Let’s sit and talk for a moment together about this whole consciousness wave some of us are riding these days. Maybe grab yourself a coffee (or tea if you are more inclined. I will do another blog on my thoughts on coffee & caffeine & consciousness soon!) relax, snuggle up on your sofa or sit back in your favourite coffee shop or office chair and take a deep breath and now let it out slowly…
Wherever you are right now, just be. Breathe. Detach from everything around you and focus your intention inwards, towards yourself and your own energy flowing inside you. Pull it all in and just relax into it. Close your eyes for a moment now and just do it again a few more times.
Feel good? Good. It should. And the more you do it, the better it will feel. Do do it often. Set up a time in your day (preferrably when you wake up in the morning) to meditate. Start with small increments if you are not familiar with this practice and work up to 20 minutes every day. Your life will change. I promise you.
I teach meditation classes and workshops through my healing arts practice in Vancouver, BC and will write much more on the practice of it, the mental, emotional and physical benefits of it and how it can be used as a tool in transforming ones life and experience in future posts, but for today, let’s take a sip of that cozy coffee and get back to the topic of consciousness and what it means in the context of my blogs, writings and work in counselling & psychology.
Consciousness in psychological terms refers to the fact of awareness of the state of the mind and of the world around it. It is how we view and process our thoughts and everything around us. Technically speaking, the brain does not house a specific area that is known to produce conscious thought, not one that we have discovered as of yet anyways. We have discovered where memories are stored, emotions and how they physically react in our brains and bodies and the areas of the brain that are linked to many other physical and emotional responses but not what the source of our consciousness is. Our brains and mental perceptions really are the final frontier in the exploration of our inner universe which I love to see as just the reflection of what we are exploring in our external realms. As above, so below so to speak.
So if we cannot understand where our thoughts come from on a scientific basis, maybe we need to look to the other end of the spectrum for some insights. Spirituality in all of its splendor and manifestations of religions, practices and beliefs has a lot to offer us in terms of exploring psychology. In my experience, psychology & spirituality are two sides of the same coin. The dichotomy of life so to speak. Everything has a flip side but ultimately, you can not have one without the other. They compliment one another by shining the light on the differences they are which actually brings them together in perfect alchemy. Day & night, light & dark, ebb & flow, attachment & detachment. Opposites tend to attract and that is the reason why. And it’s a beautiful thing if you can see it from this perspective. That it is all allowing growth and awareness to unfold within us and that is what is propelling our evolvement both individually and as a human collective.
To to increase our conscious awareness of all this life experience has to offer us, is the reason we are here. In order to enjoy our lives and live our lives to the fullest, we must first understand how life works. Once we do, we can then harness the power we have within us to consciously create the life of our dreams through focussed intentions. How often do we feel victims of life? How often do we feel that life is happening to us and not for us? How often do we dream of things being different for ourselves and the world around us? Quite a lot if you pause to think about it. So please do. For a moment think of your life and what is working for you and what isn’t. Is there something in your life you would like to change? Is there something that has been a constant struggle for you and you cannot figure out why no matter how hard you try? We all have our struggles and areas we would like to work on but so often we just find ourselves in a rut about those exact things. Unable to move forward for weeks, months, years, even decades sometimes as was in my case. If we are able to shift our perspective, our focus, then we can begin to make way. In spiritual terms this would be seen as as an awakening experience. The expansion of our conditioned minds to begin to see another dimension and way of doing and seeing life. In psychological terms we call this, a rewiring of our neurons or learning new patterns of being. Either way you choose to look at it, change is occurring at the basis of it, propelling you forward into becoming a newer you. Helping you move more into who you really are and out of past conditioned ideas of who you are and what life is all about and how you fit into it. You see, this conditioned mind state I speak of is the part of us that has been made up of all our life experiences as a whole from pre-conception onwards. I say pre-conception because it is now scientifically proven that our DNA includes experiences, personal preferences, gifts and talents that are passed down from generations just like our blue eyes or button noses are. Nature vs. nurture is still an ongoing debate but one we can now see also engulfs both aspects of each side of that coin we were talking about earlier. So to say it’s one or the other is really a misunderstanding of that dichotomy that creates life as we know it (more on awakenings & genetic traits passed down through DNA in future posts). So these minds that we think of as us, as who we are, we need to understand are very similar to computers and computer programming. Just as a computer can be programmed by whatever is out into it, so are our minds. On every level. We are most often not even aware of the programming that gas made us into ”us”, but its there from the start. Through our genetic code, our family of origin, our culture, society and of course the media that all surrounds us. When you take a step back and look at what makes you, ”you”, you can begin to see that perhaps your beliefs align to a religion that all of your family has been a part of for many generations, maybe just like your mother you prefer classical music to rock, or just like your father you have an organized way of doing things around the house. These are of course very surface topics but we can expand our conversation by adding to it our views on sexuality and what it means to us as well as our world views and how we came to see through the particular lens that is our perspective. What matters in all of this is not what has made us ”us” so to speak, but it is the idea that if we can see what things in our lives have shaped us, then we have a third party view of ourselves and are able to see how we have integrated these experiences into our lives and if we actually want to keep them as a part of our identity. Knowing that we have the insight and subsequently the power to change ourselves from the inside out is ultimately the gift of consciousness.
When we are able to break free from past ways of being and doing life, we become free to explore and expand who we are and make choices in the matter on paving the way to becoming who we want to be. And that my dear reader, is why I am here. To tell you and to show you the path to knowing and claiming your inner power and freedom so that you can become the conscious creator of your life and your life experiences. So you fully understand how important you are to this whole unfolding universe and that those longings deep inside you for a better, richer, more fulfilling life are your souls call to live the life you came here to live and in doing do shine your true essence out to a world that so needs authentic people paving the path to higher living.
I will leave you with a quote from the writer and spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson. This quote fared me well during a growth period in my own life and I hope it adds to your journey too. As I hope my own words have as well.
”Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”.
So shine on you beautiful souls you! But first, finish that coffee and digest all this wisdom.
With much love & adoration,