Your Life Is Not Limited To One Path

It is no secret that life can sometimes feel like a limited paved road laid out before us that we feel the need to stick to. Look at how we are brought up. Most of the time we come into the world and develop our ideas and perceptions from those closest to us – our parents. As time goes on we find ourselves in school, around friends, extended family or even on the internet. These new sources of ‘life’ begin to model ‘what life is’ and so we often follow.

Through these early formative years, we are observing and creating an idea of how life should be; the ‘best way’ to play the game. We’re learning from people who learned from those before them and so on. Very small ideas evolve throughout history, but typically, most of the way life is stays the same. We don’t change a whole lot.

But what happens when it feels like a new future is calling? How does one wake up to the fact that life isn’t limited to this narrow path?

This of the concept of ‘the best decision.’ How many times have we heard “that’s not the best decision” or “that’s not the best decision for the whole family.” When you look at either statement you realize that ‘best’ is subjective. What the ‘best’ is to one person may not be the ‘best to another. Further, both perceptions of ‘the best’ are created from whatever belief systems each of us have been exposed to in our own lives. This is the key factor to realize when feeling the desire to free ourselves from old patterns.

We Get Trapped in Belief Systems

When our experiences lead our neuro-plastic minds create a belief system like this, we limit how we view things. We no longer feel what is ‘best,’ but instead we analyze and define ‘best’ based on a story; often a story from the past, based on entirely different times than the present moment. A story that we don’t check with our feelings, but that we justify with our minds only.

I don’t mean to vilify the mind here. It’s an incredible tool that is part of our experience, that said, can we connect it better with our bodies? Our nature? Can we have our systems work in better harmony? Or should we continue to operate on autopilot where our minds virtually run the show? This is what I want to explore in this piece further.

Let’s take the example of a child coming out of high school today. 9 times out of 10, that child will be told, and may even believe, that the ‘best’ decision they can make for their life is to continue their education at university or college. It does not matter that they do not know what they want to study, or that the education system will potentially cost them $100,000+, many will state that is best – and even have pride about it.

For someone wishing to become a doctor, continuing education is likely the ‘best’ path, but why, other than through fear and conditioning, do we force all other kids though the process? how does this affect them? Their desires? How they will treat their kids?

I want to be clear, a child often questions these things, but instead of exploring these questions deeply, culture and conditioning has them accept the idea that they are simply not seeing their future clearly enough. If they don’t follow along, they will ruin their future. Any inkling of their true desires and passions continue to be shoved down in favor of accepting ‘the path.’

Following post secondary, and I’m simplifying here, a young person is often told to get a job so they can buy a house, as owning and buying a house is a smart decision. If a person should choose not to buy a house or perhaps not go to post secondary, they are often felt to be ‘behind’ others. “I should go to university now, I don’t want to be behind.” How often do we hear this?

Since as young people we begin our lives following these beliefs and accepting them as ‘how it is,’ more often than not they will take this idea of what is ‘BEST’ with them for the rest of their life. They will judge their decisions by this, express emotions based on this, develop self-esteem based on this and so forth. After all, their mind has created literal pathways based on this reality, and their nervous system has aligned with that as well. We’ve built a physiological state about ‘what is best.’

Thus, moving forward, these young people will make every decision based on the belief systems handed down and taught to them.

And it can get even more narrow. What to study in school, what type of job to get, what type of car to buy, how to spend and save money, what type of house to buy and so on, all of these things are often taught. Through culture, family, media, society – not found necessarily within ourselves.

The Deep Truth

None of the stories we accept about life are true. It’s all a belief system. Perception, ideas! Because we often are invited into taking life VERY seriously, and I know cause I’ve been there, we shut our a sense of play, curiosity and flexibility that is essential to finding a sense of ease and peace throughout life.

With rigidity and seriousness, also comes stress and trauma. Then depression and anxiety follow – sometimes serious illness as well. This is because deep down we feel stuck. We are not expressing something deep within us and are pushing ourselves to conform to something that doesn’t feel natural to us in many ways. Perhaps in our minds, but not throughout our entire being.

Look at our world, how have we been convinced to all chase the same thing? The same stuff? Is it possible that we have been sold an idea called ‘the ideal life?’ Interestingly, most areas of the world has its own version of this ‘ideal life,’ it’s based on culture. But how many of us TRULY resonate with it vs it simply being something we’ve come to accept?

If we’re simply accepting it, who’s life are we really living? Whose dreams are we really chasing and carrying out?

We take this entirely expansive creative individual playing in an expansive playground called Earth and we confine them to this tiny little narrow path of what the “best” is. Instead of spending their life being able to make any choice they choose, they stay limited to what they have been sold as the “best” even if they don’t truly love it.

Even Deeper

Then you have the even deeper part, we then look upon and judge others when they make ‘the wrong decisions.’ Look at how we view those who change their minds about what job they want, what house they want or where they want to live. What do we say about those people? “They need to make up their mind and get their life on track.” What track? There is a track? Says who? “They didn’t make a smart decision with their money or their house so they are going to pay for it later.” Who says some decisions are better than others? Is it not an experience either way?

