The Expansion of Conscious Media Film Festivals

September 19th, 2014

By Kate Neligan

In 2014 two new conscious media film festivals launched: the Illuminate Film Festival in Sedona, AZ and the Awakened World Film Festival in Santa Barbara, CA. There are dozens more, including one happening right now: the Awareness Film Festival  in Santa Monica, CA which is celebrating its fifth year.

As a mindful media expert who has followed this space for many years, I can affirm that this market is expanding. In fact, Gaiam put out a whitepaper called “The Explosion of Conscious Media” and acknowledged that the current audience size in the US is over 100 million and will continue to grow for another five years.

It is exciting to see more films produced that illuminate, awaken, and raise awareness. We are often surrounded by the doom and gloom of thrillers, horror movies and adrenaline-packed action flicks, but the films that tug at our heartstrings and help us connect back to our inner selves are also important. It is time for society to see a more positive, healthy mirror.

Films and stories have the potential to heal and improve our lives. This is one of the reasons why I founded my start-up, Synergy TV, which entertains, enlightens and inspires a global audience with curated mindful movies and transformational television. I believe people need to see solutions presented in the media. Our content continues to uplift, evoke awe and restore hope in humanity.

Consciousness-raising film festivals can do the same. They create a temporary home for these films to be discovered, showcased, and celebrated. The audience can watch movies with like-minded individuals and connect with the filmmakers after the screening. New friendships, business relationships and collaborations often occur at festivals like these because everyone is passionate about the vehicle of entertainment as a force for good. If you are someone who loves to see positive role models, learn something new, and feel your heart open, then these are the types of festivals you want to attend.

This weekend, the Awareness Film Festival is happening in Santa Monica.
Some key films that will be screened are Finding Happiness, When My Sorrow Died, No Evidence of Disease, and The Starfish Throwers. On Saturday, September 20th I will also be moderating a first-of-its kind panel called “The Consciousness Movement – Wellness in the Media” with writer, athlete and wellness advocate Rich Roll, chef and co-partner in SunCafe Organic Ron Russell, and founder of The Aware Guide Gary Tomchuck. Then, as a gift to filmmakers, I am hosting a roundtable on “Distribution & Marketing.” The Festival ends with a special Gala on Sunday, September 21st honoring The David Lynch Foundation and the Better U Foundation. Proceeds from this festival benefit the non-profit Heal One World which offers yoga and alternative treatments to under-served groups.

Then, from October 27 – 30, the Awakened World Film Festival launches with inspiring films such as Project Happiness, Walking the Camino, The Invocation, andMoney and Life. This festival is woven into a working conference and urban retreat that also features galas, concerts, dialogues and workshops. Produced by the Association for Global New Thought with support from Science of Mind Foundation, the festival will bring together an audience whose values are aligned with spiritual and social responsibility and enlightened action. One special event will be the 10th birthday/anniversary party for the famous documentary What the Bleep?! In honor of this celebration I asked the film’s producer, Betsy Chasse, what she thinks about the expansion of this market.

“I’m grateful to see that conscious people are creating a home for conscious films. For so long we’ve sort of been left out of the mainstream festivals. Although Awake and Song of The New Earth did premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival, it’s few and far between. It’s time that there are festivals that show the quality films that are available in this genre.” – Betsy Chasse

We both agreed that it’s important for visionaries in this space to be honored and rewarded for their heart-centered work to help humanity. The community, which includes you, holds the power to choose which stories we want to see more of and you make a positive difference when you purchase tickets, sponsor, promote, and support conscious media film festivals. The time has come for us to move from a stressed society to one of synergy and mindfulness. The stories we tell in film and media, as well as inside our own heads, can take us there!
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Kate Neligan – Founder of Synergy TV Network
Follow Illuminate Film Festival @64DaysSNV
Follow Awareness Film Festival @Awarenessfest
Follow Awakened World Film Festival @Illuminate_FF
Follow Synergy TV @SynergyTVNet
Follow Kate Neligan @MindfulMediaEnt

Faith In A Seed Form

September 12th, 2014

indexBy Greg O’Brien

“We exalt in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint.”— Romans 5:3-5

Hope, when it springs from faith, does not disappoint. The dictionary defines hope as desire with anticipation; scripture says hope is faith in a seed form. All of us need watering.

