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Consciousness

Scientists Show How Gratitude Literally Alters The Human Heart & Molecular Structure Of The Brain

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Scientists have discovered that feelings of gratitude can actually change your brain. Feeling gratitude can also be a great tool for overcoming depression and anxiety. Furthermore, scientists have discovered that the heart sends signals to the brain.

  • Reflect On:

    Every time we struggle with depression, why are we constantly encouraged to take prescription medication when mindfulness techniques actually show more promise?

Gratitude is a funny thing. In some parts of the world, somebody who gets a clean drink of water, some food, or a worn out pair of shoes can be extremely grateful. Meanwhile, somebody else who has all the necessities they need to live can be found complaining about something. What we have today is what we once wanted before, but there is a lingering belief out there that obtaining material possessions is the key to happiness. Sure, this may be true, but that happiness is temporary. The truth is that happiness is an inside job.

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It’s a matter of perspective, and in a world where we are constantly made to feel like we are lacking and always ‘wanting’ more, it can be difficult to achieve or experience actual happiness. Many of us are always looking toward external factors to experience joy and happiness, when really it’s all related to internal work. This is something science is just starting to grasp as well, as shown by research coming out of UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center. According to them:

Having an attitude of gratitude changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps gray matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier. When you feel happiness, the central nervous system is affected. You are more peaceful, less reactive and less resistant. Now that’s a really cool way of taking care of your well-being.

There are many studies showing that people who count their blessings tend to be far happier and experience less depression.  For one study,  researchers recruited people with mental health difficulties, including people suffering from anxiety and depression. The study involved nearly 300 adults who were randomly divided into three groups. This study came from the University of California, Berkeley.

All groups received counselling services, but the first group was also instructed to write one letter of gratitude to another person every week for three weeks, whereas the second group was asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings about negative experiences. The third group did not do any writing activity.

What did they find? Compared to the participants who wrote about negative experiences or only received counselling, those who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health for up to 12 weeks after the writing exercise ended.

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This suggests that gratitude writing can be beneficial not just for healthy, well-adjusted individuals, but also for those who struggle with mental health concerns. In fact, it seems, practicing gratitude on top of receiving psychological counseling carries greater benefits than counseling alone, even when that gratitude practice is brief. (source)

Previously, a study on gratitude conducted by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis and his colleague Mike McCullough at the University of Miami randomly assigned participants to be given one of three tasks. Each week, participants kept a short journal. One group described five things they were grateful for that had occurred in the past week, another group recorded daily troubles from the previous week that displeased them, and the neutral group was asked to list five events or circumstances that affected them, but they were not told whether to focus on the positive or the negative. Ten weeks later, participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a full 25 percent happier than the troubled group. They reported fewer health complaints and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more. (source)

Researchers from Berkeley identified how gratitude might actually work on our minds and bodies. They provided four insights from their research suggesting what causes the psychological benefits of gratitude.

  • Gratitude unshackles us from toxic emotions
  • Gratitude helps even if you don’t share it
  • Gratitude’s benefits take time & practice. You might not feel it right away.
  • Gratitude has lasting effects on the brain

The brain part is very interesting. The researchers at Berkeley used an fMRI scanner to measure brain activity while people from each group did a “pay it forward” task.  During the task, the participants were given money by a “nice person.” This person’s only request was that they pass on the money to someone if they felt grateful.

They did this because they wanted to distinguish between actions motivated by gratitude and actions driven by other motivations like obligation, guilt, or what other people think. This is important because you can’t fake gratitude, you actually have to feel it. If you don’t feel grateful or practice trying to feel grateful by taking the necessary steps like keeping a gratitude journal, you may not experience as much joy and happiness.

In a world where emotions aren’t really taught in school and the importance is put on striving for high grades, it’s not abnormal to have difficulty feeling grateful. This is especially understandable if you’ve been brought up in the western world, which is full of consumerism and competition, a world where we’re constantly made to feel we are lacking so we need to strive for more.

Participants were asked to rate how grateful they felt toward the person giving them the money and how much they wanted to pay it forward to a charitable cause as well as how guilty they thought they would feel if they didn’t help.  They were also given questionnaires to measure how grateful they felt in general.

