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Want to enjoy a long, happy life? Live near trees, say researchers

If you’re anything like me, hiking through a forest, camping in the woods or savoring a natural space is a sure-fire way to boost mood, energy and vitality. The Japanese even have a name for it, Shinrin Yoku — otherwise known as forest bathing. And they have science to back-up the physiological benefits — stress […]

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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 […]

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Riding Your Flow: 8 Steps for Enhancing Your Creativity and Productivity

Why is that we tend to be more successful at pursuits we are genuinely passionate about? Why does time seem to drag when you are completely bored and uninterested in a task? How come you can easily lose yourself in a task that really piques your interest? According to positive psychology, doing things that you […]

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Do You Wake Up at the Same Time Every Night?

Do you find yourself waking up at the same time every night? Waking up between 3 AM – 5 AM could be an ascension symptom but if you find yourself waking up constantly around the same time each night, it could be because your body is trying to send you a message. According to the ancient Chinese Medicine Body Clock, […]

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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 […]

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Why be normal? The radical revolution of being yourself

One of the pivotal quotes that shaped my life growing up was from one of my favorite musical icons, David Bowie: “The worst trick God can play is to make you an artist, but a mediocre one.” Internalizing my version of his message, my motto became through high school and university that I would rather […]

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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 […]

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The Magic of Being in the Here and Now

It has been said that life is experience. It is indeed the only place where life exists. In recognition of this, to really get something out of the experience, it’s necessary to commit one’s self to being in the here and now as opposed to living the effects of the past. If you can distinguish the difference, then […]

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Are you getting enough vitamin N?

Have you heard of “Nature Deficit Disorder”? Author Richard Louv created the phrase in his book Last Child in the Woods. NDD refers to the disconnect that exists in the modern world between children and nature. It also reflects what many teens, adults, and seniors are experiencing in our busy lives. Many of us are spending too much […]

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10 Ayurvedic Tips for Avoiding Sickness

The traditional Hindu system of medicine known as Ayurveda has been used for millennia to diagnose, treat, and maintain human health. Meaning “life knowledge” in Sanskrit, it is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a fine balance between mind, body, and spirit — essentially what we have come to know as the mind-body […]

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The Frequency of Gratitude

It’s the time of year in the U.S. when we take a one-day pause to acknowledge our blessings. We do this because it is a tradition, but also because it is good to remind ourselves to appreciate our lives. And although giving thanks is always a good thing to do, unfortunately many of us only remember to […]

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Breaking Through Limitation: “I Can, I Will, I Must”

Do you ever get the sense that it’s not “SC” (spiritually correct) to express passionate will? In the ‘New Age Movement’, where ‘acceptance’ and ‘surrender’ are the big buzz words, is there still a place for passionate courage, commitment and determination? Certainly to me there is. So how do these qualities relate to acceptance and […]

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20 Sources of Body Pain and Their Links to Specific Emotional States

Pain is first energy, second perception, and third physical manifestation. There is no other source of pain but energetic. Physical presentation is always secondary. Every single origin of pain in our bodies can be traced back to a specific emotional state which functions to warn us that there is still work to be done in areas […]

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Breath Awareness: 4 insights on how to breath can provide mind-body healing benefits

How many times have you been worked up, and had someone tell you to “breathe”? That one word holds so much power. As soon as someone brings to our attention that we’ve escaped our breath, we immediately take an indulgent inhale. Breathing is innate. We do it without thinking simply because our bodies require it […]

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7 Gut Instincts You Should Always Pay Attention To. Don’t Ever Ignore Your Gut

Do you ever just have a strong feeling about something or someone, that tells you that something is right or wrong, and you don’t know why?  This is your “GUT INSTINCT” guiding you and you need to pay attention to it.  It has nothing to do with logic…it’s just a powerful feeling that we all […]

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How to Become a Free Thinker: A Practical Guide

We humans like to think that we are freethinkers, but how many of us truly are? How many people actually think for themselves, without falling victims to beliefs or ideologies? How many are not heavily influenced by the biased information that the media is presenting them with? How many are choosing to have certain opinions just because an authority […]

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Yoga and Earthing – Wellness Inspired Practices

Whether you’re in class, getting onto your yoga mat, or just getting home from work, it’s not uncommon to overhear someone talking about “getting grounded”.

In practice, grounding is a mechanism seen on three levels. It’s 1) a physical connection to the earth beneath you, 2) a shift in mental focus, allowing you to center your thoughts, and 3) whatever else brings your mind and body to ease in the here and now.

Grounding yourself is a mechanism by which you’re able to stabilize your energies, center your mind, and focus on the moment. As a result, you’re able to take a deep breath, step back, and focus on you for that very moment – no matter the time and place.

Let’s Start with Yoga

Incorporating the practice of grounding into your life can be done any number of ways, but one of the most recognized and impactful is through the practice of yoga. Through certain yoga poses, this sort of grounding presents your body and mind with the opportunity to release anxieties and physically root yourself to the earth.

The root chakra, in particular, is based entirely on how our bodies are connected to the earth and acts as a natural energy pathway. Through the root, base chakra (pulling from the earth through the feet and into the lower spine), the body maintains an entry point for universal energies and sustains a healthy foundation for your bodily function.

It’s not surprising that, with this concept in mind, Chinese tradition holds a heavy focus on strengthening and sustaining this root point. Earth Qi represents the patterns of energy and the earth’s magnetic field that we are surrounded by. Many exercises that are meant to strengthen the body and mind, including yoga, are done barefoot. A central practice within Chinese tradition includes the growing of a “root”. The Kidney 1 point (also known as the “yong quan point”) involves the opening of a conduit and connection between the earth’s surface and a person’s feet/body.

