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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:

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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

An Indigenous Prophecy About The Reunion of the Condor and Eagle

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Indigenous cultures from around the globe all share a prophecy about the time we are living in now. It states that the people of Earth will unite in some sort of spiritual awakening with the common goal of peace on Earth.

  • Reflect On:

    Think about how much human consciousness has changed within the past 10 years alone. We are starting to see through the lies and deception, we are starting to realize that it's really time to change things here on our planet. We are in the process.

Indigenous cultures today struggle to remember their teachings. It doesn’t help that the western world portrays them in a certain light, but the fact remains that indigenous cultures were extremely advanced. They understood how to live in harmony with the Earth, and their teachings were very profound, insightful and spiritual. You don’t need to look far to see how knowledgable they were, and their knowledge of our planet, the cosmos, science and mathematics still baffles experts today. How they were able to acquire certain knowledge and build various structures is still a mystery, as many of these things would be difficult to replicate even using modern technology. We see this with the pyramids built by various indigenous cultures throughout history, pieces of artwork, and several other anomalous artifacts that really don’t receive much media attention. These people were highly advanced, but unfortunately colonization and the arrival of the Europeans changed all of that. I still get upset when I hear people interpret these cultures as very ‘primitive,’ as if they just lived in forests. That interpretation is very far from the truth.

Scholars have estimated that, prior to the ‘discovery’ of the Americas by Europeans, the pre-contact era population could have been as high as 100 million people. American anthropologist and ethnohistorian Henry F. Dobyns, most known for his published research on American Indians and Hispanic peoples in Latin and North America, estimated that more than one hundred twelve million people inhabited the Americas prior to European arrival. (source)(source)(source)

When these cultures were wiped out, so were their teachings, knowledge and wisdom. It was replaced with religious indoctrination, and indigenous cultures throughout the world, especially in North America, have since struggled to regain and retain the knowledge and teachings that were lost.

But things are changing.

These cultures also had prophecies, and many of them speak of a time when all of this knowledge would be lost, but then would eventually return to Earth. Prophecies speak of indigenous cultures and bloodlines reuniting. We’re living in a special time right now because that ancient indigenous prophecy wasn’t just referring to the ‘spiritual awakening’ of their own people, but of the entire planet, and this is the process we’re going through today.

It gives me chills just thinking about it. The time has come where many desire a cleaner, greener, more cooperative human experience where everybody can thrive. Humanity has the potential to live in peace and meet the needs of everyone easily. We can live in harmony with nature and work with it, not against it.

Here at Collective Evolution, we refer to this time as the shift in consciousness, and we are currently living through it. The ‘darkness’ is being exposed, and this ‘darkness’ has primarily relied on the manipulation of human consciousness. Our thoughts, feelings and perceptions about what is happening on our planet have been completely altered by the same forces that once sought to wipe out indigenous knowledge and implant their own ideals. Just as the surviving indigenous after European arrival were brainwashed and indoctrinated, we too have been brainwashed and indoctrinated.

Today, we live in a society that manipulates our consciousness in order to justify wars, wars based on false premises. We are made to believe that, even with all our technological advancements and potential to provide abundance for all, that this is not ‘economically feasible.’ We’ve been made to believe that our medicines are helping us, and that we can ‘out-do’ nature and rise above it. So many of humanity’s actions are not in harmony with the planet and all life on it.

Thankfully, this mass spiritual awakening is here. Not only is humanity becoming aware of the fact that we can change the human experience to one that resonates with all, but we are also realizing that we’ve been manipulated, that we have the power to change, and that a world beyond our physical material world exists. Non-material science is becoming stronger, and awareness of the metaphysical world is becoming the norm.

Many activist movements are growing, and truth movements and campaigns have been gaining attention and popularity for years. We are no longer sitting idle, we are raising our voice, we are acting, and we are bringing about a shift in consciousness and a spiritual awakening that was prophesied  long before we were even here. It’s a beautiful time to be alive, and the best way to bring about peace, love, unity and cooperation is to embody these qualities within ourselves.

Below is a video of indigenous leaders and elders sharing and explaining the current transitional time that we are living in.