We found that across the participants, when people felt more grateful, their brain activity was distinct from brain activity related to guilt and the desire to help a cause. More specifically, we found that when people who are generally more grateful gave more money to a cause, they showed greater neural sensitivity in the medial prefrontal cortex, a brain area associated with learning and decision making. This suggests that people who are more grateful are also more attentive to how they express gratitude.

Most interestingly, when we compared those who wrote the gratitude letters with those who didn’t, the gratitude letter writers showed greater activation in the medial prefrontal cortex when they experienced gratitude in the fMRI scanner. This is striking as this effect was found three months after the letter writing began. This indicates that simply expressing gratitude may have lasting effects on the brain. While not conclusive, this finding suggests that practicing gratitude may help train the brain to be more sensitive to the experience of gratitude down the line, and this could contribute to improved mental health over time.

It’s also interesting to note that a recent study just discovered a brain network that “gives rise to feelings of gratitude. The study could spur future investigations into how these ‘building blocks’ transform social information into complex emotions.” (source)

What About The Heart?

The work and research above is great, but where do we actually experience these feelings? They are clearly not a product of our brain, they are products of our consciousness, and when we feel them the brain responds.  Researchers are now discovering that the heart also responds and that it might actually be the heart that’s responsible for sending these signals to the brain.

A group of prestigious and internationally recognized leaders in physics, biophysics, astrophysics, education, mathematics, engineering, cardiology, biofeedback, and psychology (among other disciplines) have been doing some brilliant work over at the Institute of HeartMath.

Their work, among many others, has proven that when a person is feeling really positive emotions like gratitude, love, or appreciation, the heart beats out a different message, which determines what kind of signals are sent to the brain.

Not only that, but because the heart beats out the largest electromagnetic field produced in the body, the Institute has been able to gather a significant amount of data.

According to Rolin McCratey, Ph.D, and Director of Research at Heartmath,

“Emotional information is actually coded and modulated into these fields. By learning to shift our emotions, we are changing the information coded into the magnetic fields that are radiated by the heart, and that can impact those around us. We are fundamentally and deeply connected with each other and the planet itself.” (source)

Another great point made below by the Institute:

“One important way the heart can speak to and influence the brain is when the heart is coherent – experiencing stable, sine-wavelike pattern in its rhythms. When the heart is coherent, the body, including the brain, begins to experience all sorts of benefits, among them are greater mental clarity and ability, including better decision making.” (source)

In fact, the heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends in return. What’s even more amusing is the fact that these heart signals (from heart to brain) actually have a significant effect on brain function.

Research findings have shown that as we practice heart coherence and radiate love and compassion, our heart generates a coherent electromagnetic wave into the local field environment that facilitates social coherence, whether in the home, workplace, classroom or sitting around a table. As more individuals radiate heart coherence, it builds an energetic field that makes it easier for others to connect with their heart. So, theoretically it is possible that enough people building individual and social coherence could actually contribute to an unfolding global coherence. –  McCratey

So far, the researchers have discovered that the heart communicates with the brain and body in four ways: neurological communication (nervous system), biophysical communication (pulse wave), biochemical communication (hormones), and energetic communication (electromagnetic fields).

“HeartMath research has demonstrated that different patterns of heart activity (which accompany different emotional states) have distinct effects on cognitive and emotional function. During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals traveling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive function. This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. In contrast, the more ordered and stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states has the opposite effect. It facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability.” (source)

Gratitude and Positive Feelings Can Change The World

It gets deeper:

Every individual’s energy affects the collective field environment. The means each person’s emotions and intentions generate an energy that affects the field. A first step in diffusing societal stress in the global field is for each of us to take personal responsibility for our own energies. We can do this by increasing our personal coherence and raising our vibratory rate, which helps us become more conscious of the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes that we are feeding the field each day. We have a choice in every moment to take to heart the significance of intentionally managing our energies. This is the free will or local freedom that can create global cohesion. – Dr. Deborah Rozman, the President of Quantum Intech (source)

Overall, this type of work suggests that human consciousness in general can change the world.

One study, for example, was done during the Israel-Lebanon war in the 1980s. Two Harvard University professors organized groups of experienced meditators in Jerusalem, Yugoslavia and the United Sates and asked them to focus their attention on the area of conflict at various intervals over a 27-month period. Over the course of the study, the levels of violence in Lebanon decreased between 40 and 80 percent each time a meditating group was in place. The average number of people killed during the war each day dropped from 12 to three, and war-related injuries fell by 70 percent. (source)

Another great example is a study that was conducted in 1993 in Washington, D.C., which showed a 25 percent drop in crime rates when 2,500 meditators meditated during a specific period of time with that intention.

