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Elevation: We Are Wired to be Inspired

elevation - woman helps elderly manBy Jonathan Haidt | greatergood.berkeley.edu

Ever feel a thrill when you see someone act with courage or compassion? Psychologist Jonathan Haidt calls that feeling “elevation,” and his studies of it may provide a key to understanding what inspires people to do good.

Here’s a puzzle: why do we care when a stranger does a good deed for another stranger? Most theories in the social sciences say that people’s actions and feelings are motivated by self-interest. So why are we sometimes moved to tears by the good deeds or heroic actions of others?

I believe we cannot have a full under­standing of human morality until we can explain why and how human beings are so powerfully affected by the sight of a stranger helping another stranger. For the past several years I have studied this feeling, which I call “elevation.” I have defined elevation as a warm, uplifting feeling that people experience when they see unexpected acts of human good­ness, kindness, courage, or compassion. It makes a person want to help others and to become a better person himself or herself.

Elevation is widely known across cultures and historical eras. You prob­ably recognize it yourself. But for some reason no psychologist has studied it empirically. Instead, psychologists have focused most of their energies on the negative moral emotions, especially guilt and anger. Psychologists have thought about morality primarily as a system of rules that prevents people from hurting each other and taking their possessions.

But I believe that morality is much richer and more balanced. Most people don’t want to rape, steal, and kill. What they really want is to live in a moral community where people treat each other well, and in which they can satisfy their needs for love, productive work, and a sense of belonging to groups of which they are proud. We get a visceral sense that we do not live in such a moral world when we see people behave in petty, cruel, or selfish ways. But when we see a stranger perform a simple act of kindness for another stranger, it gives us a thrilling sense that maybe we do live in such a world. The fact that we can be so responsive to the good deeds of others—even when we do not benefit directly—is a very important facet of human nature. Yes, people can be terribly cruel, and we must continue our study of racism, violence, and other social ills. But there is a brighter side to human nature, too, and psychol­ogy ought to look more closely at it.

Beyond disgust

I started examining elevation only after years of studying its opposite: disgust. It makes good evolutionary sense that human beings should have an emotion that makes us feel repulsion toward rotten food, excrement, dead bodies, and other physical objects that are full of danger­ous bacteria and parasites. It also makes sense that disgust should make us hyper­sensitive to contagion—that is, we feel disgust toward anything that touched something that we find disgusting.

But when my colleagues and I actually asked people in several countries to list the things they thought were disgusting, we repeatedly found that most people men­tioned social offenses, such as hypocrisy, racism, cruelty, and betrayal. How on earth did a food-based and very corporeal emotion become a social and moral emotion? The short version of our attempt at an answer is that while disgust may motivate people to distance themselves from physical threats, it is well-suited for dealing with social threats as well. When we find social actions disgusting, they indicate to us that the person who commit­ted them is in some way morally defective. In this light, we seem to place human actions on a vertical dimension that runs from our conception of absolute good (God) above, to absolute evil (the Devil) below. This vertical dimension is found in many cultures—for example, in Hindu and Buddhist ideas that people are reincarnated at higher or lower levels depending on their moral behavior in this life.

Social disgust can then be understood as the emotional reaction people have to witness­ing others moving “down,” or exhibiting their lower, baser, less God-like nature. Human beings feel revolted by moral depravity, and this revulsion is akin to the revulsion they feel toward rotten food and cockroaches. In this way, dis­gust helps us form groups, reject devi­ants, and build a moral community.

I thought about the social nature of dis­gust in this way for years, and about what exactly it means when someone moves “down” on the vertical dimension from good to evil. But then, one day in 1997, I looked up. I had never thought about what emotion we feel when we see someone move higher on the vertical dimension, acting in an honorable or saintly way. But once I began to investigate, I saw a whole new emotional response triggered by virtu­ous, pure, or super-human behavior. I called this emotion “elevation” because seeing other people rise on the vertical dimension toward goodness seems to make people feel higher on it themselves. Once I began looking for elevation, I found it easily. I saw that most people recognize descrip­tions of it, and the popular press and Oprah Winfrey talk about it (as being touched, moved, or inspired). Yet research psycholo­gists had almost nothing to say about it.

I have now done several experiments on elevation, and here is what I have learned.

Studying elevation

First, my students and I asked people to write in detail about five kinds of situa­tions that we thought seemed likely to produce different kinds of positive emo­tions, including happiness and elevation. We then asked specific questions about their bodily changes, thoughts, actions, and motivations in these different situations. In the ques­tion that was supposed to prompt people to share their experiences of elevation, we asked participants to write about “a specific time when you saw a manifestation of humanity’s ‘higher’ or ‘better’ nature.” The stories told in response were often moving and beautiful.

The most commonly cited circum­stances that caused elevation involved seeing someone else give help or aid to a person who was poor or sick or stranded in a difficult situation. A par­ticularly powerful and detailed case captures the flavor of these situations:

Myself and three guys from my church were going home from vol­unteering our services at the Salva­tion Army that morning. It had been snowing since the night before, and the snow was a thick blanket on the ground. As we were driving through a neighborhood near where I lived, I saw an elderly woman with a shovel in her driveway. I did not think much of it when one of the guys in the back asked the driver to let him off here. The driver had not been paying much attention so he ended up circling back around towards the lady’s home. I had assumed that this guy just wanted to save the driver some effort and walk the short distance to his home (although I was clueless as to where he lived). But when I saw him jump out of the back seat and approach the lady, my mouth dropped in shock as I realized that he was offering to shovel her walk for her.

When participants saw unexpected acts of goodness like this one, they commonly described themselves as being surprised, stunned, and emotionally moved. Their descriptions imply that under the surface, they were changing their views about humanity in a more optimistic way and triggering higher goals for themselves. When asked, “Did the feeling give you any inclination toward doing something?” the most common response was to describe general desires to help others and to become a better person. Several par­ticipants described the kind of openness and urge to be playful that psychologist Barbara Fredrickson has ascribed to joy. The woman who wrote about the snow-shoveling episode above also wrote,

I felt like jumping out of the car and hugging this guy. I felt like singing and running, or skipping and laugh­ing. Just being active. I felt like saying nice things about people. Writing a beautiful poem or love song. Play­ing in the snow like a child. Tell­ing everybody about his deed.

A common theme in most of the narra­tives is a social focus—a desire to be with, love, and help other people. The effects of these feelings appear to have poten­tially life-altering effects. One participant described how moved he was when so many people came to visit and support his family while his grandfather was dying. He said he still had those feelings seven years later, and that those feelings helped inspire his decision to become a doctor. Feelings of elevation seem particularly capable of fostering love, admiration, and a desire for closer affiliation with the doer of the good deed. The woman in the snow-shoveling incident wrote,

My spirit was lifted even higher than it already was. I was joyous, happy, smiling, energized. I went home and gushed about it to my suite-mates, who clutched at their hearts. And, although I have never seen this guy as more than just a friend, I felt a hint of romantic feeling for him at this moment.

Love and a desire for affilia­tion appear to be a common human response to witnessing saints and saintly deeds, or even to hearing about them second hand. If disgust is a negative emotion that strengthens ego bound­aries and defenses against a morally reprehensible other, then elevation is its opposite—a desire to associate with those who are morally admirable.

A second study confirmed this gen­eral portrait of elevation. This second study induced elevation in a laboratory by showing one group of participants video clips from a documentary about Mother Teresa. Control groups saw other videos, including an emotion­ally neutral but interesting documen­tary, and a comedy sequence from the television show America’s Funniest Home Videos. Compared to participants who watched the control videos, partici­pants who watched the elevating video clip reported feeling more loving and inspired, they more strongly wanted to help and affiliate with others, and they were more likely to actually volunteer to work at a humanitarian charity organization afterwards.

