Using Human Intention To Help Manifest The Physical World Into Being

The idea that we actually manifest the physical world into being in every moment based on our thoughts used to be the stuff of fairy tales for most people. There was a sense that old sayings like ‘As ye think, so shall ye be,’ and ‘Everything is possible for him who believes,’ were considered to have some mysterious wisdom, but few really took them to be direct conditions of reality itself.

A little over a decade ago, however, many started to take the subject more seriously. The popularity of a movie and book entitled ‘The Secret,’ which brags 28+ million copies in print translated into 52 languages, was an important contributor to the popularization of the idea that we can manifest the things we want in our lives through the power of intention.

Has Our Belief Subsided?

I have observed over the past decade, at least in terms of the people and communities I am in contact with, that the belief and optimism in the power of intention has waned somewhat. While some people have gone forward and made the power of intention the centerpiece of their life’s activities, many who once tried to engage in such practices have since become disillusioned by the idea, a consequence of failed attempts, or have simply forgotten about it and returned their focus to strictly material processes to try and get what they want out of life.

Are you familiar with the idea? Have you made some attempts at manifesting through intention in the past, and have since shifted away from the practice? Let’s read on.

Feeling Good

To manifesting through intention is first to overcome what seems to be a logical paradox; as we try to visualize what we want  (a new car, lover, etc.), we have to somehow ‘feel good’ about the whole matter, as though we are not actually lacking what we want. As The Secret feature speaker Joe Vitale says,

It’s really important that you feel good. Because this feeling good is what goes out as a signal into the universe and starts to attract more of itself to you. So the more you can feel good, the more you will attract the things that help you feel good and that will keep bringing you up higher and higher.

But how are we supposed to feel good about what we are lacking? Even those who have been highly successful at manifesting through intention have a devil of a time explaining how they are having positive feelings in relation to the exercise of bringing towards them something they don’t have enough of or don’t have any of.

In some writings on the subject, the ‘wanting’ of something as an intention does not bring to us the thing itself but only the continued ‘wanting’ of it. We are told that the proper mindset is to feel grateful for what we ‘want’, as though we already have it. But the fact is that we don’t have it! Otherwise we wouldn’t be asking for it. How do we get around this paradox?

The Real Secret: Become ‘Service To Others’

I believe the secret to overcoming this paradox is in understanding that there are mainly two types of people in the world: those who are oriented towards service to self, and those that are oriented towards service to others.

Those who are fundamentally ‘service to self’ see themselves as separate from the rest of humanity, they see the world’s resources as scarce, and they feel they have to compete with others to get what they want. In this state of fear, manifesting from intention becomes very difficult, because their fear of lack will always be more powerful than their ‘belief’ that they can get what they want.

Those who are fundamentally ‘service to others’ see all of humanity as connected, the world’s resources as unlimited, and in getting what they want they actually inspire others to get what they want. My favorite book on the subject, ‘The Science of Getting Rich,’ written in 1910 by Wallace D. Wattles, says it this way:

You are to become a creator, not a competitor; you are going to get what you want, but in such a way that when you get it every other man will have more than he has now.

Win-Win

In choosing to manifest through intention in our lives this way, we can actually see our lives as modeling and inspiring others who are actively seeking their own desired manifestations. So it’s really a win-win mentality between ourselves and others. There are no ‘limits’ to what can be manifested. Wattles says that no matter how many people actively intend abundance, the material universe is compelled to bring it into being.

People who have a true service to others mentality serve others with a confidence that they will be served themselves, by universal design. When serving others authentically, there is love and lightness, and a genuine sense that we ‘have’ to give, and so we naturally feel gratitude for our own abundance. What we want is already a part of us, since we are connected to all things–so there’s no longer a contradiction in being grateful for what we want. This gratitude really embodies the amorphous ‘feel good’ of Joe Vitale, or the ‘higher vibration’ of so many other commentators.

If you have tried and given up on the process of manifesting through intention, it might be helpful to check if your intentions were always grounded in fear-based egocentric desire, as mine were in my earlier failed attempts to manifest. If you can make the move to orient your life to be in service of others—a monumental shift to be sure—you will see that manifesting through intention will become more natural, enjoyable, and ultimately successful.

 

Interesting Facts About Lucid Dreaming & Tips For Inducing One

Lucid Dreaming is a state of dreaming where you can control your dreams, and sort of create as you go. It is a fascinating topic, and has long been spoken of in the realms of philosophy. But in recent years as scientific technology has developed, studies have allowed humanity to view what’s happening in the brain while a lucid dream is occurring. Now, this doesn’t mean that activity in the brain is responsible for lucid dreaming, although it’s not uncommon for conventional scientists to view activity in the brain as the cause of an individual’s experience, rather than a consequence of it. But indeed, there is evidence that our emotional states that are caused by something else can trigger different areas and activity generation in the brain.

It boils down to the question of consciousness, and whether or not it’s something that comes from our physical brain, or if consciousness exists as a separate entity outside of the brain. Based on quantum physics, neuroscience, and especially declassified and emerging studies within non-material science and parapsychology, I believe that there should be no question that what we call consciousness originates and exists as something separate from physical reality. It’s time to acknowledge the existence of non-material reality.

Studies Of Lucid Dreaming

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Lucidity Institute investigated how chemicals known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) could induce or help promote lucid dreaming. The new method used in the study, according to psychologist Denhold Aspy from the University of Adelaide in Australia, one of the researchers, helped them “to be able to properly do research on lucid dreaming,” he told  New Scientist.

Lucid dreaming is a remarkable state of consciousness in which one is aware of the fact that one is dreaming while continuing to dream. Based on the strong relationship between physiological activation during rapid eye-movement sleep and lucid dreaming, our pilot research investigated whether enhancing cortical activation via acetylcholinesterease inhibition (AChEI) would increase the frequency of lucid dreams and found AChEI to be a promising method for lucid dream induction. (study)

They point out how a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine could help modulate REM sleep, and this group of chemicals (AChEls), could help by releasing a certain enzyme that in turn activates this neurotransmitter. They noted that a common drug used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, galantamine (an AChEI) could be used to induce lucid dreaming, and it worked.

These results show that galantamine increases the frequency of lucid dreams in a dose-related manner. Furthermore, the integrated method of taking galantamine in the last third of the night with at least 30 minutes of sleep interruption and with an appropriately focused mental set is one of the most effective methods for inducing lucid dreams available today.

Participants took higher doses of the drug each night, but when combined with cognitive therapy (a more natural way to induce lucid dreaming), things really started to speed up. But the study shows how increased dosage of the drug every night, combined with the steps, really did something. When the dosage was increased to 8 mg from 4 mg, lucid dreaming rose from 27 to 42 percent.

Impacts of Lucid Dreaming

Science Alert Points out,

In addition to helping people enjoy fantastic dreams where they can help control what happens, the research could also help explain the links between lucid dreams and consciousness, and help people to confront their fears and process trauma while safely asleep.

