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Hope In The Form Of Personalized Treatment: 4 Solutions To Sustain Opioid Addiction Recovery

By: Dr. Mark Calarco | American Addiction Centers

big-pharma-pimps-drugs opioids

 

Opioid addiction numbers are scary — indeed, many consider opioid abuse an epidemic — but they often overshadow the many important advances we’ve made in treating it.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, 21.5 million Americans ages 12 and older had substance abuse disorders in 2014. Of them, 1.9 million were addicted to painkillers, and 586,000 used heroin. But a better understanding of addiction as an illness and a combination of personalized, highly effective treatments are offering new hope in the fight against opioid addiction across America.

Related Article: Learn The Benefits Of Spirituality In Addiction Recovery 

How Did It Get So Bad?

The road to today’s opioid epidemic is paved with good intentions. It began when mostly well-meaning healthcare providers overprescribed opioid medications to relieve intense pain. Excess pills quickly found their way onto the streets, selling at significant premiums. Then, governments at the state and federal levels successfully reduced unjustified opioid prescriptions and their diversion to the streets.

Stricter laws and transparency led to scarcity (and therefore increased street values) of prescription medications. People without prescriptions who had already become addicted turned to less expensive and easier-to-get heroin. The rest, as they say, is history.

But that history is recent, and its effects are gradually being understood as more and more people learn to spot opioid addiction and find help in conquering it.

Spotting Opioid Addiction

In some ways, people in the grips of addiction share many of the same behaviors. Some traits can include poor performance in school, sports, and work; high absenteeism; constantly asking for money; neglecting personal hygiene; clashing with law enforcement; changing social groups; and stealing from friends or family to support a habit.

But opioid addiction also shows itself in less conspicuous ways: sleeping inordinately long or at odd hours, constantly yawning, a persistently runny nose and teary eyes, unusual irritability, nausea, restlessness, and increased heart rate. Still, many patients with opioid addiction can maintain their composures and daily responsibilities as long they get their regular fixes.

If you suspect a friend or family member may be struggling with opioid or heroin addiction, be vigilant of the signs above. Also, take some time to learn about the various successful treatment options that are helping others change their lives for the better.

Hope in the Form of Personalized Treatment

As the government learned, fighting opioid addiction isn’t as easy as simply taking away the drugs of choice. Every person struggling with addiction suffers an illness, and the key to beating addiction is to solve the riddle of that illness.

To that end, there are several proven treatment options for addressing addiction, the most successful of which are hormonal balance testing, medication-assisted treatments, 12-step programs, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

  • Hormone Testing

Many people have hormonal imbalances without knowing it — and age isn’t a factor. Everything from the environment to the foods we eat and the stress we’re going through can negatively affect our hormones. If someone has an undetected hormone imbalance, they may struggle with weight, energy, work, mood, and other health problems that would go undiagnosed. This could increase morbidity and mortality long-term. In addition, she may respond poorly to medical treatment.

Testing for hormonal imbalances isn’t a sole solution — it’s an addition to other treatments and therapies someone with addiction should consider, especially considering the added stress that recovery can have on someone’s body. If you or someone you know is going through recovery, talk to a doctor about testing hormone imbalances throughout your journey to maintain a balance. Most hormone imbalances are treatable, and could reduce the chance of relapse by giving the person with addiction the energy and focus to keep going.

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment provides a holistic approach to addiction treatment by combining the use of medication (methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone) with counseling and behavior therapy. The paradigm of addiction treatment is changing to rely increasingly on medication-assisted treatment; however, addiction is also a psychological condition, so counseling and behavior therapy are equally necessary for long-term recovery.

  • 12-Step Programs

The principles for 12-step programs were outlined more than 65 years ago to prepare those addicted to alcohol for a “lifelong process of recovery.” Successful programs are structured with group and individual therapy, personal time, education, and community self-help groups (like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous). Choose a program that also incorporates family days to teach family members how to help and cope with their loved ones’ conditions.

There are many discussions about the underpinnings of these groups, but they offer key components hard to find elsewhere. Mentorship and community are powerful tools in recovery. Being among others who understand what you’re going through lends strength. Learning solutions and receiving support from peers can help interrupt the “triggering” process that urges a person to use again. Connection is important in recovery, and 12-step programs provide that.

Related Article: The Disease Of Addiction Knows No Prejudice: What You Need To Know

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

To truly change, we must address our negative, inaccurate perceptions and thinking. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that teaches patients to recognize how their emotions affect their perceptions and reactions. It can help treat mental-health issues that often lead to or exacerbate addiction, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more.

The first step to recovery is to want to recover. The next step is to seek family and friends’ support, which is often critical to following through with treatment, especially for those about to go through withdrawal.

Along with your supporters, seek a treatment facility that offers medication-assisted treatment, as well as individual and group psychosocial therapies, family therapy, and solid discharge and follow-up planning.

Addiction — especially opioid addiction — is challenging, but it’s more treatable today than ever before.

 

Dr. Mark Calarco is the national medical director of American Addiction Centers, a leader in drug and alcohol abuse treatment. He is a pioneer in treating hormone imbalances in recovering individuals and has served as a board member for the State of Tennessee Medical Laboratory Board and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Calarco was also the first board-certified anti-aging and regenerative medicine specialist in Tennessee.

 

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This Man Is Teaching People How He Healed His Own Cancer For Free

By Joe Martino | Collective Evolution

Did you know that over 4,600 people in the United States alone are diagnosed with cancer every single day?

Given these statistics, it’s more than likely that someone close to you has been affected by cancer, or that you yourself have been diagnosed. Imagine the type of thoughts that must go through a person’s head when they receive this diagnosis — the dread anticipation of what the next days, weeks, and months of their life will look like. You may have had these thoughts yourself or know someone who has, and I can only assume it’s terrifying, not only for the person who receives the diagnosis, but also for their friends and family, too. Perhaps one of the scariest things is knowing how ineffective many of the conventional methods of treating cancer are.

The good news is, there are other options out there, and Chris Wark has proven it. We have been in touch with Chris, who was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer at the young age of 26, for the last four years, following his journey toward health.

Overcome with worry about which treatment options to take, Chris decided to start by having part of his cancer surgically removed. After this, his doctors told him he would require nine more months of chemotherapy or he would likely die within a year or two. Chris had to think long and hard about what choice he was going to make. He could either go the conventional route and take on the physical and emotional battle that is chemotherapy, or try something different.

Chris thought to himself, “If my body created cancer, maybe my body can heal it.”

 

He then made a choice that in no way could have been easy, walking away from conventional methods of treatment and toward self directed healing.

He explored all possible ways he could heal his cancer himself, researching for weeks about nutrition, diets, and how he could support his body through this disease. He built a program for himself and, amazingly, was successful in healing his cancer.

His doctors were blown away.

Did It Really Work?

Some people have been critical of his story, stating that his success should be attributed to surgery rather than other changes. We had a conversation with Chris about this fact and here is what he had to say:

Surgery does not cure cancer, especially not stage 3. If it did, that’s all they would do. There would be no need for chemo and radiation. The medical industry has known that surgery does not cure cancer for at least 100 years. Cancer is a systemic metabolic disease, the result of a body that is nutrient deficient, overloaded with toxins, and has an overloaded or suppressed immune system. If the body is not given the essential nutrients it needs to repair, regenerate and detoxify, cancer will most assuredly come back after surgery. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, juices and smoothies is the most powerful way to promote the body’s ability to heal itself. All processed food must be eliminated. Animal products should be severely restricted or eliminated for a season until the cancer is gone. And it’s ok if some people don’t believe me. I know lots of survivors that have healed cancer without surgery, but skeptics won’t believe them either.

Could Chris have healed his cancer with chemo? Not likely, says one study. The study, which observed 453 stage II colon cancer patients, found that the patients who were treated with chemotherapy had worse quality of life, and were on average nearly three times more likely to have a cancer recurrence, and were two times more likely to die within two years of their diagnosis compared to those who did not receive chemo.

Chris’ Free Course

After his successful bout with cancer, Chris began coaching and helping others get through the disease as well. He put together a healing program called SQUARE ONE: Healing Cancer Coaching Program.

It’s a FREE 10-week video course that explains  the simple, straightforward methods that worked on him and many others in their cancer journeys.

[Read more here]




Collective Psychosis: The Greatest Sickness Epidemic Of Humanity

By: Paul Levy | Reality Sandwich

Psychic Headaches

In the book Columbus and other Cannibals, indigenous author Jack D. Forbes lucidly explores a psychological disease that has been informing human self-destructive behavior that Native American people have known about for years. After reading his book, it was clear to me that he was describing the same psycho-spiritual disease of the soul that I wrote about in my book, The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of our Collective Psychosis. I introduce the idea that from the dawn of human history our species has fallen prey to a collective psychosis which I call malignant egophrenia. Speaking about this very same psychic epidemic, Forbes writes, “For several thousands of years human beings have suffered from a plague, a disease worse than leprosy, a sickness worse than malaria, a malady much more terrible than smallpox.”[i] Indigenous people have been tracking the same “psychic”[ii] virus that I call malignant egophrenia for many centuries and calling it “wetiko,” a Cree term which refers to a diabolically wicked person or spirit who terrorizes others. Professor Forbes, who was one of the founders of the Native American movement during the early sixties, says, “Tragically, the history of the world for the past 2,000 years is, in great part, the story of the epidemiology of the wetiko disease.”[iii] Wetiko/malignant egophrenia is a “psychosis” in the true sense of the word as being a “sickness of the soul or spirit.” Though calling it by different names, Forbes and I are both pointing at the same illness of the psyche, soul and spirit that has been at the root of humanity’s inhumanity to itself.

As if performing a magic ritual, in exploring the entity of wetiko, we first have to invoke its spirit and enter into relationship with it. We must contemplate and engage wetiko as objectively as we are able, as if it exists outside of ourselves, lest we get too “mixed up” with the object of our contemplation. Due to its unique psychic origin, the epidemiology of wetiko is different than any other disease. An intrinsic challenge to our investigation of the wetiko virus is that it is incarnating in the very psyche which itself is the means of our investigation. Aware of this conundrum, Forbes explains that he is attempting to examine the disease, “from a perspective as free as possible from assumptions created by the very disease being studied.”[iv] If we are not aware of the frame of reference through which we are examining the wetiko virus, our investigation will be tainted by the disease, obscuring the clear vision needed to start the healing process. Studying how wetiko disease manifests in others, as well as in the “other” part of ourselves, will help us to see “it” more objectively. Seeing this psychological disease manifesting in the world is the looking glass through which we can potentially recognize this same illness as it arises subjectively within our own minds.

After evoking an entity like wetiko, in order to study it as objectively as possible, we have to hermetically seal it within an alchemical container. This ensures that its mercurial spirit doesn’t vaporize back into the invisibility of the unconscious, where it would act itself out through us. Jung continually emphasized the importance of developing a container or vessel in which to catch troublesome spirits like wetiko. He writes, “Therefore, if anything is wrong, take it out of its place and put it in the vessel that is between your neighbor and yourself…For love of mankind, create a vessel into which you can catch all that damned poison. For it must be somewhere — it is always somewhere — and not to catch it, to say it doesn’t exist, gives the best chance to any germ.”[v] Wetiko is an elusive spirit that is challenging to pin down and say it is “this” or “that.” At the same time, it is critical that we attempt to delineate its properties. Unlike a physical virus, the wetiko bug can not be isolated materially, but its characteristic signature can be detected and seen in the peculiar operations of a psyche that is under its spell. To not recognize the existence of the wetiko germ — “to say it doesn’t exist” — allows the psychic infection to act itself out unrestrained. Being “always somewhere” is to be nonlocal, which means that it is always around, even potentially, or especially, within ourselves. In calling forth the wetiko spirit, we are simultaneously creating, through our inquiry itself, the container in which we can study this bug so as to understand what in fact we are dealing with, see how it operates out in the world, in others, and subjectively, within ourselves. In order to come full circle in our contemplative exercise/exorcise, we have to homeopathically take our contemplation back within ourselves. As if in a dream where the inner is the outer, we can recognize that the wetiko virus that we have been tracking “out there,” outside of ourselves, is a reflection of and co-related to the same process within ourselves. Encoded in wetiko’s symptomology is a revelation, something that is most important for us to know.

