There is a major shift in consciousness occurring on the planet right now.
So many people are waking up to the fact that life, that human existence, is so much more than simply growing up, getting married, having children, working a 9–5 job, and owning a house with a white picket fence.
We’re waking up from living our lives in a robotic way — without questioning why we’re here and how we can tap into a deeper part of who we are.
Connecting to a deeper part of yourself is ultimately the real key to a life well lived. It is this connection that allows us to live peaceful, purposeful lives that are filled with unconditional love and success (however we define it).
I wrote this guide for the people who are currently facing or just beginning to feel a major shift in their lives.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably one of them. And I hope the words contained in this post can help you navigate your own shift in consciousness with ease.
These tools helped me step into my life’s purpose and now they are assisting others in the same way. I hope they do the same for you too! And I happily await for feedback from you so that I may continuously improve upon this guide. It’s never really “finished”.
Now, you may be asking:
“What does it mean to live consciously and what’s the problem with living unconsciously?”
The answer to the first part of this question is:
Living consciously simply means we recognize that we are so much more than the endless stream of thoughts that spin in our heads. And this “knowing” facilitates our connection to the deeper part of who we are: infinite consciousness.
As for the second part of the question, I like to use a scenario to answer it.
Suppose you were taking your last breath right at this moment. And in this last breath, you found yourself looking back on your life. What would you like that life review to look like? Would you want to look back and see a life filled with drama, suffering, and struggle? Or would you rather see a life lived in peace and with intense, unconditional love?
There really is a stark difference between living consciously and unconsciously.
Are you still with me? Good.
In my experience, there are 5 steps in the “staircase of conscious evolution”.
I will break each step down one by one and offer simple exercises to help you master each level.
Separate From Your Mind
You are not your mind. YOU are the consciousness behind the mechanism that says or thinks “I am…”
Consciousness uses the brain to experience life, but it is not bound by it. Think of it this way: You are the watcher of thought.
In the same way that you can observe your heart beat or your lungs breathe, so too can you observe your mind think.
It is the nature of the mind to think as it is the nature of the heart to beat or the lungs to breathe.
The root of unconsciousness is a complete identification with the mind. In other words, a person who lives unconsciously will think they are their minds. They do not sense a separation. They do not experience the observer behind the mechanism that generates an identity (the mind or ego).
But once you experience this separation, once YOU step into the position of “witness”, there is no turning back.
The moment of separation between consciousness and mind will be seared in your brain. That’s how intense it is. The moment you realize you are not your mind, you will embark on a remarkable journey.
For me, this separation occurred with the breakup of my marriage. As my wife came home one day and simply said she couldn’t be married anymore, I felt a sudden separation from my ego. As she was speaking, I felt myself (my consciousness) lean back into a place of peace and non-biased observation. Time stood still. I was no longer the mechanism of the mind, I was no longer the emotions created in my body.
I was the infinite consciousness behind it all.
This moment lasted only seconds before my awareness was sucked back into the dramas of the mind. But that moment in my life marked the beginning of my shift in consciousness.
As I’ve worked with clients and read about how others woke up, it’s easy to see some similarities. Many of us awaken through pain. But others do not. Some people wake up quite naturally, in what I call a “click”.
Here are some examples from renowned teachers.
Pema Chodron, Buddhist nun, teacher and bestselling author, in an interview with Bill Moyers (click here for the whole video):
Bill: Your husband came home and said he wanted a divorce.
Pema: That’s right.
Bill: And what did you do?
Pema: I had an epiphany or genuine spiritual experience which was, it happens to people at a time of shock, like car accidents and things, which was that time stood still. There was a completely timeless moment where all I saw was light and heard sounds and it was like the eternal moment, you know? And then the mind came back and I picked up a stone and threw it at him! [laughter]
Eckhart Tolle, teacher and bestselling author, writing in “The Power of Now”:
Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else’s life.
One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train — everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point of continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live.
“I cannot live with myself any longer.” This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. “Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.” “Maybe,” I thought, “only one of them is real.”
I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there was no more thoughts.
Michael Singer, bestselling author, writing in “The Surrender Experiment”:
Life-changing events can be very dramatic and, by their very nature, disruptive. Your whole being is headed in one direction physically, emotionally, and mentally; and that direction has all the momentum of your past and all the dreams of your future. Then suddenly, there’s a major earthquake, a terrible sickness, or a chance encounter that totally sweeps you off your feet. If the event is powerful enough to change the focus of your heart and mind, the rest of your life will change in due course. You are literally not the same person on both side of a truly life-changing event. Your interests change, your goals change, in fact, the underlying purpose of your life changes. It usually takes a very powerful event to turn your head around so far that you never look back.
But not always.
