How Happiness Turns into Well-Being

A Formula for Lasting Well-Being?

Noble Purpose + Connectedness = Vitality 

LINKING A SENSE OF CONNECTEDNESS WITH LONGEVITY BY ILLUMINATING BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT PURSUITS. 


What are the molecular signaling pathways that transduce positive psychological states into somatic physiology? 


According to this exploration, not all happiness generates the same effects on the immune system. Some types pass through in a more transitory way. And others become embedded in our embodied nature, generating enhanced well-being and health.

 

How do you know which type are you pursuing?

 

Barbara Fredrickson, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, helps create a tangible distinction between two types of happiness, hedonic and eudaemonic, through illuminating aspects of the expressions within human biology. These are described as:

 

Hedonic: Representing the sum of an individual’s positive affective experiences.

EudaImonic: Striving toward meaning and a noble purpose beyond simple self-gratification.

 

She clarifies:

It’s the difference, for example, between enjoying a good meal and feeling connected to a larger community through a service project, she said. Both give us a sense of happiness, but each is experienced very differently in the body’s cells. Eudaimonic well-being was, indeed, associated with a significant decrease in the stress-related CTRA gene expression profile. In contrast, hedonic well-being was associated with a significant increase in the CTRA profile. Their genomics-based analyses, the authors reported, reveal the hidden costs of purely hedonic well-being.

 

Through the lens of the human genome system and researching 80 healthy adults, Barbara helps offer evidence towards how these differing approaches come to life in our species. She indicates that by aligning one’s life with deep interconnectivity and a purpose-driven existence, the essence of happiness actually manifests into the information systems that makes up our bodies within our genes and cells.

 

Basically, the physical manifestation process of well-being!

 

She informs us:

“We can make ourselves happy through simple pleasures, but those ‘empty calories’ don’t help us broaden our awareness or build our capacity in ways that benefit us physically,” she said. “At the cellular level, our bodies appear to respond better to a different kind of well-being, one based on a sense of connectedness and purpose.”

 

Perhaps the often stated advice to live into one's distinct purpose on earth holds a new type of motivation beyond spiritual growth, one of a movement rooted in evidence of cellular health and vitality. 

 

One summary of Fredrickson's exploration states: "The finding that hedonic and eudaimonic well-being engage distinct gene regulatory programs despite their similar effects on total well-being and depressive symptoms implies that the human genome may be more sensitive to qualitative variations in well-being than are our conscious affective experiences."

 

The results bolster Fredrickson’s previous work on the effects of positive emotions, as well as research linking a sense of connectedness with longevity. “Understanding the cascade to gene expression will help inform further work in these areas,” she explains. 


Still Curious?

Follow the rabbit hole... 

Special thanks to these sources


You're Invited! To Bridge Mind into Matter through Interactive Experiences

What does theoretical physics have to do with your gut intelligence? What's happening within the space between our noses? What's the relationship between what someone says to you and your felt sense? 

Consciousness, quantum physics, timelessness, non-dualism, entanglement, spirits, synchronicity , psychedelic research, neuroscience, techno-spirituality, Gods, mysticism, galaxies and beyond. Although fascinating and energizing, the topics can get a little heady at the Science and Nonduality Conference.

So, @Calypso and I teamed up to build bridges between mind and matter. We asked:


 

HOW CAN WE TAKE THE IDEAS AND CONCEPTS EXPLORED AT THE CONFERENCE AND EMBED THEM INTO EXPERIENTIAL EMBODIED INTERACTIONS? 

 

The unfolding emerged into series of invitations in which we placed throughout the buildings, halls, bathrooms, lounges, dining areas and geodesic dome. The invitations open with an inquiry in the form of a curious question inspired by the conference topics. The inquiries then show a prompt. The prompts are in the form of a suggested action that evolved from the inquiry, leading someone into a direct experience. 

The project, termed Let’s Drop In Together, reveals how through heeding the call into the unknown and with a grounded focus, we can begin to see things anew. This gives way to an allowing of the emergence of sensational feelings and insights at the subtle level.

THE INTENT SEEKS TO AWAKEN DORMANT BODY SENSES, TO BRING CHILDLIKE WONDER INTO THE IMMEDIACY OF LIFE AND TO EXPLORE THE UNKNOWN OF WHAT CAN EMERGE WHEN WE ENGAGE IN NEW WAYS. 

The inquiry > prompt > experience format brings the conceptual frameworks into explorations of interactivity between people as well as between the self and the body.

 

 

For example, one could leverage scientific frameworks to clarify the underlying interconnectivity of everything. Yet, what does this mean as to how we might actually interact with the world, ourselves and each other differently if we carried embodied connectivity as we dance through life? This type of contemplation illuminates the foundational inspiration behind some of the questions, such as: 

Is this wall alive? Whisper it a secret.
Is there an edge to your body? Shake someone’s hand, slowly move your hands apart and feel what’s between them.

 

Or perhaps the ideas of infinity or manifestation seem out of reach. So, the bridge into experience could be: 

Why plan for the future when we are infinite? Take a breath in while thinking about the breath out.
How can your imagination become real, right now? Make a butterfly out of your hands and watch it fly around.

 

 LET'S DROP IN TOGETHER, SHALL WE?



Interested to learn more?

Connect w/ us @ lets drop in together .com.  

Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Wholeness: From Work-Life Balance to Work-Life Integration

Tired of playing a balancing act out of work versus life in pursuit of a more joyous life?