My watering is in nature, in the mystery and marvel of Cape Cod and the pastoral islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. I remember as a young boy gazing out at the flats of Cape Cod Bay where the tide ebbs in places for almost a mile; it was as if someone had pulled a plug. I wondered where all the water went and why.

I was in equal awe of the graceful herring gull skimming the surface of the sea in search of another meal, and ever amazed at the force of waves as they broke in steady rhythm, a soothing cadence, on the lip of the Great Outer Beach. I remember catching hermit crabs by the pail and watching in bewilderment as jellyfish slipped through the cracks between my fingers. Why did the crabs pinch and the jellyfish ooze, I pondered?

Like many of my young friends, I also wondered about such basic questions of life on the sea: do fish sleep, why do the tides run on a clock, and what makes the ocean often sparkle at night in bioluminescence?

As I grew older, the questions became more probing. I remember the first night I sat on a sand dune in the highlands of Wellfleet on the Outer Cape, and looked up at a clear, moonless sky, a stark black canvas having been flecked with a million specs of light. The sight was exhilarating, yet made me feel so small. Years later, I began wrestling with the 5Ws of an almighty presence: the who, what, where, when, why and how? I had been spoon fed the answers in Catholic school at the hands of the Baltimore Catechism; had been “Master of Ceremonies,” a high calling in the altar boy choir, even considered the priesthood, or an evangelical outreach, and at that time, fundamentally, questioned: is God real?

I wasn’t sure.

So I reached out one night at the expanse of the universe, those flecks of light, on the bluff high above the ocean. I felt foolish, puerile at first. Then I realized I wasn’t alone. As I looked deep into the Milky Way, I began to understand all this didn’t just happen by chance. There was a perfect order to it beyond what the brightest of us could ever imagine. It is difficult to describe in a word picture, but I found myself in conversation with God, as Father to son. No judgments upon me, no fear, just a compelling peace. I returned to the bluff several times that summer to pose my questions, my doubts, and my purpose in life. I left without all the answers, but with the everlasting conviction that an all-loving Supreme Being was watching over me. Those nights gave me great purpose as a young man. I found God in nature. I had reached out and the Lord reached back. My hope turned to faith.

But faith—the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen—is consistently challenged in wrack line of life. Faith is not proof of a problem-free life; it is testimony to persevering in a race with the finish line in Shamayim, the place of Heaven.

However, there are hazards along the way in this world of free. For me, on a health front. I watched from a front row seat as my maternal grandfather and my mother succumb to Alzheimer’s, a demon of a disease. Now it’s coming for me. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and prostate cancer, an affliction of my father. Yes, I’ve raised my fist at God, several times, but have learned from my days on the bluff to keep reaching out against all odds. Scripture says it best, 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith.”

That faith was recently called sharply into question as the daily disconnects of Alzheimer’s continue exponentially. Alone in my office about a year ago, when my brain froze up, I began screaming at God in four-letter words, as detailed in my book, On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s.

“You don’t give a (expletive) about me,” I yelled.

“Where the hell are you? I thought you’re supposed to be here for me! I’m trying to work with you…”  

Moments later, realizing I had to meet with someone, I rushed out to my Jeep, only to find the back left tire as flat as a spatula.

“Great, just (expletive) great,” I yelled in rage.

“You just don’t give a (expletive) about me, Lord!”

I limped in the car about three miles down winding country roads to Brewster Mobil, in a Tourette’s of swears the entire way.

“Got a problem,” I told the attendant abruptly. “Fix it.”

