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Earthling Essentials: 3 Tips For Embracing Your Human-ness

Since I was a little girl, I always felt I didn’t belong here. Like I’d come to this little blue/green planet from the stars with my cosmic family for vacation or something and woke up only to forget where I come from and find that I’ve been left behind. To this day, I still look up to the stars and feel more at home than I ever did anywhere on Earth. I’ve always seemed to view the world through a different kind of lens; one that often got me in big trouble for asking too many questions and challenging the adults around me; one that also sometimes got me picked on in school for being “weird”.  Do you mean not all kids felt like adults were always either hiding something, feeding us kids fairy tales or didn’t know nearly as much as they claimed to know…and felt comfortable calling said adults out on these things? 🙂

Yes, I was that kid…the one who didn’t listen very well and was often disruptive in class. In this day and age, I most likely would’ve been diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Ritalin to curb my “rebel child” tendencies. And perhaps those traits my Mother has stated were my most difficult, but hold her favorite memories of me as a kid (getting kicked out of Sunday school for asking the nuns too many questions, for example) would never have had a chance to bloom.

rumiWhat I love about my Mother is she embraced ALL of me, ALL of the time. She always encouraged my weirdness, my creative spark, and no matter what interested me, if she saw it lit up a part of my soul she would support me 100% and I love her dearly for that. It always made being the “weird” kid a little bit easier in a world that didn’t seem to run the same way I did. And as I grew into a teenager, the angst that most teens feel was ever so present in me as well. However, rather than merely being ticked off at curfews and too much homework, I chose to focus on things that were “jacked up” in the world such as government corruption, secret societies, and how there is SO much more to life than what we are taught to believe.

My time alone was spent penning words of fury about how we are not taught to love ourselves and our differences but instead taught to conform and be like everyone else. How we are shown on TV what beauty looks like, what junk food is cool, what music is “in”, how to dress, how to talk, how to walk, how to breathe, how to EXIST!

It pissed me off so badly, and even more so that no one around me seems to care much at all. Here I was a 16-year-old girl with concerns about the Gulf War, Social Security, Income Tax, and the apparent psychological takeover of humanity, while my peers were worried about getting rides to the mall, football games, and how to convince their older brothers to buy them beer. And while I participated in the latter, my mind could not help but dwell concern on the former, and that only made me feel more…weird.

In an attempt to balance me, I would escape into music and nature as often as possible; often skipping school to go hiking in the Pennsylvania Mountains, and hitting up as many outdoor summer concerts that I could. The freedom I found in both nature and music is what set me free. It was the yin to my yang; the right-brain to my left-brain.  But I was still bitter. I still looked around at the world at large with judgment and confusion regarding the state of things; resenting how unconscious the collective seemed to be.

rules_humanAs I grew and learned of meditation, yoga, Buddhism, Reiki, and other spiritual teachings, practices, and modalities, I thought I had found the key to the door I’d been pounding on for years. Not only did it all create peace within me, but it allowed me to finally meet people that thought the way I did; people that wanted to talk about things besides the weather and had hopes and dreams on how to change the world into a more positive, conscious place. I dove into my spirituality with a vengeance and for the greater part of my 20’s I felt like I had learned so much about the world, how we got here, where we go when we die, what we’re doing here and why, the workings of the Universe, what I now call Source…you name it. If it was considered “spiritual” I had read about or studied it.

I also learned so much about my own inner workings and my place in this world; where I was headed and what I wanted to be. But I was all the while denying my “human-ness” by repressing it within myself and judging it in others as well. Because even after all of this, I was still pissed off that people were seemingly satisfied with their 9-5 jobs and paying their taxes, and voting for the next talking head. I was convinced that the world would not change for the better until everyone just woke the hell up! Somewhere along the way, I thought to be “spiritual” I had to deny what it means to be human. But it’s often in losing ourselves that we find ourselves…

“The main thing in life is not to be afraid of being human.” -Aaron Carter

After 9-11 and even again after 2012, I began to notice the waves of people that were awakening to both personal and collective truths. More and more we’re beginning to question that something was not right in the world. A beautiful thing had been put into motion, and meanwhile, I was also awakening to something as well. This wave instilled a newfound connection to humanity within me. I had always had an innate sense of compassion for others, but this was different, this was DEEP. I was proud of the collective consciousness, to the point, it would often bring me to tears. And this eventually leads me to a profound truth that was vital to understand that what I had been denying for so many years was the key to my wholeness and to maintaining balance within myself. My re-connection to my human-ness, to the ability to appreciate the purpose of why we’re here was re-ignited and lit a spark within me that has only since grown stronger. As humans, we are here to learn and to grow, and what may look like ignorance, or like blurred lenses, or apathy is often just a necessary part of the growth process that each and every one of us goes through in our own way. And the beauty of life itself, the essence of creation lives through us in the experiences we have as we grow and learn. And what is even more beautiful is when we each discover that we’re all walking our paths and that it best suits us to focus on where we are headed rather than worrying about how far ahead or far behind others may be on their own paths.

“The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.” -George Orwell

So, you may have been expecting this article to be paragraphs of advice on how to embrace your human-ness, but I’ve chosen to disguise that advice within a story of my own awakening into my own embracing of my very own human-ness. But fret not; I still offer 3 vital tips for carrying out this very same deed for yourself…

  1. Love the journey. Above all, let your dreams be your guide, but never forget that it’s all about the journey. And it’s not necessarily about “making things happen” as it is about allowing them to come to the surface. We are all where we are meant to be, no matter where we are or how hard that might be to swallow. And it’s how we get to where we’re going, who we meet along the way, the lessons we learn, the advice we offer, etc. that make up our experiences. So, no matter how many mistakes we make, as long as we keep trying, and continue to move forward and participate, we are honoring our roles as co-creator beings. These experiences we create become our memories, which are forever etched in our hearts and they deserve your utmost attention. So, be in the here and “right now”. Nothing deserves your attention more than this very moment.
  2. Love Yourself. When you love who you are (ALL of you), your human-ness inevitably gets its due share. Being human is AWESOME! It’s not the Universe’s way of “dumbing us down” as I once thought. It’s the Universe’s way of honoring itself, by splintering its consciousness out into these amazing co-creator beings (that would be us humans) and granting them free will in order to bring consciousness back to itself via experiences here on Earth. How freaking COOL is that??? And when we create from a place of love, the world around us reflects that love back to us in unimaginable ways.
  3. Love All Others. When you realize that we are all part of the conscious collective, that we are all energy adding to it and therefore are all connected, it allows one to see that when we show kindness and compassion to others, we are showing that same kindness and compassion to ourselves as well. We reflect the world how we feel about ourselves, so if you follow #2, then #3 should be a breeze!