Related Article: Psychic Attack: What It Is And How To Deflect It 

A Disease of Civilization

Wetiko/malignant egophrenia is a disease of civilization, or lack thereof. To quote Forbes, “To a considerable degree, the development of the wetiko disease corresponds to the rise of what Europeans choose to call civilization. This is no mere coincidence.”[vi] The unsustainable nature of industrial civilization is based on, and increasingly requires violence to maintain itself. Genuine “civilization,” in essence, means not killing people. Referring to the lack of “civility” in modern society, Gandhi was asked what he thought of Western civilization and responded by saying, “I think it would be a good idea.” It makes sense that native people would know about malignant egophrenia, as they were both oppressed by, but weren’t, at least initially, under the “curse” of modern civilization. Being under the sway of modern civilization can feel like something foreign to our nature is being imposed upon us, as if we are living in an occupied land. Modern civilization suffers from the overly one-sided dominance of the rational, intellectual mind, a one-sidedness that seemingly dis-connects us from nature, from empathy, and from ourselves. Due to its disassociation from the whole, wetiko is a disturber of the peace of humanity and the natural world, a sickness which spawns aggression and is capable of inciting violence amongst living beings. The wetiko virus is the root cause of the inhumanity in human nature, or shall we say, our seemingly inhuman nature. This “psychic virus,” a “bug” in “the system,” in-forms and animates the madness of so-called civilization, which, in a self-perpetuating feedback loop feeds the madness within ourselves.

Forbes continues, “this disease, this wetiko (cannibal) psychosis, is the greatest epidemic sickness known to man.”[vii] We, as a species, are in the midst of a massive psychic epidemic, a virulent collective psychosis that has been brewing in the cauldron of humanity’s psyche from the beginning of time. Like a fractal, wetiko operates on multiple dimensions simultaneously — intra-personally (within individuals), inter-personally (between ourselves), as well as collectively (as a species). “Cannibalism,” in Forbes’s words, “is the consuming of another’s life for one’s own private purpose or profit.”[viii] Those afflicted with wetiko, like a cannibal, consume the life-force of others — human and nonhuman — for private purpose or profit, and do so without giving back something from their own lives. One example that symbolizes our self-destructive, collective madness is the oil companies’ destruction of the Amazonian rainforest, the lungs of our planet. This is literally a full-bodied revelation showing us what we are doing to ourselves. Another literal example that is symbolically illustrating the wetiko complex in action is Monsanto genetically engineering terminator seeds that do not reproduce a second generation, thus forcing farmers to buy new seeds from Monsanto for each year’s new crop. This makes survival for many poor farmers impossible, which has triggered a wave of suicides among farmers, as Monsanto grows richer from the process.

Forbes writes, “The overriding characteristic of the wetiko is that he consumes other human beings, that is, he is a predator and a cannibal. This is the central essence of the disease.”[ix] Predators, “full-blown” wetikos are not in touch with their own humanity, and therefore can’t see the humanity in others. Instead, they relate to others either as potential prey or as a threat to their dominance. As if a different breed who is more animal-like predator than ordinary human being, someone fully taken over by the wetiko psychosis consumes others’ lives, physically, emotionally, psychically and meta-physically, beyond just the material body and physical possessions to the level of meaning itself. Wetikos are the “anti-artists” of our culture, embodying the opposite of what creative artists do. Unlike an artist (please see my article “The Artist as Healer of the World”), who creates life-enhancing meaning and enriches the world without robbing others, a wetiko takes and consumes without giving anything back, continually draining and impoverishing the planet of resources.

We are currently in the midst of “the greatest epidemic sickness known to man” (please see my article “Diagnosis: Psychic Epidemic”). Many of us don’t even realize this, as our collective insanity is so pervasive that it has become normalized. Our collective madness has become transparent to us, as we see and interpret the world through it, rendering our madness invisible, thereby unwittingly colluding with the collective psychosis that is wreaking incredible death and destruction on our planet. Being “trans-parent,” our madness is beyond its mere appearance, which is to say, “beyond being apparent,” i.e., not visible. Our collective psychosis is invisible to us, as it expresses itself both in the very way we are looking, as well as all of the unspoken ways we have been conditioned not to perceive. Due to its cloak of invisibility, we don’t see our madness, a psychic blindness which makes us complicit in the creation of our madness.

Many of us can’t fathom the level of evil to which full-blown wetikos have fallen prey, and of which they are capable. Our lack of imagination of the evil existing in potential in humanity is a direct reflection of a lack of intimacy with our own potential evil, which enables the malevolence of wetiko to have nearly free rein in our world (please see my article “Shedding Light on Evil”). In our psychic blindness we are complicit in the spreading of the evil of the wetiko psychosis, a systematic evil whose depth is beyond the capacity of words to fully describe. Evil paralyzes the ability to language our experience, creating a seemingly unbridgeable gap between language and the event it is supposed to describe. Finding that place of no words, we simultaneously discover and create a new language, a language which is universal and transcends language itself, a language known as art.

A Parasite of a Different Order 

When people are infected by the wetiko virus, Forbes writes, they are “the host for the wetiko parasites.”[x] The wetiko germ is a psychic tapeworm, a parasite of the mind. Just like certain computer viruses or malware infect and program a computer to self-destruct, mind-viruses like wetiko can program the human bio-computer to think, believe and behave in ways that result in our self-destruction. Wetiko is a virulent, psychic pathogen that insinuates thought-forms into our mind which, when unconsciously en-acted, feed it, and ultimately kills its host (us). It doesn’t want to kill us too quickly however, for to successfully implement its agenda of reproducing and propagating itself throughout the field, it must let the host live long enough to spread the virus. If the host dies too soon, the bug would be prematurely evicted and would suffer the inconvenience of having to find a new residence.

Like a cancer of the mind that metastasizes, in wetiko disease, a pathological part of the psyche co-opts and subsumes all of the healthy parts of the psyche into itself so as to serve its pathology. The personality then self-organizes an outer display of coherence around this pathogenic core, which “masks” the inner dysfunction, making it hard to recognize. In a psychic coup d’etat, the wetiko bug can usurp and displace the person, who becomes its puppet and marionette. Like a parasite, the wetiko virus can take over the will of an animal more evolved than itself, enlisting that creature into serving its nefarious agenda. Once the parasite becomes sufficiently entrenched within the psyche, the prime directive coordinating a person’s behavior comes from the disease, as it is now the one calling the shots. Just as someone infected with the rabies virus will resist drinking water, which would flush out the infection, someone taken over by the wetiko parasite will have nothing to do with anything that will help them get rid of the disease. Wetikos are phobic towards the light of truth, which they avoid like the plague. In advanced stages, this process takes over the person so completely that we could rightfully say the person is no longer there; they are just an empty shell carrying the disease. In a sense there is just the disease, operating through what appears to be a human being. The person becomes fully identified with their mask, their persona, but it is as if there is no one behind the mask.

Alien Intrusion

Speaking in his own language about the predation of the wetiko virus, the spiritual teacher Don Juan, of the Carlos Castaneda books, mentions that the ancient shamans called this “the topic of topics.”[xi] Don Juan explains, “We have a companion for life…We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners. The predator is our lord and master.”[xii] This sounds just like the state of affairs being pointed at in the Bible when, for example, The Gospel of John refers to the devil as “the ruler of this world” (14:30; 16:11), and Paul speaks of Satan as “the god of this world” (Cor. 4:4). The Gnostic Gospel of Phillip, talking about the root of evil that lies within all of us, makes the similar point that unless this evil is recognized, “It masters us. We are its slaves. It takes us captive.” (II, 3, 83.5-30) Speaking about the predator, Don Juan continues, “It has rendered us docile, helpless. If we want to protest, it suppresses our protest. If we want to act independently, it demands that we don’t do so.”[xiii] It is striking how Don Juan’s description of the effects of these predators is being enacted in our increasingly militarized society, as our freedoms and liberties get taken away step by step. It is as if an inner, invisible state of affairs existing as a yet unrealized archetypal pattern deep within the soul of humanity is revealing itself by materializing in, as, and through the outside world.

To quote Don Juan, “Indeed we are held prisoner! This was an energetic fact for the sorcerers of ancient Mexico.”[xiv] Don Juan is referring to an “energetic fact” that I imagine most of us can relate to; i.e., there is “something” within us that stops us from expressing our true creative genius and attaining our full potential. These predators are “time-bandits,” consuming the precious hours of our lives, as if we are wage-slaves on a prison-planet “doing time.” Deepening his description of these predators, Don Juan elaborates, “They took over because we are food for them…we are their sustenance. Just as we rear chickens in chicken coops, gallineros, the predators rear us in human coops, humaneros.”[xv] The wetiko virus particularly flourishes in overpopulated cities, where people are “coop-ed up.” When we buy into group-think and are enlisted as a member of the herd, we become like sheep that are being led over the edge of a cliff, or cattle that are being raised to be slaughtered.

Don Juan continues, “The predators give us their mind, which becomes our mind.”[xvi] It is as if these predators are in competition with us for a “share” of our own mind. The predator shape-shifts and assumes our form, and if we are unaware of its masquerade, we will identify with its invasive thought-forms as if they are our own, and act them out. We will mistakenly believe that we are acting on our own impulses, with our best interests in mind. This predator, Don Juan continues, “fears that any moment its maneuver is going to be uncovered and food is going to be denied.”[xvii] The wetiko predator has an inner necessity, a brute compulsion born out of terror, as it continually has to feed itself so as to postpone its ever-approaching death. Don Juan continues, “Through the mind, which, after all, is their mind, the predators inject into the lives of human beings whatever is convenient for them [the predators].”[xviii] Cloaking itself in our form, this predator gets under our skin and “puts us on” as a disguise, fooling us to “buy” into its false version of who we are. (This is why the shortened name of Malignant Egophrenia is “ME disease,” referring to a distortion of our identity, i.e., our sense of “me”-ness). Instead of being in our power and serving ourselves, we “unwittingly” (which means to be “out of our wits,” i.e., not in our “right” mind) become the servant of the predator. Instead of being a sovereign being who is creating with our own thoughts, we will then be created by them, as the predator literally thinks in our place. It is as if the predator is sitting in our seat.

Speaking of the predator’s scheme, Don Juan says, “it proposes something, it agrees with its own proposition, and it makes you believe that you’ve done something of worth.”[xix] It is as if there is an alien “other,” an extraterrestrial, metaphysical entity which is subliminally intruding its mind into ours in such a way that we identify with its point of view and dis-connect from our own. Don Juan refers to this situation as a “foreign installation,” as if some alien race has set up a space station inside of our minds. This is exactly what the Gnostics — the ones who “know” — are pointing at when they talk about alien predators called “Archons” who infiltrate and subvert the workings of our mind.[xx] To the extent that we are not conscious of this alien take over of our psyche, we become drafted into the predator’s sinister agenda, unwittingly becoming its slaves. This state of inner, psychological warfare is mirrored by the sinister psy-ops (psychological operations) being instituted by the powers-that-be in the outside world. The disease feeds on our unawareness of it.