In the winter of 1970, no such event happened to me. What happened was so subtle, so faint, that it could easily have passed by without being noticed. It was not with a shout but with a whisper that my life was thrown into utter turmoil and transformation. It has been more than forty years now since that life-changing moment, but I can remember it as if it were yesterday.
I was sitting on the living room couch in my home in Gainesville, Florida. […]
Ronnie [Singer’s brother-in-law] would come down once in a while to visit, and we would often just hang out together. As it turns out, Ronnie was sitting on that couch with me on that fateful day in 1970. I don’t remember exactly what we were talking about, but there had been a lull in our leisurely conversation. I noticed I was uncomfortable with the silence and found myself thinking of what to say next. I had been in similar situations many times before, but something was quite different about this experience. Instead of simply being uncomfortable and trying to find something to say, I noticed [bold added] that I was uncomfortable and trying to find something to say.
I know that it is difficult to put into words, but there was a complete sense of separation between my anxious mind, which was spewing out possible topics to talk about, and me, the one who was simply aware that my mind was doing this. It was like I was suddenly able to remain above my mind and quietly watch the thoughts being created. Believe it or not, that subtle shift in my seat of awareness became a tornado that rearranged my entire life.
Now, there’s no need to get depressed if you haven’t experienced a sudden shift in consciousness as described above.
The truth is, this “click” or shift can occur more gently, with practice.
1. Separate From Your Mind:
Tips & Exercises
In the subsequent years after my initial conscious separation from the mind, I have come to rely on specific exercises to bring on that state when I feel occasionally drawn into the dramas going on under my skull.
“Hmm…That Was Interesting” Exercise
This exercise is all about simple observation, with an added ingredient:
Consciously become aware of your thoughts without judging them.
Observing the inner workings of the mind without judgment is important because that is the only way to genuinely assume the role of “witness”. You are the infinite consciousness that is behind thought. But judgments are thoughts. So the moment you observe one thought with judgment, you are essentially still caught up in the mind. You are simply layering one thought over another.
Being self-critical can actually make the internal chatter worse. Here’s an example of how this can play out.
Suppose you’re walking down the street and you see someone who is overweight. Immediately, your mind thinks:
“Wow, he’s fat.”
Then, you observe that thought but add a judgment:
“That wasn’t nice of me to think. I’m a horrible person.”
Do you see what that judgment is? It’s simply another thought on top of the initial one. You observed the first thought but because you identified with it, you added a judgment on top. And that second thought makes you feel worse about yourself.
You’re still stuck in the mind.
Here’s how the “hmm…that was interesting” exercise plays out.
You’re walking down the street and have the same initial thought when someone who is overweight walks in your direction. But this time, you observe the thought without any added judgment. You simply observe (or add the mental statement “hmm…that was interesting”) and let the thought float away.
I use the mental label “Hmm…that was interesting” as a cue that I have consciously observed a thought. And that mental cue helps to stop the stream of chatter that would probably otherwise continue.
In this exercise, there’s an underlying realization that none of the thoughts generated in your brain define you. They are just thoughts that come and go, like heartbeats.
There is no one heartbeat that defines you, is there? None of your thoughts do either.
In fact, there is no defining who you really are. The consciousness that witnesses life and thought is beyond mental definition. It is infinite.
Throughout your day, make a conscious decision to observe and release the thousands of thoughts (estimated at around 70,000 per day!) that are generated in your brain.
Witness them, without adding any voices.
The Drone Perspective
The ego wants to be right. And in order for our minds to be “right”, someone else has to be “wrong”.
The Drone Perspective is an exercise about broadening your vision and removing the egoic tendency of self-righteousness.
Bring the power of your awareness up into the skies, like a flying drone. From up there, the perspective is expansive and the intricacies of life can be observed from a distance.
Broad and distant. These are the two main characteristics of seeing things from the sky.
If you find yourself in a situation where your mind is relentless about something that happened (perhaps an argument with your spouse or co-worker), stop and take a deep breath. Then visualize your consciousness flying high up in the sky above you.
Feel the sensation in your body when you do this. How do you physically feel when visualizing the situation from a broader perspective?
Sometimes, I even follow this exercise up with a mantra (statement):
“I may be right or I may be wrong.”
This exercise helps to release self-righteousness and the egoic tendency for drama. Our minds love to live in a telenovela. When you broaden your vision though, you’ll notice that life is simpler than a soap opera plot.
“Get Out Of Your Head!” Exercise
This exercise is very effective in bringing awareness away from the head or brain and directing it elsewhere in the body.
- Sit quietly in a meditation position (spine straight and legs crossed if you can).
- Close your eyes and bring your awareness to a chosen body area. I love to use the heart center in this exercise but you can focus your attention on any other area.
Feel yourself literally “drop into” the physical area you have chosen.
It feels like the energy is being drained from the brain and directed elsewhere.
3. If you have trouble feeling the location in your body, gently place your hand there. Physical touch helps direct awareness to a specific area. Once you feel the area under your hand and can hold your attention there, remove your hand and stay with the body awareness.