With yoga as a grounding mechanism, you’re forced to rely on both your mental focus and connection to the earth in order to sustain a balance. A few poses that are particularly helpful in grounding (both mentally and physically) include:

Mountain Pose

Tree Pose

Downward Facing Dog

Child’s Pose (an all-time favorite)

The Earth Connection

If yoga isn’t always an option given your hectic schedule, don’t worry – there are other options. What’s most important to remember is that grounding is what works for you. Just because the downward dog is what grounds your neighbor, that doesn’t mean it’s the only option out there.

While grounding is partly psychological, it’s also physical and can be done very easily by stepping outside. Our bodies desperately yearn for a healthy connection to nature and to the earth. This connection is what nurtures us, it keeps us alive and energized. More importantly, this connection with nature reminds us what an immaculate world we have around us. As humans, we spend far too much time insulated in our synthetic environments and disconnected from the outside world. This disconnect poses significant risks to our health and wellbeing.

Establishing that root, absorbing the earth’s energies and grounding yourself is done most easily when barefoot.

Recent studies and medical professionals have begun to identify the scientific benefits of this Earthing practice. By creating a direct connection to the earth (going barefoot), your body is able to absorb the Earth’s limitless supply of free electrons. These electrons, studies suggest, act as antioxidants by stabilizing and neutralizing harmful free radicals associated with inflammation, injury and/or toxicity.

Various industries have begun to take notice as well, creating various Earthing products to maintain this sort of connection, producing earthing or grounding products designed to help our bodies regain natural balance and stability on a molecular level. In particular, earthing shoes have recently entered the realms of medical study and footwear production.

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Author: David Gelfand

9 Significant Benefits of Green Tea

Humans have been drinking green tea for almost 5,000 years (as early as 2,737 BC) both as a beverage and a medicine. But do you know just how good green tea really is? As more research is done into the properties of green tea (which comes from the Camellia sinensis tea plant) the more we discover there are amazing benefits to drinking it.

Here is a list of all the health benefits of green tea supported by research and studies done in recent years.

Benefits of Green Tea

Ingredient Found in Green Tea Significantly Inhibits Breast Cancer Growth in Female Mice

Green tea is high in the antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin-3- gallate) which helps prevent the body’s cells from becoming damaged and prematurely aged. Studies have suggested that the combination of green tea and EGCG may also be beneficial by providing protection against certain types of cancers, including breast cancer. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Mississippi researchers now finds that consuming EGCG significantly inhibits breast tumor growth in female mice. 

Green Tea Compounds Prevent Memory Loss from Lack of Oxygen (Sleep Apnea)

People with the disorder called sleep apnea literally stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes for a minute or longer. With the most serious form, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), this can happen hundreds of times during a single night and deprive the brain of oxygen, leading to possible brain damage that causes memory problems.

According to new research, natural substances in green tea appear to stave off these OSA-caused cognitive deficits. Using green tea instead of drugs prevents brain deficits due to hypoxia and could be an important aid to preserving the memories of millions of people suffering from sleep apnea. 

Green Tea Can Help Delay the Onset of Type 1 Diabetes

A powerful antioxidant in green tea may prevent or delay the onset of type 1 diabetes, Medical College of Georgia researchers say. Researchers were testing EGCG, green tea’s predominant antioxidant, in a laboratory mouse with type 1 diabetes and primary Sjogren’s syndrome, which damages moisture-producing glands, causing dry mouth and eyes. Both type 1 diabetes and Sjogren’s syndrome are autoimmune diseases, which cause the body to attack itself. Autoimmune disorders are the third most common group of diseases in the United States and affect about 8% of the population. The study supports earlier research showing EGCG’s impact on helping prevent autoimmune disease. 

Green Tea Slows Down Prostate Cancer Progression

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in men in the United States, but a new study has found that drinking green tea can slow down the progression of prostate cancer. Participants in the study were given the equivalent of 12 cups of green tea a day for an average of 34 days. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) was reduced by an average of almost 19%. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was reduced by 9.9%, and prostate specific antigen (PSA) was reduced by 10.4%. Some of the men showed numbers reduced by as much as one third. 

Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer

According to a study recently published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, people with precancerous oral lesions were able to slow the progression of those lesions by taking a potent green tea extract. What’s more, the extracts caused some of the participants’ lesions to disappear entirely.

Researchers had 41 leukoplakia participants take one of three dosages (four, if you count the placebo group) over the course of 12 weeks: 1000 mg of green tea extract, 750 mg of green tea extract, or 500 mg of green tea extract. They took their allotted amount three times per day. At the conclusion of those three months, the researchers took oral tissue samples from each of the participants for another 12 weeks to see if there was any lessening of the lesions. Of those taking the highest dose (i.e., 1000 mg), researchers saw a lessening or disappearing of the lesions in 60% of the participants. People taking 750 mg also experienced a significant lessening (again, approximately 60% of the participants). Of those people taking the lowest green tea extract dose (500 mg, 3x per day), just over 35% experienced lesion reduction. 

Green Tea Can Prevent and Help to Treat Brain Disorders

A study that reveals the powerful effect of the green tea component EGCG in preventing and treating serious brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s diseases. When combined with another isolated component, the elements therapeutically eliminate the protein amyloids which are thought to cause these brain diseases. Researchers from Boston Biomedical Research Institute (BBRI) and the University of Pennsylvania discovered that two chemical components, one found in green tea, were able to break up the amyloid plaques and restore normal cell function in samples similar to what would be found in patients with brain disorders. The combination was found to be effective at eradicating all kinds of amyloids. 

