Connect with us

Consciousness

The Sublime Value Of ‘Ego Deaths’

Avatar

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    'Ego Deaths' are experiences all of us must go through in order to evolve along our journey towards the freedom and serenity of discovering and becoming our true selves.

  • Reflect On:

    While ego deaths are painful, can we come to learn that most of the pain comes from our resistance to the process? Can trusting the process and allowing changes to flow over the course of our lives be the most important thing we can learn?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Lessons of pain known as ‘ego deaths’ are among the most difficult things to accept about life in general. At one point or another everyone has tried (unsuccessfully) to evade the deepest aspect of this experience on their journey of personal development. But in the end, those who are able to go through the mock ‘death’ of a false part of their identity will inevitably testify to the fact that it always brings them to a place of greater peace, contentment, and personal freedom.

advertisement - learn more

Let’s discuss how we can recognize when we are on the brink of an ego death, and use some analogies to walk us through the process of letting go of beliefs about ourselves that no longer serve us and turning personal pain into enlightenment-level knowledge.

--> Our Journalism Is Moving - Our investigative journalism and reporting is moving to our new brand called The Pulse. Click here to stay informed.

Understanding The Pain Of An Ego Death

An ego death is the mental and emotional equivalent of having stomach flu, food poisoning, or gastrointestinal difficulties, where your body suddenly goes into massive amounts of pain, usually followed by a lot of throwing up, your tummy working, heartburn, pain and cramps. There’s a reason this happens: some sort of toxin, poison, bug, virus or other irritant has been identified in the system, and the system goes into overdrive to flush that irritant out.

When we release on the physical level, by going to the loo, sweating, throwing up, we feel weak, tired, sweaty and shaky. We can’t focus on anything else but the physical pain and symptoms that are wracking our body. Similarly, when we have thoughts and emotion that are causing us extreme pain, we have to face and question the thoughts pass through our minds, and the emotions through our hearts that are causing the suffering. We feel weak, tired, sweaty and shaky. We can’t focus on anything else but the psychic pain and symptoms that are wracking us.

As with stomach flu, each time you throw up or your tummy works, it hurts. Your body cramps and tenses, using every tool it has to push that irritation out. But after an intense period, of say 24 to 72 hours, it stops, you’re better, you can start recovering, and go back to your normal life. Just like you have to accept the pain and symptoms of a stomach flu, you have to accept the pain and symptoms of this ‘mental and emotional flu’ you’re experiencing. In other words you have to feel the emotions that are releasing. If you are successful in expelling the belief about yourself that is causing the pain, then it’s like a piece of your identity has died, which is why we call it an ego death.

Examples

An example of this would be losing your job. The part of your identity that may die includes being a ‘provider’ or an ‘employee’. If you’re a parent, it can kills the identity of ‘able to provide for my children’. When you wake up the next day, your identification with ‘having somewhere to go’ and ‘having something to do’ may have also died. Likewise the notion that you are ‘secure for the future’. This is why it feels so bad–because so many aspects get affected at the same time.

advertisement - learn more

In the case of a break up or death, you would lose your relationship to the person; so the identities of lover, friend, family, confidant, and companion are at risk. You go from ‘married’ to single or separated or divorced. Or widowed. You also ‘lose’ the label of spouse. These big changes then cause further smaller changes in you, which further break down your identity.

So, if your partner dies, for example, you would ‘come home alone to an empty house’. The ‘silence’ would be a reminder of the change in your identity. You would now have to learn how to ‘occupy yourself alone in the house’, changing your behaviors. A silly example would be preparing two meals for dinner, or even taking out two plates. Now you’re ‘a person who only takes out one plate, and eats a convenience meal alone’. This could easily see you ‘change’ from ‘someone who eats meals slowly, at a table’, into ‘someone who eats on the run and doesn’t digest properly’.

A Buildup Of Toxins

Ego deaths occur at every stage, continually reinforcing the change and loss that you’ve experienced. Now, think about what happens when something dies. It starts to rot. All these ‘parts’ of you–these actions you took based on who and what you believe you are–are being left behind, and they’re dying inside you. Once they die, they start to fester, becoming a toxin or poison that runs the risk of infiltrating your whole system. So your body triggers a response that forces you to purge those thoughts and emotions. This is what you experience as an ego death.

There’s no way around it – you’ve got to sit with the pain for a few days, because the emotional, mental and psychic pain is the process of your body purging that emotion. And if it’s a huge emotional and mental load, then your body is going to use every single avenue at its disposal to purge that load, including physical manifestations like actual stomach flu, which will put your body into ‘expel’ mode.

You will feel sad, releasing by feeling the emotion. You will feel other emotions as the thoughts linked to that experience pass through your mind on their way out the door. Most notably you’ll experience shame, fear, doubt, humiliation, embarrassment, anger, resistance, as well as inferiority, inadequacy and lack of self worth. You will cry, allowing pain to fall out of your eyes. Your lymph system will work overtime, flushing out all the affected areas of your body. Your bowels, bladder, sweat, period, gas and belching will all be utilized to flush the toxic load out of your system, as quickly as possible. Just like when your body forces you to throw up a poison.

You will experience pain on all levels as the pain passes through your awareness and leaves the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual layers of your system. Ever noticed how you cry and groan when you are physically ill or in pain? Those actions help pain leave your system, whatever the original cause of the pain is. With most ego deaths, you have ride out about a week of intense symptoms. Anything longer than that is the cumulative knock on effect of the other identity changes that have been triggered by the main loss.

