What Are We Without Empathy?

I was watching the other day a documentary about a serial killer and how he tortured his victims. I hate such types of programs yet what interests me about them is how the criminals they talk about can ‘have the heart’ to hurt fellow human beings or even anything living at all. The documentary explained eventually that when the criminal’s brain was scanned, it was concluded that the special place for Empathy inside his brain had been damaged in an accident when he was a child, for which reason, he was feeling no pity nor repentance while committing those crimes.

This all drove me to wonder ‘WHAT are we without empathy?’, and the reason why I am choosing to use the word ‘what’ as opposed to ‘who’ is because the latter indicates that the individual is still considered a human being, which may entail that he or she may actually have feelings underneath the corrupted crust inside his or her brain.

So ‘what’ do we become without empathy?

In order to answer that, we should have a look at what Empathy means and entails.

Dr. Daniel Goleman in his world-famous book “Emotional Intelligence: Why EQ Matters More Than IQ” mentions an incident in Germany, whereby a bike driver had been hit by a car, and remained laying flat to the side of the road completely ignored. He said drivers in surrounding cars were looking at him without feelings/impressions on their faces awaiting their traffic lights to turn green.  It may seem surprising to you or to most of us, but obviously it wasn’t surprising to those fellow drivers who didn’t even care to take that poor biker to the hospital.

Some may say that in this day and age, chivalry has almost disappeared from our glossary. There may not be time for it basically. Also, since time equals money to most of us, then actions that may delay us, can be easily assessed as futile. Some may say that life has become all about money. Others may acknowledge that and still see that there are those who are considered leaders socially who always make this extra step that no one else seems willing to do, without asking anything in return, and despite the fact that he or she may be late to their appointments as a result.

So it boils down to one’s ethics too. So for example, if a manager appreciates the concepts of family, he may not accept that his employees remain after working hours trying to make ends meet, because he may value and acknowledge that his employees actually deserve a rest, family time and right to have a life. Therefore, meanwhile he may push his employees’ performance and urge them to progress with more passion, he would still remind them that work is just part of their lives, and not a reason to forget about life.

However, when we say ethics, we may associate that with a higher brain functionality, one that is totally contradictory to the basic needs (instincts) of a primitive mind. Yet in fact, ethics can also be an organic product of one’s feelings and one’s own level of emotional intelligence. It is like having  looking inward towards yourselves and emotions with the same lens, through which you look on other people’s feelings outside of you, thus, being able to establish an understanding or a connection between you and them. The more you learn to discern your emotions, the more expert you become in doing that, which in turn translates into better relationships and success in connecting with others. In other words, it is said that one who understands one’s own feelings is usually more effective in responding to other people’s feelings in return. This goes along the famous quote by Plato: “Know Thyself“.

So empathy basically is discerning your own emotions and learning to discern others’ the same way, to a degree that you put yourself in their place and imagine how it would be to be experiencing what they experience. Sounds too much, especially in this fast-paced age, but actually we see aspects of empathy wherever we go. As a matter of fact, it has been proven scientifically that we are wired for empathy. For example, if we watch someone down the street walking with a heavy stack of books or boxes, we automatically shrink our faces and imagine that we are the ones who are carrying that load.

Empathy

Empathy (Photo credit: TonZ)

Empathy is also proven to exit naturally in human from a very young age, like when a child sees another child that’s crying. It automatically starts crying too. If a child sees happy kids, he or she automatically starts mimicking that in return. Even most animals have different degrees of genuine empathy. We can see this in a mother animal caressing her children, or when we see two swans leaning their heads against one another forming a shape of a heart.

So how would a natural quality that allows humans, despite all of their differences (age, race, faith, gender, etc.) connect and unit with one another any time anywhere? How valuable is this unique quality to us? Are we willing to oppress it or improve it?  Is it worth stopping to help out someone who seems in dire need of help?

On the other hand, what happens if we oppress our own feelings of empathy? Does this make us less human? What would a person become without empathy? I was thinking of all these questions,and realized that human fixation can be as deep as a black hole. The more one looks inwards, the more experiences one is exposed to. It also depends on the way you are looking. For example, there are those who look inwards with a loner’s attitude, reminiscing of a happy past or negatively dwelling on how unlucky one had always been. The result of such perspective conjures up even more sadness, loneliness, sense of isolation and negativity. Also, too much inward fixation can lead to a major shift of attention to the outside world and the healthy human need to socialize with other people and integrate with new potential happy encounters. When one is too focused on pitying oneself, the less empathy one is going to feel for others, thus the more distant one may become to surrounding happenings and people around one or in the world.

Empathy is said to bring people closer to one another by being able to identify with each other’s feelings and needs. It is also said to be the mother of compassion. Alfred Adler described it as “seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.”

Eyebrows can also help portray empathy.

Eyebrows can also help portray empathy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the other hand, individuals with an abusive or aggressive past may lack empathy too, as their past experiences may have turned them into beast-like humans: aggressive, selfish or a victim to one’s own primitive instincts that once they get fulfilled, one may repetitively yearn for more. Some scientist once said such individuals become more like vampires or human predators. Vampires don’t have empathy, and the more they drain a human of blood, the more blood they crave.  However, both modes (the introvert and predator) can share one common tendency, which is to constantly seek sensual satisfaction through whichever way possible, and they can become not deterred by ethical or moral inhibitions that a healthy person shuns away from.

So all that brings us to the main question, which is the title of this article: What (not Who) Are We Without Empathy?


“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us “universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”  Albert Einstein

Stress Makes Us Less Intelligent and More Physically Sick

One key reason why the sciences of Emotional Intelligence and Cognitive Behavioral Psychology are gaining more fame nowadays is because they are succeeding in explaining the physical implications of our beliefs and feelings. Feelings have been marginalized for centuries, as they have been considered to make ‘weaker’.

IQ or mathematical intelligence has been considered the key indicator of intelligence for ages. Yet, many intelligent and professionally successful individuals are still unhappy.

How about beliefs? What are beliefs?

Beliefs are the filters that we go on in life composing and looking at life’s events from behind them. These filters are also managing the way we feel and interact with those events. As a result, people whose beliefs are negative, end up with a poor health, and those with positive beliefs live longer, have healthier bodies and are generally more successful in surviving than those with negative beliefs.
Does this mean our health, success and happiness are all subject to operations that happen inside our brains, rather than anywhere else in our bodies?

Certainly! It has been proven that whatever the brain thinks and feels about a particular topic, it is interpreted and manifested in physical ways. Feelings trigger thousands of chemicals that flood our bodies and blood stream at the same time  we are experiencing them. Remembering them also can trigger the same kind of chemicals.

Therefore, feelings should not be marginalized. Rather, they need to be viewed and monitored. The types of chemicals that are triggered when we are sad, mad, angry or stressed for example can have an even more powerful effect than an actual accident physically affecting the body.

Check out this amazing documentary that is definitely worth watching to the end by Dr. Bruce Liptop, who explains the Biology of Belief, and how beliefs can actually lead us to make less intelligent choices in life, get increasingly more sick, and jeopardize our lives:

Be kind to yourself. This is the real secret to a better health, a happier life and a more successful life path.

Cheers!

Who Would You Be Without Your Story?

Byron Katie so wisely repeatedly asks her clients: “Who would you be without your story?