This type of information is heavily correlated with quantum physics, as many experiments in that area as well as parapsychology (telepathy, remote viewing, distant healing) indicate similar findings. (source)

This holds true as far back as 1999. Statistics professor Jessica Utts at UC Irvine published a paper showing that parapsychological experiments have produced much stronger results than those showing a daily dose of aspirin helps prevent heart attacks. Utts also showed that these results are much stronger than the research behind various drugs like antiplatelets.

This type of work has statistically significant implications, yet is heavily ignored and labelled as pseudoscience simply because it conflicts with long-held beliefs we have trouble letting go of … But times are changing.

“For many years I have worked with researchers doing very careful work [in parapsychology], including a year that I spent full-time working on a classified project for the United States government, to see if we could use these abilities for intelligence gathering during the Cold War… At the end of that project I wrote a report for Congress, stating what I still think is true. The data in support of precognition and possibly other related phenomena are quite strong statistically, and would be widely accepted if it pertained to something more mundane. Yet, most scientists reject the possible reality of these abilities without ever looking at data! And on the other extreme, there are true believers who base their beliefs solely on anecdotes and personal experience. I have asked debunkers if there is any amount of data that would convince them, and they generally have responded by saying, “probably not.” I ask them what original research they have read, and they mostly admit that they haven’t read any. Now there is a definition of pseudo-science-basing conclusions on belief rather than data!” – Utts, Chair of the Statistics Department, UC Irvine (Dean Radin, Real Magic)

The Takeaway

Emotions and other factors associated with consciousness have the power to transform our inner world in ways we don’t fully understand yet. These findings show how consciousness can actually transform the physical/material world, and that’s huge. This validates the idea that if we can change our inner world through gratitude, empathy, compassion, and meditation, we can make our outer world more peaceful.

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Consciousness

Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 32: The Poet)

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

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

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

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

32. The Poet

For days the poet had been diligent in getting the word out about his poetry reading. Yet when the time came, he stood on the stage in the village square looking at row upon row of empty seats. Only his friend the mason was in attendance, sitting patiently in the front row at the designated time.

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“Whenever you’re ready,” said the mason.

“Are you kidding? I’m not reading for just one person.”

“Why not?”

“And anyway, you don’t really appreciate my work. You’re just here as my friend.”

“Not at all, I think your poetry is great.”

“It’s brilliant, which is why people should be here to hear it!”

The poet looked out to the empty seats and then up to the sky. “Why have you made things happen this way? What did I do to deserve this?”

“Who are you talking to?” asked the mason.

“Whoever made nobody show up, the powers that be, the universe, whatever,” the poet said. “You’re the one who keeps talking about how the universe responds to our desires, how whatever happens is exactly what we ask for.”

“Yes.”

“So what about this?” the poet asked as he sat down brusquely on the front edge of the stage. “I create some great poetry and the universe responds by creating an empty audience.”

The mason approached him and said calmly, “Perhaps it’s the universe that created some great poetry and you responded by creating an empty audience.”

“Shut up!” said the annoyed poet. He banged his fist continuously on the hollow floorboards of the stage, reverberating out the sound of his frustration. The mason was unmoved, and maintained his calm demeanor.

The poet sat pensive for a few minutes, and slowly a change came over him. His face softened and his eyes welled up slightly. He leaned over and put his hand on the mason’s shoulder. “Could you go back to your seat?”

“Sure. Why?”

The poet took a deep breath and rose to his feet. “I’d like to read you some beautiful poetry.”

I first heard about the idea that ‘we create our own reality’ from Jane Roberts’ book Seth Speaks, which my father had passed on to me when I was still a teenager. While the concept of conscious creation aroused my curiosity, there were very few people in my social circles interested in talking with me about it at the time. Fortunately, this has changed in recent years. These days, this fabled secret of life seems to be coming up more and more in my conversations with friends as well as with strangers. Most people I talk to now have either read about it, seen a film about it, or at least have heard the buzz around it. It has been exciting to see the subject of conscious creation begin to get widespread attention.