The Majority Of The Pain Is Your Resistance

Take both arms and put them straight out in front of you, with your palms facing forward, as if you were using your hands and arms to press something forward. Really put your energy and effort into it, pressing as if you are pressing against an immovable barrier, like a wall. Notice what you’re feeling in your body – the tension and pain that spans your arms, shoulders, neck, and possibly even head, ears and toes as you strain and press against that invisible barrier. Hold that for a just a little bit longer than is really comfortable, pressing hard so that you can feel the strain and pain.

Then drop your arms suddenly.

Notice the relief that’s spreading through your muscles? Notice how the pain has stopped? Did you notice how much pain there was–even though you were actually pressing against nothing? The majority of the pain we feel in any shift experience is caused by our own resistance to what we are shifting–our resistance to accepting that truth about ourselves, facing that shame, or not getting what we want.

The pain of a shift or ego death really will only ever last 24 to 72 hours – all the other pain comes from you RESISTING feeling that pain. When you get good at shifting emotions, they pass in the space of a few seconds. You really just have to be truly consciously aware of the emotion and accept that it exists, and is the truth.

Shifting Your Belief System

Each of these ‘parts’ of you that is changing, and the lessons and realizations that you’re getting, tend to feel like they happen in isolation, because they happen one at a time, or immersively.  To understand the idea of immersive experience, think about a time when you were scared. If someone kept reassuring you, then you never really went into the fear; you kept getting the experience of hope. Now think of a time when you had no hope–how you were scared of everything, because the fear completely surrounded you.

In order to experience something–anything–you have to be immersed in it. You can’t be in boarding school and go home to sleep every night as well; it’s one or the other. In order to ‘have the experience’ of boarding school, you will give up the experience of ‘living at home’.

Emotion is the same. In order to experience doubt or pain or fear or any other negative emotion, you have to be immersed in it. It’s all you will experience for a period of time. The immersive nature of experience however, means that when we’re inside an emotion, it feels like we’ve always been there. As soon as we’re out, we forget the pain of that experience really quickly as well, because now we’re immersed in the positive experience or emotion.

It takes years before people start looking for how the ego deaths are connected, before they start seeing the links that connect a series of ego deaths into the shedding of a complete belief system.

Like Watching A TV Show

When you look an at entire belief system, it’s like watching a TV show. You can see how the setting, characters and story develop over time. You can see the twists and turns that happen, and in order to know or experience the whole story, you have to watch every episode, because one episode can contain crucial information that influences how you see every other episode, or how you view the characters.

In order to be able to discuss that show, you’d have to watch every single episode, so that you have all the details. This includes the episodes you hate, the cliffhangers, the ones where your favorite characters die, even the cringe-worthy parts. And to watch each episode takes time, roughly 42 minutes. This is the time that you have to commit to in order to be able to say that you have watched it.

Belief systems are no different – there are ego deaths that feel like cliffhangers, moments where you don’t know what will happen next, horrible losses that shake you to your very core. However you have to go through every single episode with some awareness in order to see the entire story.

When an emotion or thought passes through your mind, it stays there for a period of time, so that you can ‘view’ it with your awareness. That’s the episode. You have to just sit that time out and not run to distraction, tempting as it may be. If you skip an episode, you won’t know if it was crucial, and you will be missing part of the information. You will not have the entire story.

Each ego death and loss you experience is one episode of your story. You can’t jump ahead or generalize from your limited experience; each episode is unique and valuable and you can never tell from one episode what the entire storyline will be. You have to watch the entire series.

No Pain, No Gain

It’s really hard to see and understand how your personal pain becomes advanced level knowledge – and most people never see it. To understand it, you need to work your way backwards, and ask yourself why this level of teaching would be delivered in this format.

The answer is relevance. If I tell you that a homeless teenager died of a drug overdose last night, then you may be shocked, but you’ll go on with your life. If I walk in and say it was your son or daughter, the game changes completely. It will rip your world apart, and it may be a moment that you never recover from. There’s no difference in the stories. In both cases it’s a homeless teenager who died of an overdose. But now, it’s relevant to you personally.

We care, in an offhand way, about the environment or other people’s struggles. But we only take action when the toxic spill is on our doorstep, or the financial trouble hits us personally. People are inherently self-absorbed by nature, and if none of the lessons were relevant to their immediate happiness, they would never notice the issue.

Take, for example, the fact that South Africa has one of the highest rates of AIDS infection in the world. Doesn’t matter to you at all does it? But if I told you that you have contracted AIDS? Now it starts to matter, hey? Now the struggles of people who don’t have access to that medication become your own struggle. It’s relevant to you, and so now you start focusing on how to fix it.

It’s not hard to imagine that Martin Luther King’s personal experiences as a young black boy inspired him to go on to become a Social Justice Warrior. When trials impact you on a personal level, they become relevant enough for you to take up on a societal level. Now that you understand why lessons happen on the personal level, let’s take a look at how they evolve into enlightenment level knowledge. A series of relationships behind you is something that most people can relate to, so let’s start there.

The Relationship Experience

The first few times relationships end for you, all you really feel is the pain. ‘This person left me’, ‘I am all alone’, and ‘nobody wants me’ are generally the themes for this level of shift. There’s also a fear that this pain will last forever. But by the time you get to the third or fourth heartbreak experience, you’ve felt the pain a few times now, and you know it will end, so your question and direction of focus changes, and you start asking ‘WHY do I feel this pain?’ Answers at this stage can vary greatly, but a common theme here could be ‘I am jealous’ or ‘I am possessive’.

