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The ‘Power’ Of The Quartz Crystal From An Indigenous Point of View

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Quartz crystals, among others, have been used by a number of ancient cultures around the world for multiple purposes. In many cases, they've been used by Shamans for healing and spiritual purposes.

  • Reflect On:

    Consider the knowledge our indigenous cultures had, and all of the knowledge we have today that shows healing has a lot more to do with how the masses perceive it today. Back then, it was really about healing, today, it's more about profit.

Before you begin...

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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.

Crystals have been used by several ancient cultures from around the world for a very long time. You can find literature on them in the Vedas, Buddhist traditions, ancient Egypt, and ancient Greek lore. They are also described in the Shamanistic practices of several indigenous cultures as well as within ancient lost civilizations like Atlantis. Even Nikola Tesla was fascinated by Crystals, saying that “in a crystal, we have clear evidence of the existence of a formative life principle, and though we cannot understand the life of a crystal, it is nonetheless a living being.”

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These gemstones have been central to various cultures throughout human history. So why does mainstream anthropological literature seem to ignore crystals? Today, the meaning and significance of crystals are virtually unknown, which is a shame. The significant power of crystals could be used to help planet Earth and improve the overall health of the entire population.

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Relegated To ‘New Age’ Practice

Today, crystals are placed within the “New Age” category, and because of that, they are given somewhat of a negative connotation. It’s not as if only modern groups all of a sudden started having an interest in crystals out of nothing; interest in crystals do indeed have an interesting and ancient origin.

This article is going to focus on the Shamanistic perspective of crystals, as outlined by Michael Harner, in his book The Way of The Shaman. Harner is the founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. He actually pioneered the introduction of shamanism and the shamanic drum journey to contemporary life and is recognized as the world leader in this movement.

Harner received his anthropology Ph.D. in 1963 from the University of California, Berkeley, and has taught at a number of institutions, including Columbia and Yale University, He served as co-chair of the anthropology section of the New York Academy of Sciences, but left academia in 1987 in order to devote himself full time to shamanism. In 2003, he received an honorary doctorate in recognition of his achievements in shamanic studies.

As a website dedicated to his legacy points out,

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Michael Harner is not just an anthropologist who has studied shamanism; he is an authentic white shaman, observes the distinguished transpersonal psychologist Stanislav Grof. Dr. Harner began learning about shamanism in 1956-57 while studying with the Shuar (Jívaro) tribe of the Ecuadorian Amazon, and started practicing shamanism during his 1960-61 stay with the Conibo people of the Peruvian Amazon. He subsequently returned to the Shuar for additional practical training in shamanism. He became recognized as a shaman by the indigenous shamans with whom he worked, including ones belonging to the following peoples: the Conibo and Shuar (formerly Jívaro) in South America; the Coast Salish, Pomo, and Northern Paiute in western North America; the Inland Inuit and the Sami (formerly Lapps) in the Arctic; and the Tuvans of central Asia. In Russia, assembled Siberian shamans of the Buriat people publicly declared Michael Harner a great shaman, upon witnessing his shamanic healings in 1998 (the word, shaman, comes from Siberia). They also said he proved that one could do both science and shamanism.

Clearly, if you’re looking for a source to dive deep into the realms of Shamanism, it’s hard to think of a source as solid as this which can provide reliable information.

The Quartz Crystal: According To The Way of The Shaman

While there is potentially an almost infinite variety of power objects, there is one kind in particular that is regularly found in the keeping of shamans. This is the quartz crystal. In North and South America, Australia, southeast Asia, and elsewhere, shamans ascribe a singular importance to these pointed, six-sided stones that are usually transparent to milky-white. Shamans use a wide variety of sizes, ranging from the length of a little-giner joint to rarer ones a foot or more in length…The quartz crystal is considered the strongest power object among such widely separate peoples as the Jivaro in South America and the tribes of Australia. People as distant from one another as the aborigines of easter Australia and the Yuman speakers of southern California and adjacent Baja California consider the quartz crystal “living,” or a “live rock.” The widespread employment of quartz crystals in shamanism spans thousands of years. In California, for example, quartz crystals have been found in archeological sites and prehistoric burials dating as far back as 8000 years.

