CAMERON DAY: “The Best Form of Meditation You’re (Probably) Not Doing”

You might know this about me already, but I’m a big advocate for meditation of all kinds.

There are a multitude of different types of meditation options available. With so many options, it can be pretty confusing to know what to do and what will work best for you.

I’m going to touch briefly on two popular types of meditation for this article, and then dive into a third type that is my personal favorite.

The first type of meditation is one pretty much everyone has heard of: Transcendental Meditation, or which falls into the category of “mantra meditation,” where the practitioner repeats a mantra silently in order to calm the stream of thoughts that arise from the mind.

TM has become a big business in the U.S. and is fairly expensive to get started with, but even with that facet in the mix, many people can attest that TM was the first meditation practice that they were able to continue to do long-term, which makes it a win in my book.

Meditation type number two is Guided Visualization, which I am obviously quite fond of, given my penchant for producing them. One big advantage of guided visualization is that it can allow someone who normally has trouble quieting the mind to have a meditative, healing experience.

It can also allow someone to tap into the meditative benefits of an experienced meditator by following in their footsteps, so to speak.

Our third type of meditation is what I consider the most important form of meditation in my own life, and I call it simply, “Silence Meditation” although it is also often referred to as “Mindfulness Meditation,” which I consider slightly different.

You might be surprised to hear that I don’t use guided visualizations since I produce so many of them, but that’s exactly the reason I don’t utilize them: I tend to like my own versions better.

So what is Silence Meditation? It is the simple, but not easy, act of sitting in total silence, with a focus on achieving a complete stillness in the mind. A total absence of thought, even for just a few moments.

This is simple in concept, but difficult in practice, because the mind’s nature is to produce thought and it does so consistently all day and even at night when we’re in REM sleep. Yes, our nighttime dreams are a form of thought expressing itself, and the thoughts only cease when we go down into the deepest levels of Delta sleep.

How to Silence the Mind… For a Few Moments

Upon reading the above, the mind naturally will produce a question: “How can someone use the mind to silence their mind?” There are almost as many ways of achieving this silence as there are meditators in the world, which means that there is no one right way to do it.

Since there isn’t a single “right way,” I will just tell you how I do it for myself, because my methods are somewhat unconventional. No surprise there, right?

First is the setup, or how I sit. I use a “V” shaped meditation cushion and place it in front of my couch so that I can rest my back against it. You could use a wall for this purpose, too.

This goes against the grain of meditation teachers who want people to sit fully upright with no back support. That’s great for a photo-shoot, but the reason I use something for back support is because I don’t want to be distracted by thinking about what position my body is in during meditation.

By sitting upright on my pillow while supporting my back with my couch, I eliminate one of the major distractions of sitting and meditating. For your own practice, feel free to simply sit in a chair that allows you to have upright posture. Go with whatever is the most simple and supportive for your body.

Next is blocking out the external world, which I achieve with ear plugs and a blind-fold. More specifically, I use a pair of sound-isolating “ear-buds” for playing audio. They block outside sounds better than regular ear plugs, and allow me to use one of the Genius Brain Power audio tracks to help assist my meditation if I so choose. Usually an Alpha or Theta track.

Some would consider using brainwave entrainment cheating or a crutch, but if it works for the individual, I say go for it. Now to be fair, I personally only use entrainment audio once in a while when the background noise level is too high for the ear-buds alone to block.

95% of the time I just use the ear-buds with no audio because they work better for me than standard foam ear plugs. Keep in mind that the ear plugs are optional, but if you find yourself being distracted by background noise while meditating, then I recommend trying out some ear plugs for a few sessions.

As for the blindfold, any type of blindfold will suffice, and if necessary you can improvise with whatever you have around. Even a long-sleeve shirt will do in a pinch. Enough said there.

Time Enough for Self-Love

With the setup handled, it’s time to start meditating, right? Almost. One more important thing: Use a timer! You don’t want to be distracted by thinking about how long you’ve been meditating, so a simple kitchen timer will alert you when your pre-determined time is up.

But how long should you meditate? That is entirely up to you! I personally meditate in this fashion for 22 minutes in the early morning, which is long enough to get the job done, and short enough that I won’t make up an excuse not to do it.

I arrived at 22 minutes in a somewhat arbitrary fashion. I started out at 10 minutes, and added one minute a day until I was at 20 minutes. Later I added one more minute as an easy way to accomplish 5% more meditation. Eventually I went up one more minute to 22 simply because I like repeating numbers.

