3 Very Important Concepts That Create Our Current Life Experiences

As we awaken it is important for us to understand that we are working with 3 very important concepts that create our current life circumstances:

* Soul Contracts
* Free Will and Karma
* Subconscious Beliefs and Program

 
Soul Contracts
Soul Contracts are put in place before we incarnate. We go through a process of pre-birth planning where we choose our core soul lessons and things we want to master in a specific lifetime. During this time we also choose our parents, our sexual identity, our ethnicity and all of the major aspects of our lives. Soul contracts are not set in stone and are changing all the time as we use our own free will to evolve or devolve our souls. When we learn and master certain lessons, new contracts are created and old contracts dissolve as we journey through our lives.Free Will and Karma
Through the use of our free will we create karma. Karma is not punishment. Karma is simply off pitched vibrations in our energy fields that occurs when we go against universal laws. Because we have free will, we can choose to go against the advice of our higher self. Unresolved karma is held within the chakra system and it lowers our vibrations. When we decide to face God/dess we will face the SELF and the karmic distortions in our chakra system will rise to the surface for us to balance and transcend. As we heal our karma, our vibrations rise, and our lives become more abundant and harmonious because our connection to our internal guidance system gets stronger as we are able to tap into a heightened flow of spiritual energies from our higher selves. Eventually, when 51% of our karma has been cleared from our chakra systems, our very high vibrational higher selves or christ selves (that reside in a higher vibrating dimension within our energy fields) will be able to safely merge with our physical beings and we will become ONE activating unity consciousness or christ consciousness within ourselves.

 
Subconscious Beliefs and Programing
In addition to soul contracts and free will/karma, our soul also contains subconscious beliefs that create our current life circumstances. When we heal and transcend our negative, fear-filled, egoic, subconscious beliefs – the quality of our life changes as well. Conscious and unconscious beliefs and strong emotions, held over a long period of time, become subconscious programs that run our lives. Many of these subconscious programs come from the past lives of our very own soul, were inherited from our genetic lineage, or we picked up them up in this lifetime from the mass consciousness or from our childhood. The good thing about beliefs is they can be changed.
However, it is the unconscious beliefs that we hold that oftentimes wreak havoc in our lives because we are not even aware that we have them. In order to bring these beliefs to the surface for healing, our higher selves will create certain circumstances with us and other souls for us to SEE ourselves.

If we are open and willing to transcend ourselves, and we allow ourselves to be brutally self-honest about our inner workings, we will be able to transform these unconscious beliefs into something more positive and life affirming for ourselves and those we interact with simply through the process of becoming conscious of them and choosing to believe and behave differently. Affirmations, DNA Theta Healing and many other healing modalities that deal with Belief Work and Subconscious Programs will really help us discover the inner currents within us that continue to attract unwanted circumstances in our lives.

As we master our soul contracts and evolve our personalities out of our negative, egoic, repetitive behavioral patterns – our vibrational frequency rises.

When we use our free will to work with universal laws and we clear our negative karma through the process of soul alchemy (turning our darkness into light) in addition to generating good karma through positive creations, we gain more light and a higher vibrational frequency. Likewise, as we clear negative subconscious beliefs and programs based on fear, duality and separation consciousness our energy fields will shift and change and our energy will rise in vibration and begin to attract to us what we truly desire.

 

7 Ways to Revitalize Your Passion for Life in Turbulent Times

IN BRIEF: The difference between maintaining your zeal for life and heartbreaking disillusionment during turbulent times ultimately begins with you and where you are placing your focus. Here are seven proactive life responses for the most common reasons why you might feel your passion for life slipping away.

Thanks to social media, you’ve survived the “me” generation. “Me” exploded into “we” and a socially conscious generation was born. What was once considered personal fulfillment has changed for the better.

Undoubtedly, your hopes and dreams are different than they once were. Change is occurring at such speeds, you might not be sure of what to wish for except for a global group hug.

“Despite what the evening news would have you believe, your prospects for a higher quality of life are opening wide as we consciously merge mind, body, and spirit — including science.”

A new science is emerging linking happiness to our well-being. According to the “World Happiness Report 2017,” published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the United States ranks 14th in the world.

The difference between maintaining your zeal for life and heartbreaking disillusionment during turbulent times ultimately begins with you and where you are placing your focus.

What is the common thread of personal well-being, or even the ever-elusive personal fulfillment?

Here are seven proactive life responses for the most common reasons why you might feel your passion for life slipping away.

Celebrate failure. Feeling cynical or defeated, or that your hard work is not paying off? When there is a disappointment in life, seeing everything as an opportunity will keep you invigorated and challenged in a good way. The ability to adapt and learn is vital to living the good life. The path to success is shared with the path of failure. Celebrate every step of the journey.

Make a living or live brilliantly? Making a living becomes complicated when you wish to live like someone else. Materialism and title are fake substitutes for real affluence — the ability to inspire people. Make a list of what you admire and begin to make changes in your life to reflect your values.

Simplify, minimize, and let go of clutter. The economy provides us with the sustenance of life, but when it becomes the goal, you work like a machine mortgaging your life, losing your passion for living. Investigate new markets that allow you greater life flexibility through stewardship rather than ownership.

Rediscover your inner child through exploration of your inner world. Innovation and automation have provided us with more free time than we’ve ever had. Instead of TV, smartphones, information, and shopping, regain a sense of wonder by looking at every day as another opportunity to explore and learn about your inner world. Focus and your natural state of happiness are cultivated through meditation, prayer, and contemplation.

