Tag Archives: oneness

5 Things Every Yogi Should Know

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One of the joys of being a yoga teacher is that I get to see a side of people that most people don’t get to see.

During an hour-long practice, I see a room full of people drop their outer facades and fall into the present moment. I see faces soften. I see shoulders relax. I see defenses fall away. It is hard to accurately describe what that looks like, but it is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

I am honored and grateful to be a teacher of yoga. I see people blossom right into the best, most confident, versions of themselves. There are five things I want to make sure that every yogi knows.

1. Yoga is more than just doing poses on the mat.

The beauty and inspiration of yoga is that it consists of many different elements. The ancient sage Patanjali talks about eight limbs of yoga in the Yoga Sutras. They consist of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. If you want more info on each limb, you can read the basics on Yoga Journal, or jump right into the Yoga Sutras of Pantajali.

While most people are most familiar with the physical aspects of yoga, asana practice is only the tip of the iceberg. If you are interested in more depth, more spirit, more love… other limbs of yoga can help you as much, if not more, as being on the mat. There is always more to learn, in each and every limb of yoga, and because of that, we are all students figuring it all out — even the most advanced teachers. Open yourself to the possibilities of the entire yoga tree.

2. Honoring your present moment—no matter what that is—is the key to yoga.

Some practices are hard. Some flow with ease. We all, at one time or another, feel like swearing at our teachers as we hold a pose longer than we want to. We all feel like running from the room screaming like our hair is on fire at one time or another. Whatever comes up is real, it is important, and it needs to be acknowledged. Every time we practice yoga, we have the opportunity to be present, to stop the stories raging in our mind, and just be. It sounds so easy, but it is one of the most challenging parts of the practice. Staying with each breath as it unfolds is the most advanced part of yoga.

3. It is important to feel yoga, not perform yoga.

I don’t look like a svelt cover model yogi. I barely squeeze my ladies into size 12 Lululemon tops. I can’t do certain poses that some of my students can do. However, when I am on the mat, I feel my yoga. When in dancer’s pose, I feel my body express the pose like I am a ballerina on a NYC stage. When I arch my back in camel, I feel my heart center creak open and the energy flood in. It doesn’t matter what it looks like to others. It only matters how it feels to you. Yoga makes me feel beautiful.

Sometimes you’ll run across a person who is performing for the crowd. The pre-class headstands and arm balances, the looking around to make sure everyone is watching, the pushing of bones and muscles into places they have no right going are all tell-tale signs of a yoga performance. I used to get annoyed, mainly because I can’t do many performance ready poses, but now I send love to the performer. I want her to feel her own beauty, not need anyone else’s approval. Watch what happens in your mind when you practice. When you turn inward and are present to your current experience, the room can fall away and the practice can be felt deeply in your heart. You can feel beautiful and strong.

4. What we do on the mat is practice for “real life.”

It’s so great to be able to go to a studio and roll down a mat next to other like-minded people. What we do there is practice for what happens in our “out of the studio” world. We learn to stay present at the office, to breathe through the discomfort of a hard conversation, to accept what is happening with our kids, to let go of the big critic on our shoulder (aka our ego).

Yesterday, I was in a meeting with a grumpy colleague and I felt anger and defensiveness start to rumble in me. I was internally mounting my argument against the poor unsuspecting man, which surely would have blown back his chair and launched him into the next decade. In a word, I was pissed. Then I remembered my yoga… breathe, Katie, breathe. Deep breaths. Three of them. The anger passed. I was able to be calm as I expressed my thoughts. I was able to negotiate. My colleague’s life was saved. Everybody won. That situation was sponsored by vinyasa yoga.

5. What we deal with what happens on the mat is how we deal with life.

This is one of the hardest things for me to learn. When I am in practice and something really challenging comes up, I want to run. I am a bit shamed to tell you that I have actually faked nosebleeds to get out of holding a pose. Running from the room with my hand over my face, I sure as hell got out of that pose.

Guess what my defense mechanism is in life? Yup, run little rabbit, run. Yoga has taught me that how I react to things on the mat is a mirror to my reactions in life. That is a big, hard, ugly pill to swallow, but it is true. My self-doubt comes up on the mat, and it comes up in my life. When I experience a breakthrough on the mat, I learn that if I practice hard and believe in myself, I can do anything. Instant breakthrough.

Yoga is a not just something I do. It is the way I live my life. I encourage everyone to start where they are and let the practice evolve, unfold, and transform you. It all starts with your willingness to be present in this very moment. Breathe on, sweet one. Breathe.

99 Ways To Help You Live More Consciously: How To Raise Your Vibration

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Below are 99 ways to help you live life in a conscious way. Raising your personal vibration rate not only helps you live life with greater ease, but it also affects the collective consciousness of earth in a positive way. So really it is a win-win situation.

As always, take away what makes you feel good and light within. If any of the below points make you feel heavy, move on to the next point. Emotions are your guidance system to life.

1. Connect with nature – Go for a walk in the forest, jungle, field of daisies, or wherever you feel like getting a connection with nature. It is possible to feel at deep sense of peace and oneness when you attempt to connect with nature. As you learn to connect and appreciate nature, you allow your consciousness to rise up.

2. Get your body moving – Exercise and dancing will raise your consciousness by promoting healthy brainwave patterns, healthy neurotransmitter levels, and great circulation throughout your nervous system. Help yourself rise up and break the pattern of not exercising by going for a friendly walk with one of your friends or even going to the club to dance. Both examples are: easy, fun, and empowering.

3. Simple meditation – Whether you are an advanced meditator or a beginner, the benefits are tremendous and will allow you to tap into your highest state of conscious functioning if you stick around long enough. It is an act that will definitely raise your conscious awareness and allow you to attain greater focus, discipline, and develop a deeper joyous connection to life.

4. Spending time with true friends – Find only friends that align with who you are, your beliefs, and your values – they will make you more conscious. These are your true friends, and though they can be tough to find, they should definitely be cherished. Give some of your true friends a call and make it a habit to spend more time with them.

5. Have the intention to “raise your consciousness” – If you have the intention to raise your consciousness and state of awareness, you are on the right track. Having the intention alone will make you more focused on finding ways to raise your consciousness.

6. Tell the truth – Anytime you tell the truth, you raise your level of consciousness. Why do people tell lies? To protect themselves in lower states of consciousness. People in higher states of consciousness don’t lie because they want to be true to themselves, others, and make relationships in humanity more conscious.

7. Find and live your purpose – Searching for a purpose will help you find your true purpose here on Earth. When you find your purpose and are able to share it with the rest of the world, you will continue to raise your level of consciousness.

8. Take conscious control of your decisions – When you take conscious control of all your decisions, you are actually activating certain neural pathways in your brain that help promote self-control, calmness, and inner peace. Every time you allow others to dictate your decisions or you don’t take full conscious responsibility for your decisions, you become slightly conditioned to be less conscious when making choices.

9. Always be open-minded – Being open-minded is a key aspect in the process of becoming a more conscious individual. When you haven’t accepted the diversity that our planet has to offer: ranging from different cultures, religions, wildlife, and beliefs, you will stay in your same state of consciousness or drop to a lower state. Being open-minded doesn’t only need to be for beliefs either. It can be having an open-mind to try something new such as: a new exercise routine, spiritual practice, or trying a new food.

10. Pursue higher intelligence – There are many ways to become more intelligent. Not everyone is intelligent in every area of their life. Some people are more emotionally intelligent, some have a higher I.Q., while some are more spiritually intelligent. All forms of intelligence increases and enhancements will help you on your journey towards expanding your awareness and becoming a more conscious human being.

11. Treat yourself with respect – Having respect for yourself and your actions will ultimately boost the amount of love that you express towards yourself and others. Make wise, respectful decisions that reflect your values and have strong respect for your personal beliefs. Treating others with respect will help you become a more conscious human being too, but before you can respect others properly, you must first learn to show the utmost respect towards yourself.

12. Practice forgiveness – Forgiving yourself can be very difficult sometimes: especially if you are operating in a lower state of consciousness. Realize that in order to rise up, advance, and become a more conscious person, you must be compassionate and forgiving towards yourself. Any hateful thoughts or pent up negative emotions that you may be holding towards yourself need to be released. Negative thoughts and emotions can easily lower our level of consciousness if we do not practice compassion and forgiveness.

13. Cultivate a “high-performance mind” – Cultivating a high-performance mind is a very fun, invigorating process that involves consciously accessing the brainwave state that you consciously choose, whenever you feel it is appropriate for a certain situation. Since their is no single best brainwave state to live life in, it helps to train our mind to consciously be able to “switch” states upon command. For those who want to understand more about developing a high-performance mind, I recommend that you go check out the book The High Performance Mind by Anna Wise.

14. Connect through prayer – The act of simply closing your eyes, folding your hands and saying a prayer will raise your level of consciousness. There are many different ways to practice prayer and there are many different practices, that when combined with prayer, enhance the power of your conscious message. Overall, prayer is a great experience that has potential to aid in your conscious awareness.

15. Challenge your belief system – This one can be difficult for many individuals due to the influence of imprinted beliefs by their parents or guardians during childhood. Some examples of beliefs that you could change include: dietary (changing to a vegetarian), spiritual (from Christianity to Atheism – or vice versa), emotional (from sadness to happiness), etc. By changing your belief system and experimenting with new beliefs, you make yourself more conscious of life’s endless possibilities.

16. Befriend like-minded individuals – On your journey towards becoming a more conscious individual, befriending like-minded people can be extremely helpful. If you are going through many spiritual, emotional, and mental changes without the company of others, the process can be much more difficult and confusing than when you have a guide, guru, or some friends that are traveling at a similar pace to you. Not only is being around like-minded individuals healthy, and optimal for your consciousness, it will ultimately give you more joy in life!