Green Tea May Strengthen Your Teeth

Researchers have found that drinking at least one cup of green tea a day increases the odds of keeping your teeth as you age. The researchers suspect that antimicrobial molecules called catechins present in green tea and in lesser amounts in oolong tea provide the benefit. But be careful if you like your tea with sugar: sweetener may negate the effect, the team found. Yasushi Koyama of the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine and colleagues looked at more than 25,000 Japanese men and women between age 40 and 64 in making the determination. They found that men who drank at least one cup of tea a day were 19 percent less likely to have fewer than 20 teeth (a full set including wisdom teeth is 32) than those who did not drink green tea. Tea-drinking women had 13 percent lower odds.

Green Tea Helps to Prevent Dementia

Scientists at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom have just discovered that when green tea is consumed, the digestive process in the gut creates powerful chemicals that work to protect the body against Alzheimer’s. Digested green tea chemicals prevented the Alzheimer’s disease-linked toxins from destroying normal cells and were seem affecting cancer cells, significantly slowing down their growth. 

Drinking Green Tea Lowers Fat Accumulation in the Body

Drinking between 5 and 8 cups of green tea each day was shown to lower body weight by an average of 5.6% and to decrease abdominal fat stores by 17.8% over a period of 8 weeks. Green tea consumption has long been associated with lowered risk of cancer, metabolic syndrome and heart disease.

A study was conducted by Polish researchers and used an animal model to determine weight loss and fat accumulation characteristics. The researchers also analyzed cardiovascular risk factors and atherogenesis over an 8 week period. The animals were fed a high fat diet and drank green tea made from either a 1.1% or 2% extract of the active phenolic compound. The results indicate that body weight and fat reduction are dose dependent with maximum results (5.6% lower body weight, 17.8% fat reduction) achieved with the 2% extract. Researchers found that the green tea concentration is important to achieve optimal weight lowering results.

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Author: Paul Lenda 

What is The Purpose of Your Incarnation?

It seems to me so many of us are trying to figure out exactly why we are here, in this incarnation right now. And in a world of increasing craziness, exactly what are we here to do?

How can we help?

It’s a question that’s enough to drive you crazy just thinking about it! So what if the reason for your incarnation could easily be revealed to you from the current circumstances of your life?

What if a simple change of perspective on how we create reality could uplift not just you, but everyone around you?

What if that’s the only truly positive way to change the world…

The Universal Law of Attraction

In my perspective on reality, it’s not that each of us is here to do a specific thing, although it may at times – for very good reasons – look like that (I’ll return to why in a moment).

To me, practically, everything works according to the Universal Law of Attraction, which in essence means this:

Everything works in the universe according to the configuration of consciousness. Whatever configuration we have inside, is creative and manifests outside of ourselves exactly the mirror we need in order to further unwind, evolve and grow. Our purpose here is to shine our light ever more brightly, to express ever more authentically, to be all that we can be.

By the Law of Attraction, the mirror we create is our perfect tool for fulfilling that destiny.

So to me, our destiny is not something that we do – although we will do many things. Our destiny is all about beingness and unfolding that.

Simply Amazing Gifts of Beingness

So the gifts that we are given when we incarnate are amazingly magical gifts of beingness: like compassion, love, joy, interpretation, understanding, empathy, non-judgmental discernment, acceptance, surrender, creativity, catalysis, passion, commitment, focus, motivation, leadership, entreprenuership and the absolute Merlin mastery of pure magic!

I briefly mention these as words, but each alone is so incredibly bundled with possibility and expression, it is impossible to properly capture their quintessence. You think you’ve mastered a degree of surrender, then the universe artfully configures some new cliff edge to show you where you’ve been hanging on. You think you understand how to truly manifest, the universe shows you a whole new box of tricks. Such gifts of beingness have endless expression – simply endless!

It seems to me, from copious exploration both in this life and many others, that the universe works tirelessly with its infinite palette of power to make one key thing happen (although in infinite different ways). That is:

To provide continually updating, evolving, morphing and changing vehicles such that we can each express one or more of these gifts – to enable the gifts to truly sing.

By the word ‘vehicle’ I mean a situation, event, occurrence or experience. It could be a relationship with a particular configuration for example that pushes all of your buttons. Why? So in experiencing your tightness you can confront it, evolve and grow beyond it. Or it could be a life-threatening or seriously debilitating illness that you just can’t seem to cure. Why? So that you have the perfect situation to experience yourself and know yourself as something beyond merely physical.

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Many people look into the outside world for their destiny not realizing they’re already creating it! As the Oracle says to Neo in the film The Matrix: “you’re not here to make a choice, you’ve already made the choice, you’re here to figure out why you made the choice.”

So if we can pause for a moment and reflect on exactly why we’ve created the circumstances we’re now in, then we’d realize we’re being offered vital clues for how to proceed…

The external mirror is showing us two things: both our distortions and our magical gifts of beingness. If we can accept the distortions, not need them to go away, but explore who we are through them, then what happens is we tend to drop into the void of infinite potential and from there, we touch a magical gift of beingness which is being reflected in the outside mirror. Then all we have to do is to attune to that gift to have the most incredible creative impact.

Building the Flow

So if we can stop struggling to make a choice of what to do, and instead figure out what’s our highest expression in this moment, then what will happen, is that the universe will use its full unfettered power to support that gift of beingness in some way.

In which case, we simply don’t need to figure out what is is that we’re here to do. What I’ve discovered is that if I always come from beingness, if i always expand into my distortions and make space for the gift to arise and sing, then my life seems to be magically guided on a path – more a flow actually – which the more I align with, the more I give myself to, the stronger and stronger it gets. It feels like being swept along in a magically creative torrent.