Perhaps love is what stirs the winds of change after all. And perhaps it is what always has.

Tamara Rant is a Co-Editor/Writer for CLN as well as a Certified Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer, and a Conservative voice in social media activism & awareness. She is an avid lover of all things Quantum Physics and Spirituality. 

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




Satva: Finding The Middle Way

The Samkhya school of classical yoga philosophy describes the universe and all its qualities using three main humors, called gunas. These are Rajas, Tamas, Sattva. Everything in the Universe from seasons to personalities demonstrates some combination of these gunas. Understanding the ancient but basic principle of the gunas can help you live a life that feels perfectly balanced for you. 

 

Rajas: Fire

The first of the humors is called Rajas and is generally considered the quality of building, full of fire, energizing, active, prone to change, etc. Think of summer as the season with the most Rajas—it’s hot, things are growing (building) and thus changing. A stage of life that demonstrates a lot of Rajas is the years when you’re learning the most and growing the most or demonstrating a lot of ambition to make your way in the world, the early and mid-adult stage. 

 

Tamas: Ice

The perfect counterbalance of Rajas is 

Tamas which is generally known as grounding, calming, and inert. Tamas is demonstrated in seasons like winter when everything is still, cold, and frozen. The stages of life that demonstrates the most Tamas are early childhood (think cubby baby that sleeps a lot) and when we retire from work or start to slow down in our later years. 

 

Sata: The Middle Way

Rajas and Tamas are not only demonstrated in major periods of life, but also in your day-to-day energy, feeling, and attitude. Regardless of stage of life, you might generally be a very active person but due to a lot of busyness or a heavy workout, you might be feeling a little Tamasic and need to chill out on the couch with some ice cream and Netflix. Other days, you might be feeling gobs and gobs of energy and want to tackle a project. This is Rajas.

 

Now, the balance between Rajas and Tamas is called Satva. Satva is the perfect “Goldilocks” of the two extremes. Satva is what we are aiming for in all of our physical, mental, and spiritual practices. Sometimes we must skillfully negotiate our efforts or ease in these practices to find ourselves demonstrating Satva. Satva feels balanced—energized but not spastic, clear and open-minded without being lost in the clouds, energized without feeling out of control. 

 

In the ancient text of the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali the author suggests balancing all of our efforts between effort (Rajas) and ease (Tamas) to find the perfect middle way and to find success in our endeavors. Doing so promotes longevity, productivity, and joy in the practice. 

 

Even after a vigorous asana practice, savasana is the essential balancing act at the end that helps you to walk away feeling Satvic for the rest of the day. Similarly, after a Restore yoga practice it might sometimes helps to go on a gentle walk. Just like Goldilocks, the middle way feels most comfortable, the most like home.

 

For those of us who love to bliss out on Rajas and train or play really hard, don’t worry. Just remember that there is a time to sit and meditate too. Also, those of us who could indulge in Tamas and stay on our cozy meditation cushions all day long and then celebrate with a box of Hatch Family Chocolates, well, maybe you could try at least try going for a walk afterwords.

 

Most importantly, these principles remind us that balance is not only comfortable, but optimal. If you need to add more Tamas to your life, more ease, try a Yoga Nidra (guided meditation) or Restore class. If you could balance out some sluggishness by adding a little Rajas, try a Vinyasa Flow class. 

 

Bakasana Scott Moore photo by Dallas Graham

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

 




Up-Level Your Life with Yoga

You want to improve in your favorite sports, have more alertness and stamina at work, or be more present at home? Yoga is an amazing practice that can complement all of our other activities. 

Photo by Seneca Moore

So, here is the low-fi low-down on yoga. The word “Yoga” is a Sanskrit word that suggests union through yoking body, mind, and spirit. The unity of these three aspects of self helps us have a clearer perspective and practical understanding of what it means to be us. The yoga poses, called Asanas, are designed to bring awareness to the mind, strength and wellness to the body, and to promote the fluid circulation of energy. Yoga also optimizes our range of motion in our joints, makes all muscles both strong and flexible, and helps remove toxins from the body. 

Balances Body

Certain sports or activities emphasize repetitive action in isolated areas of the body which can create physical imbalances.  A good example of this is the disproportionate use of lower-body muscles to upper- body muscles in activities like running or cycling. Yoga is a complete body experience and will help to mitigate some of these imbalances caused by the sustained repetitive action in isolated areas. Runners and cyclists will love yoga because it will balance out their upper-body with lower-body. They will also love yoga for what it does to increase strength and flexibility in the muscles they use regularly. 

Balances Breath

Breathing correctly is essential in any sport or activity. Yoga places a large emphasis on breathing. This deliberate breathing practice increases lung capacity and helps athletes also be aware of breathing while performing their sport. Sports aside, in regular every-day life it is common to forget about breathing. Do you ever breath shallowly or catch yourself holding your breath? Shallow breath or holding breath is a major cause of tension and compounds stress. Yoga will help you breathe easier in all aspects of life. 

Balances Mind

Yoga also helps us cultivate the right mental space to be able to enjoy our favorite sport, especially if you are competing or are engaged in endurance sports where your mind has to be focused and spirit has to be tough. Yoga helps us train our minds to be present in what we’re doing. This presence will help us prevent injury and help us make those split-second decisions that can sometimes make all the difference in a competition. 

 

Balance Steadiness and Ease

Perhaps the most helpful principle we practice in yoga that we can also apply to our favorite activities and every-day living is the principle of balancing everything with steadiness and ease. Being mindful of these principles will help us to negotiate when it’s time to put work down and go out and get to a yoga class or hit a trail or grab your bike. It will also let you know when you’ve worked hard and it’s time to head to a restore yoga class or crack a cold one on the porch. 

 

Here is what M. Fischer, a mom, energy worker, and powerful Ironman Triathlete, says about yoga:

 

“I used to use yoga as a balance with the rigors of Ironman training. Now it is my centering time in my ambitious schedule of working full time plus in a demanding career, being my toddler’s best and favorite mommy, and getting a decent workout in if the stars align. Both then and now, yoga is my one time to focus totally and completely on tucking my stressed and scattered thoughts back inside my body. It’s like reconciling, not my check book, but my energy book. I spent this much here. I spent this much there. I have this much left to spend. I get it all straight while I challenge my body, I breathe, I listen while in Savasana, and then I know how best to move forward.”