This exercise is a wonderful tool for directing consciousness out of the mind.
If I were to recommend only one tool for the evolution of consciousness, it would certainly be meditation.
After my initial separation from the mind, I felt a profound calling to start meditating. I had never done it before and yet, in the middle of my chaotic life, I started sitting in silence every single day.
Initially, I could only sit for about 5 minutes. My body was so riddled with anxiety and stress that I literally twitched the whole 5 minutes before getting up in frustration. Yet slowly, the fidgeting stopped and I started to feel peace, calmness.
And that was the beginning of my spiritual journey (if you’re interested in reading more, click here for my memoir).
Here are my initial recommendations for anyone new to meditation (or an infrequent practitioner):
- Sit quietly with your legs crossed and spine straight. I sit on a folded towel or firm pillow because it brings my butt higher than my legs and that helps to keep posture straight. This is especially helpful if you’re not flexible or have back problems.
- Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breathing. Just observe your breath without trying to change it. Is it shallow, fast, slow? Observe the movement of air in and out of your lungs. Do this for 5 minutes and open your eyes (you can have a cell timer on vibrate so you’re not startled).
- The next day, increase that time to 10 minutes and continue the gradual increase until you attain your “sweet spot” meditation time. For me, that sweet spot is between 45 minutes to an hour.
- If you can, meditate more than once a day. My general practice is twice a day, once in the morning (shortly after I wake up) and right before I go to bed. If my mind is more active than usual or if I’m writing or creating intensely, I will add another meditation session in the middle of the day to help keep myself balanced.
- Your mind will think. There’s no way around this and no point in trying to silence the brain. We’re not aiming for the Buddha here. Thinking is just a part of the deal. The trick is to observe the thoughts and let them float away without becoming attached to any one thought. Observe a thought and then re-direct your attention back to the lungs. Observe and re-direct. If you have to do this a thousand times in a 10 minute meditation session, then so be it.
- You may actually feel a little agitated when you start meditating. And why? Because it might finally dawn on you how frequently the mind thinks. I remember feeling anxious at the amount of random thoughts I finally became aware of when I started meditating. When you sit down in silence, it’s amazing just how much you uncover within. But there’s no need to stress. Just let the mind do whatever it wants.
- As your meditation time increases, you’ll notice that the frequency of thoughts tends to decrease. And your internal state changes from unease or anxiety to deep peace.
Can you handle 5 minutes of quiet, alone time? I think you can.
Quiet The Beast
Yes, I call the mind or ego a “beast” sometimes. And I use this word on purpose. The term “beast” can be used positively or negatively. If you’re staring at the mirror while flexing your biceps and say “I’m such a sexy beast!”…it’s a compliment.
But “beast” can also be something violent, destructive. And that’s exactly what the mind can do. It can be the vehicle for such amazing things on this planet like innovation and art. But it is also the mechanism that causes violence and destroys the environment.
So in my vocabulary, the best state to be in is to have a “quiet beast”.
I said above that it is the nature of the mind to think, just as it is the nature of the heart to beat.
So how and why should we silence the mind?
First, complete silence of the mind is a phenomenon that is still pretty rare. Some mystics, spiritual teachers, and meditation gurus can attain a state of complete mental silence, but this is not common. Nor should it be a goal. It would only lead to frustration.
But the mind chatter can absolutely be decreased. And that decrease in the frequency of thoughts brings about a streamlining of the brain processes, along with internal peace.
A quiet mind is a healthy mind.
Think about your heart. One of the side-effects and benefits of aerobic exercise is a decrease in your heart rate. The heart doesn’t stop beating but the slowing down of your heart rate is a sign of fitness.
The same can be said of the mind. A quiet mind is also a more powerful, creative mind (here’s a scientific study for the nerds out there!).
The more I meditated, the more inner stillness I achieved, the more creative I became. Not only creative, but my mind absolutely increased its capacity for complex problem-solving and thinking.
That is why I have come to believe that the more quiet your mind is, the more creative you can be.
2. Quiet The Beast:
Tips & Exercises
Remember: we’re aiming for less mental chatter…not complete silence. Actually, if you do experience complete silence in your mind, then congratulations! Awesome!
But try not to make complete mental silence a goal. I say this from personal experience. I initially thought I could force my mind to just stop thinking. And that goal (a mental one I might add) only led to frustration and anger. The exact opposite of what we’re looking for here.
We’re going for peace, love, and Rock N Roll! Ok, maybe not Rock N Roll because that’s too noisy but you get the point.
Wait, didn’t I just talk about meditation above? Well yes I did. And guess what? I’m going to keep talking about it throughout the whole post! Ha!
That’s how important meditation is in the evolution of consciousness.