Now to bring these concepts into a more day to day reality. I recognize that if someone has a clear goal that they wish to carry out, say making X amount of money off their house in 5 years, then a ‘track’ must be followed. But what I’m getting at is, not all view life that way, and sometimes we only follow that track because we’ve been told it’s smart but we’re not actually fulfilled by it. Something deeper is calling, but we are not answering. Instead, we continue on with what is ‘best’ or ‘smart.’

For those of us feeling that deep calling for a new future, I hear you. I feel it too. On one hand, this is a journey of freeing our minds from the conditioning of the past, and it isn’t entirely easy, but it can be done with the right focus and support.

From a practical solution side, the path forward or the answer is not clear as in many ways it has not yet been written or done by someone else. But with each step forward that we take, the path becomes clearer. Imagining new ways of creating community, career, connection, economy and being in harmony with nature. As we delve into exploring and discussing these ideas, and taking steps to play with them on small scales, we gain the necessary insight into what may work and what may not.

If you’re looking to gain further clarity within yourself about what path you want to take, remember to ask yourself: the life you are chasing, the goals you have set, who’s goals are they really? Where did you first hear of them? Are they from your heart? Or are they what you have been sold?

Look inside yourself at what YOU TRULY want and how you wish to express yourself and create. Start there, and create from that space. You will see very quickly that you can create anything you choose.

To get there, set time aside for yourself to do this. We can’t explore simply by thinking for a few moments while waiting for our food to finish cooking or something. Take 30 mins each day for 7 days, dedicated no phone or computer time, and just journal out how you feel about some of the questions posed in this piece.

Remember, there is no right or wrong path here. It’s about looking back on what we choose, where we are at and saying “Is this where I want to be? Am I feeling peace? Expressing my deepest self? Am I inspired about where I am at?” and if you aren’t, you create a new path and see how that feels. Follow how you FEEL, not what you seek as right or wrong. Our life reflects our state of consciousness.

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A Simple Process You Can Use To Stay Calm & Present Throughout The Day

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.

The post A Simple Process You Can Use To Stay Calm & Present Throughout The Day appeared first on Collective Evolution.

Are You Tired Of Being Angry At The State Of The World?

There’s no secret: truths about corruption involving high profile government officials, politicians, high profile people, and agencies is coming to the surface like crazy right now. It’s in humanity’s awareness more so than ever before. This piece is not so much about exploring the validity of everything coming to the surface, but how it often makes people react and feel.

As these truths come forward people often have resentment or anger towards situations or ‘elite’ figures that are taking various actions that affect our society. It could be pedophilia, planned economic collapses, political lies or any number of things. We often believe we are ‘awake’ once we know these truths, and in some ways, yes, our consciousness and awareness has expanded. But the anger, resentment and rage that people often have and hold onto, not only keeps us asleep, plugged into ‘the old world’ but it also acts as a slow poison that is affecting our health and minds every day. Further, in this anger and resentment, we have a difficult time truly connecting to good ideas and solutions to move beyond the state of the world as it is today, because anger clouds who we truly are and the potential we have.

I’ve witnessed it hundreds of times over the past 11 years doing this work, after this anger, resentment and judgement becomes tiring and draining, people want to know how they can TRULY be free – not just in the world, but within themselves. This is when the deep awakening begins to happen. This is when our power comes back.

One note before we continue. When anger initially rises, this is OK. It’s not wrong that this appeared. It’s simply a feedback mechanism as to where we identify and why. I don’t wish to create a perception that feeling anger is wrong or that you should never feel it. My goal is instead to get us to reflect on whether a prolonged feeling of anger is where we want to be. And whether or not we are truly free if we can be pulled into anger so easily.

People have been providing me a great deal of feedback lately during these confusing and intense times. They ask “how do you stay so calm and grounded during all of this? Your content is bringing me peace and not making me afraid. How do you do this?” I enjoy hearing that because it means people can see and feel something different, and in that example, they are inspired. Being in an empowered state is the key to changing our current worldly state, and the more people who tune into their desire to truly be free and empowered, the more we will move towards change. After all, this is our natural state we are waking up to.

The reason why so many have a tough time finding calm, peace and KNOWING what the solutions are to move forward, breaks down into multiple categories:

1. They are angry at the state of the world, and do not work to ask why

2. The media they watch and the influencers they follow are often polarized and telling them who the bad guys are and why they should blame them for everything.

3. They are not simply observing events around us and using that information to make decisions on how to act, they are instead observing and becoming emotionally charged and stuck.

4. They remain identified with the unconscious: their mind, their thoughts, their body and who they think they are as a physical specimen only. There is not enough time spent in the ‘awareness; that they are.