So in the next round of relationships, you happen to notice when you are getting jealous or possessive, and you curtail those behaviors where you can. For a while it works, but then suddenly the issue rears its head again, and you have a broken heart once more because of jealousy. But this time, instead of just feeling pain, you start to unpack the jealousy, and you realize that it really started that day back in your childhood when your mom took away stuff from you and gave it to your sister.

And as you have that thought, and it passes through your conscious mind on its way out of the door, or you ‘drop that mirror’, you suddenly realize that it’s usually when you see your sister, or your mom favors her in some way, that you get triggered into going off the rails in your relationship. This is an active memory that influenced the way you handle this particular aspect of jealousy. We call it ‘dropping a mirror’ because you can no longer see yourself in it. It is a mirror because it shows you a part of yourself.

As that thought of release, or mirror, moves through your conscious awareness, or you view that episode, the pattern no longer has a hold over you, and you find yourself less jealous and possessive in general in life. And you plateau on that good feeling for a while. And then the next relationship comes along. And really this relationship finally seems to be going great for you. What you didn’t bank on was that it was a test from the universe. And so when it explodes again a few months later, and you find yourself feeling jealous and possessive, you begin to look at your feelings of jealousy once more.

Letting Go Of Resistance

What’s worth noting here is that the moment you’ve owned the aspect of yourself once (i.e. jealousy), it’s easy for you to reference that in future shifts. The resistance we feel in admitting to that aspect is taken away completely once we admit to it the first time. It’s the shame that stops us from admitting to it in the first place.

By this token, you can really shortcut your development journey by owning every single characteristic you think of as ‘bad’, by just saying it out loud: I am selfish, I am inferior, Nobody likes me. To boost the strength of this exercise, give an example from your own experience that proves each comment true. Then when you need to access that knowledge in future, you don’t have to waste days and weeks trying to overcome the ‘shame’ of acknowledging that part of you that is present in all the rest of us as well.

So, for example, nobody likes me because I never get invited to social events. Or, I doubt my abilities because I messed up at work. By finding the example you align to the energy more quickly, and it takes away the shame for when you need to see those parts of yourself later on.

Generational Patterns

Back to our analogy: you’re looking at a relationship mess (once again), and you’re confused, because you cleared the stuff about your sister, but the word ‘sister’ triggers an idea for you, and you realize the same pattern plays out between your mom and her sister. Basically you and your sister are treating each other the way your mom and aunt treat one another. We call this a ‘generational pattern’.

You are repeating the same patterns of behavior across the generations, because it has passed down in the bloodline and DNA of the family. So you find a great healer, and you clear this. It could be several generations back on your mom’s side, which is where it originally started, or where the original active memory event happened in the life of the ancestor that burned it into your family heritage.

For a while after that release, things are great; your mom and aunt are getting along, you and your sister are doing great, and you even manage to find a new relationship. But you get involved with the wrong person, someone whose behaviors and words leave you feeling on edge and suspicious. After a few months of feeling constantly tense, you find yourself once again displaying old patterns of jealousy and possessiveness. But this time you know it isn’t something from your past. You’ve cleared that. Also past experience has taught you that going into the pain and drama, and creating a scene, will not help.

So you start to take a careful look at your partner, and over time, maybe you come to discover that your partner is cheating on you. So where before you had lessons showing you how jealousy destroys bonds, now you are discovering how your jealousy actually serves to protect you. Had you not felt suspicious, and noticed the change in your behavior, you would not have found out that you were being played.

Positive Aspects

Again a lesson of jealousy, but this time a lesson of jealousy positively aspected. Now that you have put the negative reasons you show jealousy behind you, this lesson (or mirror) shows you the positive ways that jealousy can actually serve us and keep us safe. The relationship is not worth keeping, and so you end it, and once again you are facing heartbreak because of jealousy. However this time your identity (remember ego deaths?), has changed in much bigger ways. You are no longer a person who just openly trusts. You have become more cautious about the people you choose to go out with.

So it takes you longer to dive back into the world of dating this time, and when you do, you find that you have attracted someone who has also experienced infidelity in the past. The ‘mirror’ or energy that has attracted you towards each other in this case, is your mutual fear of being cheated on again. In the beginning this is great, because you both know that you can trust each other completely, and you feel secure and confident in your life. And this pays off in a big way when you get offered a fantastic new job that you are so excited about.

Turns out though, that this new job is a test too, and as you start working the extra hours required by your new role, you discover jealousy and possessiveness from yet another angle, as your partner now becomes jealous and suspicious of you. In the beginning, you spend time reassuring your partner, because you have massive empathy for his or her situation–it’s what drew you together in the first place after all. But after a while, you start getting tired of the constant demands, made worse by how tired you are keeping pace with your new job and responsibilities.

And so, once again, the inevitable tension caused by jealousy sets into your relationship, and slowly begins to tear it apart. It probably finally ends on a day when you have a thought like, ‘Wow, I can see how my behaviors in the past drove my ex away!’

In the moment of that thought, two things happen: first, you acknowledge that you are being driven away by similar actions and the current relationship is ending, and secondly, you find yourself responsible for ending the past relationship. When that happens, blame shifts from your ex to you, making you wholly or partly to blame. And an additional mirror here is the fact that you have chosen to end both relationships.