Vampires

Forbes writes, “The wetiko psychosis is a sickness of the spirit that takes people down an ugly path with no heart…After all, the wetiko disease turns such people into werewolves and vampires, creatures of the Europeans nightmare world, and creatures of the wetiko’s reality.”[xxi] The wetiko psychosis takes people down, period. Werewolves and vampires are shape-shifting creatures, symbolic representations of the horrific potential within all of us to be taken over by and act out the archetypal shadow, regressing to an archaic level of the psyche and become like a predatory animal or nonhuman creature. When these not-yet-humanized psychic energies break through into consciousness and are not mediated through consciousness, Jung writes, “they sweep everything before them like a torrent and turn men into creatures for whom the word ‘beast’ is still too good a name.”[xxii]

Vampires, considered to be the darkest creature of evil’s arsenal, have haunted our imagination for ages, as they are representatives of a living process that exists deep within the human psyche. A vampire is not a human figure, but rather, is a soulless creature, a being who has lost its soul; or if it hasn’t lost its soul, its soul has been “damned,” which is a soul that is lost. Either way, there’s something missing. Isolated from the world, it has lost any connection with the part of itself that is related to everything else; from its point of view, the world exists simply for its use. Although it has lost connection with its heart and soul, a vampire hasn’t lost its mind (though in one sense it has), as vampires often have clever and incisive intellects that cloak their pathology, making their disease hard to see. This is similar to how people in a deep state of trauma can have brilliant minds as well, a gift that can hide the extent of their trauma, making their malady hard to recognize. The sharpness of the vampire’s mind, instead of being devoted to gaining insight into their malady and healing from it, however, is used for the “passing on” and propagation of their dark art.

One of the undead, a vampire is death taking living, human form. The wetiko virus is ultimately not a living life-form, but rather, a living form of death. Wetiko, like a virus, is “dead” matter; it is only in a living creature that viruses acquires a “quasi-life.” Members of the living dead, vampires are neither truly alive, nor truly dead. Like a full-fledged vampire, “full-blown” wetikos have forfeited their humanity, becoming a conduit for the impersonal, transpersonal and depersonalizing wetiko virus to incarnate through them. They are a living portal, an opening in the third-dimensional fabric of space/time through which this contagious, virulent higher-dimensional virus can spread itself throughout the field, both locally and nonlocally.

Lacking a sense of soul, wetikos are efficient “machines,” dedicated to preserving and serving “the state,” which, to quote Forbes, “is itself a creature of the wetikos who have seized control of its power apparatus.”[xxiii] A full-fledged wetiko has become a robotic automaton, conditioned to react to certain stimuli like a reflex. They have become part of “the machine,” with no spontaneity, creativity, originality, nor free thinking programmed in. De-humanized, wetikos have lost touch with any sense of aesthetics, of appreciating the inherent beauty of life, and have become “an-aesthetic,” i.e., anesthetized and numb to what it is to be a human being. Emissaries of an authoritarian, militarized, patriarchal planetary “culture,” the wetiko bug breeds fascism, and terror. To quote the great healer Wilhelm Reich, “Fascism is the vampire leeched to the body of the living, the impulse to murder given free rein.”[xxiv] Fascism is the outer, collective political expression of an individual’s ravaged inner landscape that has been crippled and suppressed by the authoritarian civilization of “the machine.”

Like a vampire, in full-blown wetikos there is nobody home, which is one of the reasons why, symbolically speaking, vampires have no reflection in a mirror (which, mythologically speaking, reflect back images of the human soul). Full-blown wetikos are empty to the core, so there is nothing to reflect. Inwardly there is just an infinite void, a sponge that can never be saturated, a devouring black hole that is feeding on the universe. Their atrophied soul has been emptied out like a piece of wood hollowed out by psychic termites. Full-blown wetikos are so compulsively possessed by and identical with the unconscious in its destructive, consciousness-negating form that they are not able to see nor think about themselves, which philosopher Hannah Arendt claims is one of the primary characteristics of evil. Unable to self-reflect, they can no longer access within themselves the faculty of the psyche from which such activity derives. One of the reasons we can’t see a vampire’s reflection in a mirror, however, is because our own inner, unconscious vampire obscures the reflection, which is to say that the unacknowledged specter of our own shadow gets in the way.

A vampire casts no shadow. In order to cast a shadow, there has to be a source of light. In a vampire there is no light, only infinite darkness. Not being a living being, a vampire has no inherent reality, no substance. Only a thing of substantial existence can produce a shadow. Vampires can’t cast a shadow, however, because they are the living embodiment of and identical with the archetypal shadow. A shadow casts no shadow of itself, as the shadow itself has no substance. There are benefits that accrue to the vampire because of its ability to not cast a shadow — it is then easier for the vampire to hide its true identity, move in the hidden shadows, become invisible, and be able to prey on people. Not casting a shadow, the vampire, a shape-shifter who is a master of camouflage and disguise, is able to easily seduce and entice the unaware, as sugar-coated vampires entrap us through our unconscious shadow and blind-spots. This is to say that the loss and dis-owning of our shadow can lead to vampirism. The vampire archetype gets activated within us when we turn our backs on our own darkness, rendering our shadow invisible to ourselves. We can’t see vampires because we have chosen not to see those aspects of ourselves that are most like the vampire. Our reluctance to see our own vampiric qualities blinds us to the vampiric energies in others.

In addition to the weak and defenseless, vampires seek out people who are on the verge of a quantum, evolutionary leap in consciousness, but have not yet fully integrated their realizations and come out the other side.  These individuals are in an energetically sensitive and “charged” condition, and their openness and vulnerability invites the vampiric entities to help themselves and gorge on the light of their expanding awareness. The strategy of these predators is to distract us so as to keep our attention directed outwards, thereby stopping us from finding the light within ourselves, which would “kill” the vampires. If we hold up a mirror and reflect back the insanity being exhibited by those stricken by the wetiko psychosis, we run the very real risk of being accused of being the ones who are crazy. If we do manage to connect with the light within ourselves and try to share it with others, these nonlocal vampiric entities (what I have in previous articles called “nonlocal demons,” or NLD for short), not bound by the third-dimensional laws of space and time, will try, via their “connections” to the nonlocal field, to stop us by influencing other people to turn against us. This process can destroy us, or, if we have the meta-awareness to see what is happening and are able to skillfully navigate our way through, can serve to further strengthen our intention, deepen our connection with the light of lucidity, hone our skill of creatively transmitting our realizations, and cultivate more open-hearted compassion. It is as if these psychic, nonlocal vampires are guardians of the threshold of evolution.

Just like vampires, full-blown wetikos have a thirst for the very thing they lack — the mystical essence of life — i.e., the “blood” of our soul. In “consuming” other human beings, wetiko disease is a feeding thing, a psychic eating disorder in which the stricken psyche consumes other psyches, as well as, ultimately, itself. Wetikos are what are called “psychophagic,” i.e., soul-eaters. Savaged by the ferocity of their unending hunger, full-blown wetikos have become possessed by an insatiable craving that can never be filled. This vampiric feeding is an unholy parody, a satanic reflection, of the self-renewal of life. This perverse inner process is mirrored collectively by the consumer society in which we live, a culture that continually fans the flames of never-ending desires, conditioning us to always want MORE. As if starving, we are in an endless feeding frenzy, trying to fill a bottomless void. This process of rabid, obsessive/compulsive consumption is a reflection of a deeper, inner shared sense of spiritual starvation. The entity of the global economic system itself is a living symbol of out-of-control wetiko disease “in business.”

Viruses like wetiko are all about copying themselves. A virus can’t replicate itself, however; it has to use some other vehicle as its means of reproducing itself. They need us to be their birthing chamber. To the extent we are not aware of their ploy, these higher-dimensional spirit parasites put us on, wearing us like their third-dimensional space suits. These psychic vampires are compelled to replicate themselves through us so that we can then “pass on” and transmit the bug to others. This process is analogous to when someone is infected with the rabies virus. In advanced stages of the disease, like a rabid animal they will be taken over by the irresistible urge to bite other creatures so as to pass on the virus. People taken over by the rabies virus are a living, frothing symbol of what the wetiko virus does in its full-blown virulent stage.

In a vampiric lineage, the wetiko virus’s self-propagation is accomplished through the medium of the “family system” (be it our family of origin, or the human family), as the legacy of abuse (be it physical, sexual, political, emotional, psychological, or spiritual) gets passed down, both individually and collectively, and transmitted over generations, continually incarnating itself through the living. It is through the traumatic shattering of our wholeness that wetiko passes its fractured logic and distorted code into the body/mind of another. As if under a curse, our species has been suffering from a collective, inherited form of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Remaking their victims in their own image, the wetikos’ victims join the legion of the “damned,” themselves becoming holders of an unholy lineage. This “curse” will continue until we intervene in the spreading of this vampiric mind-parasite, and the chain of never-ending abuse is stopped.

Related Post: A Better Vision For Humanity

Highly Contagious

Speaking about wetikos, Forbes says, “they are insane (unclean) in the true sense of the word. They are mentally ill and tragically, the form of soul-sickness that they carry is catching.”[xxv] Wetiko psychosis is highly contagious, spreading through the channel of our shared unconsciousness. Its vectors of infection and propagation do not travel like a physical pathogen. This fluidly moving, nomadically wandering bug reciprocally reinforces, feeds off of and into each of our unconscious blind-spots, which is how it nonlocally propagates itself throughout the field. In wetiko there is a code or logic which affects/infects awareness in an analogous way to how the DNA in a virus passes into and infects a cell. People who are channeling the vibratory frequency of wetiko align with each other through psychic resonance to reinforce their shared agreement so as to uphold their deranged view of reality. Collaboratively supporting their mutual psychosis, groups of people drawn together by the unconscious can potentially become a socio-political force with which to be reckoned. When a group of people are in agreement about anything, whether it is true or not, their alignment with each other exerts a contagious, magnetic field-of-force which can sway and attract the unaware into itself.

People taken over by the wetiko virus usually don’t suspect a thing about how they have been “conned.” The wetiko culture offers no incentive for them to self-reflectingly speculate upon their depraved circumstance; on the contrary, the nonlocal field configures itself to conspire, enable and further cultivate their psychosis. When someone is a full-blown, unrecognized wetiko, the field around them torques so as to protect, collude with, and feed into their psychosis in a way that en-trances everyone around them. Once under the wetiko spell, they lose the capacity to recognize the wetiko pathology in others. In a situation of “group narcissism,” wetikos at different stages of the disease assume particular postures and roles relative to each other so as to protect and shield themselves from their own insanity and darkness. They feed and reinforce each others’ narcissism because it enhances their own. Speaking about the type of person who is typically susceptible to fall prey to the wetiko virus, Forbes writes that it is usually the individual “whose strings are pulled by others or who follow a life-path dictated by others. Thus they are ripe for the wetiko infection.”[xxvi] Not in touch with their inner guidance, they project authority outside of themselves, and become very suggestible to the consensus, agreed-upon opinion of the dominant pack. Losing touch with their own discernment and ability for critical thinking, the “mass man” becomes part of the mindless herd and falls prey to “group-think,” whose members co-dependently enable each other to uphold their shared version of the (wetiko) world. Their group consensus about the nature of reality gets increasingly harder to sustain as time passes, however, as, like a house of cards ready to collapse at any moment, their vision of the world is based on the fundamental error of not being true. Strangely enough, people under the collective enchantment of wetiko become fanatically attached to supporting an agenda that oftentimes is diametrically opposed to serving their own best interest. This is an outer reflection of the inner state of being under the sway of the self-destructive wetiko parasite.

By being “unclean,” it is as if there is an un-holy or evil spirit that has taken up residence in the beings of those taken over by wetiko. They are unwittingly being used as instruments, as covert operatives of this darker, unclean spirit to proliferate itself in the wider field. Secret agents of the disease, wetikos’ secret is self-secret, in that it is secret even to themselves. As is true for any of us when we are taken over by something other than ourselves, carriers of wetiko don’t know how possessed they are at any given moment. The experience of being taken over by something more powerful than themselves always happens in their blind spot (please see my article “Are We Possessed?”).

The wetiko bug influences our perceptions by stealth and subterfuge so as to hide and obfuscate itself from being seen. Like a higher-dimensional, alien form of psychic foliage, the wetiko germ implants its seeds into and takes root and germinates within our mind, distracting and deviating us from our true vocation, calling and spiritual path. The alien, and alienating, effect of the wetiko virus, the very thing we need to see, is disguised by the way we think, perceive, and give meaning to our experience. When someone becomes a full, card-carrying member of the cult of wetiko (please see my article “The Bush Cult”), it is as if their mind has been colonized by the virus in such a way that they themselves don’t have the slightest clue about their own pathological condition. Wetikos don’t experience themselves as needing help; for them other people are always “the problem.” They usually don’t mind their disease, or even recognize it, because it is all they know, and their leaders and the very society they live in encourage them in it. They neither have an appreciation of their disorder, nor do they realize how truly sick they are.