Try my instructions above for a general mindfulness meditation but feel free to explore other types of meditation too. I will talk about some other ones in this post, to help you out.
I consciously slow activities down so that I can be fully present and not wandering. The truth is, when you do things robotically and quickly, you end up totally involved in the thoughts spinning around your head.
Mindfulness just means you are paying complete attention to what you are doing in the present moment. I started practicing mindfulness with mundane tasks like washing dishes or taking a shower.
But my absolute favorite time to practice mindfulness is during meal preparation and eating.
- Chop your food slowly as you are preparing it. Stir slowly. And keep your awareness on the present moment. How does the food smell and taste? What colors go into your dish?
- Try to go through an entire meal preparation in silence. This will help keep your focus on the food.
- When it’s time to eat, close your eyes and verbally or mentally say thanks for the wonderful meal you are about to eat. This simple act of gratitude brings an increased awareness right before you chow down.
- Chew slowly and close your eyes every once in a while as you are eating. Shutting down our main sense (vision) brings more intensity into our taste buds.
Living mindfully is really another way of saying that you walk around in a constant meditative state. You are intensely present to whatever life brings you right now.
Dancing continues to be a part of my daily routine and it always makes my heart smile. And I’m not talking about an elaborate ballet class or choreographed dance routine.
I’m talking about blasting some tunes in your living room and shaking your butt like there’s no tomorrow!
Dancing is a wonderful way to meditate and connect with your physical body. And it’s especially powerful for bringing your awareness into the present moment and listening to any messages the body is trying to convey.
Our bodies speak to us and when we tune-in to how we physically feel, we can learn so much about the inner workings of our minds.
In my life, I struggled with stomach pain for years until I finally realized how much anger I had stored within. The anger literally sat in my stomach. When I became conscious of it and let it go, the stomach pain disappeared.
My beautiful body had been trying to tell for me years:
Hey! You’re really angry! Do you want to do something about it?
So go ahead and start moving that gorgeous body of yours to some awesome beats!
And try to mix up the tracks you use in order to induce different responses from your body. Don’t just go for the blasting thumping.
Slow tracks invoke different emotions in us and allow us to move the body in a more precise way. Faster tracks allow for release.
Note: Screaming or singing along is allowed!
Here are some of my favorite tracks that I dance to on a daily basis:
If you’re in my neck of the woods, come join me for my own dancing meditation class, Soul Rhythms!
How much time during the day do you spend in complete silence? I mean real silence. No music, TV, cellphones, email. No one around to talk to.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you said there is absolutely no silence in your life at all. Our society actually finds this quite normal.
I call it toxic.
Silence has been an active part of my life for over 2 years and I can report some of its benefits:
- I feel more alert and engaged with life.
- It helps me stay at peace.
- It is in silence that I see the intricacies of life and the “big picture”.
At first, when I started living in my own silent retreat, it wasn’t easy. I purposefully spent as much time alone as possible so that I could tap into the power of silence. I’ve gone from a couple of days in silence all the way to 2 weeks.
The longer you go in silence, the more peace you feel within.
Now, I’m not advocating that you book a long trip to some deserted island. There’s no need for that.
All I recommend is that you set aside some alone time each day.
And spend that time in complete silence. No background music distracting you, no phone calls or email. No one to talk to. That kind of silence.
Perhaps your “quiet time” can be during your meditation sessions. That’s a great way to bring silence into your life. Just make sure that you’re not using meditation music then. If you want to experience silence during meditation, go for a traditional mindfulness meditation like the one I described in detail above.
Connect To Your Heart
The heart is my favorite center in the body.
To me, the heart is our most precious treasure.
The heart is the connector to an expanded version of who you are: the Higher Self. This component of expanded consciousness can play a key role in your life, once you learn to connect and unite with it.
Energetically, the heart is also a chakra center: an energy gateway. It’s part of the seven main chakras of the body and lies right at the center of the system — serving as a bridge between the upper three chakras and the lower three.
For eons, the heart has been used as the image of “love”. And with the advancement of science, we’re now starting to understand just how accurate this is.
But beyond the physical heart, we have a lot more going on in regards to what heart really is.
It is a source of wisdom and intelligence within us. It’s high speed, it’s intuitive. It’s discriminating. It’s that place where the authentic self, the really core of ourselves, emerges from. It’s the birthplace of emotions we revere the most in our lives: love, care, compassion, appreciation. Those emotions, long, long ago associated with this world “heart”…
We’ve discovered a lot of things about heart. The heart is in fact a lot more than a blood pump. It sends powerful commands to the brain and to the rest of the body…
The heart has its own very complex nervous system, sending information to the brain. Brain sends information down to the heart, heart sends information to the brain. There’s a conversation happening all the time…
When scientists map out the neurological traffic in our bodies, they clearly see that the heart is sending a lot more information to the brain than it ever gets.
In essence: the heart is an energetic powerhouse!