5. They repeat the cycles of being in the above environments, effectively producing the same result over and over.

Now, let’s talk about #2 for a second. Are certain people taking certain actions that affect other people in a ‘bad’ way? Yes, that can be observed, very clearly. The trick is, are you giving away all of your power to those people by being angry, upset and wanting to fight them? Or are you choosing a path of empowerment where you:

1. Create awareness from a space of neutrality, which allows you to be free, and respond instead of reacting.

2. Getting clear on what you want your world to look like

3. Begin shifting your own inner state of being to know things differently and align with the energy and actions of the world you want to create.

4. Live that new state of being and invite others to do so as well

When you create awareness about things happening in our world, if you are doing it from anger, judgement, blame or resentment, your power IS going to those taking these actions, and you will experience suffering in the mind. In THAT single moment of learning of something, your ability to change it is not there, change will occur as you take action over MANY consecutive moments. Thus, acceptance of each individual moment for what it is, as opposed to resisting what is, will allow you to find peace and calm, and tap into the true solutions and ability to effectively respond that are within you when you are in this state. Within our matrix, when we remain fully in our minds, and not in tune with who we truly are, thus remaining polarized, we create a need for the opposite polarity you are operating from.

It’s like the movie The Matrix states, “Free your mind.” This means to become limitless, boundless and in tune with who you truly are, not stuck in our emotions, distracted, erratic and upset. Notice Neo’s character in the movie is a very calm and peaceful presence when he tunes into his full potential. He is able to make an impact on what they are desiring to change because he has moved beyond that which was limiting him.

If we reflect quickly on the feedback I shared above, where people feel calm, peace and empowered yet still informed and ready to take action after viewing my content, we can ask: what experience do we want? One where we are angry and repeating cycles of fight, slowly harming ourselves and not being clear on solutions? Or one where we are informed, empowered and ready to take action on creating a new world?

Yes, it takes some work and focus to get back to your natural state. One must spend time being the awareness that they truly are. Spending less time identifying with all of the thoughts and compulsive desires that come from the mind, and more time simply in the awareness of who we truly are. This IS how you change yourself and the world and the quantum level which informs the physical level. And while some people do feel that prolonged anger changes the world, has it ever really done that? Or has it only created a slightly different experience but with many of the same unconscious qualities?

Are we thriving? Is there peace? Are people awake to who they truly are? Are they offended and triggered easily? Yes. This is because we have yet to truly awaken, and awakening only truly occurs when we step back into who we truly are.

How Do We Get There?

Moving past the anger is about creating freedom within ourselves. It’s a different state of mind and being. Instead of having yourself be triggered by things all the time, we are aware and have the freedom to choose how we wish to respond to something as opposed to erratically reacting. I explain this further via my Shift Method.

Spend time being conscious of your breath. Take some deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Simply focus on that breathing. Do this for 10 minutes, 15 minutes. How do you feel? What do you notice?

Disconnect from social media, news and stories for a day or so. Do you feel different? How so? What do you notice?

Reflect on how it feels to be enraged and angry by what people say. Does it make you feel good? Is it draining your energy? Is it helping to change things? Do people respond better to your ideas when you’re angry or when you are calm and open?

I’ve created many materials over the past few years including a conscious breathing course and a personal transformation course designed to simply slow life down and get more in tune with yourself. Neither of these courses are huge commitments and approachable, ‘level 1’ like beginnings to seeing a different side of yourself – your true self. Utilize these tools if it resonates with you. Both are available in our membership called CETV.

Inside our inner circle, you will have access to powerful information, guided programs, and a community all geared towards being informed about what’s happening in our world, and how you can truly engage in a guided journey of personal transformation so that you can be a change-maker our world truly needs at this time. You’ll be inspired by how many likeminded people inside are ready to share in this journey.

If you choose to sign up, try my 10 Day Conscious Breathing Challenge and the 5 Days of You Challenge.

The post Are You Tired Of Being Angry At The State Of The World? appeared first on Collective Evolution.

To Those Who Feel Unheard & Misunderstood

I’m sure at some point in your life you may have felt unheard or misunderstood. Whether people actually didn’t ‘hear’ you and misunderstood you, or whether it was just your perception, I’m sure you’ve felt this at some point. But then there are some of us who might have felt this more than just ‘at some point’ in our lives. Those of us that might feel like it happens daily or weekly. Something in our core experience states “people don’t hear me, they don’t understand me and I can’t seem to do anything about that.” I know, because I have felt this many times in my life, and this is currently one of the key aspects of myself I’m integrating.

I’ve long known that this programming and feeling of being unheard is not something that results from things people are doing wrong to me, but that within myself I have a story running that creates a lens through which I see my daily reality. In that sense, in times where I truly am heard and understood, I don’t see it, and instead, my brain looks for ways to prove that I am not heard.

This is the basic format in which the brain will search our daily lives to reinforce rampant stories we might have running in our minds. All this happens through the brain’s reticular activating system (RAS), a useful system where all senses are connected. It’s like a filter that helps the brain so it doesn’t have to deal with more information than it can handle.