Forbes writes, “one of the major traits characterizing the truly evil and extreme form of wetikoism is arrogance.”[xxvii] In being “full-blown,” wetikos are arrogantly puffed up with their own self-importance, i.e., “inflated.” Instruments for evil, wetikos are arrogantly, ignorantly and self-righteously convinced they are in possession of the truth and working for the highest good. It is as if they are unable to know that what they are doing is evil, unable to register their actions as anything other than good. Forbes concludes, “In any case, the wetiko disease, the sickness of exploitation, has been spreading as a contagion for the past several thousand years. And as a contagion unchecked by most vaccines, it tends to become worse rather than better with time. More and more people catch it, in more and more places, and they become the true teachers of the young.”[xxviii] Wetiko culture gets taught both at home and in “the academy,” where people become “certified” in the ways of its world, and are thus accredited and empowered to spread its corrupting ways on ever grander scales.

Speaking about the rapidly spreading wetiko contagion, Forbes writes, “It is spread by the wetikos themselves as they recruit or corrupt others. It is spread today by history books, television, military training programs, police training programs, comic books, pornographic magazines, films, right-wing movements, fanatics of various kinds, high-pressure missionary groups, and numerous governments.”[xxix] All of the mainstream, culturally-sanctioned, corporatized institutions are in the business of indoctrination, telling us what to think and not think about, as well as how to think. Our mind is continually being massaged into shape by the prevailing culture, as if our ‘true face’ is being “lifted.” It is as if our spiritual pockets are being picked. Our “civilization” has become the mouthpiece for the propaganda organ of the disease, entrancing us to “buy” into its viewpoint as we are bled to death of what really counts most. The “culture” (sic) that in-forms and forms around wetiko illness is itself a channel of its transmission, and if we sign on the dotted line and subscribe to its viewpoint, its life-denying culture will gradually subsume us into itself, as we become unwitting agents doing ITS bidding. This is how the ever-expanding, self-generating psychic empire of collective psychosis “works,” as it takes over and increasingly approaches “full-employment.”

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Heart’s Gift

What is your heart’s gift for the world? What is that thing that you are really good at? Your heart’s gift to the world could be that you are a fantastic parent and are consistently bringing light into this world by the efforts you make in that realm. Maybe you are a writer and your gift is to touch people in that way. You could be a really great teacher or maybe you are funny or compassionate. Maybe you are a great listener, or a therapist, or a scientist, who knows? But everybody has something that allows them to contribute to the brightness and beauty of this world in a way that is unique. Your heart’s gift for the world can be developed and can change over time, sure, but knowing what your heart’s gift to the world is can be a gift to yourself.

Knowing your heart’s gift for the world helps you to prioritize and organize your energies and attention in ways that are fulfilling and purposeful and satisfying. Could you imagine if Monet was too busy mowing the lawn to bother with mastering his art? And sure, everybody’s gotta mow the lawn once in a while but once you understand what your gift is you find will ways to make your contribution to the world regular and meaningful, you will sign up for that art class, you will start carrying your camera with you wherever you go, you will finally submit your poetry to that literary magazine.

Maybe you are not sure exactly what your heart’s gift to the world is. Practices like meditation and yoga help bring clarity and insight to our minds and hearts about our gifts. And maybe your work is to discover or refine what that gift is. Once you are aware of your heart’s gift to the world, begin to dedicate yourself to the improvement and expression of it. It’s not just about being good at something, or being paid for it. Your heart’s gift is your purpose for being on earth, and everything you do is either a contribution to or a distraction from that thing.

With practice, we can allow the different energies and excitements of our day to further contribute to that gift and the sharing of that gift. If you’re an artist, you will exit a movie and have 19 new ideas for an art project. If you’re a scientist, you will go on a walk and somehow along the way you will mentally stumble upon the solution to a problem you’ve been having in your science lab. If your hearts gift is to raise a family, you’ll see a beautiful sunset and the ensuing emotions will inspire you to go home and practice being a loving partner or parent.

This week, I invite you to take a few minutes every day to sit, close your eyes, and meditate on the question, what is your heat’s gift to the world? Come to yoga with this intention to cultivate, understand, or discover your heart’s gift to the world. Then in the practice of every-day living, allow the experiences of your life to further inspire you to share that gift.

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in New York City and when he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to trail run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son.




‘Emotional Diversity’ Is More Important Than Happiness

By Crystal Ponti | The Science of Us

Happiness may be a state of mind, but it’s also a state of body. We already know that stress is bad for our health, and in recent years, a growing collection of research has taken things a step further, suggesting that beyond a simple lack of stress, it’s happiness that holds the key to health. The emotion doesn’t just make life more pleasant, studies have found; happier people feel better and live longer, too.

Well, maybe. In a new study published in the journal Emotion, a team of researchers made the case that happiness is hogging more than its fair share of the attention as the emotion most strongly connected to a healthier body. Rather, the study authors found, the ability to feel a wide range of positive emotions — what they termed “emotional diversity,” or “emodiversity” — may be the link to better health.

Lead author Anthony Ong, professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology and professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, compares our emotional landscape to an ecosystem: “Emodiversity draws from research in the natural sciences on the benefits of biodiversity,” he says. An environment is healthier when various species all serve their own functional roles, and suffers when any one species is depleted or becomes overabundant, throwing off the balance. Similarly, he explains, emotions serve functional roles for people, helping them prioritize and regulate behavior to adapt to a given situation.

From a scientific standpoint, the biological processes that allow our emotional experiences to influence our health outcomes still aren’t very well understood. This latest study focused on one potential pathway: systematic inflammation, an immune response that’s been linked to chronic diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis, as well as increased risk of premature death.

Ong and his colleagues recruited 175 participants between the ages of 40 to 65 and asked them to keep a log of their emotions for 30 days. Each evening, participants rated the extent to which they had experienced 16 positive emotions that day — happiness was one of them, but the list also included enthusiasm, determination, pride, inspiration, and strength, among others. They also recorded any negative emotions they’d felt that day, like sadness, anger, shame, and guilt. Emodiversity was measured by the number of different emotions a person felt, as well as the overall distribution and the number of times each emotion was experienced. (“Specifically, low emodiversity is characterized by emotional experiences that are relatively homogeneous and concentrated in a few emotion categories,” Ong explains, “whereas high emodiversity reflects emotional experiences that are relatively diverse and distributed more evenly across categories.”)

Participants also had their blood drawn at two different points, once at the beginning of the 30-day study period and again six months later. When the researchers  analyzed the blood samples for three different markers of  inflammation, they found that the people with the lowest rates of inflammation were the same ones who reported a wide range of positive emotions.

[Read more here]

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), and New England. He can be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.com.

 




Absence Is Presence: There’s An Upside To Being Forgetful

By Drake Baer | Thrive Global

There are 80 to 90 billion neurons in your brain. If just a tenth of those were set aside for recalling things, you’d be able to store a solid one billion individual memories up there, according to fancy statistical models.

Yet we forget things all the time. (My favorite, apparently, is misplacing my glasses—the very things I see with!—at least once a day.) To University of Toronto researchers Blake A. Richards and Paul W. Frankland, this prompts a question: why, after 2.8million years of human evolution, would we be so programmed for forgetfulness. In a new review paper in the journal Neuron, they argue that forgetting isn’t a bug—it’s a feature.

This comes down to two main things.

Forgetting allows you to be more mentally flexible.

If you were stuck remembering everything about everything, like some kind of King Midas of the mind, it would be harder to adapt to our unrelentingly changing world. Persistence of memory “is only useful when it maintains those aspects of experience that are either relatively stable and/or predictive of new experiences,” the authors write. Absence is presence: not knowing how to do something means you’re freer to learn how to do it, rather than simply going with what worked before.

Frankland co-authored a 2016 study on mice that showed how this worked. His team trained two groups of mice to navigate a maze to find a goal. After they grew accustomed to that task, half the mice got their brains zapped, prompting the growth of neurons, which, for reasons too complex to get into here, induces forgetting. Then the experimenters moved the goal and let the mice back in there. Lo and behold, the absent-minded mice found the platform more quickly—their learning was improved through forgetting.

Anthony Wagner, the principal investigator at the Stanford Memory Lab, gave a more human example to me for an earlier story. “If you didn’t forget, you’d have this sea of interference that would make it hard to figure out which bit of memory helps,” he says. Consider the all-too-familiar case of the email password. After months of familiarity, you know your current one exceptionally well. But then security software asks you to get a new one. As much as you’re learning the new password, you’re forgetting the obsolete one. Together, that process allows you to remember the newly dominant one, and be much less frustrated with life.

Forgetting helps you generalize.

In popular culture, memories are usually expressed in the method of Bruce Springsteen: gold-hewn recollections of glory days past. But the poet laureate of Asbury Park, New Jersey, doesn’t portray an evolutionarily aware understanding of recall. Daphna Shohamy, who runs a neuroscience of learning lab at Columbia, once emphasized to me that memory is more action-oriented than nostalgic. “Our brains are built to help us deal with the world in better ways and not just so we can reminisce,” she told me. “Predicting the future is remembering what happened in the past. Our memories are a bridge between what happened and what will happen next.”

In order to take a specific experience and make it generalizable, you need to abstract the most important bits out and let go of the details, in the same way that Picasso’s drawings of bulls got more and more abstract. Like in the below series, you can tell the last figure is of a bull, even though there’s only a few strokes of the pen—no longer a specific steer, what remains is now the general form of a bull.

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Maximize Your Impact This Week: Tap Into Each Day’s Energetic Tone For Well-Being

By: Tanaaz | Forever Conscious

energy days of week

The days of the week all carry their own special vibration. Of course, the specific vibration of the day will be influenced by the planets (astrology) , your own life circumstances and your own personal vibration, however each day has its own vibe that runs like an undercurrent for 24 hours.

In Ancient times, the days of the week were named in accordance to the planets. Each day was special and signified a time to utilise the energy of each planetary god.

 It is interesting when you look back at the energetic meaning of the days of the week as they still organically ring true today. It is no coincidence that Saturday and Sunday are rest days, whereas the other days are considered part of the working week.

Here is the energetic tone to each day of the week and how you can use this energy to to flow through life-

Related Article: Your Horoscope And Astrology Overview This Week August 15-21st, 2016

Monday

Monday is the day of the Moon, a day for stepping into our true potential, intuition and emotions.

Monday truly sets the emotional tone for the week ahead because the Moon asks us to get clear about our emotions and what we want to achieve in the coming days.

Monday often gets a bad wrap and many dread the day or find it challenging. This is because emotions can be stirred on the day of the Moon, causing us to feel moody and sluggish.

If you are not a fan of Monday, there may be some underlying emotional energy that you are struggling to deal with.

Monday can also bring about a positive wave of motivation and energy.  If we feel positive about our lives and emotionally healthy, Monday can help us to launch forward and be in a positive frame of mind for the week ahead.

In order to prepare for the energy of Monday, ensure that you get a good nights rest the night before and drink plenty of water.

Tuesday

Tuesday is ruled by the planet of action and energy, Mars and is a great day for getting things done.

If Monday is all about setting the emotional tone, Tuesday is all about putting that tone into action.

Tuesday is the perfect day to launch forward with projects, make decisions and get ahead, especially when it comes to your career. The energy of the day will also help you to start making progress in all areas of your life and is excellent for getting intune with your passions.

In order to best use the energy of Tuesday, get clear about what you want and then go out there and make it happen. Mars energy gives us the drive and passion to follow through on our goals, dreams and desires.

Wednesday

Wednesday is ruled by the planet of communication and expression, Mercury. This makes Wednesday the perfect time to get clear about what you want and where you are heading.

