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Awakening: 7 Steps To Ease The Labour Pain Of Spiritual Rebirth

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Awakening: 7 Steps To Ease The Labour Pain Of Spiritual Rebirth
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Juliet Tang, Contributing Writer

Awakening is a unique journey that can only be experienced. The closest description I can come up with is that it feels like finally seeing the true colours of the world for the first time after having taken off a pair of tinted glasses that was tied around your eyes since birth. As you are running down the path with enthusiasm, you realize just how magnificent everything is and you are eager to inhale all its beauty. You long to find all the treasures you never thought were there, and every time when you find something and hold it in your hands to examine its intricate details, you remember it is something you’ve left behind long ago. In fact, the entire journey looks familiar.

Eventually, it dawns on you that this is the path that takes you back to your true origin and the further you go, the more illuminated your path becomes until you see an infinite number of paths all around you and billions of souls traveling at their own pace back to the same place, a place that has birthed the light.

With the excitement of finally starting a new chapter in the journey comes a series of challenges and confusions that can be overwhelming. After all, rebirth is never without its labour pains and some can be quite intense to the point of making us wonder whether this is worth it. There is no “one size fits all” formula or linear path that works for every individual; however, these are some steps that can be taken to ease the impact of the speed bumps. Usually, the more out of alignment we are prior to awakening, the more intense the journey can be felt on all levels because there is much that needs to be unlearned.

It is a journey of letting go and home coming.

Step 1. Acknowledgement

“Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive… And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling

Many would describe one of the triggers of the awakening process is hitting rock bottom. The common feelings accompanying this step are often depression, anger, despair and loneliness. It can be a dark period of time when we feel no matter how much we try, we continue to slam our faces against the cold brick floor of the pit we have fallen into. We condemn life and everything in it believing it has all been a mistake and we have reached an end.

It is only when we can acknowledge the defeat of the existing paradigm will we be able to liberate ourselves from it and awaken to our true nature. When we are faced with our greatest challenges and darkest moments after having failed to change what is outside of ourselves, we often are left with only one choice — taking the journey inward and changing ourselves.

As difficult as this step is, being in a place in the absence of what we desire in life be it love, joy or fulfilment becomes the motivational factor that pushes us to journey within to a sacred place where higher wisdom can be accessed.

This step is the starless dark night before dawn and the ferocious storm before the rainbow. Many refer to it as the dark night of the soul. As debilitating as the step is, underneath the pain is tremendous love and grace that allows us to journey back to who we truly are if we choose to, but the journey must be taken outside of the mind and existing beliefs. The more we can question every belief we hold onto and see beyond the thin veil separating what’s real and what’s illusive, the more we will be able to see our existing system as a mirage created by others around us to maintain a façade of this dream state.

We begin to realize just how heavy our baggage is from carrying and living those beliefs that we have internalized from our caretakers, teachers, peers and culture without ever questioning whether they represent who we are.

Eventually, we begin questioning ourselves, “If I am not my beliefs, who am I?

Step 2. Trust

“Faith is trust. Faith is a deep sense of connectedness with Being.” – Eckhart Tolle

Trusting that all will work out for the greatest good when nothing seems to be is a crucial step in the process of awakening. It can also be one of the most frightening steps because it requires a giant leap of faith. Personally, I feel it is the catch-22 of awakening. We simply cannot move forward without at some point making a deliberate choice of being willing to let go of any and everything. However, without knowing how long the tunnel is and whether we will ever see the light at the end, we hesitate with each step because we are consumed by fear of possibly making the wrong move hence losing everything we’ve ever worked for.

This step always involves much fear of change. As miserable as we may be with certain aspects of our lives and as much as we yearn for the better, we are so used to things being one way that we fear once we change, we will change for the worse and end up with regrets. This is why we often choose to stay in failing relationships and careers. We tell ourselves we’ve invested too much in something, that the only way we may change it is if we are guaranteed some kind of success while that very belief keeps us trapped in less than satisfying circumstances for years and decades.

Everything in life is energy that flows to us and from us. When we refuse change, we are placing roadblocks to limit or stop the energy flow and eventually causing stagnation in life force energy. Blocked energy in our bodies creates dis-ease while stagnant energy in our lives creates distressing situations. When we say to ourselves we are stuck and we are not moving forward, we are essentially referring to the lack of energy flow.

The truth is, we are change and life is change. In 1 year, 98% of the subatomic particles in our bodies will be different, yet we continue to attempt to hold onto the same beliefs and expectations by imprisoning ourselves in the cages we build with them. By choosing not to change, we are ultimately still choosing and that choice comes from fear.