This question has fascinated me the moment I heard it.

Of course this question can be understood in two ways: One way is who would you be if whatever happened to you in your life (that forms your life story) never happened?

The other meaning is the implication of what kind of person you have become as a result of having experienced your story in your life. In this article, I am using this meaning.

I have dealt with so many people who told me their stories in such heartfelt manner that was bound to capture my listening. Their fears, worries, pains, and memories formed unique constellations of meanings and emotions that demanded my respect and admiration for the strength they did not know they had.

When people talk about their problems, they do not immediately realize that the mere thing that aches them is the source of insight in their lives. The human psyche and brain are two miraculous creatures that are worth nothing but respect.

I see with people shedding their tears over stories that break their hearts. I hear people talk about themselves as if they were inferior or less perfect than others whom they admire. I deal with people who feel deep sadness or shame for leading unproductive lives, and wishing for ones that are more perfect.

I always listen to them with so much respect and say: Who would you be without your story? If you meet someone who is going through exactly the same story, you’d have so much knowledge and support for them, which will help them find solutions, like you did.

Our stories differentiate us and make us unique. Our ways of reacting to them is the signature we leave in this world. Why feel ashamed of it if with the knowledge you got out of it, you can help tens of people going through the same circumstances?

It’s important not to dwell on the past, but to harness the experience you got from it in ways that will help others around you. We all have problems, but the best of us are those who use the seed of knowledge in planting trees, whose fruits can brighten (benefit) other people’s lives.

I always invite people to remember who they really are and who they truly wish to be in this life.

In conclusion, there are two powerful questions that sum up what a person is all about:

What is your story? (Past)

and

What legacy do you wish to leave in this world? (Future)

When Do You Decide Enough Is Enough?

I’ve been wondering all day what makes one say “Enough is enough”?

When does one draw the line between what’s been going on in the past and what will happen in the future?

Where does the decisions to stop accepting old patterns, conjure up a long-awaited strength, and look for a better alternative, come from?

Does it come from our hearts, minds or souls? Or is it a mixture of all?

I recall in the past that whenever I didn’t listen to my intuition, which was telling me to do or reject doing something, I always ended up regretting it. Therefore, a long time ago, I learned that whenever there was a contradiction between my heart and mind, to always follow my intuition (i.e. heart or hunch).

The mind can be tricked yet it is there to serve a purpose. Most people across history have believed that emotions are there to delude us; that following them leads to misery. Therefore, mind has always been given the preference and the value to be labelled as ‘the decision-maker’ and the ‘manager’ of everything that has been going on in our brains.

Yet, what is science is proving nowadays is that the most authentic resource of our true preferences towards matters comes from our emotions. They are like miraculously individual inner compasses that are not lured or affected by opinions, appearances, benefits, etc. Each person has an inner compass that points in an independent direction that is not ruled by society or one’s mind. It talks to us through the inner hunches we may experience. That is why it is such a waste of resource and chance for authenticity to ignore those hunches, and follow what you think is ‘logical’, just because your mind is telling you so.

Listening to one’s mind is like relying on a traffic controller to shepherd your thoughts through directions it thinks they logically fit into. However, combining both, emotions and mind power, one can harness two key resources that can best lead us toward what we really want and align them with where we truly wish to go.

Our minds may force us to accept ‘realities’ as a given, and they may lead us to seek and follow a path that deep inside we may not want to be moving in. Our emotions never sleep or lie. They’re always there, and they tell us what our honest attitudes are toward things, yet we mostly choose not to listen to them out of fear to lose our way. Society has created this fear, but has it really allowed us to listen to our own intuition about things? Are we aware enough of our values and life purpose, to an extent where we’d prefer to listen to our inner compasses as opposed to just go with the flow or moving on autopilot?

I believe that no matter how much we may repress our inner hunches (intuition, true selves, etc.), they eventually come forward in a form of rebellion against our own brains and lives. This is where we may choose to draw the line between what we thought was good, and what we really want to be doing instead.

So what do you think? When would you draw the line and decide enough is enough?

Contradiction, Propaganda, or Irony of Fate?

I was talking with some friends today who came from different cultural backgrounds. One of them, who came from a ‘third world’ country, was telling us about a conversation he had with a Western guy he worked with. They were both talking about wars, and how the Western world has been invading countries for many years and controlling or confiscating their  resources. So the first guy was wondering what the logic behind doing that. So the Western guy answered: Isn’t it better that our countries invade those other countries, use their resources for the sake of research and development and make better use of it, than to keep them in the hands of their tyrant leaders?

So the guy remained silent after hearing his answer, and said: I was speechless! I couldn’t argue with him!

So we all stayed quiet for a few minutes then one of the group said: How come the Western world has run miles in progress, and came up with huge technologies, yet has been a main part in polluting the environment of the world we live in today?

Another guy replied: That’s true. How come throughout the centuries, other civilizations had come up with remarkable technologies that did not pollute the environment? Are we really more civilized than them? If so, why are we killing more animals on land and in the sea each year because of the polluting ‘mistakes’ we hear about in the news?

I thought to myself: How come we’re so advanced medicinally and personally health aware yet our societies suffer from cancers, heart attack, poisoning, etc.?

The conversation was very interesting. Is it contradiction, propaganda or irony of fate that we live in?

How come people around the globe are more sick than ever, live shorter than ever, and our resources (which have survived centuries) are being depleted worse than ever?

How come our lives are run by time-and-effort-saving technologies yet we suffer from a constant detachment from reality and reasoning? How come we’re constantly distracted and rushing in a hurry to get somewhere or do something? How come our civilizations have human-rights entities yet our troops end up abusing other nations or themselves? How come our needs are more than satisfied yet we are least happy with what we’ve got?

Really, do we live in contradiction, or is it a propaganda that we have learned to live by, or is it simply an irony of fate?

What do you think? :-)

What Makes Us Tick?

 

What makes you tick? Is it anger, provocation, a rude attitude by someone you never respected, or a repeated mistake?

What makes your heart beat faster? Fear or love?

Is it devotion that you feel every time you remember a loved one (a mother, a partner, a sister, etc)?

Why do we still continue to go about our lives neglecting our simplest yet most significant emotions, thinking that there would always be time to sort them out later?

Why do most of us ignore their emotions altogether? Is it busyness that keeps us from giving value to our emotions or is it something deeper?

Perhaps it is an underlying belief and an almost absolute perspective on a particular subject that leads you to eventually ignore your true feelings towards it?

Are we really the person who is living our life? Or do we constantly envisage another world, through which you see yourself differently from the way we see ourselves?

Are we stuck in a particularly unsatisfying zone? Where do we wish to leave it for?

All these questions make me wonder what is really the end point, at which we stop tolerating the abuse (whether we cause to ourselves or allow others to cause upon us). If we are aware of the answer, then what are we waiting for?

A savior? But who is a better savior for you than yourself?

A savior is a perspective in the mind, which leads us to refuse a wrong situation we are in, and choose one that allows us to flourish and prosper. If we couple positive perspective with productive action then we’re bound to get to where we really wanna be. Only there, no one and nothing can make us tick, for we won’t be feeling on the edge anymore, and the peace we feel then can spread around contagiously inspiring other success stories with the people we share our success with.

What do you think?