I don’t determine which way the torrent is going, what it is here to do, but I notice it has a consistency and pattern to it. I could say I’m being a coach, or a teacher, or a facilitator, but in actual fact, whatever I end up doing, I’m just being me, and I observe this encourages others to be them. Then I laugh inwardly to myself: is there really anything else going on!

The Only Truly Authentic Choice

It’s so often the case, that in the copious one-on-one facilitation that I do, people are trying to figure out what choice to make in the outside world. Why am I here? What’s is the purpose of my incarnation? They’re often struggling to do ‘this’ or ‘that’. Sometimes they’re creating so much internal stress around the decision it’s practically driving them crazy.

So I say to them:

“Forget about needing to make a choice. Your higher consciousness has already chosen.

Instead look first for the blockages you can expose, accept, expand into and let go of.

Then, above all, look for the gift of beingness that is wanting to come through you right now.

Look for it, feel it, embrace it, attune to it, give it wings and let it sing through you.”

If you can do that, you’ll truly change not only your world, but the wider one. There simply is no other authentic way.

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Author: Chris Bourne

Social Transformation – Like Ripples in an Ocean

If you transform yourself you transform society.

With each person having the potential to become a shining light for humanity, like the sages of yesterday and today, the understanding and awareness of what we can become compared to what we are can bring a wave of inspiration for us to consciously evolve.

Social transformation on a global, transpersonal level can only come about if we all work together to achieve such goals. At the very least, there must be a passionate and mindful group of people who see that humanity is still very young and is just now pushing out of the Stone Age of Consciousness and into a yet-to-be-determined future where the principles of oneness and unity are truly felt, expressed and reflected by humanity and its societies.

Social transformation can come in small and frequent shifts or in massive quantum leaps. No matter in which way such positive and progressive change occurs, we can rest assured that the transformational process has been occurring ever since humanity began, and most recently has been seen to be progressing faster than ever before.

For example, a 20-something year old today, when told of the existence of segregation of different races in America only a few decades ago, will be dumbfounded that such an era even existed in such recent history; that some elements of humanity supported and promoted such bizarre things.

It’s as if time is speeding up, or perhaps slowing down but we feel more is occurring in less time. The transformational process is constant, like the flow of a river. Those who see that there is so much more in store for the human consciousness than what is currently in existence; those who see humanity is still a toddler in the cradle of consciousness, can envision how much more can be changed, shifted, and evolved.

From Carl Jung’s research all the way to post-modern scientific studies on consciousness, it is seen that humans, the environment, the entire universe and perhaps the multiverse is interconnected, both in seen and unseen ways. Whatever affects one aspect of reality, affects the whole of reality. In this way, when even one person’s position of awareness is shifted, or just a handful of individual perceptions of reality are modified, then these will directly affect the global human consciousness as a whole.

Each person, no matter who he or she is, can influence the future present of our timeline. There is no cause that does not effect. Influence is constant. No person should feel that he or she is unable to participate in the process of social transformation. We’re all able to do our part. With ignorance being replaced with awareness, more and more people can become understanding of the current state of humanity and the positive and progressive potential that it has.

Our actions and reactions are like ripples in an infinite ocean, spreading out and affecting all that is beyond them. In this same way, even the simple existence within the feelings of happiness or joy can positively affect others and make others feel happy or ecstatic, as a Harvard University and UC San Diego study has demonstrated.

As Dr. Nicholas A. Christakis, a physician and medical sociologist at Harvard who co-wrote the study said, “your emotional state depends not just on actions and choices that you make, but also on actions and choices of other people, many of which you don’t even know.” Not only happiness, but also ecstasy, love, and other higher states of consciousness directly affect others around us in positive ways, because of the universal reality that everything is ultimately One.

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Author: Paul Lenda / Wake up World

Dreams Are Another Reality

Do you have dreams? Do you have nightmares? Are they real? Think about their reality for a minute.

When you are in the dream they are real and when you are in a nightmare the situation you are going through is all too real. Very often in a nightmare we are struggling to escape from the reality because it can be so painful, sorrowful, horrid or frightening. When we do get out of that world and back into this one we are very happy to have been able to escape from the nightmare.

I’m sure there are dreams you’ve had which were beautiful, wonderful and loving. You wanted to stay in them forever. When we wake up from this kind of dream we often keep the feeling of warmth and love with us for most of the day and look forward to it again when go to sleep that night.

In the Western world we have some confused thinking about dreams, nightmares and their reality. When we are awake we say they are not real but when we are asleep and in them we know they are real. How do we sort this out in our heads?

Two realities

We are dealing with two realities. Our physical outer world is real when we are awake and moving around in it. Our dream or inner world is real when we are asleep physically and awake in the dream worlds. When you leave the dream world they are no longer real because you have moved your focus from one reality to another. You, your focus of attention, Soul, has moved from your inner world to your outer world, from your dream world to your physical world. This switch of realities happens as soon as you start to move out of your bed.

When I wake up in the morning the first thing I notice is the light. Is it dark or light? If its light i know its close to getting up time. Then I check my mind for the day of the week and also if there are any appointments I have to meet early this morning. If there is no rush in getting up, I’ll roll over to see the time on my bedside clock. I’ll also check to see how my body feels. Am I still tired or do I have a lot of energy? The answer will determine my next move.

If I don’t have to get out of bed  I may drift back into my dreams. I’ll see if there are any still lingering around from a few moments ago. There may be some of interest which I’d like to continue. Getting back into a dream depends on how sleepy I am.