There have been wounds of injustice, of oppression, of colonization, of greed, of superstition, all those things which injure the human heart. At the same time there’s been no way for this to be expressed, it’s been held inside. So this ancestral wound is this wound that’s been carried on from generation to generation to generation, this intergenerational trauma. But it was also prophesied  and promised that after a period of 500 years that a great, great spiritual spring time would emerge with such power and such intensity that all that had been covered in the cold bitter snow would be revealed and cleansed and purified. And that we would emerge galvanized, reunited as not only the reunion of the Condor and Eagle, but a reunion of the entire human family. This time is now. (This quote was taken from the video below.)

The Takeaway

We are truly living in an apocalypse. But that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, but rather a disclosure or revelation of knowledge. A lot of truths are being exposed today within several different subjects, be it food, politics, health, etc. We are being presented with knowledge that severely contrasts what we’ve been indoctrinated to believe. Having our collective belief systems questioned and challenged is not an easy process, and many are still fighting to hang on to old ways and belief systems. This is all part of the current spiritual transformation/shift in consciousness that the human race is experiencing as a collective. It’s all part of these ancient prophecies.

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Consciousness

Lunar Eclipse In Sagittarius: Restless Perplexity

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We are having a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on June 5th peaking at 7:25pm Universal Time which will be on the 6th in the Eastern part of the world. It will be a penumbral eclipse which only has a slight shade on the Moon dimming it’s brightness. These ones are harder to notice and can be mistaken for a regular Full Moon. It will be visible (weather permitting) wherever it will be nighttime in part or all of its duration. This includes most of Europe, most of Asia, all of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Eastern parts of South America.

This is the first of three eclipses occurring back to back, with this one followed by a more powerful annular Solar Eclipse in Cancer on June 20th/21st and another penumbral Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn on July 4th/5th. This one is also the first of a series of Eclipses occurring in the Gemini-Sagittarius axis which we will be experiencing until late 2021. The following two eclipses will be the final ones in the Cancer/Capricorn polarity which began in summer 2018.

Eclipses reflect evolutionary changes in specific areas of our lives which can play out over the following 6 months and can begin up to 6 weeks prior. However, they are also part of a 1.5-2 year process in which the Lunar Nodes and most Eclipses are in the same signs. The changes that occur are connected to the sign they are in, the planets they are configured to, and how this all lines up with our individual astrological blueprint.

Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius Opposite Sun in Gemini, Jupiter in Capricorn

We have recently begun a process in which we are experiencing a collective recalibration in how Gemini and Sagittarius energies are expressed. This started in early May when the Lunar nodes entered these signs followed by Venus going retrograde in Gemini. However, this eclipse and others later in the year will crank it up more so and these themes will play out until early 2022.

This eclipse puts an emphasis on Sagittarius which is where the South Node is. This indicates changes and developments associated with this sign that can have a decreasing effect in how its energies are expressed, however, negative expressions of this sign can also come up more so to bring it to our attention. Sagittarius energies and aspects of life can be more constructive when they are expressed towards a Gemini focal point.

Sagittarius is associated with beliefs, philosophies, morals, righteousness, travel, exploration, and perspectives based on experience. It is associated with media, marketing, and education. Sagittarius energy can be excessive, blunt, egotistical, argumentative, fanatical, opinionated, preachy, unrealistic, disregarding of consequences, and have a ‘know-it-all’ complex.

Sagittarius and its ruler Jupiter are associated with expansion, idealism, and optimism. However, with the South Node in Sagittarius and Jupiter in the Saturnian sign of Capricorn, this is a time of being realistic, cautious, and practical. Jupiter is also moving towards a 2nd conjunction with Pluto (both retrograde) which can be transformative, destructive, and purging of the old.

This Full Moon Eclipse is opposite the Sun in Gemini which is where the North Node is. Over the next few years there is an emphasis on increase and growth around the themes/energies of this sign. Gemini is associated with facts, communication, articulation, learning, different viewpoints, neighbors, neighborhood, close friends, siblings, extended family, and our local environment.