17. Pursue a path of spirituality – Pursuing a path of spirituality and becoming more spiritual will aid you considerably in the process of becoming a more conscious human being. Never be afraid to add a new spiritual practice to your arsenal – you never know what may be most effective or a life changing experience.

18. Express gratitude – Expressing gratitude on a daily basis is a very positive, fulfilling exercise to practice. Ways to express gratitude on a daily basis include: giving thanks for your food, expressing gratitude for yourself and others through prayer (as discussed earlier), complimenting others, and letting another person know that you are thankful for having them in your life. By sharing and expressing gratitude, you feel extremely satisfied and will become more consciously aware of the things that you truly appreciate in life.

19. Make yourself happy – What sort of things make you happy? The answer is usually different for everyone. You can do yourself a favor right now by making a long list of everything that makes you happy in life and acting on your listed items. Feeling and experiencing happiness in your life also will give you the powerful drive that it takes to make yourself more conscious.

20. Act on your desires – Simply having any form of desire will raise your consciousness. Desire encourages us to take action to advance consciously. The state of apathy, or not caring about your consciousness, will naturally lower your consciousness. Desire is a powerful way to raise your consciousness.

21. Boost your brain power and functioning – There are many helpful exercises that you can do to boost your brain power and overall level of functioning. One of my most popular articles, 50 Ways To Boost Your Brain Power, should get you on the right track if you are currently confused about the topic. Raising your level of consciousness will naturally boost your overall brain power, and boosting your brain power will raise your level of consciousness; both affect each other in equal proportion.

22. Take full control of your lifestyle – Are you living the lifestyle that you feel is most beneficial for your mental and physical wellbeing? Maybe there are certain bad habits that you need to get rid of or certain good habits that you’d like to implement in your daily routine. Don’t be afraid to act now and make necessary positive changes in your lifestyle to help you take full conscious control.

23. Choose empowering beliefs – In the process of changing beliefs, choose beliefs that are empowering to your soul. A good way to know what belief will be empowering is to simply ask yourself how you feel about adding the new belief. If you feel a strong connection with a new belief, such as feelings of excitement, it will probably be a very good choice of a belief to implement. Make a conscious effort to purge all beliefs that are less than satisfying. Understand also that as you become a more conscious human being, changing your beliefs will become a much easier, more natural process.

24. Avoid physical fighting and abuse – Physical fighting stems from emotional misunderstandings, hatred, and negative emotional expressions. Fighting can be described as the opposite of peace. Physical fighting and other forms of abuse can really do a great job at distracting us from becoming more conscious human beings. Anything that you can do to stop physical fighting and abuse will ultimately make you and the individuals involved more consciously aware.

25. Be aware and accepting of your emotions – No matter your current emotions, you will profoundly help yourself if you are accepting of them. Going through life resisting your emotions and trapping them inside yourself makes life much more difficult. Trying to escape from our emotions lowers our awareness. When you accept what you feel and consciously understand why you feel a certain emotion, your level of consciousness rises.

26. Speak compassionately – When having conversation with others, do you choose your words wisely? Or are you the type of person who could care less what you say? The truth is, people who choose their words wisely and consciously think during conversation are the ones who show greater respect for themselves and more compassion for others. Make a conscious effort to speak compassionately and positive results will follow.

27. Think positive, act positive, be positive – Being a positive influence sets a good example for others and for yourself. Positivity and states of being positive are direct effects of raising your consciousness. I highly recommend trying to be a more positive person in all areas of life; you will notice and feel the beneficial changes in your awareness.

28. Have sex with your partner – Having sexual intercourse is a great way to spread and share your love with another person. The best way to have sexual intercourse is with another positive, healthy, person in which you fully love and trust. Having sexual intercourse is a loving way of transferring and sharing energy with another person. No matter who you have sexual intercourse with, there can be significant conscious benefits.

29. Identify with your soul – Realize that at your core, you are a spiritual being who is living in a physical body. In lower stages of consciousness, this concept may seem unrealistic and may be very difficult to grasp. As you become better at identifying with your soul, you become better at working your way up the mountain of consciousness.

30. See perceived faults as a “mirror image” – When you look at the faults of others and identify faults in other people, use them as a teaching tool for yourself. The people that are in your life weren’t put there by mistake, they were put there to teach you something about yourself. By being able to take personal responsibility for what is being displayed by others into your conscious focus, you can take the information and make very positive changes.

31. Expand your horizons – Trying something new can pertain to any area of your life. Maybe you want to try to add a new healthy habit to your daily routine, shop at an organic store, or even host a block party for the first time. Having courage raises your consciousness and by constantly trying new things, you boost your cognitive ability to adapt and push through any lower states of fear.

32. Face your deepest fears – Are there any fears that you’re holding inside that are prevent you from making conscious advancement? At certain stages along the ladder of consciousness, it can be extremely difficult to face your fears. With that said, facing your fears will equip your consciousness with more empowerment and energy. Healthy fears include: giving a speech, singing in front of others, or throwing a party; this would be a great list of fears to go out and conquer! The choice to face these will help you considerably in your ability to make conscious advances.

33. Use powerful incantations – Incantations are simply words or phrases repeated over and over with emotional intensity for personal or spiritual benefit. They have commonly been used in religious practices to praise certain Gods or deities, but they have also be used for personal development and in the process of becoming more conscious. No matter what way you choose to use incantations, they can be very helpful and a powerful catalyst for helping you become more conscious.

34. Practice positive affirmations – Affirmations are a bit different than using incantations, though the concepts are very similar. Affirmations are used to change beliefs and thinking patterns. Examples of positive affirmations include: “I am healthy,” “I am positive,” and “I am intelligent.” The primary goal of using affirmations should be to replace unhealthy beliefs and thought patterns with healthier ones; making it easier to scale the mountain of consciousness.

35. Be aware of your state of consciousness – Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of their current state of consciousness or what even defines consciousness. You may not even be consciously aware of the many diverse possible states of consciousness due to the fact that you may have only experienced one primary state of functioning throughout your lifetime. If you are a person who hasn’t experienced other states or most importantly cannot seem to understand your own state, you are definitely missing out some important aspects and understandings of conscious perception.

36. Set a positive example for others – Setting a positive example for others can pertain to any area of life and is highly encouraged. Setting a healthy, positive example for others to follow spreads a direct positive image into the lives and minds of others. Trying to consciously set a good example for others, will further raise your consciousness. Setting a bad example, or unconscious example, will slow, halt, or reverse your current conscious development.

37. Guide others interested in raising their consciousness – There are many ways to aid others in the process of raising their awareness, especially if you are a more consciously advanced individual. Chances are good that you’ll need to do some personal work with raising your own consciousness before you can put yourself in an effective position to help others raise their consciousness. What you may want to do, though, is encourage others to practice some items in this article or others on 4 Mind 4 Life dot com.

38. Share your unique insight and wisdom – Everyone has a different perspective based on their personal experience, purpose, and personality. Therefore, each individual has a unique form of insight that they can share with others. There are endless ways and opportunities for you to express and share your knowledge with others. All that you need to do is take action towards finding a medium most effective for allowing you to share your insight.

39. Gain wisdom from others – No single person holds all the wisdom of the universe in their brain. For this reason, it is important to study the wisdom of others and try to apply their wisdom to your life. As mentioned earlier, everyone has a unique perspective and knowledge-base to bring to the table. Studying the wisdom of others can be done in many ways. Examples include: meeting face-to-face with a more consciously advanced individual and ask them for life advice, reading positivity and personal development websites from several different sources, or maybe attending different personal development seminars.

40. Keep your ego in check – The more aware you are of your ego, the easier it is to become more conscious. With that said, as your awareness increases, so does your state of consciousness. The reverse also applies: as your consciousness increases, so does your awareness. Letting our ego get out of control and take the driver’s seat in our consciousness has potential to quickly lower our state of functioning. Taking full control and responsibility to keep your ego in check when faced with adversity will allow you to consciously advance in a much healthier manner.

41. Practice personal development – Taking action to better your life through the concept of personal development is an extremely effective way to make yourself a more conscious human being. Think of personal development as the act of upgrading every area of your life to function at the highest possible level: health, finances, relationships, etc. Virtually all aspects of personal development lead to greater conscious development in one way or another.

42. Shift your conscious focus – Being preoccupied with thoughts of past events and of the future has potential to lead your consciousness in the wrong direction. Focusing your attention on this exact moment (commonly referred to as “the now”), however, is a great way to raise your level of awareness. By learning techniques that allow you to shift your awareness to this exact moment, you can work wonders in the process of conscious advancement.

43. Be energetic – Being energetic can be very powerful for advancing your state of consciousnessand for inspiring others to become more consciously advanced. Your body can become energized and your brain can become energized. When both are operating in at maximum intensity and energy, you are said to be in a state of peak conscious performance.

44. Make healthy dietary changes – Making healthy dietary changes means searching to find the best possible diet to fit your mental needs, physical needs, spiritual needs; to fit your needs. Are you fully conscious of what you are consuming? In order to boost your own level of consciousness, it is important to be fully aware of the food in which you are consuming in your diet and to be respectful and accepting of the diets of other individuals without making negative judgments.

45. Accept others for who they are – As mentioned above in being conscious of what you eat, it is important to be accepting of the diets that others choose to use. Whether they make a conscious decision to have an unhealthy diet or unconscious decision, accept their actions. Accepting others can apply to every area of life. No matter if you disagree with another person’s actions, disagree with their personality, or disagree with their perception of life, it is important to accept them for who they are and not try to force changes upon them. Settle your disagreements with other individuals by purelyaccepting them for who they are.

46. Accept and love yourself for who you are – Life’s journey becomes much easier and significantly enriched if you can learn to accept yourself for who you are. Depending on your current state of consciousness, it may be difficult to love and accept who you are. Take the time to count your blessings, be accepting of yourself and your level of consciousness. Realize that at this current moment you are doing the best that you know how to do in order to advance consciously.

