them off completely for the night. Though many of us may find this difficult given our heavy reliance on technology, it is crucial to shut your devices off before bed as they can reduce melatonin production.

If you have difficulty shutting your phone off entirely, you could try a few other remedies including using blue light filters on your devices, avoiding news outlets or anything that will get a rise out of you, and avoiding violent movies and shows before bed. 

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And if you read at night, there is one thing that has helped me immensely —only read fiction, or less stimulating material. Avoid books and magazines that make you want to be more productive, stimulate new ideas prompting your mind to do anything but unwind, and instead just enjoy some good old fiction. Although it’s important to read and educate ourselves, I’ve found that stimulating my brain with this content before bed can reduce my sleep quality. 

Meditation is, of course, the number one most suggested method for taming the monkey mind. However, sitting still for someone with a scattered brain can be difficult. One method to troubleshoot this and not feel like you have to discipline yourself to ‘meditate for 20 minutes straight in the lotus position’ is to just sit down, close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths. After all, you can do anything for 10 breaths, right?

The Takeaway

Whatever you do during your free time, savor the pleasure of the process rather than thinking of the end goal. In fact, who cares if you even reach the end goal? Who cares if you even have one? Let’s just go ahead and throw the whole idea of a goal in regards to this topic away … lest we wish to possibly defeat our purpose. 

What are your tips and life hacks for unwinding your monkey mind when it gets the best of you? 

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Consciousness

Gillette’s New Ad On “Toxic Masculinity” Is Great – And Necessary, But…

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new commercial from Gillette tackles the issue of 'toxic masculinity.' The commercial asks us questions about male culture and challenges us to step up and change what we're doing. But did they tackle this well?

  • Reflect On:

    What else can we take from the commentary of this commercial? Where else can we find these same behaviours in our society? Further, what is the purpose of the extreme, identity-based politics we see today? Is it causing more harm than good?

In an age of extremes, the nuance of this article is going to be what helps us understand what we are truly seeing in terms of the challenges we face and how we can solve them without generating a strong opinion on these issues. I encourage you all to carefully read this article as if we want to help move away from things like “toxic masculinity,” “toxic femininity,” racism and so forth, but we must do so wisely by truly understanding the depth of what is being said.

Before I continue on, I want to say that in many cases, when talking about issues regarding men, women, or any particular race as politics and media often do today, we must remember that what is talked about does not represent the whole of any group. In fact, in many cases, it only represents a very small percentage of the group being discussed.

As a result of aspects of our consciousness, which we will discuss further in this article, there is no shortage of extremism in society right now when it comes to the discussion of gender. The #MeToo movement helped the greater population recognize that sexism is a huge problem within prominent industries, like music and film, where women are being harassed or abused sexually by men. This then extended to a greater discussion about sexual abuse in society in general, which I feel anyone can agree is an important topic to bring awareness to. In fact, I don’t know if I have ever come across anyone who actually opposes putting a stop to something like this, yet due to extreme positions, many are being wrongfully accused of such opposition. This is where we need to have a deeper discussion.

By now we know it happens, we don’t need another article exposing it, we need one talking about solutions, so that is what I’m going to focus on.

We exist in very polarized states of consciousness, and because we are a society who has not put a large focus on emotional intelligence, many issues that come to the forefront go through a long period of extremism before/if we become grounded again in order to truly understand what’s going on.

Of course, what I am talking about doesn’t relate only to what occurred after the #MeToo movement began, but with anything, including people’s views on government conspiracies, race, politics and other societal issues. In short, we attempt to apply blanket statements to issues instead of viewing things on a case by case basis or through the properly grounded facts that we do have about an issue.

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As Stefan Molyneux puts it,

“The general leftist approach is that all disparities in group outcomes are the result of prejudice, of racism, of sexism, of colonialism, of exploitation of generally bad white male behaviour.”