Awakening requires us to shed our caterpillar skins so we may emerge as butterflies, and trusting the process of metamorphosis is an absolutely necessary step to awaken. Underneath every fear is a dream waiting to blossom and a wish waiting to be fulfilled.

In order to wake up, we must trust enough to take the red pill. That leap of faith is a trade-off with the divine intelligence in the universe. To remember and claim the greatest gift we each have — the gift of our ability to consciously create, we must first give something in return, and that is our very doubt in that creative power. The journey of awakening is nothing but a process of giving back everything that is not us so we can travel with the lightness of who we really are.

Remember, life begins once we step out of our comfort zone.

We may ask ourselves at this point, “How is my fear holding me back from living the life I desire?”

Step 3. Allowing

“The wound is where the Light enters you.” – Rumi

We all have wounds. Prior to awakening, it is tempting to cover them up with bandages so we can present ourselves to the world as whole and perfect based on the world’s expectations. When we finally come to the realization that we have been dragging others’ baggage all along and realize the wounds have never healed from being covered up, anger is usually a common response.

It is easy to slip into a phase of judging and blaming ourselves and others for the flawed lives we have lived. We begin to see problems in everyone and everything. Our families, friends, media, society and often times ourselves all seem to represent sources of our pain. More often than not, we are so eager to shed the disempowering beliefs that we couldn’t purge them fast enough.

The risk of finger pointing is that we can easily slip back into the old victimhood except instead of being the victims with blindfolds on, now they have come off to reveal to us the dungeon we believe we are in. Some of us during this time will turn to teachings of law of attraction without first having taking care of the baggage. We convince ourselves in order to attract what we desire in our lives, we must raise our vibration to that which matches what we seek. As a result, we attempt to bypass all the intense emotions of awakening which is equivalent to introducing new expensive Italian furniture into a packed house that has never done spring cleaning.

The emotions we are bombarded with when we take the first few steps to awaken are part of the journey, and must be processed and integrated before we continue. If we try to resist by judging, denying or repressing any of them, we are still reacting to them and identifying with them which essentially means we are placing ourselves at the mercy of those beliefs we so desperately want to get rid of.

Know that the reason we may still be categorizing emotions into good/bad, positive/negative, acceptable/non-acceptable is because we have been conditioned to attach beliefs to the entire spectrum of emotions that are otherwise natural to us. This is the time to allow ourselves to feel without judgment or resistance. We can do so by journaling, talking to our emotions, practicing sitting with our emotions to understand their language, and inviting all parts of ourselves to participate in our meditations.

The question we may ask is, “What are my emotions trying to tell me?

By being fully present with all emotions and sitting with them, we are beginning to step into our own power of being conscious creators.

Step 4. Acceptance

“I don’t let go of my thoughts, I meet them with understanding. Then they let go of me.” – Bryon Katie

We cannot disown anything before we own it. If we pick and choose what we wish to accept be it an aspect of ourselves or a person in our lives, we are only shining the flashlight in one corner of the room and leaving the rest of it in the dark. It is only when we have the courage to turn on the light fully and see all there is to see in front of us without looking away can we truly decide which ones no longer speak to who we are.

As our emotions are being processed, more and more clarity begins to surface to guide us in being selective with our thoughts, company we keep and experiences we wish to have. Once again, it may be tempting for us to judge parts within us that we do not like, or judge others for being in deep slumber and engaging in activities we do not agree with. We may get judged by others for being different. We may even feel the urge to persuade others to awaken so they can lift the thin veil between the dream state and reality.

It is important for us to understand that the journey of awakening is an inbound journey that involves individual souls remembering who we are through divinely placed and timed circumstances that are specific to each one of us; hence even if some of us are lucky enough to share it or travel parts of it with others, ultimately, the journey is unique to each individual as no two paths are alike. Just as we cannot rush a bud to blossom, we are not helping anyone by attempting to rush them to awaken or judge them for choosing to be asleep.

What we can do is to accept all there is with love and see the perfection in everything. To clear a common misconception, acceptance has nothing to do with agreeing to or condoning anything that is not aligned with who we are and seeing the perfection does not mean forcing ourselves to glorify things and calling them fabulous when they are not. Rather, by accepting, we are dropping our stories of how our experiences and people around us should be, hence freeing ourselves from fear attachments and whatever actions we decide to take from there emerge from a much higher vibration and clearer understanding.