Upgrade Thanksgiving With a Gratitude Visit from Positive Psychology

Upgrade Thanksgiving With a Gratitude Visit from Positive Psychology.

What Leaders Can Learn from Wild Animal Trainers

What Leaders Can Learn from Wild Animal Trainers.

 

The Online Brain by Daniel Goleman

The Online Brain by Daniel Goleman.

 

100 Ways to Elevate Your Consciousness

I came across this fantastic list of ways to elevate one’s consciousness at Waking Times: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2011/12/27/100-ways-to-become-more-conscious-how-to-raise-your-consciousness/

Just by reading through, you feel you are already connecting with your self and consciousness.

Enjoy!

100 Ways To Elevate Your Consciousness

December 27, 2011 | By | 29 Replies

Wiki Image

Drew
4 Mind 4 Life

1. Connect with nature – Go for a walk in the forest, jungle, field of daisies, or wherever you feel like getting a connection with nature. It is possible to feel at deep sense of peace and oneness when you attempt to connect with nature. As you learn to connect and appreciate nature, you allow your consciousness to rise up.

2. Get your body moving – Exercise and dancing will raise your consciousness by promoting healthy brainwave patterns, healthy neurotransmitter levels, and great circulation throughout your nervous system. Help yourself rise up and break the pattern of not exercising by going for a friendly walk with one of your friends or even going to the club to dance. Both examples are: easy, fun, and empowering.

3. Simple meditation - Whether you are an advanced meditator or a beginner, the benefits are tremendous and will allow you to tap into your highest state of conscious functioning if you stick around long enough. It is an act that will definitely raise your conscious awareness and allow you to attain greater focus, discipline, and develop a deeper joyous connection to life.

4. Spending time with true friends - Find only friends that align with who you are, your beliefs, and your values – they will make you more conscious. These are your true friends, and though they can be tough to find, they should definitely be cherished. Give some of your true friends a call and make it a habit to spend more time with them.

5. Have the intention to “raise your consciousness” – If you have the intention to raise your consciousness and state of awareness, you are on the right track. Having the intention alone will make you more focused on finding ways to raise your consciousness.

6. Tell the truth - Anytime you tell the truth, you raise your level of consciousness. Why do people tell lies? To protect themselves in lower states of consciousness. People in higher states of consciousness don’t lie because they want to be true to themselves, others, and make relationships in humanity more conscious.

7. Find and live your purpose - Searching for a purpose will help you find your true purpose here on Earth. When you find your purpose and are able to share it with the rest of the world, you will continue to raise your level of consciousness.

8. Take conscious control of your decisions - When you take conscious control of all your decisions, you are actually activating certain neural pathways in your brain that help promote self-control, calmness, and inner peace. Every time you allow others to dictate your decisions or you don’t take full conscious responsibility for your decisions, you become slightly conditioned to be less conscious when making choices.

9. Always be open-minded - Being open-minded is a key aspect in the process of becoming a more conscious individual. When you haven’t accepted the diversity that our planet has to offer: ranging from different cultures, religions, wildlife, and beliefs, you will stay in your same state of consciousness or drop to a lower state. Being open-minded doesn’t only need to be for beliefs either. It can be having an open-mind to try something new such as: a new exercise routine, spiritual practice, or trying a new food.

10. Pursue higher intelligence - There are many ways to become more intelligent. Not everyone is intelligent in every area of their life. Some people are more emotionally intelligent, some have a higher I.Q., while some are more spiritually intelligent. All forms of intelligence increases and enhancements will help you on your journey towards expanding your awareness and becoming a more conscious human being.

11. Treat yourself with respect - Having respect for yourself and your actions will ultimately boost the amount of love that you express towards yourself and others. Make wise, respectful decisions that reflect your values and have strong respect for your personal beliefs. Treating others with respect will help you become a more conscious human being too, but before you can respect others properly, you must first learn to show the utmost respect towards yourself.

12. Practice forgiveness - Forgiving yourself can be very difficult sometimes: especially if you are operating in a lower state of consciousness. Realize that in order to rise up, advance, and become a more conscious person, you must be compassionate and forgiving towards yourself. Any hateful thoughts or pent up negative emotions that you may be holding towards yourself need to be released. Negative thoughts and emotions can easily lower our level of consciousness if we do not practice compassion and forgiveness.

13. Cultivate a “high-performance mind” - Cultivating a high-performance mind is a very fun, invigorating process that involves consciously accessing the brainwave state that you consciously choose, whenever you feel it is appropriate for a certain situation. Since their is no single best brainwave state to live life in, it helps to train our mind to consciously be able to “switch” states upon command. For those who want to understand more about developing a high-performance mind, I recommend that you go check out the book The High Performance Mind by Anna Wise.

14. Connect through prayer – The act of simply closing your eyes, folding your hands and saying a prayer will raise your level of consciousness. There are many different ways to practice prayer and there are many different practices, that when combined with prayer, enhance the power of your conscious message. Overall, prayer is a great experience that has potential to aid in your conscious awareness.

15. Challenge your belief system - This one can be difficult for many individuals due to the influence of imprinted beliefs by their parents or guardians during childhood. Some examples of beliefs that you could change include: dietary (changing to a vegetarian), spiritual (from Christianity to Atheism – or vice versa), emotional (from sadness to happiness), etc. By changing your belief system and experimenting with new beliefs, you make yourself more conscious of life’s endless possibilities.

16. Befriend like-minded individuals - On your journey towards becoming a more conscious individual, befriending like-minded people can be extremely helpful. If you are going through many spiritual, emotional, and mental changes without the company of others, the process can be much more difficult and confusing than when you have a guide, guru, or some friends that are traveling at a similar pace to you. Not only is being around like-minded individuals healthy, and optimal for your consciousness, it will ultimately give you more joy in life!

17. Pursue a path of spirituality - Pursuing a path of spirituality and becoming more spiritual will aid you considerably in the process of becoming a more conscious human being. Never be afraid to add a new spiritual practice to your arsenal – you never know what may be most effective or a life changing experience.

18. Express gratitude - Expressing gratitude on a daily basis is a very positive, fulfilling exercise to practice. Ways to express gratitude on a daily basis include: giving thanks for your food, expressing gratitude for yourself and others through prayer (as discussed earlier), complimenting others, and letting another person know that you are thankful for having them in your life. By sharing and expressing gratitude, you feel extremely satisfied and will become more consciously aware of the things that you truly appreciate in life.

19. Make yourself happy - What sort of things make you happy? The answer is usually different for everyone. You can do yourself a favor right now by making a long list of everything that makes you happy in life and acting on your listed items. Feeling and experiencing happiness in your life also will give you the powerful drive that it takes to make yourself more conscious.

20. Act on your desires - Simply having any form of desire will raise your consciousness. Desire encourages us to take action to advance consciously. The state of apathy, or not caring about your consciousness, will naturally lower your consciousness. Desire is a powerful way to raise your consciousness.

21. Boost your brain power and functioning - There are many helpful exercises that you can do to boost your brain power and overall level of functioning. One of my most popular articles, 50 Ways To Boost Your Brain Power, should get you on the right track if you are currently confused about the topic. Raising your level of consciousness will naturally boost your overall brain power, and boosting your brain power will raise your level of consciousness; both affect each other in equal proportion.