From a creative point of view, knowing the power of the heart is of utmost importance.
The truth is, we co-create our realities by drawing to ourselves energy of similar frequency. Like attracts like. But where does this “energy” come from?
There are two major centers in our bodies that emit powerful electromagnetic fields:
The mind and the heart.
Basically, you walk around every day with an energy field that is in constant communication with the universe around you. And that is how your experience is created. It all starts with energy.
Over the years, we have come to understand the power of the mind as a creative center — especially with the popularity of the Law of Attraction. And the mind is powerful. What you believe contributes significantly to what you end up experiencing in 3D.
But get this: the heart’s electromagnetic field is much more powerful than the mind’s!
In fact, it’s 60 times more powerful!
So if we can create amazing things with the power of our minds, think about what you can create with the power of the heart!
For years, I lived with my heart closed and suffered immensely because of it. I, like so many others on this planet, thought that closing my heart was a great way of protecting myself from emotional pain.
My mantra used to be “If I don’t love, then at least I won’t get hurt.”
What a mistake that was. And I learned this lesson in a very painful way.
But now that my heart is fully open, I can report on the endless miracles that have blessed my life. With the help of my heart’s wisdom and unconditional love, my life changed in a dramatic way.
And now, heart work is a central theme in my work with others.
An open heart is a precious treasure indeed.
But how do we open our hearts? How do we begin to listen to this oracle of wisdom right at the center of our chests?
3. Connect To Your Heart:
Tips & Exercises
Heart Light Exercise
I use this exercise no matter where I am. You can do the Heart Light alone in meditation or in the middle of a crowded shopping mall. Your surroundings don’t matter. It’s a wonderful way to get you “in-sync” and centered, when you feel off balance or in a state of unease.
- Close your eyes if you can and take a deep breath, making sure your belly expands outward so you take in more air.
- Bring the power of your awareness to your chest, right where the heart is located. Just stay with this heart-centered awareness for a few seconds.
- As you take another deep breath, visualize a little light emerging in the heart area. It’s about the size of a pea at first.
- As you continue to breathe, visualize the light expanding in your chest until it reaches the size of a grapefruit. As the light keeps getting larger and larger, visualize it finally exploding outward from your chest.
- Keep your awareness on the heart light and pay attention to how you feel.
In my experience, the Heart Light exercise is extremely effective at calming nervous energy and excessive mind chatter. It can get you centered in seconds and is a wonderful tool to use if you find yourself out and about, and need to connect to your inner peace quickly.
Mirror work has played a tremendously important role in my life, especially in helping me increase self-love, self-acceptance, and self-compassion.
I stumbled upon the tremendous power of mirror work by “accident”. I remember I was having a really hard day, filled with sadness and unease. I had completely changed my life and this new path was filled with so much uncertainty that it was really causing a lot of internal turmoil.
I walked into my room to grab something off my dresser and randomly looked in the mirror. Instantly, I started to cry. It was like I was looking into a friend’s eyes and trying to comfort her. I witnessed myself cry in front of the mirror and kept looking straight into my eyes.
I wasn’t looking in the mirror in the same way women generally do: to check how we look, what needs to look better, or to retouch our make-up. It was the first time I had ever looked in the mirror with complete compassion for the person being reflected. I wasn’t seeing anything “wrong” that needed to be fixed or could look “better”.
I simply loved the beautiful consciousness that I could see so clearly in my eyes.
Then I spoke out loud to the reflection:
“You’re strong and beautiful and I love you”.
I put my hand on my heart and cried a little longer.
And that was the beginning of my mirror work.
Today, I use the practice as an effective tool for building unconditional self-love. Or rather, it’s a tool for uncovering what has been in your heart all along:
The capacity to love yourself with abandon.
And remember: our capacity to love others is intimately connected to our ability to self-love first.
- Stand in front of a mirror (full length if possible).
- Look into your eyes with an un-biased view. Look into your own eyes as you would gaze into the eyes of a dear friend or loved one.
- Now begin looking at your whole body from head to toe (or however much of your body is reflected in the mirror if you don’t have a full-length one).
- Remember to keep the observation un-biased. This is a very different way to look in the mirror than we are used to. You aren’t getting ready to go to a party, wanting to look super sexy! You are looking at that reflection with your heart center: with love, compassion, and kindness.
- Really focus on looking at yourself from your heart.
- You can then add a mantra out loud if you’d like:
“I love you”
“You’re a beautiful soul”
“You’re doing the best you can”
7. Do this exercise for a few minutes, without rushing yourself.
This exercise may invoke buried emotions or you may feel your chest bursting with love. That is how powerful mirror work can be. If you feel like crying, cry. Nothing is to be suppressed when you do mirror work.
Priming For Miracles Exercise
This is one of my favorite practices and I use it every single day. I include it under the “connect to your heart” umbrella because it has a strong focus on what I call “heart-centered” vision: the ability to see life from your heart.
