The Power of Presence, How “Living In The Now” Can Change Your Life

Presence is the powerful practice of being in the moment.

It is created through an acute awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and in our modern day society, being present doesn’t always come easily. The overstimulation and distraction that come from technology, social media, work, family life, social engagements, and the never-ending “to-do” lists regularly take us out of the now and into a memory from the past or a fear about the future.

Cultivating the power of presence comes from creating the space to observe one’s mind and one’s self. This skill of observation allows us to look at our own lives and the lives of others without attaching judgment or analysis. Using this awareness, we become mindfully attuned to all that is around us through our five senses (smell, touch, taste, sight, and sound) as well as our physical sensations — you know, those signs from our bodies that we often tend to ignore.

Our bodies are equipped with a natural mechanism called the “stress response,” also known as the “fight-or-flight” response, which was first described by Walter Cannon at Harvard. When we encounter something that feels like a threat, the amygdala in the brain experiences the emotion fear. The brain then communicates to the hypothalamus, which communicates to the nervous system, which signals to the adrenal glands to release the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. This assembly-line-like process of the sympathetic nervous system is a crucial part of our body’s internal self-protection mechanism. The only problem is that we are not physiologically designed to be frightened often.

In today’s world, many of us live in overdrive and operate in a constant state of “flight or flight.” This state can be a result of feeling the fear of imagined threats: financial security, societal achievement, the steadiness or demise of a relationship, a perceived health threat, the loss of a loved one, etc. Operating from this place, it is no wonder that many of us feel the perils of stress and anxiety on a daily basis. We struggle with migraines, digestive issues, difficulty breathing, lack of concentration, fatigue, depression, and innumerable other physical ailments because our body is actually attempting to flee the scene of a real threat (car crash, lion chase, assault, etc.) that simply isn’t there. 

The opposite is also true. When we practice deep breathing and mindfulness, we encourage our body to employ the “relaxation response,” our body’s counterbalance to the stress response as defined by Harvard professor Herbert Benson. Being in a state of relaxation, your body will experience physiological symptoms of ease, openness, and balance.

A few days ago, I unintentionally experimented with the topic of presence when I accidentally left my phone at home. Even though I am generally good about creating intentional space to be phone free, something felt different. Normally, I choose to not bring it on a walk, I choose to keep it in my purse during dinner with a friend, and I choose to put it on airplane mode when I am writing or working during the day. Yesterday was the middle of the work week and if I had been asked whether or not I wanted to bring my phone along for the day, my answer would have unquestionably been “yes.”

Climbing up the stairs to the train platform, my hand impulsively reached into my bag in search of my phone. I was subconsciously looking for a meditative distraction during my morning commute. Remembering that it wasn’t there, I closed my eyes, took five deep breaths, and boarded the train car upon its arrival. Within moments of taking my seat, three street performers made an announcement, turned up their boom box, and had at it with their superfly dance moves. I was engrossed and totally present: wide eyes, big smile, heart beating in my chest.

Over the course of the rest of the day, I made note of a few other observations that I could have missed if I was in the phone zone:

  • A gathering of beautiful purple flowers on the sidewalk that had fallen off a tree
  • The smile from a saxophone player on the street
  • A little girl selling brownies in front of her house (although there weren’t many left because she was eating them when she thought no one was looking!)
  • The way the breeze felt on my skin between the high-rises

Upon noticing each of these observations I felt the tension in my body dissipate, I smiled effortlessly, and my body felt calm and at ease. Being fully involved in the present moment, I didn’t have the time to become entrenched in thoughts about the past or fears about the future. I was simply aware of what was going on in the now.

Now let’s be realistic. I know that we live in a technology-focused era and that our phones and our computers are significant tools for work, connectivity, and enjoyment.