22. Take full control of your lifestyle - Are you living the lifestyle that you feel is most beneficial for your mental and physical wellbeing? Maybe there are certain bad habits that you need to get rid of or certain good habits that you’d like to implement in your daily routine. Don’t be afraid to act now and make necessary positive changes in your lifestyle to help you take full conscious control.

23. Choose empowering beliefs - In the process of changing beliefs, choose beliefs that are empowering to your soul. A good way to know what belief will be empowering is to simply ask yourself how you feel about adding the new belief. If you feel a strong connection with a new belief, such as feelings of excitement, it will probably be a very good choice of a belief to implement. Make a conscious effort to purge all beliefs that are less than satisfying. Understand also that as you become a more conscious human being, changing your beliefs will become a much easier, more natural process.

24. Avoid physical fighting and abuse - Physical fighting stems from emotional misunderstandings, hatred, and negative emotional expressions. Fighting can be described as the opposite of peace. Physical fighting and other forms of abuse can really do a great job at distracting us from becoming more conscious human beings. Anything that you can do to stop physical fighting and abuse will ultimately make you and the individuals involved more consciously aware.

25. Be aware and accepting of your emotions - No matter your current emotions, you will profoundly help yourself if you are accepting of them. Going through life resisting your emotions and trapping them inside yourself makes life much more difficult. Trying to escape from our emotions lowers our awareness. When you accept what you feel and consciously understand why you feel a certain emotion, your level of consciousness rises.

26. Speak compassionately - When having conversation with others, do you choose your words wisely? Or are you the type of person who could care less what you say? The truth is, people who choose their words wisely and consciously think during conversation are the ones who show greater respect for themselves and more compassion for others. Make a conscious effort to speak compassionately and positive results will follow.

27. Think positive, act positive, be positive - Being a positive influence sets a good example for others and for yourself. Positivity and states of being positive are direct effects of raising your consciousness. I highly recommend trying to be a more positive person in all areas of life; you will notice and feel the beneficial changes in your awareness.

28. Have sex with your partner - Having sexual intercourse is a great way to spread and share your love with another person. The best way to have sexual intercourse is with another positive, healthy, person in which you fully love and trust. Having sexual intercourse is a loving way of transferring and sharing energy with another person. No matter who you have sexual intercourse with, there can be significant conscious benefits.

29. Identify with your soul - Realize that at your core, you are a spiritual being who is living in a physical body. In lower stages of consciousness, this concept may seem unrealistic and may be very difficult to grasp. As you become better at identifying with your soul, you become better at working your way up the mountain of consciousness.

30. See perceived faults as a “mirror image” - When you look at the faults of others and identify faults in other people, use them as a teaching tool for yourself. The people that are in your life weren’t put there by mistake, they were put there to teach you something about yourself. By being able to take personal responsibility for what is being displayed by others into your conscious focus, you can take the information and make very positive changes.

31. Expand your horizons - Trying something new can pertain to any area of your life. Maybe you want to try to add a new healthy habit to your daily routine, shop at an organic store, or even host a block party for the first time. Having courage raises your consciousness and by constantly trying new things, you boost your cognitive ability to adapt and push through any lower states of fear.

32. Face your deepest fears - Are there any fears that you’re holding inside that are prevent you from making conscious advancement? At certain stages along the ladder of consciousness, it can be extremely difficult to face your fears. With that said, facing your fears will equip your consciousness with more empowerment and energy. Healthy fears include: giving a speech, singing in front of others, or throwing a party; this would be a great list of fears to go out and conquer! The choice to face these will help you considerably in your ability to make conscious advances.

33. Use powerful incantations - Incantations are simply words or phrases repeated over and over with emotional intensity for personal or spiritual benefit. They have commonly been used in religious practices to praise certain Gods or deities, but they have also be used for personal development and in the process of becoming more conscious. No matter what way you choose to use incantations, they can be very helpful and a powerful catalyst for helping you become more conscious.

34. Practice positive affirmations - Affirmations are a bit different than using incantations, though the concepts are very similar. Affirmations are used to change beliefs and thinking patterns. Examples of positive affirmations include: “I am healthy,” “I am positive,” and “I am intelligent.” The primary goal of using affirmations should be to replace unhealthy beliefs and thought patterns with healthier ones; making it easier to scale the mountain of consciousness.

35. Be aware of your state of consciousness - Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of their current state of consciousness or what even defines consciousness. You may not even be consciously aware of the many diverse possible states of consciousness due to the fact that you may have only experienced one primary state of functioning throughout your lifetime. If you are a person who hasn’t experienced other states or most importantly cannot seem to understand your own state, you are definitely missing out some important aspects and understandings of conscious perception.

36. Set a positive example for others - Setting a positive example for others can pertain to any area of life and is highly encouraged. Setting a healthy, positive example for others to follow spreads a direct positive image into the lives and minds of others. Trying to consciously set a good example for others, will further raise your consciousness. Setting a bad example, or unconscious example, will slow, halt, or reverse your current conscious development.

37. Guide others interested in raising their consciousness - There are many ways to aid others in the process of raising their awareness, especially if you are a more consciously advanced individual. Chances are good that you’ll need to do some personal work with raising your own consciousness before you can put yourself in an effective position to help others raise their consciousness. What you may want to do, though, is encourage others to practice some items in this article or others on 4 Mind 4 Life dot com.

38. Share your unique insight and wisdom - Everyone has a different perspective based on their personal experience, purpose, and personality. Therefore, each individual has a unique form of insight that they can share with others. There are endless ways and opportunities for you to express and share your knowledge with others. All that you need to do is take action towards finding a medium most effective for allowing you to share your insight.

39. Gain wisdom from others - No single person holds all the wisdom of the universe in their brain. For this reason, it is important to study the wisdom of others and try to apply their wisdom to your life. As mentioned earlier, everyone has a unique perspective and knowledge-base to bring to the table. Studying the wisdom of others can be done in many ways. Examples include: meeting face-to-face with a more consciously advanced individual and ask them for life advice, reading positivity and personal development websites from several different sources, or maybe attending different personal development seminars.

40. Keep your ego in check - The more aware you are of your ego, the easier it is to become more conscious. With that said, as your awareness increases, so does your state of consciousness. The reverse also applies: as your consciousness increases, so does your awareness. Letting our ego get out of control and take the driver’s seat in our consciousness has potential to quickly lower our state of functioning. Taking full control and responsibility to keep your ego in check when faced with adversity will allow you to consciously advance in a much healthier manner.

41. Practice personal development - Taking action to better your life through the concept of personal development is an extremely effective way to make yourself a more conscious human being. Think of personal development as the act of upgrading every area of your life to function at the highest possible level: health, finances, relationships, etc. Virtually all aspects of personal development lead to greater conscious development in one way or another.

42. Shift your conscious focus - Being preoccupied with thoughts of past events and of the future has potential to lead your consciousness in the wrong direction. Focusing your attention on this exact moment (commonly referred to as “the now”), however, is a great way to raise your level of awareness. By learning techniques that allow you to shift your awareness to this exact moment, you can work wonders in the process of conscious advancement.

43. Be energetic - Being energetic can be very powerful for advancing your state of consciousness and for inspiring others to become more consciously advanced. Your body can become energized and your brain can become energized. When both are operating in at maximum intensity and energy, you are said to be in a state of peak conscious performance.