If I’m a little too awake to drop back to sleep, I’ll go over the dreams I had last night. As I lie snoozing in bed I’ll recall as many dreams as I can from the previous night. If there is what I consider a significant dream I’ll go over it in detail, trying to remember it all. I’ll piece it together as I lie almost asleep in bed. This way I can bring the dream from my inner memory into my outer memory. Once I have a satisfactory amount of it transferred, I’ll reach for my journal and start wring what I can recall of the dream. While a lot of what I write may not make logical sense in this physical world, it is all possible in the dream world. Keeping a note of the dream will help me relate it back to something going on in my physical world in a few months time if I don’t already recognize what it relates to.

Writing my dreams

What I’ve found from writing my dreams down, is that I am able to see what they relate to more easily and can sometimes get an insight from them straight away. Other dreams reveal their message after some time has passed and I’ve been through some experiences. Then the meaning of the dream becomes apparent. This is how I move my inner dream reality into my outer physical world.

If the dream relates to something happening at the moment in my life, when I come to that situation I’ll remember the dream insight because I wrote it down earlier. If I didn’t spend the time writing it down I probably wouldn’t recall the dream as I go through the situation and so miss the chance to use the wisdom.

In reality we are living in two worlds

Hopefully this helps you see that we are more than our physical body. We are living in two worlds, our outer physical and our inner dream world. When we are in one we generally disregard the other. When we wake up in the morning as soon as we open our eyes we begin to engage in our outer world. Our focus, our true self Soul, now moves into surviving in the physical world. It requires the gathering of our energy, paying attention to where we are going and getting ourselves organized to start our day. Our dream world is only a distraction in this physical world so we completely forget about it as we focus on what is going on around us. Thus our dream world is no longer real but only minutes ago it was our main reality and existence.

Another reason to be aware of this is to use the wisdom and insights we receive while we are in our dream worlds. Our dream worlds are usually a higher level of existence. Our dreams give us insights into the situations, people and challenges of our physical world. Once we realise the existence of these two realities we can begin to uncover the wisdom and vision from our inner world.

Wake up slowly, gather the memories of your dreams together and bring them into your outer memory, your second reality.

If there is a significant dream, write it down in a dream diary or journal.

Be aware that you can slip into your inner world at any time using your imagination and daydreams. You don’t have to wait to go to sleep.

Wishing you insights, wisdom and love as you explore your two realities.

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Author: Ed Parkinson 

Who Thinks Your Thoughts?

The notion that how we feel is merely caused by events around us or directly involving us, is a scourge of our modern times. To believe that the external world and its perceived relationship to us is the major determinative factor in how we feel (“I can’t believe he/she said that to me—that’s so outrageous!”) is disempowering and self-destructive.

We impose our “shoulds” on what we perceive as “the world out there”, and then when it fails to live up to our arbitrary and abstract standards, we pout, mope, grumble and complain that it “should” have been different. Rather than tweaking our perception, we demand that the thing we perceive should tweak itself! When people fail to conform to our whimsy, we often then fall into yet another error avoided by the mindful: we replay upsetting events (events that we perceived as upsetting) and our emotional response/s to them in our heads over and over, further upsetting ourselves!

Many people like to imagine how they would have responded differently to an unpleasant scenario: perhaps some pithy and scathing repartee to put the aggressor in their place, or some supremely composed nonchalance in the face of adversity. But these mental rehashing and rehearsals have several negative effects, including: further encouraging sloppy, undisciplined and counterproductive thinking; distracting us from the present, wasting our time and energy; and the internally generated fight-or-flight stress response needlessly releases more cortisol into our blood, aging us even faster and suppressing our immune systems)—even though the moment has passed.

This function of our “time-binding semantic circuit” (as Tim Leary and Robert Anton Wilson have referred to it) makes us unique among the creatures on this planet. Only we humans choose to torture ourselves by replaying imaginary scenarios from the past that are unrelated to the present moment! We are unique among the creatures on this planet in our ability to squander the gift of the present moment by our thoughts of the past.

The remedy?

Firstly, we need to drop our “shoulds” in the moment and adopt a more “go with the flow” mindset wherein we acknowledge the infinite diversity of the multiverse and accept that there will always be things that crop up along the way that we won’t necessarily be overjoyed about. Believe that that is okay (and that it may ultimately be in your best interests!), and, as Niebuhr said, try to cultivate the serenity to accept the things you cannot change.

Next, we need to learn not to RE-act unconsciously to stimuli, rehashing our established habitual response to some perceived stressor. (“I can’t believe you’re doing this to me again!”) Instead, we need to develop a modicum of detachment and learn to observe what is occurring without identifying with it. That goes for both external processes and internal thought processes.

People forget that no matter what happens, there is always a multitude of angles to view it from, all of them complimentary. Too easily do we adopt the idea that our personal viewing angle trumps any other: “How I see it is right. I am completely objective. THEY are wrong.” It can be an extremely useful and healing exercise to step into another party’s shoes and try to humble oneself enough to see things from their perspective.

If it’s too late for you to try multi-angle viewing in the moment because you’ve already gotten swept away on a wave of emotion, all is not lost. You can still step back from your own thoughts and feelings: they are not you. Any thought or feeling you can observe (which is all of them) must be something other than yourself, something less than the totality of who and what you are.

Your thoughts and feelings come and go, they are transient, and yet through them all, you remain. Observe an emotional response, resist the temptation to fight it, and allow it to pass without judging yourself for having the feeling. Feelings are only human, but as the observer, you are uncolored, untainted consciousness.

Before we ever thought or felt, we were simply consciousness being. We can be that consciousness and train ourselves out of unconscious identification with our transient thoughts and feelings. You have feelings (and beliefs and thoughts), but they are not what you are. As Stephen Wolinsky notes in Quantum Consciousness, if a part of you can observe your feelings of sadness, then you must be more than merely the sadness itself. Observe it, don’t identify with it: it isn’t you. Thus, we learn to become the master, and emotion the servant.