In both studies, we found that participants in the elevation conditions reported different patterns of physical feelings and motivations when com­pared to participants in the control conditions. Elevated participants were more likely to report physical feelings in their chests—especially warm, pleas­ant, or “tingling” feelings—and they were more likely to report wanting to help others, become better people themselves, and affiliate with others. In both studies, reported feelings of happiness energized people to engage in private or self-interested pursuits, while feelings of elevation seemed to open people up and turn their atten­tion outwards, toward other people.

Based on this research, I believe elevation carries many benefits, includ­ing individual benefits like the energy and playfulness of the woman in the above example. However, elevation is particularly interesting because of its social benefits—its power to spread, which could improve entire communi­ties. If frequent bad deeds trigger social disgust, cynicism, and hostility toward one’s peers, then frequent good deeds may have a type of social undoing effect, raising the level of compassion, love, and harmony in an entire society. Efforts to promote and publicize altruism may therefore have widespread and cost-effective results. I am now looking into the possibility that elevation can be used in moral education programs, inspir­ing young people in ways that more traditional teaching techniques cannot.

Getting elevated

It is a surprising and very beautiful fact about our species that each of us can be moved to tears by the sight of a stranger helping another stranger. It is an even more beautiful fact that these feelings sometimes inspire us to change our own behavior, values, and goals. Narratives of the lives of Jesus, Buddha, Mother Teresa, and other inspiring figures are full of stories of people who, upon meeting the saintly figure, dropped their former materialistic pursuits and devoted themselves to advancing the mission of the one who elevated them.

Indeed, a hallmark of elevation is that, like disgust, it is contagious. When an elevation story is told well, it elevates those who hear it. Powerful moments of elevation, whether experienced first or second hand, sometimes seem to push a mental “reset” button, wiping out feelings of cynicism and replacing them with feelings of hope, love, optimism, and a sense of moral inspiration. This thought is for the moment an unsubstan­tiated speculation, but a clear descrip­tion of such a case was recently sent to me by a man named David Whitford.

Several years ago, David’s Unitarian church asked each of its members to write his own “spiritual autobiography,” an account of how he became a more spiritual person. While reflecting on his spiritual experiences, David grew puzzled over why he is so often moved to tears during the course of church services. He concluded that there are two kinds of tears. The first he called “tears of compassion,” such as those he shed during a sermon on Mother’s Day about children who were growing up abandoned or neglected. He wrote that these cases felt to him like “being pricked in the soul,” after which “love pours out” for those who are suffering.

But the second kind of tears was very different. He called them “tears of celebration,” but he could just as well have called them “tears of elevation.” I will end this article with his words, which give a more eloquent description of elevation than anything I could write.

A few weeks after Mother’s Day, we met here in the sanctuary after the service and considered whether to become a Welcoming Congrega­tion [a congregation that welcomes gay people]. When John stood in support of the resolution, and spoke of how, as far as he knew, he was the first gay man to come out at First Parish, in the early 1970s, I cried for his courage. Later, when all hands went up and the resolu­tion passed unanimously, I cried for the love expressed by our congrega­tion in that act. That was a tear of celebration, a tear of receptiveness to what is good in the world, a tear that says it’s okay, relax, let down your guard, there are good people in the world, there is good in peo­ple, love is real, it’s in our nature. That kind of tear is also like being pricked, only now the love pours in.

Article Source: greatergood.berkeley.edu




Phase Change: Moving Into a New Space of Existence

By Kingsley L. DennisWaking Times

‘The Abyss has been looking into us for long enough. It is time for us, after becoming as spiritually grounded and metaphysically well-informed as possible, to begin looking back into it, and so come to a deeper understanding of exactly what is being done to us – and maybe even who is doing it.” ~ Charles Upton

I recently spoke about leaving an obsolete system behind and moving into the energetic space where a new system can emerge. Grand systemic shifts occur as one cycle draws to a close, allowing for a new phase to come into existence. As this happens, the older environment (reality structure) stagnates – the result, in this case, is a deeper fall into materialism, which continues, eventually comes to a point of fracture. A deepening material reality appears to create a cut-off from subtler planes of being and connection. Yet no matter how this feels, it is metaphysically impossible. It is a time, however, for people to become as ‘spiritually grounded and metaphysically well-informed as possible,’ as stated by Charles Upton. Why? Because the illusion of ordinary life is fast breaking down.

In these times when there is a ‘phase change’ – from one phase to another – there is a greater vulnerability for fragmentation to appear in the dominant reality structure. Some traditions have referred to these as ‘cracks in the veil.’ I have used the term consensus reality meltdown.[i] It appears that at this juncture in our civilizational path, there is a deliberate attempt to diminish our sense of reality – to make people more suggestible and open for programming. Also, to create a psychic numbness and fear. I sense that there is a parallel ‘reality system’ being put into place that presents a false ‘solidification of the world’ through a deliberate push for greater materialistic beliefs and faith in technological solutions. Again, this ‘solidification’ is a façade that hides the ‘fissures’ that are opening up in our societies and through which psychic forces are pushing their way through. It is critical now that we each maintain a mental balance as we move forward. Also, it is important in these times that we neither stagnate nor fall too much into the uncertainties of chaos: it is now the fine line we seek between these extremes of solidification and stagnation, and chaos and fear. As always, we are called upon to find the straight path between the maelstrom of distraction and dissonance.

The Mother (the spiritual companion of the Indian sage Sri Aurobindo) once drew an image for a student who asked her to describe the best path to take in their developmental work. The Mother drew a squiggle, and then a straight line through it. We should aim to be on the straight path, she replied. This is a photo of her image:

(Photo taken at Auroville, India, by the author)

The power that others have over us depends on how far we stray from our own inner dependency – our own ‘straight path’ that lies within. This is the path of our frequency – is it a squiggle or a straight line? We must answer for ourselves.

We are each more than we have been conditioned to think and believe. It is true that we have been held back by our own imposed limitations. Those limitations were part of a previous time. We are in the midst of a new historical moment (and I don’t wish to sound dramatic!)

The human transformation, including our social and cultural systems, will only come about from having a realization of the situation we are in. And this includes a realization and perception of ourselves. If we continue to act and behave from the same patterns, then how can we expect to break this continual chain of conditioned limitations? This is how the status quo maintains itself, from perpetuating the same patterns that keep it in place. Any awakening to the perceptual programming we have been under will activate the ‘guardians of falsehood’ – or, rather, the modern-hooded Inquisition against Truth. This modern Inquisition – similar to the religious Inquisition of the Middle Ages – will seek out to suppress any voices of contention against the dominant narrative. Yet, I suggest, we must now have faith in ourselves to speak our own truths. And speaking one’s truth usually fuels our own transformation. Upon this shifting ground, change (one way or another) is inevitable.

Change may be uncomfortable at first. This is the energy felt when old patterns are broken in order to be replaced by the new. There are always those people who prefer to deny these changes, and there is a great shame in this:

it is much easier to sit back down and numb-out again because people are so afraid to feel, to love, and to live. What a shame! If only they knew that – wow – this is what I can do. I feel hurt but in this I am alive, I am here, I am participating. Such beauty in this realization.[ii]

There is much to be said about this form of participation in life – participation in the changes. The genuine human community is wishing for us to form new connections and to come together through this. This is what the social body is for: it is a body that needs for its limbs to work together, harmoniously, and in unity. The human being is a vibrational part of this communication flow: ‘the heart is the connector vibrationally and the head is the receiver – just like a phone line. If these are both open to receiving then it will be that way.’[iii]

The energy of unity amongst us is powerful; so powerful that it could successfully energize a new form of human civilization to emerge. First, however, change is coming. People are already feeling the discomfort of this. And for many people, this ‘change’ is bringing great challenges and forcing them to make life-changing decisions. In whatever way, something huge is coming that will compel people to make their choices – and to stand by those choices. For my part, I would want nothing more than to be on the right and noble side of human history. Let each person make their decisions with conscious awareness, comprehension, and perceptual understanding. Let us go forth and make 2022 a year for humanity.