Bigger Picture Comes Into View

In the moment that you accept that blame, you ‘understand’ the actions that your ex took, and probably reach a degree of forgiveness and compassion for their choices as well. This is an interesting stage, because it’s the first time you really see that this applies to others beyond just you. So it starts becoming a societal level issue. Now, in future, when you notice jealousy and possessiveness, you no longer only see it in relation to yourself, but you see it in others as well. You see it playing out in their lives, and impacting and evolving their relationships, changing how they deal with people.

Because there are so many more people than you on the planet, you actually now have a hundredfold more examples of this energy, or ‘mirror’, playing out around you, and so you begin to learn about the energy more quickly. Since you have been on many sides of the coin, you find yourself able to easily understand others’ points of view in the situation, being able to step into their shoes because you were there once yourself.

So where, at the beginning of your journey, you may have counseled someone to ‘be jealous if they want to, because you can’t love someone and not be jealous,’ you now find yourself advising a jealous person to curtail their behavior, because their actions of jealousy will do damage to the relationship bond. What often slips your notice at this point is the fact that you now understand that jealousy is the same for all of us; we take similar actions when we’re jealous, and those actions lead to similar types of results. In other words, by this stage of development, you start realizing that this wasn’t just happening to you alone – it’s a common experience.

So, the next time you experience jealousy, in yourself, or in others, your mind starts wandering to questions like ‘what creates jealousy in all of us?’ This leads you down many rabbit holes of information. For a while, for example, you may notice the similarities in events that trigger jealousy. Or you may stumble onto a piece of information like ‘karma’, the idea that actions that you took in past lives are playing out now in order to redress the imbalance. Once you stumble onto something like karma, you are required to understand that experience moves in energies.

Seeing It As Energy

So now, when you stumble across jealousy again, you think of it as an energy, and you begin to study the energy of the experience. What moves through us, how does it move us, what are the pros and cons, how can it be utilized? The moment you reach this juncture, it’s a short hop to understanding that all these life elements we face are just energies, and so you retrospectively begin to apply that knowledge to the rest of your life, looking at other energies and how they have impacted you.

At each layer of growth, you take your personal experience and apply the compassion and understanding gained from that previous experience, onto understanding the similar situation that now presents itself. This ability to take an idea and apply it to understanding another idea, is known as extrapolation.

Over the years, you’ve gained knowledge about jealousy as you’ve been looking at all these different angles and views of it, and as you’ve played different roles in the circumstances jealousy creates: you’ve been the good guy, the bad guy, and even gone from the good guy to the bad guy with a single thought as you understood your ex’s point of view and how you drove them away. And this has given you a very well-rounded view of the aspect of jealousy.

You’ve noticed it in others, how it impacts their lives, and you’ve shown both compassion and irritation for it. You’ve seen jealousy itself as being both good and bad. Importantly, though, you understand that it is inherent in all of us, and we all have similar experiences with it. This always leads to the question of ‘where do these inherent traits we have stem from?’ ’What is it that connects us all?’ ‘Why do we have such similar experiences?’

Seeking The Source

Once you start heading down that road, it always leads to answers about what connects us all, what we share and have in common. And when you’re speaking about a big, all-knowing, all-pervasive energy that unites us all, you are in the realms of Source, Higher Powers and God. Even here, you will find answers from your personal pain, asking questions of yourself like ‘is God jealous?’ Or perhaps finding where in cosmic history jealousy stems from. The energy only reared its head in your life to make it relevant to you so that you discover the next layer or angle of information.

It doesn’t matter where you start, or how personal your info is, eventually the knowledge that you draw from those personal experiences will be higher, because you will looking at different parts of the aspect. There will only be a certain number of aspects you really look at in depth across your life, because once you see the pattern that they are all aspects, you will extrapolate the knowledge of how to deal with any kind of aspect in the same way.

And the areas that you get repeated exposure to become your areas of specialty. So if you had a narcissistic parent, it’s because you wanted to understand narcissism in all its forms. And you will have understood it when you can see the narcissism in yourself and own it. These areas of specialty are how our journeys are unique even though we all learn the same stuff. You will get a comprehensive look at a few areas that will become your focus later on in your journey The fact that these energies have been so present in your life, means that you will have viewed so many other aspects through a lens of that energy.

Different Paths

For example, someone who started an aspect of faith at a young age, would see most of their journey as happening with God. They would view each experience they approached through a filter of the primary faith aspect. So someone on a journey of faith would experience an ego death of jealousy as growing or decreasing their faith. An atheist on the other hand may come via the karmic or ego journey path of experiencing the emotions, only coming to acknowledge a Higher Power much later on. So they would see how these aspects can be experienced without the lens of faith. Their experience of jealousy would be on a very personal level and human in nature.

Someone who came via a path of healing, conversely, would always be asking the question ‘how do I heal this?’ This turns challenges into opportunities to develop the ability to heal the self and others, creating a nature that sees everything as having the potential to heal or be healed. Someone who is very focused on celebrity will always be wondering how this brings them to the world’s attention, while a money-focused person will always be asking how they can turn this experience into a business venture. This is the serial entrepreneur who is ‘inspired by their life’.

Someone who experienced a lot of loss early on, would view every experience wondering how this could detract from what they have, and how they would and could lose; someone who is used to winning will look at how they can emerge on top. The person who sees the losses is a fantastic risk analyst, while the winner makes for an inspiring leader. The leader can only be great with the help of specialist advisors like the risk analyst, who can see things that leader may not even think to look for.

Same Lessons, Different Contexts

The order in which you learn information, and the lens thorough which you view those lessons, will determine the unique nature of your journey and experience. But the idea that the lessons and the journey are different for everyone is silly. That would be like creating a different degree for every single engineer who entered university. The point of a degree is that there is commonality, and shared knowledge, where people are able to help each other and collaborate by having a shared understanding of certain concepts. The lessons are the same for us all, otherwise we would never be able to help each other or progress forward.