At first blush the concept of conscious creation seems simple enough. We take a desire (i.e. ‘I want more money in my life’), put it in the form of an intention (‘I will have more money in my life’), and if we focus on this intention with every fiber of our being then it cannot help but come true. When I first caught on to the idea I became excited by the possibility of having money come flooding into my life from the comfort of my living room sofa. I sat by myself at a certain time in the morning on several consecutive days and followed a particular set of guidelines that were supposed to announce my intention to the universe that I was ready to receive abundance.

I believed what I had read to that point about the power of intention, and I thought my will-power and discipline would see me the rest of the way. I was quite enthusiastic the first day or two, but soon I could feel it waning. Try as I might to think positively while going through the exercise, some inner uncertainty slowly crept in. By the end of the week I was sitting there, arms crossed, waiting for the universe to prove itself. This was suddenly no fun at all. Amidst my growing doubts the task became more loathsome until thankfully I gave up.

But that was not the worst part. The worst part was that I was turned off of the whole process, and blamed myself for my lack of success. I must not have tried hard enough, I thought, or didn’t focus enough, or wasn’t patient enough. Whatever the case, the experience left me feeling more disempowered than when I started, and for a long time I was reluctant to revisit the process of conscious creation simply because I didn’t want to go through the self-recrimination again.

Although this experience was difficult, it was important for me to see it as a necessary part of the learning curve. As we collectively get swept up in the buzz of excitement around conscious creation, my concern is that many of us will get stuck in this type of disillusionment and self-blame and will give up. It’s a symptom of our modus operandi, to seek instant gratification, to want to be given a set of action steps that we can follow mechanically to our destination.

Certainly there are those out there willing to accommodate this habit, busy at work packaging the idea of conscious creation for mass consumption, tempting us with the promise of riches and fulfillment if we follow a particular recipe for success. However when the process of conscious creation is getting sold as an off-the-shelf, stand-alone product without being part of the larger human pursuit of self-awareness, I have only two words: buyer beware.

The ability to consistently manifest what we desire is inextricably linked to our personal growth. If we are to make any real progress bringing things that we truly want into our lives, it actually requires us to take an honest look inside and begin to heal and transform our darkness.

I have come to experience that an essential ingredient to conscious creation is being aware of where we are coming from. In my early attempt to manifest money I was coming from fear, from scarcity and lack, from the type of thinking about money that my parents had. If we are coming from fear rather than love, from our Ego Self rather than our Dao Self, then our desire is imprinted with a skepticism about the connectedness of all things, and housed in doubt about the possibility of conscious creation itself because Ego Self desires do not have roots in the source of creation.

Remember the Ego Self is all about control, and if we try to control the process of conscious creation we will become even more disconnected from it. Control may work to a certain extent in the physical domain, where tactics such as intimidation and force have a certain amount of power over people and the environment. However in the realm of conscious creation the desire to control is useless. And so there is no real way to consider conscious creation until we are first able to move into, and come from, our Dao Self.

The process of moving into our Dao Self for the purposes of conscious creation is described in a powerful way in an important work on the teachings of Abraham, Ask and it is Given.[1] Abraham introduces the quantum-physical perspective that we are vibrational beings,[2] and we live along a scale or continuum between low and high vibrations. The higher our vibration, the more we are allowing our connection to source energy, or, in my language, the more we are coming from our Dao Self. The lower our vibration, the more we are inhibiting source energy, or the more we are coming from our Ego Self.

Abraham makes the distinction that our emotions are no more than indicators that reveal our current level of vibration. At the highest levels of vibration we find pure Love, and at the lowest levels of vibration we find pure Fear. Every other emotion in-between reflects its own relative level of vibration. The revelation is that when we want to feel better we can focus on raising our vibration rather than changing our emotion, for as we raise our level of vibration, our emotion—the way we feel—will naturally be raised. And as our feelings are raised, so then do we become more capable of conscious creation. Here is an example of this continuum of emotions relating to levels of vibration.[3]

Love [highest vibration]

|

joy

|

optimism

|

contentment

|

boredom

|

worry

|

anger

|

despair

|

Fear [Lowest vibration]

Abraham notes that we can change our level of vibration by changing our thoughts. Our thoughts are creative, whether we are aware of it or not. When we are not aware of our thinking, then whenever we are coming from a lower vibration, our Ego Self, we are creating things we don’t want—like when we’re afraid of something, it is often more likely to happen to us. The thing about conscious creation is that we can create the things that we want, that we would love to have in our lives, if we learn how to move up the vibrational scale. And we can use our feelings as indicators, successively choosing the thoughts that feel better than the ones we have been thinking, so that we can slowly but surely move up the scale.