 

So come and practice yoga with and see how it can complement all the other things you do in life.

 

Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program




The 10 Most Important Things to Simplify in Your Life

calm-inner-peace

By Joshua Becker | Becoming Minimalist

“Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.” —Thomas Kempis

Simplicity brings balance, freedom, and joy. When we begin to live simply and experience these benefits, we begin to ask the next question, “Where else in my life can I remove distraction and simply focus on the essential?”

Related Article: Why Simple Living is the Forgotten Key to Self Actualization

Based on our personal journey, our conversations, and our observations, here is a list of the 10 most important things to simplify in your life today to begin living a more balanced, joyful lifestyle:

1. Your Possessions – Too many material possessions complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever give them credit. They drain our bank account, our energy, and our attention. They keep us from the ones we love and from living a life based on our values. If you will invest the time to remove nonessential possessions from your life, you will never regret it. For more inspiration, consider Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life.

2. Your Time Commitments – Most of us have filled our days full from beginning to end with time commitments: work, home, kid’s activities, community events, religious endeavors, hobbies… the list goes on. When possible, release yourself from the time commitments that are not in line with your greatest values.

Related Article: 7 Effective Ways to Keep Yourself Grounded & Present

3. Your Goals – Reduce the number of goals you are intentionally striving for in your life to one or two. By reducing the number of goals that you are striving to accomplish, you will improve your focus and your success rate. Make a list of the things that you want to accomplish in your life and choose the two most important ones. When you finish one, add another from your list.

4. Your Negative Thoughts – Most negative emotions are completely useless. Resentment, bitterness, hate, and jealousy have never improved the quality of life for a single human being. Take responsibility for your mind. Forgive past hurts and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

Related Article: How To Change Your Negative Beliefs

5. Your Debt – If a debt is holding you captive, reduce it. Start today. Do what you’ve got to do to get out from under its weight. Find the help that you need. Sacrifice luxury today to enjoy freedom tomorrow.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE…




Staying Grounded in a Topsy-Turvy World

If there’s one thing that’s constant about the Universe it’s that things are always in a state of flux. Sometimes we are caught up in the momentum of this motion of change to the degree that it becomes impossible to avoid feeling constantly rushed, out of time, and strained. 

We may skillfully navigate these changes by creating a grounded seat from which all this change may happen around us without making us lose our center. With this grounded relationship to the changes that occur, we’ll find ourselves not only able to navigate change but even thriving with this change. Here are a few ideas to help us stay grounded.

A Simple Meditation

Research suggests that mindfulness benefits our bodies, not just our minds.

Find a quiet place where you can possibly be undisturbed for a few moments (sometimes this is sitting in your car). Sit comfortably and set a timer for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and begin to count your breathes backward from 30. As you exhale you’ll say in your mind, “30.” As you inhale, “29.” Exhale, “28,” etc. If your mind wanders or you loose your count, start over with the counting. The objective is be completely present with the number you’re on, not even to get to zero. You may get distracted 20 times or complete the cycle 3 times. Simple continue counting your breaths until the timer rings. You may wish to expand this to 15, 20, or 30 minutes. This is a very simply way of allowing your mind to focus on something simple and singular to practice being grounded.

Get Outside

Make a point to go on a gentle walk. Find the joy in walking for the sake of walking. Inform yourself of the natural world and make a point to notice the trees, sky, flowers, etc. Like Wallace Steven’s said, “Perhaps the truth depends upon a walk around the lake.” When placing yourself in nature, you often remind yourself of your role in the world and how you too are naturally the way you are. Nature reminds us that we are a part of this beautiful, naturally ordered Universe. Use this walk with its sensory delights and gentle movement to ground you in the moment. Try to avoid allowing your mind to plan or scheme. Just do your best to be present. 

Practice Yoga

Practice yoga. Go to a yoga class or simply do a few of your favorite poses in your living room. Remember to match your breath with the poses that your body seems to crave. If you’re doing a personal practice, don’t worry about practicing for a certain amount of time, just practice whatever feels the most natural. Allow your body the pleasure of gently warming up then release tensions with some long, slow, deep stretches. Give yourself several moments to rest in savasana (corpse pose) and then go about your day.

With some help with some simple practices like these we can keep ourselves grounded in a topsy-turvy world. As you do so, you’ll fee grounded and ready to meet the changes that are unfolding for you.

 

Namaste.

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program




Six Ways an Old Soul Navigates Life

The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.  When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.  Thich Nhat Hanh

The strength of Old Souls.  What is an old soul?  A person that exhibits learning or wisdom that exists beyond their life experience.  An old soul is happy just being, not doing.  An old soul is not tied to drama or the material.  Most often, old souls just don’t seem to fit in.  If an old soul hasn’t understood this difference on a deep level within, then they often will have problems with self-esteem.  As an old soul practices presence, accepts they are worthy no matter what, their entire world shifts.

Here is how an old soul may view destruction. 

Instead of seeing brokenness, an old soul will see a process.  A renewal of sorts. They will see a storm come tearing, breaking, bending, washing things away, even the living. Then they recognize the process as it occurs. A breakdown that allows newness to occur. Paradigms shift. Energy changes, then the old, broken, and hurt turn into life. A new form arrives, arises, awakens, and allures those witnessing it to hope and wonder.  The blade of grass from the bale of hay. The earthworm in the seemingly rotten soil. The ray of sunshine on the splinter of misshapen trees.  The old soul doesn’t see disarray or calamity or carelessness. They see beauty breaking through the barriers of their own perception.  The old soul is relaxed and expects something good.  

How you view everything affects your thoughts and your body.  What you speak affects your body.  The part of you that is listening and changing your body is called innate.  It is the eternal part of you.  Ponder on this: think about taking a pill, either a prescription or an herb, just as it has an affect on your body, your words also have a powerful affect.  Be careful with your words, choose them carefully.  Craft your words as carefully as if you were a master artist creating a masterpiece.  

How does an Old Soul navigate life?

1.  Worthiness – you know this within!  Possibly this attribute has been hidden, tucked away and it just needs to be acknowledged and used.

2.  Joyful Spirit – the inner child remains.  Laughter creates a level of understanding within that allows relaxation, thus being able to enjoy yourself no matter what.

3.  Self balance –  recognize that you are in charge of you.  Let the difficult times pass, then move on.  Depression, it comes at times, but doesn’t last long.  Embrace the good times and ride high.