So 22 is my “magic number,” but your number might be smaller, especially at first, and that’s fine! You could start with just 5 minutes if you need to, and gradually add one minute per day until you are at a number you feel is giving you the results you desire.

The most important part of choosing your meditation duration is to start small and gradually increase the time each day that you meditate IF you want. If the number feels small and easy to do, then you are far more likely to do it than if you choose a number that feels like an arduous task, or an amount of time that could make you late for work, an appointment, etc.

A shorter duration is better for those days when you’re not getting into a deep meditative state and you’re constantly silencing mind-chatter without enjoying any mental quietness. Speaking from experience, the temptation to “bail out” of the process is far smaller if I know that I won’t have to struggle with that day’s meditation for too long.

The Actual “Silence Meditation” Process

I’m seated, ears are plugged, eyes blind-folded, the timer has started and now it’s time to actually meditate. The first thing I do is start breathing slowly and deeply, putting all of my focus on my breath. After years of practice this alone produces a few moments of blissful mental silence.

But not for long! No sir! My wonderful mind has all kinds of lovely thoughts it wants me to entertain. So when the first thought comes up, I use a mental prompt to release it: Clear the Deck.

As I think those words, I also direct my mind to a brief visualization of the deck of a wooden boat, out at sea, with nothing but blue skies and blue water in every direction, and I imagine that the thoughts are being swept off the deck, down into the water.

Then I let the visualization fade away and return to focus on my breath.

Silence. Breath. Silence. “I need to mail that check to…” (or whatever thought bubbles up).

Yes, the silence doesn’t last for long, especially in the early days and weeks of meditation, and sometimes even after years of practice. But that’s okay! The mind produces thoughts. That’s one of its main jobs and it can take a lot of training to get it to go into that deep silence.

When that thought arises, and it always does, I will name the type of thought, which is a form of acceptance and acknowledgement. I don’t want to fight my mind, only to direct it, so I acknowledge the thought with one word whenever possible.

Examples: Planning, anticipating, ruminating, reminiscing, worrying, analyzing, imagining, judging, speculating.

Once I name the thought, I use my next mental prompt which is: Let it go. So it would “sound” (in my mind) like, “Planning… Let it go.” Yep, I keep things simple!

Silence. Breath. Silence. “I wonder if I’ll have time to exercise before breakfast.” “Oh… Anticipating… Let it go.”

Silence. Breath. Silence. “That guy trolling my blog really needs to get a life.” “Ahhh…judging… Let it go.”

Two More Prompts

I also use two more mental prompts to help deepen the meditative state. Over time these have become commands which my mind (usually) obeys. The first one is “Go Deep.” This pretty consistently puts me into a deeper brainwave state, which I can feel happening because I have practiced it for years, both with and without brainwave entrainment.

The other prompt is “Go Clear” which very nicely clears away any stray thoughts. I tend to use these prompts after releasing a thought with “Let it go” in order to deepen the meditative state and extend the amount of time where no thoughts are floating through my mind.

Slow It Down

I like to “speak” all of those thought-prompts very slowly in my mind. For example, if I’m thinking “Go Clear,” I will think “Gooooooooooo” on the in breath, and “Clearrrrrrrrrr” on the out breath.

Slowing down the thoughts helps lead me back to the state of non-thought more easily.

“This is Too Hard!”

When most people first try this style of meditation, they often don’t have much success at quieting the mind. That’s okay! The fact that you took some time to sit up straight, breathe deeply and even attempt to meditate is huge!

Seriously, you should congratulate yourself after every meditation session, no matter how “good” or “bad” it seemed to be.

Even if you spent the entire time “clearing the deck” and “letting it go” with no observable quieting of the mind, you should STILL give yourself a pat on the back for putting in the time and effort.

Then do it again tomorrow.

With regular practice (daily is best) you will start to have moments of pure mental silence, and over time those moments will grow longer and more frequent. There can still be bad days where you can’t put the thoughts aside, and that’s ok, too!

Remind yourself that whatever is happening in your mind is ok. Don’t fight the mind, just do your best to guide it gently into that place of silent rest.

“These Prompts Don’t Work For Me!”

This is where things get personal. Not that I will take it personally if my prompts don’t work for you, but personal in the sense that everyone will respond differently to the process of guiding their own mind into a place of silence.