Be a beacon of light despite a chaotic world. Living the good life is being peaceful even when those around you are stirring the pot. When others engage in negativity, don’t get sucked in. Consider ending support of violent media content. Become response-able for you and your corner of the world. Seek common ground with those you come into contact with by supporting needed change.

Reconnect with nature. Do you ever walk your neighbourhood and ask where all the people are? When was the last time you roamed a nature trail? Technology is nice, but it’s not nicer than a sense of community and all the wisdom and health benefits hidden in nature’s vastness. If you’ve forgotten this, stop what you’re doing right now. Come back in 30 minutes and report your findings.

Include service to others in your weekly schedule. Self-love and self-care are certainly important, but keeping a healthy balance between ego and selflessness is the heart of personal fulfillment. In a synergetic world, personal fulfillment and social responsibility are intimately connected. Try volunteering just eight hours a month to discover what you would grumble about at minimum wage. It is a gift — the most exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling gift you could ever give — the gift of you!

Your passion for life can never be taken away from you — unless you take away your focus. Focus is the key to the mastery of life as an ongoing practice.

“Finding balance between economic, social, and environmental objectives is key to personal and community well-being and happiness.”

Let go of the non-essentials.

Keep your focus on your internal compass help you maintain external balance.

Merging mind, body, and spirit, you become joyful, the gratitude flowing just for being alive.

Embrace life from every angle and finally begin to thrive!

Putting your heart into everything you do, your passion for life becoming voracious — this is your brilliant future here, now.

You were made for this. You can do it!

Author: Christine Horner – Collective Evolution

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What Should I Do? 8 Signs You’re Making the Best Decision

Life is filled with a constant barrage of choices; every moment of every day we make thousands of them – from what to eat for breakfast to when to go to bed. Most of the choices we make are small and have little influence over us, but some of them are not; some are so big that they completely alter the course of our life.

Decisions such as where to go to school, what to study, who to marry, where to live, and what to do for a living shape the quality of life because  they determine whether we live up to our highest potential in a happy, suitable lifestyle, or whether we end up living a dull life of monotony, under-achievement, boredom, or sadness.

Choices like these can be hard to make. So, how do you make big decisions? How do you know which choices will work best for you, and which ones you should avoid? Luckily, we are all equipped with an internal guidance system via the flow of life energy. Here are 8 signs life offers to help you when you are facing a big decision.

Synchronicity Increases
You will notice an increase in synchronicity when you are considering a choice that will uplift your life. You might hear a song on a radio, hear a conversation, see a show on television, or come across information that correlates to your decision.

Pay attention to these and recognize them as the positive signs they are meant to be.

Progress Seems Smooth
The highest choices for you will lift you up and entice you, they won’t make life more difficult and cause you to suffer. When you are heading in the best direction, things will flow smoothly, doors will magically open, and there will be an easy flow to the way everything proceeds. This is not to say you won’t have to work hard, or that everything will be easy and things will fall freely into your lap, but if your decision seems wrought with obstacles, it may not be the choice for you. Instead choose the path that opens effortlessly before you.

Inspiration and Creativity Flows
As creative beings we each feel our best when we can use our talents and gifts to make things that we can share with others. When you are facing a high life choice you will feel more open, vibrant and creatively inspired.  In fact, if this one indication alone is present for you when facing a decision, you can trust that it is the right one for you. Your highest potential will always inspire creativity.

You Feel Calm and Grounded
There is a certain serenity to the flow of life energy when it is open and free. If, when contemplating one of your options, you notice that one makes you feel a bit more calm, grounded and centered, go with it! This is your internal guidance showing you the way. You will guarantee yourself more peace if you do.

Your Energy Increases
Even if you can only feel it a little bit, there is always one choice that stirs your energy more than the others. Consider your choices and follow the one that invigorates, motivates or uplifts you the most. It will be the one that creates a feeling of buoyancy within you, causing you to feel more amped-up and vibrant than usual. Simply put, if your heart feels light, you’ll know it’s right.

You Are Excited or Curious
The best option will feel more exciting, interesting or intriguing to you. Rather than scaring you to the point of dread, it will excite you in the same way you may have felt when you were a child and had the butterflies-in-the-stomach experience before a birthday or happy event. Follow the choice that excites you, peaks your curiosity, or even scares you a little, for this is life telling you to live it.

You Can Imagine Limitless Possibility
Life energy loves expansion. The best choices for you will guide you to push your boundaries beyond your current comfort zone and limitations, in order to lead you to a future of unlimited potential, opportunity and happiness. If the choice you are considering inspires your imagination, showing you new paths you may not have ever considered, it’s a sign you are being lead toward expansion and the realization of a higher purpose.

Something Clicks
It doesn’t happen with every choice, but once in a while you’ll feel a certainty with a decision, as if something just clicks into place. You won’t have any doubt about what you are choosing because you’ll experience a distinct knowing that this is the best option for you. Recognize this when it happens and you’ll increase the chances of it happening again, making your future life choices much easier to make.

You exist as a being of energy vibrating on it’s own unique spectrum. In every moment you live, you have the option to experience any point on that spectrum you choose. Your highest potential is at the top of the spectrum, where energy vibrates at its maximum frequencies. It is here, at the top, that you meet your highest life purpose. If you can trust life and follow the path of your energy to the pinnacle of your spectrum, you will be lead to a lighter, happier, more fulfilling way of being. Practice following your energy by watching for these signs, and choose your way to your own best life.

