As we feel our way into the energy of the moment, it seems clear that big shifts in our thinking are required to support us as we move into the future. Our systems and structures are failing, the old, status quo ways of operating are not serving us, and many of us are being pushed towards greater and greater degrees of personal transformation. As we deal with all this change, adapting and integrating all we are experiencing on the physical, emotional and energetic levels, it becomes clear that our programming is outdated, our ingrained way of thinking about things no longer makes sense, and that real forward movement will require a pretty major overhaul in consciousness. It may be hard to imagine what this could look like, as we are so used to how we are and how we’ve been, and often, are unable to see the ways our upbringing and cultural milieu has limited and confined the grooves of thinking and behaving we drop into without awareness. In order to begin to see what and how we can shift, we need to start engaging in practices that specifically aim at shaking us out of our routines and habits, expand our thinking and open up our perspective. Until we can start seeing things differently, opening up to possibility and change, we are destined to repeat history and stay stuck in the stories of the past.
Just like exercising or eating well, taking part in practices that break us out of our normal ways of thinking and expand our perspective really should become a regular part of our self-care routines. It is a common phenomenon in modern life to regularly experience stress, dropping into survival mode on a daily basis. When we operate from this space, our perception becomes frightfully narrow, and we become used to existing in this state, cut off from creativity and innovation and only able to see the way forward that feels safest (and often, most comfortable). The options seem finite and limited, and we are very likely to act/react from old, ingrained beliefs and patterns of behavior. We literally do not have access to parts of our brain that help us think outside of immediate self-preservation. If we want to be able to consciously assess our behavior and decisions, as well as expand our perspective, stepping out of this way of being is a very necessary first step.
Once we are relaxed enough to drop in, we then can begin to explore a greater opening of consciousness. There are many ways to do this, and you can experiment to find the practices that are most effective for you. Stillness and presence help some, such as in meditation, breathwork or connecting with nature, while movement is better for others – dance, yoga, qi gong, etc. Things that alter your vibration in subtle or not-so-subtle ways can be great allies here: music, drumming, chanting, singing, ceremony, sound bath, energy healing, plant medicine. Stories and books (novels or self-help), or even podcasts can be useful, if you find the right ones. Sensual experiences, such as massage, hot soaks and physical intimacy can also play a role, relaxing and opening us up. Experiences of divinity, oneness and bliss have a particular way of breaking down the confines of the mind and connecting us to a higher vibration and bigger energy. Any practices that promote these types of feelings will help us expand, while also contributing to enjoyment and pleasure.
In addition to working with the mind-state directly, it is also important to bring great awareness to problems, decisions and/or thoughts about the future. It feels so easy, natural even, to drop into unconsciousness and make decisions based on old habits, cultural training or fear of external judgements. We often make choices without examining the real reasoning or feeling behind them, influenced mainly by limiting beliefs, fear/anxiety, worry about how we may appear to others, and unconscious habit. Catch yourself before you make a decision, head in a direction or imagine your future. Connect with your true self, rooted in your energy, and check if you are following a familiar pattern rather than inviting in possibility and change. We like to make choices that feel safe, that come from a place of practicality, duty, what we “should” do but this keeps us small, limits what is possible and leads us away from our own happiness and fulfillment. Though it can feel scary or intimidating, making decisions that feel unfamiliar and/or uncomfortable often lead us toward greater expansion.
As we begin to move from new perspectives, we start to shift, ever so slightly at first, but increasingly over time, both our own lives and the trajectory of our shared human story. As we become more accustomed to taking action freed from the confines and stories of the past, we begin to see and feel a future not just baby steps from where we are now, but huge, multi-dimensional leaps forward. This is the kind of change that is needed. The future looks, and needs to look, very different from what our past experiences might have us believe. The ways of thinking and living, the habits and standards we’ve been habituated to, the institutions that have supported us and even the skills needed to be successful in our world have shifted, and new perspectives, structures and systems are sorely needed. Through our ability to become empowered and unrestricted in our thinking, we can collectively tap into creativity, inspiration and the dream of the world waiting to be born, and find our way forward.
Hi! My name is Ashley and I'm a transformational healer, writer and artist. Here you will find articles on a variety of topics related to health and healing, conscious living and self-growth. Hope you enjoy!