4.  Experience – this creates wisdom.  Been there done that.  The word remember has a particular feeling.  You know things and this knowing aids you in steering your vessel.   Synchronicity is common.

5.  Compassionate Action – empathy with the ability to transfer energy from yourself to another.  You know what to do and what to say to those hurting.

6.  Reality is yours for the creating –  you don’t fear the future.  You have control of what is next for you.  When a challenge occurs, watch your words.  What do you say?  Reframe and rewrite your words so they support a healthy outlook. For example: this is another challenge, I will get through this.  When this is solved something better will come or stability will come back.  

Be patient with yourself and others.  Be in control of yourself.  Practice self-balancing.  Practice, practice, practice.  Then, wisdom will be the predominant attribute and this wisdom will carry you through dark days so the bright days will be even brighter.  Faith is our greatest asset, our mind the greatest tool.  Using the two to focus on things worthy, good, pure, true are the avenues for clarity and peace in our life.

Julia Parsell

Julia Rae Parsell

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




Holding Paradox

Photo by Seneca Moore

The very first yoga class I ever attended, I came out of there saying—rather asking— myself, what was that?!

Yoga was physical but had a meditative, even spiritual quality to it, despite the clanking of the weights and heavy metal blaring in the other room of the gym. It cultivated calm while doing some intense poses and I even got to end the experience with a nap.

From my initial experience, I felt that yoga was was the practice of balancing opposites. Holding paradox. It was all of these things: gentle and intense, physical and mental/spiritual, it was taking difficult things and making them smooth and graceful. It was spending energy to get even more energy.

I’ve spent the better part of two decades devoting my life’s work to yoga and all these years later, I feel like in many ways, that first observation about yoga has held up, however in munch more profound ways than a simple definition of yoga.

Photo cred: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_cross#/media/File:Monasterboice_12.jpg

The perfect symbol of holding this paradox is a the symbol of a cross with a circle in the middle. Used by the Celts and borrowed by the Christians, this symbol represents the crossroads between the ephemeral and the physical, what is spiritual and mysterious about us and what is practical and real. The circle makes that intersection glaringly obvious as if drawing an x marks the spot on the map.

This intersection, this crossroads, is the magical spot within all of us. Clearly we are physical, we are here having these thoughts, reading these words, I can feel the muscles and tendons ripple as my bones make satisfying pops on the keyboard with every staccato word. I feel this physical being. Yet, there’s something deeper, more numinous, ephemeral, and hard to point to. It’s as if these two are locked in a dance. It’s as if these two are dancing together in an unending waltz.

One of the things I’ve learned in these many years of practicing yoga is that indeed yoga is about balancing opposites, holding the paradox. Yoga is also understanding that the paradox is the thing.

To see one or the other as separate is to be locked in the dualist world of contingencies, qualifiers, finite definitions, and summations. And truly holding paradox isn’t an understanding but rather an experience. The experience in yoga is facilitated by the difficult poses done in an easy way, the meditative quality about the physical being, the balance of effort and ease. All those set the condition for the experience of yoga, this experiencing of the Self that is large enough that it is impossible to see one without also seeing the other.

One of the things I’ve learned over these years is to notice the artifice but not to dismiss it because here’s the paradox: it’s not to see beyond the paradox, but rather gather it in and love it and truly examine it as part of the whole. Just like putting on a mask is both absurd and strangely appropriate. The illusion is the gateway to experiencing the part of us that isn’t illusion, the part that doesn’t change and that isn’t bound by binaries.

To seek to transcend the illusions and escape to a world beyond illusion is creating another binary, a polarity which by its very definition keeps you in the illusion. Rather, see that the part of us which creates the binary is inexorably bound to the whole.

What are the paradoxes in your life and how can they help you to experience your larger Self?

 

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. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Hawaii and Amalfi Coast and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program




How You Can Bring Balance To Your Work Week

By Dr.Josep Mercola | mercola.com

If you are an American working 50 to 60 hours a week, a study1 out of Australia may give you pause. Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) suggest 39 hours to be the ideal work week to ensure you maintain life balance and good health. The study asserts working those who have domestic chores and caregiving responsibilities should trim their work schedules back to just 34 hours a week. The upper limit for those spending less time on domestic work was suggested as 47 hours.

According to USA Today,2 Americans spend about 47 hours a week, on average, working. Brits clock in at 37.5 hours and French employees a little less, at 35 hours a week. While it’s well known Americans work longer hours than many of our counterparts around the world, how often do you stop to consider the effects those extra hours are likely having on your health and well-being?

Long Work Hours Drain Your Mental and Physical Health

The research3 mentioned above was based on data drawn from about 8,000 adults, ages 24 to 65, as part of the Household, Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia survey. Lead researcher Huong Dinh, research fellow at ANU’s research school of population health, asserts, “Long work hours erode a person’s mental and physical health, because it leaves [them] less time to eat well and look after themselves properly.” According to Dinh, reducing the number of work hours seems particularly important for women. She says:

“They spend much more time on care and domestic work. Given the extra demands placed on women, it’s impossible for women to work long hours often expected by employers unless they compromise their health. Despite the fact that women, on average, are as skilled as men, women … have lower paid jobs and less autonomy than men, and they spend much more time on care[giving] and domestic work.”

Some of the study highlights published by Dinh and her team are as follows:

  • While longer work hours are not necessarily bad and do not have a uniformly negative impact on your mental health, there is a distinct tipping point when the hours worked do begin to affect your mental health
  • Due to constraints related to caregiving and domestic chores, if you are a woman, you are perceived to have a lower threshold when it comes to achieving work/health balance
  • Australia’s current system of work-hour regulations and expectations appears to be negatively affecting women’s health in that country
  • To encourage men and women to equally share caregiving responsibilities, work hours would need to be reduced

Working More Than 55 Hours a Week May Negatively Affect Your Heart

Research4 conducted by the European Society of Cardiology suggests it might actually be possible to work your heart out. Based on a study of 85,500 men and women over a 10-year period, researchers observed a negative tendency with respect to the relationship between work hours and heart health.

Specifically, individuals who worked more than 55 hours a week were 40 percent more likely than those working a normal workweek (35 to 40 hours) to develop an irregular heartbeat, or atrial fibrillation (AFib). The correlation between longer work hours and increased risk of AFib remained even after scientists adjusted for risk factors such as age, alcohol use, gender, obesity and smoking. Lead researcher Mika Kivimaki, a professor in the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London, said:5

“Nine out of 10 of the atrial fibrillation cases occurred in people who were free of pre-existing or concurrent cardiovascular disease. This suggests the increased risk is likely to reflect the effect of long working hours, rather than the effect of any pre-existing or concurrent cardiovascular disease.”