Author: Susan L. Magine – Awakening People 

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The Mysterious World of Synchronicity

Do you often see 11:11? 12:34? 3:33? Or any other synchronistic patterns?

Do you ever have strange coincidences that defy logic, and often lead to magical unfoldings?

In this article we’ll explore the strange world of synchronicity.

What brought you here? Why in this very moment when you could be anywhere doing anything, is it that you have found yourself on this blog? Chances are that you saw the image and it made sense to you! Do you see 11:11? Does it boggle your mind and at times create weird and wonderful confusion? Are you struggling to make sense of its meaning? Don’t worry, I totally understand, and I hope this article can be of some comfort…

This article is not going to be just about numerology, that is only a small part of the mysterious world of synchronicity. I am going to try and bring some kind of meaning to something that is hard to understand at a purely logical view point, and something that I have to admit I do not fully understand. But it is my belief that synchronicity does not work on that kind of level. I know it is significant, I know that following it can bring great things, but it is not something that can be fully understood by the mind.

What is Synchronicity?

Synchronicity is a sequence of events that coincide with each other, and have significant meaning related to each other. These events would appear on the surface to be just chance, but are in no way a coincidence.

An example would be: You want to pursue your dream job and you are trying to make an excuse not to do so and for every excuse you make a solution seems to fall in your lap. Or you attend an event you would usually avoid because every time you switch on the TV, radio or speak with someone it’s all you hear about. Then as a result of attending that event you meet someone significant, like a partner, a business associate or a future friend.

One extreme example from my own life was when I was thinking about giving up on my passion of writing and sharing information about spirituality and growth due to the financial strain it was causing. I had gone online looked up some jobs and was ready to quit, that night I went to bed and said, “If you are going to give me a sign, now is the right time”. The next day I received a cheque from a family member that fixed that problem.

Synchronicities differ from coincidence, a coincidence could be you sneezing and at the same time a firework going off. It may be a little weird that it happens, but in most cases there would be no significant meaning.

Types of Synchronicity

Predictive: This is where you see, think or do something that links to an outcome. The classic example is thinking of someone and them calling you.

Guiding: This is where all signs guide you to a specific outcome. This could be you thinking of giving up on your music career because of a lack of work and just as you are about to do so, you get a phone call from someone trying to book you for work.

Reflective: This is where you are forced to reflect due to a synchronistic event. An example would be if you decided to cancel your gym membership and then as you go to do it an email hits your inbox about the benefits of exercise, making you reflect on if you have made the right decision or not.

Testing: This is where synchronicity tests you ego. An example would be if you had a food addiction and absolutely loved fried chicken, when thinking about this addiction a fried chicken advert comes on the TV. Testing your ability to fight the temptation. Be strong, don’t do it!!!

Synchronicities are Always Happening

One thing I have noticed is that there have always been synchronicities in my life, maybe not quite in the quantity that they are happening now, but they have always been there. Your job is to follow the synchronistic events. The magical thing is, the more you follow them the more they happen.

Don’t go searching for something that is not there, but learn to recognise when something is in front of you. If the perfect relationship seems to fall from the sky at the perfect moment and you decide not to pursue it, you are seeing the synchronicities, but not following them.

When you start to live out these synchronistic events you will start getting the little cosmic nudges, like 11:11 or in my case 33, I see this number everywhere and it was only on a doing a little research I realized the spiritual significance of it.

Synchronicity in Your Life

Think back to every significant event in your life, I am sure it is full of synchronicity and it is usually the bigger the life event the more synchronicities coincide with it.

A while back I had been trying to get in front of a bigger audience. These events led towards me being able to work at Truth Theory:

Synchronicity number 1: I had a list of around 30 blogs I wanted to write for, out of that list I sent my article: 6 Ideas For An Educational Revolution to Truth Theory.

Synchronicity number 2: The owner of Truth Theory was working on an educational website so he was drawn to the article.

Synchronicity number 3: Out of anywhere in the world he could have lived, he lived just 5 minutes from my house.

Synchronicity number 4: We decided to meet up and it turned out we were pretty much on the same wavelength and that he needed someone to write for Truth Theory.

If anyone one of these events didn’t happen, I would not be here writing this article. But they all did and now I am here.

What Is The Point of Synchronicity?

Synchronicity serves many purposes; it can serve as a reminder that you are on the right path, it can be for guidance, sometimes it is to test you, sometimes it will lead you to form significant relationships and other times it is just for you to stop and be present!

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Author: Luke Miller – Wake Up World

18 Signs That You’re Here to Transform Human Consciousness

For many years now, a lot of people have been talking about “The Shift,” this mysterious transformation of human consciousness that is supposedly underway. Ever since the end of the Mayan calendar in December of 2012, New Age types tend to twitter away about the evolution of the species, the revolution of love, and other hopeful but fuzzy seeming changes in what it means to be human. I want to take a minute to help us all ground this floaty notion a bit.

See if any of this sounds familiar:

Do you have a vision of some aspect of a more beautiful world, and you know it’s your sacred purpose to help bring it into being?

Do you sense that something is out of alignment in the world, and you want to be a part of the solution?

Have you experienced a life-altering event that changed everything for you, and now you want to use that experience to help others?

Do you have an innovative idea that might make the world a better place?

Do you feel called to help others heal, transform, connect, love, create, succeed, and thrive?

Yeah, I thought so. I had a feeling you were one of us! Welcome to what my friend Martha Beck calls “The Team.” In her book Finding Your Way In A Wild New World,Martha Beck defines Team members by the following characteristics. You may not recognize every single attribute, but if you’re a Team member, you’re likely to be nodding your head a lot as you read through these characteristics of those whose souls incarnated here on this planet right now to facilitate this mystical shift in human consciousness. See if any of these Team traits resonate with who you are and how you feel.

