I’ve written many times about the importance and impact of the frequencies/ energies/qualities we resonate with, and which we radiate as we move through our daily lives. It’s equally important to notice the qualities that affect our body-mind experience—that impact our moods and thoughts, along with our physical sensations. Equally important are the qualities we spontaneously and automatically contribute to the world around us in every moment. This process is often outside our conscious awareness—the fact that we constantly affect the world around us with the energies we naturally radiate as we move through our everyday activities and interactions.
When we remember that we live within a context of collective consciousness (if this is an idea that resonates with you), we can remind ourselves that in every moment we contribute to and draw from this collective, most often outside our conscious awareness. We also aren’t usually aware of the ways in which our own thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations are also affected by collective consciousness. For example, if something is happening in the world that creates a lot of fear, any fear we may hold as individuals is amplified by the collective experience of this same emotion. If we are in a group of people expressing deep love and support, our personal experience of comfort or well-being will also be enhanced.
This presence of collective consciousness is the field within which subtle activism finds its impact. It is within this context that practices that invite us to radiate love, compassion, kindness, and other positive emotions finds its place. Also (again, if this resonates with your own belief system) there are many forms of collective consciousness, from our global human family to Nature itself, from the smallest, most intimate environment to earth’s varied landscapes and grand natural wonders. We are connected to, and affected by, all these collective fields of consciousness, even as we are usually not conscious of these connections and their impact on us and ours on them.
Quite a number of years ago now, I heard about an experience a woman had in San Francisco during an earthquake there. Apparently, the earthquake knocked out electricity in the area and when it did she found herself inside a department store with no lights. She was the devotee of a guru who was popular at that time and she began to silently chant her guru’s mantra as she walked through the dark store, asking for guidance to the exit. I don’t know how long she walked through the darkness but when she finally saw light shining through the large glass doors of the exit, she turned around and looked behind her. What she saw surprised her. There was a long line of people who had followed her in the dark, no one speaking, and without her awareness of their presence. I think they did so because of the frequency, the quality and energy, that she radiated as she mentally chanted the mantra while walking. For me, this is a vivid example of the impact on the world around us of the internal quality of being we carry within us that then radiates out into the world. It is also a powerful example of one expression of what is now called subtle activism.
For this week’s practice, I invite you to notice the quality of energy you fill yourself with and the quality of the energy you radiate not only throughout your own body-mind being but also what you radiate into the world around you. A key here is to hold a gentle awareness around this practice. It’s not an invitation to judge or criticize yourself or to feel burdened in any way. Instead, it’s an opportunity to support moment-to-moment choice, to give yourself a chance to shift from or strengthen into whatever qualities you discover you would like to generate in any given circumstance.
It’s useful to remember that every quality is its own frequency and that every frequency touches everything around you. For example, if you’d like to have a serene environment, it helps if you can find serenity in yourself, resonate with it to whatever degree you can, taking it in, and experiencing it as fully as possible. If you’d like playfulness as the quality of your experience, enliven that quality in yourself and notice what happens when you radiate that quality into your activities and your environment. If you are deeply sad or frightened, notice what happens if you bring your awareness to an image, a word, a sound, or a quality that settles and soothes you. Then, notice if anything changes in you or your environment as you orient to the more supportive quality you’ve chosen. In all these examples, remember to pay attention to the sensations in your body, as focusing on your body’s felt-sense will deepen both your awareness and your experience.
Be sure to make room for mixed feelings as you explore this week’s practice. They are an inevitable part of your wholeness, and it makes a powerful difference when you can notice whatever feelings arise without falling into self-criticism or distress. You don’t have to do anything with your mixed feelings, other than to notice them and allow them to either just be there or to move through on your ever-flowing stream of consciousness.
One of the benefits of taking time to notice the frequencies with which you resonate and which you radiate throughout your body-mind being and into your world is that you strengthen the option for, and practice of, choice. It’s through awareness that we have choice, even when there may be times when the only choice we can seem to access is that of self-compassion if we’re stuck in a feeling state that we can’t seem to shift.
As with all these practices, please remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion and to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise. As with mixed feelings, there’s really nothing to do with or about judgments. Sometimes they bring information that reveals a bias or lack of understanding you may not have realized you had, or some aspect of self-criticism that hadn’t come to the foreground of awareness before this. Whatever you notice, practice allowing these thoughts and responses to arise and simply flow on by.