They serve a purpose, and an important one at that. We also live in an age where anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. Countless studies have begun to explore the effects of mindfulness on reducing anxiety and depression, with many of the results from these studies suggesting that mindfulness-based therapy is a promising intervention for treating anxiety and mood problems in clinical populations. If pills, therapies, and medical advice aren’t curing our ailments, it seems foolish not to give mindfulness a shot.

If nothing else, maybe we will get the opportunity to notice small and simple details throughout the day that put a smile on our face.

Join our upcoming workshop called Cultivating Embodiment & Presence inside our membership called the Explorer Lounge. Learn more here.

The post The Power of Presence, How “Living In The Now” Can Change Your Life appeared first on Collective Evolution.

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.

Mercury Retrograde In Libra: Relationship Changes

IMPORTANT NOTE: I will be taking some time off from writing my astrology articles and putting out regular content. It may be for 2-3 months but not sure as of yet. Join my mailing list here to be notified when I will have new work published in the future when I am back at it. You can also follow me on Social Media (links below) to stay connected. I will still be available for personalized readings, more information and scheduling can be found on this page.

Mercury begins another retrograde process on September 27th which will last until October 18th/19th. This is when it appears to be moving backwards from our Earth based vantage point due to the positioning of the Earth and Mercury in each of their orbits around the Sun. This one is occurring completely in Libra.

In the weeks (and especially days) leading up to it, it can already start to feel like a retrograde and some of its themes can get seeded. This happens because Mercury slows down (again from our vantage point) and travels in the part of the sky it will be returning to after the retrograde begins. This is known as the ‘pre-shadow’ period which began on September 6th/7th.

If you have read my previous Mercury Retrograde articles, the remainder of this section and the following one are nearly the same. You can skip to the third section and beyond if you don’t want to re-read all the general themes associated with these periods. Those other parts are more specific to this edition of it.

Mercury retrograde is known for the problematic effects it often has on communication technology, transactions, motor vehicles, anything with moving parts, and commuting in general. Some people even get headaches near the beginning of it. We could experience some challenges, misunderstandings, and errors around our communications, numbers/details, and commerce, as well as changes, cancellations, or delays in our schedules.

Sometimes these issues could occur when we are excessively analytical without tuning into our internal guidance. Depending on how we flow with it and other variables, we may not always experience these surface level inconveniences, or they could just be minor irritants.

Mercury Retrograde can also be a good time to revisit or redo tasks, projects, ideas, or anything else that was initiated in the past. It can give us a different perspective or shift in thinking that can help us to approach these things in ways we wouldn’t have done before. This may also be a period of reconnecting with old friends, family, lovers, or others we haven’t seen in a while. When we reconnect with people during a retrograde, it sometimes can help to facilitate a shift in the relationship. In some cases, issues from the past can come up which may need to be hashed out.

The Deeper Purpose of Mercury Retrograde

Ultimately, Mercury Retrograde is a time for us to recalibrate and adjust specific areas of our lives as well as how we apply our minds towards these issues. It is a period in which we may receive important insights and see things in a new light. In most cases, it can be mildly transformational, but in some cases it can facilitate more major transformations depending on how it corresponds to your personal astrological chart.

During and following the retrograde, certain areas of our lives can go through changes or shifts, or we can experience a re-orientation of some sort which influences how we proceed over the coming months or in some cases, it can have a more long-term significance. In the three weeks afterwards, known as the ‘post-shadow’ period, we move forward with some sort of new awareness, adjustment, as well as new ideas and thoughts that have been seeded which will develop and become more defined as time progresses.

Certain things that have come up specifically in the weeks leading up to the start of the retrograde could determine where this energy could play out. It is also possible that there could have been changes or developments at that time which may go through a sorting-out process or shift in dynamics during the actual retrograde and in the two weeks following. There could be unknown variables, either positive or negative, that were either unseen or hadn’t been conceived yet, which may become apparent over the coming month.