  1. A sense of having a specific mission or purpose involving a major transformation in human experience, but being unable to articulate what this change might be.
  2. A strong sense that the mission, whatever it is, is getting closer in time.
  3. A compulsion to master certain fields, skills, or professions, not only for career advancement but in preparation for this half-understood personal mission.
  4. High levels of empathy; a sense of feeling what others feel.
  5. An urgent desire to lessen or prevent suffering for humans, animals, or even plants.
  6. Loneliness stemming from a sense of difference, despite generally high levels of social activity. One woman summed up this feeling perfectly when she said, “Everybody likes me, but nobody’s like me.
  7. High levels of creativity; passion for music, poetry, performance, or visual arts.
  8. An intense love of animals, sometimes a desire to communicate with them.
  9. Difficult early life, often with a history of abuse or childhood trauma.
  10. Intense connection to certain types of natural environment, such as the ocean, mountains, or forest.
  11. Resistance to orthodox religiosity, paradoxically accompanied by a strong sense of either spiritual purpose or spiritual yearning.
  12. Love of plants and gardening, to the point of feeling empty or depressed without the chance to be among green things and/or help them grow.
  13. Very high emotional sensitivity, often leading to predilections for anxiety, addictions, or eating disorders.
  14. Sense of intense connection with certain cultures, languages, or geographic regions.
  15. Disability, often brain-centered (dyslexia, retardation, autism) in oneself or a loved one. Fascination with people who have intellectual disabilities or mental illness.
  16. Apparently gregarious personality contrasting with a deep need for periods of solitude; a sense of being drained by social contact and withdrawing to “power up” again.
  17. Persistent or recurring physical illness, often severe, with symptoms that fluctuate inexplicably.
  18. Daydreams (or night dreams) about healing damaged people, creatures, or places.

You! 

If you read that list (like I did) thinking “Check, check, check,” you’re definitely one of us visionary healer mender way-finders on The Team. And the world needs you to fulfill your sacred purpose — pronto!

As Martha wrote, “If enough people start mending their true nature in the incredibly interconnected world we’re creating, the cumulative effect really could begin healing the true nature of, well, everything.

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Author: Lissa Rankin

Why We Should Bring Meditation Into Schools

“If every eight year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” ~ Dalai Lama

Imagine if meditation was a regular part of school life for children. Just think how different the world would be. If every child was able to connect to the ocean of consciousness that permeates all that is, the desire to do wrong by others would dissolve.

Meditation allows us to discover through experience the truth of who we really are. The problem in today’s society is that we are constantly running from ourselves, and consequently from the truth. We’re so occupied with work and social events that we never take the time to discover who we truly are at the core of our being.

Most of us learn to be something we are not. We learn to fit in, to conform and to abide by social norms. We learn how to put on a mask in front of other people. We learn how to be slaves to our own ego. We become so good at running from ourselves that we can’t stand the thought of ever taking off the mask we’ve become comfortable wearing. So we betray ourselves and we let our ego roam free. We become numb to the world and every living creature in it. We sell our soul for an illusion of who we are, and deep down, a part of us knows that we are on the run. Many of us have no hope of ever reconnecting with the self as we have run too far…

What if we never started running from ourselves in the first place? What if we learned to be at peace with ourselves from an early age? If schools taught meditation, children would unearth their own passions, their own interests and their own creative potential. They would not be so bothered by their own insecurities and would learn to live for the moment instead of always reaching for somewhere where they are not.

Meditation helped me find meaning in my own life. I would not be following my heart and trying to change the education system if it weren’t for meditation. It connected me to the deepest yearning of my own soul, and aligned me with my life’s purpose. Likewise, children who practise meditation on a regular basis are not so prone to stress, worry and illness. They also develop stronger bonds with all living things and have less of a need to compete with their peers.

I believe it is crucial for us to give children this gift of mindfulness. It is my hope that one day the practice of meditation will become as commonplace as cleaning one’s teeth.

The Benefits of Meditation

Many clinical studies have proven that meditation increases the brain’s cortical thickness, protects the body from disease, and significantly improves focus and concentration.

Schneider, Grim & Rainforth et al. looked at 201 men and women with coronary heart disease who took part in one of two groups: a transcendental meditation (TM) program or a health education program. After five and a half years, the TM group showed a 48% risk reduction for heart attack and stroke.

Another study by Pagnoni & Cekiccompared gray matter in the brains of Zen meditators and non-meditators over a long period of time. Though gray matter ordinarily reduces with age, the gray matter of the Zen meditators did not reduce at all.

In the report, Pagnoni & Cekic stated:

“The finding of a reduced rate of decline with age of both global and regional gray matter volume in meditators may in fact indicate the involvement of multiple mechanisms of neuroprotection.”

Lazar & Kerr et al. reached a similar conclusion in a study on the impact of meditation on cortical thickness of the brain.

They found:

“Regular practice of meditation is associated with increased thickness in a subset of cortical regions related to somatosensory, auditory, visual and interoceptive processing. Further, regular meditation practice may slow age-related thinning of the frontal cortex.”

Goyal & Singh et al. studied 3515 participants in mindfulness meditation programs and found evidence of decreased anxiety, decreased depression and decreased pain.