44. Make healthy dietary changes - Making healthy dietary changes means searching to find the best possible diet to fit your mental needs, physical needs, spiritual needs; to fit your needs. Are you fully conscious of what you are consuming? In order to boost your own level of consciousness, it is important to be fully aware of the food in which you are consuming in your diet and to be respectful and accepting of the diets of other individuals without making negative judgments.

45. Accept others for who they are - As mentioned above in being conscious of what you eat, it is important to be accepting of the diets that others choose to use. Whether they make a conscious decision to have an unhealthy diet or unconscious decision, accept their actions. Accepting others can apply to every area of life. No matter if you disagree with another person’s actions, disagree with their personality, or disagree with their perception of life, it is important to accept them for who they are and not try to force changes upon them. Settle your disagreements with other individuals by purely accepting them for who they are.

46. Accept and love yourself for who are - Life’s journey becomes much easier and significantly enriched if you can learn to accept yourself for who you are. Depending on your current state of consciousness, it may be difficult to love and accept who you are. Take the time to count your blessings, be accepting of yourself and your level of consciousness. Realize that at this current moment you are doing the best that you know how to do in order to advance consciously.

47. Understand your own thought process - An extremely effective way to become more conscious is to take note of your thought process and understand it to the best of your ability. I’ve seen many people run themselves in mental circles due to an ineffective understanding of their own thought process. Being consciously aware of your thoughts and why you are thinking them is a key step towards creating an accurate understanding of your reality.

48. Bless everything that happens - There are times throughout life when amazing things happen to us and other times when upsetting events take place. Just like accepting who you are is a great habit to get into, you should also learn to bless everything that happens in your life. No matter how bad an event, it has potential to make a positive impact on your life in the long run. Your ability to bless and appreciate, even what may be initially perceived as a worst case scenario, will ultimately provide you great conscious satisfaction.

49. Take time for internal reflection - In my opinion, taking time for internal reflection is the single most effective way to learn more about yourself and your current state of consciousness. Internal reflection will certainly help you better understand your thoughts, emotions, spirituality, and provide clarity in your current life situation. If you don’t currently take time to internally reflect, you could very well start up a 20 minute meditation routine each morning and observe the difference it quickly makes in your state of consciousness.

50. Focus on advancing consciously - In the process of conscious development, it’s important to focus exactly on what you are trying to accomplish: the act of becoming more conscious. During this process, it is important to tune out all unhealthy distractions such as: negative relationships, abuse, fighting, illicit drugs, etc. If you allow yourself to become distracted with unhealthy, unconscious habits, then act of advancing consciously will become a much more difficult or slower process than normal.

51. Be aware of your breathing - Being aware of your breathing means being fully conscious of your breathing pattern. Being aware of how you are breathing is important. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that there is actually a proper way to breathe. A way of breathing that is optimal for your body and brain. Proper breathing involves inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth upon every breath. The process of becoming more aware of my breathing through exercises like meditation and conscious breathing have significantly helped me increase my overall level of focus, emotional stability, and level of consciousness.

52. Spend more time with yourself - In the fast-paced lifestyle of the 21st century, it is very common for people to spend time with others, yet never take personal time to spend with themselves and focus on their own life. If you are an individual who is currently not taking enough time for yourself each day, try starting up a personal routine. Examples of ways that you could spend time with yourself, contributing positively to your own life include: taking time for internal reflection (meditation), letting yourself know how much you love yourself, going on a walk to listen to your own thoughts, giving gratitude for everything that you have in your life, or getting involved in a hobby that inspires you.

53. Listen more often than you speak - In this day in age, it seems as though there is always someone that wants to be the center of attention; conversations easily become viewed as egoistic competitions. While being the center of attention can feel great and can be a rewarding experience, it can become consciously dangerous to your consciousness if it is motivated by your ego. By practicing the act of listening more often than you speak, you can train yourself to be more consciously aware of others, while still holding the conscious ability to politely contribute to a conversation.

54. Muster up some courage - Being highly conscious means doing what you want to do, saying what you want to say, and living how you want to live at every moment. Somewhere along the path towards developing a highly conscious mindset, you will need to be courageous. Developing a sense of courage is an integral step, possibly a phase that may last several years, on your journey to become more conscious.

55. Always act with compassion - Having complete compassion for others is a direct result of becoming more conscious. Unfortunately, there are few people here on Earth that are honestly able to make the claim that they always act with complete compassion for others. Compassion meditation also allows you to learn how to shift your mental focus from any state into a perspective of pure love for others. As you may have already guessed, practicing compassion can be one of the single most powerful exercises for boosting your level of consciousness.

56. Improve your mental focus - Improving our mental focus helps us get a better understanding of reality and provides us with more inner clarity. As we enhance our level of focus and clarity, concepts that had previously seemed very difficult to understand become general knowledge. We get a better sense of understanding within ourselves and of the world around us. As your level of focus increases, so will your level of consciousness.

57. Think rationally and logically - Being able to think rationally and logically allows you to positively interact with your reality much easier than being irrational and illogical. In fact, being irrational and illogical will actually lower your current level of awareness. Rational thinking is a byproduct of a high functioning brain, particularly the high activity within your left-prefrontal cortex. One great way to increase your ability to rationalize is to strengthen your brain’s level of functioning by boosting your brain power.

58. Purify your body - One great way to become more conscious is to purify your body. You can help purify your body by going on a specific diet, by cutting certain substances from your diet, by decreasing stress and learning to deeply relax, by cutting certain substances from your diet, by sitting in a sauna to sweat out toxins, etc. While following a detox routine, be conscious of what you are doing to your body. Be fully aware that you should choose a detox routine that has been researched and proven effective in order to avoid risking bodily damage in the process. With that said, choosing to purify or cleanse your body can really work magic for your current level of consciousness.

59. Start a personal journal - Starting a personal journal or blog is a great time investment that will allow yourself to become more conscious of your: thoughts, feelings, actions, philosophies, beliefs, etc. Writing entries in a daily journal or on a personal blog can be extremely helpful in the process of understanding your current state of awareness. What is nice about keeping tabs on yourself is the fact that you can watch your progress as you undertake a conscious journey. No matter your strategy for keeping a journal, understand that keeping tabs on yourself and events in your life serves as a great way to develop a deeper sense of understanding, knowledge, and conscious awareness.

60. Make others laugh - Being funny and making others laugh is a great way to ease stress and create a more positive outlook in life for yourself and for others. Though you may not be an expert comedian, being able to make others laugh is extremely rewarding and satisfying. Making others laugh and smile shifts all attention away from pain and negative emotions, towards one of pure enjoyment and happiness. Jokes and the ability to laugh can really change your entire perspective from what may seem like a grim, serious situation, to a happier, more positive outlook.

61. Practice a religion - Practicing a religion is a phenomenal way to become a more conscious person. As you raise your current level of awareness, you will discover that there is really no best religion or Utopian religion to practice. What matters most in conscious advancement is getting a feel for what practices actually make you become more consciously aware. You need to personally determine what works best for you. One of the best ways to do this is via experimenting with many different religions.