47. Understand your own thought process – An extremely effective way to become more conscious is to take note of your thought process and understand it to the best of your ability. I’ve seen many people run themselves in mental circles due to an ineffective understanding of their own thought process. Being consciously aware of your thoughts and why you are thinking them is a key step towards creating an accurate understanding of your reality.

48. Bless everything that happens – There are times throughout life when amazing things happen to us and other times when upsetting events take place. Just like accepting who you are is a great habit to get into, you should also learn to bless everything that happens in your life. No matter how bad an event, it has potential to make a positive impact on your life in the long run. Your ability to bless and appreciate, even what may be initially perceived as a worst case scenario, will ultimately provide you great conscious satisfaction.

49. Take time for internal reflection – In my opinion, taking time for internal reflection is the single most effective way to learn more about yourself and your current state of consciousness. Internal reflection will certainly help you better understand your thoughts, emotions, spirituality, and provide clarity in your current life situation. If you don’t currently take time to internally reflect, you could very well start up a 20 minute meditation routine each morning and observe the difference it quickly makes in your state of consciousness.

50. Focus on advancing consciously – In the process of conscious development, it’s important to focus exactly on what you are trying to accomplish: the act of becoming more conscious. During this process, it is important to tune out all unhealthy distractions such as: negative relationships, abuse, fighting, illicit drugs, etc. If you allow yourself to become distracted with unhealthy, unconscious habits, then act of advancing consciously will become a much more difficult or slower process than normal.

51. Be aware of your breathing – Being aware of your breathing means being fully conscious of your breathing pattern. Being aware of how you are breathing is important. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that there is actually a proper way to breathe. A way of breathing that is optimal for your body and brain. Proper breathing involves inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth upon every breath. The process of becoming more aware of my breathing through exercises like meditation and conscious breathing have significantly helped me increase my overall level of focus, emotional stability, and level of consciousness.

52. Spend more time with yourself – In the fast-paced lifestyle of the 21st century, it is very common for people to spend time with others, yet never take personal time to spend with themselves and focus on their own life. If you are an individual who is currently not taking enough time for yourself each day, try starting up a personal routine. Examples of ways that you could spend time with yourself, contributing positively to your own life include: taking time for internal reflection (meditation), letting yourself know how much you love yourself, going on a walk to listen to your own thoughts, giving gratitude for everything that you have in your life, or getting involved in a hobby that inspires you.

53. Listen more often than you speak – In this day in age, it seems as though there is always someone that wants to be the center of attention; conversations easily become viewed as egoistic competitions. While being the center of attention can feel great and can be a rewarding experience, it can become consciously dangerous to your consciousness if it is motivated by your ego. By practicing the act of listening more often than you speak, you can train yourself to be more consciously aware of others, while still holding the conscious ability to politely contribute to a conversation.

54. Muster up some courage – Being highly conscious means doing what you want to do, saying what you want to say, and living how you want to live at every moment. Somewhere along the path towards developing a highly conscious mindset, you will need to be courageous. Developing a sense of courage is an integral step, possibly a phase that may last several years, on your journey to become more conscious.

55. Always act with compassion – Having complete compassion for others is a direct result of becoming more conscious. Unfortunately, there are few people here on Earth that are honestly able to make the claim that they always act with complete compassion for others. Compassion meditation also allows you to learn how to shift your mental focus from any state into a perspective of pure love for others. As you may have already guessed, practicing compassion can be one of the single most powerful exercises for boosting your level of consciousness.

56. Improve your mental focus – Improving our mental focus helps us get a better understanding of reality and provides us with more inner clarity. As we enhance our level of focus and clarity, concepts that had previously seemed very difficult to understand become general knowledge. We get a better sense of understanding within ourselves and of the world around us. As your level of focus increases, so will your level of consciousness.

57. Think rationally and logically – Being able to think rationally and logically allows you to positively interact with your reality much easier than being irrational and illogical. In fact, being irrational and illogical will actually lower your current level of awareness. Rational thinking is a byproduct of a high functioning brain, particularly the high activity within your left-prefrontal cortex. One great way to increase your ability to rationalize is to strengthen your brain’s level of functioning by boosting your brain power.

58. Purify your body – One great way to become more conscious is to purify your body. You can help purify your body by going on a specific diet, by cutting certain substances from your diet, by decreasing stress and learning to deeply relax, by cutting certain substances from your diet, by sitting in a sauna to sweat out toxins, etc. While following a detox routine, be conscious of what you are doing to your body. Be fully aware that you should choose a detox routine that has been researched and proven effective in order to avoid risking bodily damage in the process. With that said, choosing to purify or cleanse your body can really work magic for your current level of consciousness.

59. Start a personal journal – Starting a personal journal or blog is a great time investment that will allow yourself to become more conscious of your: thoughts, feelings, actions, philosophies, beliefs, etc. Writing entries in a daily journal or on a personal blog can be extremely helpful in the process of understanding your current state of awareness. What is nice about keeping tabs on yourself is the fact that you can watch your progress as you undertake a conscious journey. No matter your strategy for keeping a journal, understand that keeping tabs on yourself and events in your life serves as a great way to develop a deeper sense of understanding, knowledge, and conscious awareness.

60. Make others laugh – Being funny and making others laugh is a great way to ease stress and create a more positive outlook in life for yourself and for others. Though you may not be an expert comedian, being able to make others laugh is extremely rewarding and satisfying. Making others laugh and smile shifts all attention away from pain and negative emotions, towards one of pure enjoyment and happiness. Jokes and the ability to laugh can really change your entire perspective from what may seem like a grim, serious situation, to a happier, more positive outlook.

61. Practice a religion – Practicing a religion is a phenomenal way to become a more conscious person. As you raise your current level of awareness, you will discover that there is really no best religion or Utopian religion to practice. What matters most in conscious advancement is getting a feel for what practices actually make you become more consciously aware. You need to personally determine what works best for you. One of the best ways to do this is via experimenting with many different religions.

62. Respect the beliefs of others – At no time is it loving or respectful to criticize the beliefs of others. No matter how consciously advanced another person is or isn’t, it is important to respect their thoughts and actions. When you try to force others to adopt your lifestyle, beliefs, and force them to become a more conscious human-being, you are indirectly expressing negative emotion towards that individual; you are getting your ego heavily involved. Forcing others to consciously change is not truly accepting them for who they are. If you feel like you should force others to raise their awareness, perhaps you need to raise your awareness some more! It is important to realize that everyone will have their time to advance consciously and will eventually reach the “top of the mountain” on their journey to their higher consciousness.

63. Ask questions about your life – Attempting to learn more about life each day is a great way to increase your overall knowledge base and a great way to become a more conscious person. Nobody “knows-it-all” in life, that’s why asking questions about life and about certain situations in life, will really help you out on your journey. The idea here is to learn as much about life as possible. This will allow you to make your lifestyle more conscious, your choices more conscious, your actions more conscious, and yourself a more knowledgeable person. If you don’t feel like asking others questions, a great way to learn more about life is to ask yourself internal questions. Often times we don’t realize that within ourselves, we hold the answer to every question about our life. Meditation is highly recommended as an exercise for learning more about our inner-self.

64. Understand that everything changes – Whether you realize it or not, everything and everyone is in a constant state of change. Change is undeniable and is happening to yourself and others as you are reading this. There is no way to prevent change, but there is a way to consciously control your change. Be the change that you want to see on this Earth and please: make it a positive, conscious one!

65. Realize that you are not alone – On your journey towards becoming a more conscious human being, it is important to realize that you are never alone in the process. Someone, somewhere is going through the same process and many have already gone through the process. There are likely many individuals that are more consciously advanced than you are: which is a good thing. Look to these individuals for guidance along the way. We can always look to more conscious individuals for personal guidance and advice in life.

66. Push your personal limits – Pushing your personal limits to become the best person that you can be is something that everyone should strive for. Pushing your personal limits is something that you can do in every area of your life: relationships, exercise, consciousness, spirituality, finances, etc. Pushing your personal limits in the areas that you feel most soulfully-connected with are the areas that you should probably put the most work into in order to feel the greatest sense of fulfillment.

67. Invest in yourself – When you make money, do you invest it in stocks? Have you ever thought of investing it in yourself – your purpose, vision, values, and goals? Besides money, we can also invest time in ourselves. In my opinion, investing time in yourself is one of the most effective ways to become more conscious. Investing time in yourself will allow you to discover your true purpose and become a more conscious human being.

68. Be open to exploring consciousness – There are many ways to be open to exploring your consciousness. Several methods to explore your consciousness include: brainwave entrainment, meditation, raising your consciousness, trying new activities, exploring spirituality, exploring different social groups, changing your environment (by traveling), trying neurofeedback, etc. If you don’t know of any healthy ways to expand your consciousness, start with the ones that I’ve listed. No need to unnecessarily kill your brain cells and lower your consciousness by using illicit drugs to “expand your mind…”

69. Develop a deep relationship – Developing deep, trustworthy relationships with other people are not only great for helping you to become more conscious, they are a great way to share love and joy with others. If you haven’t already done so, develop a deep, personal relationship with at least one individual. It could be a good friend, spouse, boyfriend / girlfriend, it could be a good therapist, it could be anyone that you feel is on-the-same-page as you in life, or at the same level of consciousness. Having another person to discuss your personal inner-thoughts with and share your turmoil, joy, and all other emotions with, will actually make you a happier, more conscious person.

70. Call upon your spirit guides – Everyone has spirit guides – whether they believe in them and want to communicate with them or not. Before we are born, we are assigned spirit guides to do just what their name implies: guide our spirit. They can often provide us with valuable advice and some forms of intuitive connection that most of us never imagined was possible. The best way to connect with them is to learn proper meditation. The job of spirit guides are to help guide your spirit in the right direction and they really want to connect with you to help you raise your consciousness. So consider learning ways to connect with them on a personal level, or finding an advanced spiritual seeker / psychic that knows about spirit guides and how to connect with them. It seems as though Erin Pavlina has gotten great reviews discussing her ability to help you connect with your guides. Though her readings are somewhat expensive, getting one could prove to be a great investment in order to accelerate your personal growth and conscious development.