Just imagine how much future generations of children would gain from this regular practice. The benefits are truly extraordinary. We need to do everything we can to bring meditation into schools. If we’re going to learn to live peacefully with one another, we must first discover that peace within ourselves.

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Author: Will Stanton / Wake Up World 

 

8 Things Emotionally Stable People Don’t Do

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions.  I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
―Oscar Wilde

  1. They don’t take other people’s behavior personally.

It’s easy to feel unloved and unwanted when people aren’t able to communicate and connect with you in the way you expect.  And it’s so hard not to internalize that disconnection as a reflection on your worth.  But the truth is, the way other people behave and function is not about you.  Most people are so caught up in their own problems, responsibilities and struggles, that the thought of asking you how you’re doing doesn’t even cross their mind.  They aren’t being mean or uncaring – they’re just busy and a bit self-centered at times.  And that’s OK.  It’s not evidence of some fundamental flaw on your part.  It doesn’t make you unlovable or unworthy.  It just means that some people aren’t very good at looking beyond their own egocentric bubble.  But the fact that you are – that despite the darkness you feel, you have the ability to share your love and light with others – is an incredible strength.

  1. They don’t get caught up in petty arguments and drama.

Being strong and emotionally stable doesn’t mean you have to stay and fight all the battles and petty arguments that come your way.  It means just the opposite – you don’t have to stay and respond to other people’s rude remarks and unnecessary hostility.  When you encounter someone with a bad attitude, don’t respond by throwing insults back at them.  Keep your dignity and don’t lower yourself to their level.  True strength is being bold enough to walk away from the nonsense with your head held high.

  1. They don’t just react (they respond mindfully).

A reaction is a hot, thoughtless, in-the-moment burst of emotion that’s usually driven by our ego (we’re more likely to react when we’re disconnected from our rational mind).  It might last just a split second before our intuition kicks in and offers some perspective, or it might take over to the point that we act on it.  When we feel angry or flustered after dealing with a situation or person, that’s a sign we’ve reacted rather than responded mindfully.   Responding mindfully will leave you feeling like you handled things with integrity and poise.

  1. They don’t get stuck thinking the world is ending.

Sometimes the darkest times can bring you to the brightest places, your most painful struggles can grant you the greatest growth, and the most heartbreaking losses of relationships can make room for the most wonderful people.  What seems like a curse at the moment can actually be a blessing in disguise, and what seems like the end of the road is actually just the realization that you are meant to travel a different path.  No matter how difficult things seem, there’s always hope.  And no matter how powerless you feel or how horrible things seem, you can’t give up.  You have to keep going.  Even when it’s scary, even when all your strength seems gone, you have to keep picking yourself back up and moving forward, because whatever you’re battling in the moment, it will pass, and you will make it through.  You’ve made it this far, and you’ve felt this way before.  Think about it.  Remember that time awhile back when you thought the world was ending?  It didn’t.  And it isn’t ending this time either.

  1. They don’t tie their present emotions to past negativity.

When we’re in the ‘here and now,’ it’s much easier to cope with emotions and see them as just that: emotions.  If we get caught up obsessing over the past, emotions and situations can take on new (and untrue) meanings as they become attached to stories.  For example, imagine you just got turned down for a new job.  Naturally you’re disappointed.  But if you’re not present with that emotion, and instead try to act like a tough girl or guy by burying it, the mind delves back into your past for all the other times you’ve felt that way.  Now you feel like a failure and you start to carry a feeling of unworthiness into every future job interview.  When we stay present, we’re empowered to start fresh every moment and we can see every situation with a sharpened perspective, which allows us to grow beyond the negative emotions (and outcomes) standing in our way.

  1. They don’t try to escape change.

Sometimes, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel to admit it, there are things in our lives that aren’t meant to stay.  Change may not be what we want, but it’s always exactly what’s happening.  The Earth does not stop spinning.  And sometimes saying goodbye is the hardest thing you will ever have to do.  Or, saying hello will make you more vulnerable and uneasy than you ever thought possible.  Some changes are almost too much to bear.  But most of the time, change is the only thing that will save your life and allow you to dream and grow and succeed and smile again.  Life changes every single moment, and so can you.

  1. They don’t try (or pretend) to be perfect.

Despite what others may tell you, you can disappoint people and still be good enough.  You can fail and still be smart, capable and talented.  You can let people down and still be worthwhile and deserving of love and admiration.  Everyone has disappointed someone they care about at some point.  Everyone messes up, lets people down, and makes mistakes.  Not because we’re all inadequate or inept, but because we’re all imperfect and human.  Expecting anything different is setting yourself up for confusion and disappointment.

  1. They don’t spew hate at themselves.

When you catch yourself drowning in self-hate, you must remind yourself that you were not born feeling this way.  That at some point in the past some person or experience sent you the message that something is wrong with you, and you internalized this lie and accepted it as your truth.  But that lie isn’t yours to carry, and those judgments aren’t about you.  And in the same way that you learned to think negatively of yourself, you can learn to think new, positive and self-loving thoughts.  You can learn to challenge those false beliefs, strip away their power, and reclaim your self-respect.  It won’t be easy, and it won’t transpire overnight.  But it is possible.  And it begins when you decide that there has to be a better way to live, and that you deserve to discover it.

Closing Thoughts

Looking after our emotional wellness helps us get the very most out of life.  When we feel emotionally stable, we feel more centered and connected to our intuition.  We become more productive, better at making decisions, more present, and more fulfilled.