Ultimately he goes on to say that if you choose not to look at the larger reasons as to why certain things are happening in our world, you will always be stuck blaming racism, sexism, the patriarchy, men, women, or any particular race. We must preface our discussion with this gnosis before discussing what’s next because it is only in the grounded understandings of our world that we actually can tell where we are at.

 Gillette Aims To Help Raise Awareness About “Toxic Masculinity”

I’ve put the terms toxic masculinity and toxic femininity in quotations both times thus far because many people have very different ideas of what those things look like and mean. In fact, some people don’t even think “toxic femininity” exists, similar to the way they feel only white people are capable of being racist.

For the purposes of this article, I refer to the term toxic masculinity as partaking in a destructive form of male culture that does not operate on the basis of respect, equality and self-responsibility, and that will often exude overly strong behaviours of sexualizing women and competing with others to maintain egoic power. In short, much of what we have seen as male culture through pop culture, movies, music, and so forth can tinker on promoting this form of masculinity. It’s seen in situations where a female is marginalized down to simply being a sex object or situations where male dominance is valued and strived for.

Let’s have a look at this Gillette ad before we continue the conversation.

As Gillette accurately illustrates in its new ad, justifying certain behaviours that are not self-responsible and that do not create a harmonious world with statements like “boys will be boys,” is not something we can continue to do if we want to create a better world. Furthermore, leading by example and being able to speak up about behaviours you observe in others is important. It’s important not to do so in a condescending and judgemental tone, but rather by using a compassionate tone instead that truly questions the behaviour and allows you to empathize with how the other may feel in a situation. Further to that, we must recognize what this ad fails to point out, these behaviours don’t and haven’t come from all males, likely not even the majority.

As Gillette brand director Pankaj Bhalla told the Wall Street Journal,

“This is an important conversation happening, and as a company that encourages men to be their best, we feel compelled to both address it and take action of our own, … “We are taking a realistic look at what’s happening today, and aiming to inspire change by acknowledging that the old saying ‘boys will be boys’ is not an excuse. We want to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and hope all the men we serve will come along on that journey to find our ‘best’ together.”

I have been in a number of situations where I’m in an all-male setting and one or two males are talking disrespectfully about females and I will observe other males join in simply so they feel included in the conversation or so that the other men don’t judge them. I personally know the men who joined in on the conversation don’t actually agree with the others, but do so because they feel they have to. Or better put, they do not know themselves or are comfortable enough with themselves to take the potential backlash that can sometimes come from not joining in.

This is why I say the way through these challenges is not by creating an enemy, judging their behaviour, and casting them out like many are doing, but instead by helping people question what they are doing and encouraging a culture of self-responsibility, empathy, and a deeper relationship with self. These sorts of conversations can be openly had, but it’s challenging because of our societal norms. Instead, our culture is often either that of the ‘toxic masculinity’ in question or that of extreme judgement towards unfavorable behaviours. Both are extremes, and neither help change the individual in a deep manner.

To be clear, any gender, any race and any person from a socio-economic class can take part in the disconnected behaviours mentioned above. It is not just men.

This is also where the nuance comes in. It’s important to recognize that not all men represent characteristics of “toxic masculinity.” Male pop culture might, and male pop culture does affect a certain subset of people, but it is not representative of the whole. This leads to my one small issue with the Gillette commercial. It, like many people today seem to be doing, is throwing the baby out with the bath water, i.e. not paying attention to nuance. In the case of #MeToo and this commercial, this behaviour does not apply to all men, perhaps not even to most men. We must remember that societal issues don’t apply to everyone within any particular subset of people, yet that is what people often focus on. This is also why so many enemies are being created. It’s like how some will view all Muslims as terrorists, for example.