Given the realization that you have a choice between neutrality, humor, offense, sadness, pain, anger, or even joy, in virtually any given circumstance, “Surely,” you might reason, “only a masochist would consciously choose anything other than enjoyable psychological assessments of and responses to events, or at the very least, relatively peaceful or neutral ones.” But we habitually and unconsciously choose anything but peace, neutrality or joy. Through effort, we can cultivate the mindfulness that allows us to recognize (“know again”) in the moment that we are the ones who choose our thoughts and feelings, no one else.

What will be the next choice you make in experiencing your subjective observer-created reality?  If finding the lighter side of adversity comes to you with difficulty, then try to cultivate the habit of observing, and then observing yourself observing. You’ll be amazed at the number of cognitive options you see at your disposal that would go completely unnoticed if you were identifying with your perceptions, beliefs, and judgements, and the feelings flowing from them.

No identification, no suffering. From an “observer space” you can consciously choose what to think and feel—you have options. Identification, on the other hand, leads to transient reactive emotion (often pain). In observer mode, you might see that no one does anything “wrong” according to the world view they have constructed.

In identification mode, you can be upset and offended and will judge and label instead of observing. This often leads to festering resentment, and the aforementioned mental replays of an upsetting incident ad nauseum, thus allowing the “culprit” to live rent-free in your mind (“I’m not going to let them get away with that!”). But once a troubling or challenging event has passed, if there are still lingering thoughts and replays running in my mind, I find it a useful strategy to get honest with myself and ask: “Who is thinking my thoughts? Who creates my emotions?” Obviously, the answer is me, so therefore it is I who is now causing myself the grief — what a masochist! Knowing this, I can acknowledge that I and I alone, get to choose what I believe and think, and therefore how I feel. Observing that is a powerful thing!

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Author: Brendan D. Murphy.

The Matrix of Four Forms of Meditative Breath

Breath is the basis of all life. Breath is also the basis of all meditation and meditative movement. Breath is the primary manner in which we all obtain life energy. The other three in metaphysical understanding are water, food and prana or chi. The most important concept to understand about breath and meditative movement is that one moves in coordination with the breath. One moves in and out of postures with the breath and one deepens and lengthens postures in coordination with the breath. Inhalations equate to tension whereas exhalations equate to relaxation and release.

There are four important aspects of meditative breath. It is important to breathe slowly, deeply, steadily and consciously. It’s said most people breathe wrong. Most people breathe either from high, mid or low points. A complete yogi breath is a cyclical movement beginning from low point moving like a wave. Meditative movement leads to proper cyclical, complete breath.

Balanced breathing is utilized most frequently. Balanced breathing means the four parts to one breath cycle are equalized. The inhalations and exhalations are the same length of time to each other and the pause full and pause empty are the same length of time to each other too. For example 8 seconds in, 2 second pause, 8 seconds out, 2 second pause is an example of steady balanced breath. Meditation practitioners from long ago would count the breath not in seconds, but heartbeats.

There are innumerable variations of meditative breath, however in most all meditations awareness of the matrix of meditative breath is a primarily important perception. Some more developed meditation practitioners move beyond focus on the breath, however even masters come back to and start with the breath. For the rest of us focus on the matrix of breath can calm the distracted monkey mind that swings from vine to vine, thought to thought. Trouble in meditation equates to, in general having a full mind, perceiving the breath allows one to be alternatively mindful so as to begin and develop meditation.

Balanced breath is beneficial to balancing one’s energy, often all we need. As one masters balanced breath one can implement new patterns to enhance energy movement in four basic patterns beyond balanced breathing similar conceptually to the depiction of the Yin Yang mandala. Unlike balanced breath these forms build and release energy in specific ways. There is the enhancement and lengthening of the pause full, in/pause/out patter for building Yin energy. There is the enhancement of pause empty, in/out/pause for Yang energy. Then a pause is inserted midway between either the inhale or exhale for energy movement, in/pause/in/out for Yin and lastly in/out/pause/out for Yang.

Meditation is mindfulness – the fullness of mind of the present. Whether distracted or focused, whether in still or moving meditation or in daily life, simply being mindful of the breath can connect mind and body. It is especially important to simply realize the four parts to every breath cycle and the four aspects of meditative breath.

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Author: Ethan Indigo Smith / Wake up World

Researchers Finally Show How Mindfulness and Your Thoughts Can Induce Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes

With evidence growing that training the mind or inducing specific modes of consciousness can have beneficial health effects, scientists have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body. A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of intensive mindfulness practice.

The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,” says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.

Mindfulness-based trainings have shown beneficial effects on inflammatory disorders in prior clinical studies and are endorsed by the American Heart Association as a preventative intervention. The new results provide a possible biological mechanism for therapeutic effects.

Gene Activity Can Change According To Perception

According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, gene activity can change on a daily basis. If the perception in your mind is reflected in the chemistry of your body, and if your nervous system reads and interprets the environment and then controls the blood’s chemistry, then you can literally change the fate of your cells by altering your thoughts.

In fact, Dr. Lipton’s research illustrates that by changing your perception, your mind can alter the activity of your genes and create over thirty thousand variations of products from each gene. He gives more detail by saying that the gene programs are contained within the nucleus of the cell, and you can rewrite those genetic programs through changing your blood chemistry.

In the simplest terms, this means that we need to change the way we think if we are to heal cancer. “The function of the mind is to create coherence between our beliefs and the reality we experience,” Dr. Lipton said. “What that means is that your mind will adjust the body’s biology and behavior to fit with your beliefs. If you’ve been told you’ll die in six months and your mind believes it, you most likely will die in six months. That’s called the nocebo effect, the result of a negative thought, which is the opposite of the placebo effect, where healing is mediated by a positive thought.”