The prompts that I use just might not work for you, which means that you’ll need to come up with some of your own. I think it’s fine to figure that out during the meditation session, since if the prompts you are using aren’t working, you might as well spend that time to audition some new prompts.

However, and this is a big however, I recommend that you don’t give up on the prompts until you have tried them a few times.

Why? Because using the same prompts repeatedly over time conditions the mind to respond to those prompts more effectively.

“What’s the Point?”

I know life is busy, and often the first things that we drop when we are pressed for time are self-care and self-empowering practices. However, if you can give yourself the gift of just 5-20 minutes per day of meditation practice, you will start to reap many rewards.

The state of no-thought is incredibly calming, soothing and even blissful. Five seconds of mental silence is like giving your mind a massage or warm bath. This produces mental, emotional and physical relaxation, reduces inflammation and releases beneficial hormones in the body.

With practice, this or any other type of meditation practice will help you to have “space” between stimulus (stress) and response (reaction) in your environment. Instead of cursing at the guy who cuts you off in traffic, you might find yourself taking a deep breath and saying, “Let it go” instead.

After all, that other driver can’t hear your words and your inner peace is more valuable than anger, especially when you’re driving.

Instead of snapping at your spouse/child/parent/sibling/co-worker/etc. when they push your buttons, you could find yourself taking a deep breath and calmly explaining what you truly want to communicate to them.

Those “little victories” in our day feel really good, and regular meditation can help them to happen more organically, more often.

Best Time of Day?

Opinions vary on the best time of day to meditate. For years I was more of a night-time meditator, but when I switched to meditating in the morning I found that it had profound, beneficial impacts on my state of being for the rest of the day.

Putting it simply, silence meditation in the morning makes me generally happier, less impatient and more compassionate on days that I do it compared to days where I come up with an excuse to skip it, which is very rare.

Limiting my morning meditation time to 22 minutes almost completely removes any thought of skipping it, where for mysterious psychological reasons, a 30 minute meditation is easier to skip “because I’m running late” or some other excuse.

Keeping it short and easy to achieve is the key to success in morning meditation.

Take the 5×7 Test Drive

Often one of the biggest self-imposed barriers to trying a something new is the belief that if we start doing it, we have to do that new thing forever, so we don’t even start.

So forget about forever, and instead just take a test drive of doing a silence meditation for 5 minutes per day for 7 days.

That’s it. Just 35 minutes of time over the course of a week. If you can commit to that small investment, it is possible that you will like the results so much that you decide to keep the practice, but you are not obligated by anyone, especially yourself, to do so.

Share Your Experience

Do you already meditate like this? If so, please leave a comment for how you achieve those delicious moments of mental silence. Your setup, your inner prompts, any helpful tips for others, etc.

Are you trying this for the first time, or picking it back up again? Let me know how it’s going for you.

Much Love,
Cameron Day

AscensionHelp.com
GeniusBrainPower.com

 

~via AscensionHelp.com

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CAMERON DAY: “Ungrounded Energy — A Widespread Issue”

“Two of the adverse consequences of being ungrounded are that it can cause a person to be too easily swayed by the opinions of others, as well as be fooled by any of the many deceptions in our world. These are reason enough to put a consistent, daily focus on being fully present in your body and powerfully grounded to Earth’s core.”

~Cameron Day

 

It used to be common knowledge in consciousness circles that a person needed to be grounded both energetically and physically. People would talk about what foods helped them feel the most grounded, how spending time in nature helped them ground their meditative experiences and so on. However, I have noticed a trend in the last few years where people are getting very ungrounded, and are even encouraging others to engage “spiritual” practices that are very ungrounding. (Spell check says “ungrounding” is not a word, but I say that it is. 🙂 )

Two of the adverse consequences of being ungrounded are that it can cause a person to be too easily swayed by the opinions of others, as well as be fooled by any of the many deceptions in our world. These are reason enough to put a consistent, daily focus on being fully present in your body and powerfully grounded to Earth’s core. I could go on and on about the pitfalls and dangers of being spacey, ungrounded, partially out of body, etc. but I will leave that aside in the interests of keeping this article short.

First, Get Into Your Body!

Many people are chronically partially out of their body due to a variety of conditions, some of which include: unhealed past physical or emotional traumas, living out of contact with the earth (cities, apartments, etc.), doing “out of body” meditations, excessive daydreaming, unwillingness to confront the darker aspects of the subconscious mind, excessive use of alcohol or other drugs, over-consumption of television and other forms of digital entertainment, too much “cleansing” / calorie-restrictive dieting, and more.