About the Author

Kingsley L. Dennis is the author of The Phoenix Generation: A New Era of Connection, Compassion, and Consciousnessand The Sacred Revival: Magic, Mind & Meaning in a Technological Age, available at Amazon. Visit him on the web at http://www.kingsleydennis.com/.

[i] See my book Hijacking Reality: The Reprogramming & Reorganization of Human Life

[ii] UNIFIED: Cosmos, Life, Purpose – S.3.Q27

[iii] UNIFIED: Cosmos, Life, Purpose – S.3.Q28




Super Uplifting Energy Forecast + Helpful Navigation Tools for January 2022 | Emmanuel Dagher

2022: THE YEAR OF THE LOTUS HEART

By Emmanuel Dagher

Happy New Year my friend!

It’s a blessing for me to connect with you in this way. We have so much to catch up on, so let’s get right to it . . .

The theme for 2022 is all about awakening the Lotus Heart.

Embracing the Lotus Heart empowers us to be able to love unconditionally, and to support, nurture, and be a healing presence for ourselves and the world around us.

The energies coming in this year will support us in embracing the Lotus Heart more easily, even with all of the chaos and struggles humanity is working through right now.

This will have a tremendous expanding effect on the next steps of our collective evolution.

The foundations of this next year will be unconditional love, and the ability to support, nurture, and heal ourselves and our environment.

Compassion and empathy will find their way into the hearts and minds of even the most cynical, helping us move past much of the collective fear many people are still working through.

The lotus flower has been quite a significant part of many cultures, from ancient times to present day. The lotus flower represents Divine purity, awakened Love, enlightenment, abundance, and rebirth.

Look at where the lotus thrives the most: it is in the muddiest of waters that it rises and blossoms into its full glory.

This is a powerful metaphor that reminds us of the lotus within ourselves.

It reminds us that on a soul level, we knew, prior to entering this earthly matrix, that even though we would move through the muddy waters of life, we too would use those difficult experiences to blossom into our full glory.

We knew that every experience we went through would move us closer to connecting with and embodying the truest, most Divine part of ourselves.

So what is the Lotus Heart? The Lotus Heart is the part of the heart where Unconditional Love, Divine Peace, and Universal Freedom reside.

These frequencies make up who we are at our core.

When the lotus within our heart is acknowledged often, it blossoms. Eventually, this helps us transcend the habits and patterns of re-creating a muddy personal and collective reality.

We can then understand how all of our past experiences have helped us reach a state of consciousness that allows us to remember and embrace who we authentically are at our core: Love, peace, and freedom.

We have now entered a timeline that can help us soften and eventually dissolve the armor we’ve kept around our heart for lifetimes.

Can you imagine what life looks like when we free ourselves this way?

It Begins with Self-Love

The most important thing we can do to awaken the Lotus Heart, is to love every aspect of ourselves (especially the aspects we have deemed unlovable).

For a really, really long time, most societies have conditioned their citizens to believe they must put everyone and everything ahead of themselves. When we did this, we were deemed to be a “good” and “virtuous” person.

And if we did not abide by this invisible rule of thumb, we were considered to be selfish.

Because being selfish has been so looked down upon, it’s natural that we (especially empaths and sensitives) did everything we could to avoid being perceived that way.

However, what this way of thinking did, was to make us search outside of ourselves for Love and approval. The key word here is search.

What happens when we keep searching for something? We are never satisfied.

The antidote to this never-ending search for Love and happiness, has always been for us to stop searching, and to start becoming the person who loves, honors, and gives themselves everything they thought they needed others to give them.

We came into this existence to love ourselves unconditionally, first and foremost.

We are not talking about egotistical attachment. We are talking about the kind of Love that aligns us with the knowing that by loving ourselves, we open ourselves up to becoming One with everything.

This kind of Love reminds us that we are actually extensions of the Universe, which is always expanding.

Because our mind may have not have had easy access to this way of thinking, it can be a little overwhelming to accept that we are extensions of the Universe, the center of which is pure Light and Love. And that we are here to love ourselves unconditionally so that we can be beacons of Light for the world around us.

If you are feeling a bit of resistance to this idea, be gentle with yourself as the mind anchors this wisdom at its own pace.

Transcendent Love

By setting the intention to have a daily practice of self-Love, we start to replenish our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies to such a degree that we no longer look outside ourselves to feel happy and whole.

It is from this space of overflowing Love that we can then be of service to, support, and elevate the environment around us. Then self-Love no longer appears as a selfish act, but rather a selfless act that honors and reveres the Universe within ourselves, in others, and in all of life, across time and space.

Self-Love then leads us into Galactic Love, where we transcend all illusions of separation.

Letting Go of the Old Stories

When the world is changing as quickly as it is now, it can bring to the surface deeply buried emotions that can feel uncomfortable. This will continue to happen until we actually face these emotions head-on.

Some examples of things we may want to start taking a closer look at and releasing now are past heartbreaks, traumas, guilt, judgments, debts, and any other false stories we said yes to in the past, thus preventing us from being our greatest selves.

One way of releasing all that no longer serves our highest good, is through the act of forgiveness.

We’re not talking about duality-based forgiveness, where a “good vs. bad” judgment is involved. We are talking about a Universe-supported forgiveness, in which we hand the stories we’ve burdened ourselves with over to the Universe.

This form of forgiveness allows us to transcend the illusion that the past could have been any different. It shows us that the stories we created for ourselves do not define the miracle of who we really are.

To forgive simply means we give forth all that has been weighing us down. Most people often think they are unable to forgive, but what’s really happening is that they are choosing to remain energetically connected to the person, place, or experience that was difficult for them.

Real forgiveness rarely has to do with anyone or anything outside of ourselves. It’s also important to realize that forgiveness is not about condoning something that was done in the past.

Forgiveness is really about setting ourselves free from our judgments of those past experiences.

You may be wondering, how do we get to that point?

Awakening the Lotus Heart

This is where awakening the Lotus Heart becomes irreplaceable.

When we make loving ourselves a top priority and free ourselves through forgiveness by releasing our good/bad judgments, all that is left for the Lotus Heart to be fully awakened, is for us to choose compassion.

Compassion is the ability to love and care for the world around us without feeding into the illusion that it is broken or needs fixing in any way.

Compassion is not to be mistaken for sympathy. When we sympathize, we move our vibration into a forgetfulness that contributes to the illusion that we and those around us are anything less than whole and perfect. This usually leaves us feeling heavy and drained.

Compassion does the exact opposite. It allows us to transcend the limiting stories that we and our society have created for ourselves. When we show true compassion, we create a powerful Love vortex for ourselves and others.

This elevates us out of victim consciousness, and into the empowered co-Creator consciousness of the Universe.

As the Lotus Heart continues to awaken in our personal lives and in the collective consciousness, a world that once seemed broken will suddenly start to look and feel bright, beautiful, and whole again.

Helpful Navigation Tools for 2022

Here are some simple tools to help you navigate through this coming year with greater ease:

  • Make your well-being a priority through daily self-care and self-Love
  • Turn off the news and anything else that thrives on the energy of us being afraid
  • Spend more time in Nature
  • Drink 10 glasses of pure spring water a day
  • Nourish your body with organic, low-carb, GMO-free foods
  • Embrace your emotions by feeling them rather than suppressing them
  • Volunteer or be part of a local cause/community that feels to be in alignment with our true selves
  • Spread kindness and Love wherever you are
  • Meditate or have a good belly laugh for at least 5 to 10 minutes a day
  • Give yourself a healthy outlet to express yourself by being creative with music, art, dance, crafts, or other creative outlets
  • Remember that we are all one family, even though the mind may try to convince us otherwise

Balance

As we move through the year of the Awakened Lotus, balance will also be an important theme to embrace.