As mentioned above, Sagittarius expressions will be more conducive within a balance of Gemini being the focal point. We are already seeing this play out. For example,  education (Sagittarius) is being done from home on devices/apps (Gemini). International travel (Sagittarius) has been minimized, but shorter trips with our country/state/province will be okay (Gemini).

Lunar Eclipse Opposite Sun conjunct Venus Retrograde

This eclipse is happening in opposition to Venus retrograde. We are in a time of reorientation around Venus ruled areas such as relationships, love, social dynamics, values, pleasures, creativity, and finances. This energy is factored into the other mentioned themes of this eclipse which can play out until the Fall.

In the days leading up to this eclipse, Venus joined the Sun in its ‘inferior conjunction’. This can reflect a shift in dynamics and/or insights.. It can be a time in which certain circumstances can be pushing us to renew or let go of some aspects of how we express or engage in Venus areas of life.

Lunar Eclipse Square Mars and Neptune

This configuration is also in a square with Mars which could have begun to play out in the five days prior. This can reflect conflicts, restlessness, arguments, competitiveness, or some sort of passionate engagement with others. For some, this energy can also be creatively or romantically stimulating. However, the Sun has been approaching a square with Mars since after the last New Moon which has been a building up of intense energy.

Mars in Pisces moving towards a conjunction with Neptune can make it confusing and it can be hard to focus our action.  Although this energy is good for applying ourselves spiritually, artistically, imaginatively, sacrificially, or compassionately, this can also reflect inconsideration of boundaries, impracticality, escapism, and asserting ourselves in a delusional or confused way. This is connected to the long term backdrop of this eclipse, but will be strongest from June 11th-14th.

Mercury in Pre-Retrograde Shadow, Sextile Uranus and Square Chiron

Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, entered its pre-retrograde shadow period on June 2nd and will be going retrograde on June 18th until July 12th. It is happening in Cancer, beginning days before a powerful Solar Eclipse in the same sign.

With Mercury being in the next sign from Venus retrograde, and ruling it as well, this can reflect the next stage of some of the themes that have come up. Keep in mind when making decisions over these coming weeks that some of the things playing out will lead to a change in dynamics or shift in perspective later in the month or in July. As Mercury increasingly slows down prior to June 18th we can also begin to experience some of the common Mercury retrograde complications.

At the time of this eclipse Mercury is in a tight square with Chiron and sextile to Uranus. Thoughts and communications can be insightful, innovative, and revolutionary. This can be good for creative solutions, realizations and bringing wholeness to a situation. Our wounds can be triggered more easily but this can ultimately push us towards healing.  .

I will be covering the upcoming retrograde and eclipses in future content,  join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.

Things To Consider

What has come up for you in the ten days leading up to this eclipse? What do you feel like you need to change or release? What are your relationships and social dynamics showing you? What aspects of your beliefs might be wrong? Is there something about the media or perspectives that you are consuming that you feel is not serving you? Are you clear about what you are fighting for or fighting against? Is there something that you may be confused about?

These are just some examples of what can be playing out for you but not limited to these either. Keep in mind that the themes of this specific eclipse will play out until the Fall and the Gemini-Sagittarius nodal themes will play out until early 2022.  It is best to try to tune into this energy as it happens and pay attention to your feelings to help you in decisions you need to make in the future.

The two weeks following this eclipse can be a good time to initiate any sort of releasing process if you feel necessary. The eclipse begins at 5:46pm Universal Time on June 5th with it peaking at 7:25pm and finishing at 9:04pm. The Moon begins to wane after 7:13pm. You can click here to see when the peak will be in your time zone.

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Consciousness

How To Stay Present & Calm Throughout The Day

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A simple process to bring you back to presence and freedom throughout the day.

  • Reflect On:

    Can we expect our world to change if we don't change our inner states of everyday being?w

Do you notice yourself feeling tense shoulders? A cleansed jaw? Perhaps you’re holding your breath in some ways and you don’t even know it? Maybe you feel a clenched tummy from time to time and have tricky digestion. You might notice yourself rushing through life, tasks, wanting to get to the next thing. You may not be paying full attention to your life and everything feels like autopilot.

If this is the case, you’re not alone.

