Money as survival, living off grid and a money free world are terms that are being bandied around more and more as people become aware of the systemic trap we’ve all been indoctrinated into.
When you look at the patterns of how the money-as-survival system plays out, you realize its efficacy lies in how thoroughly it hamstrings you from every angle.
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Today we’re going to briefly unpack five of the ways that the money system manages to keep you trapped, even though you may be making moves towards trying to get out of it.
1. A short cycle of 1-month
Time is a very artificial construct, once you get into it.
The only real measure of time we have is a day, and we mark that because we see the sun rise and set. It’s the contrast of the light and darkness that so effectively delineates the measure of time in a day.
There’s no such obvious marker however for weeks and months. Some would argue that you could use the moon and seasonal cycles, but those would vary according to where you are in the world, and if that’s true, then June in the Northern Hemisphere would have to become December in the Southern Hemisphere.
The purpose of that sidetrack is to lay the background for the idea that month-end is an artificially generated construct.
Nothing actually happens if you don’t pay by a specific date – well nothing of cosmic significance anyway. There are no cases of people getting struck by lightning for skipping bill payments… *smiles*
The biggest problem with this artificial cycle that concludes in month end, is that it is really a short cycle.
You quickly fall into the trap of living month-to-month, hand-to-mouth, with the idea that you’ll make it through the end of this month and then start the long-term stuff next month.
But next month never comes, does it?
You just get stuck in this loop of generating just enough money to make it to month-end, so that you can breathe for a day or two, and feel a bit rested before you launch into something bigger that could yield long-term results.
You get focused on completing shorter projects so that you can meet your immediate expenses, because if you don’t meet those then long term doesn’t really matter.
2. You don’t get enough time or rest
And you make it to next month, but when you get there, you’re still tired… and it always seems to be very close to when you have to make sure you can cover the next set of bills that is due.
You decide to rush through a few projects to make time for the long-term project that will yield results, or you spend time on the longer term project first…. either way, when it comes to balancing the other end of the scale, later on, you’re tired, and already starting to feel burnt out, as well as the looming pressure of month end.
And if you can just make it through month end, well then, next month maybe you’ll get time to sort this all out properly?
But you don’t get the time – and you don’t get the time to rest either. You’re running on empty, exhausted, and firing on maybe 40 to 80% of your cylinders… if you’re lucky.
So, even if you do find time to work on “the big thing”, you’re only doing it with half a brain.
The rest of your brain is wrapped in worrying about what you have to get done, how much money you have to generate, and what you can do to get there; so much so, in fact, that you are never truly present when you’re working – or when you’re resting.
It’s that constant inner voice chatter that becomes your worst enemy when you try to rest as well: yes, you take the time and rest your physical body, but your mind just keeps spinning and spinning and spinning, like a broken record.
And because you’re never firing on all cylinders, you never quite reach that great idea that could actually maybe pull you out of this mess.
Or you get the idea and you miss it, or just plain don’t have the energy to actually do anything about realizing it.
3. Constant low-grade stress
All of that inner voice chatter is a constant low-grade buzz – a stressor that eats away at the back of your mind, wearing you down and draining you over the long term.
You get even more tired and feel less inclined to find the time and energy to make that “big thing” happen.
You start feeling powerless to do anything in fact – but that’s okay: you’re usually too tired to notice.
This all-pervading tiredness further reinforces the pattern of “doing enough for month end so that I can rest before the next big surge.”
Over time, “enough to get by” is all you eventually seem to do.
4. Shame and failure
Hopelessness never comes alone: it travels with its friends, shame and failure.
The more and more we feel like we’re failing, the more we keep that information private, to ourselves.
When you do ego mitigation work, one of the powerful realizations you’ll come to is that anything only ever has power over you when you keep it private. You never fear something that is already known – this is why we hide things about ourselves.
Out of shame, people stay private about their money issues: not just you, but also the people around you.
As a result, when we benchmark against others in our minds, we are really benchmarking against our imagination – and our imaginations love to paint a grass-is-greener scenario when we do that.
So on top of the hopelessness and powerlessness that we are already feeling, every time we think about how others are doing, we see ourselves as failures by comparison.
If you repeatedly tell yourself that you are a failure, thousands of times every month, you will eventually feel like a failure. When that happens, you will approach every situation expecting to fail.
When you’re convinced that something is doomed to fail from the start, well why should you even bother putting any effort into it?
5. Bad Habits
If you do anything repeatedly, it will become normal to you, and a habit. This is what we mean by something becoming “subconscious”.