That’s where the miracles are!
I detailed the exercise in a guest post for the Purpose Fairy:
Every morning, when I open my eyes, I smile and say out loud to the universe:
“Good morning life! What miracles await me today?”
Then I get out of bed, make some coffee, and go about my day. I remain intensely present, even through the most mundane tasks. I’m eagerly anticipating miracles to occur every minute of the day.
The reason I’m anticipating them is because I planted the question in my brain as soon as I opened my eyes. I essentially primed my brain for miracles right out of bed.
By planting that question, I directed my awareness toward the observation of miracles in everyday life…
At the end of the day, as I’m going to sleep, I again speak out loud to the universe:
“Thank you for all the miracles today!”
And then I specifically enumerate them…
As I’m drifting off to sleep, I make sure to smile.
In that smile is a silent but powerful realization, which I say out loud too:
“I’m so eager and excited for tomorrow! There are so many miracles to witness!”
Click here if you’re interested in reading the full post.
Heart Vision Exercise
The heart really does “see” the world in a completely different way from the mind. As I’ve discussed above, it is not only the seat of love and compassion, but it’s also your connection to your Higher Self.
The only way we stop seeing through the heart is if we allow our awareness to be pulled into the mind. A loud mind disconnects us from the wisdom of the heart. But that connection can be re-established at any moment.
This exercise is especially helpful if you’re facing a tough life decision, if you’ve had some sort of conflict with anyone you love, etc. You know, something big. That’s when we really need the infinite wisdom of our hearts to light the way.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
- Bring your awareness to your chest, to your heart center.
- Stay “dropped” into the heart for a little while, feeling any emotion or sensation that the heart may be trying to convey. Remember: the heart does not speak through words so you need to give yourself some time in order to decipher heart language.
- When you feel comfortable and at peace, repeat this mantra (out loud preferably): “I wish to see the world through my heart.”
- Repeat the mantra if you wish but keep your eyes closed for a bit longer. Let the energetic truth of these words sink in.
- Open your eyes and look around. How do you feel?
- Live intensely in the present moment for the rest of the day after this exercise. Your heart may try to convey messages or answers to your questions.
Keep The Beast Quiet
Ok, I’m going to be completely honest:
Evolution is not a steady, soft road all the time.
You may find a beautiful peace and inner silence and stay that way for a month or two or three. And then BOOM…
Life sends you a situation that completely rocks your internal environment.
It may be the breakup of a relationship, a health scare, a death in the family, or the loss of a job. You can be certain that something painful will materialize in your life sooner or later.
This is not to scare you or bring you down. It’s just a gentle nudge from me. Life sometimes can be painful. And there’s no way around this.
But here’s the good news:
As you step up in the staircase of conscious evolution, you will be able to live life — even painful events — with a completely different outlook or vision.
Pain may come to visit you, but you will no longer allow the mind to create “suffering” (aka endless mental stories that make life pain worse).
And the way that you step out of a circle of drama or suffering is by keeping the mind quiet always.
And make no mistake:
The mind will always have the tendency to activate.
That is the nature of the ego. But you — the consciousness that observes — can train yourself to keep a quiet mind and also to catch any ego activations before they turn into full blown telenovelas.
Note: don’t get discouraged if your ego activates and takes you on a long drama ride before you realize what has happened. You’re human, just like the rest of us.
Remember: you are always just one conscious breath away from inner peace and a quiet mind.
4. Keep The Beast Quiet:
Tips & Exercises
A continuation of the practices and exercises I talked about in Step 2: Quiet The Beast.
Especially the meditation part. Are you seeing how important meditation is in all this? Ha!
Exercising on The Extremes!
I’m not a jogger. I think it’s so boring! But I wanted to change my exercise routine so that I could experience some of the benefits of meditation while burning some calories too!
And that’s how The Extremes was born. It’s pretty simple stuff.
I found through experience that my mind was most quiet and focused when a) I was moving my body super-fast (cheetah!) or b) moving it in a super slow, precise way (turtle!).
I alternate my workout loads to allow my body to recover and develop in different ways.
My favorite way of working out is in interval training. I love to sprint up hills until I feel like I’m going to fall over, and then I walk for about 30–40 ft to recover, and then sprint again!
Speed work completely removes you from your mind and puts your attention in your body — especially your legs.
Slow movements also take you out of your mind but for different reasons. When you move extremely slowly, you must account for balance and precision of movement. Super slow movements are the foundation of techniques like Qigong and Tai Chi.
You are basically in a super slow meditation, with intense focus on the parts of your body that are moving.
Here are some of my favorite exercises on the extremes but feel free to be creative and add your own. The bottom line here is simply that you alternate between super-fast movements and super-slow ones.