As we embrace a balanced life, we may notice that we no longer need to take extreme measures in order to evolve and grow on our journey. We are able to align with a gentler, more relaxed approach to living.

Creating inner balance can sometimes seem like a foreign concept to the mind. The reason being, that humans have amassed thousands of years of narrow mental conditions acquired from cultural traditions, social structures, and belief systems.

These mental conditions affect both the conscious and subconscious mind. Many tend to keep us in a state of inner imbalance that we have come to accept as normal.

We may not even be aware that these conditions are simply a learned behavior.

For example, since the beginning of our experience on this planet, we humans have collectively internalized beliefs rooted in the idea that in order for us to expand, grow, evolve, and experience our desires, our life must be challenging and hard.

This belief is actually a coping mechanism the mind uses to remain rooted in patterns of survival, which it uses to protect itself.

The belief that we have to struggle or work hard for what we want has also served as a kind of initiation for the mind, helping it feel more accomplished and satisfied after overcoming outer obstacles.

But these beliefs have nothing to do with who we truly are.

They are just habits and patterns the mind has identified with, so it could learn lessons, grow, and evolve.

We can be grateful to our ancestors, and all aspects of ourselves from past and present, for choosing to believe that things had to be limited or hard in order for us to grow and learn from them.

Because all of that brought us to where we are now—to a much more enlightened awareness about ourselves, others, and the world around us.

The baton can now be passed from our unconscious self to our Awakened Self. We can now begin to see that moving through life and its challenges can be easy, joyful, and even fun!

As we move into higher states of consciousness, our Spirit gives us the opportunity to let go of the need to believe that life has to be hard in order for us to grow.

From there, we can begin to experience a balanced state of being.

We can create more balance by simply embracing the following three areas of life:

  • Playful fun, physical activity, and spontaneity
  • Creativity, work (doing what you love / mental stimulation), and organization
  • Spiritual work, rest, and personal development
  • Making sure to include each of these in your day will help create the balance our body, mind, and Spirit desire for us to function at our highest and most vibrant state.

May 2022 be one of the most magical years yet for you, and I look forward to catching up with you again soon!

Until next time,

Miraculously Yours,
Emmanuel




For the New Year, Try Imagining Your Best Possible Life

Greater Good Magazine  

When I was in my late 20s, I was living in Santa Barbara and wondering about the course of my life. I had a job that was interesting enough, but it came with a terrible boss who actively sabotaged my work. I’d been in a few serious relationships, but none of them panned out. I’d enjoyed working at a university, but hoped to use my science background more and, perhaps, tap into my creativity. I wanted something different, possibly even a new town. But I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted or how to get there.

That’s when I came across a book called Creative Visualization, and, for some reason, it spoke to me. Though I thought the main premise of the book was bogus—that all you need to do is figure out what you want, and the universe will provide—I nonetheless found its goal-setting exercise extremely helpful. In it, the author tells readers to imagine their best possible lives, considering many different aspects of life, including relationships, work, leisure time, personal development, the condition of society, and more. Then, they should write about this perfect life, as if everything were just as they wanted it to be.

Doing this exercise at that time helped me a lot, by encouraging me to reflect on my values, deepest desires, and goals. And I believe that taking the time to imagine a better, more fulfilled future started me on the path to where I am now. For example, back then I envisioned myself being married to a loving man (check), having a job where I could help foster more compassion in others (check), speaking new languages (check), and playing more music (check).

Did these things magically appear in my life? No, they didn’t. But knowing what I wanted to be helped me set an intention to work toward them. No doubt, my subconscious kicked in, too, and I began to notice opportunities that presented themselves to me or to actively seek out the information I needed. Plus, having a direction to take based on my truest desires gave me the impetus to make hard choices that ultimately changed my life—like moving from Santa Barbara and forgiving my alcoholic father’s past abuse.

Since that time, I’ve done this exercise many times over the years, often with good results. Even so, it wasn’t until recently that I noticed there is research to support the practice. When you imagine your best possible self, suggests the research, you feel more optimistic and positive about life, which motivates you to apply yourself toward fulfilling goals. And being happier can increase your willingness to tackle social problems, too, meaning it can make a difference in the world, not just for you as an individual. It’s not just for one type of person, either; it has been tried with different populations to overall good effect.

I can’t promise it will work for you, too. But it might make a difference in how you feel about the future—and that could be a good thing to do going into the year 2022.

Here is what the “best possible self” practice involves, according to Greater Good in Action:

1. Take a moment to imagine your life in the future. Ask yourself, what is the best possible life you can imagine? Consider all of the relevant areas of your life, such as your career, academic work, relationships, hobbies, and health. Then, write continuously for about 15 minutes about what you imagine this best possible future to be.

2. If you’re tempted to think about the ways your life isn’t working well right now or about financial, time, or social barriers to being able to make your best life happen, let that all go for the purpose of the exercise. Instead, focus on imagining a brighter future in which you are your best self and circumstances change enough to make this happen.

3. Be specific and creative, letting yourself imagine as much detail as you can and being as imaginative as you want when it comes to your best life. The more creative and specific you are, the more engaged you will be in the exercise and the more you’ll get out of it.

Though not mentioned in Greater Good in Action, I’ve found it helpful to write about this best possible life as if it were already happening—meaning, I write in the present tense. So, for example, I don’t write, “I’d like to be able to write a book someday,” but “I’ve finished writing a book on the psychological benefits of being in nature.”

When you’re feeling stressed or depressed, it can be harder to do this practice—but the research suggests that it can still be beneficial. I last did the exercise in March, when I was feeling particularly down and worried. Things looked grim for some important people in my life and, generally, for people around the world. Yet taking the time to focus on a better, more fulfilling life ahead helped me stay focused on what mattered to me and where to put my energy.

Here are some of the things I wrote then:

I have let go of all resentment, anger, heartache, disappointment, or hopelessness and am resting instead in a place of deep, abiding love, clarity, and conviction.

I continue to write for Greater Good, because I love my work. I’m learning new things regularly and finding purpose in helping people to live happier, more meaningful lives.

I stretch my body, meditate, eat well, and take good care of myself so that I’m in good health. I’m hiking in nature almost every day, which helps me feel calm and connected to the natural world.

I’ve planted a vegetable garden in my backyard, and I’m enjoying spending more time at home.

I’m visiting foreign countries, fulfilling my dream of more travel, adventure, and language acquisition.

My relationships with friends and family are stronger and closer than ever.

As you can see, some of what I wrote just confirms the value in things I’m already doing—like hiking and finding meaning in my work. Other things were new and gave me ideas of how to change my life for the better.

While not everything I wrote about has come to pass, some of it has. Certainly, realizing that I’d like to have a garden-inspired me to put one in my backyard. (Truth be told, my garden didn’t do super well…but I learned some stuff that will help me do better next year, I hope.) I decided to learn a little Greek because I realized how much I love learning languages, plus I anticipated using it on a fall 2020 trip to Greece with my husband. Unfortunately, the trip to Greece had to be nixed because of COVID. We pivoted and went somewhere closer, fulfilling part of my dream, at least. Obviously, these were personal goals. Yours will no doubt be very different than mine.

As I always do when envisioning my best life, I also visualized a better state for our world. Here is part of what I wished for then—and still wish for today:

The world is a beautiful place, filled with loving people who care about each other. There are no more social divides, social justice prevails, we’ve halted climate change, and no one lives in poverty anymore.

The jury is still out on achieving those lofty ideals. However, I do think the first step to positive change is setting your intention and the optimism that creates. By at least imagining the best possible future, I know I can keep myself engaged in making it come to pass. For me, that currently means writing articles that inspire others, participating in social justice causes, and giving generously to charities I believe in.