The “Higher Self Meditation” in the Self-Clearing System puts a focus on bringing your own Inner Light back down into your body because most people are literally floating above themselves energetically. A repeated focus on seating your energy in your heart center helps you to be truly IN your body. Keep in mind that the “Higher” Self is only deemed that because so much of our Sovereign Self is floating above the body instead of residing within it.

Being fully present in the body can take a while, depending on how habitually disconnected and ungrounded a person has been in their life. Centering our energy in our heart center is the first, most basic step to restoring our full presence in the body, so that we can then get grounded.

Get Your Feet On the Ground

Even if you live in a dense urban environment, there will be parks and other places where some nature still exists. Seek out those places and put your bare feet onto the grass, dirt, sand, etc. While you’re there with your feet on the ground, do the simple grounding meditation below and walk around for a bit.

This one is so simple that many people totally overlook it, or they prefer to plug in a “grounding pad” and call it a day. I have nothing against grounding (aka “earthing”) devices, but they cannot replace the value of being barefoot on the ground. Swimming in natural bodies of water, walking barefoot on the beach and hiking in natural settings are also good ways to directly, energetically connect to the earth. If you are hiking in boots, stop often and touch a tree or plant with your bare hands.

Connect Your Heart to the Heart of the Planet

Through the process of energetically connecting our heart to the heart of the planet, we get deeply grounded in a very powerful, stable way. To me, this is the most potent form of grounding, although it works best when used in conjunction with the above steps. However, don’t let the fact that you are in a high rise building, or that it is too cold outside to put your bare feet on the ground stop you from doing the simple process described below. It can be done anywhere, even if you are flying in an airplane.

Before we get to the process, I want to mention the curving energy lines used here. While it is more simple to visualize a straight line of energy, I have learned that curving lines of energy are more natural and more aligned with our foundational reality as Sovereign extensions of Source than straight lines of energy, which tend to be more mechanistic and synthetic.

Again, I could go on at length here, but I will keep it brief and use a picture to serve as a visual aid for this concept.

Heart to Earth Core Grounding

My Simple, Daily Grounding Focus

• Close your eyes and take some slow, deep breaths. Center yourself in the present moment.

• Focus on your heart and visualize the energy of your Sovereign Inner Self growing large and bright.

• Send a beam of gently curving energy out of the left side of your chest that goes downward into the earth.

• Visualize this energy gently curving in a long elliptical arc, eventually connecting into the left side of Earth’s core.

• As you make this connection to Earth’s core, mentally (or out loud) say to the Earth, “Hello and thank you for supporting my human experience.” (It can be anything with heartfelt gratitude.)

• Visualize another curving line of energy emanating from the right side of Earth’s core, gently curving up to eventually connect into the right side of your chest.

• Spend a few moments enjoying the feeling of connecting and synchronizing your heart center to the heart of the planet.

• State your intention to keep yourself fully, deeply grounded and connected into Earth’s core.

• Open your eyes and go on about the rest of your day in this deeply grounded state.

I highly recommend that you repeat this several times during the day whenever you have a spare moment. It only takes a couple of minutes, and with practice over time you will be able to maintain this connection throughout your day. Even if you are 20 stories up off the ground in an apartment or office building, you can still do this simple process. In fact, it is even more important to do so in that type of environment than if you’re a woodland hobbit kind of person like me.

Grounding Physical Exercises

Ideally, when you are walking, standing or sitting barefoot on the grass (and after you have connected your heart center to the heart of the planet), you can do some physical exercise that will help you get more connected to your body. Again though, if you can’t be in direct contact with the ground, you can still do some grounding physical exercise. This can be just about anything that you like to do, provided that it does not make you feel “spacey” or too light-headed.

For example, those who are familiar with a set of exercises called the “Five Rites” could do those movements, but I strongly recommend that you omit the first spinning movement, at least for a while. This is because spinning can create a spacey, out of body feeling, especially in a person that is already ungrounded. Do the other exercises first for a while, then slowly, very slowly, add in a little bit of spinning. Just make sure to ground yourself after the spinning portion, and if it takes too long, do less spinning (or none) next time.

