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Sat, 29 Apr 2017
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11 important steps to raising awareness and consciousness

What does "raising consciousness" actually mean? It is often portrayed as some sort of super-human accomplishment that will grant us spiritual super powers... but it is simply about becoming freer within ourselves. The freer we feel within — not "because" of this or that — the LIGHTER we are. Becoming enlightened is simply about lightening up. We can now forget about becoming something more "special." Raising our consciousness is simply the process of lightening up our load of baggage so we can move freely and fluidly as the light beings that we already are!

Here are 11 tips and insights that have personally helped me lighten up my own load and shift my consciousness.

Boat

Jon Rappoport: The free and independent individual

"Now we have a whole army of experts, whose job is to tell you success only comes with you being part of a group. Your status as an individual is transmitted to you through some diabolical portion of your brain that is loaded with false messages. Therefore, give up on the greatest adventure in the world. Take the elevator down to the basement, get off, and join the crowd. That's where the love is. That's where your useless courage dissolves into sugar, and the chorus of complaints will be magically transformed into a paradise of the lowest common denominator. Give up the ghost. You're home. The sun never rises or sets. Nothing changes. The same sameness rules." (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
Since the 1960s, many people have decided that, in order to create the future they want, they should engage in a certain amount of introspection.

Spiritual or psychological introspection.

I have encountered a large number of such people, who have swung the balance to the point where introspection has become indecision and paralysis.

There are "so many issues to consider."

Heart

Stimulate your vagus nerve for better mental health

"By developing an understanding of the workings of your vagus nerve, you may find it possible to work with your nervous system rather than feel trapped when it works against you." - Dr. Arielle Schwartz, Clinical Psychologist
Stimulating my vagus nerve has played a key role in the management of my mental health over the years.

What exactly is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in your body.

It connects your brain to many important organs throughout the body, including the gut (intestines, stomach), heart and lungs.

In fact, the word "vagus" means "wanderer" in Latin, which accurately represents how the nerve wanders all over the body and reaches various organs.

The vagus nerve is also a key part of your parasympathetic "rest and digest" nervous system. It influences your breathing, digestive function and heart rate, all of which can have a huge impact on your mental health.

Comment: The Neurobiology of Grace Under Pressure: 7 habits that stimulate your vagus nerve and keep you calm, cool, and collected
  • The breathing and meditation techniques of the Éiriú Eolas program are geared towards stimulating the vagus nerve. Stimulate your polyvagal system right away at eebreathe.com.



Family

Completely alone and utterly depressed

Do you ever feel like you have been completely abandoned by the world? Do you struggle with feelings of loneliness, isolation and depression? If so, you are far from alone. Thanks to technology Americans are more isolated than they have ever been before, and as you will see below, this is really starting to cause a major national crisis.

Humans were designed to be social creatures, and researchers have found that a lack of interaction with others can cause major mental, emotional and social problems. Not only that, it can also lead to premature death. We actually have a need to love others and to be loved by them, and if those needs are not met the consequences can be quite dramatic.

Comment:


Rainbow

The benefits of solitude: Balm for the harried urban soul

© goosie gander
On April 14, 1934, Richard Byrd went out for his daily walk. The air was the usual temperature: minus 57 degrees Fahrenheit. He stepped steadily through the drifts of snow, making his rounds. And then he paused to listen. Nothing.

He attended, a little startled, to the cloud-high and over-powering silence he had stepped into. For miles around the only other life belonged to a few stubborn microbes that clung to sheltering shelves of ice. It was only 4 p.m., but the land quavered in a perpetual twilight. There was—was there?—some play on the chilled horizon, some crack in the bruised Antarctic sky. And then, unaccountably, Richard Byrd's universe began to expand.

Later, back in his hut, huddled by a makeshift furnace, Byrd wrote in his diary:
Here were imponderable processes and forces of the cosmos, harmonious and soundless. Harmony, that was it! That was what came out of the silence—a gentle rhythm, the strain of a perfect chord, the music of the spheres, perhaps.

It was enough to catch that rhythm, momentarily to be myself a part of it. In that instant I could feel no doubt of man's oneness with the universe.
Admiral Byrd had volunteered to staff a weather base near the South Pole for five winter months. But the reason he was there alone was far less concrete. Struggling to explain his reasons, Byrd admitted that he wanted "to know that kind of experience to the full . . . to taste peace and quiet and solitude long enough to find out how good they really are." He was also after a kind of personal liberty, for he believed that "no man can hope to be completely free who lingers within reach of familiar habits."

Brain

Rewiring the brain can end the cycle of inter-generational poverty

You saw the pictures in science class—a profile view of the human brain, sectioned by function. The piece at the very front, right behind where a forehead would be if the brain were actually in someone's head, is the pre-frontal cortex. It handles problem-solving, goal-setting, and task execution. And it works with the limbic system, which is connected and sits closer to the center of the brain. The limbic system processes emotions and triggers emotional responses, in part because of its storage of long-term memory.