In his book, Harner goes on to describe how throughout all these cultures, this crystal is viewed as a healing tool and a spirit helper. He goes on to say that “the western Yuman shamans enter into a special partnership with their quartz crystals and must “feed” them; this is reminiscent of Jivaro shamans feeding their spirit helpers with tobacco water in order to keep them.”

Harner explains how some shamans in training had a piece of quartz “sung” into their foreheads so that they would “be able to see right into things.” This concept is not much different from the concept of the “third eye.”

Seeing Into Other Worlds

Quartz crystals were used from everything to seeing into other worlds to assisting in the extraction from patients of harmful disease or “intrusions,” as Harner called them. He gives an example of the Warao shaman of South America, who believed that, at death, their soul would merge with the quartz crystal inside of his rattle and ascends to the sky in the form of light. The Australian Kabi shaman with “many crystals in his body” could journey down into the deepest waterholes, where the rainbow spirit lived, and receive more quartz crystals. Such a shaman would arise “full of life, and be a medicine-man of the highest degree.”

A lot of power is associated with the quartz crystal according to shamanism, and Harner points out:

“In modern physics, the quartz crystal is also involved in the manipulation of power. Its remarkable electronic properties early made it a basic component in radio transmitters and receivers. Thin wafers sliced from quartz crystals later became basic components for modern electronic hardware such as computers and timepieces. Western science has obviously advanced to the point that it recognized the quartz crystal as a power object, something that shamans have known for thousands of years.”

While this all may be coincidental, it is one of the many synchronicities that make the accumulated knowledge of shamanism exciting and even awesome.

Not only did shamans used their quartz crystals to heal, they used it to peer into the future, for seeing as well as divination. An interesting point in the book Harner brings up is the crystal ball, “with which people in our culture are familiar, at least by name, is simply a polished descendant of the old shamanic crystal.” He explains how some indigenous cultures used crystal gazing to see visions of the past, what’s happening in the present as well as to see in the future.

One thing I came across that really interested me, was distant healing. It’s something I’ve written about for years and something that’s been exemplified by countless peer-reviewed studies that have been published in multiple journals.  Distant healing is using one person’s intention and directing it towards another for the purposes of healing. If you want to learn more about that, you can check out the Institute of Noetic Sciences, or refer to this article that goes a little bit deeper into the mind-body connection and the power it has to heal.

“The shaman sent out the crystal at night to bring back the image of the sick person. When the image arrived, the shaman danced around the crystal, shaking his rattle, and then ordered the crystal, as his spirit helper, to extract a harmful power intrustion from the image. The distant person, whose image it was, was therby healed.”

Harner’s book goes into much greater detail regarding the uses of crystals in shamanism, among other places. The above is just a tidbit, nothing but a quick snapshot of what you can learn from reading his book.

How to Cleanse & Choose Your Crystal

You can simply visit a rock shop or a mineral store, and pick out one that you feel attracted to. As Harner explains,

Do not immediately put the crystal you choose into your bundle or with your other power objects. First you must cleanse it, since its history is unkown to you. Cleanse the cyrstal by washing it in the water of a natural spring or the ocean. Then keep it seperate from your medicine bundle until the arrival of a winter or summer solstice. Take it to an isolated high place, such as a mountain top. There split a tick at one end, push the unsplit end into the ground, and place the quartz crystal, point upward, in the cleft of the stick. Leave it there eight days in the sun to “re-charge” before putting it in the medicine bundle. Periodically between solstices, you should remove the cyrstal from the bundle and “wake up” its power. This is done by hitting its nonpointed end lightly on a rock protruding from a spring or an ocean.