If you are into yoga, do a combination of easy and mildly-challenging movements, but omit any extended pranayama at first, for the same reasons as omitting the spinning. If you are not into any of the above, just do some planks, push-ups, bodyweight squats, go hiking, or anything else you enjoy doing, making sure that you stay within your body’s limitations. Pushing the body too hard while exercise can also be ungrounding, so if you feel your body asking for a rest, then rest! 🙂

A Grounding Diet

While I don’t think a “perfect diet for all humans” actually exists, I have found that incorporating organic root vegetables and organic greens into a calorie-dense diet can help with efforts to get fully into the body and be grounded. The root vegetables are pretty self-explanatory, they grow underneath the ground, and they help pass along some of that groundedness to us when we eat them.

Greens are grounding due to their mineral content, but I must stress the importance of combining root vegetables and greens with calorie-dense foods. Any type of caloric restriction can be very ungrounding for a person, even when the diet is high in micronutrients, so it is important to have both micronutrient density and caloric density in one’s diet.

This means eating things like rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes (hey, those are root vegetables, too!), avocados, eggs, coconut oil, butter, other dairy products and (real) honey regularly. It can even mean having some ice cream once in a while (yay!). Organic is always preferable, but don’t stress out over having a perfect diet, as that stress is worse than eating non-organic food.

Also, put as much (natural) salt on your food as you want. Salt could take up a whole article on its own, but the short version is that natural, minimally processed salt is good for you, so don’t restrict it. (Himalayan salt, Redmond “Real” salt, Celtic sea salt, etc.)

Just for clarity: Please do NOT just eat root vegetables and greens, because you will not have enough caloric density to support a strong metabolism, and you will end up ungrounded, hungry and feeling cold all the time without sufficient calories. For those of you who eat meat, try to get organic / grass-fed whenever possible. Those of you who don’t eat meat will need to make sure you are getting plenty of calories from other sources.

Awareness is the Key

The main key to being energetically present in your body and grounded is awareness and being conscious of how you feel as you move through life. These are a few indicators that you are not fully present in your body and ungrounded: Feeling spacey, difficulty focusing on one task, easily losing track of conversations when others are talking, misplacing your keys/ phone/ spouse/ child/ dog/ etc., poor coordination, forgetting something that happened just moments ago, etc.

If you notice any of those things happening, or anything else specific to you that you know is an indication of being unpresent / ungrounded, get tuned into your Sovereign Self via your heart center and connect your heart to the planet’s heart via the simple process above.

If you can incorporate the physical grounding practices into your daily life as much as possible and do your energetic grounding work, you will notice many positive benefits including an increase in your capacity for holding and utilizing energy in your body. This will allow you to do more intense types of energy-work without getting ungrounded in the process.

I hope the information and techniques in this article are helpful for you. I thank you for your support, presence and attention. For those of you who have emailed me and didn’t receive a reply, please know that I do read every email, but I cannot reply to them all, and I am currently backlogged on email replies by almost a week.

Much Love,
Cameron Day

AscensionHelp.com
GeniusBrainPower.com

 

~via AscensionHelp.com

FIONA REILLY: “Four Tips for Effective Listening”

The gift of being heard is something really precious. Having someone listen attentively to our expression or story is very healing and can enable us find our own understanding, acceptance, balance and joy again. Listening sounds like a very simple thing and indeed it is, yet many of us struggle to listen effectively. Being a good listener requires being present and fully attentive to the other. It is not about offering advice or fixing anything or making the other feel better, it’s simply being there and paying attention.

 

“Whatever life we have experienced, if we can tell our story to someone who listens, we find it easier to deal with our circumstances.”

~Margaret J. Wheatley

 

Four Tips for Effective Listening

So how might we listen more effectively… there are many things that can help! Below I outline four suggestions that I have found to be fundamental to good listening.

Be Present

Initially, it is vital to be present and with the speaker, to give them our full attention. If possible find a quiet place for a listening exchange where you are unlikely to be disturbed. Turn off phones and any background noise. Honour your boundaries, if you feel you only have 20 minutes to listen, say so at the beginning so the boundaries are clear or explain that now is a not a good time and arrange to connect when the time is right. To the best of your ability come from a place of acceptance and compassion and avoid judgement of them or their story. Be fully attentive to them and the energy between you.

 

“Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen.”

~Margaret J. Wheatley

 

Simply Listen

Many of us want to try to fix and make things better for the other person, yet the most beneficial way is for them to work through whatever is arising and to find their own solutions. The way to help someone feel better is to encourage them to be with their pain or confusion or whatever their experience is, to explore it and then they may feel empowered to move through it. Telling someone they need to be strong or things will get better or something similar isn’t effective longterm and can be disempowering. So try not to fix the situation or offer solutions unless they are invited. When listening our purpose isn’t to make a person feel better, simply by having their experiences heard in a non-judgemental and accepting way can allow things to shift and heal.