We all feel the pain first, and then start looking into our pasts to discover active memories, generational patterns, karma and more. We then find compassion and forgiveness by being in the other person’s role, and then we start looking at a wider view, taking into account the social and societal impacts of aspects on all of humanity. Through that we come to know what connects us all. The key is to not judge your lessons, and to just experience them.

If you are stuck at a place, it’s because you’re meant to be. In essence you chose to be. You chose these circumstances in order to learn the ‘all’ of that particular aspect. And it keeps reappearing in your life because there is something there that fascinates you, something you want to learn. It’s telling you to get curious and find out what all those somethings are!

In order to know everything about something, you will have to immersively experience it from all the different angles. You will have to unpack all the layers, seeing it from every viewpoint, and living in each experience for a period of time. This is how you will come to know everything about something. It doesn’t matter what your lessons are, or how personal they seem, or how silly the answers and statements seem. Trust the process and you will find your way. It’s guaranteed.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Advertisement
advertisement - learn more

Consciousness

How To Have Your Own Personal Zen Master Around Anytime You Descend Into Stress

Avatar

Published

on

By

CE Staff Writer 7 minute read

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

When you look at a true spiritual master, guru or yogi, one of the most remarkable things you might notice is that they don’t seem to experience stress. You might conclude that they arrive at this state through meditation, fasting, prayer, or other such disciplines. This is only partly true. Those spiritual practices can certainly contribute to stress reduction, but their ultimate effect is to support the maintenance of ONE KEY THOUGHT that spiritual masters hold in their minds (and bodies) with unfailing certainty.

Granted, this key thought is not easy to grasp, hold as truth, and then deeply embody within yourself. Throughout history spiritual masters have done their darndest to articulate it for those hoping for inner peace and harmony. The limitations of language, of all human languages, is woefully revealed in these attempts. But if you are ready, open, and genuinely seeking–an ‘aspirant’ as they say in yoga–then it becomes possible for a certain expression or turn of phrase to begin to activate your deeper inner knowledge of the state some call samadhi, enlightenment, Christ consciousness, or what I like to simply term presence. Are you ready?

Stress-Free Perception

In a true state of presence it is impossible to feel stress. Impossible. That is because stress is predicated on our seeing the world as dualistic. In a state of presence we embody a perception of singularity. The apperception of the world as whole, as unified, is truth unmasked.

From a perception of unity there is no past or future, there is only now. Note that human experience is only ever experienced through the now, past experiences were only ever experienced in the now, and the same will hold for our future experiences. Having the experience of presence helps us get a glimpse that time itself is a fabrication, a ‘program’ that helps our intentionally limited minds have a particularly lush and interesting kind of experience in the physical world.

How We Create Stress

But let’s get back to our everyday time-bound consciousness. For those of you who earnestly seek to dissolve your stress, and are open and willing to let go of anything your mind is clinging to in order to achieve it, I will try to explain the one key thought.

The experience of stress is the experience of the tension or dissonance between two things: how your world IS in any moment, and how you think it SHOULD BE. You create stress by carrying in your mind an image of how something in the NOW—yourself and others, the presence or absence of things, the weather—is NOT OK as it is. That puts you into a self-created adversarial relationship with the only point of contact you have with life.

Fortunately, your emotions alert you to this crazy confabulation, by making you aware of internal discomfort you label as STRESS. This STRESS is nothing more than an urgent signal from your higher intelligence to return to presence. But in a state of stress how can you possibly return to presence?

The One Key Thought Into Presence

You need to get into the habit of using your awareness of your own stress as a trigger to align yourself with this one key thought: everything is perfect as it is. It’s like having your own personal Zen master around any time you descend into stress asking you the well-worn koan, ‘What, in this moment, is lacking?’

It works. Trust me.

But it only works to the extent that you are willing to let go of the past (and future), along with all your judgments, grievances, ‘shoulds’, hopes, and fears that arise out of a dualistic perception. If you are truly willing and able to deeply hold this one key thought as ULTIMATE truth, above ALL other beliefs and opinions, you will start to feel it working.

Spiritual Context

If you have doubts about this one key thought representing ultimate truth, allow me to provide the spiritual context I work with in which the statement makes perfect sense.

A common thread at the heart of all great spiritual traditions is that we are all immortal souls who are currently having a ‘human’ experience. The circumstances of this life experience were chosen by us to facilitate our soul’s evolution. So any time you feel stress, you can see it as the universe prodding you to take an evolutionary step. That evolutionary step is to see the perfection in everything, if only for a moment at first. If you’re game, these brief moments of clarity add up quickly to a more permanent step up.

An Example

Let’s say for example you’re stuck in traffic, and realize you are going to be late for a meeting. Maybe it’s even your ‘fault’, because you left late or didn’t check your GPS. If you’re feeling stressed about it, realize it’s because things are not how your mind thinks they should be. Your mind thinks you ‘should’ be at the meeting on time–to get some important information, perhaps, or because your reputation as a reliable person is at stake, and you will be judged by others at the meeting in a way that may impact your future success.