71. Clear emotional blocks – Nearly everyone has some form of subconscious emotional blocks that they have suppressed within their subconscious. Emotional blocks can develop in childhood and can be forgotten by the time a person reaches adulthood. They can drain your conscious control over life if you don’t learn to properly release them. It is not advised to attempt to deal with very powerful emotional blocks or repressed traumatic memories by yourself. Consult a trained therapist or psychologist to help you work through your past powerful emotion. Realize that when you are able to work through your past emotional blocks, you naturally allow yourself to reach a higher state of consciousness.

72. Clear out subconscious “cobwebs” – What exactly are subconscious “cobwebs?” I refer to subconscious cobwebs as any unfulfilling: beliefs and emotions that have been carried around in your subconscious mind for too long. Many times, our subconscious mind is carrying around extra negative emotional baggage and limiting beliefs that need to be released or replaced. If you want to clear out your subconscious “cobwebs” and take conscious control of your subconscious mind, consider trying meditation. Meditation takes your consciousness to a deeper level and makes reprogramming your mind a much easier process.

73. Turn off the T.V. – Depending on your current level of consciousness, watching T.V. may actually be a good thing. For those individuals operating at an extremely low level of functioning, watching T.V. gives them hope, satisfaction, and a boost in consciousness. With that said, to permanently elevate your consciousness, it is recommended to refrain from watching T.V. If you think about the act of watching T.V., it doesn’t reflect your life’s purpose nor allow you to be fully productive. The time that you currently spend watching T.V. could be put to better use by allowing you to accomplish a personal goal, providing you with extra time for exercise, or even giving you time to boost your brain power!

74. Read a good book – Whether you enjoy reading fiction or non-fiction books (or both), reading books is a phenomenal way to help you boost your conscious brain power. Reading books provides you with knowledge, creativity, and allows you to fully expand your intellect. Reading books will also help you become a smarter person, with a mind that is full of new thoughts and ideas. The more credible information that you are able to read, the more information and knowledge your consciousness has to consciously create with.

75. Expand your creativity – There are many ways for us to expand our creativity and abilities to creatively think. Developing ways to creatively think not only boosts brain power, it boosts your consciousness. The use of brainstorming, creative visualization, Zen koans, and meditation have all been known to increase creative thinking skills. Creativity is an important trait to develop when dealing with your reality. Having creativity allows your mind to easily solve even the most difficult of problems. If your creative-side is currently lacking, think of ways to step-it-up a notch to reap the conscious benefits!

76. Develop strong people-skills – Developing strong people-skills will allow you to become more conscious in many different ways. Having strong people skills allows you to be comfortable expressing who you really are in any social situation. Without developing strong people skills, you may be stuck in a state of fear around others in social settings or even worse, you may feel completely uncomfortable expressing your true beliefs, values, and discussing your lifestyle in front of others. Cultivating a strong set of people-skills will allow you to become a more conscious individual and will allow you to share your love with others.

77. Allow yourself to be inspired – Allowing yourself to be inspired helps you to take passionate action. In order for us to be inspired, we usually need to have some sort of emotional connection. Maybe you are deeply inspired by a song that you recently heard on the radio, maybe you are inspired by Barack Obama, maybe you are inspired by Hilary Clinton, maybe you find Pablo Picasso’s artwork inspiring. Everyone is different and everyone is uniquely inspired by different things here on Earth. Inspiration can really work magic in your life if you let it. Taking actions based off of positive inspiration will ultimately guide your consciousness to a higher level of functioning.

78. Be courteous towards others – Being courteous to others is a great way to share love, positivity, and a great way to set a good example for others. Each time that you set an example, you have some influence onto others. Each time that you practice a healthy habit or put courteous actions on display for others to see, they will be much more inclined to follow suit. When you are able to be courteous to everyone that you meet, you are raising your consciousness through compassion.

79. Attend a spiritual retreat – There are many spiritual retreats and spiritual opportunities that can quickly boost your state of consciousness. Meditation retreats and gatherings with your religious group are two of many ways to raise your consciousness. The act of going to church is yet another form of attending a spiritual gathering. Going to an event like a Holosync retreat may also be a great way to connect with a fun, positive group of individuals that could prove to be lifelong friends. You will never truly know nor understand the possibilities of conscious transformation that a retreat has to offer until you actually make it a point to attend.

80. Form a mastermind group – Forming a mastermind group is a great way to help you become more conscious and complete your goals. To participate in a mastermind group, you must first gather up some trustworthy friends. Next, schedule times that your entire group will meet to discuss personal challenges, goals, accomplishments, etc. Meet with each other and discuss your goals. Be as positive and encouraging towards one another as possible. Offer suggestions and serve as a motivation for the rest of your group. Mastermind groups are a form of conscious, positive support that allows you to accomplish your goals much easier. And, social support (i.e. a positive group of friends) is always great to have when working to become more conscious. Do whatever you want with your group, have fun, be positive, and realize that you are raising your consciousness in the process!

81. Be a mediator – There are many situations that arise from negativity in this world. One way to break up these situations in a peaceful manner is to be a mediator. A mediator is a person that is able to resolve conflict between two parties and think of a peaceful solution to a problem that both conflicting parties agree upon. In the end, the best part about a mediation process is the satisfaction that you can derive from helping bring peace to the world. Helping others is a great way to create a true sense of happiness in your life. Anytime that you bring peace, the collective consciousness of humanity takes a step in a positive direction.

82. Build an accurate model of reality – Building an accurate model of reality is a great way to explore the endless possibilities that life has to offer. Gaining conscious control of your thoughts will aid you in the process of creating your reality. When you are able to take control of your focus, building an accurate model of reality becomes an easier task.

83. Be a leader – Being a positive leader is an awesome way to raise your level of consciousness and that of others. If you are able to become a leader who is able to influence large groups of people in a positive manner, you will naturally develop a lot of conscious power. Each person that supports your message, adds to your ability to share your purpose. If you haven’t thought about stepping up and becoming a leader in some way, now is the best time to start thinking about it!

84. Travel the world – Traveling the world most definitely has potential to change and expand your state of awareness. As you travel to different places, you are able to learn about unique: ways of life, ways of thinking, religions, customs, values, etc. This is why it is extremely common for huge changes in perception to occur. Traveling to many different parts of the world is one way of exploration that allows you to experience life on a larger scale.

85. Be empathetic – Advanced empathetic abilities can be cultivated by accessing the lower brainwave states: both the theta and delta brainwaves. Making a conscious effort to become a more empathetic person means trying to understand and relate to others and their emotions in as an effective method as possible. Being empathetic is a great way to spread love and compassion in the world. And spreading love and compassion are great ways to help you become a more conscious person!

86. Set goals and accomplish them – Setting positive goals and working to accomplish them is one of the single most effective ways to advance consciously, without even having the intention to advance consciously. For example: you may set the goal to exercise everyday for one month in order to improve your health. By setting and completing a goal like this, your main focus is improving your health, however, you are also indirectly improving your consciousness.

87. Try brainwave entrainment – Though brainwave entrainment seems like a new-agey, experimental technique, it is a great tool for advancing consciously that actually works. Not only does brainwave entrainment work well, it is an extremely effective way to develop a powerful brain and advanced state of consciousness. By practicing brainwave entrainment, your brain becomes more flexible in the process of shifting to various brainwave states. You can always give brainwave entrainment a trial and evaluate how effective it is at helping you advance consciously! Check out the software featured in my recommended products section and give one of those a trial run.

88. Try self-hypnosis – What many people do not realize is that the act of self-hypnosis is very helpful for achieving states of complete, controlled relaxation. During self-hypnosis you develop full, complete control of the beliefs that are implanted in your subconscious mind. Self-hypnosis relaxes your body and takes you into a state of highly-focused, deep relaxation. No matter whether you enjoy self-hypnosis or meditation more, they are both exercises that will allow you to elevate your consciousness. Give self-hypnosis a shot if you haven’t already – it is a perfectly safe, exercise that will benefit your consciousness greatly!

89. Develop your chakras – Learning to clear and cleanse your chakras could prove to be one of the single best investments that you’ve ever made for yourself. Chakras hold the key allowing you to tap into your higher-self and connect with energy from the Universe. Working directly with your chakras will help you become a more conscious person, making you more aware of your body’s energy centers and how they can affect your entire life.

90. Release your Kundalini energy – My definition of Kundalini: a (usually latent) energy force that is coiled at the base of our spine. We’ve all felt Kundalini from time to time during extremely emotional moments, when a certain song plays, or when we have a powerful experience. What does Kundalini feel like? Kundalini the energy that makes our spine tingle. We get goosebumps throughout our body and our entire spine tingles with emotional energy. Kundalini is a completely healthy and powerful method to advance consciously. It is not recommended to go into a Kundalini experience blindly, though. Do some research on “Kundalini energy” and consider working with a guru or a person who has been through the entire process if you hope to release your Kundalini energy.

91. Appreciate your surroundings – To further allow yourself to develop consciously, it is important to be appreciative and thankful for everything in your environment. Each day and every day, the little things that we may be taking for granted are often some of the most amazing forms of beauty. Simple things like the sunset, a field of flowers, or the face of our neighbors are all beautiful expressions that we may not be taking the time to appreciate. When we are able to realize that everything is connected and that we were truly meant to love and appreciate one-another, we naturally become inherently grateful for our surroundings and what the Earth has to offer – and thus, more conscious.

92. Bring new life to Earth – Each time that you are able to make a contribution to life here on Earth, you bring forth another brilliant expression of our universe. Each time that you bring human life, plant life, animal life, etc. here on Earth, it is something to be truly proud of. Ways that you could contribute to bringing life to this planet include: raising children, adopting a child, planting a flower, or raising an animal. The inner feelings that you may feel as a result of bringing forth new life are perfect for finding true happiness and taking yourself to the next conscious level.