Where this gets a bit more important to our navigation of self is understanding that the RAS is like a gatekeeper of information that is let into the conscious mind. That is to say, the RAS will filter in information that is established in our subconscious, or deeper belief systems. It will also let in something we are really focusing on in a given moment. What this means in context to my story of not being heard, or any story for that matter, is that my RAS is literally operating to reinforce that story already within my subconscious mind. Any information that doesn’t reinforce that story, is likely not going to be let in as easily, hence why even when I’m heard, I don’t acknowledge it as deeply as when I’m feeling unheard or finding ways to reinforce that story.

Example: I might have factually had 10,000 people read an article I wrote, but that doesn’t become something I pay attention to. Instead, I notice the people who didn’t read the article, didn’t understand the article, or the person who left the singular negative comment.

Enough on the technicals for now.

If you’ve watched some of the discussions I have with people on my podcast episodes or shows, you might have noticed times where at the end people begin thanking me for the work I’ve done and how it has impacted them, and usually I well up. This is because when I conduct my conversations I’m really engaged, and in these moments I’m hearing proof of something that is meaningful to me but that a part of me denies. In my subconscious mind and story, I feel unheard, misunderstood, and that people don’t see the totality of the message I’m trying to share with my work.

Regardless of what anyone else might think looking at the billions of content views CE’s content has received over the last 11 years, I still feel unheard. It’s true I didn’t create all the content that’s been seen. It’s true that I can’t lay out my entire mission and message in every piece of content I’ve created. But mostly, I don’t feel heard or understood because of my internal stories – my subconscious stories – not because of what is happening in my life.

This all started when I was a kid, then it went away for a while when I did a lot of internal work on it around 2009, and then it returned around mid-2017 when life got very chaotic and I let stories reprogram my mind.

Some of the earliest memories where these stories began to emerge in my life was when I was in grade 5 and I began telling my friends and classmates that I felt what we were learning in school was not really helping us but making us “brainwashed to accept normal society.” Sounds harsh I know lol. And perhaps most fifth graders don’t think this way, but I did. And I still do feel traditional education is atrocious. That aside, by the time grade 7 and 8 rolled around, my peers were all beginning to really express their style, personality and were adopting pop culture. I didn’t go the ‘pop’ route because it felt uncomfortable and inauthentic to me. This is where the story began.

I was now a visible outsider. I felt that people were adopting pop culture in lockstep because everyone else was, and everyone wanted to fit in. It seemed robotic and weird to me at the time, and quite frankly, I didn’t like how it changed my friends and classmates. People started to put on a persona of being badass, cool, and ‘hard,’ it wasn’t authentic to me and it changed the way my friends would interact together. At the time I called it a mask, now I know it as the ego, but I started to see the false sense of self people would portray and something about it just didn’t feel good.

Because I chose not to go along with the emerging culture, I began to feel lonely. People didn’t listen to me, ask me things, seek to understand me – and they’d talk a lot of shit behind my back. Regardless of how curious I was to speak to them, understand them, and sure, challenge them at times about their choices, I felt it was always a one-way street. It wasn’t long before I went from feeling ‘cool’ and accepted, to feeling like and being treated as a complete outcast. And it’s weird looking back because I wasn’t mean, the class bully or anything like that. I was the guy who wanted everyone to play together, same team!

This experience continued throughout high school. There are many more details, but I’m sure you get the general point by now. But by the time college years came around, I felt like it was a fresh start, and even though I had become very quiet and shy around groups from that experience, I was eager to meet new people.

Fast forward a bit and I found myself beginning to read books about the ego, the subconscious mind, and how to navigate personal change. I met a friend and mentor who took me through many sessions that cleared away old subconscious programs and stories. I felt insanely empowered and unstoppable. Plus, now I knew how to do the work on myself very easily if something else were to arise. This was in 2009, and over the next 8 years, things were smooth on the front of feeling unheard and misunderstood. While people may not have always understood me, it didn’t bother me one bit, and I could see the people who truly appreciated whatever I felt inspired to share.

Then came a period in late 2017 where the biggest tech companies in the world were now descending upon alt media. They literally crippled a business our team took 9 years to build. On top of that, myself and a partner in another business could not align with the intentions and integrity of what we were creating, and I wanted out. It was a stressful time both financially and personally, and slowly but surely I found myself overwhelmed. Usually, I welcome change and love it, but with all that was changing at once, and how devastating the effects seemed, it was too much – or at least that’s how I felt.

After a 3 year life and emotional beat down, I started to feel unwelcome, unaccepted, and again unheard. On top of all that, it felt to me like so many people did not understand the underlying message of the work I was producing and that’s all I could focus on because, again, I built the story and my RAS was filtering out all information that told me otherwise. In this, you start to feel paralyzed. You can’t do anything right, you feel a lack of energy, and purpose feels lost.

A friend recently got me back into looking at old and new methods of exploring these stories again. And in just a few days, I’m already seeing why this inner work had so much power back in 2009. During one of the deeper moments of feeling like shit about all of this, my wife Ruby wrote me a letter that inspired this article and sharing. I wanted to share it with everyone because it resonated with me and was a great reminder to stop, take a breath, and reassess. Of course, doing the inner work is a must.