This step, like all others, is simple but not necessarily easy.

For those who have experienced trauma at the hands of others, even the concept of accepting certain people or past events without judgment and anger is simply inconceivable. After the ending of my 8-year abusive relationship, I held onto the trauma for another decade and it was evident to me that my wounds were never fully healed when I had to take sedatives to fall asleep night after night without ever skipping a dosage. I made up stories and excuses to either condemn or justify why it happened so I could work through the forgiveness; the person went from a monster to someone who deserved pity as I continued to assign him new identities which secured my attachment to the very thing I tried to heal.

Eventually, I dropped my role of the storyteller and I met my past with acceptance and understanding—it happened and the person was who he was. When I accepted that what I thought shouldn’t have happened because it did and no amount of inner dialogue about the person or experience would change it, it transformed my life and spontaneous healing took place that led to instantaneous recovery of the natural sleep that eluded me for 14 years.

A question we may ask while going through this step is, “What stories am I telling that are keeping me from moving forward?”

It is easy to mistaken acceptance with passivity especially if we are still in a situation where harm is being done to us. Acceptance is the opposite of taking no action, committing to no change, agreeing with and inviting abuse as well as denying our pain which are all fear responses of non-acceptance. Rather, to accept means to not argue with what is so we can convert the tremendous energy we spend in opposing reality to healing and rebuilding our lives in the present moment whether it is to leave an abusive relationship or stand up for ourselves in a situation. When we accept life and open the space within us, inspired action arises.

When we can embrace all parts without labelling, when we can see the perfection in everyone and everything, we are in a powerful position to forgive, release and heal.

Step 5. Releasing

“Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretence. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” – Adyashanti

It is only after we have allowed and accepted every aspect of our lives can we finally make the decision to keep, or let go of certain people and patterns based on who we desire to be rather than who we thought we had to be. If we try to release a pattern or belief out of fear, that energy only acts to strengthen the bond between us and that which we seek to dismiss.

The step of releasing can take place simultaneously with the other steps. This is a rather chaotic step and is often referred to as “ego death.”

Initially, it can resemble a demolition project in which drastic changes are made and we go from changing jobs to letting go of relationships within a short period of time with little care about what others think. There may still be fear lingering but it cannot match our enthusiasm to finally live differently as we taste the sweetness of liberation. Our decisions are influenced and fuelled by our desire to be and do all that was once held back by our own fears in the past.

Suddenly, our new and lighter vibration begins to attract like-minded individuals from unexpected places and teachers begin to appear out of nowhere. We are also likely to notice divine synchronicity and all those perfectly timed events, resources and people just pop up when we ask for them!

This step is an intimate dance between pain and joy, destruction and reconstruction, confusion and clarity, and despair and hope. On some days when we feel everything has come crashing down and we have absolutely nowhere to hide, somewhere in the middle of the most violent storm, there is a glimpse of hope that lights up like a beacon and the light cannot be extinguished by the waves. Eventually we come to know that the beacon is our spirit guiding us to the shore. We become our own bridges of past and future anchored in this very present moment, inspired, or, in spirit.

One may ask the question, “Where am I going?

Step 6. Integration

“If we imagine that we’re free of all labels, all separation, and all judgments about this world and the life inhabiting it, we can begin to understand oneness. The place we want to enter is of simply being. We can picture the Source of being as an energy that’s as available to us as is the sky. There’s no anger toward anyone or anything because everyone and everything is Spirit. This Spirit is God, our Source of being. We are it, and it is who we are.” – Wayne Dyer

At a certain point, we realize nothing needs fixing as nothing has ever been broken. Instead, we see the perfection of every moment in our timelines as we can look at our existence from a much bigger picture. We know from a deeper place within us that even those who have caused us pain were beings who were intended for our paths to push us in this direction. Everything, the good and the bad, the laughter and the sadness, everything has been orchestrated by divine intelligence that flows inside of us based on the energy of what we needed to master at the time.

A stream of dreams and aspirations fills us with endless inspiration. We no longer feel the void from those we have let go of because we understand it is only from this infinite space can we write the stories we desire to write. We know whenever we encounter a less than ideal situation in life, it is something that has been called forth by ourselves and we only need to go into that space within ourselves to call on the gentle wisdom. We rely less on others’ teachings and more on our inner resources.

Every once in a while, we may still notice the faint and weak voices from our old patterns trying to speak to us and we consciously choose to overwrite them. We see fear for what it truly is — an illusion as False Evidence Appearing Real. The echoes of our past surface few and far between, and when they do, we approach them with curiosity and understanding knowing no experience is innately positive or negative, it is only our perception that gives anything meaning.