“It’s a complex situation,” said Dr. Lipton. People have been programmed to believe that they’re victims and that they have no control. We’re programmed from the start with our mother and father’s beliefs. So, for instance, when we got sick, we were told by our parents that we had to go to the doctor because the doctor is the authority concerning our health. We all got the message throughout childhood that doctors were the authority on health and that we were victims of bodily forces beyond our ability to control. The joke, however, is that people often get better while on the way to the doctor. That’s when the innate ability for self-healing kicks in, another example of the placebo effect.

Subconscious Beliefs Are Key

Too many positive thinkers know that thinking good thoughts–and reciting affirmations for hours on end–doesn’t always bring about the results that feel-good books promise.

Dr. Lipton didn’t argue this point, because positive thoughts come from the conscious mind, while contradictory negative thoughts are usually programmed in the more powerful subconscious mind.

“The major problem is that people are aware of their conscious beliefs and behaviors, but not of subconscious beliefs and behaviors. Most people don’t even acknowledge that their subconscious mind is at play, when the fact is that the subconscious mind is a million times more powerful than the conscious mind and that we operate 95 to 99 percent of our lives from subconscious programs.

“Your subconscious beliefs are working either for you or against you, but the truth is that you are not controlling your life, because your subconscious mind supersedes all conscious control. So when you are trying to heal from a conscious level–citing affirmations and telling yourself you’re healthy–there may be an invisible subconscious program that’s sabotaging you.”

The new science of epigenetics promises that every person on the planet has the opportunity to become who they really are, complete with unimaginable power and the ability to operate from, and go for, the highest possibilities, including healing our bodies and our culture and living in peace.

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Author: Michael Forrester / Wake up world

Finding Our Peace: The Art of Loving Our Experience

The usual tendency in our modern secular thinking is to view the outer world as separate from ourselves, but really it is just a partial reflection of what we fundamentally are. Objective reality is one of two pieces. Both pieces make up one whole. The other part is our subjective world, which are our feelings, thoughts and beliefs.

In this ancient and rebirthed understanding, we are realizing we are both the inner and outer worlds.

Now I could go into why quantum physics specifies that these two portions are inseparable, or why ancient wisdom and modern mystics say the same thing, but if we’re on this path we intuitively and possibly even logically know this already.

Instead, here I’m going to focus on what actually makes up our experience, as well as ways to find our peace by loving our experience, because it’s not always easy to accept and embrace all of what we perceive in life.

Some of it is simply hard for our hearts to take and challenging for our minds to fathom. But our experience is much like an intimate relationship: it has its ups and downs, there are things that need to change, there are things that we wouldn’t change for the world and there are hard lessons involved which hopefully inspire us to develop ourselves. And just like we love our partner regardless of their positives and negatives, we should also love our experience, irrespective of its strengths and weaknesses.

Another way to begin to look at it is by considering how we love ourselves. Just as we don’t condone everything about our partner, yet we still love them, we still love ourselves, even if sometimes we’re not proud of all our feelings, thoughts and actions. After all, we make mistakes, learn and navigate our entire lives growing into our new, more developed selves.

But our experience is much bigger than our ego, or our perception and the ingredients of our ‘illusory separate’ selves. It’s also the objects of our experience, because if we change the objects, we also change the experience. Therefore, it is the two realities combined; it’s an intimate interconnection between the inner and outer worlds.

Let’s put it in a simple model:

Subjective world = feelings, thoughts, beliefs, actions

Objective world = body, people, earth, universe.

Experience = the interconnected total of our subjective and objective worlds.

This means that there is something which is the bridge between or the basis of these two seemingly separate realities.

Both pioneer scientists and contemporary spirituality view consciousness (or something like consciousness) as the ground of all being and therefore the bridge of these realms. Though to be clear: it’s not our individual consciousness but the whole of consciousness which is the unifying factor.

One way to illustrate this is through the analogy of a fire. The whole of consciousness is the fire, the objective world including our brain is a flame in the fire and our subjective world is our flame’s heat. All are the fire. All are consciousness.

One common assumption about our individual consciousness is that it is generated by the big brain (containing 100 billion neurons), the second brain (100 million neurons embedded in the walls of our gut) and the heart (which contains 40,000 neurons); much like a generator creates electricity. Even though this is voiced by some materialists as being a proven scientific fact, it’s not – it’s speculation based primarily on the evidence that if we tamper with the brains (particularly the big brain) in certain ways, it tampers with our awareness in particular ways too.

But just as all scientists and laymen alike should know – correlation does not imply causation. Just because our individual consciousness changes when we alter our brain does not mean that the brain created the consciousness in the first place.

The alternative to this explanation, one that is receiving support from emerging scientific evidence, is that the brain receives or tunes into consciousness, much like a radio or television tunes into signals. If we tamper with our radio or TV set, then it will no doubt have an associated impact on the way the signal is received, without actually changing the signal itself. Therefore, just because modifying our brain can alter our experience, does not inherently mean that we have changed consciousness itself. We have simply changed our experience of consciousness.

This makes sense when we acknowledge how our experience is influenced by what’s happening both inside and outside of us. We’re tuning into particular frequencies of consciousness to have an experience which is co-created by both our inner and outer worlds.

When we begin to meditate this point becomes even clearer. Think of our conscious awareness as the light from a torch and the darkness as our subconscious mind. When we meditate, we can navigate through our subconscious mind by making it conscious with our light. Meditation is the act of navigating our awareness through our subconscious mind. The more skilled we become at expanding our mind with meditation, the deeper we go into the darkness of our subconscious. Then suddenly – as many experienced meditators agree – we potentially reach beyond our subconscious mind.