Once you’re stuck in that cycle of “making it to month end,” and you’ve allowed it to become entrenched for a few months, you establish all these patterns as your default habits, your default reactions and behaviours.
From the moment you step onto that “getting by” carousel, it’s almost impossible to step off, and the entire system just repeatedly drags you further and further down, until you just give up hope of ever getting it right.
The question that really stands out for me with the money situation and the 99% is this: the 99% means that the system is guaranteed to fail 99% of those who participate.
Why do we still accept this as the only way to live? Why do we accept a way of life that guarantees that so many of us will become depressed and fail?
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Manifesting Your Vision Through “The Law of Attraction”
The Law of Attraction is based on the principle that all matter is made up of pure energy, which is in a constant state of vibration and spin.
The LOA implies that thoughts and emotions are also energy, each having a unique energy signature. Every energetic frequency is in a constant state of attraction or repulsion with all others. With the recent emergence of quantum mechanics, this notion has been largely supported at a micro level.
The Law of Attraction states that “like attracts like,” and we are in a constant state of creating our reality through the energy we emit in the form of thoughts and emotion. We continuously interact with the fabric of reality (or quantum field), through thought and emotional energy, and whatever we focus on is likely to manifest. We are each creators of our own reality, and what we put out is what we will attract.
3 Things You Need to Know First
1. A key factor missing from the LOA is that we are creating on both a conscious and subconscious level. This accounts for the seeming contradiction between “opposites attract” and the major principle of LOA, “like attracts like.”
We are still attracting the part of the whole that has been splintered and repressed into the subconscious mind. Basically, the actively repressed traits within ourselves are still charged, and this suppressed energy is also a point of attraction. Until we acknowledge and integrate it, it will still play a role in the creation of our external reality.
2. Our belief systems alter our manifestation process. If you want to manifest $10,000 in one week, but your underlying beliefs are largely identified with a state of lack, you will only manifest more lack.
This is because Law of Attraction works with both thought and emotion, and if you try to think your way into something that you don’t believe, your emotional reaction will support your unconscious beliefs more than your conscious thoughts.
If you try to affirm, “I will be abundant,” but don’t believe it, those beliefs will surface via an emotional response that insinuates the opposite feeling. At that point, you are literally putting the gas and the breaks on at the same time, making manifestation very difficult.
One great tip to overcome this, as stated by Abraham Hicks, is to “start general, and then get specific” with your manifestation process. Start with what you can believe, and continue to expand as you see evidence of your manifestations taking place. This allows your thoughts and emotions to be in resonance rather than dissonance.
3. We are always manifesting according to our highest values. Renowned behavioural development specialist Dr. DeMartini (who was also featured in The Secret) discovered that we all have an inherent set of values that is largely governing our behaviour. DeMartini is quoted as saying, “All of our actions are strategies to align with our values as efficiently as possible,” along with, “all of our positive and negative emotions are feedback as to whether or not we are living in our highest values.” Essentially, the things we value the most filter our perception at a subconscious level. They are governing the way that we manifest, and the reasons we do.
This is why, for example, someone might set a new year’s resolution to lose weight and never achieve their goal. If one of their highest values is social connection, their unconscious will perceive that taking the time to exercise and eat right actually conflicts with the time they would rather be spending at social events with others.
The trick, then, is to change your perception by tying in how exercise and diet actually support your high value on social connection. For example, you might feel more confident meeting new people when you are healthy and strong. Or you can approach it from the other end by tying your value into your goal. In this case, you could try to engage your value of social connection by going to the gym or to nutrition classes with your close friends.
What You Need to Know During Active Manifestation
These are some useful tips if you are meditating on your vision, or practicing visualization.
Clear your mind. To speed up the process of manifestation, presence and focus are key. If your attention is scattered, your manifestation will be too. Write down on paper whatever is bothering you, and vow to leave it outside of your visualization. This will help you stay present.
Open your heart for the process. Connect with the feeling of gratitude as you begin. This can be done by writing a short gratitude list, or by thinking of people/events that you are truly grateful for.
According to the HeartMath Institute, “The heart generates an electromagnetic field roughly 60 times greater in amplitude than brainwaves do.” This field is measured by an electrocardiogram (ECG), and brainwaves were measured using an electroencephalogram (EEG) during these findings. The heart is a major point of attraction.
Be clear. The law of attraction is described as a law. This means it responds to everything, without exception. If you are mixed in your emotions or vision, it will slow the process. The clearer and more detailed you are, the faster your vision will come to life.