This is a wonderful way of adding another meditation session into your daily routine.
Meditation + Exercise= Awesomeness!
Please note: I assume that you have common sense so I think you will totally understand that if you’re a couch potato, it’s probably not a great idea to put on some sneakers and go sprinting up a hill right away. Right?
Ease into any new exercise routine, especially sprint and power work.
Mindful WordArt, that is. I love to use this practice with clients and also in my own life. Mindful wordart means that each letter is outlined slowly first. Then the coloring comes afterwards.
I instruct clients to work slowly, with intention and presence. They pick a word or affirmation and write out the letters with focus and precision. Each letter is an exercise in present moment awareness.
The slow speed of coloring is not only effective in keeping you present, it also allows for the energetic truths you have written on paper to “sink in”.
I am always amazed at how I feel when I finish a project of my own. And my clients report the same. Some people stare at their art for days on end — using the bold and often colorful words to remind them of what they wrote down.
- Pick a statement, word, wish or desire, and write it out very slowly.
- Then color it (or pencil-in like I did in the picture on the right) with mindfulness.
- You can then read it back to yourself a million times if you need to or put it up on the wall, where you can see it every day.
Fasting has long been used by the great spiritual masters as a means for enlightenment. And there’s a reason why.
The less you eat, the more you ascend energetically.
And we’ve all experienced the energetic effects of food on some level. Have you ever eaten a really big, heavy meal (like a huge steak or burger) and then felt like you were going to explode? You felt heavy afterwards, right? Like you needed to take a nap.
That’s what heavy food does…it “grounds” us. Fasting (the lack of food) does exactly the opposite: it helps us go up into the sky!
We experience higher states of consciousness when we eat little or nothing.
I’ve been exploring the use of fasting for years now, both for fitness reasons and now for spiritual ones. And the practice continues to be a part of my life on a daily basis (I fast for at least 17 hours of the day).
On the days where I fast more, I can go deeper into meditation. It’s really that simple. You remove the digestive load from the body and that means your extra Qi or Prana (life force) can be used for other things (like expanding your consciousness).
My recommendation for beginners is this:
- Start with a form of Intermittent Fasting (IF). This means you eat in a small window of the day, followed by a long fasting period. My eating window is from 1–8pm. I then fast from 8pm to 1pm the next day (17 hours).
- All your food is consumed in this window. In the mornings, I drink black coffee with coconut oil or grassfed butter (a helpful trick I learned from Dave Asprey).
- I do at least one meditation session while fasting. It’s really amazing and feels completely different than when meditating on a full stomach.
- Once you get the hang of IF, going full fast is actually easy. You simply keep narrowing your eating window and cutting back on meals until you’re down to nothing but water.
- I recommend that you try a full fast for at least 24 hours to see how you feel. On the day you do a complete fast, make sure to meditate longer.
You may be amazed at just how much clarity, intuition, and answers you will get when your body energy is totally funneled toward higher consciousness.
Listening to Binaural Beats
As my meditation practice evolved, I came to rely upon an array of techniques to diversify my sessions. And it was in my search for innovative meditation practices that I came upon binaural beats.
Binaural audio is a method of recording audio, using two microphones. The result is an audio that emits different sound frequencies on the right and left. Your ears don’t detect the slight difference in frequency but your brain does! The brain then cleverly takes the difference between the two frequencies and matches it (called “brainwave entrainment”)!
More recently, binaural beats have been used to induce various meditation states in people. For more details on binaural audio, click here.
You may be asking:
“My brain has waves?”
Yes it does. And they look like this:
Getting to know your brainwaves means you can then pick a binaural track that fits your needs. Want to relax, bring on a sense of deep peace or go into deep meditation?
Go alpha or theta waves baby!
I find the use of binaural tracks especially beneficial on those days where the mind is more active than usual.
Surrender To Life
Life has a life of its own.
Sometimes, especially if we live identified with our minds, we try to control life as if it were a horse and we could hold it by the reins! But have you ever thought that perhaps it’s the other way around? What if we are the “horses” and life is hold us by the reins!
What if the most important thing you could do, aside from quieting your mind and connecting to your heart, is to surrender to this beautiful force we call life?
What if life has so much more in store for us than we can ever envision in our brains?
I often tell clients:
“You are co-creators of your reality and the Universe is your partner in creation. Could you really ask for a better partner?”
Sit with this question for a bit — especially if it is hard for you to give up control. Our minds are no match for the power of the universe. Do you doubt this?
Here’s a little perspective:
We just had a probe take the first close-up pictures of Pluto. And Pluto is in our own galaxy, of which there are an estimated 100 BILLION in the observable universe.
It’s hard to grasp the enormity of that, isn’t it? That is the universe, the beautiful energy that creates all that is.
And that is your partner in co-creation. You are a powerful being and your vibes (aka your electromagnetic fields) help create your reality. But you have a partner in all this too.