93. Lead a flexible life – Flexibility is a key part of gymnastics… it also is a key part of life and the process of becoming more conscious as a human being. Leading an overly-structured life often becomes overwhelming and unpleasurable. You need to take time to appreciate the moments of spontaneity and spur-of-the-moment type events. Being flexible is a great attribute to cultivate in your life. Though learning to be flexible is just a small habit that will make you more conscious (by opening up your life to new opportunities), it is a highly important principle to implement into your life and reality.

94. Learn from “consciously advanced” individuals – More consciously advanced people have a lot to offer those who are less consciously advanced. They often provide us with great discoveries, insights, and guide our lives in a positive direction. If you happen to know someone that is at a higher cognitive level of functioning than yourself, spend some time with that individual. Ask them questions about their life, questions about your life, or any questions about life in general. See how these individuals feel about raising consciousness and how they can help you work to increase your conscious awareness.

95. Live a well-balanced life – Keeping a balanced life can be very difficult at times. However, keeping activities in proper balance is a great way to become more aware and involved in many areas of life. Make a conscious effort to focus your energy towards what inspires you most, but don’t forget to be flexible and take time for important people and activities like: friends, family, expression, and exercise. Being well-balanced with activities in life provides us with greater conscious satisfaction.

96. Consider taking health supplements – Supplements have long been known to help aid in mental processing and boost physical functioning. I personally have taken a multivitamin in combination with 3.6 grams of fish oil on a daily basis for almost 2 years straight. Overall, I feel that the combination has worked phenomenal for helping my physical functioning and mental processing. Always be open minded: consider taking supplements if you aren’t already. Do a personal experiment to see what supplements work best for you and how various supplements affect your consciousness. In the end, you may decide that all supplements are ineffective and that they were nothing more than placebos.

97. Celebrate your accomplishments – Celebrating your accomplishments is a form of self-praise and self-respect. When you value yourself and appreciate yourself, you are likely to celebrate your accomplishments – and actually have accomplishments to celebrate! Celebrating is a fun and rewarding activity to do to make yourself happier. It increases your levels of overall self-love and respect: both of which are key factors in the process of raising your consciousness.

98. Always have positive intentions – Positive intentions often arise from having a positive mindset. Having a positive mindset and forming the habit of holding good intentions is a great way to boost your level of conscious awareness. When you intend for positive events to happen in your life and always have positive expectations – your life will naturally attract positive people and will result in happiness.

99. Remind yourself of ways to become more conscious by re-reading this article.

http://collectivelyconscious.net/articles/99-ways-to-help-you-live-more-consciously-how-to-raise-your-vibration/

FOUNDATION AND FEMININITY: HEALING THE FIRST AND SECOND CHAKRAS

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Imagine for a moment that you feel completely healed. What does that feel like to you? Maybe you feel well, your reproductive system or other body parts functioning healthily. You may feel spiritually whole, filled with understanding and purpose. Or perhaps for you, feeling healed equates to emotional balance and ease.

As you focus your awareness on your personal healing, know in your heart that it is possible. During growth or crisis phases in life, healing takes courage and dedication as you sift through your feelings and sit with them. Oftentimes it requires outside assistance, a trusted companion to help you dig deep into the parts of you that need some attention.  Above all, it calls for gentleness with self and spirit.

Turning to the chakra system to help you find your way through your experiences can be a great first step. Let’s look at how the first and second chakras, known as the lower chakras, can bring healing awareness.

The Root Chakra

The first chakra, known as the Root Chakra or Muladhara in Sanskrit, spins from the base of the spine. It relates to procreation and Mother Earth as well as to birth, receiving unconditional love from your parents and the beginning of your life. Oftentimes it is described as the place where physical energy, instinct and vitality are born.  From the Root Chakra, your kundalini, or pure desire, rises.

Meditation on the first chakra can help you feel safe, secure, grounded and stable as you navigate the fertility journey. When you are rooted, you feel fully alive, joyful, curious and able to trust. This chakra teaches that all is one.

Working with this chakra allows you access to greater self-nourishment should you have healing to do from early childhood. When you spend time nurturing and supporting your inner child, your first chakra blooms.  Healing on this level also plants the seeds for the future. What you do now to heal yourself opens the way for your children to have fulfilling early experiences when they come into the world.

Being disconnected from Root Chakra energy can manifest as high levels of fear or stress, addictions, depression, obsessive disorders or an extreme need for control. Physically, this chakra relates to the spine, kidneys, adrenal glands, immune system, skeletal system and reproductive organs. Cold hands and feet, frequent urination, high-blood pressure, low back pain, difficulties in the feet, legs or hips, low sex drive, and infertility or impotence are common ailments associated with an unbalanced first chakra.

The Sacral Chakra

As the energy of the first chakra opens, it moves up to the lower abdomen two fingers below the navel to closely relate to Swadhisthana or the Sacral Chakra. The center for emotion, desire and passion, the second chakra brings creativity, empowerment, sincerity and sexual energy into your life. Its symbol is a crescent moon, representing femininity and the womb.

As you open awareness to Sacral Chakra energy, you begin to explore your true feminine nature. You embrace your compassionate and nurturing qualities; you trust your intuition. Creativity blossoms and your emotions feel in balance. Relationships, both casual and intimate, are satisfying. You experience and enjoy sensual sexual experiences. Your female reproductive organs function healthfully.

As a child, if you were unable to express your feelings, emotions or desires, your second chakra may need attention. Some characteristics of an unbalanced second chakra include fear of pleasure, being out of touch with your feelings, resistance to change, acting overly emotional or dramatic, sexual addiction or poor boundaries.

In her book Anatomy of the Spirit, The Seven Stages of Power and Healing (Three Rivers Press, 1996) author and medical intuitive Carolyn Myss, Ph.D., explains that many female health problems stem from second chakra issues. “Problems with menstruation, cramps and PMS are classic indications that she is in some kind of conflict with being a woman…,” writes Myss.  Problems with bleeding or irregular periods frequently occur due to emotional stress and the feeling that a woman doesn’t have control over her choices, she says.

Further, Myss’ writes that tubal problems and infertility are centered on a woman’s inner child. The flow of eggs, she writes, can be blocked because the woman’s inner being does not feel nurtured or mature enough to feel fertile.

The Journey

Opening awareness to the parts of you that may need healing attention can be difficult. Take small steps. Remember to treat yourself with gentle care and nurturing commitment. Honor yourself for where you are right now on your journey, and be well in knowing you are whole.

As you ground yourself and connect with your feminine energy, I encourage you to contact me for more information or to make an appointment for the Enhance the Blood massage session. This healing massage treatment focuses on opening circulatory pathways to bathe the reproductive organs in blood and bring regeneration and nourishment to your whole body.

I look forward to assisting you as you connect with the sacredness of your body. You may contact me at Cathleen@pullingdownthemoon.com.

http://www.pullingdownthemoon.com/blog/2011/march/foundation-and-femininity-healing-the-first-and-.aspx

THIS GIRL IS CRAZY AMAZING! Look into the X ray of an emptath’s mind, body and soul!

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I feel your pain: an empath’s guide to staying balanced

Do you often wonder which emotions are yours, and which belong to someone else? When people you care about are hurting, do you feel their pain so deeply that it’s hard to separate—even after they’re out of crisis mode? In relationships, do you donate so much of your own natural resources that you suffer from a chronic energy shortage? And with those you’re close to, is it hard to figure out what your own needs are—or even what you want for dinner? If the answer is yes, it’s highly likely that you’re an empath.

What does it mean to be an empath, and why is it fraught with these basic life challenges? Derived from the Greek “em” (in) and “pathos” (feeling), the term empathic means you’re able to “feel into” others’ feelings. But for empaths, this sensitivity is magnified to the nth degree. An empath is more tuned in, more empathic, and more sensitive to others than the average empathic person.

Being this tuned in, empathic, and sensitive is an asset, but it comes at great cost. Empaths are unusually vulnerable to emotional contagion, to “catching” others’ emotions in much the same way that you’d catch a cold or flu. But it doesn’t stop there: empaths get physically ill and suffer from anxiety, depression, chronic stress, professional burnout, and pain syndromes more often than their less empathic counterparts. And empaths often need lots of down time after social engagements, “recovery periods” at the end of a workday, or extended intervals of being alone. They can feel fundamentally different from others: As a conference-goer recently put it, “It’s like I’m an alien from another planet—no one understands me, and sometimes I don’t even get myself.” The empaths I work with often confess a deep-seated fear that this “alien thing” means something is wrong with them, that they’re somehow damaged.

As a clinical psychologist and yoga therapist, I’ve supervised psychotherapists, yoga teachers, and yoga practitioners for more than two decades—and a great many of them are empaths. I’ve helped them identify who they are and develop the skills to lead more balanced and healthy lives. And as a “recovering empath” myself, I’ve had to walk a parallel path. From this personal and professional immersion, I’ve found that it helps just to name the issue, to hammer a framework of understanding around it. And then, armed with tools from yoga, mindfulness, and psychology, we can work on balance. We can create a blueprint for physical well-being, emotional health, and more rewarding relationships.

Are you an empath? Here are five signs that you might be—and that your wonderful qualities, when left unchecked, can compromise your health.

THE EMPATH CHECKLIST:

1. You struggle with boundaries. It’s tough to know where you leave off and others begin, which experiences are yours and which come from others, when to open your channels for connection or to close them.

2. You’re often not in your body. For empaths, all that “feeling into” the experiences of others means that you dissociate: you leave your body or “shuttle” out of direct experience as a matter of course.

3. You’re vulnerable to emotional contagion. You absorb the emotions of others, from your boss and colleagues at work to your family and friends, and even the check-out guy at Whole Foods.