To the Unheard:

I know your voice and heart are growing tired, your spirit broken, and the moments where you see your purpose are fleeting..

But there’s so much you can not see when your head is down, feeling somber and purposeless.

What my eyes see when you’re not looking:

Someone new found you today.. their face lit up and their heart felt full.. they’ve found someone who speaks their language, understands their views, and carries the same values – who just GETS IT and THEM. They didn’t think it possible, but HERE YOU ARE, providing them hope and helping them envision a future they knew they wanted but didn’t believe was possible. They hear what you have to say, and are excited to listen – with fresh ears and an eager mind, happy to have found your perspective they begin to dive deeper, and tomorrow they are more aware because of it.

Someone else has had a rough year, and with everything going on they didn’t know what to believe – so they began questioning. It’s been months, but they’ve regained their faith in humanity and see the world differently now – because of You. You see, they’ve fallen upon your work and finally found a voice that doesn’t shove beliefs down their throats, but relays facts and lets them discern what’s real. They feel valued, heard, and uplifted – grateful that someone out there cares about so much that they’ve made it their mission to aid in their personal and our collective evolution. They may not know it yet, but this is the start to something completely transformational.

Then there are the ones who have been following you for years. The die-hard loyals that feel more like family than anything. They’re the ‘regulars’ that over time you have met or spoken to and become close with – they see your struggles and feel your pain, but most importantly they see You and value your work because they understand. You helped them through a rough patch, you held their hands whilst taking their first steps into the unknown, you reawakened them after a lifetime of slumber and in return when you were pushed down, they helped you up time and time again because they know you’d do the same if ever the opportunity or need. Your voice is a beacon of light to them, and in return, they follow you to the ends of the internet – knowing you are not there to lead but to show them the path.

And yet..

Every day you awaken and every night you lay your head, a voice is telling you that you are unheard, irrelevant, and falling behind. This voice grows louder and now your days are filled with a belief that is weighing you, and your nights hold a hovering limit that you did not try to surpass.

This voice that you’ve carried has begun to crush your spirit and silence you – little by little, making you question yourself and your creations, making you believe that success is that en masse and that without the world watching you may never truly help humanity..

And I’m just here to tell you: that voice, is wrong.

The voice in your head that fills your life with dread is but a story which needs to be rewritten. Because it is YOUR Voice that needs to be heard.

As you question what the point to all of the hours, months, and years poured into work that ‘no one’ sees.. there are thousands finding truth and themselves in your words.

It is in your character, your heart, your message, and your desire to help the collective that you have already helped so many. For every ‘someone’ that finds you is led down a path of discovery, and that fire you’ve ignited is like a torch passed onto others on their path.. slowly, but surely, setting the world ablaze.

I could go on for eons discussing the battle between ego/the mind and the Soul. But will just say for sake of knowing you know – the falsities playing on loop like a broken record in your head are solely doing so because they are threatened by the reality that your truths are so much more powerful. The only way to disempower You is to make you believe that you have none – and in doing so, your creations halt, you have no drive to bring your visions to life, you feel more and more lost and less and less YOU. You must remember, trust, and BELIEVE that your message holds more weight than any story your mind could ever tell you.

Remember that from infancy you saw this world differently. Never did you succumb to the external validation nor allow your mind to take the wheel – no matter how hard it became. In your teens you knew you had it within you, as you know we all do, to change our world for the better. And though times are trying, it’s time to shake yourself awake from the chains of self-loathing and doubt. This story has played like a rerun of a show you’ve grown tired of.. it’s time to change the channel and reawaken that little boy who knew any and everything was possible and who did not allow the critics, trends, or world to tell him any different or change him in any way. You are so special because you’ve always believed and have always been You – do not let anything take that away, not now – not ever.

It’s always been within you, as it is now, to cultivate something extraordinary and create a real shift on this planet – and whether you believe it or not, the truth is the world is ready and waiting for you to stand tall, lift and hold your head high knowing that this is what you are here to do.

And as you do, there will be those who will cheer, those who will boo, those who are grateful, and those who cast doubt – but in the end, it is about those who hear your call that change their lives and those around them because of you and your work. Focus on and remember these people, however many or however few..

For it is not in the masses that Your voice needs to resound.. but in the many that your voice inspires individually that will ripple onto the mass – as with any true altering frequency.

Know that what you broadcast is different, deeper, of higher purpose, and in return harder to hear and come to – like a dog whistle to the ones here to awaken oneness consciousness, your voice calls to those who are ready to tune in to that frequency – and therefore it is in that depth and consistent tone that you, collectively, will change the world.

All this to say, it may not be heard across the globe at first, but to those who do hear it, you have our attention and We Are Listening.

For it is in the unheard that we believe in something deeper.

I love you. Release all fears, doubts, limits or restraints – Remember Who You Are.?

– Ruby

The post To Those Who Feel Unheard & Misunderstood appeared first on Collective Evolution.

How The Media Is Creating A Sensemaking Crisis

There are many reasons why we have a crisis in sensemaking taking place in our culture right now. Which is to say, a breakdown in how we agree upon what is happening around us and converge on truth.