62. Respect the beliefs of others - At no time is it loving or respectful to criticize the beliefs of others. No matter how consciously advanced another person is or isn’t, it is important to respect their thoughts and actions. When you try to force others to adopt your lifestyle, beliefs, and force them to become a more conscious human-being, you are indirectly expressing negative emotion towards that individual; you are getting your ego heavily involved. Forcing others to consciously change is not truly accepting them for who they are. If you feel like you should force others to raise their awareness, perhaps you need to raise your awareness some more! It is important to realize that everyone will have their time to advance consciously and will eventually reach the “top of the mountain” on their journey to their higher consciousness.

63. Ask questions about your life - Attempting to learn more about life each day is a great way to increase your overall knowledge base and a great way to become a more conscious person. Nobody “knows-it-all” in life, that’s why asking questions about life and about certain situations in life, will really help you out on your journey. The idea here is to learn as much about life as possible. This will allow you to make your lifestyle more conscious, your choices more conscious, your actions more conscious, and yourself a more knowledgeable person. If you don’t feel like asking others questions, a great way to learn more about life is to ask yourself internal questions. Often times we don’t realize that within ourselves, we hold the answer to every question about our life. Meditation is highly recommended as an exercise for learning more about our inner-self.

64. Understand that everything changes - Whether you realize it or not, everything and everyone is in a constant state of change. Change is undeniable and is happening to yourself and others as you are reading this. There is no way to prevent change, but there is a way to consciously control your change. Be the change that you want to see on this Earth and please: make it a positive, conscious one!

65. Realize that you are not alone - On your journey towards becoming a more conscious human being, it is important to realize that you are never alone in the process. Someone, somewhere is going through the same process and many have already gone through the process. There are likely many individuals that are more consciously advanced than you are: which is a good thing. Look to these individuals for guidance along the way. We can always look to more conscious individuals for personal guidance and advice in life.

66. Push your personal limits - Pushing your personal limits to become the best person that you can be is something that everyone should strive for. Pushing your personal limits is something that you can do in every area of your life: relationships, exercise, consciousness, spirituality, finances, etc. Pushing your personal limits in the areas that you feel most soulfully-connected with are the areas that you should probably put the most work into in order to feel the greatest sense of fulfillment.

67. Invest in yourself - When you make money, do you invest it in stocks? Have you ever thought of investing it in yourself – your purpose, vision, values, and goals? Besides money, we can also invest time in ourselves. In my opinion, investing time in yourself is one of the most effective ways to become more conscious. Investing time in yourself will allow you to discover your true purpose and become a more conscious human being.

68. Be open to exploring consciousness - There are many ways to be open to exploring your consciousness. Several methods to explore your consciousness include: brainwave entrainment, meditation, raising your consciousness, trying new activities, exploring spirituality, exploring different social groups, changing your environment (by traveling), trying neurofeedback, etc. If you don’t know of any healthy ways to expand your consciousness, start with the ones that I’ve listed. No need to unnecessarily kill your brain cells and lower your consciousness by using illicit drugs to “expand your mind…”

69. Develop a deep relationship - Developing deep, trustworthy relationships with other people are not only great for helping you to become more conscious, they are a great way to share love and joy with others. If you haven’t already done so, develop a deep, personal relationship with at least one individual. It could be a good friend, spouse, boyfriend / girlfriend, it could be a good therapist, it could be anyone that you feel is on-the-same-page as you in life, or at the same level of consciousness. Having another person to discuss your personal inner-thoughts with and share your turmoil, joy, and all other emotions with, will actually make you a happier, more conscious person.

70. Call upon your spirit guides - Everyone has spirit guides – whether they believe in them and want to communicate with them or not. Before we are born, we are assigned spirit guides to do just what their name implies: guide our spirit. They can often provide us with valuable advice and some forms of intuitive connection that most of us never imagined was possible. The best way to connect with them is to learn proper meditation. The job of spirit guides are to help guide your spirit in the right direction and they really want to connect with you to help you raise your consciousness. So consider learning ways to connect with them on a personal level, or finding an advanced spiritual seeker / psychic that knows about spirit guides and how to connect with them. It seems as though Erin Pavlina has gotten great reviews discussing her ability to help you connect with your guides. Though her readings are somewhat expensive, getting one could prove to be a great investment in order to accelerate your personal growth and conscious development.

71. Clear emotional blocks - Nearly everyone has some form of subconscious emotional blocks that they have suppressed within their subconscious. Emotional blocks can develop in childhood and can be forgotten by the time a person reaches adulthood. They can drain your conscious control over life if you don’t learn to properly release them. It is not advised to attempt to deal with very powerful emotional blocks or repressed traumatic memories by yourself. Consult a trained therapist or psychologist to help you work through your past powerful emotion. Realize that when you are able to work through your past emotional blocks, you naturally allow yourself to reach a higher state of consciousness.

72. Clear out subconscious “cobwebs” - What exactly are subconscious “cobwebs?” I refer to subconscious cobwebs as any unfulfilling: beliefs and emotions that have been carried around in your subconscious mind for too long. Many times, our subconscious mind is carrying around extra negative emotional baggage and limiting beliefs that need to be released or replaced. If you want to clear out your subconscious “cobwebs” and take conscious control of your subconscious mind, consider trying meditation. Meditation takes your consciousness to a deeper level and makes reprogramming your mind a much easier process.

73. Turn off the T.V. - Depending on your current level of consciousness, watching T.V. may actually be a good thing. For those individuals operating at an extremely low level of functioning, watching T.V. gives them hope, satisfaction, and a boost in consciousness. With that said, to permanently elevate your consciousness, it is recommended to refrain from watching T.V. If you think about the act of watching T.V., it doesn’t reflect your life’s purpose nor allow you to be fully productive. The time that you currently spend watching T.V. could be put to better use by allowing you to accomplish a personal goal, providing you with extra time for exercise, or even giving you time to boost your brain power!

74. Read a good book - Whether you enjoy reading fiction or non-fiction books (or both), reading books is a phenomenal way to help you boost your conscious brain power. Reading books provides you with knowledge, creativity, and allows you to fully expand your intellect. Reading books will also help you become a smarter person, with a mind that is full of new thoughts and ideas. The more credible information that you are able to read, the more information and knowledge your consciousness has to consciously create with.

75. Expand your creativity - There are many ways for us to expand our creativity and abilities to creatively think. Developing ways to creatively think not only boosts brain power, it boosts your consciousness. The use of brainstorming, creative visualization, Zen koans, and meditation have all been known to increase creative thinking skills. Creativity is an important trait to develop when dealing with your reality. Having creativity allows your mind to easily solve even the most difficult of problems. If your creative-side is currently lacking, think of ways to step-it-up a notch to reap the conscious benefits!

76. Develop strong people-skills - Developing strong people-skills will allow you to become more conscious in many different ways. Having strong people skills allows you to be comfortable expressing who you really are in any social situation. Without developing strong people skills, you may be stuck in a state of fear around others in social settings or even worse, you may feel completely uncomfortable expressing your true beliefs, values, and discussing your lifestyle in front of others. Cultivating a strong set of people-skills will allow you to become a more conscious individual and will allow you to share your love with others.

77. Allow yourself to be inspired - Allowing yourself to be inspired helps you to take passionate action. In order for us to be inspired, we usually need to have some sort of emotional connection. Maybe you are deeply inspired by a song that you recently heard on the radio, maybe you are inspired by Barack Obama, maybe you are inspired by Hilary Clinton, maybe you find Pablo Picasso’s artwork inspiring. Everyone is different and everyone is uniquely inspired by different things here on Earth. Inspiration can really work magic in your life if you let it. Taking actions based off of positive inspiration will ultimately guide your consciousness to a higher level of functioning.