The sympathetic attendant, a kid who had graduated from high school years earlier with one of my sons, said dutifully that he’d patch the tire right away—working his pliers to pull out the obstruction that had sent me into chaos. He returned in short order.

“You might want to look at this,” he told me.

I stared intently at the culprit with astonishment. I couldn’t believe what I saw.

“Believe it,” he said

It was a small, narrow piece of scrap medal, bent into a cross.

A perfect cross.

Hope is faith in a seed form.

Greg O’Brien’s memoir, ON PLUTO: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s (Codfish Press; September 2014; $15.99) is written with faith and humor, and provides Baby Boomers a window into a possible future. He is also the subject of the short film, “A Place Called Pluto,” directed by award-winning filmmaker Steve James. In 2009, he was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. His maternal grandfather and his mother died of the disease. O’Brien also carries a marker gene for Alzheimer’s. You can follow him on Twitter, www.twitter.com/OnPlutoOB, his website, www.onpluto.org, or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GregOBrien.Author.OnPluto

Interview with Jill Mangino, president of Circle 3 Media

August 29th, 2014

In the picture below, Jill Mangino (right) with her Public Relations mentor Arielle Ford (left) at the Hay House I Can Do It! Conference in San Diego.

jillmangino_arielleford_lg.jpg

Jill Mangino is president of Circle 3 Media, a public relations and media consulting agency that specializes in promoting Natural Health & Wellness, Spas, Eco-Friendly, Human Potential and Non-Profit organizations, as well as, products, services and personalities that inspire and uplift humanity and positively impact the planet.

I had the honor of interviewing her about what is like to promote organizations and people who make such a positive impact on the world. In our candid conversation, she talks about some of the challenges she faces and offers advice for people who would like to break into the human potential industry either as an author or spiritual entrepreneur.  For more information you can visit her website by clicking here.

Listen to the Interview:

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Secret Sounds

August 28th, 2014

Jill 2012 pic jpgBy Jill Mattson

If everyone stopped talking, our personal energy would drop. Our voice creates vibrational energy – with great subtle influence on us! Ancient people knew the power in sounds and words – not from the word’s meaning, but from its sounds. The power is soft and subtle, but ever influencing us.

Ancient Egyptians drank water, energized with words and sounds for healing benefits. Today Masaru Emoto publishes pictures books revealing the impact of words on freezing water crystals. Beautiful shapes in the water crystals are created by kind and loving words. The sound of word, shapes of the letters and one’s intent subtly changes matter. This concept is grasped better by your experience. Try this incredible exercise! Hold a glass of water, intending to send beautiful energy to the water. Take four breaths through your nose and exhale from your mouth directed at the water, making a “ha” sound. Next take four normal breaths, then four deep “ha” breaths. The deep ha breaths pass energy to the water and the normal ones keep you from getting light headed. The water may start to bubble and turn pale blue. It will taste better than water that did not receive the sound blessing.

Sound changes us far more than we are aware. Historian Schwaller de Lubicz[1] discovered that in rituals, the ancient Egyptians used “sound formulas” – not comprised of words nor meanings, but… “Sacred or magical language is not understood with definite meanings… the excitation of nervous centers cause physiological effects evoked by the utterance of certain letters or words which make no sense in themselves.”[2] Magic words are more a subtle science than capricious child’s play.

Ancient people selected words for their subtle impact on the physical body! Once that was determined, the dosage (number of times that you would listen to something) would be set. Confirming this, an ancient Egyptian named Asklepios said in a letter to King Amman, “As for us, we do not use simple words but sounds all filled with power.”[3] In another ancient Egypt example, a form of vocal music, called layali, repeated the syllables, ya, leal and einy.[4] This was believed to uplift and spiritualize the soul. Try it! It is a beautiful practice!