We’ve always have disagreements in human culture, but have we ever been so at odds about basic facts? Have we ever seen such a wide scale degree of censorship around issues that are nowhere close to being black and white? I don’t know, but I can’t find an obvious time in history that compares to this scale.

Which leads me to this, on August 27th 2021, we released a video on YouTube about a vaccine passport hearing in Detroit. Within 4 hours it was removed from YouTube for YouTube claims was “Medical Misinformation.”

The interesting part of this was, this was a journalistic piece exploring the way local Detroit media covered a hearing in Michigan about vaccine passports. The video we produced contained some short snippets of a testimony from Dr. Christina Parks, who offered her expert opinion on why it would not be a good idea to mandate vaccines at this moment in time.

As you can note yourself in our video below, there are no medical claims made by myself, the journalist, and there is no push for the audience to decide on something medically based.

This was honest and neutral journalism pointing to the fact that objectively poor journalism was being done by some mainstream outlets, and how it’s causing a crisis in how we view science. Ironically, the video discusses how we aren’t respecting one another’s expert opinions during COVID, and instead we are walking away from science – not allowing critique, discussion, or differences of opinion during a time where the answers aren’t always clear.

Our organization, The Pulse, appealed YouTube’s decision, but it was struck down within hours, backing up YouTube’s claims that this video contained “medical misinformation.”

Interestingly, YouTube has left multiple full length videos with 100’s of thousands of views up with Dr. Christina Park’s testimony. So if the issue was her testimony, why did ours get deleted while others remain? Did reviewers even look at our video? Was the issue that we dissected the issues with mainstream media? We don’t know, and we won’t.

Having been in this field for 12 years, this is obviously preposterous to me, but it’s something our society is currently going through as mentioned above. We are in a crisis of sensemaking and the only way out is for us as individuals to start developing the necessary skills to inquire, be curious, and be playful. The media is only inviting us into division – we don’t have to accept that invite.

But to do so, we must develop the skills necessary to stay aware and present enough that we can question what’s happening, communicate about it respectfully, and converge on ideas. Something we teach in detail in our Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking Course.

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Test Your Ability to Discover Truth

A psychological exercise called the Ideological Turing test, helps individuals explore their ability to critically analyze ideas, topics and beliefs.

The conclusion is if you cannot explain someone else’s perspective about something, there’s a decent chance you are either wrong or have not taken the time to understand what the topic truly entails.

Many of us exist in this category, which is partly why our society is so divided today. 

Historically a Turing test is used in AI development when developers are testing whether or not their AI model can think like a human. The test is named after Alan Turing, a computer scientist, cryptanalyst, mathematician and theoretical biologist.

“Turing proposed that a human evaluator would judge natural language conversations between a human and a machine designed to generate human-like responses. The evaluator would be aware that one of the two partners in conversation is a machine, and all participants would be separated from one another. The conversation would be limited to a text-only channel such as a computer keyboard and screen so the result would not depend on the machine’s ability to render words as speech. If the evaluator cannot reliably tell the machine from the human, the machine is said to have passed the test.” – Wikipedia

Basically if a human can’t tell the difference between responses from a computer or a human, the computer has passed. 

Now, the Ideological Turing Test is similar but slightly different. This time, instead of a computer passing off as a human, you have to be able to explain an opposing position of an argument as well as your opponents would. I.e. as if you believe it yourself. If you can convincingly do so, you have passed the test.

This would essentially mean you know how to listen to others and truly understand other people’s perspective around an argument.

Let’s take COVID vaccination, a hot topic that has people arguing constantly. Do vaccinated or unvaccinated people cause variants to emerge? Some will say it’s the vaccinated, others will say it’s the unvaccinated, but can you explain the perspective of both sides?

As a journalist, I can tell you that there is a scientific pathway for either to be true. But many who believe the vaccine to be highly dangerous will bias towards the vaccine being the cause of all variants. Where as, those who believe the unvaccinated are creating variants, will often simply think the unvaccinated are stupid and a problem to society, yet they are not aware that they themselves could be a source of an emerging variant.

Can you pass the test? 

Consider any topic you feel you know a lot about, take vaccine mandates for example. Now consider an opposing viewpoint to what your view is about the topic you choose. Now test yourself: can you present that viewpoint in a way that another person would accept as representative of them?

In doing this, you might find that you can’t explain their position very well, meaning you might have become ideological in your view or simply never considered their position. You might find that as you consider explaining their viewpoint, you start wondering what the other person might be thinking or feeling, effectively helping you empathize with another person’s perspective.

In the end, you may still disagree with them, but at least gaining empathy you can understand them and be respectful in future discussion. In fact, you can now go deeper in future discussions, while maintaining a sense of calm and respect.

Why is that important? First off, this becomes helpful in all areas of your life. Personal relationships, in work settings, online, and about societal issues. We connect as communities with authentic conversation. We make important decisions in our lives via authentic conversations. And part of what’s happening in our world right now that is causing division and breakdowns in relationships is that we are not being able to truly listen, understand and hear each other. Conversations remain shallow and avoided, not because they aren’t important, but because we feel we don’t know how to deal with them.