Perhaps we all need to imagine our best possible life at the end of 2021. We might find that by doing that, we’ll have more optimism about 2022 and figure out how to make the world a better place—not just for ourselves, but for everyone.

About the Author

Jill Suttie

Jill Suttie, Psy.D., is Greater Good’s former book review editor and now serves as a staff writer and contributing editor for the magazine. She received her doctorate of psychology from the University of San Francisco in 1998 and was a psychologist in private practice before coming to Greater Good.




In the Darkness You Will Find Your Light | Gregg Braden

Source: Inspired

In this marvelous 3-minute video, Gregg Braden shares some profound wisdom about life that he learned from monks in Tibet.




How The Process of Metamorphosis Relates to Humans and Can Support You on Your Journey | Dr. Theresa Bullard

Source: Dr. Theresa Bullard

Did you know that the process of MetaMorphosis is very much relatable to our lives as humans? Watch this video with Dr. Theresa Bullard to learn how this transformative process can support you throughout your personal journey in life!




Their Plan Isn’t Working – You Can NEVER Lockdown the Human Spirit | Ralph Smart

Source: After Skool

Ralph Smart (aka Infinite Waters) explains why the globalist’s tyrannical plan to control humanity isn’t working and that we are transforming. This video is brilliantly illustrated by the good folks at After Skool.




4 New Year’s Resolutions For A Healthier Environment in 2022

When many people think of New Year’s resolutions, they brainstorm ways to improve themselves for the year ahead. What if we expanded those aspirations to include resolutions that benefit our communities, society, and the planet, too?

It might not be a typical approach, but it can broaden your horizons to show ways you can also be of service to others.

Here are four popular New Year’s resolutions with a twist for improving your relationship with nature in 2022 and beyond.

Exercise more consideration for how your actions impact the environment

We each have an environmental ethic reflecting how we value, manage, and ultimately relate to nature. Balancing the scales of reciprocity between us and nature – how much we give and take – can improve this relationship in many ways. Whether it’s our addiction to one-use plastics that pile up in landfills or fossil fuels that warm the planet, a mishandled relationship with nature is not doing us or the Earth any favors.

In 2022, we can all take more responsibility for how our actions exacerbate environmental problems. We can also encourage governments and businesses to make it easier for people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to protect the environment. This includes making recycled goods affordable and reliable public transportation widely accessible.

Check out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s resources describing some very simple ways to reduce waste at home, work, in our communities, and during the holidays. Tips from the website include turning off or unplugging lights during the day, reusing packaging materials, and using online billing services instead of paper mail.

Lose the weight of social injustice – it harms nature, too

The perils of social injustice stress multiple aspects of society. Racism and inequality can lead to health disparities, and they also have consequences for the natural environment.

A recent study described how practices such as redlining and residential segregation led to unequal access to nature, excess pollution, and biodiversity loss. These practices brought in highways and industries that harm environmental quality in marginalized communities. They also left neighborhoods with fewer parks and trees that provide cooling in summer and benefit the planet.

Perpetuating social ills like systemic racism and inequitable resource allocation is detrimental to the environment, marginalized people, and society as a whole.

To help turn this around, you can speak out in your community. Join groups that are trying to promote environmental protection and social justice and are bringing nature back to communities. Call your city, state, and Congressional leaders to urge them to take action. Also, refer to the Green 2.0 report’s section on making diversity initiatives successful for concrete ways that you can actualize this in your place of work.

Learn something new about nature and how to reduce harm to the environment and yourself

Clean air, water, and soil are fundamental for our survival, but research shows many people lack basic environmental and health literacy to know how to protect themselves.

In 2022, get to know your own impact on the environment. Read more and start exploring ways to preserve the integrity of your area’s natural resources. For example, find out where you can stay abreast of local land-use decisions that impact the environment and your overall community.

You can also support local educators and encourage them to bring the environment into lessons. Environmental issues overlap many other subjects, from history to health. This website includes a framework and materials for educators to help students expand their environmental literacy.

Staying plugged in with media that discuss the latest research can enhance awareness. You can also try tying environmental facts and knowledge into your game night and team-building activities.

Spend more time with family and friends in nature

Studies show that spending time in nature, including urban green spaces, can improve your relationship with nature and with others.

Time in nature can increase social cohesion. Throughout the pandemic, many people discovered the outdoors as a place to decompress and reduce stress. Spending more time outdoors can encourage social interactions that benefit health, buffer emotional distress and encourage the use of these spaces, which can help protect them for the future.

Here are some tools that outline best practices to enhance parks and recreation near you. Also, here are ways to make outdoor environments more inclusive for families in diverse communities.

Collectively, thinking about our relationship with nature and finding ways to protect the environment can help us be better stewards of the planet.

By Viniece Jennings, Assistant Professor of Public Health, Agnes Scott College

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.




What Is Mine To Do? | Charles Eisenstein

Source: Charles Eisenstein

I’ve gone through some pretty intense periods of despondency. And then also periods, not so much of like optimism and everything is great, but periods where I feel really deeply resourced and capable of addressing our times. Not necessarily with anything grandiose, but the feeling of like I’ve got what I need to do what I’m here to do. If you’re an artist, you don’t complain if your canvas is smudged or you don’t have quite the set of paints that you’d like. You take what you have and you make the best art that you can.

When I’m in a good place, that’s kind of my attitude. I’m like, okay, we got a challenge here. We’ve got quite a situation and it’s time to stop time, if I can say this on-air, it’s time to stop fucking around and really get serious about why am I here? And what can I do? What is mine to do?

It all comes from embracing first that we have a purpose here, or that I have a purpose here. But also species-wide, like collectively. And second, asking what is mine to do in these times? So you mentioned materialism and how our culture has been very materialistic and underneath what you were saying (and this is certainly in my work), it’s a recognition that what we have seen as practical and realistic nuts and bolts solutions are coming from a conceptual toolset that’s not big enough to address the crisis at hand – that we’re kind of rearranging the decks on the Titanic.

And that the healing that is necessary, or the revolution that is necessary goes to such a deep level that you can only call it something like spiritual. Which does not mean non-material for me. For me, it means that it broaches the forbidden questions; that it dissolves what we thought was was real; that it questions what we thought was possible; that it questions, who we thought we were; why we thought we were here? These are the questions.

Spiritual doesn’t mean, you know, non-material. It doesn’t divide reality into two; the material and the spiritual. It is something that plums to those depths. It’s those questions like why am I here? And we can ask that collectively. Why is humanity here? Is it to exploit, to maximize our security on this Earth, to dominate other species, to dominate the planet, to conform matter to the image of our own desires?  Or is there some other reason why humanity has been given these gifts? I’m not sure if really want me to go so philosophical, but I think that these questions are unavoidable if we’re not going to be rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.

This is one reason why many people I talk to, and I have this history of myself, when the big one approaches – the Y2K, the 2012, the financial collapse, Covid even, there’s a part of me that’s like yeah baby, bring it on because I want out of here. I want to be liberated from the structures that have confined us: the social structures, the economic structures, the psychological structures. And so Covid comes along and along with a lot of despair, a lot of suffering, not just the suffering of people who have been sick and have died, and their families. That’s there too. But also the suffering of people being locked down and masked and confined and you know, losing their jobs, losing their businesses; the tens of millions of children who are facing hunger because of all this in the world, stunted children, starving children. This is massive suffering.

And there’s also maybe part of us, certainly a part of me that finds some hope in this because we were stuck. And now, there’s no guarantee that we will become unstuck, but there’s a possibility. So much has changed, it suggests to us that wow, maybe more could change. This reality that we thought was fixed is malleable to our will after all.




Divide, Conquer; Unite, Heal | Charles Eisenstein

By Charles Eisenstein 

A member of an online community I co-host described a Match.com exchange in which her prospective date, upon finding she was only partially vaccinated, wished her death—the sooner the better. It was one of many similar, she said.