 

“The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed — to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is.”

~Paul Parker

 

Focus On the Speaker’s Perspective

While it’s useful to be able to identify with their experience, telling someone of your similar experience is not usually helpful, so try not to habitually compare their situation to one that you have experienced. It is of course fine if you are having a two way conversation, however if you want to encourage a person to explore their experience, your story isn’t what they need to hear, at least not until they have worked through their own stuff. It can take from what the speaker is saying and turns the attention away from them. Occasionally it may be appropriate to share your own experience, use your intuition on when that feels right. You could check with the speaker if they’d like you to share what happened to you, though mostly I find it best to stay with what the speaker is sharing.

In order to acknowledge their experience and what they have shared, you can reflect back to them what you heard them say, for example “You felt very angry when that happened”. Such a reflection does a number of things, it shows that you are listening, that their feelings or expressions are valid and enables them to go into more depth around the issues. In focussing on the other person you may notice the subtleties of body language, tone of voice… etc., which can sometimes indicate more than their words and again if appropriate you can reflect back what you notice.

Don’t engage in a drama or exaggerate the situation, sometimes what is being shared may arise feelings in you, acknowledge these internally though put them aside you can always return to explore them yourself at a more appropriate time.

Become Comfortable With Silences

For many silences or gaps in conversation cause discomfort and they rush to fill the quietness with something. However allowing a silence lets the speaker know that you are there for them and ready to listen when they are ready to speak. Speaking in order to break a silence usually ends up in directing the speaker in a different direction, than what may have otherwise arose next. If you do feel to ask questions, do so for clarity and understanding. The facts or details usually don’t matter. If you do feel to ask questions try to keep them open ended, you could you phrases like “How was that for you?” to encourage more disclosure or as I mentioned earlier reflect back what you have just heard.

Acknowledge Pain

This is an excellent video relating to how to support a grieving friend and the principles offered could be used with other challenging situations, not only grief. The way to help someone feel better is to encourage them to be with their pain, to explore and accept it and then they may feel empowered to move through it.

 

“One of the easiest human acts is also the most healing. Listening to someone. Simply listening. Not advising or coaching, but silently and fully listening.”

~Margaret J. Wheatley

 

With loving gratitude for all those who have shown me how to listen well and for my continued learning. I wish you well with your listening explorations,

Fiona

 

~via WakeUp-World.com

MATEO SOL: “12 Signs You’ve Lost Your Authenticity and Are ‘Selling Out'”

Authenticity is a big buzzword these days.

“Be more authentic,” “honor your authenticity,” “find your authentic self” — we hear these phrases scattered all over the internet and spoken about everywhere.

But what does being authentic mean? And most importantly, how can we tell when we’re being inauthentic — also known as “selling out”?

What is Authenticity?

Authenticity is the state of simply being yourself, listening to who you really are, and making decisions that align with your beliefs and values. Authenticity at its core is about deeply accepting all that is ‘you’ and honoring it above ALL else.

What is Inauthenticity (i.e. Selling Out)?

Inauthenticity, on the other hand, is about placing external things above your genuine values, needs, dreams, and artistic vision. When we ‘sell ourselves out’ we are essentially placing all of the most important parts of ourselves up for auction. Instead of making decisions based on our genuine beliefs, values, and personal style, we make decisions based on how much money, attention, fame, or acceptance we will gain from other people.

Examples of Authenticity vs. Inauthenticity

Sometimes reading examples helps to flesh out abstract concepts like authenticity. Here are a few examples taken from real life:

An artist has been contacted by a large publishing agency. They would like to mass produce her art but on the one condition that she change the titles and descriptions. Deep down, the artist knows that the titles and descriptions of her art are intrinsic to her work. She refuses the publishing agencies offer. She has made an authentic choice.

A father sees how gifted at writing his teenage son is. But instead of encouraging his son to pursue a career in writing, the father pressures his son to study business and accounting because it is the “safe” choice. The son then dutifully studies business and accounting in university. Both father and son have made inauthentic decisions.

A life coach who specializes in online mentoring wants to grow her business. In order to get more clients, she focuses solely on what is trendy and popular and writes/talks about those topics. She begins to lose touch with her original vision. She has become inauthentic.