4. You’re prone to nervous system overdrive. It doesn’t take much—sometimes just a draining conversation or a party that’s loud and over-populated—to propel your nervous system into alarm mode.

5. You have trouble with intimacy. Your relationships are filled with intense bonding and equally intense separations. You can merge with others at the drop of a hat, but get so entangled that an “emotional exorcism” of someone you care about is often the only way to get your space.

Even when we’re aware of them, these patterns are hard to change. They’re wired into us deeply, at levels the conscious mind can’t reach. For that reason, to be a healthy empath requires daily practice. Here are the key issues and therapeutic practices that form the heart of the journey. The challenge is that much of the healing needs to happenthrough the body. And for empaths, the body can be a wasteland of sorts, a long-abandoned battleground.

Lest you think this is a “chick thing,” there are male empaths, too. It’s just that the process of natural selection draws empathic males underground more quickly than it does their female counterparts because sensitivity, empathy, and attunement to others are considered “feminine” traits. Male empaths can be ostracized for these qualities, and learn to bury them from sight. As a male empath in one of our therapeutics clinics recently said, “I take on other people’s experiences all the time. I have a huge amount of anxiety and depression, and it’s hard to know what’s mine and what’s someone else’s. But when I talk about it to my friends, they tell me to quit being ‘such a girl.’” Male empaths need the same kind of body-based support that female ones require.

RX FOR EMPATHS:

Empaths have an extraordinary capacity for union. They’re great in a crisis; people in need call forth their deepest abilities. They make gifted, intuitive healers. They see others deeply, well beyond the surface. And they have a magnetic quality that draws people to them. Yet flanking these positive aspects are several shadow sides. Here’s what you’ll want to focus on to help you live in a state of physical and emotional equilibrium.

1. Develop Boundaries. As an empath, you give too much space to others’ emotional lives. You solve their problems with ease and help them restore equilibrium, often at the expense of your own energy stores. But even when no one needs you, the habit of “trolling for crisis” means you’re always on alert, and makes it tough to return to the shores of your own awareness.

Empath Rx: Creating boundaries isn’t a matter of mental discipline, of “just say no.” When you’re an empath, limits need to be integrated into your physicality. The core body is your seat of power: What helps is a yoga practice that brings your focus into your deep, intrinsic core where you can develop “prana in the belly.” This four-pronged core body program includes awareness, strength, flexibility, and the capacity to release. Working with the core in this holistic way helps you ground back into your body and replenish your energy stores. Mindfulness tools can also help you monitor where—or on whom—you’re focused and notice when you’ve migrated into someone else’s direct experience.

2. Bring Awareness into Your Body. Imagine that you’ve left to visit a friend in another city and forgotten to lock your house. And that’s not all: You’ve left all the doors and windows wide open, so anyone can get in. This is what it’s like to be an empath. You can abandon your own home, your direct experience, in favor of someone else’s. The more you do this, the more difficult it is to return. What makes matters worse is that not inhabiting your body (and the moment) keeps the benefits of yoga and other mindfulness-based practices just beyond your reach.

Empath Rx: Offset this tendency toward dissociation with slow, mindful vinyasa yoga sequences that link movement with breath. Empaths can spend a whole yoga class or practice on auto-pilot: adding anchors for awareness will help bring you back to your body and to the present. Contemplative practices such as meditation and restorative yoga give you the time, space, and silence you need to get re-embodied again.

3. Balance Your Nervous System.

An empath’s environment is like “emotional satellite radio” with surround sound and hundreds of channels. Your nervous system surfs the dial constantly, flipping from station to station to listen to others’ emotional broadcasts: your boss’s complaints about work, your partner’s anxiety over a potential job loss, your best friend’s sadness about a breakup. These information-processing demands can catapult your nervous system into overdrive, which reinforces anxiety, depression, and chronic stress. On top of that, the incessant electronic requests of e-mail and social media can overload and exhaust you.

Empath RX:

Learn to notice the signs of nervous system overdrive, such as that inner sense of something always “humming” beneath the surface, an elevated heart rate, and increased emotional reactivity. Practice simple breathwork techniques like nasal breath (and if accessible, nasal breath with a longer exhale) to slow your heart and bring your nervous system back to baseline. Regular breaks from social media also help, as do practices that balance your nervous system and quiet your mind, like Restorative Yoga.

4. Learn to Regulate Intimacy.

For empaths, intimacy comes down to matters of space and reciprocity. You can feel like Dr. Doolittle’s Push-Me-Pull-You: Sometimes you crave intense emotional, physical, and spiritual bonding. At other times, you need so much space that having your own personal galaxy might feel too crowded. When you want to merge, you can threaten people who have a higher need for breathing room; when you need wide-open space, you can appear remote and withholding. And when it comes to reciprocity, you’re rarely comfortable on the receiving end. Your giving nature attracts narcissistic people who crave the mirroring and validation you offer. In the meantime, you’re able to create a fantasy in which the relationship lives up to its potential—and you inhabit that fantasy as though it were real. You learn to subsist on a diet of mere “emotional breadcrumbs,” and can suffer from malnourishment.

Empath Rx:

To build your ability to receive care from others, try bodywork or yoga therapy with someone you trust. You can also balance a personal yoga practice with group classes to strengthen your sense of community. If your job requires any degree of public exposure, or you work as a healer, you may need stretches of alone time to reestablish your equilibrium. Here again, mindfulness-based practices can help you notice feelings of being devoured and interrupt the cycle of merger and isolation before you reach the breaking point.

5. Develop emotional immunity.

Empaths pick up on other’s emotions and even their direct inner experience so rapidly that it’s hard to indentify what’s happened. As a result, a large part of your anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and immune issues can belong not to you, but to someone else. And just like your nervous system and physical body, your emotional body and immune system struggle with boundaries. They have difficulty discerning what’s you and what’s not. This leaves you vulnerable to emotional issues like anxiety, depression, and chronic stress, as well as auto-immune illnesses such as allergies, lupus, or fibromyalgia.

Empath Rx:

Practice interpersonal hygiene: using mindfulness, notice how you feel after spending time with others. You’ll soon learn which people are hazardous to your health, and you can limit your interactions with them. Also try lymph-stimulating asana sequences and Restorative Yoga to stimulate your capacity for constructive internal reflection.

THE EMPATH’S FILTER:

One of the more insidious consequences of Empath Syndrome is having a very thin, membranous emotional skin which reacts intensely to real or perceived invasion. This skin is allergic to a variety of foods, social settings, and other people—and on the inside, it mimics the auto-immune pattern of self-hatred. This exposes our nerve endings to all the shame, rage, and deep, existential grief inside us and in everyone around us. An offhand comment from a loved one, a request for help from someone when our resources are at a low ebb, or a harmless comment from that “weird guy” at the gym can get under our skin in microseconds. This sets off an alarm, and we immediately filter that person as either “dangerous” or “safe.” Long ago, that type of filtering was necessary for our survival but as we mature, it becomes less adaptive, even destructive. Because we doubt the strength of this filter (after all, it’s tough for us to set boundaries), we construct a narrative around the experience. Once we’ve developed a juicy story about the person who got under our skin, we repeat it. We pull for confirmation from others, as though having an army behind this filter will help it feel more like a fortress.

Having the armed forces behind us can feel comforting initially, but our actions only strengthen the sensitivity of the danger/safe filter. And since our narrative is rarely limited to one encounter, we practice it over time. Soon, it gains a brittle hardness. This outer shell protects us from injury (good), but also from intimacy with others and our deepest selves (not so good).

Often, the deepest (and hardest!) work happens long after the interaction is over, when our nervous system is back to balance and the temporary comfort our narrative gave us has dissipated. Our task is to go back to the filter, to our initial decision in the moment, and reevaluate. We can (this is so hard!) reconsider and re-examine the encounter from all angles, balancing the harsh light of hindsight with a healthy dose of self-compassion. We can even ask others for input—preferably those who don’t indulge our stories, and who want to see us grow.

Over time, we can acknowledge where our filters make errors or blind us. We can change their sensitivity settings to be more open. We can acknowledge where they make errors or may blind us. Then we’ve got something to grown on. The challenging part: Empaths have a really tough time changing this filter because it feels so necessary for safety. What’s more, adjusting the settings actually stretches our “emotional skin.” This expansion is uncomfortable: It can feel in some ways like a “little death” and it can jolt the nervous system into caffeinated overdrive. This is when the quieter aspects of yoga and mindfulness like Restorative Yoga can help promote constructive internal reflection, and help us assimilate the changes we’ve made to our filter. I’ve been in this place many times and experienced the struggle myself. And while our asana practice helps us be more embodied, this epic battle with our filter is carried out on the very plains of engagement where mindfulness and yoga try so hard to lead us.

IT’S LIKE A TATTOO:

Empaths often ask me, with great sincerity, “How do I get rid of this?” Their poignant request reflects the cost they pay, in time and effort, to achieve a measure of balance. But being an empath is like having a tattoo: the imprint is there for life, no matter what you may do to change it. These practices aren’t a time-limited, do-it-for-three-months-and-all-will-be-well kind of program. Rather, they’re a lifelong journey of self-discovery. But it needn’t be a life sentence. Having a daily empath-balancing practice improves our relationship with ourselves. It juices our creative process. It improves emotional regulation. It deepens our work life, and enhances our physical health.

Empaths need community, a tribe of our own to belong to, and a shared language through which we can first unload the burden of being built as we are. Yet once we’ve ingested this sense of belonging, our task is to resist the temptation to rest there forever, and cultivate instead both personal and shared practices that bolster our body, calm our mind, and help us ground into and explore ourselves. We do this first in shallow waters and then in time, the deep.

It may seem that transformation is about transcendence: that we somehow leave behind our flaws to achieve a measure of spiritual perfection. Yet true spiritual evolution and emotional health entail a reckoning with and even valuing of the unique set of challenges we’ve been given. Sometimes the holes in our evolution—the very things that we lack—plait a deep thread of awareness into the fabric of our self-study. We’ll spend the rest of our lives unraveling that thread, and weaving and reweaving it. And there’s a measure of honor that comes from having to work so hard at the skills that others seem to master so naturally.