So the key to this all is to think better thoughts. But this may not be as easy as it seems, for underneath the thoughts we are aware of there are deep unconscious core beliefs, the kind of long-standing, solid thoughts that seem imbedded into our very essence. My intention to bring money into my life was squelched by limiting core beliefs. While I had learned some important lessons from my parents around money, there were still remnants in me of their scarcity thinking, their belief that abundance was limited, that there wasn’t enough for everyone, and that we have to scrimp and save to have enough money to live well.

In a way, this is part of the reason that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Being brought up in an environment of abundance tends to reinforce the idea that there is abundance in the universe, while being brought up in an environment of poverty and lack will have the opposite effect. Even though I believed, intellectually, in the power to manifest through intention, there was a much deeper core belief at work, telling me that when it comes to abundance, I could not bring it into my life effortlessly.

For any intention to work, we need to be able to transcend the limiting beliefs that contradict it. These limiting beliefs are grounded in fear. They are the brick and mortar of our personal darkness. To a large extent, what shows up every day in our lives manifests directly from these beliefs.

I experienced something a few years ago that began to show me the power I had. I was mentioning to my life coach that I hadn’t been feeling at my best lately, which for me meant I wasn’t feeling inspired, alive, and motivated. She suggested that I wake up the next morning and act as if I felt inspired, alive, and motivated, so that eventually I will start to believe it’s actually true. It sounded like a novel idea—I am very much enamored with the craft of acting—so I took it on as a challenge. I started the next day, and made all attempts to have the external appearance to my wife and others that I felt inspired, alive, and motivated. It seemed very awkward at first, but by midday, I was starting to feel the way I had been pretending to feel. The next day was the same. The third day, it was even easier. The shift from acting to really feeling it was occurring faster. I was truly inspiring and motivating myself.

Now I must make a very sharp distinction between this kind of acting and actually being fake and inauthentic. Here is the key: If you are acting for the purpose of altering your limiting beliefs so that you can make the internal shift to become who you want to be, then it is an authentic act of creation. It is an act of courage and it will strengthen you inside. It is the stuff of heroes, sponsored by love. If you are acting for the purpose of fooling and convincing others that you really feel that way, with no conscious intention to shift your internal belief, then it is being inauthentic. It is the stuff of charlatans, sponsored by fear.

A life well lived is one in which we are consciously acting—as the person we want to become, as that highest vision of ourselves that we know we can be. If we let how we feel dictate how we will act, then we will always be at the whim of circumstances, we will be reactive. The greatest gift bestowed upon us as human beings is that we can always choose to be creative.

For me, I realized that bringing money into my life meant having fun with acting rich. This entailed being more generous, not worrying about what’s on sale where but just buying what I need and not putting off what I want to do on the basis of cost alone. Now remember that to be authentic, this all has to be done with the intention of changing my limiting beliefs around money. And it feels great. These days my wife and I have absolutely no worries about money. We are growing in confidence that when we need it, it will come into our lives. Now as I write this we are in debt, and by no means am I ignoring that fact. But from my practice of acting rich over the past few years the truth of the abundance of the universe is sinking in and evidencing itself. I now have what money cannot buy—an empowering belief about money.

Over the past number of years, I have slowly cultivated a core belief in the overall beneficence of the universe, not just around money but all things. As a result, my life has seen more and more moments of freedom, joy and peace. Today I am not even trying to manifest money—I have the confidence that it will come as I need it for the fulfillment of my deeper dreams. There is a certain flow to my life, founded in an ever-growing trust in the source of creation and my ability to tap into it.

In a provocative movie that explores the basis for conscious creation in quantum physics entitled What the Bleep Do We Know, I was moved by a profound description of this process by Dr. Joseph Dispenza:

I wake up in the morning, and I consciously create my day the way I want it to happen. Now sometimes, because my mind is examining all the things that I need to get done, it takes me a little bit to settle down, and get to the point of where I’m actually intentionally creating my day. But here’s the thing. When I create my day, and out of nowhere little things happen that are so unexplainable, I know that they are the process or the result of my creation. And the more I do that, the more I build a neural net in my brain, that I accept that that’s possible. Gives me the power and the incentive to do it the next day.