A company is pressured by investors and shareholders to change its philosophy in order to be more “hip,” appeal to the new generation and make more profit. The company refuses to compromise their philosophy. They have made an authentic decision.

12 Signs You’ve Lost Your Authenticity and Are Selling Out

We are not perfect people. Perfection is an illusion. Therefore, it is guaranteed that at some point in your life, you will make an inauthentic decision that compromises your values, vision, or beliefs. It’s just part of being human!

Although we can’t be perfect, we can strive to be more conscious. Self-awareness and honesty are the two key qualities we need to prevent ourselves from slipping into bad choices.

If you’re concerned that you might be “selling out,” read the signs below. They will help to either confirm or challenge your feelings:

  • Your top priority is making bucket loads of money

  • You’re obsessed with getting new followers, fans or subscribers (e.g. on social media)

  • You let others make decisions for you

  • You let others dictate who you are + who you ‘should’ be

  • You follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing

  • You always follow trends even if they don’t make sense to you

  • You reveal only what makes you look good

  • You copy other people and their style/lifestyle

  • You ignore your gut feelings and intuition

  • You wear a mask around others
    You’re scared to be vulnerable and express your true feelings, thoughts, or values (which may be unpopular)

  • You make decisions based on how much attention, fame, money or acceptance you’ll receive rather than your genuine beliefs, values, or vision

Take a few thoughtful moments to make a serious assessment of the list above. Evaluate each point with an honest heart.

How many can you relate to?

How to Stop Selling Out

 

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

~B. Brown

 

I want to make a clear distinction here. There is a difference between selling yourself and selling out.

Selling yourself, in business and career fields, is about highlighting your genuine strengths and gifts, and offering those to the world. Selling out, on the other hand, is about compromising your personal integrity and letting external things drive you instead of internal qualities.

Also, not everyone has the liberty of making authentic decisions — but I want to emphasize that these situations are literally survival situations. For example, if a small business owner from an impoverished country was approached by a wealthy businessman who wanted to invest in and change his company, do you think it would be smart to decline? In certain environments and situations, making choices that go against our creative vision is essential in order to survive. But if you’re blessed to live in more fortunate circumstances where you’re not literally faced with starvation or anything else equally serious, then making authentic decisions is an intelligent way to live life.

Why is being authentic intelligent? Because you are listening to your heart and nurturing your soul. Money, fame, adoration, and approval from others will quench your ego’s need for safety and control — but that only lasts for so long. Soon, you will be left with a big, empty, gaping hole inside. The true joy, inner peace, and fulfillment come when you are living your truth and putting your essence out into the world.

So how do you let your essence — your passions, perspectives, and values — guide you? Here are some ideas; many of which I have discovered across my own authenticity journey:

1. Pay attention to how the decisions you make feel physically. Do you feel uncomfortable, heavy or dark sensations? Or does your body feel light and energized? Unlike the mind, the body cannot lie. Your body is the best lie detector out there. If you are about to make a decision that does not align with your values, your body will immediately feel and express that. Pay attention to warning signs such as heaviness in the heart area, tensed muscles, lightheadedness, cold shivers, and even physical cringing. Your physical warning signs will be unique to you (and can’t all be listed here), so search for them diligently.

2. Get your priorities straight. At the end of the day, what will TRULY fulfill you? Think about this question very carefully. Will you ultimately be happy with truckloads of followers, clients, money, or a lavish lifestyle, without feeling like you’ve stayed true to yourself? Money is important, don’t get me wrong. But how much money do you actually need in order to be happy and feel fulfilled? You might also like to explore what your main driving forces are: are you driven by power, success, fame, wealth or your individual and unique style, talents, passions, visions, and desires to make an impact? Focus on nailing down your main motivating force and ask yourself, “Is this healthy? Is this aligned with who I truly am?”

3. Explore inauthentic areas in your life. Intentionally carve out time and space to assess your life – that might even mean just sitting here as you’re reading this article and doing a bit of quiet reflecting. Think about areas in your life that you’re unhappy with. Have you lost your authentic voice in that area … or is the issue something else altogether? This process takes honesty. Write down every choice, commitment, and behavior that feels out of alignment with your deepest passions, perspectives, and values.