A  study conducted in 2009 at the Neurological Laboratory in Frankfurt shows how lucid dreamers produce the fastest brainwave frequencies ever recorded, gamma brainwaves that operate at 40Hz +(source).  This suggests that lucid dreamers are more self-aware, and are more conscious in this state than compared to a normal state of wakefulness. We don’t operate anywhere near that frequency (with regards to brain waves) when in our normal wakeful state, and we operate at even lower frequencies during other sleep states.

Some researchers suggest that the existence of gamma brainwaves indicates a totally conscious experience, so the experience of being awake within a dream is a very real phenomenon. This begs the question, which state is actually real? Could what we perceive as being fully aware and awake be the real dream? Or are these just different aspects of reality that we are jumping to and from?

Questioning The Need For Drugs

Not to be forgotten is the fact that potentially harmful drugs were used in this study. Although they are said to have minimal side effects, prescription drugs kill many people all over the world every single year, and they are not needed as much as we are made to believe they are. There are many other methods available, but the medical industry is a separate topic in itself.

When it comes to Lucid Dreaming, the cognitive method has given many people tremendous success. This includes getting a good night’s sleep, and being able to record every single dream you have in a dream journal. You need to practice how to remember your dreams to start off with. Before you go to bed, do some affirmations to yourself. Tell yourself that you are going to have a lucid dream, and ask yourself throughout the day, “am I dreaming?” Visualize your dreams. Here is a list of 6 essential things you could try doing.

For scientific purposes, this study is interesting and could certainly help advance knowledge in the field:

As one of the challenges for conducting scientific research on lucid dreaming is its relative infrequency, making the state more accessible would increase the efficiency of the collection of larger datasets, which would greatly facilitate research in this field. (study)

But while this particular study was done under controlled conditions by people who knew what they were doing, it’s still important to mention that other natural methods like the ones mentioned above are giving a lot of people success.

 

Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 21: The Two Tribes (Part 3))

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

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

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

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

20. The Two Tribes (Part 3)

While the running tribe kept running around the island of Allandon, exploiting it and fashioning it in the image of its own self-importance, the sitting tribe tried to sit quietly within whatever natural surroundings were left on the island. The sitting tribe had become small, as many of its members had switched over, feeling that the running tribe offered a better and more prosperous life. And yet life was not idyllic for the running tribe. For reasons they could not understand a collective restlessness had slowly come over them, a growing dissatisfaction with their lives. They no longer laughed at the sitting tribe, for every day they could see serenity on the faces of the sitting tribe members, a serenity that they longed for.

The sitting tribe could not help but be drawn to some of the obvious improvements that the running tribe had made to the conditions of life, but they approached the running life with caution, taking sporadic moments to try a bit of running. While this was happening more often, many running tribe members slowly took some time out of their busy day to sit, hoping to find the serenity they saw on the faces of the sitting tribe. The running tribe members each started to sit at different times to suit their own schedules. Eventually there was no longer an organized group that ran in unison, nor was there a group sitting in unison. In fact each individual developed their own unique pattern of the two practices. Amidst the daily confusion of sitting and running, the lines between the two tribes blurred more and more, until one tribe could not be distinguished from the other. It was around this time that a growing number of members of both tribes started to believe that one day the island of Allandon would again be home to a single tribe.

It is only because we are at a special time in the history of humanity that we have the capacity to talk to each other about creating ourselves and our lives in the image of our personal visions. Human consciousness has evolved to the point where individuals are starting to see a choice as to whether or not to follow the values and aspirations of the nation, race, culture, creed or even family that they were born into. In other words, individuals no longer need to identify with a particular group in order to manifest their personal visions and desires in the world. Certainly it has not always been like this. Nietzsche pointed to this when he wrote, ‘Peoples were creators first. Only later were individuals creators. Indeed the individual is the latest creation.’

Although we tend to think that the entire history of humanity involved the choices, aspirations, and decisions of human individuals, in a very real sense the human individual as such only came into being through the development of the Ego Self, which really sums up the history of Western Civilization as well as anything. There were of course a few remarkable individuals prior to the Classical Age of Greece, but those individuals were for all intents and purposes not humans but rather gods, who were deified as such by the vast majority of their culture. Only in modern times have ‘everyday’ individuals begun to identify themselves as creative, whole, self-fulfilling beings apart from any group.

While human groups such as cultures, nations, and religions have allowed us to fulfill a most basic human longing for unity, it is a limited form of this fulfillment. Within any group, a collective mind is created that excludes others, and actually limits individuals from fully experiencing or even actively aspiring to unity within the larger body of humanity itself. And so it makes sense that this larger unity, which Hegel called the ‘full unfolding of the Spirit’, is only possible when all individuals are free and capable of identifying themselves as entities unto themselves.

We have spoken at length about the pitfalls of our Western society founded on identification with the Ego Self, with its rampant materialism and disrespect for nature, its self-serving ideology and disregard for the communal fabric. Still, perhaps the growth of the Ego Self may not have been a catastrophic misstep of human development but rather an important, necessary stage in the evolution of consciousness. If we apply Hegel’s dialectic to this evolution on a grand scale, Eastern thought would be the starting point, the thesis. Western thought, which emerged from the bosom of Eastern civilization, would be the antithesis. And the great synthesis of these two opposing forces is the leap of consciousness that we are living through today. If we can make it happen it will be the greatest synthesis the world has ever seen, a synthesis of traditional Eastern holistic spirituality that identifies with the Dao Self and modern Western atomistic materialism that identifies with the Ego Self. The promise of this synthesis is a life in which the best of both world views exist together.

We have seen in our recent history that an augmentation of individual freedom has brought forth a much steadier flow of creativity and innovation. Possibilities have opened up, not only for individuals to express themselves in the world and manifest their own destiny, but also for humanity as a whole to benefit from this creative expression. Individual development has moved to the forefront and has become more and more the leading edge for human progress. The development of the Ego Self has not only given individuals the opportunity to imagine a better way of life, it also provides the individual with the means to manifest this vision in the world.

Chief Seattle may have envisioned something like this even as Western man came over to America and obliterated his people’s way of life. Remember he reflected that ‘God brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man.’ Although he could not see the purpose of Western man’s dominance at the time, he still knew that it was all part of a common destiny of humanity that was much vaster than the particular aspirations of either culture.

As Westerners, I believe it is time to embrace that larger vision today, lest we continue to be swept away by egocentric self-delusion. It is very tempting for us in the West to be swayed by our sense of self-importance in the world, and to continue promoting our unconscious mantra that the West is the best. The very idea of ‘better’ and ‘best’ is a particularly Western convention.