Wednesday is also the perfect time to schedule meetings, networking events and any important calls. It is also the perfect day to express yourself to a loved one and to catch up on any correspondence.

Mercury rules the higher mind, so brainstorming and ideas usually flourish on Wednesday. Save this day to workshop ideas and come up with creative projects. It is also the perfect time to get clear about any difficult life decisions.

Being the midpoint of the week, the energy of the Wednesday also provides us with a clue as to whether or not we are paying attention to our needs and what energy we are expressing out into the Universe.

In order to best use the energy of Wednesday, take the opportunity to express yourself and contemplate on whether the energy you are sending out into the Universe is aligned with what you want for yourself.

Thursday

Thursday is the day of Jupiter, the planet of positivity and expansion, making it the perfect time to learn new things and expand your consciousness.

As we wind down the working week, the energy of Thursday allows us to be productive and helps us to take care of matters that may have been lingering the last few days.

Thursday is also a day of positivity and has a lightness to it that helps us to get things done and be more open to learning things. Thursday also serves as an excellent reminder to pay gratitude for the days passed and all that you have learnt and achieved.

The energy of Thursday also supports all things that allow us to expand, whether it is spiritually or mentally. This makes it the perfect time to start a new spiritual practice or a new hobby. It is also a good time to wrap up financial matters or manage your money.

In order to use the energy of Thursday effectively, make a point to feel gratitude and positivity from the moment you wake up, as this is going to help you leap forward throughout the day.

Related Article: 5 Keys To Harnessing The Healing Energy Of Summer

Friday

Friday is the day of Venus, the planet of love and creativity, which makes it the perfect day to connect with others and relax.

The romantic energy of Venus puts us in a social mood on Friday and gets us thinking about those that we love. This makes Friday a perfect day for a date night and intimate connections.

The energy of Friday also allows us to get creative and can bring a fresh new inspiration to any projects we are working on.

Expanding or pitching any creative projects is also definitely favourable on Friday.

Friday is also a good time to wrap up any loose ends and to shelve any ideas that are bubbling for another time. It is also the perfect time to indulge, pamper yourself and update your beauty routine.

In order to use the energy of Friday effectively, schedule time with your loved ones and work on any creative projects that you may have in the pipeline. Try not to schedule anything too strenuous on Friday, as it is a day for relaxing and having fun.

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Do You Really Do Yoga? The Mainstream Way Vs. The Ancient Version – It’s More Than Just Physical Activity

By Arjun Walia | Collective Evolution

Yoga has become an immensely popular form of physical activity and relaxation in recent years. Those who practice it on a regular basis are constantly raving about its physical and mental benefits, and rightfully so. Regular practice can lead to increased strength, flexibility, and focus, and decrease one’s proneness to injury. It also enhances one’s ability to concentrate, among many other benefits.

What we don’t often consider, however, are the spiritual teachings which underpin this ancient practice. Yoga is much more than just physical exercise, though this rather reductive understanding makes up the dominant perception of Western society. There is nothing wrong with only engaging in the physical side of yoga, but it’s important to understand its roots and origins in order to not only reap its full benefits, but afford it the respect it deserves. Indeed, many would argue that one cannot claim to ‘do yoga’ if they are only practicing one aspect of it. This article will discuss a couple of topics that are closely associated with yoga, but have been largely forgotten today by the Western world.

The Western Perception of Yoga

The Western perception of yoga is not wrong by any means. As mentioned above, it mainly considers one component of yoga — the physical act of ‘doing yoga’ — without acknowledging the other, equally important aspects of this practice. The Western world was introduced to yoga in the late 1800s, when Swami Vivekananda, an Indian guru and yogic scholar, sparked a wave of Eastern Yogi’s setting up teaching centres in the West. Some of these gurus, like Vivekananda himself, attracted a lot of attention from prominent authors, scientists, and socialites.

For example, Nikola Tesla was well aware of ancient concepts and the correlation it had with the science he was working on, using sanskrit worlds like “akasha” and “prana” to describe the force and matter that exists all around us; these words come from the Upanishads (a collection of Vedic texts). Not many people know that Tesla had correlations with Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), who was one of the most famous and influential spiritual leaders of the philosophies of Vedanta (one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy, the term originally referred to the Upanishads, a collection of philosophical texts in Hinduism) and yoga. He was the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the founder of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. He is a giant figure in the history of the Hindu reform movements.

Vivekananda wrote a letter to Tesla in the late 1800s, remarking:

Mr. Tesla thinks he can demonstrate mathematically that force and matter are reducible to potential energy. I am to go and see him next week to get this new mathematical demonstration. In that case the Vedantic cosmology will be placed on the surest of foundations. I am working a good deal now upon the cosmology and eschatology of the Vedanta. I clearly see their perfect union with modern science, and the elucidation of the one will be followed by that of the other.

(From the Complete Works, VOL. V, Fifth Edition, 1347, p. 77.)

There was even a scholarly review of Vivekananda’s published lectures, which appeared in the American Journal of Theology in 1895.

Since the introduction of yoga to the Western world, its use has grown exponentially each year. In spite of this growth, however, is still mostly regarded as a physical practice, with its spiritual roots largely ignored or forgotten. Nevertheless, the true purpose of yoga is to achieve states of insightfulness. As I mentioned before, there is nothing wrong with  focusing on the physical side of yoga, but it is important to be aware that you are choosing to do so. Actually engaging in yoga in the traditional sense is a much different enterprise.

[Read more here]




The Chemistry of Addiction: Learn How Love Is The Gateway To Freedom From Addiction

By Melissa Jon Jonsson | Waking Times

Addictions as Distractions

“Whoa, you like to think that you’re immune to the stuff, oh yeah / It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough / You know you’re gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to love.” — Robert Palmer

Love. We are all addicted to love indeed. Not just the idea, not just the feeling, but the neurochemistry of love. The experience of love favorably changes our neurophysiology in both mind and body. When we experience love, our body produces its own natural opiates, endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters. Among these chemicals is oxytocin, often called our “love hormone” because of its crucial role in mother–child relationships, social bonding, and intimacy (oxytocin levels soar during sex).

Interestingly, oxytocin has also been shown to mitigate fear. When oxytocin is administered to people with certain anxiety disorders, activity declines in the amygdala—the primary fear center in the brain. As a result, people feel less fearful. Thus exogenous oxytocin, along with other fear-reducing compounds in clinical development, may eventually be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other fear-related conditions.

Addicted to Love

We are hard-wired for love. Our bodies crave love as much as oxygen and water. Many people do not realize that the neurochemistry produced through love is the same neurochemistry produced by the brain while engaging in addictive behaviors. Thus addiction may breed easily in a person starving for love. Love and addiction have the same initial chemical impact on the body–mind connection.

According to studies of the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the sensation of love is processed in three areas of the brain.

Area 1: Ventral Tegmental Area (Dopamine). The first area is the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a clump of tissue in the brain’s lower regions that is the body’s central refinery for dopamine. Dopamine performs many functions but primarily regulates reward. Winning the lottery can produce a thrilling rush of dopamine. Remarkably, the VTA also becomes active when one feels the rush of cocaine.

Area Two: Nucleus Accumbens (Oxytocin). Thrill signals that start in the lower brain are then processed in the nucleus accumbens via dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. New mothers are flooded with oxytocin during labor and nursing, supporting a strong connection to their babies.

According to neuroscientists,

this association between rewarding experiences and dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens initially caused many neuroscientists to believe the main role of the nucleus accumbens was in mediating reward. Thus, it is often implicated in addiction and the processes that lead to addiction.

However, since the initial links were made between the nucleus accumbens and reward, it has been discovered that dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens rise in response to both rewarding and aversive stimuli [emphasis added]. This finding led to a re-evaluation of the functions of the nucleus accumbens, and indeed of the functions of dopamine as a neurotransmitter. The most widely accepted perspective now is that dopamine levels don’t rise only during rewarding experiences but instead rise anytime we experience something that can be deemed either positive or negative.1

Area 3: The Caudate Nuclei (Dopamine). The last major area for love signals in the brain are the caudate nuclei, a pair of structures on either side of the head, each about the size of a shrimp. It’s here that patterns and mundane habits, such as knowing how to drive a car or cook spaghetti, are stored.2

CAU: Cause to Pause

The caudate nucleus integrates complex emotions and thoughts about love. The caudate nuclei (CAU) are all about making choices, but they are also connected to addictions because of their role in feeling pleasure, relief, and comfort. In many cases, the reason why a person may choose addiction can be buried in the unconscious, but the caudate nuclei of the brain may hold keys to the pattern. Interestingly, studies have shown that people who have damage to the CAU show repetitive and compulsive behavior. They will keep doing a thing over and over again, even though it’s unnecessary and doesn’t do them any good.3

According to neuroscientists,

…the Caudate is also part of the Reward System. It lies in the middle of your head and looks a bit like a medium-sized shrimp—two shrimp, actually, as each hemisphere of the brain has its own Caudate. The caudate and other regions of the striatum have connections to the cerebral cortex, the top, multi-folded layer of the brain with which we do our thinking. It has connections, too, with memory areas and with the ventral-tegmental area VTA. Indeed, the Caudate integrates data from many brain regions. No part of the brain ever works alone, and love is no exception [emphasis added].4

Researchers speculate that as all of our thoughts, feelings, and motivations associated with love assemble in the caudate, we experience states of bliss.

We Are All Addicts

To some extent, we are all addicts! We are all addicted to love, and when love is seemingly not available, we will reach for anything as a cheap substitute to produce the feel-good chemistry.

An addiction is something that causes psychological dependence, so it is a mental and cognitive problem in addition to a physical ailment.5 According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, an addiction is classified as a dependence. Dependence is “characterized by compulsive, sometimes uncontrollable, behaviors that occur at the expense of other activities and intensify with repeated access.”6

I define addiction as follows: all addictions are placeholders in awareness that represent an attempt to find True Authentic Self and simultaneously avoid it. The placeholder that the addiction pattern represents serves as a habituated strategy to avoid recognizing self as an infinitely whole, perfect, and limitless being that is having an experience of limitation.

The pattern as placeholder serves as a habituated strategy to look for fulfillment and acceptance of True Authentic Self in something outside of self that is inherently and incessantly empty. In this recognition, there is  freedom to recondition awareness and embrace integrity. There is freedom to move from dis-ease to flow in total acceptance— and to choose anew.

Addicts are not the addictions; rather, these people are individuals in resonance with habituated, constricted containers of consciousness that perpetuate a behavioral loop.

Break the connection with the habit, establish resonance with a different, more useful placeholder that is a reflection of love, and the addictive pattern will transform, dissipate, subside, and cease naturally.

The addiction is a bit like looking in the mirror while simultaneously trying to look away. When mired in the addiction, we cannot see ourselves clearly.

To me, addictions are more like a two-way mirror aligned between our True Authentic Self and the addictive pattern. A two-way mirror is a mirror that is partially reflective and partially transparent. When one side of the mirror is brightly lit and the other is dark, it allows viewing from the darkened side, but not vice versa.

The addict sees the reflection of self as the mirror image of the addictive behaviors and cannot see anything else. What is reflected is based on the filters of what is being projected—addiction as confusion.

Conversely, the True Authentic Self can shine light on the addictive pattern and see clearly through the two-way mirror. True Authentic Self can see through the addiction to the truth of the essential self as love.

Love is the only placeholder worth keeping, and self-love is the gateway to freedom from all addictions. Love as the placeholder returns the power of choice and provides liberation from the shackles and confines of addictive patterns that subtract from our well-being.

To engage by compulsion is to cage without compassion. To engage by choice means the experience of the sum total self as a whole being is occurring without the addiction as placeholder. Addiction is not an addition to self. Addiction subtracts us from recognizing our own inherent completion as one love.

According to the preceding definition, we all may be addicted to something. Whether it is drugs, alcohol, food, sex, sugar, shopping, exercise, work, social media, chocolate, drama, or our own story, we are all looking for love, connection, and feelings of completion We are addicted to distractions as placeholders.