Engage your senses. Did you know that the brain can’t actually tell the difference between experience and visualization? This is why visualization is so useful for athletes. This principle applies directly to the LOA. What do you see, hear, smell, touch, and feel when you have arrived at your vision? Feel each sense distinctly, and don’t be afraid to sit with each one individually.
Engage emotion. This is how to charge your vision. Emotions are the driving force behind manifestation.
Align your intention with your values. Tie what you want to manifest into your highest values. More simply put, make sure you can see how your goals support the things that matter most to you in life. This will help you manifest congruently from both the conscious and subconscious mind.
Don’t be desperate. Try to imagine that you are gently requesting. If you are being needy or desperate in your request, you are coming directly from an emotional space of lack. The emotional feeling of lack will counteract your thought-energy, and you are more likely to stagnate.
What You Need to Know After
Take action. Taking action will create momentum, while also building evidence toward creating the belief that your manifestation is unfolding.
Act as if it has already happened. “I AM” is a creative, powerful phrase. If you conduct your behaviour as the person you have already become, you are more energetically aligned with your goal.
Be aware of your internal dialogue. Remember, you are in a constant state of attracting or repulsing what it is that you want to achieve. Your internal dialogue is always creating a point of attraction, along with the emotional reactions it produces. Be congruent!
Allow! You must fully release your vision in order for it to manifest. If you are too attached to it, your need for control can actually stunt the process. Faith and belief in the process are key. It can be helpful to think in terms of being at a restaurant. Once you’ve placed your order, you have to give it time to be cooked up and served to you!
We are all creators, and we all deserve to live an inspired life. The Law of Attraction is a beautiful tool that enables us to consciously put our creative powers to use! In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.”
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My Thoughts On “Spiritual Narcissism”
- The Facts:
Narcissism, in a nutshell, is self-absorption to the extent that it will adopt any set of rationale to protect the ego which often includes a degree of self-deception. Is this happening to many in spiritual trends?
- Reflect On:
There is authentic being, and then there is self-absorption which pretending to be authenticity, are we aware of the difference?
We humans often have a hard time finding middle ground. We may be drowning in lack of self-worth one moment, and trampling over other’s with our own self indulgence the next as we struggle to find balance. Narcissism is not simply about enjoying selfies in our social media-saturated world, it goes deeper than that.
It appears as liberation but is a trap that can ruin relationships, increase personal suffering, and keep a person from their true spiritual aspirations. Not surprisingly, increased mindfulness and compassion for this tricky human quirk is the best way to heal it.
What is Spiritual Narcissism?
The capacity to become overly self-indulgent is within all of us, and it becomes increasingly dangerous when we confuse it with spirituality. In many ways it is easy to see that all of humanity is dealing with a certain degree of self-absorption while we desecrate forests and oceans, causing plants and animals to go extinct on our material quests. In his famous book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Chogyam Trungpa gave a good foundation for westerners to navigate the pitfalls of our materialistic abundance.
We do not have to be ashamed of what we are. As sentient beings we have wonderful backgrounds. These backgrounds may not be particularly enlightened or peaceful or intelligent. Nevertheless, we have soil good enough to cultivate; we can plant anything in it. – Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
There is a difference between ego-self and the deeper universal soul within us, differentiating the two is important. Sadly, we have spiritual philosophies and religions that have been constructed to feed the ego, inflate self-righteousness, and create division while giving justification for all manner of activities including killing, exploitation, and oppression. Ethical conduct, regardless of spirituality, requires honoring the other and the self as one with each deserving to be respected, heard, and seen with compassion.
No matter what the practice or teaching, ego loves to wait in ambush to appropriate spirituality for its own survival and gain. – Chögyam Trungpa,
Finding the Antidote to Self-absorption
Narcissism, in a nutshell, is self-absorption to the extent that it will adopt any set of rationale to protect the ego which often includes a degree of self-deception. Ego is an important aspect of our selves, it is part of self-preservation but when it becomes out of balance it actually has the ability to destroy us and harm relationships.
Many spiritual practices seek to increase our ability to witness and bring mindful awareness to ego drives which allow us to master, instead of being enslaved by our ego. When ego gets too big it can be hard to swallow, yet spiritual liberation invites us to expand our sense of self beyond the ego, beyond time and space.
The goal is to find a balance between the inner experience and the outer reality. How do we embody healthy self-love without becoming an ego-maniac and hurting personal relationships? Meanwhile, self-loathing, and low self-esteem are also manifestations of ego out of balance. Selflessness can often be quite selfish, over-engagement can be as problematic as disengagement socially. Luckily we are here to find this balance through living fully, from making mistakes, and evolving our sense of self-awareness. Healthy self-awareness is the only antidote to self-absorption.