With the Western model, mankind is on a linear path to evolution. With the Eastern model, mankind’s evolution is seen within a cycle which returns back to the starting point. In the West we see ourselves going into uncharted territory, in the East we are simply returning home. With Western ideology the ability to progress in itself becomes the essential mark of a culture. It gives us a measuring stick as to the relative value and worth of a particular people. In other words, it appears to give us the license to judge. It should not come as a surprise that Hegel, author of this particular vision of human history, looked down with some disdain on traditional Eastern cultures. He once said that “the inferiority of [the Native Americans] in all respects, even in regard to size, is very manifest… [they are] still abiding in their natural condition of rudeness and barbarism.” He likewise felt that the German society of his day was the height of human evolution to that point.

However when his indictment of Native Americans is measured up against Chief Seattle’s assessment of the white man—a white man who had just ravaged his people and their land, I might add—one is left to wonder which culture was actually more evolved. Where Chief Seattle believes that his people and the white man are all as brothers equal under the same God, the Europeans who claimed America had no doubts that they were better than Native Americans, smarter, more evolved, more worthy of what life and the Earth have to offer. For them the material focus of Western civilization constituted progress over the spiritual focus of Eastern civilization, and this belief continues to this day. We are only now awakening to the uncomfortable proposition that this is simply an acute delusion of the egocentricity inherent in the Western mindset as a whole.

It is interesting that the extreme polarity of Eastern and Western civilizations can be traced to a single difference in their founding mythologies. Traditional Eastern cultures were founded on a mythology that saw the essential truth of life to be the unity of all things above and below the heavens. Everything is connected, and duality is the illusion of the world and can be transcended since the ultimate truth is unity with the One, the Dao. Western civilization has grown from the perception that this unity or oneness, such as existed in the garden of Eden before the ‘fall of man’, is the illusion that ultimately masks the fundamental truth of duality, revealed to man and woman by their eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which had previously been known only to God.

Western religions that are derived from the mythology of duality are ethical in nature because of the belief that life is the battle between good and evil, God and Satan. The focus of Western religion is that man is apart from God, that he has sinned, he has fallen, and needs to redeem himself. In the Eastern tradition there are no sinners and no need for redemption. Their religions are not about ethics as much as alignment with nature, with one’s true self and path in life.

Eastern traditions find their ultimate truth in the cyclical rhythms of day and night, the phases of the moon, and the seasons. By extension they see human life as cyclical. We are born, we live, we die, and we then are reborn. Reincarnation occurs as we move around the cosmic wheel, to return to the source from which we came once we have resolved all of our accumulated karma. History itself is cyclical. In the Hindu model, for example, the universe comes into being when Brahma the Creator sleeps, and once a set of very orderly ages have come and gone, Brahma wakes up and the universe is whisked out of existence. Then Brahma goes to sleep once again and the whole process starts again from the beginning.

Western mythology, on the other hand, focuses on linear progress and does not deal with the nature of eternity in any deliberate way. Somehow we have one life to learn how to be good, and after this short experience ends we are to spend the rest of eternity either in a comfortable place of complete stagnation or, if we are judged by God to be bad, an uncomfortable place of complete stagnation. The God of Western tradition seems to care about whether we are ‘good’ or ‘bad’, as though our being good would elevate this God in some way or make him expand, and our being bad would somehow bring him down or cause him to contract. In contrast, the Dao of Eastern tradition is completely unchanging and unaffected by our actions.

The ultimate question becomes: is the One/God/Dao evolving as we evolve, expanding as we expand? Or is it static and changeless, making our evolution simply an awakening to our eternal and unchanging nature? Is the universe evolving, really going somewhere, or is it just going around in a circle? The answer currently depends on which side of the fence we are on that divides Eastern and Western ideology. It is no wonder that the prevalent Western model of history, the Hegelian dialectic, implies linear progress, while its Eastern counterpart, the Chinese model of Yin and Yang, points to a history that is cyclical. Both models see one side of the duality emerging from directly within the other. Both models point to the interplay of these opposites as the driver of history. But while in the Western model this interplay represents a war of fierce opposition to reach higher ground, in the Eastern model it more closely resembles a dance of partners circling back to the same spot.

The new conversation lies on the razor’s edge of these two polarities. It asks for us not to sit comfortably on one side or the other, but to learn to balance on the fence of paradox itself. We are moving past an age where we can choose one polarity over the other, thinking one is right and the other wrong. As we see beyond the limits of each polarity, there is no turning back. If we are to move forward, it will be with an understanding that Western thought is no better than Eastern thought, and vice versa. In a higher consciousness Eastern and Western thought complement each other, as the ultimate opposing forces whose tension bestows us with purpose, direction, and understanding in our world.

Our future can at once be a revival of the great and enchanting stories of the past and at the same time a tale that has not yet been told. Perhaps there is for the first time the possibility of conscious convergence, of a commitment to hold conflicting points of view at once, of identifying with both the Dao Self and the Ego Self at the same time. In this there is the opportunity to let go of judgment while still aspiring for a better life on the planet. This is the new possibility for consciousness, and the direction that the new conversation is taking us.

While I have so far represented the two great polarities as ‘East’ and ‘West’, I hope you have come to understand these more as a distinction of ideas than of geographical reality. While any culture’s predominant founding mindset may sometimes be detectable, the joint presence of these opposing ideologies is at play in all of the cultures of the world, and to some extent always has been. Culture is not possible without some identification with both the Ego Self and the Dao Self, without some material and some spiritual awareness. Yet I believe it has been useful to make the distinction with regards to civilizations, in order to show how the play of these opposing forces has been the driving force of our human history.

Naturally these forces have continued to grow out of each other and further blurred the lines of division. Eastern society has faced a barrage of Western modernity for some time now. And yet Western society, for all its power and influence, has not been immune to the infusion of traditional Eastern thought and values into the life of its citizens. This has certainly not happened with all the hoopla of the dissemination of Western policies in the world, but its effects are certainly starting to be felt. If the spread of Western democracy, economics and popular culture has appeared like large, loud bombs dropping from the air, Eastern values have entered into our minds from the ground up, with the seeds of sublime ideas slowly germinating in our consciousness over time.

The result is a society that is on the brink of a quiet revolution never before seen, in which seemingly contradictory ideas and values will one day find a place to coexist in our minds. We are not there yet, certainly, but this is the work in progress of the new conversation. It has emerged as a way to foster an environment that encourages people of all different perspectives, with unique ideas and experiences, to share in the search for a common understanding of life and a common goal for mankind.

In our society the emphasis on the Ego Self has led to unbridled materialism. We can clearly go no further, and there are many signs that things have already started changing. The pendulum appears to have reached its height in one direction and is on its way back. If it is true that all change is directed by the pull of opposites, then this period of extreme materialism too shall pass, and we will be the better for it. We will not look to spirituality simply as an escape from the dense and dark material world but rather as a better way into it.