Now it is probably a good idea to eliminate from the dating pool people who disagree with you on basic issues like religion, health care, child-rearing, or politics. But to wish them death? Wow.

Given that at least 30% of Americans are unvaccinated (and many more unboosted), it does not bode well for this country if this kind of vitriol spreads. The media and social media are profuse with hateful sentiments about how the unvaccinated deserve to die, should be denied medical care, are immoral, ignorant, narcissistic, sociopathic, and so on.

I am sorry to observe hate on the other side of the vaccine divide too. Sometimes I see in health freedom communities half-hopeful, gloating posts about how the vaccinated will someday wail and gnash their teeth in abject regret when mass vaccine-induced death shows them the error of their ways. Monikers like “sheeple,” “normies,” and “vaxtards” play into the most dangerous controller agenda of all—to divide and conquer by fostering internecine hatred.

If we who oppose vaccine mandates wish to live in a world based on dignity, we should do everything we can to affirm the dignity of all human beings. By dehumanizing those with opposing views, we reinforce the same pattern that dehumanizes ourselves, the dissidents.

In my writing, I have tried to avoid language that dehumanizes anyone, even as I have voiced strong opinions about Covid policy and especially mandates. Nonetheless, the prevailing pattern is so strong that some people took my last essay, A Path Will Rise to Meet Us, as an indictment of the vaccinated. No. As I’ve written in other essays, people including my own family members get vaccinated for reasons that seem good to them. It is not that some are smart and others are stupid, that some are ethical and others wicked. It is that each, by dint of chance and biography, occupies a different vantage point on the information landscape. Each is subject to different influences.

I actually dislike arguing about vaccines. Yes, I have my opinions, but neither the passion nor interest to research the topic deeply enough to competently argue them. I think Covid vaccines are overall harmful, but not compared to rain forest destruction, militarism, or neoliberal capitalism. Or world hunger, which killed ten million people in 2021, half of them children, and stunted the growth of tens of millions more—numbers that dwarf casualties from Covid or its vaccines. I also prefer to avoid the debate because its very terms take for granted a system of industrial medicine that has something like vaccination built into it.

So why do I engage this issue at all? My entree has been not vaccines per se, but vaccine mandates. It is only in small part personal—I resent attempts to coerce me into overriding my strong instinct in a matter of body sovereignty. But so what. Worse things can happen to a human being—and are happening. However, these “worse things” are expressions of the same ideology and system of domination and the war on the Other. The mandates are Trojan horses for an apparatus of control that will also crush resistance to other violations of Life, human and otherwise.

The mandates and coercion policies have another, even more sinister, effect: they divide the public and pit us against each other.

I sense that most people vaccinated or unvaccinated like I have little desire to argue about medical procedures. However, the institutions pushing mandates have maneuvered the public into fighting over them anyway. They have woven a narrative in which the unvaccinated are a threat to society: spreading germs, filling up hospitals, breeding new variants. The science confirming these ideas is shaky at best, especially given how subject it is to financial and political influence. So, reluctantly, I step into the minutia of case rates in vaccinated populations, viral loads in the vaccinated, vaccine adverse events, and so forth. Not because I want you to think you’ve made a mistake by getting vaccinated, but rather to undermine the rationale for hating, coercing, and punishing those who have not.

Basically, whether deliberately or not, a situation has been engineered to dispose the public toward division. It is an old formula: Enemies are among us! The unclean put us all at risk! The heretics will bring the wrath of God upon us all!

Let us recognize that ancient formula and how closely the dominant Covid narrative conforms to it. Is that conformity just a coincidence? Were past incitements mere propaganda and hysteria-mongering, but this time the heretics really do put us all at risk? At the very least, we should recognize with grave suspicion any incitement to hatred. We the human family have fallen for that trick so many many times before.

The trick depends on a lie, the mother of all lies: that some of us are less valid, less human, and less sacred than others.

Tyrannical institutions hold dominion only through social agreement—their leaders don’t have personal superpowers like some movie villain. Real power is with the people. Therefore, tyrants can have their way only by setting the people against one another.

From appearances, they have been successful, but appearances can be deceiving. The most hateful tend also to be the loudest. A quiet majority wants peace.

Sometimes it happens in the midst of conflict that both sides awaken to its absurdity. Often, laughter accompanies the breaking of tension as each party steps out of the role of the enemy. They recognize that the whole drama is something of a joke. It’s not that there is no valid matter of contention; it’s that the drama has overshadowed the original issue. Shedding their roles and their self-righteous identification with them, the warring parties can often come to a quick solution. Or maybe they realize that the conflict has become obsolete.

Something like that may be possible with Covid—the decreasing virulence of variants, the development of effective treatments, and the spread of natural resistance could render many Covid debates, including those around vaccines, obsolete. Many people are sick of the whole thing and are ready to move on. However, powerful vested interests prolong the drama by stoking further fear and rage, drawing from the long-festering resentments of our fevered society.

The antidote is for the hitherto quiet majority to speak out; to amplify the voices of tolerance, the voices of humor, the voices of compassion. This is a form of resistance even more important than resistance to medical tyranny. It is resistance to division. It is resistance to hatred. It is resistance to dehumanization. Overturn these, the root of all other evils, and we will forge solidarity that will accomplish miracles of transformation within our lifetimes.




Abraham Hicks: You Came Here For A Very Important Reason

Source: Inspired

Abraham-Hicks delivers a highly inspirational message about why you are here and how you can live your best life.

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT BELOW:

You are here in these bodies for a reason. You are magnificent creators in the most delicious environment in which to create. Because here on this leading edge, creative genius that you are, your thoughts turn to things. Your thoughts, turn to experiences and to sensations and to the manifestations of emotions. Your thoughts turn to evidence of things. Your thoughts turn to material things to experiences.

You are here on this leading edge because you are a physical being in physical environment who have intended to have physical creations. And all of this conversation about energy can sometimes lead you into a place different than what you intended. In other words, when you calibrate yourself to the vibration of your inner being, you know what your inner being is thinking about? Life on planet Earth.

When you calibrate yourself to your inner being, you know, what your inner being is thinking about? Things that you’ve been asking about that are physical in nature that you put into your Vortex. Your inner being is thinking about your financial remuneration. Your inner being is thinking about your relationships with your girlfriends and your boyfriend’s. Your inner being is thinking about your relationship with your children and your employer’s. Your inner being is thinking about the things that you’re inventing and discovering. Your inner being is thinking about your rendezvous.

Your inner being, hear this, is thinking about what pleasure you might have in this moment as you allow yourself to rendezvous with the things that you have put into your vortex.

So, when we talk to you about physical and non-physical inner being and you, when we talk to you about your emotions, when we talk to you about your point of attraction, your true point of attraction which is where your inner being stands, we do not seek to split you up. We seek to bring you together. But when we bring you together, when you come into vibrational concert with your inner being, while you are here in this physical body, you know what that concert of you and you is focused upon? Life on planet Earth.

It’s about living with each other and loving each other and acknowledging each other and uplifting each other. It’s about seeing the things that make you feel like you want to praise them, it’s about happy, it’s about evolution, it’s about expansion, it’s about more, it’s about color, it’s about brightness, it’s about sound, it’s about music.

In other words, don’t let yourself think that all of this conversation that we have, while it’s spiritual in nature and vibrational nature, don’t let it distract you from the importance of you being here in this physical body. You’re supposed to be here in this physical body. And you’re supposed to like being here in this physical body. You’re supposed to like your physical body. You’re supposed to feel honored about being physical in this time and space.

And the more you calibrate to who you really are, the more you will know all of these things, the more you will feel it. We don’t want you to be an action junkie, but we want you to be a physical junkie. We want you to be addicted to your your physicality. We want you to want the evidence of your spirituality to show up through your physicality. Those thoughts are going to turn to things because you live in a physical world. We want you to resign yourself to the inevitability of your success.