Interesting, to say the least, isn’t it? These sacred and special objects should be treated with care, and our special connection to them, as well as well all of nature, is something that needs to return to our planet if we are to move forward into abundance and create a new human experience. “The Way of the Shaman” must return to planet Earth, in perhaps a more modern form. Who knows, perhaps this is something in our future as humanity is being called to walk a more spiritual path, one in which we truly realize how everything is interconnected, and how nature provides us with everything we need. Combine this wisdom with human ingenuity, and we have a future that most of us cannot even comprehend.

Source:

The Way of The Shaman, By Michael Harner

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Consciousness

New Moon In Aries: Taking Bold Action

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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 Aries during the later hours of April 11th in the Americas and on the 12th everywhere else in the world. 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 cycle will include a Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26th/27th.

Aries season began at the Equinox (on March 20th globally this year) as it always does, as per the framework of the Tropical Zodiac. Being the first of twelve signs, and initiator of a transitional season, it begins the Astrological New Year. However with this New Moon actually occurring in Aries as well, it will crank up the energies of this sign even more so in comparison to the previous weeks that were part of a lunar cycle initiated by a New Moon in Pisces.

Aries is the domain of self, independence, and individual needs. As a Cardinal Fire sign ruled by Mars, it is assertive, courageous, direct, pioneering, and leading. It is initiating, quick, bold, energetic, and warrior-like. Negatively, this energy can be inconsiderate, selfish,  hot tempered, combative, restless, impatient, aggressive, and overly competitive. Aries lacks thoroughness due to its quick forward energy.

New Moon Conjunct Mercury & Venus In Aries

This New Moon is close to both Mercury and Venus. This can reflect a period in which our social interactions and engagement with others can be more lively. Both Mercury and Aries have a busy moving type of energy and we may feel more active, physically and/or mentally, as a result.

The conjunction of both of these planets with this New Moon also means it is tied into cycles that each of those planets have with the Sun. Venus recently joined the Sun in the last week of March and it is now travelling ahead of it in zodiacal position.

In recent weeks this has been a time in which we experienced shifts, developments, endings, beginnings, or more clarity around Venus areas of friends, love, social dynamics, values, worth, or financial matters in some cases. This New Moon and the weeks following can continue this process, especially when it comes to beginnings or newer ways of expressing ourselves in these areas.

Mercury is now approaching the Sun as they will make their conjunction on April 18th/19th. At that time we may experience developments, which may be significant, connected to what has transpired during its previous retrograde in February and how things have unfolded since then. From there, these things may develop further with a better perception, or circumstances may indicate lack of sufficiency, not what was anticipated, or that something needs to change.

Planets In Aries Square Pluto & Sextile Mars Trine Jupiter

This New Moon, along with Venus and Mercury, are in a square with Pluto and sextile with Mars and Jupiter. Pluto combined with Aries and Mars energy can reflect a period of intensity. However, it can also play out as issues around power, control, manipulation, jealousy, insubordination, or subversion.  It can also be revealing, psychological, compulsive, transforming, and purging.

The sextile with Mars in Gemini adds to the lively, assertive, instinctual, and energetic expressions of Aries. The Aries’ planets sextile to Jupiter, which is also trine Mars, can be good for applying ourselves in a way that is expansive, optimistic, educational, philosophical, explorative, freedom seeking, or centered around beliefs. New doors may open up and it can even be lucky for some people.

Uranus square Saturn (mentioned here in a previous article) is still in the backdrop as it will be throughout the year. Although it’s not in one of its strong periods, themes of ‘freedom/rebellion/revolution being at odds restrictions/limitations/traditions are still playing out. This may get activated in different ways by this new lunar cycle and the Aries energy that has already been present over the previous weeks following the Astrological New Year.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

How would you like to grow and expand and what do you need to change to get there? In what areas do you need to be more bold or courageous? What have your relationships shown you in recent weeks? What is important for your individuality? What are your personal needs? What do you stand for and should you be fighting for it? Do you need to be a leader in any aspects of your life? Are there any new things that you want to explore?