The heights of materialism that we have reached are actually serving to provide fertile soil for the growth of a new spirituality—one that does not dismiss materialism, but rather helps to give it a more profound and meaningful expression. As we become ever more aware of our excesses, our self-centeredness, and our alienation from each other, so we become more pointedly conscious as individuals of our responsibilities to our planet and our role as important contributors to our collective evolution, one that includes the unique dreams and aspirations of all people. We are both the created and the creator, on the threshold of fully becoming aware of our own divinity. The time has come for us to fully embrace the mission that we all share. We no longer need to deny the Earth to reach Heaven, nor deny Heaven to enjoy the Earth.

The Energetic Implications of Sex & How You Can Make It Work For You

Have you ever heard a friend or family member describe a disheartening experience they had and then felt badly for them? Perhaps you got angry for them, felt sadness because of their situation, or simply felt empathetic? Alternatively, have you ever walked into a room or joined a conversation and felt an overwhelmingly heavy or dense energy? From an energetic perspective, that’s because we’re all interconnected to one another and we’re vulnerable to other people’s frequencies.

It is said that you should choose your five closest friends wisely for this reason, because their vibration will affect your own. I would argue that you should exercise caution when choosing your sexual partners for this exact same reason. It’s not uncommon for people to leave a one night stand feeling exhausted, “dirty,” or simply unlike themselves.

These feelings could arise for personal reasons, such as our own insecurities, our egos, and our judgements regarding ourselves and others, but it could also have a lot to do with the energetic implications of having sex!

What Happens to Your Energy When You Have Sex

If you’re having sex with someone, an act that physically connects you in the deepest way possible, it makes sense that their energy would be imposed on you. Furthermore, it is said that when you have sex with someone, their aura leaves an imprint on you that is difficult to energetically cleanse yourself from. So, what does this mean in terms of modern sex culture, where it’s not uncommon to sleep with multiple people?

Well, if you’re sleeping with someone who has slept with ten people in the past, and that individual hasn’t cleansed themselves from their former partners’ energies before, you may be susceptible to eleven people’s energies.

Sometimes, after having sex with a new partner, people report that they feel “different.” This is because your aura connects with your partner’s during sex and you exchange energies with one another, so your energy is usually slightly different after having sex. If you have sex with someone with a high vibration, intercourse could raise your vibration; likewise, if you have sex with someone with a low vibration, sex could lower your own.

However, just because you feel badly after sex doesn’t mean that you’ve just had sex with a “low vibe” person. Any feelings of guilt are ultimately a product of the ego, causing us to judge ourselves for our actions. Experiencing guilt after sex is also a feeling perpetuated by society, especially in relation to women, as female sexual energy was suppressed and discouraged by society for a very long time, and still is in some parts of the world.

Yes, you could take these feelings as a sign that you perhaps shouldn’t sleep with that person again, but you must also take responsibility for your own feelings and use this opportunity as a chance to gaze inwards. Ask yourself: Why am I feeling guilty or some sort of ‘negative’ emotion surrounding sex, and does it have anything to do with my ego, my partner’s energies, or societal pressures? Even though we are susceptible to other people’s energies, at the end of the day, we can control our own frequencies, but in order to do so we must observe what’s affecting our energy in the first place.

Plus, we shouldn’t judge people based on the vibes we get from them. To be clear, we should never judge anyone, and if you think you’re residing on a higher vibration than others, that could potentially be your ego talking, not your soul. 

We’re all at different stages in life and going down different paths; that’s the beauty of the human experience! We’re not all meant to endure the same experiences or have the same interests, so of course we’re all going to give off different frequencies.

There’s a big difference between judging someone and feeling someone out. If you’re “vibing” with someone and you feel like you’re on the same wavelength as them, so to speak, then odds are you are! That doesn’t mean you’re going to have all of the same interests or be at the same stage in life, but maybe you’re giving off similar frequencies. The best you can do is to not judge others and trust your intuition, because ultimately your soul knows.

Despite this, I still believe it is healthy to have sex, especially if you’re cleansing yourself energetically. I believe sex can be used as a tool to deepen our inherent love and connection to one another and to ourselves. We are so much more than our physical bodies and sex is a lot more than just two bodies colliding for pleasure and reproductive purposes. I think that sex is meant to be an intensely spiritual practice, one that can sometimes offer you more pleasure than the actual orgasm itself through practicing tantra.

Tantric Sex and Taoism

Tantra is the Sanskrit word for ‘woven together,’ and through the study and practice of it, you can come to understand yourself and your partner better on a spiritual level. After all, by exploring yourself sexually, whether that’s on your own or with a partner, you’re ultimately just learning more about yourself, and thus more about Source.

Both tantra and Taoism encourage different methods of creating and building sexual energies between two partners for spiritual enlightenment. Although tantric sex is typically practiced with a partner, I believe that, through this practice, you can come to understand yourself better. In fact, a neuroscientist recently conducted a study which suggests that orgasms feel so good because they allow us to access an altered state of consciousness (read more about that in our CE article here).

One of the ancient practices within Taoism is controlling the male ejaculation during sex. Taoist practitioners believe that the loss of ejaculatory fluids equates with the loss of vital life force (or “jing”), so by learning to conserve the sperm, men can redirect the energy of the orgasm throughout the body. In a world where the goal of sex is often only to get the male to ejaculate, these Taoist practices would be valuable to experiment with.

This doesn’t mean that men should never orgasm; it’s simply a spiritual concept worth practicing on occasion that can actually bring more pleasure, when practiced correctly, than ejaculation. Some Taoists believe that by redirecting the energy upwards toward the crown chakra, it can provide nourishment to the brain. In modern sex culture, some people refer to this as “edging,” although many men may do this for different reasons.

Women can also redirect their sexual energy by moving it upwards, and play with different breath work techniques, although this wasn’t studied in ancient religions nearly as much. However, sex was viewed as an empowering act for females, as they can bring forth life and act as “tutors” for their partners during intimacy. Women were and still should be viewed as equals to men during sex, so it should be noted that these practices are only useful when both parties are consensual.

Whether you’re having sex or not, or regardless of who your sexual partner is, you should still try consciously cleansing yourself from other people’s energies. Even if it’s “positive” energy, at the end of the day, the only energy you want lingering around you is your own.

How to Cleanse Your Aura

It’s scientifically proven that all of our bodies emit an electromagnetic field, commonly referred to as an “aura,” which plays a very important role in understanding our biology and the interconnectedness we share with all life. To read more about the science of the aura, check out this CE article here.

Here’s how you can cleanse your aura (after sex or just in general):

Sage or “Smudging”

Not only does sage smell awesome, but it can also cleanse your home and your body of negative energy. Smudging with sage has been used for many years to cleanse people’s energetic auras and rid outer environments of negative energy.