Language sounds have been used as subtle energy healing power for the body, mind and soul. For example, the Taoists from ancient China wrote that:
* Ssss helps the lunges
* Who is for kidneys
* Sshhh is for liver
* Haw is for heart
* Woo is for spleen

Other languages and cultures linked sounds with very specific healing benefits! “Hu” is the mystical Sufi’s sacred sound… “Hu” creates a burning sensation in one’s head if you say it over and over. “Ha,” also begins with H, stimulating glands, especially the thymus.Today, the medical society confirms that laughter sounds (“ha, ha” sounds) boosts the immune system.  

As you speak, pay attention to where sounds resonate in your body. Which sounds are enjoyable, making you lighter and feeling better? Who would have ever imagined that we have such a powerful force – hidden within our very selves…..our voice.

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Jill Mattson is a soundhealing author and composer. She offers free Enchanting Music with Fibonacci tones (proportions found in humans, flowers etc) and 18 Solfeggiohealing tones. Star Frequencies are converted into twinkling tones! Delightful Flower Music– embedded with frequencies of flowers, clear negative emotions & build positive feelings! Half hour of free sound healing music at www.JillsWingsOfLight.com, middle of home page.

[1] R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz in his book, ‘Sacred Science.’ In this quote he refers to the Corpus Hermeticum.

[2] www.cymascope.com/Egypt

[3] Cymascope.com from John Reid.

[4] Gadalla, Moustafa. Egyptian Rhythm: The Heavenly Melodies, Tehuti Research Foundation: Greensboro, N.C., 2002, Pg. 164.

Meditation: Healing the Scars from Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, PTSD and More

August 27th, 2014

book-coverBy Tom North, author of True North: The Shocking Truth About “Yours, Mine and Ours”

Meditation saved my life.

My father, Richard North, died in a Navy jet test flight crash when I was six years old. Fifteen months after his death, my mother, Helen North who had eight children, re-married a man named Frank Beardsley who had ten, making us one of the largest families in the country. We became famous, and our story was featured in the movie, Yours, Mine and Ours. But it wasn’t one big happy family. We had to hide the fact that we were living a lie.

My stepfather was abusive on every level; physically, emotionally and sexually. His constant rage, disapproval and controlling personality left deep emotional scars. And, to make matters worse, our family hid this from the outside world, so we each suffered in silence. The toll I paid was enormous. Lacking any sense of self-worth, it drove me to depression and drugs. I imagine many people will identify with the feelings, even if their home life was not as extreme as mine. But trauma is trauma–whether suffered in a living room or the theatre of war.

As a young adult I discovered meditation. It was my passage out of a deep depression and emotional despair, and I’m here to recommend it as a powerful and effective solution if you cannot get out of the mental patterns that keep you stuck, feeling a victim of past trauma.

Meditation was and still is a vital therapy for my continued survival and healing from a life of child abuse and domestic violence. I still practice it every day, having begun more than 38 years ago.

Meditation is indeed a powerful tool for health and healing on all levels. Research shows that group meditation can produce a radiating influence of peace in society. Recently, Dr. Deepak Chopra sponsored and conducted an online Global Group Meditation for Peace with over 100,000 people participating from around the world. I was happy to be a part of this important event.

This was a tremendous service Dr. Chopra was delivering to the audience, for as he explained, meditation is the key to our connection with ourselves: Our Divine Selves. It is also our connection to the collective consciousness. Studies show
that everything in the universe is connected and it is possible to unite people in heart-focused care and intention to facilitate the shift in global consciousness from instability and discord to balance, cooperation and enduring peace.

The Health Benefits of Daily Meditation are Many:

The scientific evidence documenting the benefits of Transcendental Meditation, especially for PTSD, which includes child abuse, is conclusive. While there may always be skeptics, it is irrefutable that meditation delivers improvements on every level of life, from stress management to emotional, physical and spiritual balance.

Dr. Norman Rosenthal, senior research scientist at the National Institute of Health (NIH), has published his studies of over 300 experiments that prove the importance and benefits of meditation. This is in addition to the many thousands of published reports that have become available over the last 40 years that have come out of Maharishi University of Management, Harvard University and many others.