The sign(s) and element(s) in which Mercury retrograde travels in shows the energy we are re-orienting ourselves with. More importantly, if you are familiar with your natal astrology chart, then your house(s) or any planetary placements being affected will show more specifically which areas of life you will be experiencing its energy in. For the astrologically literate, it begins at 25’28 degrees of Libra and will retrograde back to 10’08 degrees of the same sign before turning forward again.

Occurring In Libra, The Third Of A Series In Air Signs

Mercury Retrograde always happens in primarily one element for 1-2 years. This is the third of a series that is mainly occurring in Air signs which will last until Fall 2022. The first one was in January-February in Aquarius. The Air element is about intellect, objectivity, the mind, and social aspects of life. This period is about re-aligning ourselves with these qualities if necessary and ultimately expressing them in new or revamped ways.

With this retrograde in Libra, we may also experience or apply re-orientations, adjustments, developments, circumstances, or reflect on themes connected to relationships, partnerships, companions, balance, fairness, equality, justice, laws, art, aesthetics, beauty, creativity, or attraction. Libra is also about consideration of others, cooperation, compromise, peace, harmony, diplomacy, relating, and finding common ground.

Mercury Retrograde Significant Dates

Below are some of the dates and information for some of the major astrological configurations during this retrograde.

*The dates below are based on the Americas. The further East you are located, you may need to consider it as the next day.

September 27th Mercury Retrograde Begins September 27th at 5:10am Universal Time. 

The common Mercury retrograde themes and complications may come up strongly at this time and in recent days leading up to this as it has been nearly stopped in stationary position. You may get some sort of indication of how it may be playing out for you over the next month based on how you feel or what transpires. It’s possible that certain things that happen at this time, which may seem insignificant, can somehow be connected to how this retrograde process will affect you. Also keep in mind that the pre-retrograde shadow began September 6th/7th and Mercury entered Libra on August 30th, so certain things that have come up since then may also be a factor in how things play out over the upcoming month.

September 30th-October 1st/2nd Mercury Square Pluto, while Mars opposes Chiron

Mercury made its first square with Pluto around September 21st-23rd and it has been close to it since, therefore its energy has been present since then but peaks during these periods when it is exact. At best, this energy can be good for deep thoughts and conversations, getting to the bottom of things, mental focus/concentration, addressing financial issues,  shadow work, and even therapy.

However, we can also be compulsive, obsessive, worried, pessimistic, suspicious, or fearful under this influence. Dark thoughts can also occur in some people. Conflicts, manipulation, forceful communications, or intense exchanges can also occur. Matters or dilemmas pertaining to power, control, authority, money, or sex may come up. There may be a correlation between what occurs now and things that happened around September 21st-23rd.

Mars is also opposing Chiron during this period. Issues around anger, aggression, physical energy, or how we (or others) assert ourselves may come up. This combined with Mars being in Libra  can play out as lack of direction when it comes to how we apply ourselves.

October 3rd/4th Mercury Trine Jupiter

Communications, thoughts, and connections with others can be expansive, educational, idealistic, optimistic, philosophical, big picture oriented, or could involve perceived meanings. Some people may receive positive news or be involved in a seemingly beneficial transaction. In some cases, there may be a connection with this period and things that occurred around September 20th/21st.

October 6th-9th/10th Mars Conjunct Sun & New Moon, Pluto Going Direct, Saturn Going Direct, Mercury Inferior Conjunction, Venus Conjunct South Node

We will be having a New Moon in Libra on October 6th/7th which will activate Libra energies even more so. Interestingly this New Moon occurs as Mars joins the Sun which happens approximately every two years. This is the beginning and ending of a Mars-Sun cycle and therefore things that occur at this time (and in the weeks before and after) are connected to transitions when it comes to areas and expressions ruled by Mars. This can have to do with how we assert ourselves, sex, physical activity/energy, competitiveness, courage, or issues pertaining to anger and aggression. It will be in Libra, so may be tied into relationships, partnerships, fairness, equality, fairness, balance, or justice/law related. Note: I won’t be doing an article for this New Moon and will be taking a break from articles for perhaps a few months. Join my mailing list here to be notified when I eventually have new content coming out. 