The current study seems to support previous research linking long work hours to an increased risk of stroke. Kivimaki states:6 These findings … could be one of the mechanisms that explain the previously observed increased risk of stroke among those working long hours. Atrial fibrillation is known to contribute to the development of stroke, but also other adverse health outcomes, such as heart failure and stroke-related dementia.”

Another very important factor to consider with atrial fibrillation, though, is exposure to EMF, just as cell phones, Wi-Fi, portable phones and sleeping in a bedroom that has the electrical power turned on to it. The heart has a high density of voltage gated calcium channels and is highly susceptible to EMF and one of the primary symptoms are cardiac arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation.

Other Reasons You Might Want to Cut Back on Your Work Hours

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics7 reveal nearly 15 million Americans work full time on the evening shift, night shift, rotating shifts or other employer-arranged work schedules considered “irregular.” According to 2010 U.S. health interview data, nearly 19 percent of working adults are on the job 48 hours or more per week.

More than 7 percent logged 60 hours or more each week. The risk of heart disease and stroke are not the only reasons you might want to cut back on your work hours. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest when your work overtime, you put yourself at risk for:8

Edward Hitchcock, Ph.D., supervisory research psychologist and deputy chief of the organizational science and human factors branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, stated:9 “There is currently a lot of scientific evidence showing that shift work and long hours of work are associated with significant health and safety risks. Scientists believe these risks occur due to disruptions in sleep and circadian rhythms associated with these demanding schedules and strains on social life.”

Hitchcock also noted the disruptive effects lack of sleep and inconsistent sleeping hours can have on your body. He said:10 “The human body cannot naturally adjust to sleeping during the day or at irregular hours … consequently, many shift workers do not get the seven to eight hours of good quality, restorative sleep that most of us need.” A nearly two-year-long experiment in Sweden involving nurses working six-hour days instead of traditional eight-hour days at an elder-care facility revealed several benefits of shortened work days, including:11

  • Being less tired and retaining more energy for home-based and free-time activities
  • Demonstrating better attitudes and work behavior while on the job
  • Getting an average of seven hours of sleep a night versus the less-than-six hours of sleep nurses working a traditional schedule achieved
  • Providing higher quality care to their patients
  • Taking fewer sick days than nurses working a longer shift

Five Tips to Help You Create a More Balanced Life

If you are in a job situation that is upsetting your work-life balance and detracting from the overall quality of your life, it may be time for a change. I believe you will find it worth your time to talk to your employer about possible options to help you reduce stress, be more productive and achieve greater job satisfaction. It’s important to remember that working longer hours does not necessarily mean you will be able to get more work done.

In fact, I imagine if you are routinely unhappy or stressed while on the job, you will actually be less productive and the quality of your work may suffer. Everyone wins when you feel good about the work you do, there is balance in your schedule and your stress level feels manageable.

Regardless of whether you are able to make changes related to your job, there are several areas you can address in and outside of work that will go a long way in helping you create a more balanced life. I recommend you choose at least one of these areas to begin working on today. (Over time, I believe you will be helped by addressing all five areas.) Some tips to help you create a more balanced life are as follows:

1.Create a support network: Isolation and loneliness can be a major source of stress, so it is important that you make a point to connect personally with people around you. Particularly if your work environment is filled with difficult, or even toxic, people, you’ll need to create a support network outside of your job.

Even a quick chat while you are sitting in a waiting room or standing in line at the grocery store can help you feel connected to the world around you. You might also consider attending community events, meeting friends for coffee, taking a class or volunteering.

While you may think you are connected to others through email, social media and texting, that type of connection is not the same as personal, face-to-face contact. If you are unsure of the extent to which you use technology as your interface to other human beings, keep track of how much “face time” you have during the next week. The results may surprise you.

2.Learn to say “no:” Sometimes the stress and strain on your life comes from your inability or unwillingness to set boundaries and limits. When asked to take on yet another responsibility at work, for your children or on a volunteer project, you may feel guilty for saying “no.” If you were raised to say “yes” to almost everything that comes along, particularly because this is the only way you think people will like or accept you, it’s time to rethink the powerful word “no.”

Especially if you feel you are continually busy — racing from one activity or commitment to the next, all day long — from the time you get up until you fall into bed at night, you are a prime candidate for change. Start this week to re-establish some balance in your life by saying “no” to any new request or activity you know will only serve to cause additional stress and imbalance.

3.Look inward: Because you cannot separate your physical health from your emotional well-being, it is important you take time on a regular basis to look inward. Every feeling you have affects some part of your body, so it is important to notice and address the feelings that come up in the context of your everyday circumstances and relationships.

When left unchecked, lingering negative feelings and the emotional stress that often accompanies them can wreak havoc on your health. This is true even if you are doing everything else — diet, exercise and sleep, for instance — “right.” Some tools you can use to look inward and explore your emotions include:

Coloring, drawing or painting Relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing and positive visualization Yoga
Journaling Meditation Prayer

My personal favorite tool to manage emotional stress is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), which involves light tapping over the major energy meridians of your body. It is a handy tool you can use as often as you need to unload emotional baggage. EFT is quick and painless, and so easy even children can learn it.

4.Nurture yourself: If you live a hectic, fast-paced life, the idea of nurturing and caring for yourself may be a foreign concept. It is a rare person who knows how to practice self-care on an ongoing basis. Sure, you may take an annual vacation or visit a spa occasionally, but do you have a daily practice of nurturing that contributes to feelings of balance, tranquility and wholeness?

If not, it’s never too late to start thinking about ways you can practice healthy self-care. I challenge you to create a list of at least 25 things you can do to nurture yourself.

For example, you might choose to prepare one of your favorite meals, get a massage, go for a bike ride, listen to music, spend time with a friend or take an exercise class. Some of the ways I nurture myself include eating healthy food, doing peak fitness, reading a book, walking on the beach and enjoying an occasional chocolate fat bomb truffle.

I caution you from falling into the all-too-common trap of adopting habits that start out under the guise of self-care but inevitably decline into unhealthy, self-destructive practices. Some of them may include drinking alcohol, eating out frequently, indulging in junk food or sugary treats, spending hours on social media and watching TV. Reliance on these and other unhealthy coping mechanisms will only increase the stress and imbalance in your life.