In my own experience, and in the experience of many meditators who have been culturing a daily meditation practice over time, the ongoing result has been a steadily growing expansion of awareness and appreciation for all of life. This takes the form of improved relationships with those around me, connection with the entire human race and seeing the divine intelligence in the simplest life forms.

I would be remiss if I didn’t include experiencing an overwhelming sense of love for everyone and everything I encounter. As one friend and former college classmate of mine said, “I was stopped in commuter traffic on the 405 freeway in L.A. I looked around me at the thousands of cars and people and was feeling an unbounded love for all of them!”

If this is the outcome of consistent meditation, then it certainly is worth trying for anyone whose long-ago trauma-related or trauma-triggered emotions frequently get the better of them. For those who simply cannot see their way out of their own personal darkness, meditation is even more important. I encourage you to make the commitment.

8 Steps to Help You Develop Your Daily Meditation Practice for Trauma Healing

1. Give yourself permission to get better, understanding that meditation can provide healing and relief.
2. Seek out a meditation teacher. Meditation is like walking in an unfamiliar forest.It is best to have a guide.
3. Commit to regularity. Research shows that 20 minutes twice a day is optimal.
4. Create a space that is just for you to meditate each day. Unplug the phone(s)and put your silenced cell phone where you cannot see it. No cheating!
5. Get your mediation checked regularly by your teacher. This is very important.
6. If you absolutely have to miss a session, do not be hard on yourself – it is OK to renegotiate with yourself, recommit and pick up where you left off.
7. Wait two months, and then check in on your memories of pain and trauma…do you feel better able to just let them go, to allow them to NOT MATTER anymore?
8. Congratulate yourself for staying with it! You’re on your way to true healing.

*Disclaimer: Please remember that meditation is not a substitute for professional care or psychiatric help if that is what is needed. Many physicians and psychologists recommend meditation in conjunction with standard therapies.

How to fill your daily life with meaning and purpose

August 26th, 2014

jh-7wk-01-2014-300x250Do you know your life purpose? Discover it with Jean Houston during her FREE 75-minute Life Purpose Event — Register Here! CLICK HERE

Are You Ready to Awaken to Your Life’s Purpose?

Discover How to Align Your Life with Your Highest Calling.

Learn How to Bring your Life’s Work into Alignment with Your Heart’s Purpose .

Discover How to Activate Your “Purpose Code” to Make a Greater Difference in the World.

Awaken to a Deeper Life Aligned with Your Unique Gifts and Life’s Purpose.

Removing some blockages on the spiritual path

August 25th, 2014

green plant01 By Jeanne Jess

Today I wish to talk about a subject we discussed lately in one of the meditation groups.

When we walk the spiritual path, we sometimes arrive at a point where we wonder, why we feel blocked. We observe that after long periods of spiritual practice, daily meditation and discipline, we sometimes do still not feel that inner peace we were looking for. We may wonder why we still experience those old human emotions. One possible reason for this is called “the habit of judgement”.

In our western civilisation and culture, the habit of judging others is cultivated everywhere – and only a few people are conscious about the many different negative effects this habit has. The habit of judging others is the main reason for emotional discord on many levels….

We can practice the greatest meditation techniques for hours, every day – but as long as we continue to judge others, we will not find inner peace or harmony. Judgement and criticism are forms of rejection – and that is the opposite of acceptance. As long as we cultivate those forms of rejection, we are not living in loving acceptance with people around us. This is hindering our inner peace.

The habit of judging and criticizing people around us is the tool that sabotages every progress on the spiritual path. Judgement and criticism is the voice of the ego. And it needs a lot of discipline and self-observation to discover how many negative emotions are unconsciously created, that are based on judgements and criticism.