So now that we’ve covered eight big “don’ts,” let’s close with a few rapid-fire “do’s” to improve your emotional stability and wellbeing in general…

Do… understand that the problem is not the problem – the problem is the incredible amount of over-thinking you’re doing with the problem.
Do… realize that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.  Just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it’s worth your while.  Do what’s right in life, not what’s easy.
Do… know there’s a big difference between empty fatigue and gratifying exhaustion.  Life is too short.  Invest in the activities you deeply care about.
Do… admit when you are wrong, and then embrace the fact that you are wiser now than you were before.
Do… say “no” so your yeses have more oomph.
Do… be so busy loving the people who love you that you don’t have time to worry about the few people who don’t like you for no good reason.
Do… focus more on being interested than being interesting.
Do… express gratitude and think about how rich you are – your family and friends are priceless, your time is gold, and your health is true wealth.
Do… realize that if the grass looks greener on the other side, it’s time to stop staring… stop comparing… stop complaining… and start watering the grass you’re standing on.
Do… be old enough to appreciate your freedom, and young enough to enjoy it.
Do… see transitions in life as the perfect opportunity to let go of one situation and embrace something even better coming your way.
Authors: Marc and Angel / Successful Flow

How Music Benefits the Brain

Music has played an important part of every human culture, both past and present. People around the world experience universal responses to music. We’re all familiar with how certain pieces of music can change your mood, get you motivated, or help you concentrate. And now, advances in neuroscience enable researchers to quantitatively measure how music affects the brain.

Their discoveries are exciting — and good news for music lovers.

Music is a fantastic brain exercise that activates every known part of the brain. Music can make you smarter, happier and more productive at all stages of life. Let’s take a closer look at some of the latest findings on the many ways both playing and listening to music can enhance your brain.

Musicians Have Better Brains

If you want evidence of how music affects the brain, it makes sense to look at the brains of people who play a lot of music — professional musicians. Brain scans show that their brains are different than the those of the rest of us. Their brains are noticeably more symmetrical. Areas of the brain responsible for motor control, auditory processing, and spatial coordination are larger. They also have a larger corpus callosum, which is the band of nerve fibers that enables the two hemispheres of the brain to communicate with each other.

Change Your Mood with Music

Science has now proven what music lovers already know, that listening to upbeat music can improve your mood. Listening and playing music reduces chronic stress by lowering the stress hormone cortisol. Music can make you feel more hopeful, powerful, and in control of your life. And listening to sad music has its benefits, too. If you are going through a tough time, listening to sad music is cathartic; it can help you get in touch with those emotions to help heal them. If you listen to a lot of music, make sure you have the right listening equipment so that you don’t sacrifice on quality. Look out for the Graham Slee HiFi logo when choosing, to see how you can really improve your listening experience.

Even if you aren’t a professional musician, listening to music can still enhance your work performance. Listening to music at work can make you a happier, more productive employee — especially if it’s music you’ve chosen. Office workers allowed to listen to the kind of music they like complete tasks more quickly and come up with better ideas than those who have no control over their musical choices.

Music Boosts Brain Chemicals

One of the ways music enhances brain function is by stimulating the formation of certain brain chemicals. Listening to music increases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is the brain’s “motivation molecule” and an integral part of the pleasure-reward system. It’s the same brain chemical responsible for the “feel good” states obtained from eating chocolate, orgasm, and runner’s high.

Playing music with others or enjoying live music also stimulates the brain hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin has been called the “trust molecule” and the “moral molecule” since it helps us bond with and trust others. There’s evidence that the oxytocin bump experienced by music lovers can make them more generous and trustworthy.

Music Helps You Learn

Many schools have cut music programs due loss of funding, and this is widely believed by parents and educators to be a big mistake. Music, whether taught in or outside of school, helps students excel in the following ways:

  • improved language development
  • small increase in IQ
  • improved test scores
  • increased brain connectivity
  • increased spatial intelligence

The last item on this list — spatial intelligence — helps students understand how things go together. This skill is critical in careers like architecture, engineering, math, and computer science.

The Effects of Musical Training on Young Brains

In the 1990s, the effects of music on the brain were popularized by the Mozart effect. This theory purported that listening to music composed by Mozart can make you smarter. Parents had their babies listen to the music of Mozart to give their brains a jump start — often even before they were born.

The accepted theory now is that taking music lessons as a child enhances brain function and structure, but that there’s nothing uniquely beneficial about the music of Mozart. Early music lessons enhance brain plasticity — the brain’s capacity to change and grow. Children with musical training do better in subjects like language, reading, and math and have better fine motor skills than their non-musical classmates. Kids who sing together in a choir report higher satisfaction in all their classes, not just music.

And if kids don’t stick with their music lessons forever, that’s OK. There’s evidence that a little bit of music training goes a long way. Just a half-hour music lesson increases blood flow in the left hemisphere of the brain. As little as four years of music lessons were found to improve certain brain functions, even when tested 40 years later! When exposure to music training begins before age seven, the brain enhancement that takes place can last a lifetime.

Most studies on music and the brain have been done on older kids, but it looks like it’s never too young to start. In another study, music lessons of sorts — playing drums and singing nursery rhymes — were given to babies before they could walk or talk. Babies who had music lessons communicated better, smiled more, and showed earlier and more sophisticated brain responses to music.

Just as it’s never too early to start, it’s also never too late to benefit from music. Playing music and dancing protects seniors against memory loss and cognitive decline when compared to other brain exercises such as playing cards, doing the crossword puzzle, or walking for exercise. It will be interesting to see how popular online brain training programs like Lumosity fare against music in future studies.