When a person lives in poverty, a growing body of research suggests the limbic system is constantly sending fear and stress messages to the prefrontal cortex, which overloads its ability to solve problems, set goals, and complete tasks in the most efficient ways.

This happens to everyone at some point, regardless of social class. The overload can be prompted by any number of things, including an overly stressful day at work or a family emergency. People in poverty, however, have the added burden of ever-present stress. They are constantly struggling to make ends meet and often bracing themselves against class bias that adds extra strain or even trauma to their daily lives.

And the science is clear—when brain capacity is used up on these worries and fears, there simply isn't as much bandwidth for other things.

People

8 (probable) signs you're being lied to

© Getty Images
How many people have you spoken with today? Chances are that most of them lied to you—and that they did it more than once. It's a hard fact to accept, but even your closest friends and coworkers lie to you regularly.

University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert Feldman has studied lying for more than a decade, and his research has reached some startling conclusions. Most shocking is that 60% of people lie during a typical 10-minute conversation and that they average two to three lies during that short timeframe.

Most of the people in Feldman's studies don't even realize all of the lies they have told until after the conversation when it was played back to them on video.

People lie in everyday conversation to appear more likeable and competent. While men and women lie equally as often, they tend to lie for different reasons. "Women were more likely to lie to make the person they were talking to feel good, while men lied most often to make themselves look better," Feldman said.

Comment: These tells may be a good starting point but there are people in this world who lie without giving anything away.
The Health & Wellness Show: Liar, liar, pants on fire!: The truth about lying


Snakes in Suits

Do psychopaths really make good CEOs? No, they don't

© Inconnu
It's a well-known trope: the powerful, high-earning businessman with the pathologically low levels of empathy. A study showing a high number of CEOs in Silicon Valley who could be clinically diagnosed as psychopaths, therefore, is more likely to elicit a knowing smirk than send shockwaves.

Perhaps because of the legacy of places like the Lehman Brothers and AIG, we are comfortable with the notion that hyper-successful businesses—and by extension, the people who work in them—are fundamentally lacking in characteristics we consider to be basic decency.

The psychopath as a CEO or manager is the embodiment of this. Psychopaths are individuals who "possibly because of brain function abnormalities in the ventro-lateral, orbito-frontal cortex, and amygdala, have no conscience and no ability to love or feel any empathy for other people."

Contrary to popular opinion, psychopathy has little staying power in upper management.

Comment: Funny how the academic community has yet made the logical jump to the following:
Societies that want government and intelligence agencies to operate in ways that benefit society, the environment, and their citizenry, will need to make sure that Political Psychopaths are not running those governments
SOTT has been saying it for years. Andrew Lobaczewski is the only one to have laid it all out. If no one else does, the world is in for a nasty wake-up call.


Boat

The miracle of the present moment

© Zestnow.com
It has happened to all of us that we came under the spell of a moment some time during our life. A beautiful landscape, a sunset, a beautiful piece of art, the rhythm of music enchanted us. It may even happen that we are just lost in the silence of a peaceful moment.

The common feature of these moments is the mind stops working, the reckless stream of thoughts is suspended. Ego disappears, telling personal history stops, and the line of our accustomed identity is broken. Only the spell of the moment, the mysterious shine of the Miracle remains.

Why is this moment so enchanting, what is its secret?

The secret is that when thoughts disappear, so do our problems and conflicts, and we almost forget about all our sufferings. We virtually step out of the psychological time frame, we stop mulling over injuries of the past, and do not build our identity for the future.

We are awake, only the present moment exists for us. Our soul is permeated by the quiet of the Miracle, that is, the Consciousness and the Joy of the Existence.

Unfortunately, these moments do not last long, because the mind starts working again very soon, and begins to control the moment by categorizing it and giving it a name. "Ah, yes, how beautiful is this sunset" and the tumbleweed of thinking starts tumbling again: "It reminds me of last summer, when...".

Comment: The importance of 'the moment'


Heart

The placebo effect can help mend a broken heart

© zimmytws / Fotolia
This is the first study to measure placebos' impact on emotional pain from romantic rejection.
Feeling heartbroken from a recent breakup? Just believing you're doing something to help yourself get over your ex can influence brain regions associated with emotional regulation and lessen the perception of pain.

That's the takeaway from a new University of Colorado Boulder study that measured the neurological and behavioral impacts the placebo effect had on a group of recently broken-hearted volunteers.

"Breaking up with a partner is one of the most emotionally negative experiences a person can have, and it can be an important trigger for developing psychological problems," said first author and postdoctoral research associate Leonie Koban, noting that such social pain is associated with a 20-fold higher risk of developing depression in the coming year. "In our study, we found a placebo can have quite strong effects on reducing the intensity of social pain."

For decades, research has shown that placebos -- sham treatments with no active ingredients -- can measurably ease pain, Parkinson's disease and other physical ailments.

The new study, published in March in the Journal of Neuroscience, is the first to measure placebos' impact on emotional pain from romantic rejection.

Comment: For more information on the power of placebo, see: The Health & Wellness Show: Placebos: When Nothing Really Matters