The Story of Narcissus and Echo
One day Narcissus was walking in the woods when Echo, an Oread (mountain nymph) saw him, fell deeply in love, and followed him. Narcissus sensed he was being followed and shouted “Who’s there?”. Echo repeated “Who’s there?”. She eventually revealed her identity and attempted to embrace him. He stepped away and told her to leave him alone. She was heartbroken and spent the rest of her life in lonely glens until nothing but an echo sound remained of her. Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, learned of this story and decided to punish Narcissus. She lured him to a pool where he saw his own reflection. He didn’t realize it was only an image and fell in love with it. He eventually recognized that his love could not be reciprocated and committed suicide. -Wikipedia
Since intention is subjective, a person is often understood within their community by their actions or image. This becomes extra tricky in our age of social media and the materialism that has found it’s way into yoga, meditation, and spirituality. It is possible to put on a good act, to fool those around us and ourselves (temporarily).
We can have the latest yoga clothes, read the right books and hang out with all the “cool” people, but if our actions are not grounded in a deeper spiritual practice, basic consideration for others, and respect, it is still hollow. A common analogy is the guy who everyone likes but then goes home kicks his dog, or is rude and unaccountable to his wife.
Deep spirituality makes us more sensitive to the feeling of others, encouraging an open stance of courage where we can drop our protective shields and accept the vulnerability to be seen as we are. Narcissistic sensitivity, however, is focused solely on the subtle nuances one’s own internality, and resists looking at hard, uncomfortable truths that may upset the self image. One who is narcissistically sensitive is easily offended by the “coarseness” of others, seeks to make his environment change to align with the contours of his needs, and gets angry or offended when this does not happen. -The Allure of Narcissistic Spirituality, Huffington Post
How to Identify Narcissistic Behavior
The ability to identify narcissistic behavior in yourself and others is the best way to heal it. It is not your job to diagnose others or tell them they are narcissistic if they are not interested in hearing it or healing it. However, if you draw appropriate boundaries for them you will protect yourself and encourage them to become more mindful. This is a loving and compassionate way to handle narcissism.
It is always healthy to make boundaries and speak your truth in a loving and compassionate way. Whether the narcissist hears it or not is out of your control. Common responses from narcissists will include belittling your feelings, a hollow apology without effort to modify behavior, or ignoring you altogether. Basically, they will use any excuse they can in order to not look at it, or to make the situation your fault. This is your cue to make appropriate boundaries for yourself.
Within yourself be open and receptive when others tell you that you have been inconsiderate of them. Accepting constructive feedback from loved ones is a great way to keep a balance between internal needs and external relationships. This is also how we grow as individuals.
Common traits of narcissism courtesy of BPD Central.
- Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
- Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
- Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
- Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
- Requires excessive admiration
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
- Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
Evolving Unhealthy Patterns
Hopefully, this will help you navigate tough interpersonal relationships and also better yourself. It is a beautiful thing that psychology is allowing us to have terms to identify and evolve unhealthy patterns emotionally. As we learn to live in community, we learn many aspects of love. This is how we help ourselves and those around us grow!
I’m republishing, for the CE audience, this piece I wrote for Uplift Connect.
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New Moon In Libra: Seeking Balance
We are having a New Moon in Libra on October 16th throughout most of the world and in the morning of the 17th in the East. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned in this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This cycle will include a Full Moon in Taurus on October 31st/November 1st.
This New Moon occurs days after we have reached the halfway point of Mars’ retrograde in Aries which concludes mid-November. It is also days after Mercury began its retrograde which is currently in Scorpio and moving backwards into Libra before it moves forward again post November 3rd. Both of these planets being retrograde at the same time reflects a period of significant adjustments pertaining to how we express these planets, the signs they are in, and how they are configured to our individual astrological blueprints (natal chart).
Generally Mars retrogrades are a period in which the circumstances, developments, and our inner guidance is helping to facilitate a shift in how we apply ourselves and take action in specific areas of our lives. This is something that happens approximately every two years, which is less frequent and usually more significant than Mercury’s retrogrades. I wrote separate articles for each of them, you can read more about Mars Retrograde here and Mercury Retrograde here.
Libra season began on September 22nd/23rd, just over three weeks prior to this Lunation, and will end on October 22nd/23rd when Scorpio season begins. However, this New Moon (along with other planets) will still carry some of its Libra themes into the first week of Scorpio season prior to the Full Moon.