How Music Therapy Improves Quality of Life

Anyone can play or listen to music for “recreational purposes only” and still gain brain benefits. But when professional health care help is warranted, you can enlist the aid of a musical therapist. Music therapists are trained to use music therapeutically to address their patients’ physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs.

There are measurable changes in certain neurotransmitters following music therapy. Music therapy has proven useful for treating people with autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, pain management, emotional trauma, and a variety of mental disorders including depression. Potential benefits from working with a music therapist include improved mood, concentration, and motivation, and decreased anxiety, anger, stress, and frustration.

The Amazing Way Music Therapy Helps Alzheimer’s Patients

One of the most remarkable successes of music therapy is the impact it has on the lives of Alzheimer’s patients. Advanced Alzheimer’s patients lose their ability to have interactive conversations with others and eventually stop speaking completely. But music therapy has been very successful at getting through to patients where nothing else has.

When hearing familiar music, patients often visibly “light up” and sing along. It seems that musical memories far outlast other kinds of memories. Caretakers and family members report that for most patients, music therapy is the best part of the day.

Music therapy does more than help patients remember. It helps alleviate depression, anxiety, and agitation while improving brain function and overall quality of life. To learn more about how music therapy is changing lives of the elderly and infirmed, I highly recommend the documentary Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory. Winner of the 2014 Audience Choice Award at the Sundance Film Festival, this movie chronicles the astonishing experiences of nursing home patients whose brains have been reawakened by listening to the music of their youth.

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Author: Deane Alban / Wake Up World

 

10 Choices That Lead to a Happy, Fulfilling Life

“Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.” – Aeschylus
I asked myself one question: “Do I want this year to look like the last one?”
The answer was an immediate and very solid no. I frantically began to analyze what I was doing with my life to get this reaction. I was unhappy, romantically, professionally, and socially.

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff; don’t sweat the big stuff.

I learned this after I had my wallet, passport, and camera stolen. Every day you will be faced with challenges that are both in and out of your control. Either way, there’s no sense in worrying about them.
If the situation is uncontrollable, whatever is going to happen, will. If you can control it, then take a deep breath and face it with a calm mind to make the process much easier. Worrying gets you nowhere. Hakuna Matata.

2. Do something every day that pushes you out of your comfort zone.

Order and routine give us a sense of security. It feels nice to have familiarity, but it’s also hard to grow into the person you’re meant to be without pushing your limits and trying new things.
At one point, everything is new to us. The more experiences you expose yourself to, the higher probability you’ll find one your passionate about.

3. Live fully in each moment.

Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not promised. The only certain thing we have in life is right now, this very moment.
This is an important lesson I’ve learned when meditating with the monks throughout Thailand. They teach the significance of remaining mindful and the importance of acknowledging our senses.
By smelling, tasting, feeling, seeing, and hearing everything in our surroundings, we’re able to stay in the present, resulting in insight, a crucial stepping stone on the path to happiness. Life is incredibly beautiful when you slow down enough to enjoy it. Live in the moment, live for right now. This very moment is life.

4. Give gratitude any chance you can, and lots of it.

I really learned about gratitude when traveling through Indonesia. When once I would have complained about a bad Wi-Fi connection, I saw people just grateful for clean drinking water. It really puts things into perspective.
Take the time to remember how lucky you are. Even if it doesn’t feel this way, it could always be worse. Share love and gratitude every chance you can, and you’re left with an overwhelming feeling of abundance and happiness.

5. Remember, life is what’s happening while you’re busy on your cell phone.

Dining solo, I was left to master the art of people watching. What I observed was this: the happiest, loudest, and liveliest tables were those with cellphones tucked away. They were making memories and sharing stories and experiencing what life is all about.
They ate more slowly and stayed longer because there wasn’t anywhere they’d rather be. On the contrary, those with eyes glued to bright screens were quiet and quick to eat with emotionless expressions.
Next time you’re out, try leaving your phone in the car to thoroughly enjoy your company. If you can’t imagine a meal without technology, at least take a few moments to observe the difference between people on their phones and those who aren’t, and ask yourself, who’s table would you rather be sitting at?

6. Listen to your gut.

I’ve never been so in tune with myself as when I was on the road with no travel companion to interrupt my thoughts. There have been countless times when I’ve gotten myself out of sticky situations (or avoided them altogether) by listening to my “gut feeling” as a reliable and trustworthy source.
Silence the mind and listen to the body. Our gut is widely acknowledged as our second brain. If it feels wrong and you can’t exactly pinpoint why, it’s your intuition in physical form telling you it probably is. Listen to what it has to say.

7. Look for similarities.

Same same. In Bangkok, I probably heard this phrase nine thousand times, which inevitably led me to ponder its significance.
No matter where you go in the world, as different as we appear, we are much more similar to one another. We all have human emotions. Sadness and excitement are genetically programmed in us, and we all have the same end goal of happiness.
A smile and laughter are universal. When you meet someone new, look for similarities and it will form an intimate bond. You’ll begin to feel compassion and a connection to them. A feeling of connection gives you a sense of home no matter where you are.

8. Let go of the fear of not being accepted and let your true self come out.

Living abroad alone, I really embraced my inner weirdo. I laid out all the things I was hesitant to say and do before because I assumed no one would “get” me. The results? Confidence and self-respect.
You owe it to yourself to celebrate your uniqueness and be the truest version of you. Those who are meant to stick around will love you even more for it. Besides, weird people bring a lot to the table. Just saying.