And the reward for all this hard work of integration? There will come an extended moment in time when something or someone will activate your nervous system, stimulate your filter and the narrative that comes with it, and tie you in emotional knots. But this time, you’ll recognize it as it happens. You’ll be able to enter a dialogue. You’ll say to yourself something like, “Oh- here it is again—it’s happening! This person has bumped right up against my need to feel special,” or whatever it is they’ve activated. You’ll notice the signs of activation: elevated heart rate, difficulty breathing, intense emotional reactivity, and an immediate gravitational pull toward a difficult story. “They must not care about me at all,” you’ll start to think. Then suddenly, you’ll remember to feel where that activation is concentrated in your body: often, for empaths, it’s the upper core or solar plexus area. You’ll bring your hands to that area and breathe deeply into it for several minutes. And if it’s still highly engaged, you’ll opt to practice a little longer until you hit your “reset button.”

And all at once, you’ll feel the deep worth of daily empath practices. You’ll find a simultaneous sense of yielding and resilience. You’ll feel a beautiful solidity, as though you’ve colored in your outlines. You’ll discover a newfound sense of your own intrinsic value in the world. And this will be matched by the joy that comes bubbling up from the wellspring of your body.

Being an empath asks us to become fluent in the field of paradox, to metabolize opposing concepts and challenges. How can we engage in rich relationship with others and the world around us, for instance, while finding the silence and space to discover the self and world inside us? How do we find balance between matter and spirit, inner awareness and outer focus, or self and other? And how might we engage in the dynamic interchange between the concept of evolution—which hints at a future self—and the self we are right here, right now?

It may be later in life by the time we truly blossom, but the time, patience, and inner work are well worth the effort. When we learn to regulate our nervous system, create healthy boundaries in our body, and adjust the filter through which we evaluate direct experience, we become truly resilient. And instead of making ourselves small to fit the world around us, to find a tribe where we belong, we learn to blossom on our own. This blossoming draws others to us. And an empath in full flower is an extraordinary thing to witness: vulnerable yet resilient, intuitive yet grounded, and deeply creative, expressive, and magnetic—but with a fully functioning sense of where and how these qualities balance.

Dear Empaths, thank you for your deeply impassioned response to this article! Out of respect for the porousness of your fellow empaths, please balance your sharing of your story with discernment about how the quantity and nature of what you’re sharing. We reserve the right to edit posts, or to not post responses that might cause others to be overwhelmed when reading. However, we do read each and every post. We thank you for taking the time to comment. Please know that you have a Tribe of people to whom you belong. Not only that, there are ways (and this article mentions several) to balance your empath qualities and live a life of balance, boundaries, and meaning.

For specific tools, please reread the “Rx” sections above for ideas. You can also explore our book Yoga for Emotional Balance. And please stay tuned to the Online Courses link on this site; we’ll have a “Yoga for Empaths” course coming out later this year that’s a labor of love to all of you, our Empath Tribe. Peace and blessings,

http://boforbes.com/yoga-practice-lab/blog/feel-pain-empaths-guide-staying-balanced/

How to Let Go and Forgive

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We’ve all been hurt by another person at some time or another — we were treated badly, trust was broken, hearts were hurt.

And while this pain is normal, sometimes that pain lingers for too long. We relive the pain over and over, and have a hard time letting go.

This causes problems. It not only causes us to be unhappy, but can strain or ruin relationships, distract us from work and family and other important things, make us reluctant to open up to new things and people. We get trapped in a cycle of anger and hurt, and miss out on the beauty of life as it happens.

We need to learn to let go. We need to be able to forgive, so we can move on and be happy.

This is something I learned the hard way — after years of holding onto anger at a loved one that stemmed from my childhood and teen-age years, I finally let go of this anger (about 8 years ago or so). I forgave, and not only has it improved my relationship with this loved one tremendously, it has also helped me to be happier.

Forgiveness can change your life.

Forgiveness does not mean you erase the past, or forget what has happened. It doesn’t even mean the other person will change his behavior — you cannot control that. All it means is that you are letting go of the anger and pain, and moving on to a better place.

It’s not easy. But you can learn to do it.

If you’re holding onto pain, reliving it, and can’t let go and forgive, read on for some things I’ve learned.

1. Commit to letting go. You aren’t going to do it in a second or maybe not even in a day. It can take time to get over something. So commit to changing, because you recognize that the pain is hurting you.

2. Think about the pros and cons. What problems does this pain cause you? Does it affect your relationship with this person? With others? Does it affect work or family? Does it stop you from pursuing your dreams, or becoming a better person? Does it cause you unhappiness? Think of all these problems, and realize you need to change. Then think of the benefits of forgiveness — how it will make you happier, free you from the past and the pain, improve things with your relationships and life in general.

3. Realize you have a choice. You cannot control the actions of others, and shouldn’t try. But you can control not only your actions, but your thoughts. You can stop reliving the hurt, and can choose to move on. You have this power. You just need to learn how to exercise it.

4. Empathize. Try this: put yourself in that person’s shoes. Try to understand why the person did what he did. Start from the assumption that the person isn’t a bad person, but just did something wrong. What could he have been thinking, what could have happened to him in the past to make him do what he did? What could he have felt as he did it, and what did he feel afterward? How does he feel now? You aren’t saying what he did is right, but are instead trying to understand and empathize.

5. Understand your responsibility. Try to figure out how you could have been partially responsible for what happened. What could you have done to prevent it, and how can you prevent it from happening next time? This isn’t to say you’re taking all the blame, or taking responsibility away from the other person, but to realize that we are not victims but participants in life.

6. Focus on the present. Now that you’ve reflected on the past, realize that the past is over. It isn’t happening anymore, except in your mind. And that causes problems — unhappiness and stress. Instead, bring your focus back to the present moment. What are you doing now? What joy can you find in what is happening right now? Find the joy in life now, as it happens, and stop reliving the past. Btw, you will inevitably start thinking about the past, but just acknowledge that, and gently bring yourself back to the present moment.

7. Allow peace to enter your life. As you focus on the present, try focusing on your breathing. Imagine each breath going out is the pain and the past, being released from your body and mind. And imagine each breath coming in is peace, entering you and filling you up. Release the pain and the past. Let peace enter your life. And go forward, thinking no longer of the past, but of peace and the present.

8. Feel compassion. Finally, forgive the person and realize that in forgiveness, you are allowing yourself to be happy and move on. Feel empathy for the person and wish happiness on them. Let love for them, and life in general, grow in your heart. It may take time, but if you’re stuck on this point, repeat some of the ones above until you can get here.

How To Keep Her.

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You have her attention and now she has yours.

You’re falling in love with her (yes, that’s what’s happening) and you sense a change.

You know she’s deciding if she’s going to continue to water this garden, or move on. You know she’s going to tell you soon because that’s how she is.

You suddenly feel the need to say or do something—but what?

The question running through your mind is: How can I keep her in my life?

If you’re the right one, the answer is simple. If not, the answer is: You can’t.

~

1. Make your personal growth your utmost priority.

She is a whole person and wants another whole person. She will not be your better half, your quarter, or even your third. She needs someone who has worked on themselves. That means you’ve done more than read a few “self-help” books. You’ve delved into your childhood in painstaking detail during counseling. You know what it means to ease into the discomfort. And because you’ve done all this work, you have compassion for yourself, which means you’ll have compassion for her. (And others, but it really is all about her at the moment.)

2. Understand that emotional intimacy is as important as physical intimacy.

Don’t get me wrong, when you’re together, she wants you to touch her. Often. Hug, kiss, caress, and massage her, in the kitchen, on the porch, in the car, everywhere. Hold her hand. Come up behind her when she least expects it and put your arms around her and kiss her neck gently.

But just as important, call and text her. Send her emails and pictures. Share your life with her and respond when she shares hers. Have long conversations with her over dinner, by the fire, or as you take a stroll or sit on a park bench. Your lives should intertwine as much as your bodies. Don’t barrage her with messages or smother her; she needs space and has to attend to matters outside of you, but she wants to know you care about more than her skin. It will make her feel wanted.

You need to connect deeply with her—on all levels.

3. Accept her for who she is.

Seek to know her innermost being and accept her in her many forms. Don’t criticize or try to change her, but kindly help her grow. Don’t expect her to lower her expectations. They may be high, but they are realistic. She will be erratically spontaneous, but she will plan for every imaginable outcome at the same time. She will be that balance of practical and so f*cking not. She will know sometimes exactly what she wants or doesn’t want, and sometimes she’ll be clueless and want you to make the call.

Roll with her. She’ll do the same for you.

4. Be open with her. If you want to be with her, be with her.

If you want to do something together, tell her. That doesn’t mean she’ll agree, but don’t pussyfoot. Tell her how you’re feeling. Be assertive, and for the love of everything holy, don’t be passive-aggressive. She doesn’t have time for that shit. Don’t be overly cautious. She’s not a porcelain doll and relationships need to learn to bend without breaking. She needs transparency from you.
So if you want to keep her in your life, at least to explore this thing further, ask yourself:

Is growth my priority? If not, can I make it so? (If yes…)

Am I willing to work on that physical and emotional connection? (If yes…)

Do I like who she really is, not who I think she is or want her to be? (If yes…)

Then tell her.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/10/how-to-keep-her/

WAYS TO BE A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR

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On a spiritual path, some of us are often confronted by difficult experiences which seek to awaken the warrior spirit within us. A peaceful warrior who stands up for a cause which affects more than oneself and acts from a place of awareness of the true self. According to the Random House Dictionary, the term “warrior” has two meanings. The first refers to “a man engaged or experienced in warfare.” The second refers to “a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics.” The term “warrior” is often associated with images of power, confidence, accomplishment, integrity, chivalry, honor and integrity.

