In this time of intense social and global activation and distress, it behooves each one of us to be mindful not only of our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, but also to keep in mind that, in a collective sense, our way of being in the world matters. Here’s a quotation I recently posted on the Devadana Sanctuary page, and it got me to thinking about how we manage what becomes our contribution to the collective referred to:
“The world we are experiencing today is the result of our collective consciousness, and if we want a new world, each of us must take responsibility for helping create it.”
~ Rosemary Fillmore
One of the most basic practices that can make a difference in the quality of our internal life is to notice what we orient to in our thoughts and feelings, and what “frequencies” we tune into as we move through the day. For example, if you orient your self-talk and day-dreaming toward worry, you are—in a sense—dialing in the quality of “worry”, connecting with it not only in your own imagination but also in the collective worry carried by us all as a collective consciousness.
An article I read recently affirmed something I have worked with for years as a hypnotherapist and trauma specialist. Brain-scans used in research demonstrate how our imagination affects the brain itself and, then, our entire body-mind. It’s both helpful and important to know that our brain is wired in a way that allows it to register imagined experience almost as vividly and with as much impact as actual lived experience. This is one more reason why it is both helpful and important to be able to track, and then choose, where you place your awareness and attention.
Because of the training I had with my grandmother growing up—she was my first spiritual teacher—I have always had a sense of being part of collective consciousness and I’m keenly aware of the impact of resonating with qualities that are highly charged in our collective awareness. These days, fear, anger, anxiety, worry are all super-charged in our collective consciousness and I am aware that whenever I drop into any of these states, I’m connected not only with my own distress but also registering that of other people all over the planet.
When I first started working with frequencies, I imagined a radio and that I could use to “dial in” different stations/frequencies. I would work with this as a self-hypnosis exercise and made it a daily practice. Throughout the day, whenever I felt I was becoming mired in anxiety, worry, fear, or some other less-than-nourishing quality of consciousness, I would imagine changing the station to something more regulated. I might choose ease, kindness, compassion, or some other more comforting quality, perhaps pull up some images that elicited these kinds of feelings and reorient to this whenever I shifted to the less-than-comfortable feeling.
Practices such as HeartMath, Tonglen (which I wrote about recently), and other heart-centered approaches support developing and strengthening an awareness and ability to shift frequencies when you may find that you’re caught up in a quality of experience and thinking that doesn’t feel good to you. And, if you notice that you’re tense, your body’s tension can become like a meditation bell, calling your awareness to do whatever works best for you to shift toward softening or quieting yourself a bit.
I also recommend learning self-hypnosis, if that appeals to you, as a way to help yourself more easily shift from activating thoughts and feelings into those that are more regulated and supportive of well-being.
Doing these practices doesn’t mean to avoid feeling deeply what is happening in your life and in the world. To ignore our own suffering, and that of others, wouldn’t be healthy and it’s important to be able to metabolize and process the whole range of our complex human experience. Instead, this particular practice is about managing what we contribute to, and draw from, our collective consciousness. Each time we shift from a negative or hurtful state to something more regulated, we contribute our own quality of regulation to our collective consciousness, and that becomes a gift to others. Also, when we shift into a more regulated state, we are supported by all the other people who are also more regulated.
In my view of the world, we are never alone, never disconnected from the whole of which we are inescapably enfolded. Practices such as these not only enhance our own sense of well-being. They also allow us to contribute to the well-being of our collective human family.
As with all these practices, remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion and to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise. There’s no right way to do the practice. Instead, there’s an invitation for you to find what works best for you to help ease the stress of the challenges of everyday living and to support a deepened sense of well-being.