What we get out of deep conversation is meaning and authenticity. It can be tough at first, but it’s incredibly rewarding. You become closer to people and close to yourself. Instead of always burying our repressed ideas as a society, which is never a healthy thing to do long term, we face our mild disagreements in a healthy way through conversation.

More often than not, you’ll notice people actually agree with one another significantly more than disagree, yet culturally we assume we are always at odds with one another. We can end this illusion with improved communication.

It’s also possible this exercise pointed out some areas where your own argument might have been a bit weak, causing you to look more closely at it and perhaps gain greater clarity on it if possible.

But note, we’re not strengthening our argument to defeat other people. Our goal is to arrive at truth and understanding – not go to war. We can call it ‘strengthening’ if we like, but truly, we are attempting to get clear and converge on ideas where possible.

Now, some ideas are more philosophical in nature, and there may not be enough facts to ‘strengthen’ our argument. Nonetheless, it’s important we know how our philosophy came to be, how we can test it, and how we can listen to others. This involves building self awareness, a sense of presence, and skills of inquiry – tools that help us in all areas of life.

When exercises  like this cause us to feel offensive or uncomfortable, this may be a sign that you are connecting your identity to what you believe. Our ideas are not who we are, it is not us who is under attack when someone disagrees. If we see it that way, we might want to again take a step back and assess where we have become too close to things.

The implications of becoming stuck in identifying with our beliefs is that we begin to feed into divides, create rifts in relationships, and seed issues within communities. All of this will have us fail to arrive at a place where we can truly thrive. Sure, we can ‘get by,’ but is that all we want? If we had the power within us to thrive, would you want to create that world?

Are you looking for the truth? Or are you seeking to simply adhere to your own ideology?

We don’t want to be wrong or to be stuck in faith based beliefs that we think are factual. But when is the last time we truly tested our beliefs? How do we know what a fact is vs what someone is simply claiming?

I want to make a small note about the importance of seeking truth, through allowing our curiosity and playfulness to take us towards flexible understandings, not about holding hard to our side. Generating different viewpoints as people can be very helpful in collectively evolving our ideas and understandings in order to think of new ways of thriving not just surviving. 

As we converse with one another playfully, we can learn whether new understandings have come to light that require us to update our view. We might hear how ideas can affect people with different experiences than us, perhaps inviting us to be more flexible and have a more holistic understanding of a topic and its implications. We might hear from highly trained people who have the capacity to understand things we don’t. Whatever it may be, we all play a role in the information landscape and how it evolves.

Given the information landscape shapes our choices, decisions and actions, it’s important we know how to navigate it and evolve it well. Natural inquiry with one another is an innate sense of play in humans, but one that can get overridden by bias and rigid personality.

Real World Implications

I want to be clear, developing a better sense of questioning ourselves and updating our ideas does not mean we shouldn’t expect challenges and differences of opinion, it means we will be flexible enough to find a solution when it does happen.

Look at how political parties function today. We have picked an ideological side, left to or right for example, and regardless of what the issue is, we seem to think of a solution in terms of what our ideological side is suggesting. 

We often have a misinterpretation of the other side, often classifying their belief by some harsh name, and we get together with ‘like minded’ people to re-enforce our beliefs about the issue. We even watch news and media that are slanted towards our ideological position so we can strengthen it even further.

This effectively pulls us away from other people, often dehumanizing them into a name or a phrase to describe them, without ever truly understanding them. This, especially over time, has huge effects on how communities break down, politics runs a muck, and how we end up not knowing how to arrive at truth any more.

Thus, our decisions are hard to make, our direction as a society is unclear, and we can’t have basic conversations with people we disagree with unless it becomes heated.

As a journalist and individual who has been working to help people with personal transformation for over 13 years, I truly believe the skills we spoke about above are some of the most important things we can develop to turn our world around in the long term. Self awareness, presence, a sense of inquiry, critical thinking etc. It’s about developing all aspects of who we are, not just emotional regulation or not just mental processes, but ALL of who we are – things we really should have learned in school.

If you want to dive deeper into this journey, we actually use this test in our course called Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking. It’s a structured program I built with my friend and colleague Dr. Madhava Setty and it’s a very helpful tool in building self awareness, communication skills, critical thinking skills, and improving your overall sense making.

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Why Hugging Is Powerful: Especially When We’re So Isolated

When’s the last time you had a good hug? Can you even recall a time when one lasted longer than 10 or 15 seconds? Hugging releases oxytocin, a bonding hormone, as well as serotonin and endorphins. These hormones are a big part of what makes us feel good and build a sense of community and connection with others.

When we hug our friends or family, or even spend a good few hours with them, we often don’t know what exactly the mechanism is that makes us feel good, but often times it’s touch, eye contact and reading facial expressions.