Given the darker, survival driven side of human nature, it has and still is common practice for some individuals, tribes, cultures, corporations and nations to use raiding, theft, looting and plunder as a means of gaining wealth, power or even survival. It is also intrinsically true that those from whom they take do not give voluntarily. Thus, some cultures have a warrior class that act as raiders while others have a warrior class that acts as defenders or protectors. In fact, the warrior class often serves both roles, sort of like taking turns. It may, in some cases, even become a sport of sorts even developing an ad-hoc set of rules. Regardless, the strongest and boldest warriors are generally admired and enjoy an assortment of privileges within their own group.

In our culture we think of medieval knights as generally being honorable and noble (except for the black knight, of course). The truth is somewhat less romantic.

“We have ravaged women, burned houses, slain children, exacted ransom from everyone, eaten their cows, oxen, sheep, stolen their geese, pigs, capons, drunk their wines, violated churches……..For God’s sake, let us march on the pagans!” — Bertrand Du Guesclin- Legendary Fourteenth Century Knight

Regardless of the moral or political correctness of a warrior; all warriors have a few basic things in common:

They are disciplined, both internally and externally. Without discipline, they could not stay alive long enough to call themselves a warrior.

They develop mental focus. No one can develop essential skills of dealing with life, protecting one’s self or facing a foreboding opponent with an unfocused mind.

They develop an attitude of persistence. They have to face difficulty, pain, discomfort, discouragement, fear and the prospect of failure and utter doom without quitting. All struggle and conflict is settled in the mind before it reaches a physical resolution. If their resolve wavers, failure and defeat are certain.

They train. Imagine that you found yourself in a gunfight and to your surprise, the clips in your gear don’t fit your gun. Do you say, “Uh.. Excuse me! .. Uh.. Can we have a time out? I brought the wrong bullets!” Or, imagine that you are facing a warrior with steel in his eyes and his sword coming your way. Do you pause and think, “Uh.. let’s see … which hand do I hold the sword in … and … uh … which end of the shield is up?” If you don’t train, you don’t develop the skills that you need to survive … and you die!

All of these traits apply to the Spiritual warrior as well … and for the same reason.There is a difference between a warrior and a soldier. A soldier is trained to follow orders, to respect authority, and to subjugate their individual thinking process and will to the command hierarchy. A warrior, in contrast, is more autonomous and independent. A warrior engages in battle out of personal choice rather than because of obedience to orders. A warrior is capable of making moral judgments and acting accordingly. A warrior is flexible and adaptable; able to act independently as well as be a team player. A warrior takes responsibility for his or her choices and actions. A warrior is a person of compassion who understands pain and the consequences of action. A warrior understands the horror of war and does not seek it. A warrior understands that glory is only for fools who bask in their own illusions. A warrior, however, when engaged in a righteous cause, fights with such skill, passion, intensity, and brilliance that victory is assured.

Victory and defeat are a matter of Spirit more than of body. One is never defeated as long as his Spirit is not defeated or broken. When a warrior falls in battle without surrendering or giving up, his Spirit grows stronger. When a warrior survives the battle without surrendering or giving up, his Spirit grows stronger. Of course, most warriors prefer surviving.

War is a terrible wasteful folly in which there are no true winners. War brings out the best and worst in all of the players. The only ones who can be said to be winners are those who have strengthened their Spirits by overcoming adversity through will, sacrifice, and self awareness. Those who find courage in the face of extreme danger can be said to be winners. Those who face impossible situations and survive through the supreme application of will, keen focus, and Divine inspiration can be said to be winners.

Many are damaged by trauma. They lose parts of themselves by compromising their principles and morals or by facing situations too terrible to be acceptable or through fear. War is very messy and often morally ambiguous. The winners and the damaged often turn out to be the same people. A few rare individuals, through training, accomplishment and enlightenment develop the inner strength to face danger and horror without becoming damaged, cynical or crazy. These few have earned the right to be called warriors.

The term “Spiritual warrior” has been used in a variety of contexts and has been adopted by a variety of individuals who may not share a common understanding of the term. In general, a “Spiritual warrior” is someone who embraces the more noble personal attributes and strengths associated with warriors in general. In general, a “Spiritual warrior” is someone who masters him or herself, and overcomes personal desire, moral issues, and all weaknesses of character. In general, a “Spiritual warrior” is someone who embraces a journey of self discovery in order to benefit others as well as enlighten him or herself.

Some martial arts traditions maintain a system of ethics and honor and pursue a path of self mastery. Others emphasize combat, competition and fighting. Being a fighter does not make one a Spiritual warrior.

Some military organizations have a creed of honor and service as their core guiding principles. In the fog of actual warfare these may become lost, ignored or forgotten. Being a soldier does not make one a Spiritual warrior.

Being a Spiritual warrior has nothing to do with physical battle, making war, fighting or being mean and tough. The battle of the Spiritual warrior is the mastery of one’s self.

Being a “Spiritual warrior” means a life commitment. It means the embrace of discipline, study and long intense training sometimes at the sacrifice of comfort and convenience. Being a Spiritual warrior also means understanding your principles and not compromising them. It is easier said than done.

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                                                           Awareness of the Spiritual Warrior

The first and most vital tool of the spiritual warrior is awareness. It is easy to we think we are aware, but pure awareness has no thinking involved. It has no thinking because it has no interpretation. Awareness is to perceive with clarity the truth of what is happening without interpretation or opinion. In a moment of awareness the dialogue in the mind stops. We are “seeing” from a point or view separate from the reasoning part of our mind. This could be described as an epiphany. Practiced seer’s live in this awareness in every moment.

Awareness is essential because it is the state of consciousness that allows us to discern between the facts and the Truth, and between the story and the lies in our mind. The realm of our mind is filled with false perceptions and false beliefs. While the mind can be very clever with stories and lies, it is the consciousness of awareness that is the discerning intelligence. We may use very intelligent reasoning to make a decision that is not good for ourselves. Only to look at it in hindsight and realize that we discounted indicators that told us otherwise. This can be done in something as simple as a stock investment. The mind is clever, but it is also full of assumptions and limited paradigms of perception. Conscious awareness allows us to see clearly instead of be blinded by these false belief paradigms.

Self awareness is the clarity to know who and what you are, and not get caught up in self important images of ourselves. These self important images in our mind distort our sense of who we are. False images can lead us to low self esteem and self confidence, or they can take us into being self centered. If you have an idea of who you are, then consider that you are not that idea in your mind. You are the one creating the idea, and observing it. Self awareness that you are not any of those images in your mind is essential to becoming free of self importance.

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                                                       Courage of the Spiritual Warrior

The courage that makes for a good soldier also makes for a good Spiritual Warrior, but the intent becomes completely different. A soldier has courage to face a challenge that may bring physical harm. The Spiritual warrior has the courage to question challenge his or her own beliefs. By challenging our own beliefs we can dissolve the lies that cause our suffering. To challenge our own beliefs requires courage because it means the end of our illusion of safety. When other people challenge our own beliefs we are usually quick to defend. We defend them even if they cause us to suffer. As a warrior we learn not to defend what we believe, and then to challenge those very beliefs ourselves. In this way we are able to sort out the truth from illusions.

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                                                          Discipline of the Spiritual Warrior

A soldier has discipline to follow orders and continues on when faced with challenges. The Spiritual Warrior’s discipline to continue on with their path when faced with challenges from their mind. It is easier to follow orders as a soldier, because we are threatened with consequences and rewarded to motivate us. This is in line with our years of conditioning. A warrior must have the discipline to practice deal with their own mind without someone else providing the motivation with carrots or sticks. A warrior must exercise their own will at the command of their heart, not an outside authority figure. This often means going against the fearful opinions in our mind that tempt us with illusions of punishment and rewards. We must also have the discipline to follow our own heart even when tempted by another person’s opinion. This way of living requires disciplined practice.

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                                                      The Love of the Spiritual Warrior

A soldier has a commitment to love his/her country. The Spiritual warrior must have the commitment to love him/her self. The warrior then extends that love to humanity. The commitment is required because in our journey we will certainly fumble and fall many times. It is in having a strong commitment that we get back up again. It is common to fall to judgment. It can be easy to love some people, particularly the people that like us or treat us well. However, it requires a tremendous commitment to love in the face of those that reject us. This commitment will cause us to challenge our beliefs about our judgments and not being compassionate. We must be committed to love beyond our own self-serving interests of what it will bring us. This is how we will become happy beyond our current paradigm of beliefs. In time we become committed to love for the sheer enjoyment of expressing love. This becomes our commitment. We nourish ourselves with the love we express. A warrior acts in this committed way, even when challenged.

Only as a [spiritual] warrior can one withstand the path of knowledge. A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges. The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.” – Don Juan

http://www.psychedelicadventure.net/search?q=spiritual+warrior

Invinsible Lion of the self- Paramahansa Yogananda

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A cub of the Divine Lion, somehow I found myself confined in a sheepfold of frailties and limitations. Fear-filled, living long with sheep, day after day I bleated. I forgot my affrighting bellow that banishes all enemy sorrows.

O invincible Lion of the Self! Thou didst drag me to the water hole of meditation, saying: ‘Thou art a lion, not a sheep! Open thine eyes, and roar!’

After Thy hard shakings of spiritual urge, I gazed into the crystal pool of peace. Lo, I saw my face like unto Thine!

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I know now that I am a lion of cosmic power. Bleating no more, I shake the error forest with reverberations of Thine almighty voice. In divine freedom I bound through the jungle of earthly delusions, devouring the little creatures of vexing worries and timidities, and the wild hyenas of disbelief.

O Lion of Liberation, ever send through me Thy roar of all-conquering courage!

~ Paramahansa Yogananda (Whispers from Eternity)

http://www.psychedelicadventure.net/2011/06/invincible-lion-of-self-paramahansa.html