Pluto will also be transitioning to direct motion during this New Moon, as its energies will be very strong at this time as well as in the week before and after. Themes, developments, and shifts pertaining to power, control, hidden matters, empowerment, transformation, regeneration, purging, death, rebirth, shadows, finances, debts, taxes, or sex may be more prominent. In the coming weeks it can feel like there will be a forward momentum around these areas in comparison to previous months.

Another interesting thing is that all of this will be overlapping with the halfway point of this retrograde, Mercury’s inferior conjunction with the Sun, which can be a time of important insights. The themes or circumstances pertaining to how this retrograde is affecting you may come up more so during this period.

For some people, complications and frustrations can also be stronger during this conjunction depending on your circumstances or how you are applying yourself. Ultimately things that happen is part of a process of ridding yourself of certain thoughts, ideas, perceptions, old interests, expectations, or other things that are not serving you while the potential for new ones may be seeded. This will also somehow be tied into the themes of the Mars conjunction mentioned in the earlier paragraph.

Venus will be conjunct the Lunar South Node as the inferior conjunction is happening, on October 9th/10th. There may be some sort of endings or release around Venus areas such as relationships, friendships, love, pleasures, money, material things, or aesthetics. This can also be a time in which things from the past associated with Venus might come which ultimately can be something that we need to move on from.

As the inferior conjunction is ending, Saturn will also be transitioning from retrograde to direct. Themes, developments, expressions, and shifts pertaining to responsibility, commitment, discipline, duty, structure, boundaries, consolidation, or restriction can come up during this period and in the week before and after.

October 16th/17th Mercury Sextile Venus

Mercury will be sextile Venus in Sagittarius on October 16th/17th. This is a more mild transit but this can be good for social connections and reconnecting with friends or other relations. In some cases, positive developments pertaining to love, finances, material things, or pleasure might play out.

October 18th/19th Mercury Goes Stationary Direct, Jupiter Goes Stationary Direct, Mars Trine Jupiter, Full Moon Building Up

Mercury will end its retrograde and be stationary on October 18th/19th. It will slowly begin to move forward and gradually pick up speed in the following days and weeks. As this happens, the areas of our lives that have been affected by this retrograde will start to become more increasingly clear, things will fall into place more easily, and we may experience resolutions depending on how it affected you. We can feel that we are in a better place to move forward in the areas of life that have been impacted and pertaining to how Libra themes played out for you.

However, usually the first few days after it ends can still feel like it is retrograde as complications may occur due to Mercury’s stationary position. It’s usually best to wait until at least 3 days afterwards before finalizing decisions, agreements, etc.

As Mercury transitions in motion, Jupiter will also be ending its retrograde that began in the second half of June. At this time, and in the week following this date, we may experience developments that can be expansive. This can be connected to Jupiter ruled areas such as education, travel, foreign countries, beliefs, perspectives, faith, media, marketing, or promotion. It could even be lucky for some people. As this is happening, Mars will be in a trine with Jupiter which can be good for applying ourselves in these Jupiterian ways mentioned or with some sort of optimism.

The Full Moon in Aries will be building up as it will be occurring on October 20th/2st, a few days after Mercury goes stationary direct. This will be an eventful time and some of the things that occur at that point will play a role in the aftermath of the retrograde. The Sun will still be in Libra and oppose the Moon in Aries. Therefore relationship matters can be in a push-pull dynamic with matters pertaining to self and individual needs. With the Moon being in Aries combined with four planets going direct leading up to that point, a sense of moving forward will be a part of the astrological backdrop at that time.