Now, you can continue to be stressed in that moment (and subsequently for the entire drive to the office), or you can take ALL that very reasonable blather of ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’, roll it up in a ball, and drop it into your faux-ashtray. You will be able to do this if you reach for presence, if you remind yourself that there is only the present moment, and in the present moment you can choose to experience stress, or choose to experience peace. If you choose to be fully present you accept the present moment exactly as it is, realize there is nothing you can DO in that moment to remedy the so-called problem, and take the evolutionary step of seeing everything as perfect in this so-called ‘stressful’ moment. There is no problem now–and you will deal with the ‘problem’ when the ‘problem’ arises. You are simply in a car driving. You will then start to feel relief, and gain confidence that if you maintain presence through your arrival to the office, your late entry into the meeting, and your conversations afterwards, the ‘problem’ will never arise and you will literally breeze through the whole experience. You will be ‘ok’ with whatever happens.

Common Fears About Presence

FEAR: If I go into presence I will lose my mind.

Maybe-but only in a good way. Lol. Seriously, presence is not losing one’s mind, it is aligning one’s mind properly, with the timeless ‘true mind’ playing the role of master and the time-bound ‘false mind’ (ego) playing the role of servant, allowing the true mind to interface as it pleases with the time-governed physical world.

FEAR: If I go into presence I will stop trying to make my life better.

Perhaps. After all, what is better than presence, where everything is perfect? But there is more to it. You may be surprised to hear that a state of presence does not thwart action, it only thwarts reaction, fear-based, ego-sponsored drives to alleviate doubt, fear, insecurity, stress. In a state of presence the true mind decides on action, the best action for the situation, which is then carried out in perfect flow with the environment.

FEAR: It’s too hard to do and I’ll ultimately fail.

Failure is impossible. Patience, though, is required. The evolution of consciousness might seem like waves rising and falling on the shore, but the high water marks accumulate and eventually produce a stable higher state of awareness. Remembering and forgetting presence is natural, but with persistence it is remembered more often, maintained for a longer period of time, and eventually becomes part of your normal, base perception. With this as your base perception, then, it is truly possible for you to experience a life free of stress.

 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading

Consciousness

New Moon In Virgo: Breakthroughs & Innovation

Avatar

Published

on

By

8 minute read

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a New Moon in Virgo on September 6th in the Americas and on September 7th elsewhere. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned throughout this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This Lunar Cycle peaks with a Full Moon in Pisces on September 20th/21st.

We have been in Virgo season since August 22nd/23rd,  however, this New Moon will activate its energies even more so. Virgo is associated with productivity, duties, health, cleanliness, and purity. It is organized, adaptable, conscientious, skillful, orderly, punctual, diligent, efficient, discerning, precise, and practical. It is also associated with pets.

Being an Earth sign that is ruled by Mercury, Virgo is analytical and detail oriented when it comes to handling aspects of the physical world. It is about problem solving, adjusting to changing conditions, and coming up with solutions. There is an emphasis around service and helping others. Negatively, this energy can be cynical, fussy, high strung, and perfectionistic. It can also be too mentally oriented and overly critical.

New Moon In A Tight Trine With Uranus

This New Moon is in a nearly exact trine with Uranus in Taurus.This is very strong in the sixteen hours leading up to the lunation and in the nine to ten hours afterwards, however, it will still have an influence over the following two weeks.

This can be good for changing things up and taking new approaches to things. We may experience positive surprises/shifts, make discoveries, receive beneficial insights, or be creatively inspired. This energy can be exciting, stimulating, liberating, innovative, inventive, revolutionary, and is supportive of originality.

Developments or approaches that involve technology, science, metaphysics, or astrology can also play out. Considering that this is a New Moon in Virgo, this is good for doing any sort of work or efforts that can have a freeing effect such as getting things done that have been weighing us down or obstructing us in some way. This can also be good for re-arranging, organizing, renovating, or getting rid of things to clear space and energy.

Mars Trine Pluto & Quincunx Jupiter, Venus Aligned With Spica & Trine Jupiter

At the time of this New Moon and in the day leading up to it, Mars in Virgo is in a trine with Pluto in Capricorn which are also in wide orb aspects with this lunation. This is great for asserting ourselves in a powerful, determined, and focused way. Our actions now can be empowering, purging, penetrating, or help to facilitate positive changes. This can also be a time of heightened sexual desire.

Also during this same period, Venus is aligned with the star Spica while in a trine with Jupiter in Aquarius. This can be a fortunate, expansive, optimistic, and/or meaningful time when it comes to friends, our social life, art, aesthetics, or matters of love. In some cases this can also play out as financial or material benefits.

Indulging, having fun, affection, and overall happiness is easier to be had under this influence. This can also play out as learning or sharing perspectives in a friendly and sociable way. This energy can also be good for efforts involving graphic design or marketing/media of nice things.

Venus was also in a square with Pluto in the days leading up to the New Moon which may have also brought some intense feelings/interactions, jealousy, or power struggles. However, this can be mitigated by the Jupiter influence, and is finished by the time this New Moon begins.

During this same period, Mars is also in a quincunx with Jupiter in Aquarius and in aversion with the Venus trine Jupiter aspect. Our assertiveness, drive, and actions may be alienated from, or harder to integrate with, the fun, social, indulging, and affectionate expressions of the Venus-Jupiter configuration.

Mercury Entering Pre-Retrograde Shadow, Aligned With Vindemiatrix & Opposite Chiron

In the hours leading up to this New Moon, Mercury (the ruler of Virgo) will enter its pre-retrograde shadow period for the retrograde that begins on September 26th/27th in Libra. Over the following three weeks, and somewhat since Mercury entered Libra on August 30th, certain things that occur or begin will go through (or contribute to) a process of adjustment, assessment, insights, or shifts from September 27th until late October.