We’ve been saying feel the awesome power of non-resistance, thought feel the awesome power of non-resistance thought. And then we tweaked to just a little bit: feel the awesome, pleasure of non-resistant thought.

Because you are not the one that gathers the power and then throws it over there to make things happen. That’s the difference that Esther discovered to is the difference between seeing herself as getting out into the next segment and making it be the way she needs it to be in order for it to be the way she wants it to be. And accomplishing the vibrational shift in herself and the Law of Attraction then bringing to that shifted self those things.

She likes the picture of Wizard of Oz. Do you remember the good witch that came in a bubble? So Esther likes that picture of herself in that bubble, she’s wearing a different dress. Moving out into the world as that powerful point of Attraction. Yeah.

Do you know you’ve got it now? You are in your mastery exploring the world, and discovering things that you don’t want. And they’re not bothering you one bit, because in your knowledge and mastery, you know you need not choose one thing that you do not want.

Understand the power of your focus. And so if there’s something that you don’t want and, you know it, but you look briefly and then you divert your eyes and your attention to something that feels better, you’re in control of your vibration. Embracing variety, liking choices, liking choices from the buffet, but wise enough to know that you need not linger someplace, you don’t want to be. And if you don’t, there will be no vibrational attachment on your part.

And once you are truly a master of how you feel, we don’t mean always feeling good. We don’t mean having only positive emotions. We mean having an awareness of when you’re aligned and awareness of when you’re not, and at least choosing it, just doing it on purpose, being deliberate about it.

But as you come into this alignment, as you are demonstrating through your alignment, that’s the way life is supposed to be. There is nothing that you cannot be or do or have. And this life will just keep pointing out to you. And you will never reach the place where you have beat it or do’d, it or have it all. There will always be something more that you are reaching for…




How To Get Your Mojo Back If You’ve Lost Your Motivation According To Tony Robbins

We have all had this one moment when we just gave up on everything and suddenly, with a snap of the fingers, you felt free. Escaping responsibility is a temporary relief – one that may take the pressure off, but since our anxiety and worries tend to stem from within, we also carry them with us. Therefore, any change should stem from within, regardless of circumstances.

One person to have mastered the secrets of “not caring anymore,” is Tony Robbins. This is not to say that Robbins doesn’t care, but rather he found a way to be at peace with himself and take everything in stride. There are no bad experiences, only opportunities to grow.

We have taken Tony’s Get Motivated advice as inspiration to write our 6 step practical guide.

1. Free Yourself of the Constraints of the Present

Most people are too worried about the present that they don’t see the big picture. Instead, Robbins advises individuals to seek that inner source of motivation and balance. Whatever the circumstances and whatever you do in life, you can find a way to be at peace with yourself.

Creating a vision is not pegged to continually pushing yourself down. Short-term goals and something as simple as a list of tasks can lead to a more fulfilling present without constantly chasing the next benchmark, deadline or professional achievement.

While those are important, Robbins believes you should create a life dynamic where you are not pressured but still apply yourself to the fullest.

2. Exercise and Be Active

Physical exercise is not necessarily everyone’s go-to form of entertainment, but it carries its own set of benefits, improving cognitive function, boosting self-esteem and even leading to a longer, healthier life.

Exercise in the morning, as Robbins practices it, is designed to give your body and mind that necessary jump-start that will often replace other artificial stimuli, such as caffeine. Think you have stopped carrying?

Why not shake yourself off the lethargy with a quick exercise session that will help you find your focus and achieve clarity. Not carrying is just admitting that you are unsatisfied with your present situation and seeking a painless way out.

Clarity, Robbins says, is what you need to find your way out.

3. Focus on What You Love Doing

There is no need to fall in some pattern and pursue specific goals that are not stemming from within. Success comes when you do what you love. Robbins recognizes though that people often take this the wrong way.

To many people, doing what you love should feel an effortless undertaking, but in fact – it’s the opposite. Doing what you love means that you overcome the small challenges that crop up daily to achieve results and move forward – grow as a person if you will.

4. You Probably Need to Recharge

Finding a hobby that keeps you in check is often recommended. You won’t perhaps grow much practising your hobby, but it would provide you with much-needed relief. Escapism or otherwise, winding down is what recharges the batteries.

Something as simple as enjoying your favourite show might be enough to make you snap out of the humdrumness of real-life and launch yourself back in new pursuits in a bid to make your life meaningful.

Your hobby doesn’t have to be mind healing like Tai Chi if that’s not your thing, even something as unusual as learning stand up comedy would be perfect. You will be equally satisfied and put yourself in a more positive mental state.

5. Reduce how often you think about finances

Many of our day to day problems can stem from having financial problems. These can be difficult to overcome and affect us all no matter our wealth or lack of. It’s a common myth that people with money don’t think about their finances as much as those that are struggling to pay their bills.

However, the truth is that everyone overthinks their financial circumstances. If you have a car, you want a better one, if you have a small TV, you want a bigger one, even if you’ve just been lucky enough to win a large pot of money as this man did, you’ll be thinking about money.

How to make more and how to spend it takes up an equal share of your energy and mind. It’s very difficult but try and put time blocks in place where for the next 3 hours you’re not going to think about how you’re going to pay something.

6. Find Inspiration in Others

We all tend to copy from one another. While finding a mentor to teach you and watch over you seems a long-shot, you will still be able to read up on all the fiction or nonfiction you can find, watch the movies that really inspire you and listen to the speeches of people like Robbins yourself.

Inspiration is all about establishing a dynamic, a state where your brain is perpetually looking to find something new and exciting – a permanent state of curiosity as it were. Even the most lethargic mind, so long as it has had some basic training, will respond to an interesting fact or something that it can grasp in full or at least perceive the potential of.

When you study a new language, you might not comprehend the entire meaning of passages, but you can feel they are beautiful. The secret to finding inspiration is to hone the skills and awareness you need to find inspiration not only in others but in the surrounding world.

Lastly, you may think that giving up is an easy way out, but it’s not. It tends to be wasted energy that will weigh you down even more in the long term. A far better solution, according to Robbins at least, is to find the things you love and then do them. Feeling a little out of it just now? Find your perpetual inner source of inspiration and follow it unfalteringly.




The Incredible Power of “What If” Questions | Michael Beckwith


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Michael Beckwith reveals the power of “what if” questions. When you ask ‘what if’ questions, you will start to notice little tiny miracles happening in your life.

TRANSCRIPT

What if all my needs were met? What would I be doing in my life? What if everything is really working together for my good? What if all the bad things that happened in my life are leading me to activate some great potential in my experience. You ask ‘what if’ questions and you start to notice little tiny miracles happening in your life. Things start to manifest and you don’t know how they got there.

We are vibrational beings. You know, we’re not just flesh and blood. If you put anything under a microscope, an intense microscope, you can ultimately see that everything is vibration. And as the scientists are not telling us, there’s information there. But it’s not solid. It’s always moving. So we’re vibrational beings. So when we lift our vibration to what we want to experience, it happens, first on a vibratory level and then it shows up and manifests in our life. So people who are holding onto rancor, animosity – they’re slowing down their vibration.

Another way of saying is you cannot have what you’re not willing to become vibrationally. If you do get it, you lose it. This is why people that win the lottery, they lose everything. Or they’ll finally get the person they think they want to be with – they can’t keep the relationship. Or they’ll get a modicum of success, but can’t hold on to it because inside they weren’t vibrationally aligned. They really hadn’t become it. So you can temporarily manipulate and get things, but to have it completely, you have to lift your vibration and become that in vibration.

You’re not really attracting things to you. You really radiating. Potential is always bigger than the problem. Potential is always bigger than the problem. Your potential is infinite and is always bigger than whatever problem you’re going through. So when you begin to have a vision, which is establishing intention, beginning to see visually the kind of life you want to live, beginning to have a conversation about that kind of life.