So, if we’re consciously designing our destiny, if we’re consciously, from a spiritual standpoint, throwing in the idea that our thoughts can affect our reality or affect our life—because reality equals life—then I have this little pact that I have when I create my day. I say, “I’m taking this time to create my day, and I’m infecting the Quantum Field.” Now, if it is in fact the observer watching me the whole time that I’m doing this, and there is a spiritual aspect to myself, then “show me a sign today that you paid attention to any one of these things that I created, and bring them in a way that I won’t expect, so I’m as surprised as the [dickens] at my ability to be able to experience these things, and make it so that I have no doubt that it’s come from you.”

There is a very fine line that we need to walk if we want to be conscious creators. We need to have utter confidence that we can create experiences that seem to manifest from outside of us, where the causal link tends to be hidden. We need to feel that we are somehow in control of what happens in our life and yet we have surrendered control to our higher self. This is only possible in a complex consciousness, where the Ego Self and the Dao Self are aligned, where the Ego Self serves as the vehicle of the experience and the Dao Self is the source of the experience. As dual beings, we experience a balance of active participation and patient observation of the process. We need to have a deep sense of trust and connectedness to what Dispenza calls the observer, the Dao, the One from which all of creation springs. Another way of saying this is that we have to be coming from our Dao Self, from Love, from an authentic sense of unity and connectedness.

And this is what is often missed: if we need to be coming from our Dao Self in order to manifest our desires, then those desires themselves will be coming from Love. The desires that come from our Ego Self are counterfeit desires, founded in ignorance and Fear, leading us to greater alienation and opposition to others.

This is not a moral imperative concerning which desires we should try to manifest. It is just the way the whole thing works. The only thing we are likely to manifest coming from Fear is more of what we fear: scarcity, lack, isolation. But this doesn’t mean we need to abandon our individual goals and focus only on communal goals. Not at all. As we increase our self-awareness we will recognize that our authentic individual goals are aligned with our universal goals because they are the same goals. Our individual purpose is aligned with our universal purpose because they are part of the same purpose. What gives us the greatest joy and bliss and rapture in our lives is ipso facto what the universe ‘wants’ us to pursue as well.

If our darkness is the sum of our limiting beliefs, then healing moves us towards experiencing ourselves as unlimited. This is the flow into our most worthwhile experiences, our move from ignorance to enlightenment, the evolution of our consciousness. It is the careful and constant refining and refitting of the mask that is our Ego Self, so that we can see ever more clearly through the eyeholes that we are the creator of everything we see.

Conscious creation, while not yet a major part of my life, is no longer the source of self-judgment it was the first time I tried it. Rather than focusing on the heaviness of control and predictability, I am noticing my desires being fulfilled in ways that restore my sense of surprise, wonder and enchantment with life. It has been a slow trial-and-error process of gaining the confidence that we can relate to the source of creation in a deliberate but still mysterious way. I have done much reading, experimenting, reflecting, and, perhaps most beneficially, I have gotten together with like-minded people to discuss successes and failures, insights and questions around conscious creation. In recent years, I have witnessed the spontaneous emergence of intention work groups and energy discussion groups all around me. I have felt the enthusiasm grow as the possibilities for our lives become better articulated. Enhancing our ability to create our lives and our world in the image of our highest visions is our reason for coming here, and one of the most important frontiers of the new conversation going forward.

[1] The material in this book actually comes from a non-physical entity named Abraham channeled through Esther Hicks and complied by her husband Jerry Hicks. In the time remaining in our conversation I will only be able to give the most cursory of references to this book, and would highly recommend it to those interested in a profound elaboration on conscious creation.
[2] As vibrational beings we are governed by the Law of Attraction, which states ‘that which is like unto itself is drawn.’ The idea is that we are always attracting into our lives, manifesting, those objects and events to which we have a vibrational match.
[3] There is no definitive list, as different words describing emotions mean different things to different people. Still, this small sample reflects the idea of being able to step up a continuum from negative to positive emotions.

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Consciousness

New Moon In Aries: Pursuing Wholeness

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We are having a New Moon in Aries on March 24th. This is initiating a new 29.5-day lunar cycle and a new wave of energy for the coming month. However, the astrological configurations mentioned in this article will be more prominent over the coming two weeks. This cycle will include a Full Moon in Libra on April 7th/8th.