We find examples for these negative emotions in all areas of daily relationships with others: somebody disappointed us, did not fulfill our expectations or made us feel bad ourselves – what is the reaction? We immediately start judging and criticizing the other person, with plenty of negative labels. And this is where we are losing track of our spiritual progress. As long as we continue to put negative labels on others, we will not be free. We first have to remove those labels we put on people around us and learn to see their Divine Self.

The greatest temptations for judging others is in situations when one person has hurt us, as example in a love relationship. How fast do we then take out a box filled up with all kind of labels of criticism, proving ourselves how bad the other person is. And these kinds of moments are exactly the points where we are sabotaging all our wonderful efforts done on the spiritual path. The risk is great that we find ourselves more bitter than ever before, lost in self-pity and ego-drama.

We cannot expect that Divine Peace and Divine Love are entering into our being, as long as we continue to judge and criticize others. As long as we see others as “not good” or “not right” or “not ok” and put negative labels on them, we are fooling and sabotaging ourselves and our spiritual path.

There are plenty of spiritual teachings explaining us the lesson of “non-judgement”. But it is not enough to read and to understand that. We have to DO it and to LIVE it, in all areas of our daily lives. Many of us are good in this half-way: we have come to a point where we do not speak out criticism anymore. But what about our inner emotions and thoughts? They too create these energies….. and what do you think is coming back, when one sends out those types of energies filled with criticism and judgements?

Sure, this is easier said than being done. We all have people in our lives who have hurt us, disappointed us or betrayed us. And maybe there are people who feel the same about us, that we too have made mistakes. Now, if we wish them to forgive us, to no longer judge us or criticize us, we should do the same. And then, we set the intent to be more careful, more respectful and more conscious in future.

It helps us to make a conscious choice and to let totally go of ALL our judgement and criticism we have about people in our lives. To see them simply as Divine Beings, beyond their outer appearances. This will give freedom to them, and also freedom to us.

So, instead of judgement and criticism, we now have to choose acceptance, unconditional love and forgiveness. For these are the qualities of feelings that are going to give us inner peace, harmony and freedom.

And then, there is one special person we need to stop judging or criticizing, one who really needs our unconditional love and tender acceptance: ourselves. So often, too often, we are our own worst critic. Real self-love is free of any judgement. True Love is the absence of judgement. See yourself as the wonderful and adorable Divine Being that You truly are….

If you are experiencing these things in your personal life and you would like to get a better understanding – feel free to contact me for an online coaching session with skype. http://www.jeannejess.net

Divine Blessings and Divine Light to You,
Jeanne Jess

Oh My God movie asks ‘What is God?’

August 24th, 2014

In his stunningly beautiful, non-fiction feature film Oh My God, filmmaker Peter Rodger sets out on a global quest to understand what the concept of God means to people of all walks of life.

Frustrated by religious turmoil and fanaticism he posits the age-old question, “What is God?” to religious leaders, zealots, spiritual luminaries, humanitarians, fundamentalists, and ordinary people, along with celebrities including: Hugh Jackman, Seal, Ringo Starr, Sir Bob Geldof, David Copperfield, John F. Demartini; all who share their unique perspectives and understandings of God. Peter’s journey to question a diverse group of humanity takes him around the globe from the 9th ward of New Orleans to the Guatemalan Jungle; from the Himalayan region of Ladakh to the Australian Outback.

Controversial, hopeful and heartwarming, in Oh My God, Rodger questions why we often blindly believe and explains, “I was fed up with the ‘My God is greater than your God’ syndrome…I made this film because I believe we all have a responsibility to live our lives with tolerance and understanding of our fellow man…If only we could open our hearts for tolerance and peace which is what every religion preaches, then we might have a chance. If I can touch one heart with this film, then I have succeeded.”

I had the chance to interview Peter about his film. He told me about his filmmaking journey, including some difficulties he initially encountered that almost caused him to give up. Additionally, Peter shared with me some encounters that put his life in danger while he was making the film, including an interview with extremist Muslims in Kashmir. Peter said that what the film doesn’t show is that he had the protection of commandos armed with submachine guns behind him during his interview with militants.