We realize that the ego is not the enemy; it was only doing its job by trying to keep us alive on this dimension. Once we have remembered who we truly are, we can come to a compromise with the ego to allow it to do its part as needed without having to take over. The inner harmony allows us to blend all experiences we’ve ever had and we emerge with greater purpose.

As we are integrating all that is within us, we also experience a deeper connection with everything and everyone around us. We know that energetically, we are all connected as we have all come from the same source. We replace judgment with love; we honour differences but transcend division. Our decisions become driven by the knowing, “We are all one.”

The question may be, “How may I serve?”

Step 7. Gratitude

“The struggle ends when the gratitude begins. The search is over when the finding starts. And the finding is not a finding at all, but a creating. You cannot find what you have been struggling for, but you can create it. And the jump-start of creation is gratitude”. – Neale Donald Walsch

Gratitude naturally arises when we approach the gate of non-duality on our journeys though it may appear much sooner in conjunction with any step towards awakening. Heartfelt gratitude is more than an affirmation, a feeling or a prayer, it is a state of being. That means it is no longer dependent on or conditional to what is happening in us and around us. It is a song and an eternal blessing we are immersed in no matter what we choose to focus our attention on.

We welcome and thank every person and experience that comes across our paths knowing there is a gift that we may choose to accept that will serve us in our evolution. We send gratitude to the ex-lover who “forced” us to remember how to love and value ourselves, to the boss who drove us to quitting that job and finally answering our calling, and to all the moments of tears and struggle for reminding us to step into our inner strength so we can make empowered choices. The imperfections in life become perfections because we know even if they may not be apparent at the moment, they are here to invoke greater wisdom within us.

Gratitude is on the same vibration as love. Love is the highest vibration of the universe. It is the divine source, or life energy itself. We are all beings of love. When we choose to live in gratitude, we are naturally aligning our creation with the very vibration of what we are made of. When we are gratitude, our every thought, word and deed is infused with this infinite creative life force energy that resides in everything in the universe. Our every expression declares and demonstrates who we know ourselves to be — love and Oneness, and from there, creation becomes effortless.

Gratitude allows us to let go of our need to control as control only stems out of the insecurities of our ego. When we allow our experiences to come from our Being and from gratitude, we are stepping into our true power of the creator role we have all chosen prior to this home coming journey.

The question for everything becomes, “What can I create that is a demonstration of love?”

Whether it seems obvious or hidden from us at the moment, we are all given the same creative power of free will. Our destinies are not written in the stars. The happenings in our external environment only reflect the conscious and unconscious choices we’ve made so far, and if something is not to our liking, it is only through inner work can we create a desirable outer reality that matches our own raised vibration.

Know that there is absolutely no destination or requirement in this human experience called life but only perfection wherever we are. The people, experiences and events in our lives at this very moment are exactly what we need to take the next step to create, demonstrate and declare to the world who we are based on the choices we make right here, right now.

We are here to experience every aspect of our infinite Being. We are life energy, manifested in physical form.

Recommended Articles by Juliet Tang
About the Author

Juliet Tang is an intuitive life coach, spiritual mentor and medicine woman. Her work empowers those who are looking for more alignment and expansion to awaken to their power and purpose on earth, activate more love, abundance and joy in their lives, and manifest their soul’s desires using the conscious creation process.

To learn more, go to www.juliettang.com, or follow Juliet on Facebook and Instagram.

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Consciousness

We Need To Feel To Heal

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We Need To Feel To Heal
Photo Credit: Truth Theory

Lissa Rankin, MD, Guest Writer

As I’m trapped in my house because the air quality where I live in the Bay Area is incompatible with life, as I’m sheltered in place for six months and gave up all summer travel because I want to be a responsible community member and don’t want to hurt anyone who might be at risk of COVID, I am wrestling with how we live in a world where our president doesn’t believe in climate disasters and some doctors with public influence are denying the danger of COVID. I can only make sense of all this by viewing disaster denialism as a trauma response that deserves our compassion.

Unrelenting natural disasters like the current West Coast wildfires and smoke outs are terrifying. Those of you who don’t live here might not understand how terrifying it feels to not be able to breathe in your front yard. This morning, I got online to see if there’s some place I can escape to, someplace my family and I can breathe. The closest place I can find with a good AQI is Sedona. That’s terrifying. 10% of the population of Oregon has evacuated according to the New York Times this morning because the AQI is 400-500+ in most of the state. Yet only the privileged can evacuate. What about all the people who can’t afford to leave their jobs or their homes and go stay in a hotel somewhere? What about the people who are high risk for COVID and are scared to leave home, even if home means you can’t breathe? What about the animals?