Certainly some addictions are more detrimental to our lives than others. Some addictions are even deemed healthy, such as exercise and work. Nonetheless, consider that there is no difference between addictions, as all are attempts to connect to self-love from a space of completion. The consequences and Ricochet Effects may be more pronounced with some addictions than with others, but the core impetus driving the placeholder of addiction is always the same: seeking love.

Sugar High

In many ways, we are conditioned for addictions from a young age.

Perhaps we would receive a Twinkie or Ding-Dong when we finished all our chores? Perhaps when mom was trying to get work done and we were hungry for attention, mom may have innocuously given us a sugar treat to buy herself some much-needed time. This reward system can prime our bodies for addiction as the mind gets double the love pleasure—a treat from mom and a treat for the body. However, treat or trick? Recent research has shown that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine.7

Both cocaine and sugar elevate dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens. Prolonged exposure to either causes down-regulation of the dopamine receptors, which means less dopamine becomes available. Over time, more sugar (or drugs) is required to attain normal dopamine levels. This means that, over time, we need processed sugar just to feel normal. We may even be allergic to sugar, which will make us crave it more. We crave what is not good for us too. Recall that dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens rise in response to both rewarding and aversive stimuli.

As we grow older, we may switch our addiction from sugar to drugs and alcohol, which might be more “socially acceptable” under the guise of peer pressure. Or perhaps we may continue to eat sugar and then diet to lose the weight, which could lead those more vulnerable to develop eating disorders. Or maybe carbs are what we crave. Perhaps we give up the sugar but add caffeine, as it helps us study and work. Or maybe we don’t think about the soda pop we consume as we spend a few hours playing video games online with friends we have never met.

Social Media Mania

Maybe we think we are clean and free of substance addictions, but we compulsively spend hours a day on Facebook, trolling our newsfeed and other people’s sites. We crave the attention we get from our posts and calibrate our self-worth and popularity based on how many likes we receive. Dopamine levels surge every time someone comments on our posts. We may even argue with people who have varying views and find it thrilling when we can get a rise out of a stranger whom we have the power to block.

Perhaps we are plugged in to social media all the time. But not without paying a price. How many real-life friends do we still socialize with in person? Do we substitute real intimacy for the virtual reality of addictive online connections?

A recent University of Copenhagen study suggests excessive use of social media can create feelings of envy. It particularly warns about the negative impact of “lurking” on social media without connecting with anyone. The study of more than one thousand participants says that “regular use of social networking such as Facebook can negatively affect your emotional well-being and satisfaction with life.”8

Addicted to Drama, Misery, and Negative Attention

Negative attention is still attention, and as we learned earlier, the mind does not distinguish between rewarding stimuli and aversive stimuli before producing endorphins. The dopamine cascade will trigger either way.

Hence many are addicted to patterns that may not initially feel good but persist because of the chemistry that is produced as a result. For some, this can look like ongoing drama, perpetual misery, victimhood, or antagonism. We become addicted to the negative attention that feeds our physiology in the same way a drug rush might occur.

We can often set this up such that other people are the source of our problems. It’s their fault we have this drama, disappointment, misery, or discontent. As long as other people remain the perpetual source of our drama, disappointment, discontent, and dissatisfaction with our lives, other people will also remain the source of our peace, joy, happiness, personal power, and fulfillment.

Addiction to drama is false power created as a polarized reaction to feeling powerless. Drama drains our power no matter what role we may be playing back and forth, victim or perpetrator alike. All actors in the drama are directing life force away from the vortex of the heart into the push– pull linear dynamic of surrogate control. Drama is a tug-of-war with self, and that rope will eventually choke any sense of peace, joy, and semblance of unity with all parties involved. Nobody wins the drama game. Let go of the struggle. Choose to let go and play from the unified field of the heart . . . a drama-free zone.

Addicted to Company

Many of us are addicted to company. We are not OK being alone. It is important to be comfortable being alone.

I used to not be comfortable being alone and consequently chose compromising company. I would hang with people who were neglectful, selfish, narcissistic, and sometimes abusive rather than face my own fear of being alone. Often, as a means of distracting me from myself, I would choose friends who had various forms of addictions. If only I could help them, then I would somehow be OK, I reasoned. Invariably this codependency resulted in my feeling hurt, betrayed, abandoned, and used.

I learned to stop expecting reciprocal friendship (and love) from people immersed in their addictions. This is akin to expecting the addictions to love us back. Sometimes we need to know when to hold our friends accountable and when to walk away and love them from afar. Love people, not their addictions. Love yourself enough to say No More.

Once I was comfortable with being alone (after uncomfortably trying it), then I was able to connect honestly with myself and find the love that I was seeking, from within. Rather than loneliness, I met my new best friend—me.

We are naturally communal beings. However, to some extent, many have bought in to the WE experience at the expense of the individual I—as you and me completion unto I-self. We have by and large become addicted to company such that even the idea of being alone can put us in a tailspin, in a frenzy, or send us spiraling toward our chosen addictions.

Being alone is not the reason for addiction. Recent research with rats indicates otherwise. Rat Park was a study that demonstrated that rats in isolation were far more likely to become addicts than rats who lived in community. These interesting findings highlight the importance of connection in combating addiction . . . but we are not rats.

We are human beings capable of self-reflection. And we are not at war with addiction. We are at war with our deepest sense of self. It is our sense of self that needs liberating to embrace our own company.

Addiction is not what we are fighting. Rather, we are running from ourselves, often seeking refuge through the eyes of companions or community. It is perhaps only when we can authentically witness our selves, free from judgment and projections, that we find the freedom we are seeking.

Herein rests a key to transcending addictions: being alone and connecting to self. Then we can genuinely connect to others. For me, being alone was Be-in-gal-one. At first I thought gal was referring to my gender. But in fact gal was in reference to an old French word, gale, meaning “merriment.” Being alone meant being all one with merriment— Joy—undivided with the essence of ourselves as love in joy.

Traveling Solo

One the greatest ways to move beyond the distractions of our addictions is to take a trip anywhere with yourself. This trip can be a vacation away from your daily responsibilities for a weekend or a week at a time—or it can be for an hour a day. This trip can be lunch or dinner in a restaurant solo or a walk in the woods. Whatever you would normally do with another, just do it with yourself.

At first you may meet resistance, either your own excuses or excuses offered by those around you. As long as you are avoiding yourself through addictions to distractions, there will always be reasons why you can’t spend time with yourself. Here is an opportunity to move beyond the placeholder of the excuses into the graceholder of navigating solo.

The first time I traveled by myself, my family and friends were opposed to the idea. They threw out many reasons why they thought I should not go. It would have been easy to acquiesce to their excuses, but the reasons why were all a lie. Traveling with myself was an opportunity to get really clear on who I was, to get comfortable in my own skin and to recognize and appreciate my own company.

If I had known how wonderful solo time (and solo travel) would be in terms of connection to my heart, mind, and body, I would have done it years ago. Alone time is devoid of compromise, comparison, and competition. Completion is easy to recognize when we embrace being alone.

Being alone is hard for many people. Often we will reason this is because of our personality type. We “like” to be around people, as we are extroverts, we reason. Or “being with others is community.” Perhaps this is true, and perhaps our personality types and beliefs around community are simply schemes we have developed to justify avoiding being alone.

While connection to others may support freedom from addiction, it is connection to our True Authentic Self that supports the recognition of our inherent completion. Commit to a vacation from company. Travel solo in whatever way you can. It can be a few minutes each day, an hour, or a week. However you travel, know that you have the perfect companion—you. Journey into self-love and take a holiday as a whole day for the joy of being truly you . . . no matter how long that takes.

Addictions to Distractions

We are not broken, and neither are our choices. In many instances, we may make choices out of integrity with our inherent wholeness to find a return to wholeness. We may use addictions as distractions. We may choose addictions as a playground for making distinctions, to gain awareness about what we do not want, who we are not, and how we do not really want to behave. We can then leverage the playground as a springboard into clarity, to choose a different option, always available through heart–mind synthesis.

Shame Primes Addiction

Regardless of what your fix may be, almost all addictive behaviors carry components of shame. In fact, shame primes addiction.

A key to moving beyond any addictive pattern is to release all shame associated with the pattern. Addiction and shame often accompany each other, and it can be hard to decipher which comes first. We may feel shame and then reach for the addictive placeholder to feel better. Or we may feel ashamed of our addictive placeholder and therefore we reach for the placeholder again to mitigate the shame.

Shame is defined as a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong. Unfortunately, shame will trigger all emotions related to lack of self-worth and will leave us feeling not good enough, not worthy, and, most of all, not lovable.

Shame will actually trigger addictive behaviors as a strategy to avoid feeling self-recrimination. In some sense, we may be addicted to shame itself.

Please know there is nothing that anyone can ever do, nothing that you can do, that can stop you from being love. We can’t be anything else. Love is what we are. Heart-centered awareness and playing with placeholders can release the shame that binds us. Heart-centered awareness can open us to the self-love that eternally bonds us and offer freedom from addictions.

Ask for Help

Ask for help. Addictions create a sense of isolation and loneliness, which is different than connecting to self when alone as all-one. Seek support from others until you are comfortable solo. Connection with others who are supportive and nonjudgmental is an important component in the movement toward freedom.

The information provided in this article can help transform addictive patterns. However, what is being shared also complements specialized formal programs dedicated to addiction recovery. This article is not intended to replace professional consultation or treatment, when warranted. You are free to choose and are encouraged to ask for local help to support you in gaining freedom from the shackles of addiction.

This article is excerpted and adapted from the recently published best-selling book The Integrity Effect” by Melissa Joy Jonsson.

Article References:

  1. “Know Your Brain: Nucleus Accumbens,” June 13, 2014, https:// www.neuroscientificallychallenged.com/blog/2014/6/11/know- your-brain-nucleus-accumbens.
  2. Jeffrey Kluger, “The Science of Romance: Why We Love,” Time, January 17, 2008, https://content.time.com/time/magazine/ article/0,9171,1704672,00.html; Therese J. Borchard, “The Science of Romance: The Love Drug,” World of Psychology (blog), https:// psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/02/11/the-science-of- romance-the-love-drug/.
  3. S. Thobois, E. Jouanneau, M. Bouvard, and M. Sindou, “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder after Unilateral Caudate Nucleus Bleeding,” Acta Neurochirurgica 146, no. 9 (2004): 1027–31.
  4. https://theanatomyoflove.com/the-results/ventral-tegmental- area/.
  5. Nicole M. Avena, “Food ‘Addiction’: Translational Studies of the Fine Line between Food Reward and Addiction,” talk presented at the ILSI annual meeting, 2016.
  6. Ibid.
  7. “Study: Sugar Hidden in Junk Food Eight Times More Addictive Than Cocaine,” ABC News, February 25, 2015, https://abc13.com/ health/study-sugar-is-as-addictive-as-cocaine/533979/.
  8. Sean Coughlan, “Facebook Lurking Makes You Miserable, Study Says,” BBC News, December 22, 2016, https://www.bbc.com/news/ education-38392802.
About the Author

Melissa Joy Jonsson (M-Joy) is an author, a speaker, an inspirational leader, and founder and instructor of ‘M-Joy’ seminars. She is best known for her ability to engage people from all over the world to embrace True Authentic Power and intuition by playing in the field of the heart. She has a unique perspective on how we are able to experience living joyfully and loving completely.

Melissa has been teaching popular life-transformational seminars around the globe since 2008. In 2014, she launched the ‘M-Joy’ seminar teachings, a unifying WE movement in consciousness dedicated to heart-centered awareness and practical personal empowerment for everyone. Melissa’s teachings are a culmination of her expansive work integrating scientific principles and spiritual concepts into practical daily experiences. She provides a new language to experience self-love as integrity.