As author Michael Singer says in his beautiful book, “The Surrender Experiment”:
“If the natural unfolding of the process of life can create and take care if the entire universe, is it really reasonable for us to assume that nothing good will happen unless we force it to?”
So here’s my question for us all:
What would our realities look like if we opened our hands and surrendered fully to life?
And what do I mean by “surrender”? I simply mean that we give up mental control (or the illusion of control) and learn to respond to life’s cues, instead of “fighting” or “struggling” against what life sends our way.
Once you see that life has a way of taking you where you need to go and bringing you exactly what you need at any given moment, then the fighting ends.
You begin to float downstream with the beautiful current, instead of swimming frantically upstream against the natural flow of life itself.
5. Surrender To Life:
Tips & Exercises
I admit: releasing the illusion of control was one of the hardest things for me to do in my own life. I have a powerful ego and that ego fought for a long time. So I empathize when people tell me how hard it can be to surrender to life.
I eventually decided to give life a chance and show me just how powerful she was. And my life completely changed.
With the help of these specific exercises of course…
I use mantras (repetitive sounds or statements) regularly in order to center myself or change my energetic foundation. And I really love to use them at these two specific times:
During my meditation sessions and right before I go to sleep.
I find that the truth of the mantra comes through more readily in these two situations because I am already in a state of peace and centeredness. So the energy of the mantra sinks in faster.
- If you use the mantra during meditation, make sure it is at the end of your session, when you are at your most relaxed and peaceful state.
- If you use the mantra at bedtime, take a few deep, calming breaths, and repeat the mantra once your body feels ready to fall asleep.
But you can use mantras anytime throughout the day too. I prefer to speak my mantras out loud but you can also repeat them mentally if you’d like.
My trust mantra is simply this:
“I trust that everything I need for the thriving of my being is provided.”
Other trust mantras I also use:
“Life creates and sustains all that is.”
“I trust the infinite power of the universe.”
Contemplation of Nature
This is really just another form of meditation. But I add it here separately because it played such an important role in my surrender to life.
If you doubt the perfection and power of life, go ahead and sit in a forest or on a deserted beach. And use the power of your senses to take it all in. If our minds are quiet, we can really see just how perfect it all is and how everything fits into this balanced, beautiful system.
- Choose a place out in nature to sit. Extra points if you can find an old tree to sit up against. Trees have powerful electromagnetic fields that help ground us.
- Gaze around you. But here’s the catch: observe everything around you without judgment. Just take it all in as is. For example, if you see a bird, try not to let your mind start a story about the bird. “What a beautiful bird! I saw one just like it last year, when I was on a date with this hot girl!” You see what I mean? No mental stories around what you observe.
- Listen intently to the sounds around you. Feel the ground beneath you. Touch the tree trunk if you’re sitting near one. Smell the scents of nature. Take everything in with all your senses.
- Every once in a while, breathe deeply.
- Then, close your eyes for just a little while. Take in the reality around you with all other senses. Feel the perfection of it all.
It only takes a few minutes of this for us to fully “know” (with our hearts) just how powerful life is, all on her own.
Psychiatrist Carl Jung was the first to coin the term “synchronicity”. Here is his definition:
Synchronicity is the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer.
To me, a synchronicity is simply life speaking to us, guiding us along our paths.
We are so very loved and helped. All we have to do is remain quiet in our minds and open in our hearts.
If we can live this way, then synchronicities become quite clear and unmistakable. Others can keep calling these events or signs “coincidences”. And there’s no point in trying to change their minds. You will know that coincidences do not exist when you begin to experience synchronicities with the power of your heart.
Quiet your mind and open your heart. Live this way always.
Another way of reinforcing this is to say: Live intensely in the present moment.
When a synchronicity presents itself, act on it in a decisive way (here is where you use the power of the mind).
- Ask for guidance. Don’t be shy. Actually speak out loud to the universe. Some call this praying. I call it a conversation. If you want a specific answer or need help with a certain situation, ask life to show you a sign in your 3D reality. She will always speak to you, if you listen.
- If you are uncertain whether something is a true synchronicity for you to act on, ask life to reinforce the message. I do this frequently, whenever I am in doubt. I prefer to wait an extra hour or a day for life to reinforce her message than to act from my mind, before a synchronicity presents itself. That’s how much I trust life and the power of my heart. The world won’t end if you wait just a little longer for a reinforced message from life.
Live like this every day: one synchronicity at a time.
Yay…you made it to the end!
These are the 5 steps in the staircase of conscious evolution!
I hope you enjoyed reading this guide and that it assists you in your shift in consciousness.
If you have any questions or feedback, go ahead and comment right on the post. I respond to all of them!
To download a copy of this guide:
And may your journey through life be filled with what I call the “Big 4”:
Joy, awe, wonder, and ecstasy!