Washing Your Hands or Body

Tons of people like to shower after sex for personal hygiene reasons, but water plays a crucial role in cleansing our energetic bodies as well! An excellent way to rid yourself of other people’s energies is to actually physically wash your hands or your entire body. As you feel the water flowing down on you, envision all of the negative (or positive) energy washing off, too.

Reflection and Meditation

Sometimes, to cleanse our energies, all we really need to do is go inwards. We need to take an objective look at our actions and our feelings in order to understand why we feel and act the way that we do. Plus, when we connect with ourselves, our true higher Self, and simply be present in that high vibratory state, we naturally rid ourselves of any energies that no longer serve us.

Sunlight and Nature

Exposure to sunlight naturally gets our energies flowing, and you could even try meditating and engaging in visualizations where the sun’s beams of light are cleansing your energetic field. Being in nature naturally raises our vibration and can help to ground and de-stress us.

Final Thoughts

I’m not saying you shouldn’t sleep with anyone, nor am I saying you should only sleep with people who are completely similar to you. I believe we can learn a lot from really diverse partners, but it’s still important to be mindful of this information and how it affects us at an individual and soul level.

Sex is a much bigger and more complex topic than the mainstream media and porn industry make it out to be. Sex can be messy or enlightening, emotional or detached, grounding or invigorating; but no matter, it’s always both physical and energetic, which is why it’s so important to cleanse ourselves afterwards.

Sex isn’t about what it looks like, it’s about the feeling you get, the energetic shift you experience, and the intimacy you share with your partner. We are so much more than our physical bodies, and believe it or not, sex can actually teach us that! Expressing ourselves sexually can not only improve our connections to our partners, but our connections with ourselves as well. Who knows, maybe in searching for a better sex life, you’ll end up finding yourself along the way.

Related CE Articles:

Pornhub Reveals How Much Porn We Watched In 2016 — Here’s Why It’s An Issue

Virtual Reality Porn: The Real-Life “Westworld” That Could Transform Sex Culture

Can A Relationship Survive When One Partner Is More ‘Spiritually Evolved?’

The Orgasm Gap: Why Some People Orgasm More Than Others & Why Orgasms Are So Misunderstood

A List of Books That Help People Overcome Several Common Problems Many of us Face

We all have issues. And as unique as we all are from one another, it’s in our issues that this uniqueness tends to fade away. The characters and circumstances involved may differ from person to person, but at the core, pretty well everything you’re currently going through someone has gone through before.

While some of you may not like the sound of this, the proof of its truth lies in the existence and popularity of personal development. Whether or not Amazon has a monopoly over your book buying, we all know that your local bookstore has a seemingly endless number of shelves dedicated to doctors, psychiatrists, celebrities, and even average Joe’s like me sharing the solutions that they’ve discovered to the problems we all seem to be having.

The issue doesn’t lie in a lack of valuable resources, it instead lies in finding the one you need amidst the plethora that are available.

As someone who at this point has probably read too many personal development books, I’d like to help with your search when it comes to 5 of the most common problems that we tend to seek literary assistance for. 

Problem #1: I Suck At Setting Goals

If there is one thing that most of us excel at in this world, it’s identifying what we want. We’re quick to list that we’d love that beach-ready body, that trip to Costa Rica, and that penthouse condo, but when it comes to laying out an action plan to make that dream into a reality we always seem to fall short.

While laziness is often the biggest barrier to doing much of what is necessary to accomplish your goals, it’s amazing how much less prevalent of a factor laziness can become when your goals are set properly. I learned this through one of the first best-sellers written by Tony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!

While many of the references made within this book originally published in 1991 are quite dated, the core material is timeless, and that’s where the proper goal setting value is packed. I will admit however, that this book is far from a light read. It’s one of those books that not only asks, but actually requires you to regularly engage in exercises if you hope to get full value from it. As someone who took the time to do so, and now hides my copy from others as a result… I can confidently say that it’s more than worth it.

Problem #2: Why Am I Always In Such A Bad Mood/ So Moody?

You may have become numb to the side effects you once suffered from, but you know that your life is best described as an emotional roller coaster. For me, this was a big one and I’m eternally sorry to each of my ex-girlfriends for having to put up with it as much as they did.

But my moody days are now largely behind me, and that’s due in large part to what I learned and was reminded of in Neil Pasricha’s The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything=Have Everything.

This book not only helped me realize what was really at the core of my moodiness (SPOILER ALERT: ME), but also gave me a greater appreciation for all that my life has to offer. For those of you with concerns that this book is largely a “hippie-dippie happy fest”, I can assure you that it’s instead rooted in realism.

Problem #3: I Don’t Have Enough Time!

“I wouldn’t have any of the problems that I do if I just had more time to deal with them.” While you may not have ever actually said this statement aloud, I’m willing to bet you’ve thought something along the same lines of it at one point or another. We all have a million things to do and the 24 hours we’re given in each day to accomplish it is never enough (especially when you factor in all the time we have to spend sleeping, eating and travelling).

I once firmly believed that the solution to this conundrum was to multi-task. That was however, until the understandably controversial Kevin Trudeau put me in my place in the audio-series Your Wish is Your Command.

Within the teachings of this audio, Kevin completely picks apart the illusion of proficiency that is multitasking (among many other valuable -and some questionable -lessons), an understanding that completely reshaped my approach to my daily to do list. I do suggest taking much of what Kevin shares with a grain of salt, but taking the time to sift through his material is sure to provide you with the kick in the pants you need!

Problem #4: I Can’t Stay Focused

So maybe you have your goals and attitude in check, but when it comes to zeroing in on one particular thing… you’re hopeless. This doesn’t even need to be in regard to grandiose goals or work-related tasks, it could even be an inability to stay focused when someone is talking to you.

I’m willing to bet that a decent chunk of you just went “ah shit” when I added in that extra metaphorical focus-busting wrench. But, thankfully the book Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives by Dan Millman not only exists, but pompous title aside, actually works!

This book is masterful at not only helping to bring and keep you in the present moment, but also gives you a full appreciation for it, even when life is seemingly mundane.

Problem #5: I Have No Motivation

Okay, I can zero in like Obi-Wan but I feel like I have no reason to be doing what I know I want to be doing. While some of this may actually require some heartfelt reflection, I’m going to assume that you know what you want in life (or at least the solution in problem one helped you discover it) but just can’t get your mojo going to do it.

Motivation in particular is the one personal development sub-category that you’ll find thousands of resources for, but the one that stands out for me is The Tools: 5 Tools to Help You Find Courage, Creativity, and Willpower–and Inspire You to Live Life in Forward Motion.

At times, this book can be a bit too much like stepping into a psychiatrist’s office (says the writer who has admittedly never been in one), but it does so for a reason. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that some of the motivational techniques that this book outlines can be tough to swallow, but their effectiveness depends on it.

Why Should I Listen To You?