In other words – advanced meditation can craft our individual awareness into a cosmic consciousness or even consciousness itself. This is also a common experience when taking a psychedelic substance. Over and over again, through countless individuals and a wide array of tribal, traditional and current cultures, it is believed that during a psychedelic trip (or other trance-induced activity) the mind becomes one with the whole of reality.

The line between the internal and external worlds has become reverently blurred. This is a big concept to entertain, but once we do, we arrive at an inevitable conclusion. If our experience is a melting between two interconnected worlds, and we love our experience, then we love both worlds. We therefore have a solid foundation to establish and maintain our inner peace.

That isn’t to say that we like everything within it – such as war, murder, emotional dysfunction, suffering etc. – just that we embrace it for what it is. We’re at peace because we understand it as a manifestation of what we fundamentally are: consciousness (or the more traditional term of God). The way we then operate through our lives is based on love, because we view our experience as a reflection of ourselves and we love it as we would love ourselves, and all humanity.

This is when it loving our experience becomes an art because we learn to consciously co-create our experience in a way that is beautiful, inspiring and above all loving. Ultimately, you should love your experience like you love yourself, because it is you. It’s a sure-fire way to be at peace.

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Author: Phil Watt / Wake up world

10 Reasons Why a Spiritual Journey will Improve your Life

Lets face it. Living day by day in the average human environment is not a very fun one. Working Jobs, Commuting, Traffic, McDonalds…. It’s not just boring, but sad and depressing. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to go on a journey or a quest of sorts to cleanse your spirit, mind and body, and to become One with the nature that you are.

Jobs Can Sometimes Make You Forget The Beauty In Life

At the point where you walk outside and you don’t notice the sun is shining perfectly in the sky, you need a RESET. If we all had life the way we wanted it, we would have much less “jobs” and have much more inspired creation. This shift and transition can happen right now. What are you waiting for? Perhaps you don’t know what you want to create, perhaps you feel stuck or trapped. Getting out of your environment might be just what you need to make a transition into finding what gives you lasting happiness.

Life Just Got Stale

You know how sometimes if you eat something over and over again it gets really old.. especially if that food is just starches and fats with no nutrients at all? Perhaps it’s time to change that intake valve to something a little more free! No one wants a life more stale than a 1998 bag of Lay’s potato chips.  Going on adventures make the heart feel fresh and new again.

It’ll Inspire You To Have Better Relationships with others

Going to travel around the world or even somewhere nearby often allow your mind to reset. When this happens, you can observe your relationships in a new way and come back to the table with a fresh outlook. Also – if you go somewhere WITH someone, that can be a tremendous way to grow together and strengthen your relationship, regardless of what that relationship is.

Redefines the Relationship You Have With Yourself

Everyone needs “Alone Time” sometimes, and so taking some time just to be with yourself can be a powerful meditation to be at peace without constantly engaging with those who don’t get you. Just remember not to pull away too far, for isolation from loved ones if stretched too far can leave stretch marks that take a long time to heal if not properly cared for.

Journeys Provide You New Prospectives For Your Education

Getting out into the world, you’ll find new people that resonate with your highest potential. When you are in your normal environment, its very much like being “inside the box”, in that it is not very often subject to change.  However our true potential for our life path is never found inside of any box, even if, figuratively speaking, we find a post card that points to our dreams, we will never reach that magical place from the comfort of our boxes. Most people inside the box want the education and careers the box promotes but once we allow our minds to expand, we can quickly find out where we want to place our energy.

You May Receive A Fresh Prospective On Your Priorities

Lets just be honest, life can be hard sometimes. Ok…. scratch that… life can be hard most of the time as we grow and become more responsible. However, just because we have a lot of responsibilities doesn’t mean we have them prioritized. Getting out of the old environment even for a little while allows your mind to shuffle and sort whats truly important to you and what needs to be done for the benefit of everyone and everything.

You’ll Become Better At Navigating Your Perception Of Drama

When things get dramatic, there is usually for a reason for it. Whether there is a problem between you and a loved one or a disagreement in the workplace – when things are in a panic it can become difficult to be on-point and do the right thing. Sometimes taking a step outside of the house for an afternoon of reflection can make all of the difference in the world. For me, I climb the tree in the front of the house and meditate for a while, engaging fully with the task at hand in order to come to a more complete understanding and resolution to the problem.

Gain Mental Clarity In Your Life

Is life looking dense, thick and sticky like walking through muck? Going on a Spiritual Journey will cut through the density like a knife through Wonder Bread. The more earthly experience you have, the more angles of reflection you have for making better decisions. By practicing mindfulness to all of these, we can “go with the flow” with a lot more care than the stuck-ness we face when we do not.

Overall Optimism will increase

Yep, you guessed it! Trees, Rivers, Grass, Temples, Foreign Languages, and limited access to bathrooms seems to play a huge role in the increase of appreciation and an overall more positive outlook on the blessed life you have. A positive outlook on life can make all the difference in your creativity.

Spiritual Journeys Promote Mindfulness About Your Physical Health

Healthwise, a lot  comes down to resource management when you are taking a real spiritual journey. Most of us will typically eat much healthier while on a journey of some sort or at least have a better sense of how to keep the body in a better state of holistic comfort.

So yeah, Go on a journey! Create something new for yourself, and create something new for your friends and family. You are a reflection of them after all, and any adjustments you make to your auric field will have an impact on them, whether you are aware of it or not.

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Author: Christopher Taylor

Edited by Jordan Pearce

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