It’s no wonder people would respond to this very real terror by escaping into a utopian narrative that a great awakening is happening and we’re all waking up. I would prefer to believe that a new age is dawning and things are getting better and better too. But that’s not the reality of what’s happening. What’s really happening is that we may be in the midst of a mass species extinction of our own making, and the West Coast of the US may soon be uninhabitable—because of our own denialism and inability to respond to a series of intersecting disasters, most notably climate crisis.

If we are “woke,” we should be engaging in the very practical action steps put forth in the hopeful book, The Future We Choose, by Paris Climate Agreement negotiator Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac. If we are woke, we should be rallying together to make a cooperative effort to get this pandemic under control, even if it means sacrificing in the short term some of the personal freedoms we’ve come to feel entitled to. If we are woke, we need radical policy change in almost all of our systems—health care, education, politics, economics, the justice system—which have spiralled into apocalyptic levels of corruption and are causing moral injury for those who still work within these systems they feel helpless to change.

I get that it’s hard to feel the feels that come with back to back disasters. It’s hard for me too. But we need to increase our resilience and tolerance for feeling fear, bewilderment, shame, guilt, helplessness, powerlessness, worthlessness, disorientation, and other painful emotions so we can be “response-able”—able to respond, as Thomas Hubl defines it—in this apocalyptic time. The only way we can do that is by treating our traumas with therapies that actually work. (I’m a fan of Internal Family Systems-IFS—personally.)

Yesterday, when I was expressing my genuine pain of what’s happening here in the West Coast, someone on my Facebook thread shamed me for being “low vibe” and “creating my reality” with my negative thinking. I was so startled by the stark, even cruel lack of empathy in his response. Is he saying my valid fear in the face of a life-threatening disaster is causing the entire West Coast to be un-breathable and if only I pretend it’s not terrifying and think fake happy thoughts, the air will clear around me? It was such a delusional level of spiritual bypassing that I realized that spiritual bypassing is a very valid and understandable trauma response and that he deserves my compassion, even as I set boundaries that protect me from what I consider abusive behavior. Telling someone in the midst of an acutely traumatic situation that they have created their painful reality with their negative thoughts is abusive and should not be tolerated. But if we come to understand it as a trauma response, maybe we can have more sensitivity to those who are responding to real disasters in this

Using IFS language, most of us have parts that felt helpless, powerless, ashamed, terrified, worthless, and not good enough when we were little. Disasters can activate those feelings again, so it makes sense that some people would cope with those hard to feel feelings by covering them up with spiritual bypassing parts. Sure, I’d rather believe that benevolent aliens have penetrated humans on earth as a way to save us from ourselves than believe that humans are actually destroying ourselves and unwilling to do what it takes to save ourselves. But dear ones, if we want to actually wake up, we must stop believing we’re woke and feel the pain that comes with humility, facing our personal and collective shadows, wrestling with painful emotions, and taking firm action to make amends and reverse course. Nobody is coming to save us from the disasters we’ve created with our own greed, denialism, plundering of nature, entitlement, dehumanizing behavior of people of color, land theft of the indigenous people, genocides, and other atrocities us and our ancestors have willingly participated in. I’m sorry if it’s hard to hear that or feel what that evokes. I’m sorry if you misunderstand my willingness to face the stark reality of concurrent disasters as being “unenlightened.” I’m terribly sorry if you’ve been duped into believing it’s more enlightened to deny reality than to feel the pain of it.

This is why I think it’s so crucial we all come together to address collective trauma. I participated in Thomas Hubl’s Collective Trauma Summit and will be listening to all the other speakers when it starts soon. If any of you are interested in joining in as part of collective healing without spiritual bypassing, I would love to have you all among that community with me here.

As for this post, please, let us keep this a non-polarizing space to experience reality—and all its emotions—together, as safely as possible, without insulting each other or shaming anyone, even those who engage in spiritual bypassing because they don’t know how else to handle hard times. What do you need to express today? How are you feeling?

Originally published at lissarankin.com and reproduced here with permission.

The views in this article may not reflect editorial policy of Collective Spark.