  • Amazingly, none of the above mentioned authors paid me to recommend their books
  • As I mentioned before, I’ve likely read too many personal development books over the past 10 years

Ready to change your life today? Get my FREE eBook on 5 Quick Daily Hacks for a GENUINELY Happier Life sent straight to your inbox within 48 hours by signing up here. And for more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on Facebook.

The Healing Potential Of Non-Ordinary States Of Consciousness

Stanislav Grof is a psychiatrist with over 60 years of experience in research of non-ordinary states of consciousness. Non-ordinary meaning something that is different from your typical waking consciousness and according to Grof, these states can be reached with the use of psychedelic substances, trance-inducing states, meditation or Holotropic Breathwork.

All of which can trigger an experience that has the potential to unlock a new level of insight and awareness into one’s own consciousness.

Grof’s early research in the clinical uses of psychedelic substances was conducted at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, this research focused on the healing potential of LSD and other psychedelic substances. In 1969, Grof became Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the John Hopkins University and continued his research as Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center in Catonsville, MD.

As Grof says in the video below, “The Western industrial civilization is the only group in the entire human history that doesn’t hold non-ordinary states in great esteem and doesn’t have any use for them, actually has pathologized them. Every other culture has spent a lot of time and a lot of energy trying to develop ways of inducing non-ordinary states.”

Why Are We Disconnected From These States Of Consciousness?

One might wonder why this westernized society seems to be so disconnected from understanding the potential that unlocking these non-ordinary states can hold, but regardless of how this system is designed, many are finding ways to experience these states. We explore them by taking plant medicines such as ayahuasca, listening to trance-inducing music, participating in drum circles, going into sweat lodges, holotropic breath-work and many other modalities that we indeed have access to.

It would seem that regardless of what the status quo is in this westernized version of the world there is something that resides deep within us that seeks out these non-ordinary states in order to get outside of ourselves and have a new experience, that which can bring new levels of insight and awareness to anyone who is willing to try one or more of these states out for themselves.

But what is it about these states of consciousness that can cause such great healing for so many people? There are many theories about this, but we have seen a ton of research from the John Hopkins University and organizations such as the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) that proves that this healing capacity is real. From treating anxiety, depression, addiction, PTSD, and deep-rooted trauma, it is clear to see that these substances do have the capacity to heal a variety of different ailments.

Grof is an expert in this realm, and in the following video interview, he shares exactly why he feels that there is great healing potential in the Non-Ordinary States of consciousness, check it out.

Are You Taking Life Too Seriously?

Do you go through life with constant angst? A feeling deep down that there is always a little bit of stress or a little bit of worry? I’ve been through this. And in some ways, I thought it would never go away. But I focused on self awareness and living in the heart enough to kiss those days goodbye.

We can sure take life too seriously at times can’t we? I mean it’s fair. We have stresses in life that we get caught up in, we go, go, go, go, and often forget to take a moment to breathe. In Western culture, it’s all about obsessing over goals and getting there and telling ourselves stories about what life will be like when we do finally get there… but what often happens to us when we live this way? We step into unconsciousness. We stop taking time to FEEL.

I want to help us remember to be STILL with this.

Various experiences and events have taken place in my life that have challenged some of my deepest ideals, belief systems and concepts that I felt were a part of me. This has gone on and occurred in my entire 11 year journey of truly changing myself. Whether it had to do with the work I do, friends, the world, relationships or big decisions in life, many things were challenged. It has truly been an incredible ride.

We sometimes might think “when will all the change and ‘chaos’ end?” A good question indeed, but isn’t this what we are here for at this time? To truly look at ourselves, look at all that we hold onto and all that we define our reality with. Literally everything! If you are feeling like you are the only one out there going through this stuff and feel like everything is backwards -that things are constantly being challenged, know that what you are experiencing is perfect, and we must remember to have fun with it!

Not Just A Human Experience

We are not here at this time to simply have ‘a human experience,’ we are here to evolve the human experience. It’s different! Stop looking at the past to tell us what to do, how we should move forward, and what ‘the greats’ did in our past to figure things out. We are not in that time, and the zeitgeist of our time now is not to simply exist but to be present and create a new future as we deeply evolve the way of life on this planet.

We hear a lot “but we’re human, just embrace that!” That’s all fine, but what does that mean? What is a human? How should we be? Does being human mean accepting the world as it is? Are we capable of more? Can we redefine what it means to be human and what life should look like? Why do we give up so easily on dreaming big about these things?

I used to accept MANY limitations about myself and what I could do. But eventually, I was faced with the chance to let all that go, and reimagine what was possible. Even when everyone told me I was crazy and I couldn’t do what I was trying to do, I used my connection to self and consciousness to create it. Because I believed I was capable of more, and so is everyone else. This is how Collective Evolution, the site you’re on, came to be.

Embracing Change

After experiencing the many deep questions and challenges I have thus far, overcoming them and moving forward, I have one very special thing that I have reminded myself about over and over and truly understand to a deep level. We are here to play and evolve! None of what we are experiencing is as serious as we think!!

The mind and ego can make things very real, very dramatic, very frightening. I know! But the highest aspect of who we are is always clear, always neutral, and always sharing with us exactly what we need to hear because IT IS US! We are not the mind or the stories it creates that makes things so serious. They are there because that is our challenge. To go beyond the mind and the stories it creates -so we can experience this sensorial world and remember who we truly are (click to listen to my podcast on this topic.)

So let’s remember, whether it’s life choices, relationships, friends, work, family, sports, or everyday events, know that it’s just an experience! We can spend our whole lives always caught up in the drama and the intensity, saying “oh my gosh things are so tough, the world is so crazy, my life is upside down, and I’m so busy!” but where does this lead us? This is a question we must ask ourselves.

If we remain caught up in these perceptions, repetitive patterns of mind, we will continue to miss out on the entire journey we are on because we are lost and caught up in the mind. We perpetuate our so called “suffering” when we make things serious and make them a big deal. When we can see it for what it is, we allow the emotions to subside, allow back in our full potential and know how to take action forward. This is called finding true peace.

I’m not talking about simply accepting things and saying “well get over it” or “that’s how it is, so deal with it.” No. I’m talking about truly seeing things for what they are. Seeing why we color something in a particular way. Seeing the belief system behind why something is good or bad or right or wrong or even why it’s serious!

I promise you, behind every strong emotion, every serious situation, there is a belief system that makes it that way. One that is held in the mind and made real by the mind. But the mind is not YOU! See the story! Let it go and just play! You will find much peace and joy in flowing through your experience in this way.

Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 19: The Path)

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

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

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

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

19. The Path

After several tries, the astrologer finally managed to get the sculptor to accompany her on her weekly trek. She chose her favorite trail up the forested side of the mountain in the middle of the island of Allandon, which leads to a breathtaking view from the peak.

When they were about halfway up the mountain the trail split sharply in two, and there was a tree in the middle of the fork with a large arrow nailed to its trunk. The astrologer asked the sculptor to stop for a minute.