The themes of this upcoming retrograde will involve relationships, social dynamics, diplomacy, partnerships, aesthetics, art, cooperation, creativity, or pertaining to seeking balance, fairness, peace, and harmony. However, other manifestations of this process also depend on how it is configured to your natal chart.

During these weeks leading up to September 27th, Mercury will be gradually slowing down and the complications that Mercury retrograde is known for can become more apparent before it actually begins. I will be putting out more content on this, join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.

Mercury is aligned with the fixed star Vindemiatrix which is where it will return to when the retrograde ends and transitions forward. Vindemiatrix is a malefic star traditionally known as the ‘Widow Maker’ and is also associated with nervous irritability when combined with Mercury.

According to astrologer Dr. Eric Morse, this star ‘figures strongly and regularly in deaths which are in some way dramatic, newsworthy or are resented much more than the usual degree’. In my own observation I have also found that this star is associated with malicious injections and is prominent in the natal astrology chart of William Gates III.

I would imagine that during this upcoming retrograde and potentially in the pre-retrograde shadow period, these themes can play out more so on a collective level and we may see stories pertaining to these things throughout different media outlets, whether it be mainstream or alternative.

Mercury is also opposing Chiron at the time of this New Moon and over the following few days. It will return to this opposition when the retrograde ends and therefore this configuration will be part of its themes. Communications, interactions, or thoughts may trigger wounds, pain, blockages, or be reflective of negative patterns. As a result, misunderstandings may also occur.

Self-doubt and perceived inadequacies may be on our mind and can obstruct our perception. However, what happens at this time can ultimately be a catalyst for healing, but this would be more likely to occur near the end of the retrograde.

New Moon & Sun Opposite Neptune, Trine Pluto

The second aspect that the Sun and Moon (New Moon) make after the trine to Uranus is an opposition to Neptune in Pisces which will be more prominent on September 13th/14th, but will build up from the 8th onward. For this period, we may feel/experience a lack of direction or confidence in how we apply our will, ego, or self-expression. We may have to contend with impracticality, confusion, carelessness, escapism, delusion, deception, or flaky behavior.

The third aspect of this New Moon is a trine to Pluto which will be strong from September 15th-17th by the Sun. This will be more welcoming after the Neptunian influence (mentioned in the above paragraph) as this can help us to be much more productive. We can be more focused, resourceful, strategic, realistic, or calculated to help us achieve what we set out to do.

This energy is good for digging into anything or getting to the bottom of things. It can also be beneficial for any sort of clearing or making positive changes. In some cases this can play out as financial benefits or related developments.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

What areas of your life or spaces can be refreshed, organized, renovated, purged, or cleared? What new approaches can you take when it comes to your health, lifestyle, work, or for when it comes to managing your life and productivity? In what different ways can you be of service to others? Do you need to be more attentive to details? What resources can you capitalize on to help you achieve your goals? What can you do to feel more free and liberated? Is there anything that you’d like to experiment with?

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 12:52am Universal Time on September 7th and the night of September 6th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

Gain astrological insight into what is going on in your life and have a better understanding of your individual 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

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Full Moon In Aquarius: Expansion & Originality

Avatar

Published

on

By

9 minute read

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a second consecutive Full Moon in Aquarius on August 22nd. It will appear the brightest on the night of the 21st in the Americas and on the night of the 22nd in the time zones East of the UK. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began with a New Moon in Leo on August 8th. The energies of a Full Moon are strongest in the days surrounding it yet its astrological configurations also play a part over the following two weeks. You may start to see its themes slowly build up after the New Moon prior.

This is a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Aquarius and the Sun in Leo. It can play out as either a conflict, an integration, or some sort of dynamic between the energies of both signs. The Moon reflects the expression of feeling and emotion while the Sun reflects the expression of ego and conscious self.

We may feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us; with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Aquarius side and others expressing the Leo side. In some cases, Full Moons can also reflect/trigger some sort of change or release.

This Full Moon happens with the Sun opposing the Moon right at the tail end of Leo and Aquarius, at the 29th degree, less than half a day before we begin Virgo season. The energies of a sign tend to be more heightened at these points. Also, with it being a 2nd consecutive Full Moon in the same sign, it is an ‘Astrological Blue Moon,’ which is something that occurs once every 3 years. This also amplifies the energies of this polarity of signs over an extended period.

Full Moon In Aquarius Opposite Sun In Leo

We have already been in Leo Season for about a month as the Sun will change signs shortly after this Full Moon. Leo is a passionate Fire sign. It is about our individual self-expression, what brings us joy, and inspiration.  It is associated with the heart, love, creativity, performing, fun, children, romance, hobbies, and leadership. Leo is about what makes us great as individuals and can be courageous and generous. Expressed negatively, Leo energy can also be egotistical, pompous, dramatic, and demanding of attention or respect.

Aquarius is an intellectual Air sign. It is associated with 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 progressive, unconventional, innovative, technological, scientific, reforming, idealistic, and even revolutionary. Negatively, it can be aloof, overly objective, unrealistic, dispassionate, impersonal, and overly detached.

Full Moon Conjunct Jupiter & Going Into Pisces, Sun Conjunct Regulus & Going Into Virgo

This Full Moon is separating from a close conjunction with Jupiter. This brings an energy that is expansive, explorative, freedom seeking, and even idealistic when combined with the Aquarian energy. Themes around beliefs, perspectives, opinions, education, or media/marketing may come up. However, with it being a Full Moon (opposing the Sun), it can also be a time of conflicts around those things. Overextending and overestimating ourselves can also be prevalent.