Recommended Articles by Lissa Rankin
About the Author

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician on a grass roots mission to heal healthcare, while empowering you to heal yourself. She is the founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and  healthcare providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of the books Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself (2013), The Fear Cure (2014), and The Anatomy of a Calling (2015).

Lissa blogs at LissaRankin.com and created the online community HealHealthCareNow.com. She is also the author of several other books, a speaker, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Connect with Lissa on Facebook and Twitter, or visit LissaRankin.com.

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Consciousness

6 Quick And Easy Intuition Exercises To Help You Focus On Your Own Truth

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6 Quick And Easy Intuition Exercises To Help You Focus On Your Own Truth
Photo Credit: https://markmanson.net/

Nikki HarperGuest Writer

We are currently living in a period of great stress and, for many people, tremendous fear. We’re also living in an information age – or perhaps that should be more accurately characterised as a mis-information age. Misinformation is everywhere, from well-meant but untrue social media memes to obfuscation, confusion and downright lies from governments and authority figures.

Lewis Carroll’s White Queen may have prided herself on her ability to believe six impossible things before breakfast, but these days we find ourselves often asked to believe – and act in accordance with – multiple conflicting and rapidly changing statements and instructions on a daily basis. Add in the undercurrent of fear and mistrust, and it’s very easy to lose sight of your own intuitive truth amid all the misinformation.

Next time you find yourself wondering what – or who – to believe, whether on a personal matter or a global crisis, try one of these quick and simple exercises to put you back in touch with your own higher knowledge and intuitive truth.

Three of these exercises work with direct intuition – using nothing but your own higher consciousness to receive direct answers. The other three work with indirect intuition, or symbolic intuition, using a tool of some kind to help you discover and interpret an answer. Some of these exercises require you to have a question in mind before you start; with others you do not ask a question, you simply remain open to whatever you soul most needs to know in that moment. Some of these ideas will work better for you than others, so just experiment with whatever feels right to you.

Ask a Book – Any Book

Bibliomancy is the art of divination via random passages from random books. Here, however, we’re not looking to divine the future, but to strengthen your intuition. Form a question in your mind – anything you need to know an answer to, from the deeply profound to the entirely trivial, it doesn’t matter. Then, wherever you are, pick a random nearby book and open it to a random page. Close your eyes and run your finger up and down the page until you feel you should stop.

Pay close attention to the sentence you have stopped on. What does it tell you about the question you asked? Depending on the book you chose, it may well have no obvious connection whatsoever – most likely you will need to read between the lines, looking for the symbolic meaning behind the written words. If you can’t work with the individual sentence, expand it and use the paragraph instead. There are answers if you look hard enough for them.

Go on a Meditative Journey

This method works with your direct intuition. Sit calmly and quietly and ease yourself into a light meditative state. Then take yourself on a journey, to a place of your choice – you might want to visit a cave, a forest glade, a beach, a city park, a mountain top or wherever else appeals to you in the moment. Take your time on this journey, noticing as much detail as you can. When you arrive at your destination, look for a box, a chest, a bag or a container of some kind which will be waiting for you. Open it and take out a piece of paper from within it. What is written on the paper? This is a message directly from your higher consciousness; read it, absorb it and learn from it.

Doodle Your Answer

Sit quietly and calm your mind. Have a question in mind. Write it down four times, one underneath the other, on a piece of paper. Each time you write it down, ask your higher self for guidance. When you’ve written it the last time, immediately clear your mind and start to doodle on the page for sixty seconds. Don’t consciously try to draw anything or answer your question. Just doodle.

When you’ve finished, look at what you’ve done. How can you interpret these lines and symbols with regard to your question? What answers do they hold for you?

Choose a Card or Image

If you have a deck of tarot cards or oracle cards, this is easy to do. If you don’t have one, you can use random photos or images cut from magazines, although obviously that’s not a spontaneous thing and will need considerable preparation. Anyway, once you have your source of cards or images, shuffle them or mix them up in any way which appeals to you, face down.

Select a card or an image, while holding a question in your mind. The process of selecting one is up to you; you could just pick one at random, or you could choose a specific number and count deal out that many cards, choosing the 8th or the 17th or whatever number matters to you. Alternatively, sort the face down cards or images into two alternate piles; discard one and sort the remaining ones into another two piles; discard one and continue doing this until you have only two cards left – discard one, and the remaining one is your image.

Look at the image or card. If you read tarot or are familiar with the oracle deck, try to put the normal interpretations out of your mind. Look only at the image itself and try to interpret what that has to say in relation to your question.