78. Be courteous towards others - Being courteous to others is a great way to share love, positivity, and a great way to set a good example for others. Each time that you set an example, you have some influence onto others. Each time that you practice a healthy habit or put courteous actions on display for others to see, they will be much more inclined to follow suit. When you are able to be courteous to everyone that you meet, you are raising your consciousness through compassion.

79. Attend a spiritual retreat - There are many spiritual retreats and spiritual opportunities that can quickly boost your state of consciousness. Meditation retreats and gatherings with your religious group are two of many ways to raise your consciousness. The act of going to church is yet another form of attending a spiritual gathering. Going to an event like a Holosync retreat may also be a great way to connect with a fun, positive group of individuals that could prove to be lifelong friends. You will never truly know nor understand the possibilities of conscious transformation that a retreat has to offer until you actually make it a point to attend.

80. Form a mastermind group - Forming a mastermind group is a great way to help you become more conscious and complete your goals. To participate in a mastermind group, you must first gather up some trustworthy friends. Next, schedule times that your entire group will meet to discuss personal challenges, goals, accomplishments, etc. Meet with each other and discuss your goals. Be as positive and encouraging towards one another as possible. Offer suggestions and serve as a motivation for the rest of your group. Mastermind groups are a form of conscious, positive support that allows you to accomplish your goals much easier. And, social support (i.e. a positive group of friends) is always great to have when working to become more conscious. Do whatever you want with your group, have fun, be positive, and realize that you are raising your consciousness in the process!

81. Be a mediator - There are many situations that arise from negativity in this world. One way to break up these situations in a peaceful manner is to be a mediator. A mediator is a person that is able to resolve conflict between two parties and think of a peaceful solution to a problem that both conflicting parties agree upon. In the end, the best part about a mediation process is the satisfaction that you can derive from helping bring peace to the world. Helping others is a great way to create a true sense of happiness in your life. Anytime that you bring peace, the collective consciousness of humanity takes a step in a positive direction.

82. Build an accurate model of reality - Building an accurate model of reality is a great way to explore the endless possibilities that life has to offer. Gaining conscious control of your thoughts will aid you in the process of creating your reality. When you are able to take control of your focus, building an accurate model of reality becomes an easier task.

83. Be a leader – Being a positive leader is an awesome way to raise your level of consciousness and that of others. If you are able to become a leader who is able to influence large groups of people in a positive manner, you will naturally develop a lot of conscious power. Each person that supports your message, adds to your ability to share your purpose. If you haven’t thought about stepping up and becoming a leader in some way, now is the best time to start thinking about it!

84. Travel the world - Traveling the world most definitely has potential to change and expand your state of awareness. As you travel to different places, you are able to learn about unique: ways of life, ways of thinking, religions, customs, values, etc. This is why it is extremely common for huge changes in perception to occur. Traveling to many different parts of the world is one way of exploration that allows you to experience life on a larger scale.

85. Be empathetic - Advanced empathetic abilities can be cultivated by accessing the lower brainwave states: both the theta and delta brainwaves. Making a conscious effort to become a more empathetic person means trying to understand and relate to others and their emotions in as an effective method as possible. Being empathetic is a great way to spread love and compassion in the world. And spreading love and compassion are great ways to help you become a more conscious person!

86. Set goals and accomplish them - Setting positive goals and working to accomplish them is one of the single most effective ways to advance consciously, without even having the intention to advance consciously. For example: you may set the goal to exercise everyday for one month in order to improve your health. By setting and completing a goal like this, your main focus is improving your health, however, you are also indirectly improving your consciousness.

87. Try brainwave entrainment - Though brainwave entrainment seems like a new-agey, experimental technique, it is a great tool for advancing consciously that actually works. Not only does brainwave entrainment work well, it is an extremely effective way to develop a powerful brain and advanced state of consciousness. By practicing brainwave entrainment, your brain becomes more flexible in the process of shifting to various brainwave states. You can always give brainwave entrainment a trial and evaluate how effective it is at helping you advance consciously! Check out the software featured in my recommended products section and give one of those a trial run.

88. Try self-hypnosis - What many people do not realize is that the act of self-hypnosis is very helpful for achieving states of complete, controlled relaxation. During self-hypnosis you develop full, complete control of the beliefs that are implanted in your subconscious mind. Self-hypnosis relaxes your body and takes you into a state of highly-focused, deep relaxation. No matter whether you enjoy self-hypnosis or meditation more, they are both exercises that will allow you to elevate your consciousness. Give self-hypnosis a shot if you haven’t already – it is a perfectly safe, exercise that will benefit your consciousness greatly!

89. Develop your chakras - Learning to clear and cleanse your chakras could prove to be one of the single best investments that you’ve ever made for yourself. Chakras hold the key allowing you to tap into your higher-self and connect with energy from the Universe. Working directly with your chakras will help you become a more conscious person, making you more aware of your body’s energy centers and how they can affect your entire life.

90. Release your Kundalini energy - My definition of Kundalini: a (usually latent) energy force that is coiled at the base of our spine. We’ve all felt Kundalini from time to time during extremely emotional moments, when a certain song plays, or when we have a powerful experience. What does Kundalini feel like? Kundalini the energy that makes our spine tingle. We get goosebumps throughout our body and our entire spine tingles with emotional energy. Kundalini is a completely healthy and powerful method to advance consciously. It is not recommended to go into a Kundalini experience blindly, though. Do some research on “Kundalini energy” and consider working with a guru or a person who has been through the entire process if you hope to release your Kundalini energy.

91. Appreciate your surroundings - To further allow yourself to develop consciously, it is important to be appreciative and thankful for everything in your environment. Each day and every day, the little things that we may be taking for granted are often some of the most amazing forms of beauty. Simple things like the sunset, a field of flowers, or the face of our neighbors are all beautiful expressions that we may not be taking the time to appreciate. When we are able to realize that everything is connected and that we were truly meant to love and appreciate one-another, we naturally become inherently grateful for our surroundings and what the Earth has to offer – and thus, more conscious.

92. Bring new life to Earth - Each time that you are able to make a contribution to life here on Earth, you bring forth another brilliant expression of our universe. Each time that you bring human life, plant life, animal life, etc. here on Earth, it is something to be truly proud of. Ways that you could contribute to bringing life to this planet include: raising children, adopting a child, planting a flower, or raising an animal. The inner feelings that you may feel as a result of bringing forth new life are perfect for finding true happiness and taking yourself to the next conscious level.

93. Lead a flexible life - Flexibility is a key part of gymnastics… it also is a key part of life and the process of becoming more conscious as a human being. Leading an overly-structured life often becomes overwhelming and unpleasurable. You need to take time to appreciate the moments of spontaneity and spur-of-the-moment type events. Being flexible is a great attribute to cultivate in your life. Though learning to be flexible is just a small habit that will make you more conscious (by opening up your life to new opportunities), it is a highly important principle to implement into your life and reality.