“You’re supposed to spin the arrow,” she said. “It will tell you which side of the fork you should take.”

The sculptor spun the arrow, and it pointed to the right.

“So I’m supposed to take the path on the right?” he asked.

“That depends on you,” she replied. “If you take the one on the right, it means you believe in destiny. If you decide to go left, it means you believe in free will.”

“I suppose you think you know which path I’m going to take,” said the sculptor.

“Well yes, I think I know you pretty well by now,” the astrologer replied laughing.

The sculptor took a deep breath and marched forward right through the fork. He walked past the tree and continued directly between the two paths, trampling small saplings and crackling underbrush as he climbed.

“Hey, that’s not fair,” said the astrologer, struggling to follow behind him.

“Why not?” asked the sculptor.

“Well for one thing, this isn’t even a path!”

“Neither were the other ones before the first person walked on them,” he replied.

The metaphor for life as a path is an enduring image that is used in one form or another in virtually all spiritual traditions. Perhaps this is because the metaphor so simply encompasses the paradox of human life: that we are charting the course of our lives through our choices even as we seem to be following a predetermined route.

In a way it is hard to completely deny the deterministic quality of our life here on Earth. The study of genetics reminds us that the color of our eyes, our height, and the illnesses we are predisposed to are decided upon long before we leave our mother’s womb. We seem to have no choice, further, as to which culture and parents we are born to, and which part of the world we grow up in. Are we also predestined to fall in love with a certain person, follow a particular vocation, and die at a time and place that has been etched in stone all along? If so, then where is the choice?

On the other end of the spectrum there are thinkers like existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, who reject determinism out of hand. For Sartre, choice is the only precondition of being human. We are free to choose anything except to deny our freedom of choice. Life in and of itself is meaningless, and so we are called upon to create a path for ourselves out of nothing. This stance has some appeal, but it snubs the suggestion that we each have some transcendent purpose or mission in this life.

In the new conversation, a sense of both freedom and destiny are important components. There wouldn’t be much use for a conversation to help each other get where we’re going if we aren’t actually going anywhere in particular. But without the presumption that we have the freedom to make choices, speaking about how we can navigate our lives would be pointless. Somehow we need to pull together both sides of the paradox in order to sustain a powerful vision that inspires us to live life on purpose, with vigor and enthusiasm. When we don’t, we are left to live our lives lazily suspended between these two polarities, living like puppets on a string on one hand, and without the inspiration of a higher purpose on the other. If we never reflect on this matter, we might continue to default to the belief system we were born into, not realizing that we have long since outgrown it.

I think it is highly beneficial to try becoming more aware of the belief system, the paradigm, through which we make sense of our lives. When we identify the way we give our life meaning, we gain the capacity to ask ourselves if it still fits. Then as new experiences and information come in, we have greater flexibility to adjust and to try on a new way of looking at things, even if it’s just for fun. The new conversation provides a space to explore our paradigms without judgment. All ways of looking at the world are respected and seen as valuable. It is not about trying to prove one right, or justify a certain point of view. It is simply putting our ideas out into the space, so that we can benefit from each other’s wisdom and unique experiences as we choose. We share what works for each of us—by this I mean what makes us happy, what brings us fulfillment and the feeling of being truly alive. Inspiration follows naturally. I am fortunate to have been a part of many such conversations, which often facilitated important shifts in my own beliefs. If I may, I would like to share the paradigm that currently works for me.

In my view, freedom of choice and destiny don’t have to play off against each other at all. We ourselves are dual beings, and we live at more than one level of existence at the same time. Destiny and free choice are reconciled when we assert that destiny is a choice that has been made at a higher level of awareness. In other words, if life could be seen as a predestined path that is ultimately of our own choosing, then everything falls into place. Never mind that we have forgotten that we have chosen this path, for that is the beauty of it all. A precisely measured dose of amnesia about the higher awareness of our Dao Self is exactly what sets the wonder of the human experience in motion. If we were fully ensconced at all times in the peace and serenity of our Dao Self, what would be the challenge? What would move us to heroic and courageous acts that make us feel truly alive?

Life is eternal. The fact that we associate life with a birth and a death is an important convention for our purposes here, but this is only part of the picture. Our current life on Earth is but one of a long line of incarnations we have experienced, and these incarnations are not necessarily all as human beings. Wayne Dyer reminds us that “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Our decision to have this human experience has happened of our own choosing, as part of our eternal life. And so it is likely that we have been party to the decisions of where we would be born, who our parents would be, and what the main purpose or goal or path for this particular cycle on the Earth would consist of.

Our path in each particular incarnation is a subset, a fraction of our larger path that leads us back to the Dao. We have designed the path for this current incarnation in a way that helps us learn something that we need to learn, or heal a part of ourselves that needs healing, or remember some aspect of who we are that we forgot when we separated from the Dao. In other words, we have moved by choice into the illusion, to follow a path out of the illusion to the truth.

If we can be less serious and have some fun walking our path that is a major step. We hear all the time that the purpose is not to arrive at the destination but to experience the journey. In this regard, while life keeps us busy with tasks we need to perform, agreements we need to keep, lessons we need to learn, or healing we need to undergo, none of these things really capture the ultimate purpose for being alive. Like Joseph Campbell, I believe the fundamental reason we are here is for the experience of life itself, which brings us bliss when we move into greater alignment with our higher self and rapture as we awaken to the greater wonder that we are.

For most of us, experiencing bliss and rapture is not easy. Nor is it supposed to be. The flow of life, which for each one of us is the path of our chosen destiny, is not the proverbial path of least resistance. We are not meant to live in perpetual comfort and avoid all obstacles, confrontations, and challenges. In essence, the flow of life really leads us towards resistance.

Imagine a running back in a football game. His path is a line to the opposing end zone, which, if reached, makes him the hero and brings about unbridled celebration. But to do it, he must get past eleven big men who will do everything to stop him. That is why the goal is of value: it is difficult and challenging. In a college game once a very funny thing happened. A running back carrying the ball got spun around after a couple of jarring tackles but stayed on his feet. Disoriented, he suddenly started running the wrong way without knowing it. As he rushed towards his own end zone, the players on the other team were actually clearing the way for him to make it. Only after he finally arrived in his own end zone and was tackled by the other team did he realize what he had done. Needless to say, he was not celebrating. Since football players understand the game they are playing, no player would ever want to be caught doing this. But in life we do this all the time. Instead of going where we really want to go, challenging the obstacles in our way to make a touchdown, we often run away from the obstacles, and then wonder why we’re not the star of our own life.