Listen to Your Stream of Consciousness

This is another way of accessing your direct intuition. Clear your mind and set a timer for five minutes. Then start to write on a blank page. It doesn’t matter what you write; write the first words which come to your head even if those are ‘I don’t know what to write’ and continue from there. It doesn’t matter if you repeat yourself. Don’t censor what you’re writing or even think about it consciously, just write out the thoughts which occur in your mind. At the end of your five minutes, stop. Read what you’ve written and assess how it could possibly relate to what you might need to know right now.

Hide the Answers

Have a question in mind which has no more than three potential answers – for example, something regarding what you should do about a career issue. On three small pieces of paper, write the three answers (for example: bide my time in this job, re-train as X, look for a new job in my current field). Put each piece of paper inside an envelope and seal the envelope. Sometime later that day, pick up the envelopes and shuffle them around. Spend five minutes sitting with them, handling each one but allowing your conscious thoughts to drift wherever they will. At the end of five minutes, choose the envelope you feel most drawn to and reveal the answer.

All of these exercises will help to strengthen your intuition, but the thing which strengthens intuition most of all is when we use it. There’s no point gaining answers or information if you’re then going to ignore it. So, try to act upon the answers or information you received – be brave and just do it. The more you use your intuition in a practical, everyday sense, to guide your decisions, the stronger it will become.

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About the Author

Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and Wake Up World’s editor.

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Manifest

Research Says Gratitude Can Reverse Aging, Stress And Ill Health

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www.medium.com

Carolanne Wright, Guest Writer

With all the doom and gloom in the world, it seems as though everywhere we turn, there’s one crisis or another. And although it’s crucial to be well-informed and prepared in these modern times, “consuming” a consistent diet of bad news takes a toll on health, happiness and even our rate of aging.

In spite of this, we can apply straightforward action that counteracts the negative effects that we experience. The best part is that it takes only a few minutes a day to radically change our physicalhttps://collective-spark.xyz/?s=gratitude and mental well-being, while at the same time slowing — and possibly reversing — the aging process. The secret? Living a life of gratitude.

Confirmed by science: a grateful heart is good for you

As unlikely as it may sound, when we slow down and take the time to appreciate all the good in our lives — rather than what we are dissatisfied with — a radical change in our physiology occurs. The simple act of gratitude has been scientifically shown to balance our heart rhythms and nervous system, leading to favourable changes in immunity and hormonal equilibrium, as well as increased production of the anti-aging compound DHEA.

Further benefits include a significant reduction in stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression. Considering that the damaging effects of stress contribute to a spectrum of diseases — including, but not limited to cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental illness and a variety of autoimmune disorders — it’s in our best interest to get a handle on this health-destroying syndrome.

The good news is that we can easily tame stress in just a few minutes per day by using simple techniques. A study sponsored by the Institute of HeartMath and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in California discovered that a new emotional self-management program significantly reduced the stress hormone cortisol while increasing DHEA, resulting in a remarkable reduction of tension and anxiety.

Forty-five healthy participants were involved in the study. Salivary DHEA/DHEAS and cortisol levels were measured and the autonomic nervous system was assessed using a heart rate variability evaluation. A psychological questionnaire was also given. Individuals were evaluated before and four weeks after being trained in the emotional self-management program, which included practices that encourage appreciation and gratitude.

In the study abstract:

“The experimental group experienced significant increases in the positive affect scales of Caring and Vigor and significant decreases in the negative affect scales of Guilt, Hostility, Burnout, Anxiety and Stress Effects, while no significant changes were seen in the comparison group. There was a mean 23% reduction in cortisol and a 100½ increase in DHEA/DHEAS in the experimental group.”

The full report can be found here  [PDF].

Two key techniques were used for the experiment — the “Cut-Thru” and “Heart Lock-In.” To learn the specifics of both practices, see The HeartMath Solution.

How to tame stress, encourage happiness and foster health in minutes a day

If you would like to use a few easy methods that encourage balanced heart rhythms, stress reduction and positivity, this page is a good place to start. Additionally, The Appreciative Heart: The Psychophysiology of Positive Emotions and Optimal Functioning is available as a free e-product download.

Lastly, Sara Childre, president of the Institute of HeartMath, aptly observes:

“Gratitude is a simple and effective practice and the benefits are real and attainable. Many of us know this in our hearts, but now it’s proven by modern science. Gratitude creates a healthier, happier and more fulfilling state of being for anyone who takes a few moments to feel and reflect on it.”