94. Learn from “consciously advanced” individuals - More consciously advanced people have a lot to offer those who are less consciously advanced. They often provide us with great discoveries, insights, and guide our lives in a positive direction. If you happen to know someone that is at a higher cognitive level of functioning than yourself, spend some time with that individual. Ask them questions about their life, questions about your life, or any questions about life in general. See how these individuals feel about raising consciousness and how they can help you work to increase your conscious awareness.

95. Live a well-balanced life - Keeping a balanced life can be very difficult at times. However, keeping activities in proper balance is a great way to become more aware and involved in many areas of life. Make a conscious effort to focus your energy towards what inspires you most, but don’t forget to be flexible and take time for important people and activities like: friends, family, expression, and exercise. Being well-balanced with activities in life provides us with greater conscious satisfaction.

96. Consider taking health supplements - Supplements have long been known to help aid in mental processing and boost physical functioning. I personally have taken a multivitamin in combination with 3.6 grams of fish oil on a daily basis for almost 2 years straight. Overall, I feel that the combination has worked phenomenal for helping my physical functioning and mental processing. Always be open minded: consider taking supplements if you aren’t already. Do a personal experiment to see what supplements work best for you and how various supplements affect your consciousness. In the end, you may decide that all supplements are ineffective and that they were nothing more than placebos.

97. Celebrate your accomplishments - Celebrating your accomplishments is a form of self-praise and self-respect. When you value yourself and appreciate yourself, you are likely to celebrate your accomplishments – and actually have accomplishments to celebrate! Celebrating is a fun and rewarding activity to do to make yourself happier. It increases your levels of overall self-love and respect: both of which are key factors in the process of raising your consciousness.

98. Always have positive intentions - Positive intentions often arise from having a positive mindset. Having a positive mindset and forming the habit of holding good intentions is a great way to boost your level of conscious awareness. When you intend for positive events to happen in your life and always have positive expectations – your life will naturally attract positive people and will result in happiness.

99. Read and recommend 4 Mind 4 Life dot com to others - Remind yourself of ways to become more conscious by re-reading this series and other articles here at 4 Mind 4 Life dot com. I always try to provide you with the most valuable advice to help you boost your level of consciousness. Though the main focus of this website is boosting brain power, your level of consciousness goes hand-in-hand with how powerful your brain is; the more powerful your brain, the easier time in raising your consciousness you will have. I can only promote my message to a certain extent. Each time that you help me by recommending my website or this series to another person, you will be helping guide others towards positive change. I send blessings to everyone who reads this series, recommends this series, recommends this website, or applies advice from this website to better themselves.

100. [This space is intentionally left blank for you to fill in] - Nobody knows and understands what works best to help your consciousness better than you! Be creative, fill in the last blank already! Choose an activity that you enjoy that renews your sense of wellbeing and resonates congruently with your soul. Blessings to everyone that made it this far down the list!

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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Defuse Difficult People

Very interesting insight into how to deal with difficult people and defuse an awkward situation.

Source: hbr.org

Lucy Mangan: Halloween’s now a fright night for all the wrong reasons

When I were a lass, children went trick-or-treating on their own, without any adult accompaniment. It wasn’t safe, of course, but no one knew that back then

Carved pumpkins in a circle at twilight around a pumpkin pie on Halloween night

There be demons: Parents go trick or treating with their children these days for very good reason. Photograph: Jim Corwin/Alamy

Ah, Halloween. It is, naturally, only as I have got older that I have come to appreciate the true function of such sociocultural rites. Which is, of course, to provide tangible, quantifiable proof (in case the daily headlines, the rise of Michael Gove and the fact that some turd has introduced a competition element into Gareth Malone‘s hitherto shining oeuvre were not enough) that the notion of history as a story of progression is naught but a phantasm that seeks to conceal the fact that the world is going to hell in a handcart.

When I were a lass, children went trick or treating on their own, without any adult accompaniment. We dressed up in black bin-liners, home- or Friday-afternoon-school-made witches’ hats, anything orange (we didn’t know why. I didn’t see a pumpkin until I was 21, in the garden of a posh friend from university – I thought the fecking Triffids had landed), facepaints or felt tip (to be scoured off with Vim, maternal vigour and a rough flannel, so that assembly was filled for the next week with the sound of children tap-tap-tapping experimentally at their full-face scabs) and knocked on doors. Householders would open them, stare down disbelievingly and close them again without saying a word. It was brilliant. We got to dress up, do something different, but all the normal rules still applied. Children like to know where they stand, even if it’s before a closed door damming a hallful of disapproval behind.

Over the next couple of decades, word got around – thanks largely to increased importation and consumption of US network TV – of how the whole thing was supposed to work. The most impoverished denizens of the most impoverished countries set to work with enforced will, making Halloween costumes of artfully tattered plastic, net and nylon to fill whatever supermarket space was left once the quotas of mince pies had been shelved. And all the adults in richer nations learned to play their sweet-dispensing part. Now I stand with a bowl of fun-sized Mars Bars in my hand and a short advisory speech about type-2 diabetes on my lips, waiting for the doorbell to ring.

But these days children go trick or treating only with grown-ups. The superintendents used to stay out of sight a few feet down the road or behind the nearest tree, to preserve the illusion that their charges were alone. But I notice that every year they have stood a little closer. First, they hovered at the gates of each house. Now, they usually come right up to the house and stand a few feet from the children, and carefully in the homeowner’s eyeline, to banish not the pagan fears of Allhallows Eve, but the horrors – real and imagined, but true enough either way – that lurk in the shadows waiting for our children each and every night.

It wasn’t safe, of course, when we went out as kids. At best, I suspect, our greater freedom was only the result of our guardians’ ignorance of the potential dangers to youth. But that is the closest thing we have to remember wistfully as innocence now. Just as the whispered warnings among us youngsters back then, of where the local creeps and weirdos hung out and which bus stops and park bushes were most favoured by flashers, will probably, not too many years from now, come to be glossed as “community spirit”.

Source: TheGuardian.co.uk

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Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Originally posted on This Moms Got Something to Say:

It’s Thanksgiving. The perfect time to reflect and say thank-you for all of the things you have been blessed with in your life. A time to hug your loved ones and let them know how much they mean to you. It’s a time to step out of yourself and recognize what’s truly important.

After you’ve said your thanks this year, I challenge you to do something more. I challenge you to forgive.

Thankfulness is easy … forgiveness isn’t.

Think of that person that has wronged you or hurt you deeply. Have you forgiven them for their mistakes or are you letting that situation stop you from moving forward? Are there people that you do your best to avoid just so you don’t have to deal with past crap?  Are there places that you refuse to go to for fear of running into someone you don’t want to see?

Are these same people that you’re…

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Wisdom Within Consultancy:

Interesting insight on how to start over after failed relationships, and that love can always happen again.

Originally posted on Mmm Stories:

Several months ago, I was hanging out with two friends I’ve known since high school – a close girl friend who moved to Chicago and a visiting male, who also happened to be a former flame and my first real love.

The topic turned to relationships and experience in the field and I mentioned the notion of relationship resumes – the list of knowledge, skills and practice we draw from when dealing with significant others or summon on dates, showcasing prior successes, saving the failures for later. Personally, I look for partners who have their resume filled in a bit, like my own, indicating they are not novices to relationships or love.

Turning to the guy, I said, “Like you; I would use you as a reference as an example of one of my successful relationships.”

My friend interjected, “Well I don’t know if I would say you guys had…

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