Before getting into the astrology of this New Moon, a lot of people have been asking me about the current coronavirus pandemic and my perspectives on it. It is very much connected to the previous Lunar Eclipse, Solar Eclipse, and the Saturn-Pluto conjunction (which happened at the same time) that I wrote about. The energies of eclipses can play out at different times in the 6 month period after they occur.

The recent Mercury Retrograde in Pisces/Aquarius (and its post shadow period) reflected the escalation and increased awareness of this situation along with some further confusion. In the days after the Mercury Retrograde ended (during the last Full Moon period in Virgo), we gained some more clarity (or perceived clarity) around the seriousness (or perceived seriousness) of the situation which lead to the majority of the world beginning to take extreme precautions and the financial markets going haywire. All of this fits like clockwork with the astrological weather. Check out my video below in which I talk about it more.

New Moon In Aries Conjunct Chiron

Aries season began at the Equinox as it always does per the Tropical Zodiac. Being the first of twelve signs and initiator of a transitional season (following the transitional sign of Pisces) it initiates the Astrological New Year.

Aries is the domain of self, independence, and individual needs. As a Cardinal Fire sign ruled by Mars, it is associated with assertiveness, courage, directness, pioneering, and leading. It is quick, bold, and energetic. Negatively, this energy can be inconsiderate, selfish,  hot tempered, combative, restless, impatient, aggressive, and overly competitive.

This New Moon is applying a conjunction to Chiron (also in Aries) which makes its themes very strong throughout this lunar cycle, but more so over the following two weeks. Chiron is associated with healing, wholeness, cleansing, spiritual growth, gifted abilities, innovative solutions/ideas, shamanism, self-awareness, discovery, teaching, and indigenous people.

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It is holistic, maverick, bridging, integrating, creative, unorthodox, paradoxical, and about bringing things together that are quite different from each other and wouldn’t be expected to mesh well. Chiron also reflects dilemmas, spiritual or physical wounds, blockages, negative patterns, disease, pain, suffering, and parts of the whole which have been fragmented.

Chiron related issues (as mentioned above) can be getting in the way (or we may perceive it like that) of us reaching our potential. With it being in Aries, these challenges may be connected to the themes and qualities of that sign. Chiron related issues want to be overcome or handled more positively which can help to open other doors. They can be transmuted into gifts, abilities, awareness, and further spiritual embodiment.

New Moon and Chiron Square The Lunar Nodes

The New Moon and Chiron are also in a square with the Lunar Nodes. Chiron has also recently transitioned from being closer to the South Node in Capricorn to now being closer to the North Node in Cancer as it moves in that direction. This configuration with the Nodes can reflect being at a crossroads with the energies of these opposing signs as well as between the past and the future.

Ultimately this is helping to push us to focus more on the Cancerian qualities and areas of life, while reducing Capricorn areas and/or letting go of its negative qualities. More beneficial developments and growth can occur when we do this and it may also help us to tap more into Chiron’s positive traits and healing potential.

When we focus on the Capricorn side we may face more challenges and may also be inhibited by Chiron’s negative expressions which can be getting in the way of our potential. However, this can also call for some sort of positive (or win-win) integration between both sides of this polarity. If so, then the emphasis is to be on Cancerian themes while expressions of Capricorn are fulfilling the Cancer focal point.

Cancer is about home, security, protection, emotion, instinct, family, nurturing, caring, emotional support, sensitivity, and other domestic aspects of life. Capricorn is associated with goals, ambitions, career, duty, productivity, business, government, critical thinking, banking, orderliness, structure, consolidation, conservation, and determination. Negatively expressed, it can be cold, aloof, pessimistic, overly concerned with social standing, or flaunt status and achievement.

This can also be a good time to reflect on the wounds of our past to help us in how to proceed into a more empowering future. Be open towards any sort of modalities, practices, information/media, journaling, people, situations, or anything else that can help to facilitate this process.

Saturn Just Entered Aquarius, In A Sextile With This New Moon

Saturn, the planet of restrictions, boundaries, limitations, responsibilities, commitments, discipline, maturity, and the elderly, recently moved into Aquarius, the social sign of groups, the collective, humanity, intellect, technology, and innovation. It is in a connecting aspect to this New Moon in the self-oriented sign of Aries conjunct the healing, impairing, and maverick Chiron.