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 2:31am Universal Time on April 12th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Consciousness

A Symbiosis of Humans & Technology – Changing The Conversation

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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.

Have you ever noticed that discussions about transhumanism tend to focus on technology more than humanism? The journey to reaching our highest potential as a species is usually focused externally on the technology rather than internally on our conscious evolution. This is probably because people assume that conscious evolution is more about spirituality whereas technology is more having to do with the things humans create. The two paths are interdependent so we need more conversations between experts in each of these fields. It will only be through a recognition of the symbiotic nature between humans, their technology, and the environment that we will avert self-destruction.

trans·hu·man·ism (n.) 1. A belief that humans should strive to transcend the physical limitations of the mind and body by technological means. 2. A movement of people who espouse such a belief.

Standing at a Crossroads: The influence that technology has on society and culture is called, technodeterminism. Most of us carry mini supercomputers in our pockets called smartphones. These devices act as external brains which seamlessly integrate into most aspects of our life. Most of us are completely dependent on them for travel, work, communication, entertainment, and beyond. Take a moment to consider the future implications of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, machine-learning, mass surveillance, automation, genome editing, nanotechnology, and their potential influences on society, culture, and our environment.

When I think about these things, I can’t help but ask:

Why aren’t people like the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Andrew Weil conversing more with people like Ray Kurzweil, Elon Musk, and Steve Mann?

Ancient Futures: It will become increasingly imperative for our most advanced technologies to be informed by the natural ethos of indigenous people blended with the emotional-intelligence of our enlightened spiritual masters. We must remember that the first humans who captured fire to light their cave, stay warm on a cold night, or cook their food were using technology. Anthropologists proudly call us humans “tool-makers” as one of the attributes that make us distinct from most species.

Paradigm Shift: Conscious evolution will require a concerted effort to communicate across silos and disciplines. Cooperation and collaboration towards collective goals will need to take the place of competition for personal gain. What are we hoping to accomplish, and at what cost? We are a risk-taking species and that drives us to exceed all our limitations. Let’s make these be calculated risks because with our technology also comes a great responsibility.

Start Within: Even our most sophisticated technology does not possess the complexities of organic systems. Computers and machines can do many things for us but they will never be able to feel for us. The realm of emotion is central and unique to our human experience yet it is only now starting to be recognized as a valuable form of intelligence.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” -Andrew Coleman A Dictionary of Psychology

Research in multiple fields of study shows that curiosity, creativity, taking initiative, multi-disciplinary thinking, and empathy are skills that will redefine traditional beliefs about intelligence. The ability to accommodate new information requires a certain level of mental flexibility, humility, and ultimately character. It is through our ability to feel and process our emotions that our higher intelligence flourishes.

SuperHumans: Any sports fan knows that there are individuals who possess superhuman gifts. Think of popular sports stars like Michael Jordan, or any of the various extreme sports heroes who somehow manage the seemingly impossible. We also have the various musical or art prodigies who express the skills of a master before the age of 10. We have seen humans walk on red-hot coals with bare feet, walk a tightrope between skyscrapers, and exhibit mind-boggling feats of mental-focus, and will-power. Did you know that Wim Hof ran a half marathon barefoot on ice and snow, with a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 34 seconds? Humans are capable of amazing things when they channel discipline, practice, creative brilliance, fearlessness and focus. We have barely scratched the surface of what is possible!

Global Meditation: This simple practice of quieting the mind, and bringing presence to one’s breathing has a long list of documented benefits that include enhanced neural connections, deep feelings of connection and well-being, as well as a strengthened immune system. When we compound this focused intention to include tens of thousands of people all over the world, we begin to literally shift planetary magnetic resonance. The science does not lie, we are potent electrical beings with the ability to focus consciousness and create beyond our wildest imaginations.