5.Prioritize activities: Being frequently late or constantly feeling hurried are significant stressors, making it important for you to carefully prioritize your activities. By focusing on the aspects of your day that are truly “must do” activities, you put your energy and time where they will garner the most positive effects.

Prioritizing also helps you identify possible responsibilities and tasks that can be delegated. Furthermore, prioritizing gives you permission to temporarily set aside any task standing between you and some much-needed self-care, because you don’t really need to have a certain task done until next week.

Finally, by making lists of your important activities, you can more easily schedule them into your day and time them conveniently and efficiently. For example, one of the easiest methods to reduce your stress level related to running errands is to group them together by geography. In doing so, you can more effectively run a series of errands on a single day with a prioritized focus.

Final Thoughts About Balancing Your Work Week

Life is short. Time flies. Upon retirement, very few people, if any, say they wished they would have worked longer hours during the many years they spent on the job. In fact, it’s often the people you work alongside and the relationships you forged that make the most impact on you. That said, no matter how close or far you are to retirement, your health and well-being simply will not self-manage.

You need to take active steps every day to balance the needs and expectations of your job with your life outside work and the people in it. Even if you cannot imagine working as few as 39 hours a week, as suggested by the ANU researchers, any reduction at all will be an improvement if you currently work more than 40 hours.

Particularly if you are working upward of 50 hours a week, it will be nearly impossible to optimize your health until you find a way to cut back your work hours and rebalance your life. Start today. You won’t regret it.

Read more great articles at mercola.com




Satva: Finding the Middle

Samkhya, the ancient school of classical yoga philosophy, describes the universe and all its qualities using three main humors, called Gunas. These qualities are Rajas, Tamas, and Satva. Understanding these basic qualities, described by an ancient philosophy may help us to find balance in our own lives. 

The first Guna is Rajas and generally describes everything that is building, energizing, and heating, either physically, energetically, or consciously. The opposite of Rajas is Tamas which describes everything that is grounding, calming, and inert, physically, energetically, or consciously. The skillful negotiation of the two brings about the essential middle path, Satva. 

According to Samkya, Satva is the sweet spot where, once in balance, the Universe can thrive. Yoga is one way of practicing finding Satva in our personal lives. For example, If you went into a yoga class feeling sluggish and tired (Tamasic) and came out feeling wired and spastic (Rajasic), you would not have served yourself other than to turn the switch to feel the opposite kind of miserable.

Instead, endeavor to find balance by self-regulating your yoga practice to bring yourself into balance. This means listening to your needs to first choose a style of yoga that will serve you in the moment and bring you into balance. It also means learning to regulate yourself while in the practice to negotiate the intensity of each pose to regulate body, mind, and spirit to arrive at Satva. 

When you arrive at Satva by balancing your yoga practice, you’re left feeling both energized and calm, focused, and grounded. And consider that the sure way to find Satva at the end of your practice is to strive for Satva in each posture. 

Understanding this essential need for Satva, may require you to try out a different style of yoga so that you have more tools at your disposal in order to help you find Satva. For those of us who love to bliss out on energy (Rajas) and tend to take fast, hot, and challenging yoga classes, you can still keep your energizing practice as long as you leave feeling Satva. If you ever begin to feel either too wired or to tired after a class, remember that maybe what you need is a Restore Yoga class or a meditation class. Also, those of us who could indulge in Tamas and stay on our cozy meditation cushions all day long, keep it us as long as you’re feeling Satva. If ever you leave class feeling either sluggish or antsy, maybe you could try a flow class or perhaps even walking to yoga studio to add some energy in order to find Satva.

Most importantly, cultivating your listening for the what you truly need is essential to arriving at balance. It’s in a balanced state that you will thrive in your yoga practice and learn to thrive in your daily life. 

Scott Moore Yoga

Photo by Dallas Graham

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. Check out his Guided Meditations for Sleep™ and yoga retreats to places like Hawaii and Amalfi Coast and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program

 




The Philosophy of Balance

The Samkhya school of classical yoga philosophy describes the universe and all its qualities using three main humors, called Gunas. These are Rajas, Tamas, Sattva.

Rajas is generally building, full of fire, or energizing, while Tamas is generally grounding, calming, and inert. The skillful negotiation of the two brings us to the precious middle path, Sattva. If we went into a yoga class feeling sluggish and tired and came out feeling wired and spastic, we would not have served ourselves other than to experience the opposite end of miserable. Instead, we use the balance of steadiness and ease (in the yoga Sutras, Patanjali calls these sukhum and sthirum) to bring us to the place where we feel both energized and calm. We are neither looking to be revved-up and wired nor to be too sluggish and sleepy, but rather to optimize the perfect balance, the Sattvic state. This is why savasana is so essential at the end of an energizing yoga practice. This is also why it sometimes helps to go on a gentle walk after a very relaxing practice. Middle feels like home.

For those of us who love to bliss out on Rajas and train or play really hard, don’t worry. Just remember that there is a time to sit and meditate too. Also, those of us who could indulge in Tamas and stay on our cozy meditation cushions all day long and then celebrate with a box of Hatch Family Chocolates, well, maybe you could try at least walking to the Avenues to get your chocolate.

Most importantly, these principles remind us that balance is not only comfortable, but optimal. If you need to add more Tamas to your life, more ease, go to a Restore Yoga or Meditation class.

If you could balance out some sluggishness by adding a little Rajas, go to a vinyasa flow class.

Scott Moore Yoga

Photo by Dallas Graham

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. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Hawaii and Amalfi Coast and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program




Laugh Out Loud -> Go Ahead, You DESERVE It!

 

GirlfriendsLaughing

By Kimberlay Kiernan |ConsciousLifeNews

Being Awake and Aware means we know we need balance. Conscious Life News gives you content that is serious, and life enhancing or life changing, but laughter is good for the soul and helps to keep our equilibrium amid the chaos.

A child laughs spontaneously and scientific estimates are that an adult needs 15-17 GOOD SOLID LAUGHS  a day to be healthy.  So here you are. Take a few wonderful minutes. Reduce your blood pressure, lower stress, release endorphins, oxygenate your blood, improve your cardiac health, and enjoy this chuckle. Go ahead. Laugh Out Loud!!! You deserve it!  Here are quips, gags, and images to put a smile on your face, and help bring you back into balance.

humourCLN1humourCLN3humour CLN2

and finally,…..

Canuck Bob in the brothel……!!

Bob, a middle-aged Canadian tourist on his first time in Lincoln, Nebraska, locates the red light district and enters a large brothel.