About six weeks later on November 28th/29th and/or in the days following, there can be even more clarity around certain things that have been seeded or occurred during this specific retrograde. From there, we can experience developments which can give us a better perception of where things are headed. In some cases, the circumstances at that point may also indicate lack of sufficiency or not what was anticipated. If so, the perception acquired at that time can help us to make necessary decisions on how to proceed with the aspects of our lives that are impacted by this Mercury Retrograde in Libra.

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Mercury Retrograde In Libra: Relationship Changes

IMPORTANT NOTE: I will be taking some time off from writing my astrology articles and putting out regular content. It may be for 2-3 months but not sure as of yet. Join my mailing list here to be notified when I will have new work published in the future when I am back at it. You can also follow me on Social Media (links below) to stay connected. I will still be available for personalized readings, more information and scheduling can be found on this page.

Mercury begins another retrograde process on September 27th which will last until October 18th/19th. This is when it appears to be moving backwards from our Earth based vantage point due to the positioning of the Earth and Mercury in each of their orbits around the Sun. This one is occurring completely in Libra.

In the weeks (and especially days) leading up to it, it can already start to feel like a retrograde and some of its themes can get seeded. This happens because Mercury slows down (again from our vantage point) and travels in the part of the sky it will be returning to after the retrograde begins. This is known as the ‘pre-shadow’ period which began on September 6th/7th.

If you have read my previous Mercury Retrograde articles, the remainder of this section and the following one are nearly the same. You can skip to the third section and beyond if you don’t want to re-read all the general themes associated with these periods. Those other parts are more specific to this edition of it.

Mercury retrograde is known for the problematic effects it often has on communication technology, transactions, motor vehicles, anything with moving parts, and commuting in general. Some people even get headaches near the beginning of it. We could experience some challenges, misunderstandings, and errors around our communications, numbers/details, and commerce, as well as changes, cancellations, or delays in our schedules.

Sometimes these issues could occur when we are excessively analytical without tuning into our internal guidance. Depending on how we flow with it and other variables, we may not always experience these surface level inconveniences, or they could just be minor irritants.

Mercury Retrograde can also be a good time to revisit or redo tasks, projects, ideas, or anything else that was initiated in the past. It can give us a different perspective or shift in thinking that can help us to approach these things in ways we wouldn’t have done before. This may also be a period of reconnecting with old friends, family, lovers, or others we haven’t seen in a while. When we reconnect with people during a retrograde, it sometimes can help to facilitate a shift in the relationship. In some cases, issues from the past can come up which may need to be hashed out.

The Deeper Purpose of Mercury Retrograde

Ultimately, Mercury Retrograde is a time for us to recalibrate and adjust specific areas of our lives as well as how we apply our minds towards these issues. It is a period in which we may receive important insights and see things in a new light. In most cases, it can be mildly transformational, but in some cases it can facilitate more major transformations depending on how it corresponds to your personal astrological chart.

During and following the retrograde, certain areas of our lives can go through changes or shifts, or we can experience a re-orientation of some sort which influences how we proceed over the coming months or in some cases, it can have a more long-term significance. In the three weeks afterwards, known as the ‘post-shadow’ period, we move forward with some sort of new awareness, adjustment, as well as new ideas and thoughts that have been seeded which will develop and become more defined as time progresses.

Certain things that have come up specifically in the weeks leading up to the start of the retrograde could determine where this energy could play out. It is also possible that there could have been changes or developments at that time which may go through a sorting-out process or shift in dynamics during the actual retrograde and in the two weeks following. There could be unknown variables, either positive or negative, that were either unseen or hadn’t been conceived yet, which may become apparent over the coming month.

The sign(s) and element(s) in which Mercury retrograde travels in shows the energy we are re-orienting ourselves with. More importantly, if you are familiar with your natal astrology chart, then your house(s) or any planetary placements being affected will show more specifically which areas of life you will be experiencing its energy in. For the astrologically literate, it begins at 25’28 degrees of Libra and will retrograde back to 10’08 degrees of the same sign before turning forward again.