Everything technology offers is a reflection of the technology that we, as humans are. Learning to laugh at ourselves a little while delving into our emotions and to make room for possibilities beyond our currently held beliefs is essential for this journey. In order for us to create technology that is aligned with all of life and our planet, we must first become aligned with ourselves and each other. Global meditation is where we practice together!

We can no longer claim that a technology is advanced if it is destroying our skies and rivers or perpetuating harmful practices like war and domination. These are examples of misguided technologies. Our DNA has been informed by countless generations of evolution. It is time that we focus our consciousness towards the natural wisdom kept by indigenous people, while embracing the presence of enlightened spiritual masters. This will allow us to infuse our science and highest technological advancements with ecological and emotional intelligence for the benefit of all life.

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Consciousness

A Proven Technique To Neutralize Draining Emotional Reactions

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We'll explore a simple scientifically proven technique to help neutralize emotional reactions that often drain our energy and reduce our ability to think clearly and make effective decisions.

  • Reflect On:

    How often do you check in to how you're are feeling? Do you feel you are able to self regulate your emotions easily?

Before you begin...

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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.

Do you notice that you sometimes feel tired or fatigued but are not sure why? Maybe you can have a restful sleep and still wake up having a sense that your energy is not quite there? Maybe you notice yourself being reactive, having a short fuse and feeling unclear about what decisions to make? Maybe you say things to friends, family or people online that you later regret or didn’t truly mean. Much of this can have a lot to do with how we’re feeling emotionally on a regular basis. Emotions that are happening just a touch outside our conscious awareness.

Let’s just do a very quick check in to see what I mean. If you stop a take a moment right now to ask “how am I feeling?” What do you notice? Are you feeling good? Energized? Do you have a background tension? Are you a bit stressed? Annoyed? Are you relaxed and calm? Are you perhaps relaxed yet feeling blah? When we do these check ins we bring awareness to how we might be feeling. This is something we typically don’t do that often and thus are simply not consciously aware of how we feel. If we were a bit more consciously aware of how we felt, we’d have a greater understanding of what we could do to feel better as we know where we’re at.

Energy Loss

This is important because one of the greatest unrecognized sources of prolonged stress, fatigue and physical wear and tear on our bodies comes from living our day to day lives in a state where we consciously or subconsciously experience what we might call ‘draining emotions.’ These are emotions like worry, fear, anger, resentment, or sadness etc.

For each of us, we’re likely going to experience these emotions at some point in life, and this is normal. Typically when we experience these emotions, we’re getting an insight into ourselves. Since what triggers these emotions can often be subjective, we can learn something about our current self by paying attention to these emotions. For example, someone might cut us off while we’re driving on the freeway. On one hand, one person might react aggressively and become very angry, while another might simply see it as a mistake on the part of the other driver and move on with their day.

Why some of us react and others don’t typically comes down the the story we’re telling ourselves about why that person cut you off. Perhaps they take it personally, perhaps they see it as an attack in some way – who knows? You. Only you know, and you can get closer to knowing what that is so you don’t harbour that draining emotion for the rest of the day, and even remove the trigger to begin with so you don’t necessarily have to go down that angry road every time something small like this happens.

I want to be clear here, we’re not looking to avoid emotions or never experience them, we’re looking to gain awareness around why they come, and ultimately have the choice over what gets us bothered and what might be better to simply let go. There is a difference between momentarily feeling an emotion like this, and letting it become a ‘background state’ of being that slowly begins to shape our attitude towards unhealthy and draining tendencies.

We can likely go on all day about where we should ‘honor’ some emotions in some situations or stand up for ourselves in others – I’ll let you decide that within yourself for each situation, but what the focus here in this piece is to simply look at how we can neutralize an emotional experience so we can stop it from draining all our energy and gain greater clarity on why it might be happening.