Throughout COVID, once we got a sense of what it feels like to not have as much touch, see smiles, see our friends or family, we might have gained a greater awareness of how important this really is. Intense isolation, like we’ve all experienced, leads to touch deprivation, and one could argue, has led to collective traumatization throughout the course of this pandemic.

Humans biologically need touch, it’s built right into our physiology. When we are babies, touch is a crucial part of our ability to regulate our nervous systems and feel safe. When we’re very young, our bodies have not yet built the ability to self-regulate (feel safety and comfort), and thus our caregivers play the important role of not only touching to bring regulation and safety, but also using facial expressions to send the message that ‘all is OK.’

Further, humans thrive in a sense of community and connection. When we are too isolated, without a deep and dedicated practice like monk’s might do in a cave in Tibet, we begin to lose the benefits of co-regulation, and in turn our psychology can begin to suffer over time. Humans have built incredible things – together – when in community, and touch plays an important role in that.

It most cultures around the world, hugging is part of daily life. Other cultures might decide to greet one another with cheek kissing instead, but touch is often a common denominator. But it’s true, there are places that may be ‘less touch-y’ and will certainly find other ways to connect.

One thing I can say though, especially during this unprecedented time of isolation, make it a point to hug those close to you when you can. Make it a good one, 15 or 20 seconds! Pay attention to how you feel after.

As mentioned, hugging is not the only way we get a sense of co-regulation and connection. Looking into one another’s eyes, sensing facial movements and reactions are also important. We have millions of mirror neurons in our brains that are constantly reading what is happening in another person, and sending information to areas of our brain, subconsciously, that tell us how a person might be feeling, for example. When we witness someone taking an action, neurons in our brains respond to that action in the same way as if we were taking that action ourselves – hence ‘mirror neurons.’

This might mean that when we watch a nervous moment in sports for example, although we are not playing, we might take actions like covering our mouths or holding our chest, feeling the nerves the players are likely feeling. As you can imagine, this is not a perfect science. Sometimes we are nervous but the player is cool as a cucumber, but generally, mirror neurons tend to help us connect to what others are feeling or doing, giving us a sense of empathy.

It goes even deeper. Research from Institute of HeartMath has shown that the human heart emits a measurable electromagnetic field that contains information other people can pick up on and decode in their brains. Regardless of how ‘new-agey’ this might sound to some minds, it’s a reality of our physical bodies.

Just think, have you ever walked into a room with multiple people in it and noticed the energy of it? Perhaps you noticed right away it was very tense or very jovial. This sense likely comes from having an awareness of how our electro magnetic field is interacting with the collective field of the room.

What you’re feeling is how someone’s general emotional state is affecting the field they emit. The more we feel tension, anxiety, or depression for example, the more we also put that signal out into our communities. Now, this isn’t a call to get stressed out about how we’re affecting others, this is simply a realization of what’s going on.

In our current chaotic world, it’s quite common to feel anxious or uncertain about what’s happening, and acknowledging that is OK is perfectly fine. The next question becomes: how can I manage my emotional state and create a a felt sense of calm? (Which of course will change the field you emit as well.)

Managing Our Emotions & Energy

One very simple option is written at the top of the articles we post at our journalism site called The Pulse. It’s a simple technique I adapted from my training at HeartMath, but I added in my own flair learned from my trauma specialist training as I felt a greater focus on interception, our awareness of sensations in our body, was important to be in the mix.

As go move through your day, stop, take a breath and release the tension in your body starting from your head all the way down to your feet. Take a few moments on each muscle group if you like. Place attention on your physical heart and breathe slowly into the area for 60 seconds, focusing on feeling a sense of ease.

I wrote a much more in-depth article here, where I share more detailed steps and how this helps improve our overall energy levels as well.

Our bodies are filled with tools that sense anything from obvious to ‘unseen’ signals coming from others and our environment. These tools suggest we are beings of connection, and we thrive when we get enough of it. They also suggest it’s important to pay attention to more than just the material aspect of our world, as there is much that needs to be ‘taken care of’ in the ‘unseen.’ By that, I mean, as we manage our emotions and regulate our nervous system’s, our felt electro magnetic field communicates a different message to others out there.

What message are you sending?

The post Why Hugging Is Powerful: Especially When We’re So Isolated appeared first on Collective Evolution.

How To Ground Yourself: A Simple Yet Powerful Technique

Mental health challenges, depression and even physical illness, are all on the rise. All three are believed by emerging research to be linked to trauma.

Thankfully, nervous system health and trauma are becoming a big part of what people talk about as it seems people are looking to get to the root of these issues more now than ever before.

After coming to my own realization that I was traumatized from experiences I had, I began studying trauma to not only help myself but to see how I could further improve my own media work – which has been, in essence, trauma-informed, since 2009.

What I’ve come to feel is that trauma affects almost all of us in some way, while there is not much data to back that up, I truly believe this to be the case. Learning useful skills to work through that trauma is becoming important in order to take our health into our own hands.

In the video below, I talk a bit about how events going on in the world can make us feel anxious and worried, and how that affects our bodies, minds, and health. I also share a simple yet powerful technique for sensory grounding.

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