The Sun is aligned with the royal star Regulus which is associated with power, authority, and influence. The opposition of this to the Aquarian Moon (with Jupiter) can play out as ideals of the ‘people/collective/groups vs. leaders/authority’ in some people’s experience of it.

The Moon will be entering Pisces forty minutes after the peak of the Full Moon while it is still full. At that time and in the days following, this can also bring an energy that is spiritual, empathic, compassionate, creative, mystical, imaginative, elusive, dreamy, or divinely inspired.

As mentioned earlier, the Sun will be entering Virgo less than a day after the Full Moon. Usually the shift from Leo to Virgo is one of the more obvious and noticeable transitions of signs as Leo is more fun and playful while Virgo is oriented around getting things done. In this case with it being so close to the Aquarian Full Moon, it will probably take three or more days to really notice the Virgo energy.

Mars Trine Uranus, Venus Trine Saturn

At the time of this Full Moon, Mars in Virgo is in a tight trine with Uranus in Taurus. This is a good energy for trying something new, experimental or asserting ourselves in a way that is unconventional, stimulating, innovative, technological, rebellious, progressive, original, exciting, or independent. This energy can also be inspiring to act on something and some people may feel a burst of energy.

Uranus had also went stationary retrograde in the days leading to this, so this energy in general will be very strong. Throughout the week following this Full Moon (and even in the 1-2 weeks prior) there is an increased possibility of surprises, disruptions, separations, sudden changes,  accidents, or things breaking. Experiences that are unusual, enlightening, or stimulating can also occur and/or we may have interactions with other people that have those qualities.

Venus in Libra is in a trine with Saturn during the Full Moon and over the following day and a half. This can have a stabilizing or committing effect on relationships. It can be constructive, solidifying, or maturing when it comes to our social life, love, financial matters, business relations, possessions, or things that are aesthetic related. In some cases this can play out as important connections and developments with others who are much older or younger than us.

Mercury Opposite Neptune, Venus Opposite Chiron, Mercury Trine Pluto

Mercury in Virgo is moving towards an opposition with Neptune in Pisces since August 20th/21st which will peak on August 24th/25th. In general, Mercury in this sign (from August 11th/12th until August 29th/30th) helps our thinking and communication to be more organized, detailed, practical, technical, efficient, and productive.

However, with it being opposite Neptune during this four day window, we may have to contend with some misunderstandings, confusion, lack of clarity, miscommunications, lack of focus, deception, carelessness, or disheartening developments during this period.  In some cases, issues or complications around vehicles, commuting, phones, or computers may come up and could involve water, oil, inconsistencies, or play out in other ways as well.

Venus will be moving towards an opposition to Chiron from August 23rd/24th until August 26th/27th when it peaks. Wounds, blockages, insecurities, weaknesses, and imbalances can come up strongly in our relations, finances, values, self worth, or physical appearance. If this applies to you, it’s best to look at the situation from a whole-istic perspective to help move beyond the issue. If this doesn’t come up, it can still be a good time for any kind of healing or growth in the areas mentioned above.

Mercury is in a trine with Pluto on August 25th/26th. This is great for mental focus or getting to the bottom of things. Thoughts and/or communications can be deep, powerful, empowering,  insightful, revealing, or psychologically oriented. In some cases this aspect can have beneficial financial implications.

Sun Square Lunar Nodes, Mars Opposite Neptune

The Sun is in a square with the Lunar Nodes on August 28th-30th. This can trigger some of the themes of the previous Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse as we may experience developments connected to them. We may also feel like we are at a crossroads as considerations at this time may involve where we are coming from and where we are heading, or perhaps being stuck between things that can be holding us back and things that can facilitate growth. It can also involve incorporating beneficial aspects of the past and applying them in an evolved or forward moving way.

In the days following this Full Moon, Mars in Virgo will be moving towards its own opposition to Neptune (similarly to Mercury) which peaks from September 1st-4th. At best, this energy can be good for applying ourselves towards activities that are spiritual, creative, compassionate, selfless, or involve water.

However, this can be challenging overall as it may seem that our efforts are met with impracticality, confusion, carelessness, or flaky behavior as a result of others. Some people can also feel lazy, discouraged, or helpless. It’s best to go with the flow and do things that work best with this energy as mentioned in the above paragraph.

Things To Consider

In what ways can you expand? Is there anything that you want to learn? What are your ideals and do they truly align with your heart’s desires? What is coming up regarding your friends/social network? In what ways can you grow in your relations? Or What are the potentials for growth amongst your relations? How can you balance or collaborate your individual needs with the needs of the group? What does freedom mean for you and how can you achieve it? Is there anything that you need to shift, shake up, rebel against, or liberate yourself from? Is there anything new you want to try or experiment with?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up or ways to approach this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  If you wish to do any sort of intentional release, it is best to do so after it begins to wane following the peak or during the two weeks afterwards when it is waning before the next New Moon. The exact peak time for this Full Moon is at 12:02pm Universal Time on August 22nd. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

NOTE: I will be on holiday over the following weeks and may not be able to do my next New Moon article depending on how things go. Stay tuned for my upcoming articles or join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive future content that I put out.

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

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

Gain astrological insight into what is going on in your life and have a better understanding of your individual 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

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading
advertisement - learn more
advertisement - learn more

Video

Elevate your inbox and get conscious articles sent directly to your inbox!

Choose your topics of interest below:

You have Successfully Subscribed!