Saturn literally entered Aquarius just over two days prior to this New Moon after being in Capricorn since late December 2017. However, Saturn will re-enter Capricorn in early July after it goes retrograde in the 2nd week of May. It will then re-enter Aquarius in mid-December where it will stay until early 2023. By that point it will be fully in that sign instead of back and forth between two signs. We will then notice its exclusive energy even more strongly and likely in different ways than we are currently.

With Saturn getting its first taste of Aquarius, perhaps certain things that are going on now, in these coming months, and especially late in the year can be seeding something pertaining to how this process will play out until early 2023.  I will be covering more about this energy and its significant upcoming astrological configurations in my future content. Join my mailing list here to get notified when my work gets released.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

How can you use this period to overcome old wounds, blockages, and your negative expressions to assist you in reaching your potential and achieving wholeness? Do you have issues around independence, individual needs, or sense of self that need to be addressed? What can you do to be more caring and nurturing without sacrificing while still considering and acting on your personal needs and self-development? Are there any aspects of your ambitions, career, social status, that are getting in your way of emotional fulfillment?

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 9:28am Universal Time on March 24th. 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

I’m doing a BIG DISCOUNT during the pandemic period with 40-50% off personal readings.  Gain more 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 the discounted rate.

 

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Consciousness

Conscious Truth Behind Coronavirus Lockdown

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Now is a time for deep reflection on the state of our world and how we wish to shift the way we live our lives on this planet. Society has an opportunity to change, are we paying attention?

  • Reflect On:

    Do we simply want to go back to 'normal life' after this? Or is this giving us a chance to see things differently?

I have seen an unprecedented amount of perspectives about what is going on with this global event. Typically, there are a few theories that emerge with something like this. A mainstream narrative, perhaps a couple political narratives, then a few alternative narratives. But in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have seen narratives from virtually anyone with a voice. This has created an incredibly confusing landscape, but I hope to shift that a bit with the video I want to share with you below.

Perhaps the people that I believe should most take a breath are those that are angry, hateful and upset that some people are not terrified about this pandemic and choosing not to stay inside. Instead, some people are going for a walk outdoors to get fresh air, and this is enraging a certain part of the population. This group also seems to be asking their government for martial law and to take control of the food supply. My reflections towards these people are why are you feeling so angry and fearful? Why are you forgoing all of your power to the government? When have they given you a reason to trust them?

In fear, we will not have a good immune system. In fear, we will not have clarity. Take a breath, enjoy what independent media is sharing as the narratives are not riddled in fear like the mainstream media’s is.

As always, I feel these massive global events come down to consciousness and how we think about our world. We are in an unprecedented time right now where we have an incredible opportunity to break up the status quo and begin looking at what our world truly is at the moment. For those that are fearful of a totalitarian state, one question to consider is, do you truly feel that with how much more aware people are now than during 9/11, is a totalitarian state actually possible? I personally don’t think so as I don’t think enough people will stand for it.

Over the last 11 years I have seen so many people wake up to what’s going on. People you might not expect would change. At this point, even if the Deep State tried to pull something, I don’t think people would let it happen. Our collective consciousness is also truly asking for something different of our world, of our everyday life. It’s time for a great change, shift, and upheaval in and of our current systems and structures within society.

The main message of the video below is that it’s time for us to get back to dreaming, wondering, exploring and envisioning what world we wish to create. This can be the main focus of our conversations during this time, and it may serve the best to do so. My feeling is that now is a time to engage in practices of dreaming, imagining, and talking about what we could change and create, as opposed to just waiting for things to go back to normal, or just waiting for something to happen. This is an opportunity for us to collectively talk about and take action on creating a different world, as opposed to having someone else created for us.

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Enjoy the video below as it goes into much greater detail as to what I’m wishing to share.

I will be continuing to post regular thoughts and updates on Instagram, as well as go live. You can follow me on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/joemartino29/

*Note, the first minute has bad sound.

What You Can Do

Below are three important links to help you in potentially preventing coronavirus infection and perhaps even treating it. It also includes how you can stay calm and present during this time, as this is one of the most important things we can do.

How To Take Vitamin C Orally. It MAY Help Protect Against Viruses

Enjoy This Free Conscious Breathing Course To Bring Peace & Heightened Immunity

Foods That Weaken Your Immune System

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You can stream conscious media 24/7 and enjoy mind-expanding interviews, original shows, and documentaries and guided programs.

Click here to start a FREE 7-Day Trial and watch 100's of hours of conscious media that you won't see anywhere else.

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