The madam asks him to be seated and sends over a young woman to entertain the client. They sit and talk, frolic a little, giggle a bit, drink a bit, and she sits on his lap. He whispers in her ear and she gasps and runs away!

Seeing this the madam sends over a more experienced “lady” to entertain the gentleman. They sit and talk, frolic a little, giggle a bit, drink a bit and she sits on his lap. He whispers in her ear and she screams “NO!” and walks quickly away. The madam is surprised that this ordinary looking man has asked for something so outrageous that her two “girls” will have nothing to do with it. She decides that only her most experienced “lady”, Lola will do.

Lola looks a bit tired but she has never said NO, and it doesn’t seem likely that anything would surprise her. So the madam sends her over to Bob. they sit and talk, frolic a little , giggle a bit, drink a bit, and she sits on his lap. He whispers in her ear and she screams, “NO WAY BUDDY!” smacks him as hard as she can, and literally RUNS away!  Madam is by now absolutely intrigued, having seen nothing like this in all her years of operating a brothel.

She hasn’t done the bedroom work herself for a long time, but she did it for many years before she “got into management”. She’s sure she has said yes at one time or another to everything a man could possibly ask for. The challenge is irresistible.

She just has to find out what this man has wanted that has made her girls so angry.  And she sees a chance she can’t pass up, to show off to her employees how good she was at what they do.

So she goes over to Bob and says that she’s the best in the house and she is available.  She sits and talks with him. They frolic a bit, giggle a bit, and drink a little, and she sits in his lap. And Bob leans forward and whispers in her ear, “Can I pay in Canadian dollars?”

Laugh And The World Laughs With You,
Snore And You sleep Alone.

 




Laugh Out Loud -> Go Ahead -> You DESERVE It!

people laughing - researchers establish mathematical theory of humor

Being Awake and Aware means we know we need balance. Conscious Life News gives you content that is serious, and life enhancing or life changing, but laughter is good for the soul and helps to keep our equilibrium amid the chaos.

A child laughs spontaneously and scientific estimates are that an adult needs 15-17 GOOD SOLID LAUGHS  a day to be healthy.  So here you are. Take a few wonderful minutes. Reduce your blood pressure, lower stress, release endorphins, oxygenate your blood, improve your cardiac health, and enjoy this chuckle. Go ahead. Laugh Out Loud!!! You deserve it!  Here are quips, gags, and images to put a smile on your face, and help bring you back into balance.

 

SOME CLEVER SIGNS

In a shoe repair shop: We will heel you. We will save your sole. We will even dye for you.

In a gynecologist’s office: Dr. Jones, at your cervix.

In a podiatrist’s office: Time wounds all heels.

In an optometrist’s office: If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.

On a plumber’s truck: We repair what your husband fixed.

On a maternity-room door: “Push. Push. Push.”

In a veterinarian’s waiting room: Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!

In a restaurant window: Don’t stand there and be hungry; come on in and get fed up.

In the front yard of a funeral home: Drive carefully. We’ll wait.

At a propane filling station: Thank Heaven for little grills.

Sign on the back of a septic-tank truck:
Caution – This Truck is full of political promises.

*********************************************************************************************

CREATION STORY: LIFE EXPLAINED

On the first day, God created the dog and said, “Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years.”

The dog said, “That’s a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I’ll give you back the other ten?”And God saw it was good.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said, “Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I’ll give you a twenty-year life span.”

The monkey said, “Monkey tricks for twenty years? That’s a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?”

And God, again saw it was good.

On the third day, God created the cow and said, “You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer’s family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years.”

The cow said, “That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I’ll give back the other forty?”

And God agreed it was good.

On the fourth day, God created humans and said, “Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I’ll give you twenty years.”

But the human said, “Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?”

“Okay,” said God, “You asked for it.”

So that is why for our first twenty years, we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information. I’m doing it as a public service.
If you’re looking for me I will be on the front porch.

*************************************************************************************************

DOGS VS STAIRS

Some dogs need to figure things out first and then….They GET it!

https://www.facebook.com/PetchaNetwork/videos/1684610718473443/




Creating Balance

Sonja Grace | all things healing

As humanity leans towards either side of the duality, pressing for peace and love or hating another culture and acting out in violence, there is a lack of understanding as to how the duality works and the very nature of keeping the balance. We know what feels good but the fact remains we live in the duality; no matter how high the frequencies and how connected you are to love and light, there is always going to be representation of the other side.

Standing in the middle of good and bad, pain and joy, light and dark, happy and sad allows for you to see they must both exist in this world, that the duality is a natural part of the Universe. We do not transcend the duality but simply step back and observe it. This is what keeps our Universe in balance. Everything in the Universe is about balance. We are simply moving into a higher vibration that is the fifth dimension. This is not going to be void of the duality. These next few months are an opportunity for people to find where they need to balance within their own lives and create peace within.

Peace exists within us and is a state of being that is obtained through meditation and a deep inner practice that is dedicated to one’s self discovery. Inner peace comes from loving yourself at the deepest level of your being and healing the emotional wounds from the past. There is a common thread throughout our lifetime that reflects our unresolved karma of the past. When we clear our karmic past we create an opening for our original consciousness to connect with our source the Divine.

It is through this work that one can start to feel that inner peace that allows you to observe the duality. The hard part in being human is we all want to get in a situation and engage our energy. The homework is to feel your feelings and release them. That way you do not engage your energy by diving into the deep end of the karmic pool creating more karma for yourself by investing in the duality.

Read the full post here.




Impressions of Inferiority

Ida LawrenceContributor

Darkness brought us alive. Deep, rich, restorative darkness; filled with infinite potentiality, fertility, beauty, information of the ages… the magnificent pattern of it All. Beloved darkness. And we turn our face away from the word ‘darkness’ and from the thought of darkness. The light is what we value, the light is what we need, we need tomorrow morning, there is no light in darkness, or so we believe. But yes, there is light in the undervalued darkness.

We all know the yin/yang symbol… the dark in which the light is embedded, and the light in which the dark is embedded. These are the dualities of the natural world, spoken of by everyone from scientists and philosophers to nutritionists and cooks, and certainly martial artists. The indivisible whole in constant movement, and yet, they say, too much of one can weaken and consume the other.

Can we agree that after thousands of years of expansion of yang in the form of patriarchy, darkness has become not only undervalued but greatly feared, and light in its preponderance is seldom enlightening but woven with deception, which is its own form of darkness.