You can listen to our entire interview on iTunes by clicking the link below

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/interview-peter-rodger-producer/id308845604?i=63619524

If you would like to watch Oh My God, it is available for purchase on DVD on Amazon if you Click Here.

What Wags the World – Tales of Conscious Awakening

August 22nd, 2014

jhp537b46e506acdBy Miriam Knight and Julie Clayton

Doesn’t everyone want to know how the world works? For a small child, hopefully, the world is a magical place. Experiencing through all their senses, children probe and explore the cause and effect relationships between action and reaction. Their inquisitive minds seek to fit each new experience into an expanding mosaic of how the world works, and how they fit into it. They observe, test limits and create provisional hypotheses as to the nature of reality, filling in the blanks with their imagination.

If the child is very lucky, the adults in their lives may encourage the sense of wonder and the free flight of imagination that are its birth-right. Most well-meaning parents, however, feel obliged to prepare the child for life in the ‘real world,’ and discourage any perceptions or behaviors that are outside their frame of reference. Little by little, in the words of Don Miguel Ruiz, the child is domesticated by the adults in its life so it can live quietly with the herd. The imaginary friends, the knowing of relationships that endured in different forms through many lifetimes, the ability to see energies, heal others or know the future are denied validity and eventually are lost, along with an innocent sense of joy of life and a certain light in their eyes.

The thing is, after one has gone through school, gotten married, had children, had a career, and taken stock, there is sometimes a nagging sense of emptiness. There is a return to the deeper questions of what’s it all about? What is the purpose of my life? Why is the happiness that is supposed to come with material possessions, with security, with power and influence in the world so elusive?

An increasing number of people in this position are having dramatic experiences that call into question the very fundamentals of their assumptions about life. In terms made popular by New Thought and the New Age, one would say that they are inviting experiences into their life to catapult them into radical change. Examples of these precipitating events include: catastrophic accidents, loss of job, severe illness, a near-death experience, a dark night of the soul, visions of otherworldly beings or simply a deep knowing that penetrates the depths of the soul.

Often, such individuals go through a phase of questioning their own sanity, but the knowing persists and grows. As they surrender to this knowing, there emerges a sense of connection to something greater, a mysterious or mystical source of which they feel a part. People give it many different names: source, spirit, great mystery, the Tao, God.

Some may interpret their revelation within the context of their existing religious traditions, and this results in a deepening of their faith. For others it exposes a world that transcends conventional religion, a world of connected inhabitants sharing a communal spiritual experience. It imbues them with a sense of deep connection to the source of all being, to God, to love, and sets them on a path of service. Their perspective of what is important in life is radically shifted, and the material world no longer holds much charm.

The revelations and personal shifts that people have described run the gamut from profound understandings of the nature of the forces underpinning the very fabric of physical reality, to the ability to visualize the interior of human bodies and having the capacity to change their molecular structure and create miraculous healings, to the ability to hear and even see beings in other dimensions, and convey their messages to friends, loved ones, and the world at large.

It is my hope that the tales presented here will remind our readers of experiences in their own life that may have been dismissed as fantasy or coincidence, and give them permission to reconnect with the magic of the universe. It is time to reclaim our birth-right as joyous, limitless souls.

In his foreword Ervin Laszlo says: Our destiny is in our hands. Possibly and hopefully, it is not misplaced in our hands. There is, after all, more to our consciousness than most people realize – ‘our’ consciousness is not just ours. To paraphrase a passage in The Prophet: “Our consciousness is not our consciousness. It is the manifestation of the longing of the cosmos for itself. It comes to us through us but not from us.” Khalil Gibran made this remark in regard to children, but it applies to consciousness as well. The cosmos is longing for life and consciousness. On this small but remarkably life- and consciousness-friendly planet we are the species that can live up to this longing.