This is a very calm state of being for most people in highly developed countries who are living the ‘average everyday life.’ You wake up, go to your job, work all day, come home and then either veg out or spend time with family and go to sleep. This is the ‘modern life’ that we have accepted as ‘ a good life’ and yet almost every aspect of it presents a challenge to our health and well being. But, at this time, money is required to live our lives, and so we must play within this system in some way or another as we actively change it.

The good news is, you have ultimate freedom within yourself to perceive your reality as you wish to perceive it. When we are unconscious, or allowing our programmed states of being to run our lives, we typically move through life on autopilot, moving from one habit to another.  However, when we begin to gain presence, and pull ourselves out of all these unconscious habits, we begin to gain some freedom back. This builds over time.

Before we get to the exercise, I want to add that for those that pay a lot of attention to the news and media side of our work here at CE, using these practices to gain more presence and self-awareness in your life will play deeply into the CE Protocol which is designed to help us gain more clarity on what’s happening in the world, and be an active part of changing it. Skipping the personal transformation end of our journeys only holds us in our current state of being and understanding.

A Simple Process

One powerful thing you can do to begin seeing the subtleties in life, noticing the magic and incredible beauty around you and within you at all times is going back to the breath. Combine that with a few processes in releasing tension and getting into your heart, and you’ll truly begin waking up to who you truly are on a daily basis. The best part is, this muscle grows with time, the more you practice, the more present you become, and the more your monkey mind goes into the passenger seat instead of the driver seat.

Approx time needed: 5 mins

1. There are two ways to initiate the exercise, either you do it when you notice yourself tense or not present, or you set an alarm that goes off about 6 times per day. If you choose the first method, you want to know that your awareness already catches yourself about 6 times a day so you can make sure you are doing this enough.

2. When the alarm goes off, or when you notice yourself, stop what you are doing and take a couple of deep breaths. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Do this slowly and controlled. Nothing too fast and nothing too out of control.

3. After about 2 to 5 breaths, allow yourself to breathe normally, making sure it is still through the nose. Begin to say within yourself. ‘I am releasing all tension in my head, my neck, my shoulders, my jaw, my stomach, my fists, and my legs.” This is like a mini mantra if you will, but don’t take it too seriously in that it has to be said any particular way. You’re simply noticing and instructing the body to relax.

4. After you have gone through the releasing, and you notice your body is more relaxed and your breathing has brought you back to the moment. Sense yourself in your chair or where you stand. Feel the air around you, notice any breezes on your skin or any scents that you smell. Notice all the various sounds around you, not focusing on anyone or feeling any as a distraction, but noticing them and allowing them to be. This is presence, while in this state. Noticing.

If you happen to have any rampant thoughts or feelings of stress arise during this at any point, simply notice it and say within yourself “OK stress or OK task I have to complete, I see you, I will take care of you momentarily” and allow it to pass.

5. Once in presence, turn your attention to the area of your sternum, the heart centre. You may put your hand or fingers on this area, and simply focus your attention on this space. See your awareness moving into this space as if you yourself are moving from your mind to your heart. However that looks or feels to you is OK. It doesn’t have to be anything mystical. This is a common mistake of overcomplicating simple methods.

6. Finally, allow yourself to be in that space for as long as you like. 1 min, 10 mins, whatever works. Usually I say this exercise is meant to be done as a check-in for about 5 mins.

Repeat this each time your alarm goes off or when you notice yourself tense. Through this, you are gaining more awareness of self more regularly. You are also beginning to realize you have a lot more control over your state of being than once thought. This is a key step to emotional freedom. In this space, your mind does not run you, nor do your emotions.

Bonus: As an extended tip, once you gain a sense of what that short meditation felt like. Even if you notice yourself for a moment 20 or 30 minutes later being tense, just take one deep breath and recall the energy and feeling of your meditation.

The Takeaway

When will things like full disclosure happen, or big changes in our world? When people focus deeply enough on personal transformation that our consciousness becomes ready to hear what’s being hidden and becomes ready for a world that is grounded in a state of peace, love, and freedom as opposed to monkey mind behavior.

 

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