Let’s recall the quote from Stefan Molyneux above, “The general leftist approach is that all disparities in group outcomes are the result of prejudice, of racism, of sexism, of colonialism, of exploitation of generally bad white male behaviour.” He is absolutely right in pointing out that the reasons for these things are not as simple as people want them to be, and thus we run in circles of extremes. I bring this point up not to turn the focus away from men, but because I actually care about seeing our culture change. I’ve spent enough time coming to understand that people have become outright extreme and misinformed about issues because we are too focused on an enemy and choosing sides. Thus, we have no clue where we actually stand. This is about changing how we live and operate as humans, not just of any particular race or gender.

If there are feelings of wanting to say or utilize some of the classic deflections of today including “easy for you to say from a white male privileged standpoint,” please save it. Let’s have the courage to have mature, grounded conversations, ones that can help us solve the challenges we face together.

If Not Careful, Our Unchecked Behaviour Divides Us

Like with any movement that begins, it often starts on a positive and helpful note. In this case, bringing awareness to sexual abuse of women is important to address. But the movement has come under fire to some extent as it appears to be going too far. The reasons for this include sweeping judgments, assumptions, and a lack of understanding of things that are said or what’s happening.

This has caused great divides amongst people whereby gender happens to be the card played when any issue is brought forth, even when gender truly has nothing to do with it. We are similarly seeing this with race.

This has given rise to grounded voices like Candace Owens, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and Cassie Jaye, to name a few, who are discussing gender inequality in a way that is helping us to diagnose the problem more clearly and ultimately understand how to move forward. This is, of course, in contrast to the extremism out there where you begin to see women hating men or men hating women simply because we are always attempting to blame people for problems.

Cassie Jaye talks a lot about humanizing your ‘enemy.’ In her case, her enemy was males. As she discusses in her TEDx talk, when she released her movie The Red Pill, she received a great deal of backlash from feminists as her film explored The Men’s Right’s movement from her perspective as a feminist. As you might imagine, in her film, Cassie decided to go and speak to people directly. She learned about the people she was fighting against, and in some cases hated, only to realize that in most cases the issues and people involved were not quite who she thought they were.

She goes onto discuss that the greatest issue and challenge she faced was “having to peel back the layers of my own bias.” She goes deeper saying “it turned out I did meet my enemy while filming. It was my ego saying that I was right, and they were subhuman.”

Near the close of her talk she states “It’s no secret now that I no longer call myself a feminist, but I must clarify, I am not anti-feminist, and I am not a men’s rights activist. I still support women’s rights, and I now care about men’s rights as well. However, I believe if we want to honestly discuss gender equality, we need to invite all voices to the table. Yet this is not what is happening. Men’s groups are continually vilified, falsely referred to as hate groups and their voices are systematically silenced.”

The point here is not to pit men’s groups against women’s groups and see who is right, the point is that we have to stop creating sides and enemies. We instead must create a culture where we truly see one another beyond the physical realm. We also must see that in our own ways, we experience challenges from a system that truly does not support our growth.

When her film was released, the media entered into the popular groupthink of our modern times when it comes to gender politics, causing her to become one of the most hated filmmakers at the time. All she did in her film was explore the truth, beyond the fight of side vs side. She instead chose to see things for that they truly are, and this led to what I like to call an upheaval of emotions in viewers that struggle with neutral viewpoints, and instead are addicted to the fight and having an enemy.

This is where I believe many of us exist today. We live in a world where we’re encouraged to choose a side, accept limiting beliefs about what is going on, and ultimately become addicted to the drama of having an enemy to fight… even when they are not doing what you think they are doing.

The Takeaway

What benefit truly comes from identifying as a certain form of activist? I’m not talking about simply saying “I’m an environmentalist” so people understand you care about the environment, I’m talking about when we identify so deeply as an environmentalist that we now filter everything we hear and learn through that lens, thus blocking us from not only hearing the truth but understanding where we stand as a collective. What benefit does that serve other than to show us what disconnection looks like?

I feel it’s time we pay attention to the nuance, the facts and the feelings within our hearts and stop working so hard to find or even create an enemy.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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