4. Make the hard choices. Once you’ve identified the inauthentic areas of your life, it’s time to act. You will need to carve out a plan — possibly multiple plans — to regain a sense of personal integrity. Ask yourself questions such as, “What must absolutely go and what can stay?” “What is true to me and what is false?” “What options do I have?” “What is the potential loss and gain in this situation?” “What is the best scenario and worst scenario?” “What is my plan A and plan B?” “What am I clinging to for dear life?” Use a tool like journaling to help you get out your thoughts, feelings, and plans in a coherent, organized, and structured way.

5. Integrate the experience with self-compassion. Once you have made the necessary change, it’s time for reflection. How did it feel to make such big (or small) changes? What parts of you felt threatened? What did you find it easy to let go of and difficult to surrender? How does it feel to walk your own genuine path? How can you avoid making inauthentic decisions in the future? These are all the kind of vital questions you’ll benefit from asking and exploring. Most importantly, integration is about accepting our humanness and all the frailty that comes along with it. Embrace your mistakes, forgive yourself, and let your hard-earned lessons make you stronger and wiser.

In this loud, confusing, and overwhelming world, it can be easy to slip into the role of selling out your integrity and authenticity to gain power, fame, or money. We are bombarded with messages from the media, social media, our colleagues, and even our friends and family members to be anything other than what we are. But in order to live fulfilled and soul-driven lives, we need to put a firm foot down. We need to learn when to say “no” and forcefully draw the line and protect our integrity.

I hope this article has inspired you to preserve your artistic vision, inner values, or deeply held passions. What makes life beautiful is how unique and varied it is. I hope you share your own unique flavor of authenticity with the world!

What is your experience with selling out? Do you have any tips to share surrounding integrity and authenticity?

Finally, I’ll leave you with a final quote. Tell me in the comments, do you agree or disagree with this statement below?

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”

~Andre Gide

 

~via WakeUp-World.com

CAMERON DAY: “What I Would Tell My 22 Year Old Self”

You’re at a great age, in a great time in human history to contribute to the awakening of many people over the course of your life.

So here are some things that I would have dearly liked to know at age 22.

1. Avoid all channeled information, and definitely don’t open yourself up to channeling

You will of course be presented with some good truths in channeled materials, but they will be limited, distorted and organized in a way to keep you locked in a slightly larger box than you were in before. More details can be found in my two “No Longer a Lightworker” articles from 2013.

I still get questions from people asking if I think this or that channeled source is valid. My answer is always the same: NOPE!

2. Delusional positivity is never useful. Do not suppress any “negative emotions”

Don’t hide from your own shadow content or try to cover it up with positive thinking. When the darkness is welling up from the depths of your subconscious, dive in and get to work.

3. The best teachers have been through at least one “dark night of the soul”

They may not always talk about their dark night experiences, but you can hear and feel it in the depth of their communication and their ability to have compassion and understanding for people who are currently struggling with their own shadow content.

My first “dark night” was when I was 12, with three more at ages 17, 21 and 32. They were incredibly difficult, but I am grateful for the growth that came from them.

4. Make sure that whoever you are learning from lives according to their teachings

I believe that all spiritual information has to be tested in the laboratory of “real life” so that it’s not just philosophy without any practical application. Many people are teaching philosophy that they have not tested, nor have they themselves been tested as to the strength of their resolve.

5. Be patient with your journey. Share and teach when you feel the deep desire to do so, and not one minute sooner

Spend the time necessary to learn useful tools and use them to work on yourself. Realize that your journey may take years to mature to a level where you are ready to lend guidance to others.

Give yourself plenty of space to enjoy your life, too! You don’t have to work on yourself every single day and deny yourself new experiences.

Be curious, explore, travel, meet new people, fall in love, experience heartbreak, make mistakes, apologize, take responsibility for all of your actions, share your experiences with those who have the ears to hear.

One day you will “just know” that you are ready to take on the responsibility of teaching what you know to others. At the same time, don’t delay unnecessarily. You don’t have to be perfect to be a great help to others. In fact…

6. You will never be perfect, so stop trying to be

Focus on being your most authentic self, even if people in your life tell you that you “should” be something else. Those people are probably not authentic themselves, so don’t let them control you.

7. Live your life in integrity and authenticity, and take care of yourself before you attempt to help someone else solve their problems

Do not compromise yourself in order to make someone else feel better about themselves. Insecure people will try to keep you down at their level, and you will probably need to walk away from them so that you can rise to the level of your own highest potential.

There is a lot more I could say, of course, but I divulge just about everything that I know in my various classes, which are all available online.

Much Love,
Cameron Day

 

~via AscensionHelp.com