This is a good period of working with and co-creating with the energies of this sign. As an Air sign, Libra is socially and mentally oriented. Ruled by Venus, it is associated with relating, relationships, charm, harmony, compromising, art, creativity, and aesthetics. There is a big focus on others. Libra is also diplomatic as it seeks to find balance, equality, fairness, and common ground.
Negatively, Libra can be overly codependent, passive aggressive, superficial, insincere, indecisive, vain, and judgemental. Although this sign is about politeness and harmony, retaliation can be triggered when imbalance and unfairness is perceived. Libra is also associated with people-pleasing which can have either positive or negative implications.
New Moon Aligned With Spica, In A Hard T-Square Pattern
This New Moon has an interesting mix of energies. It is tightly aligned with the fixed star Spica which is known to be the most benefic and fortunate star. However, it can be tricky to interpret how a star’s energy can manifest, especially in this case considering other astrological factors that are quite different.
Like Libra, Spica is connected to art and creativity, but also has spiritual, scientific, and inventive qualities. It is associated with harvest season and represents the ‘gifts of harvest’, both metaphorically and literally. However, it can also reflect unfruitfulness (depending on other variables) and injustice to innocence according to legendary astrologer Vivian Robson.
This New Moon is opposite Mars Retrograde in Aries which are both in a T-square with Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn in Capricorn. The Sun has been in an opposition with Mars in the week before this New Moon (peaking on the 13th/14th) which has been a significant part of the Mars retrograde process in influencing how we assert ourselves.
However, this energy is also configured into this New Moon and can play out as conflicts (internally or externally with others), impulsiveness, aggression, anger, competitiveness, or sexual tension. Mars in Aries wants to assert individuality, ego, personal needs, and self identity while the New Moon in Libra is looking for consideration, common ground, diplomacy, equality, and fairness.
This opposition in a square to Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn in Capricorn can reflect power struggles, obstacles, and issues pertaining to beliefs, opinions, and perspectives. Saturn has the most power as it is strongly placed in its home sign (ruling Jupiter and Pluto) as the Sun and Moon are also moving towards a square (strong on the 18th/19th) with it while separating from the aspects to the other planets in this configuration. This calls for a need to be realistic, cautious, practical, disciplined, structured, or orderly. The combination of this and all the retrograde energy can call for some sort of refinement.
Venus Opposing Neptune, Trine Planets In Capricorn, and Square The Lunar Nodes
The ruler of this New Moon, Venus, has been in Virgo in the previous two weeks and will be there until October 27th/28th. Venus ruled areas of values, love, relationships, friends, social life, pleasures, money, aesthetics, beauty, art, taste, sensuality, desires, and attractiveness can be expressed in ways that are practical, conscientious, discerning, picky, detailed, organized, analytical, health oriented, productive, efficient, adaptable, or fault finding/surfacing.
At the time of this New Moon, Venus is moving towards an opposition to Neptune and trine to Jupiter which have been in a sextile over the previous weeks. This energy is strong from October 18th-19th and can be good for creative or artistic efforts as well as social interactions that have spiritual, compassionate, broad, or philosophical themes. It can also reflect expansiveness, growth, morals, optimism, idealism, along with confusion, deception, escapism, and delusion affecting Venus areas of life (as mentioned in above paragraph).
Mars retrograde will also be in a square with Jupiter at that time which could also reflect conflicts around beliefs, opinions, and judgements. Excessiveness, overconfidence, and spreading ourselves out too much can also play out. Mercury retrograde will be moving towards an opposition to Uranus (peaks 19th/20th) which can make it harder to focus and can bring disruption, changes to plans, and perhaps communication problems.
Venus approaches a square to the Lunar Nodes on October 20th/21st. We may be reflecting on the past and future, or perhaps at a crossroads, when it comes to relationships and values. Venus is then in a trine with Pluto (October 21st/22nd) which can bring an empowering, deep, intense, or insightful energy to things associated with Venus. Following this, it moves to a trine with Saturn (October 24th/25th) which can have a committing, strengthening, supportive, responsible, practical, or stabilizing effect on these areas.
Making Intentions & Things To Consider
What can you do to improve how you relate with others? Is there a need to compromise, find common ground, or achieve fairness and equality? What has come up for you in the week leading up to this New Moon? Should you change the way you assert your needs or individuality? Are circumstances in your life pushing you to think differently about something? What can you learn from any obstacles that have been coming up in your life? Is there anything that needs to be restrained?
These are just some examples of what to consider or focus your intentions on at this time. However, it is good to reflect on anything else that is coming up for you. It is generally best to make any intentions within the first 24 hours following a New Moon. The exact moment it will occur is 7:31pm Universal Time on October 16th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.
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