The exercise below is geared towards improving our self awareness around situations and how we feel, so we can learn to self-regulate emotions at anytime, as well as turn off triggers that might not really be the greatest to have to begin with.

Remember, we’re going to stick with a situation where we are cut off in traffic, but you can use these steps for anything. Maybe you realize you are fearful about a situation. Maybe you notice ongoing worry about something that’s happening or may happen – whatever it may be, the steps can be applied.

A Quick 3 Minute Exercise

We’ll go through the steps, this might seem long at first but it’s actually very short once you get the hang of it. This method is based on decades of scientific researching involving the heart and the benefits of creating coherence through good heart rate variability. You can learn more about that here under the section “Coherence & Optimal Function.”

1. The first step is becoming aware of the fact you’re having the emotional experience. What we’re doing here is by reading this we’re setting up a bit of an increased self awareness in our minds that can help us remember to check in when we next have an emotional reaction to something. Perhaps the car cuts us off while driving, and we react, but then shortly after we remember that we want to have a closer look at that emotional reaction and perhaps choose a different response instead of going down an energy draining rabbit hole. So the first thing we want to do is become aware that the experience is happening.

2. The next step is accepting the experience that’s happening. What this means is, if the person in front of us cuts us off while driving and we get angry and realize we’re angry, bring to your awareness that this is OK. We’re not looking to create a judgement about what happened or what we’re experiencing, instead we simply want to see it for what it is, an experience that happened and we’re now aware of and sitting as an observer of it. What this does is it empowers us to be able to look a little more closely at what we’re feeling and why. After we become aware, take note of the emotion you’re experiencing and name it. Is it anger? Is it worry? Is it fear?

As a small kicker to this, just imagine that the intention here is to turn down the intensity of the emotion so we can go in a take a look at what’s going on in the same way that a firefighter will spray water onto a burning house to stop the fire and cool it enough to go in and assess what the source of that fire was.

3. Next we’re going to take a moment and place our hand or a couple fingers over the areas of our chest, around where your heart is, and use the placement of your hand as something to focus on. With your eyes open, take some comfortable yet slightly deeper breaths. Feel your breath moving in and out of the area of your heart (where you hand is). To do this, don’t worry too much about how perfect the breathing is or whether it’s exactly going in and our of your heart area, just sit with a gentle focus that your breath is moving in and out of the area of your heart. Our goal here is to bring awareness to the physical heart and begin to influence its rhythms ever so slightly. Breath into your heart for about 30 seconds.

4. Next we want to continue our heart focused breathing while also imagining the feeling of calm or ease enter into our bodies. Spend the next 2 minutes or so breathing in the feeling of calm or ease into your heart with comfortable breaths. Notice the calm and ease come over your mind and body. What this stage does is it shows us that we have the ability to produce our own emotional regulation by creating a physiological state that is more synchronized and favorable for introspection and clarity.

After step 4 you should feel a lot more neutral in your feeling, but it may be possible you’re still annoyed or upset about the situation, this is great and in many ways the point of the exercise. Remember the firefighter analogy.

If it’s a really small situation, this awareness might already help us choose to simply let it go. If it’s a larger situation, this exercise helps us reduce the intensity so we can gain a bit more clarity about what’s going on and stop us from simply circling the experience over and over again in our minds, potentially increasing our anger and draining our energy.

Now as a final step, you can take a moment to just assess, what is the story you have been telling yourself about the situation? What might be a more effective way to approach or think about the situation? In the case of getting cut off in the car, was it really personal? If so, how do you know? If it was a mistake, is anger helping you or just providing an undesirable experience? If you had the freedom, would you choose anger at the other driver or to just let it go and maintain better health?

The point here is that with awareness we get clearer on who we are and how we function. This inevitably gives us a choice in how we choose to react.

For more information on this and to build a bit of a deeper practice, you can check out a short course I produced in our members area called CETV. The course is called Improving Daily Self Awareness, Presence & Connection. 

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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!

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