Let’s look at the pure energies – darkness: love, light: truth. Imagine these polarities in harmony, balanced within ourselves and all things. Heaven on earth comes forth. But we are not in heaven. We are in disharmony and imbalance, and both polarities are corrupted. The natural world is suffering, and we know it and feel it. We try to create little pockets of heaven… heaven in the bedroom, heaven in the home, heaven in our creations, heaven in the community. We try because we remember… there is a way it should be.

As we envision the return to balance, what is it that we envision returning? Is it the light within the dark… the divine love within the yin, expanding, revealing, healing? Is it consciousness passing the barriers and entering the divine dark void? Is it the light of truth unraveling the dark matrix of deception?

I want them all, but slowly, lest we poor humans lose our sanity.

Let’s look first at what we have been conditioned to undervalue as darkness. I’ll share with you some beliefs that were impressed upon my own mind, and these are with regard to the woman. She is the negative polarity, the deceptive, the hidden, the darkness. She makes herself beautiful and draws the man into her, thereby weakening him. She is necessary and valuable, so tend to her, but be aware. Your task with her, is to bring her into the position of helping you attain your goals. She can be an enjoyable companion, a reflection of your light, but remember always to maintain your position, otherwise her magnetic pull can control you can make you ‘soft’.

Did you enjoy that paragraph? Obviously no flow of energies between polarities there, and it’s uncomfortable to read. Uncomfortable to believe as well. We’re going after wisdom… a word that was left out of the paragraph, but not left out of the woman. So let’s bear a little discomfort for the sake of wisdom, and let it settle in.

I’m ready to move on to another conditioning that we see throughout the earth and far back into the patriarchy… the undervaluing of humans with dark skin pigmentation.

Where in hell did the caste system come from? Who or what imposed racism? Where did the ‘impression’ come from that darker pigmented people are more dense and slow, more inclined to physical labors, lacking civilization? It certainly didn’t come from truth. Even the brief weighing in our minds of the condition of Europe when the Moors brought science and mathematics, metallurgy, astronomy, agriculture, medicine, cleanliness, architecture and philosophy should tell us that something has gone wrong in the realm of reason. Perhaps racism came as a means of diminishing elder wisdom, as I suspect elder wisdom would not have allowed the polarities to fall so far out of balance.

We’re looking at the dark and the light, and our ‘impressions of inferiority’. Let’s return again to the fact that these dualities exist within every human: both the male and female of all races embody these polarities. So this is not yang-bashing (or underhanded white man bashing). There is yang in me, and why would I bash that light? I want balance… I want us to be able to envision and create heaven on earth, and I don’t believe we can leap there, dragging error with us.

Reverence for the duality, and understanding of the polarities and the constant flow of energies between them… most people haven’t thought about it or questioned it much. I know I didn’t for a good long time… I just accepted what I heard and tried to sort from that batch. Sorting from that batch gets you nothing but struggle to escape enslavement, and longing for light and liberation.

When we look at what is accepted, we are shown a system drip-feeding us religion-based ideas frosted with political correctness, constraining us within prejudiced systems, titillating us with perverse appetites, offering us new ‘genius’ problem-solving inventions, making us argumentative and confused. And what is This? This is the darkness of deception… the human subconscious is filled with the pain of it. And it is quite different from the divine darkness I might say.

We confront an upside down and inside out conditioning that can be looked into and corrected, but ever so lovingly and wisely and truthfully. Full blast would not be kind, nor would it result in accuracy.

Let’s try looking at the duality from another angle… ‘feeling: yin’ and ‘intellect: yang’. We like to think of the intellect as the master of facts and reason. I like that – it’s a pleasure to know facts and to use reason. But intellectualism, aka the mind in love with itself… not only is it boring, it’s dangerous.

Here’s an example: I just listened to an interview with the esteemed genius Michio Kaku. He talked about how with the right computers and technology we ‘wonderfully’ are going to be able to upload digitized memories into our brain and/or take a memory erase pill to rid ourselves of traumatic memories. And most astounding of all, he says, we’ll be able to put on headphones and through technology our brains will be able to communicate with each other, conveying thoughts, feelings and images.

Dear Michio… you have gone too far down the ‘yang insane’ road. Stop thinking. We already are able to communicate thoughts, feelings and images telepathically, and we don’t need headphones and computers. It’s done in the ‘still’ mind, the heart/mind. Quite likely it has been done for a long time… it and much more along with it. With regard to traumatic memories, love/light works there too, along with some courage… no memory erase pill needed.

This past week is what has brought me into these thoughts about darkness. It is a difficult subject, differentiating between the divine principle of the natural world, and the darkness of the human subconscious. The divine principle has been turned into confusion, disharmony and imbalance, and as we seek to return to balance, we encounter the darkness of the human subconscious.

When it comes to the personal subconscious, it is best to take it in bits, lest we get caught in the cycle of repetition and obsession and add darkness to darkness. We shine the light there to resolve personal experience, take what we need for our healing, and then let it go. With regard to the collective human subconscious, we shine the light there in bits as well, lest we get caught in the cycle and add to it. Don’t hate the darkness, and don’t fear it.

For the past week I’ve been talking with two young men who experienced abuse at the hands of their mother and father, and deception at the hands of their entire family. So much darkness… so much that was hidden. It is enough to make the grandmother energy moan, and weep, and pray for all of the children.

The uncovering was painful for them, and it will continue to be for a time, as they find ways to incorporate their memories and somehow turn this experience into strength and wisdom. It is a forgiving self, loving self, trusting self process. I can’t say that there is a forgiving others involved, at least at this point; only a handing themselves and their energy back to them. And then moving on to put some victory into life experience… some light.

We are the light of the world… all of us are… and we shine in different places. Recognizing imbalance is not a new thing, but there is more to be found as we continue to evolve. Here we have the return of the divine feminine: we talk about love… this is She returning. And the divine masculine – truth – how could spiritual evolution occur without that? Love and truth: herein is an exchange of energies between polarities; no weakening on either side… simply an ever moving flow. We all embody these polarities, and in our relationships we experience these polarities. Such is heaven.

Imbalance cannot come into the new world, so what must we do? I’d say… rescue and restore. And then soldier on! Do your thing!

About the Author

cropped - IdaIda Lawrence is an author, blogger, copywriter and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has contributed to and edited two books on racial justice and human rights, and numerous articles on human rights, self-empowerment and related subjects. Her latest book is entitled The Warrior’s Way to Heaven on Earth. Ida has also published a companion book of blog favorites from https://talk2momz.com/.