In addition to ‘The Integrity Effect’ (2017), Melissa is the author of several best-selling books, including ‘Little Book of Big Potentials: 24 Fields of Flow, Fulfillment, Abundance, and Joy in Everyday Life’ (2015) and ‘M-Joy Practically Speaking: Matrix Energetics and Living Your Infinite Potential’ (2014). She also authored ‘Practical Play the Heart-Centered Way: A Complementary Play Guide to Little Book of Big Potentials’ (2016). Melissa coauthored, with Dr. Richard Bartlett, ‘Into the Matrix: Guides, Grace, and the Field of the Heart’ (2013) and ‘The Physics of Miracles: Tapping in to the Field of Consciousness Potential’ (2010).

Melissa Joy is passionate about inspiring every other person to realize his or her True Authentic Self (TAS) with practical, creative, and powerful wisdom.

“The Integrity Effect” is available here on Amazon.

Read more great articles at Waking Times.




How ‘Good News’ and ‘Bad News’ Affect Your Health

By Jodie Jackson | Hopeful Headlines

There are thousands of events happening daily, and only a select few are considered ‘newsworthy.’

Chances are, most of those are depressing, upsetting, or, at the very least, foreboding—and multiple studies show that it can have a severe impact on both our mental and physical health. I set out to find out what would happen if we focused on the positive instead, and what I found may surprise you.

In my work with the Constructive Journalism Project, I found that positive news can indeed have a positively enormously impact on your health and your state of mind, and that’s a scientific fact. That’s why we need more of it: never before have our minds had so much influence on our happiness as now, when we live in an information-based world with an increasingly virtual existence.

What led me here in the first place was my experience as a regular, everyday news consumer.

I found that my opinions and beliefs about the world around me were becoming cynical, mistrusting and even paranoid at times due to the media’s relentless focus on problems, and continuous depiction of humanity at its worst. The realization that the news produced such a strong emotional experience led me to pursue a master’s degree in positive psychology.

My initial understanding behind the psychological impact of the news world was in line with the findings of Shana Gadarian, Associate Professor at The Maxwell School of Syracuse University, who has studied extensively the affects on political reporting on peoples’ mental health, publishing those studies in The Washington Post.

I was not surprised to learn that Mary McNaughton-Cassill, a professor at University of Texas–San Antonio, also conducted research about the relationship between news consumption and anxiety, and concluded that that negative news leads to increased levels of helplessness, hopelessness, depression, isolation, anxiety, contempt and hostility towards others, desensitization to the information presented and eventual disengagement.

Charlie Booker recently suggested that negative news is more dangerous than drugs, and Oliver Burkeman, author of the Antidote, supports psychologist research that a significant number of people tend to switch off from the news altogether, citing its depressing nature as the cause.

I’ll admit that I was tempted to succumb to the philosophy that ‘ignorance is bliss.’

Instead, I embarked on a search for positive news stories, ones that still kept me connected with current affairs.

The more I sought them out, the more I found that there were glimmers of hope poking through the news cycle, and there were even sites that focused on positive news, like Headlines for the Hopeful. 

I felt empowered and inspired by all of the positive news I was reading and had an urge to use this newfound power to address some of the problems I was continually confronted by. What began as emotional reprieve became something bigger. I became excited about the world and its possibilities, including the creative initiatives that were making it a better place day by day.

In conducting my additional research (soon to be published) it became clear that reading news stories that focus on solutions, achievements and peace building can lead to increased levels of optimism, hope and self-efficacy, where people believe the world can get better and they feel empowered to contribute.

It has also shown that people have improved mood levels, better perspective, a restored faith in humanity, higher levels of active coping and increased engagement. Harvard professor Steven Pinker has long advised that the world, despite what we read in the news, is, in fact, actually in an upwards spiral.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE…




Witnessing You

Master teacher and author Donna Farhi wrote in her book, Bringing Yoga  to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living:

One of the most devastating consequences of skewed perception is the longing that grows in us for someone to see us as we really are. We long to have someone, somewhere, even for a moment, really see us. When someone sees the “us” that is our essence, we say that we feel loved. My teacher taught that the primary thing to learn is how to be this loving, accepting presence. . . . When this longing to be seen by another is great, we become susceptible to chronic manipulation of our image. We may continually rearrange and reinvent ourselves in the hope that this new rendition will please our audience. Instead of being present, we perform. (pp. 179–80)

The poet, author speaker David Whyte says, “To be constantly explaining who you are is a gospel of despair.” He further invites us to simply be ourselves and in so doing give permission to all around us to do likewise. (Clear Mind Wild Heart audio recording)

In yoga, we practice self-witnessing as we breathe, move through poses, and meditate. Without this self-witness you can’t see you. No amount of others seeing or perceiving you will supplement for a lack of knowing yourself. It’s the paradox of rock stars feeling so lonely. Like a friend told me recently, it’s as if in our quest to experience and really discover/remember who we are, we feel like being seen by others is synonymous to being. There must be something there to see, right? But being witnessed isn’t witnessing. Yoga philosophy suggests that who we are fundamentally is the ability to truly witness.

“Thanks, Mr. Oblique Yoga Philosophy Guy. That’s some awesome yoga thought but give me some real-life ways to relate that to getting up in the morning and facing another day of work and family and the every-day.”

Well, the easiest way to apply this is to just pay attention to your life. What does it feel like to sit in a warm shower and let the water flow over your skin? What do the blossoms smell like when you walk down the sidewalk? What does your breakfast taste like? What does it feel like when your boss walks by?

Yoga practice is simply a condensed and refined way of paying close attention. Besides yoga makes us feel great, helps us have a healthy body, calm mind, and open heart. Here’s the deal: once we start practicing this self-witnessing business in yoga, we won’t stop at Namaste. We’ll be feeling our hamstrings in practice one night, and wake up extremely aware of the way the shower feels or maybe start to see the deep feelings in your heart. These are the most real ways of just being. The deeper we pay attention, the more we notice what’s behind the surface, what’s animating the outer form, what’s sensing, what’s seeing.

Eventually, with practice, we become more and more familiar with this Inner Self. What’s amazing is how this knowledge of Inner Self gives us amazing confidence to just be. We stop trying to produce the image of ourselves, and we just be ourselves.

It reminds me of tales of Mark Twain giving lectures back in the day. He would walk out on stage in front of a packed theater and just stand there looking at the audience. The crowd would applause, would eventually quiet down and wait silently for him to talk. Instead of saying anything, he would just stand there and stare back to them, like he was staring down the entire venue.  The tension in the room began to build second by second as he just stood there looking back at them all. One man looking at thousands. He didn’t have to perform.  He didn’t have to say anything. He was Mark-F@$#-ing-Twain! Finally, when the tension became almost unbearable, he could say one word and have the entire audience in his hands because he was completely real.

Writers, poets, yogis all have this one crucial thing in common: they all pay very close attention themselves and the world around them.

Maybe this is what John Lennon meant by “let it be.”

I invite you to practice being and seeing and in so doing start being in the world, not doing.

Yogi Scott Moore, scottmooreyoga.com

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in New York City and when he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to trail run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son.

 




5 Types Of Energy Healing To Cure Your Ailments: Learn Which One Is Right For You

By:  C

healing hands

 

 

All around the world you find various kinds of energy healing practitioners practicing a smorgasbord of disciplines. So what are the different kinds of energy healing & which one is right for you?

Unlike modern medicine, energy healing aims to release the symptoms by curing the cause of the ailment – whether that cause is physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. What’s more, energy healing work can be applied to any area of your life, from health to finances to relationships to emotions; you name it and the issue or challenge can be cleared permanently from your life.

The choice of modality is really about you and what you are comfortable with. Good practitioners will be able to help you regardless of the modality they practice – they’re just more likely to be an expert navigator in their chosen field of application.

At the end of the day though, almost all roads lead to Rome, and you should be able to use most of the available modalities out there to achieve inner peace and joy in pretty much any area of your life. For the rare instances that you aren’t able to find relief, the list below may give you a better idea of the type of healing help you want to seek out.

Clearings & entity removals

Shamans and medicine men are great all-round healers because they will be able to help you work on a variety of aspects and achieve noticeable relief, usually pretty quickly.

Whether you have a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual ailment, the majority of processes run by a shaman will be able to help you.

Most Shamanic work is based on the concept of helping you to reintegrate small aspects of your soul that have been hidden and protected during the shocking and traumatic experiences you’ve been through, as well as working directly on your “physical” energetic body.

Related Article: Some Of The Most Powerful Energy Healing Techniques Are Already In Your Toolbox!

Most often the realm of the shaman or medicine man, clearings and entity removals can also be performed by advanced healers.

If you’ve been working on an aspect for a while and haven’t been able to achieve a breakthrough, then there may be a negative energy or entity attached somehow that has been interfering. You can think of entities like mini-demons that may be attached to you, to someone else, or to the energy of an area you are working on in your life.

Symptoms that could indicate an entity attack include:

  • Sudden loss of energy, illness or pain
  • Repeatedly being drawn back into the same cycles
  • Unexplained illness
  • Failure of healing work
  • Chronic and persistent suicide and depression
  • Persistent feelings of low self worth and negative self talk
  • Very localized pain that sometimes moves location

Ways that we pick up entities include pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants, as there are a lot of negative energies hanging around those places, and the alcohol lowers your psychic defenses. Women are also advised not to wear their hair down in public, as this helps attract negative energies that cling to the hair.

Body support, illness & chronic illness

For acute and chronic illness, and general body support and maintenance, you can look at modalities like BodyTalk to support your system and help it heal naturally while getting the energies moving and flowing.

Changing your emotional state

For acute emotional states like shock and trauma, as well as long-term negative emotional states like depression, you can apply most, if not all of the types of healing modalities.

Modalities like BodyTalk, acupressure and Reiki will help you deal effectively with immediate shock and acute emotional states. A shaman should also be able to assist you with this.

The management of longer-term emotional issues like depression will benefit from life coaching, shamanic work, Resonance Repatterning to change your belief systems and energetic resonance with past influences, and long-term ongoing BodyTalk sessions to realign your energetic system and help you create a new reality.

BodyTalk sessions can also be used quite effectively by introducing statements and challenges at the beginning of the session, as you would do in Resonance Repatterning.

Changing belief systems & creating change in your life

When you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, all energy healing is about changing the belief systems you have inside you so that the universe responds differently to you and you experience a different reality that is attracted to you.

All forms of energy healing will process through your physical body in the final stages, and the final mechanisms will always be twofold inside you:

  1. firstly you will have a mental/emotional realization (a thought or feeling), and
  2. secondly the “shift” will release through your physical body and be expelled, either through your excretory system (urine and feces), gas (bubbling in your tummy, burping and passing gas), or tears and sweat.

If you’ve ever had an a-ha moment of insight, you’ve experienced the mental and emotional shift.

An a-ha moment is an instant where you have a different thought about something and it makes you realize that you have been seeing something wrongly, and you change your mind about it – usually immediately and in that instant. It’s also often accompanied by a thought of, “How could I ever have been that stupid?!”

In many cases, the a-ha moment of insight (mental and emotional realization) is the element you are actually looking for in a shift, because it’s the element that creates conscious change inside you as a person.

Many healing modalities aim to bring you to these moments of realization by shifting through emotional, physical, spiritual and subconscious “blocks” that you have, allowing the information to come to the surface. There are however a few exceptions.

Related Article: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Energy Healing Sessions

Some healing modalities allow you to tackle beliefs and belief systems head on, triggering the energetic release of alignment by bringing the awareness to your consciousness. These modalities include:

  • Resonance Repatterning which identifies errant beliefs by using kinesiology, and then programs these out of your system and while programming in a new reality.
  • The Mirrors of Relationship is a powerful coaching and personal growth mechanism that offers a framework for analyzing your challenge and enables you to reach a-ha moments of insight.
  • Life coaching offers you a guided support framework in which to effect change in all areas of your life, utilizing a number of different methodologies, tools and practices, depending on the areas of expertise of the coach. Coaching applications range from NeuroLinguistic Programming to Hypnotherapy, energy healing, tapping and more.