9. Make time to reflect on relationships and make changes.

Being on a twelve-hour time difference and half a world away makes communication to home difficult, and perfect for relationship reflection. I really began to analyze the quality of my relationships, asking, “Do they feed my soul? Do we really have that much in common?”
Life is too short to spend time with anyone who exhausts you. Be selective with where your energy goes. For those who you decide to keep in your life, it’s important you show them how much they mean to you. Love and respect leads to quality relationships, which are the only ones worth having.

10. Know that no matter how far you travel in search of happiness, it can only be found in one place.

A monk at the Wat Mahathat in Bangkok said something I will never forget. “Why are you here in Thailand? To find happiness? You won’t find it here. I can’t give it to you. You can travel the world to find it, but there is only one place it can be found. It is found within.”
I had left home and traveled across the world to find happiness, but I never felt it until I became fully connected with myself.
Somewhere along the way I lost sight of the important things by forgetting my relationships, ignoring my gut, and worrying too much about the past and the future. None of these things served me.
True and lasting peace is found within. When you learn to be appreciative for what you have, embrace the present moment, and love fully, this is happiness. 

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The Medicine Wheel of Time and Karma

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen all at once” ~ Albert Einstein

Time in the spiritual world doesn’t exist as we perceive it on the Earthly plane. Spiritual “time” is relative to our karmic experiences and whether or not we choose to transcend – to live only in the Now and learn the lessons the universe brings to our attention, the “karmic wheel” if you will. The medicine wheel, as it’s known in Native American Indian culture, represents a karmic, peaceful balance with the Earth and each other.

The Medicine Wheel
We tend to look at time as linear with events happening one after the other and this is true. But time is also experienced in cycle. We may not find the exact same events or opportunities recur, because change is constant in the Universe, but we will find similar energetic opportunities are presented to us so that we may confront and release our karmic patterns and emotional triggers.

Wherever we go, there we are. In that, we can consider a different perspective in regards to time and the shift in consciousness by saying that “time” is a form of karmic responsibility. We are collectively co-creating the future, and this karmic responsibility is there for all of us – which is why it’s true that “what comes round goes around”, and why it’s important to “do unto others…”.

There’s no such thing as zero other than in the binary code of the “matrix” or the universal law of duality. There is no concept in the universe that includes a zero outcome yet we find ourselves, intentionally or otherwise, spending our time going round and round in the cause and effect of duality while the wheel of never stop turning. Guided by our perceptions of past and future, we perpetuate our karmic patterns in cycles, with no beginning or end, running from the only person who can truly provide any kind of relief… our Self.

Thus, when we think of “zero point time” we can relate it to the transcendence of duality, or a graduation of sorts; a state where we’ve worked to identify and release energetic patterns and where we have an unwritten, clean karmic slate in which to Create.

The karmic wheel is a gift and a challenge for us to rise above the energies, emotions and influences that are hampering our spirit and experience of true freedom, and to reach a higher state of grace and abundance within, then without. With a little currency, an understanding of how these emotional roles play out in our lives, a new perspective on time, and the Heartfelt intention of transcendence… we’re prepared to heal our “karma”.

And when we do, we clear the energy of the “past” and clear the path to understanding and manifesting our soul desires for the “future”. And with our karmic pathway cleared, our emotional being (now) and our soul desires (future) become our conscience, informing our thoughts and actions in the now moment and in the future we create. Our Heartfelt intention.

The Human Drama

We come into this world with pre-assigned roles that we’re expected to adapt to and participate in, even if it often feels unnatural to our being (and it does). Our roles are based on gender, social status, race, financial concerns, and on it goes. These social repetitions have shaped our society today – one that is built on judgment, fear, competition and separation, leaving us pre-disposed to miss the entire point of our existence. We tend to get lost in competition, thinking we missed this boat or that opportunity, and therefore a plethora of other golden opportunities that most surely will never pass this way again.

It’s true that our thoughts create our reality, at first. Most importantly, they inform our belief in what’s possible in the first place. The very first step is changing the neuropathways in the brain from an imbalanced energy to a more positive approach about life and all its infinite possibilities. But the true key to creating and manifesting is through our spiritual and emotional “body”, our energy signature. If we perceive our karmic lessons as punishment we’re completely missing the gift of transcendence.

We tend to judge or deny the issues that we’re fearful of, have been taught to avoid, or find distasteful in some way. From there, we create emotional roles for ourselves to feed our “ignorance” which is just another way of saying we haven’t chosen to learn something yet – in the case of our emotions, ignoring our own nuances and/or personal truth.

The emotional roles in the human drama typically take on the character of either the victim/martyr, the oppressor/antagonist, or the savior/messiah – all depending on the relationship. When we take the time to genuinely consider that we’ve played some or all of these roles in our relationships, we can begin to see them for what they are – unresolved emotional patterns – and why we continue to play out our dramas on an individual and collective level.

The first step in re-writing the play is identifying and nurturing the aspects of ourselves that are wounded in the first place. The key is not creating new roles but looking for areas of healing, with the goal of moving toward our unity and divinity. In unity, we resonate with the vastness of experience, remaining open to receive, feel, and experience, without the need to assign roles, labels and words of limitation.

There’s a tool in our toolbox that we all came “here” with and we all have access to. There’s a ladder lying around somewhere inside the labyrinth of boxes, squares, patterns, emotional addictions and the insanity of doing the same thing over and over even though it doesn’t work. Once we find the ladder, it takes a process of patience, persistence and, most importantly, a Heartfelt intention to make the climb.

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Author: Jennifer Deisher / Wake Up World

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