Occurring In Libra, The Third Of A Series In Air Signs

Mercury Retrograde always happens in primarily one element for 1-2 years. This is the third of a series that is mainly occurring in Air signs which will last until Fall 2022. The first one was in January-February in Aquarius. The Air element is about intellect, objectivity, the mind, and social aspects of life. This period is about re-aligning ourselves with these qualities if necessary and ultimately expressing them in new or revamped ways.

With this retrograde in Libra, we may also experience or apply re-orientations, adjustments, developments, circumstances, or reflect on themes connected to relationships, partnerships, companions, balance, fairness, equality, justice, laws, art, aesthetics, beauty, creativity, or attraction. Libra is also about consideration of others, cooperation, compromise, peace, harmony, diplomacy, relating, and finding common ground.

Mercury Retrograde Significant Dates

Below are some of the dates and information for some of the major astrological configurations during this retrograde.

*The dates below are based on the Americas. The further East you are located, you may need to consider it as the next day.

September 27th Mercury Retrograde Begins September 27th at 5:10am Universal Time. 

The common Mercury retrograde themes and complications may come up strongly at this time and in recent days leading up to this as it has been nearly stopped in stationary position. You may get some sort of indication of how it may be playing out for you over the next month based on how you feel or what transpires. It’s possible that certain things that happen at this time, which may seem insignificant, can somehow be connected to how this retrograde process will affect you. Also keep in mind that the pre-retrograde shadow began September 6th/7th and Mercury entered Libra on August 30th, so certain things that have come up since then may also be a factor in how things play out over the upcoming month.

September 30th-October 1st/2nd Mercury Square Pluto, while Mars opposes Chiron

Mercury made its first square with Pluto around September 21st-23rd and it has been close to it since, therefore its energy has been present since then but peaks during these periods when it is exact. At best, this energy can be good for deep thoughts and conversations, getting to the bottom of things, mental focus/concentration, addressing financial issues,  shadow work, and even therapy.

However, we can also be compulsive, obsessive, worried, pessimistic, suspicious, or fearful under this influence. Dark thoughts can also occur in some people. Conflicts, manipulation, forceful communications, or intense exchanges can also occur. Matters or dilemmas pertaining to power, control, authority, money, or sex may come up. There may be a correlation between what occurs now and things that happened around September 21st-23rd.

Mars is also opposing Chiron during this period. Issues around anger, aggression, physical energy, or how we (or others) assert ourselves may come up. This combined with Mars being in Libra  can play out as lack of direction when it comes to how we apply ourselves.

October 3rd/4th Mercury Trine Jupiter

Communications, thoughts, and connections with others can be expansive, educational, idealistic, optimistic, philosophical, big picture oriented, or could involve perceived meanings. Some people may receive positive news or be involved in a seemingly beneficial transaction. In some cases, there may be a connection with this period and things that occurred around September 20th/21st.

October 6th-9th/10th Mars Conjunct Sun & New Moon, Pluto Going Direct, Saturn Going Direct, Mercury Inferior Conjunction, Venus Conjunct South Node

We will be having a New Moon in Libra on October 6th/7th which will activate Libra energies even more so. Interestingly this New Moon occurs as Mars joins the Sun which happens approximately every two years. This is the beginning and ending of a Mars-Sun cycle and therefore things that occur at this time (and in the weeks before and after) are connected to transitions when it comes to areas and expressions ruled by Mars. This can have to do with how we assert ourselves, sex, physical activity/energy, competitiveness, courage, or issues pertaining to anger and aggression. It will be in Libra, so may be tied into relationships, partnerships, fairness, equality, fairness, balance, or justice/law related. Note: I won’t be doing an article for this New Moon and will be taking a break from articles for perhaps a few months. Join my mailing list here to be notified when I eventually have new content coming out. 