Guidance & support on your journey

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The Incredible Healing Effects Of Tibetan Singing Bowls

By Matt Caron | Sivana Spirit

BuddhistSingingBowls

It might come as a shock, but there are real reasons Singing Bowls have been used for centuries.

Turns out they’re not just for fun!

Their whole purpose is to restore vibratory frequencies of the body, mind, and soul that are out-of-harmony and diseased.

Related Article: Energy Medicine And Sound Healing

The sounds they emit work as a type of energy medicine that has been known to heal pain, depression, and stress disorders.

Interestingly, the healing process works by training the brain waves so as to synchronize with the sounds of the bowl. These unique tones emitted will prepare you for deep meditation, intuitive messages, as well as creative thinking.

For those who have tried this technique before, you know the sonic waves emitted by these bowls awaken our ability to hear much more than what we would normally. As we listen to these sounds, we tend to feel them just as much as we hear them.

Related Article: The Science Of Sound: Proof You Truly Are A Cosmic Instrument

The director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at the Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in New York, Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, says,

“If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies. One reason sound heals on a physical level is because it so deeply touches and transforms us on the emotional and spiritual planes. Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.”

So with all this interest, it begs the question: How exactly do these Singing Bowls work in the healing process?

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The Sounds of Summer

By Jill Mattson | * Jill’s Wings of Light

The sweet thoughts of summer pop up in our thoughts at the end of winter. Why are these feelings of summer almost delicious??? In summer, nature reveals her creative masterpieces… at full bloom.  But still, why does it feel so wonderful to be outside in the summer???

Ancient masters noticed how healing nature felt. They replicated shapes found in nature and reduced them to numbers, which then were converted to cycles per second or musical notes… and eventually musical scales. Music using this scale felt healing to them as well. Up until the Renaissance, this frequency pattern was enjoyed when people listened to most music. In this way, people “musically absorbed” nature’s “secret energy patterns”, ingesting her healing energy at any time. (We no longer use nature frequency patterns in our music. Today’s musical scale is similar to a gmo!) These special numbers and shapes are called the Fibonacci numbers and are found everywhere: in the swirl of a sea shell, the shape of a twinkling galaxy and they exist thousands of times in our own bodies. When we walk in nature we are exposed to thousands of these tiny Fibonacci frequencies and they intermingle with our own energy, subtly and unconsciously “tuning us” – making us feel great.

Also found outdoors on a summer day is the Schumann frequency, another sound that is too small in volume for us to be conscious of. (This sound is believed to be created in the atmosphere close to Earth from lightning strikes around the world.) However, the fact that Schumann frequency volume is too low for us to hear doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect us. Recall that x rays affect us and we don’t see or hear them either. In space flights, aero engineers simulate this frequency as astronauts get ill without it! Studies have shown that this frequency is present when people are healing. It is blocked by concrete and the foundations of most of the buildings in which we live and rarely leave in the winter time.

The stars twinkle and wink at us from above – whether or not we actually see them (as in the daytime). Planets create frequencies in their orbits (well below our hearing range), being recorded by satellites. (This subtle energy has been called “astrology” by some.) A study in New Mexico compared plants receiving sounds of these planetary orbits in our solar system with plants that did not. Plant growth was remarkably improved with plants receiving these star sounds![1] Plants are nourished by star sounds! We get a heavier dosage of sound nutrients when we are outside.

People have placed sensors, like those used in a lie detector test, on the roots and leaves of plants and flowers to demonstrate that plants sing songs, in a beautifully luscious way – again, below our hearing volumes that we consciously detect. This is why we give flowers to people who are sick or to mourners at funerals. Subtly they receive these uplifting songs.

French physicist Joel Sternheimer, measured the frequencies of amino acids in plants, the building blocks of the plant-proteins. When he organized the frequencies of the amino acids in the same order as they naturally occurred in nature, they created songs. Each species has its own protein and musical selection! One of the plant songs was a recognizable song, O Sole Mio. I suspect the composer of O Sole Mio was in nature and unconsciously absorbed this delightful song and then penned it into music! We absorb these beautiful sounds of nature! They become part of us… when we are in nature.[2]

Finally a multi-discipline MIT research team undertook the task of producing article spider silk, which is known for its durability and flexibility. The scientists failed numerus times, making the replica of the silk either strong or flexible, but they were not able to produce both until the musician-on-the-team analyzed the silk in terms of frequencies. The frequency of the components of the spider’s silk created harmonious music. The frequencies of the failed-silk-produced-by-scientist produced harsh noises. When the scientists copied the music (in too low of a volume for us to hear) of the spider’s silk, they replicated the strong and flexible silk. Nature’s gifts are linked to her subtle and harmonious music.[3]

When we ingest or spend time in nature, we upload the harmonious sound patterns that are healing on all kinds of un-seen levels. The best part is that the sounds of summer make us feel great too!

*Posted in the entirety with the permission of the author.

Sources:

[1] Leeds, Joshua. The Power of Sound: How to be Healthy and Productive using Music and Sound, Healing Arts Press: VT, 2001, 2010, Pgs. 207–209.

[2] Jean – Pierre Lentin, Keelynet.com

[2] https://www.earthpulse.com/src/subcategory.asp?catid=2&subcatid=6  “French Physicist Creates New Melodies – Plant Songs.” Sept. 3, 2005, Pg.  2.

[3] (Credit: Markus Buehler) MIT reference: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2012, November 28).

Researchers synthesize new kind of silk fiber, and use music to fine-tune material’s

properties. Science Daily. Retrieved January 11, 2013, from https://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2012/11/121128112157.htm

About the Author: Jill Mattson is a prolific Artist, Musician and Author. Jill is widely recognized expert and composer in the field of Sound Healing!   She has produced nine CDs with intriguing, magical tracks using ancient & modern techniques, & special healing frequencies to achieve profound benefits.  Jill is a four – time author. (The Lost Waves of Time – Best Book of 2016 and Best Alternative Science book of 2016, Deep Wave Body Healing CD– Best Sound Healing CD of 2016, Contacting Angels & Masters CD – Best CD of 2015 and Deep Wave Beauty CD – Best New Age CD – Silver Award).  Free music & School of Sound Healing at www.jillswingsoflight.com

 

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.




Not Sleeping? Learn Why It Could Be Your Poor Gut Health

By: Laurentine ten Bosch | Food Matters

Not-Sleeping

Almost 60 million Americans spend their nights in fitful slumber; tossing and turning, wrestling with the need to get to sleep, and yet torturously being unable to do so.

We all know those nights when no amount of counting sheep will work and each hour stretches by with increasing frustration.

Yet there are many options to help you sleep better, ranging from meditation to aromatherapy. But what if the solution was actually in your gut of all places?

Related Article: Masculine VS Feminine Brain Complexity: Learn Why Women Need More Sleep Than Men

Tell Me About The Sleep-Gut Connection!

Believe it or not, what’s happening in your belly right now will play a factor in how well you sleep tonight.

Why? Because the gut influences our brain, and the brain regulates our sleep.

Previously, it was thought that the gut simply oversaw the digestion of our food. As it  turns out, our gut does a whole lot more than digestion. 

Our gut actually has a profound impact on many neurological functions. In fact, your gut contains so much neural tissue that it has been called ‘the second brain’.

Furthermore, our gut plays host to over 30 types of neurotransmitters (like the ones found in your brain). The gut also contains 100 million neurons, which is higher than the amount found in our spinal cord! And if you need more proof of your gut’s brain-like properties, at least 95% of serotonin – an important neurotransmitter for cognitive function – is produced in your gut! Whoa, right?

How Does Serotonin Help With Sleep?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects many functions within your body. You might have casually heard it referred to as the ‘happiness hormone’.

Because of its powerful effect on mood and cognition, many antidepressant drugs target serotonin. However, serotonin doesn’t just dial up our joy, it also plays a major role in regulating our body clock and related sleep cycles.

Our bodies don’t automatically make the perfect amount of serotonin every day. How much we produce is affected by many factors, including natural light, food and exercise.

How much serotonin we make has a real impact on our sleep. It is the precursor substance required to make melatonin, which has been referred to as the ‘get-good-sleep’ hormone.

Our guts hold over 400 times more melatonin than the pineal gland! Researchers have also demonstrated that gut production of melatonin remains stable, even after the pineal gland is removed. This highlights what a foundational, autonomous role the gut plays in regulating our sleep.

Interestingly, low levels of melatonin have also been linked with Leaky Gut!

How Does Sleep Work?

Sleep is largely overseen by our circadian rhythm (CR), which is ultimately controlled by certain nerves within the hypothalamus of your brain. This is a constant, round-the-clock timing system that governs a whole bunch of physiological processes.

Your CR is bit like a master control room, and it calls the shots on many aspects of digestion, appetite, blood pressure, immunity, body temperature, mental alertness and the release of various hormones. Incidentally, it also helps to regulate your sleep cycles.

Unfortunately, your hypothalamus and CR is greatly affected by outside factors! This means that what happens in our outside and inside environment can influence the CR, and subsequently, our sleep.

Light is a great example of an external factor that influences our hypothalamus and CR. Light is filtered through our eyes and signals to the hypothalamus that it’s ‘wake-up’ time.

The hypothalamus then passes along these ‘wake-up’ signals to jolt corresponding organs, glands and physiological systems into action. It also tells our body to make more of our ‘daytime/awake’ hormones and other neurotransmitters that influence our biological clock.

If humans were still living in the wild, the stimulus of light from the natural environment would be a friendly asset to our hypothalamus.

However, as you know, we no longer live outdoors. In fact, the average American spends as little as 7% of their life outside! This means that our hypothalamus no longer marches to the beat of a natural light rhythm. Instead, we are exposed to artificial lighting, computer screens, televisions and phones that all send light signals to our brain long after the sun’s gone down.

It’s a double whammy: we get too much light at night and not enough throughout the day. This interferes with our hypothalamus, CR and serotonin production and makes it easier for our natural sleep cycles to be thrown out of whack.

Related Article: Sleep Naked: 8 Benefits Of Hitting The Hay In Your Birthday Suit  

How Does Your Gut Microbiome Affect Sleep?

So far, we know that light, food and exercise affect serotonin production in our gut. This reduces our ability to make melatonin, which we all need to catch good-quality zzz’s.

Still with me? I hope so, because this story is about to take an even stranger twist.

There is a big, thick nerve that connects our brain and gut called the vagus nerve. Shockingly, about 90% of the neural fibers in this nerve transmits information from your gut to your brain…Not the other way around!!!

This is compelling proof that our gut has a direct say in your brain function.

Even stranger, it turns out that the TRILLIONS of bacteria that form your gut microbiome also directly communicate with your nervous system – to the extent that certain microflora can even influence serotonin production.

So your gut bacteria can reduce serotonin levels, which interferes with sleep. The interesting thing is that sleep deprivation also appears to negatively impact your gut bacteria!

One study found that jet lag from a 10 hour flight was enough to cause a temporary dysbiosis in gut bacteria. While this corrected once participants were sleeping normally again, it does demonstrate that even moderate amounts of poor quality sleep are enough to negatively impact our microbiome.

Can you imagine what’s happening over years of not sleeping properly?

And, of course, this leads to a self-perpetuating cycle of bad sleep and poor gut health, as they both impact on the quality of the other.

Furthermore, what foods do we turn to when we’re tired and stressed? Sugar, caffeine and convenience foods; all of which also don’t do our good gut bacteria any favors.

Here are some other ways in which scientists think the gut microbiome can affect our sleep:

Stress & Mood: There is evidence to show that gut microbiota can affect our emotions and mood. Any resultant stress, depression and anxiety can then make falling asleep harder. Lack of sleep impacts our good gut bacteria…and so the spiral continues!

Hormones: The bacteria in our gut are involved in producing key hormones and neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, GABA and dopamine. These all play a role in our mood and ability to sleep.

Pain: Did you know that unhealthy gut bacteria can increase your sensitivity to pain? This affects your sleep for obvious reasons; who can nod off peacefully when in pain? Stress itself will also exacerbate the perception of pain.

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