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About the Author

Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years

Through her website Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. Follow Carolanns on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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Consciousness

Covid-19: An Opportunity For Self-Realisation

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Covid-19: An Opportunity For Self-Realisation
Photo Credit: Pexels

Buddha Maitreya, Guest Writer

Nature has sent us a warning. We have to change our life and our world and now. Our life has ground to a halt by Covid-19, it has been cruel and a tragedy for so many, but for mankind as a whole it could be the moment of learning, to start a new life and build a new world.

The human race has led a material-orientated way of life ever since the start of civilization over twelve thousand years ago and has achieved a highly developed society. Huge amounts of wealth have been accumulated through industry and commerce, but at the same time it has brought with it a crippling defect, a massive imbalance. There is inequality, poverty, social unrest, devastation of the ecosystem and environmental destruction of the planet.

What is happening now is that nature has forced us to stop our present way of life so that the planet can be protected, life on earth can survive and she has presented us a chance to change our life in order to discover a more whole and harmonious way of living.

In practice nature is teaching us to change ourselves from a material orientated ego-centred self to a spiritual, altruistic self to encourage us to fulfil the purpose of life – ‘Know Thyself’ or self-realisation.

Most people are not aware that the ego-self is not our real self, but a false self, a product of the mind, mental concept, and not the true reality of human beings. What is not reality is illusion, our ego-self is illusion. Our true self is the pure reality of our BEING that is life manifested in the human body which is a miracle and wonder of creation – divine.

Up until now human beings have lived on earth with the illusory ego-self and created a materialistic world of endless troubles and suffering. Ego is illusion, false self-identity, illusion is ignorance and this is the true cause of suffering.

Now nature has shut down the whole world providing us time to reflect and an opportunity to transform ourselves.

Our true self is unity with the universe as being LIFE (Oneness) itself. Thus we have all the good of the universe, energy of the universe, glory of the universe, intelligence of the universe and generosity of the universe. We are endowed with the wholeness – universal mind, universal wisdom and universal love. As our True self we can lead a life in ONENESS, a harmonious life of wholeness, balanced, holistic, eco-friendly, a sustainable way of life, an ethically caring, loving spiritual life.

We are not here on this planet to live and die in the world of illusion and suffering, conflict and war but to live in the world of The Truth, the Pure Reality, the glory of LIFE, with wonder and beauty, in the splendour of the universe.

Human beings have lingered in a life of materialism for so long, but now is the time to break it and step forward into a new life in the world of ONENESS and wholeness of LIFE to build a new world.

The Way of Self-Realisation: “Buddhayhana” – The Simple But Direct Way of the Truth

The way to find the truth, or one’s true self, is not achieved by an intellectual approach or philosophical understanding, because the Truth does not exist in an abstract mental field, but is the solid reality that is pure Life itself.

Hence the only way to know the Truth, or to realise one’s true self is “Be”. To be the reality with one’s whole being, that “I am”. To Be is to be Life, the pure reality, the Truth. As we “sit and be”, we are the Truth, we are our true self, which is self-realisation.

The Truth can be called Buddha, hence the meditation “sit and be” is Buddhayhana. Anyone can be Buddha in it, and everyone should be, as it is the purpose of life.

Originally published at Pure Land, and reproduced here with permission.

About the Author

Maitreya (Koji Takeuchi) was born and brought up in Handa, Japan, near Nagoya. During the difficult teens he began a desperate search for truth, turning to meditation with the hope of personal contact with the truth. And so it was that he found himself on a week’s meditation course for lay people at a monastery one summer where he had the experience ‘Enlightenment’ through his total sacrifice and dedication that was to firmly lay down the foundations for his life as a meditation teacher.

In the moment of ‘Enlightenment’, he saw the absolute perfection and beauty intrinsic in all things and all beings, the essence of Life. The clarity and joy of that experience and its profundity gave rise to the strong wish to share this with everyone by helping them to experience it too by means of simple meditation. Maitreya, for the purpose of becoming a meditation master, went on to university to complete an MA degree in Buddhist Theology and lived the life of a Zen monk for a time. But he felt the monastic life was too harsh, rigid and out of date.

Maitreya left Japan to spend a year in Thailand, then went traveling in India and Nepal where he began teaching meditation for a few years. Through the invitation of a friend he came to England. He stayed in various centres and universities around the country, Reading University, Cambridge University and Lancaster University, etc., teaching and lecturing.

It was whilst staying in Teversal in Nottingham he came across a property for sale in North Clifton which became a base from which to teach meditation. Pure Land was born in 1973.

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