I tell people you have to talk about it more than you talk about your problems because at the end of the day, if you’re complaining more than you’re talking about your vision then your inertia. So there’s a shift that takes place where you actually talking about the possibilities more than you’re talking about your issues. You don’t deny the issues, bad things have happened to people. You’re not denying that those things have happened.

But if you start talking about possibility, even if you don’t know how to get there, then your energy starts to go up. You know, what if? You ask a what-if question, you know: “What if all my needs were met?” “What would I be doing in my life?” “What if everything is really working together for my good?” “What if all the bad things that have happened in my life are leading me to activate some great potential in my experience?” “What if God really is on my side?” You know.

You ask ‘what if’ questions and you start to notice little tiny miracles happening in your life. Things start to manifest and you don’t know how they got there. When circumstances and situations are pressing in upon us, the only way we can overcome them is to go within – to actually begin to ask very empowering questions with the awareness that this universal presence and it’s law will answer any question that you ask.

So if you’re in a situation that is pressing on you and you ask “What’s trying to emerge in my life? What is my gift to share? What is my purpose? Why am I here on the planet?” You ask empowering questions, the universe will answer these questions in a language, and in a way that you can understand.

They’ll be inner prompting, there will be intuitive hits, nudges, signs, symbols, dreams. It’ll come in the language of the individual soul and heart. The difficulty is that when people are in tough situations, they asked disempowering questions. Well, they say what’s wrong? Who’s to blame? Why me? Those are the disempowering questions. So the universe will answer those too.

It’ll pull on the database of human experience and say, “you were born on the wrong side of the tracks, or “you were born on the right side of the tracks.” “This happened” or “that happened.” It will give you a bevy of excuses. But if you ask an empowering question, you’ll get an answer to rise above the muck. So it’s all about the question, the sincerity of the question and then the ability and the willingness to really listen, to really be available. That’s where the juice is. And that is available to every human being whether an individual is in prison, whether an individual’s imprisoned by circumstance, imprisoned in their own mind about an event that happened in their past. It doesn’t matter. Once you ask with sincerity, the universe will answer. That’s the way it operates.




Celebrate the Real You this Holiday Season

The You that is eternal, knows no time, no lack, no loss, no evil or good.  

My thoughts to you my friends:

Ever bright,

Ever light,

Ever green,

Ever seen,

Ever true,

This is the real You!

In other words; 

Ever bright: You are never dull, always shining, illuminating all that is.

Ever light:, vibrant, lush, continuously available.

Ever green: You are continuously new, whole, complete, secure, serene.

Ever seen: the real YOU connects with all that is, in harmony

Ever true: the real YOU is truth, period. The One with All, this is YOU!

Even if you don’t espouse any type of religion or creed, you may appreciate that Christ in Christmas means the anointed one. As well as the way-shower for a life of higher consciousness, some call it Christ Consciousness. This has nothing to do with religion or dogma. 

Christ the anointed one physically showed us the Way, the Truth, and the Life, that we may always remember that we have life abundantly. Because we are Truth! One with all that is.

Remember friends, Life is for the Living. Choose to live well.

Much love to you, Julia 

Julia Parsell is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor with an emphasis on the intersection of science and the sacred.  She writes from experiences and transformative understandings that have led her to an authentic and peaceful life. She goes by these names: mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend. As home educator of her three children, she also developed/ran cafes, and maintained various leadership roles within her community.  Her greatest desire is to encourage others to live life fully.  Her passions are family, art creation, writing, and trail blazing. She loves her life in Western North Carolina.   




The Experience of Being ‘In the Flow’: How People Achieve The State of Brain Flow

National Human Genome Research Institute – CC license 

By Karen Michele Nikos-Rose | UC Davis

You are playing such an intense video game and are focused so intently on getting to the next level that you don’t know what is going on around you. You have no sense of time passing. You feel great. You are “in the zone.” You are experiencing flow.

You are running a marathon, and you are so focused on the finish line that you barely experience any pain or tiredness until you are done. You are experiencing flow.

“Flow is a state of peak enjoyment that occurs when you are doing something that is difficult and you are highly skilled at,” explained Richard Huskey, a University of California, Davis, assistant professor of communication and cognitive science and author of a new paper on flow.

Flow is said to be good for our well-being—and there is evidence that it can ward off depression, prevent burnout and make us more resilient. We seek it out, but we don’t understand how the brain enables flow very well, Huskey said.

Looking at flow in media use

In an effort to see what the brain does during flow, Huskey led research looking at how people experience flow while playing a video game. In a paper, which was published in the Journal of Communication this month, more than 140 participants played a video game. Some took part in an experiment while playing a game and self-reported their experiences. Others also subjected themselves to brain imaging so that researchers could look at how their brains functioned during flow.

Flow happens, Huskey said, when activities are engaging enough to fully involve someone to the point of barely being distracted, but not so difficult that the activity becomes frustrating.

Similarly, a video game designed for a child will probably not keep an adult inflow. There must be a balance, he explained. When there’s a balance, the person experiences an intrinsic reward. Things like getting to the next level or earning points matter, but they become secondary. Simply playing the game and experiencing flow is rewarding in and of itself.

The flow requires a high level of attention. To measure this, researchers distracted the players at various points in the game with a probe—a red circle accompanied by a tone — which appeared on the screen in one of the game’s four corners. Participants were asked to respond to the probe as quickly as possible.

Previous research has shown that when people focus their attention on one task, they become slower to respond to these probes. Therefore, if flow requires a high level of focused attention, then people should be slowest to respond when the game’s difficulty and the player’s ability are in balance. This is exactly what the researchers found, and it may explain why people are able to focus on tasks during flow while ignoring distractions.

How the brain processes flow

Very few regions in the brain are responsible for just one cognitive process. So, there is no “flow” region in the brain. Instead, flow results from networked interactions between multiple brain regions. When several brain regions are densely connected with each other but sparsely connected with other regions, this is called a “modular” network configuration.

Importantly, modular network organization is energetically efficient. Research shows that during complex tasks, this modular configuration often reconfigures by connecting different brain regions into a new modular organization. This reconfiguration is called “flexibility,” and it is thought to help people adaptively respond to difficult tasks.

“In our study, we showed that flow is associated with a flexible and modular brain-network topology, which may offer an explanation for why flow is simultaneously perceived as high-control and effortless, even when the task difficulty is high,” Huskey said.

In other words, the brain inflow is pretty darn efficient.

“Imagine looking for your keys in the morning,” Huskey added. “If you don’t know where your keys are, you’ll need to visit every room in your home and turn on every light. This will require a lot of energy. But if you remember where your keys are, even if you leave them in a different room each day, you can efficiently travel to the right room and turn on only the necessary lights. In many ways, this is similar to the brain during flow — only the necessary brain structures are networked together in an energy-efficient way.”

In the experiments, researchers showed that a balance between game difficulty and individual ability results in high self-reported flow, high levels of motivated attention, and a flexible and modular brain network topology.

People’s flow observed

Of the 140 people studied at two universities, 35 were observed in a functional MRI where they held the game controls, a button box, and trackball close to their body while the MRI machine functioned. The others were at a desk, operating the computerized game with a standard desktop computer.

Inflow, people recognize the task’s demands and proceed without requiring excessive amounts of energy, Huskey said. Flow could, then, relieve the stress of competing demands in our lives, such as pandemic stresses, an overwhelming task at work, a family problem, or all of the above.

More research is needed outside the lab setting. But this work, published in the Journal of Communication,  is a good start toward looking at how the body can be resilient, Huskey said. Researchers should examine linking measures of well-being with neural responses.

That could inform researchers on developing certain treatments, or even media interventions, to improve people’s flow for their own well-being, Huskey said.