There is hope. It appears that the kind of experiences recounted by the contributors to this volume are spreading in the world. The kind of questions Miriam and Julie asked them, more and more people are asking of themselves.

The threat is real, but the prospect of overcoming it is less and less somber. This volume makes a real – and at the same time delightful – contribution to making it much less somber still.

Contributers: Ervin Laszlo | Allan Hunter | Anita Moorjani | Barbara Berger | Bernie Siegel, MD | Cyndi Dale | David Bennett | Dianne Collins | Eva Herr | Foster Gamble | Frank DeMarco | Gaetano Vivo | Gary Douglas | Geoffrey Hoppe | Georgina Cannon | Gregg Braden | Gyorgyi Szabo | Howard Falco | Irene Kendig | Jack Rourke | Jake Ducey | James Wanless | JD Messinger | Jessica Maxwell | Julia Assante, PhD | Kaya | Kingsley L. Dennis | Larry Dossey, MD | Meg Blackburn Losey | Nina Brown | Paul Chappell | Paul Von Ward | Penney Peirce | Peter Russell | Pim van Lommel, MD | Rajiv Parti, MD | Ruth L. Miller, PhD | Suzanne Giesemann, CDR, USN (Ret.)

Miriam Knight is the founder of New Consciousness Review (ncreview.com)—a showcase for the people, books and films inspiring personal and global transformation, and New Consciousness Radio. Julie Clayton is an editor of NY Times bestsellers and award-winning books on new consciousness, and Reviews Editor for New Consciousness Review.

What Wags the World is being published by O Books 26th September 2014. ISBN: 978-1-78279-605-3 (Paperback) £8.99 $14.95. ISBN: 978-1-78279-606-0 (eBook) £6.99 $9.99.

 

“No” is the new “Yes!”

August 21st, 2014

indexIn a popular movie called “Yes Man”, Jim Carrey plays a man who attends a self-help seminar that advocates saying “yes” to life in every opportunity that comes his way. I liked the movie because it helps us understand that we should be more open to unexpected opportunities by saying yes to them…

However, unfortunately, sometimes when we say “yes” to life, we are saying “no” to our Spirit or God. This can show up in the most innocuous ways. For example, we may say yes to a request from a friend or family to stay up late and talk on the phone when we should really be letting ourselves sleep, or we say yes to an invitation to an event that we know we do not have time to attend, or even worse, we say yes to a request that causes us to compromise our values or sacrifice our God-given dreams. This need to say yes to others and reluctance to say no often shows up in different ways for men and women. For example Brene Brown, Ph.D. talks about this in “Daring Greatly” when she writes:

“When we asked the group about the process of setting boundaries and limits to lower the anxiety in their lives, they didn’t hesitate to connect worthiness with boundaries. We have to believe we are enough in order to say, “Enough!”. For women, setting boundaries is difficult because the shame gremlins are quick to weigh in: ‘Careful saying no. You’ll really disappoint these folks. Don’t let them down. Be a good girl. Make everyone happy.’ For men, the gremlins whisper, ‘Man up. A real guy could take this on and then some. Is the little mamma’s boy just too tired?”

Unfortunately, when we say “Yes” to other people and “No” to our Spirit, then we really are not helping other people, because on a psychological level, this often breeds resentment and latent anger. This resentment and anger can eventually come to the surface in unexpected outbursts towards others. For example, when we agree to do something for someone else that we really don’t want to do and deep down inside we know we shouldn’t do, then we often develop unconscious resentment and anger for the other person and ourselves, that accumulates over time and then is repressed or expressed in an unhealthy manner.

Learning when and how to say no to other people can be a challenging skill for many. It is something that takes practice, but we can learn this skill over time and the results are well worth the effort. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but eventually it will become easier and more natural. Saying “No” to other people and “Yes” to our Spirit or God actually is one of the kindest things we can do for others and ourselves because that helps us take care of ourselves, which in the long run gives us more energy and time to give to others.