Pluto will also be transitioning to direct motion during this New Moon, as its energies will be very strong at this time as well as in the week before and after. Themes, developments, and shifts pertaining to power, control, hidden matters, empowerment, transformation, regeneration, purging, death, rebirth, shadows, finances, debts, taxes, or sex may be more prominent. In the coming weeks it can feel like there will be a forward momentum around these areas in comparison to previous months.

Another interesting thing is that all of this will be overlapping with the halfway point of this retrograde, Mercury’s inferior conjunction with the Sun, which can be a time of important insights. The themes or circumstances pertaining to how this retrograde is affecting you may come up more so during this period.

For some people, complications and frustrations can also be stronger during this conjunction depending on your circumstances or how you are applying yourself. Ultimately things that happen is part of a process of ridding yourself of certain thoughts, ideas, perceptions, old interests, expectations, or other things that are not serving you while the potential for new ones may be seeded. This will also somehow be tied into the themes of the Mars conjunction mentioned in the earlier paragraph.

Venus will be conjunct the Lunar South Node as the inferior conjunction is happening, on October 9th/10th. There may be some sort of endings or release around Venus areas such as relationships, friendships, love, pleasures, money, material things, or aesthetics. This can also be a time in which things from the past associated with Venus might come which ultimately can be something that we need to move on from.

As the inferior conjunction is ending, Saturn will also be transitioning from retrograde to direct. Themes, developments, expressions, and shifts pertaining to responsibility, commitment, discipline, duty, structure, boundaries, consolidation, or restriction can come up during this period and in the week before and after.

October 16th/17th Mercury Sextile Venus

Mercury will be sextile Venus in Sagittarius on October 16th/17th. This is a more mild transit but this can be good for social connections and reconnecting with friends or other relations. In some cases, positive developments pertaining to love, finances, material things, or pleasure might play out.

October 18th/19th Mercury Goes Stationary Direct, Jupiter Goes Stationary Direct, Mars Trine Jupiter, Full Moon Building Up

Mercury will end its retrograde and be stationary on October 18th/19th. It will slowly begin to move forward and gradually pick up speed in the following days and weeks. As this happens, the areas of our lives that have been affected by this retrograde will start to become more increasingly clear, things will fall into place more easily, and we may experience resolutions depending on how it affected you. We can feel that we are in a better place to move forward in the areas of life that have been impacted and pertaining to how Libra themes played out for you.

However, usually the first few days after it ends can still feel like it is retrograde as complications may occur due to Mercury’s stationary position. It’s usually best to wait until at least 3 days afterwards before finalizing decisions, agreements, etc.

As Mercury transitions in motion, Jupiter will also be ending its retrograde that began in the second half of June. At this time, and in the week following this date, we may experience developments that can be expansive. This can be connected to Jupiter ruled areas such as education, travel, foreign countries, beliefs, perspectives, faith, media, marketing, or promotion. It could even be lucky for some people. As this is happening, Mars will be in a trine with Jupiter which can be good for applying ourselves in these Jupiterian ways mentioned or with some sort of optimism.

The Full Moon in Aries will be building up as it will be occurring on October 20th/2st, a few days after Mercury goes stationary direct. This will be an eventful time and some of the things that occur at that point will play a role in the aftermath of the retrograde. The Sun will still be in Libra and oppose the Moon in Aries. Therefore relationship matters can be in a push-pull dynamic with matters pertaining to self and individual needs. With the Moon being in Aries combined with four planets going direct leading up to that point, a sense of moving forward will be a part of the astrological backdrop at that time.

About six weeks later on November 28th/29th and/or in the days following, there can be even more clarity around certain things that have been seeded or occurred during this specific retrograde. From there, we can experience developments which can give us a better perception of where things are headed. In some cases, the circumstances at that point may also indicate lack of sufficiency or not what was anticipated. If so, the perception acquired at that time can help us to make necessary decisions on how to proceed with the aspects of our lives that are impacted by this Mercury Retrograde in Libra.

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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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