In life we are not up against eleven big men in oversized padding: we are up against ourselves. The only resistance to our growth and personal transformation is our own resistance. We experience it as fear. It often stops us cold. So when we feel fear but still gather up the courage to move forward anyway, we feel at one with the current of the river and take in its power. Remember that the river represents change, and so when we are in flow we are travelling down the river without offering any resistance to what is, to the changes that life throws at us. The river of change through which our lives naturally flow can sometimes be turbulent rapids, and despite our fears we are asked to decide which way to turn. We suffer not when we feel fear but only when we resist what we are afraid of. This causes us to start paddling furiously back upstream, away from the turbulent rapids of change. Eventually we learn, at every stage of our evolution, that pushing through our fear is the only thing that can move us along our path, and so is the only truly worthwhile action in terms of human evolution.

When we are in the flow we could not be more happy to be alive. Life offers a thrill a minute, any time we are willing to follow its appeal. And while we are meant to experience peace, life never calls us to be complacent, or to conform, or to take the easy way out. It challenges us to take a risk, and face precisely what it offers us. Sometimes this means stepping into the darkness, the unknown brought on by change. In the process we evolve. Our consciousness expands and we move ever closer to self-realization. The path of familiarity, laziness, and suppression, what we commonly refer to as ‘the path of least resistance’, is paradoxically the path of most resistance, because we are resisting the most fundamental aspect of nature: change, growth, and evolution. Feeling truly alive will always demand taking chances. There’s an old African proverb that says, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.” This is not to say that we always have to be risking our lives, but rather we must be willing to risk who we think we are in order to make way for a bigger, grander vision of ourselves to emerge.

Of course this path is never forced upon us. We always have the choice as to whether we go with the flow or against it. Even if our life has a particular destiny, we can choose to resist it. And we all do resist sometimes, because we are afraid—of failure, of loss, of danger. Sometimes it does not seem safe when we don’t know what is coming around the next corner.

But we are all perfectly safe. There is an invisible force that holds us with love and compassion at all times. Even though we sometimes feel alone we are never alone, because we are always connected to the source. Even though we sometimes feel confused and lost, we are never really lost because our every step is being watched and guided. The more I take the time to look back at my life so far the more I feel this. All the significant events of my life, especially the difficult, the scary, and the embarrassing, happened for reasons beyond my understanding at the time. Today I can see that they brought me to precisely where I am now—at the threshold of fulfilling a great desire.

The happier I become with where I am, the more grateful I become for all the events that led me here. It is impossible for me to regret any event that has expanded my consciousness. As time has gone on I have learned to trust more and more the quiet voice of my intuition, which I believe is the voice of this invisible force that kindles my deepest desires. When I align my actions with this voice, my whole life begins to make more sense.

But it is not only internally that this benevolent force guides us. It makes use of the external world as well, and not just in one or another particular way but in a multitude of ways, for it is connected to all that is. Particular animals may cross our path for a reason, or we may meet certain people at the right place at the right time. Doors literally open, signs come into our field of vision, books fall off shelves and songs come on the radio, aimed to give us clues as to which way we are headed.

There is not necessarily a fixed rhyme or reason as to how and when these ‘meaningful coincidences’ come into our lives. Our task is less about figuring them out and more about just noticing them and, if we so choose, following them with gratitude and curiosity. To do this is to acknowledge the invisible force that is pulling for each of us from afar to fulfill our destiny. From afar, because it cannot interfere with our free will, for this would negate the precious experience of life entirely.

Because we have freedom, it is quite possible that our destiny in this life could go unfulfilled. This is what it means to have ultimate responsibility for our lives. Whether we pay attention to the signposts that border the path of our destiny or ignore them is entirely a matter of choice. The more we pay attention to them, the more often these signposts crop up for us. A growing number of people today are coming to see that even the most tragic events in their lives were ‘meant to be’, and that everything happens for a reason.

It’s no wonder we’re so fascinated by conspiracy theories. We are all in the middle of the biggest conspiracy possible, as all the inner and outer forces of our world are conspiring to give each of us the chance to experience the bliss of fulfilling our chosen destiny, right here and now. Understanding this may be the quintessential way to be with what is, and from the many conversations I have had with people who live with this conviction, I am confident that it is a way to a happier, more peaceful, and more joyful existence.

Video: “Trauma Not Transformed Is Trauma Transferred”

“Trauma not transformed is trauma transferred.” It is important to know that there are many different forms of trauma, not necessarily what you might expect — be it a car accident, a soldier on the front line or sexual abuse. We can become traumatized in many ways; we often carry our trauma as wounding from our childhood. Even those who think they had a fairly decent upbringing could still carry some trauma within them, to varying degrees.

So, what exactly is meant by the title of this article and aforementioned quote? A great example comes to mind of the devastating events that took place in Canada during the period of colonialism and extending up until the 1990’s; the mass extermination, cultural genocide, and displacement of the indigenous populations. Thousands of children were taken from their homes and forced into residential schools where they were forbidden from speaking their native language, beaten and often sexually abused. Because there weren’t really tools at the time to process these horrific events that occurred, many traumatized indigenous people turned to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with all of the unprocessed pain they were carrying. Several generations later, and alcoholism is still rampant across the indigenous reservations of Canada. Sure, the younger generations were not exposed directly to the same type of trauma as their ancestors, however, because it was left unprocessed, but it was still passed on to the next generations and many of them still struggle with alcoholism. This is because, trauma not transformed is trauma transferred.

I can speak to this notion as alcoholism runs in my family as well — even though I am a Caucasian Canadian, with German and Icelandic roots. I’ve had my own struggle with addiction, but the more I am able to process my pain, the lesser the chance that this pain will be passed on to my offspring — should I choose to procreate.

I’ve heard before that the first one to awaken in the family is often tasked with the largest undertaking of healing trauma for the entire ancestral lineage — and that every time we do this work our ancestors rejoice that we are choosing to end the cycle, and do what is required to heal, rather than transfer our trauma onto the next generations.

Let’s Take A Step Back To This Present Lifetime

Take a grown man, who physically abuses his wife — perhaps when he was a young child, he witnessed his father doing the same to his Mother, this alone is traumatizing for a child to witness. If that trauma is left unprocessed, that child may grow up to be a man who abuses his wife. Having never known another way to be, this pain can manifest into abusive behaviour, however, it could also be a catalyst to heal.

Luckily, we are living in a time where people are becoming aware of the importance of doing sincere self-work, so many are ending theses cycles of trauma in their lineage.

The video below is of a ted talk given by Tabitha Mpamira-Kaguri and it provides some excellent examples of the topic at hand.

Final Thoughts

Pain left unprocessed will almost inevitably passed on. It is important to do the work that is required to release your pain and your trauma to not only set yourself free, but to free everyone else from this cycle. This is all one aspect of what it will take to create the new earth that we dream of and also relates to CE’s motto — Change starts within. It starts with us, with each of us, taking radical responsibility for ourselves, our actions and how we treat those around us.

“Everybody wants to change the world, but nobody wants to change.”

Its time.