 

Society has placed an emphasis on this distinction, suggesting that it’s because we work too much that we are unhappy. Furthermore, it presents the idea that if we separate our career from the rest of our life, designating time to tend diligently to each one, then we will be happier. And still, stories continue to emerge about how tough it is to succeed in the traditional sense of a career while also maintaining a nourishing home, social life and connected family.

(Art by Jon Han)

(Art by Jon Han)

It appears our mainstream society hasn't really executed a better balancing of work and life as separate pursuits. Perhaps this divisive way of thinking is contributing to a more fragmented life instead of offering us portals to wholeness. 

 

So, let’s explore something new. There’s a budding new approach that suggests instead integrating work with life together. Instead of pursuing happiness and wholeness as an end goal, what if activating and integrating more aspects of ourselves within daily practices and routines allowed us to live into wholeness? I find truth in my experience of this.

 

In this endeavor, happiness simply becomes a by-product rather than an elusive holy grail. 

 

This process could take many forms.

 

My attempt towards work-life integration thus far is an experiment that’s still underway. In order to make this life one beautiful adventure converging being and doing, I’ve been exploring discovering my unique purpose. As I sought to reveal the mysteries as to what I cared about most, it began to point strongly and continually to transformation. This includes how human consciousness can be expanded upon in order to alleviate suffering and help people realize their innate worth and interconnection here on earth.

 

So I’ve teamed up with others who have similar visions. We’ve created a community in a shared home in which we work and live as one endeavor. We pursue this in the name of expanding global access to ways of supporting those who desire to engage in a path of transformation. We’ve committed to our own transformative growth in alignment with this mission as well.

 

Our daily life includes well being practices such as meditation, exercise, healthy eating, and engaging spontaneous dialogues whereas all the while collaborative work projects are interwoven throughout.

 

There’s nothing to hide because nothing is separate. Our darkest fears, worries and weaknesses are just as present as our enchanting hopes and dreams.

 

In many ways this experience so far has proven to be paradoxically the most challenging endeavor I’ve ever undertaken, while also being the most fulfilling, meaningful and rewarding. My empathy as to why our culture has chosen to separate work and life, despite its ineffectiveness has grown as I’ve faced these challenges. I’ve had many moments where I have wanted to give up, yet the powerful vision of living a life engaged with purposeful work as a more and more whole version of myself prevails.

THE FRONTIER OF CONSCIOUSNESS HACKING

THE THRESHOLD OF DISCOVERY WHERE SCIENCE, SPIRIT AND HUMANITY ARE CONVERGING WITH TECHNOLOGY.

 

Existence in today’s era relates with humanity in new and fascinating ways. Although for centuries our connection with the cosmos has been interwoven within work, play, organizational systems and relationships, the way in which our unique place relates with these aspects is transforming.

There is a growing body of perception exploring how expanded awareness and sensory contact with the world and ourselves can be better understood by engaging with technology. A particular shared synchronization of this exploration unites under the global community of Consciousness Hacking. The inquiries arising in this space of transformative technologies involve asking questions around what it means to dismantle barriers in order to cultivate deeper connections with our hearts, bodies, minds, nature and each other.

 

These shared intentions within Consciousness Hacking focus on how technology can act as a self-exploration tool to offer us access to never before seen paths that can help us transform the way we think, feel, and live.

 

For example, these explorations can take us through experiences of suffering into states where we can then access more joy in our lives. While other movements seek to change the world itself, this community presents a different perspective regarding how technology can instead work with us by revealing an endless series of truths about our participation with existence. A welcoming aspect of this movement is that through these pursuits, we can maintain liberty as to how we choose to use this new awareness.

Scientific communities are increasingly recognizing what spiritual traditions have been advocating for thousands of years: through focused self-awareness we can fundamentally change our conscious experience. Now, both science and spirituality, together, help us see that the key to accessing profound joy and contentment lay not in our external circumstances, but in our relationship to ourselves.

Numerous scientific publications on mindfulness and meditation confirm the profound benefits reaped by contemplative practices with technologically supported evidence and feedback. These studies examine questions such as: Is modern enlightenment possible, in harmony with the media and technology that constantly externalize our attention and increase our sense of separation? Can we create new forms of technology to cultivate calm minds, improve relationships, rediscover connectedness, and enhance our lives?

These visionary questions might seem in direct conflict with the constant distraction and information overload surrounding us. Especially because many other pursuits in the current societal and cultural tech landscape aren’t yet involved directly in the techniques of transformative manifestations. But how can we expand these definitions of technology?

 

How can we embrace technology as a series of reflections about who and what we are collectively as a culture?

 

In the same way that a painting is a visible extension of the painter’s being, we are creating this world around us all the time. Technology is not static—it is the manifestation of human ingenuity. It can be anything we want it to be.

So, why does the ever-increasing number of devices around us only offer us glimpses of fleeting happiness? Why don’t our technological interactions offer us lasting nourishment and more meaningful living? One perspective is that this is because we have yet to cultivate the awareness about how to actually be happy. We have a tendency to wallow in psychological turmoil we label anxiety, depression, stress, or victimization. This prevalent suffering has fueled massive pharmaceutical, alcohol, and narcotic industries that only superficially mask the problem. Yet, we might be able to use technology in ways that instead help us understand our own role in contributing to this suffering. And, in turn, these techniques could help us sustain more joyful and meaningful living.

The human capacity for profound peace, connection, joy, unconditional love, and the recognition of our fundamentally unitive nature has been pointed to by countless spiritual and religious traditions for centuries. This is a fundamental human capacity, not a product of religion. Instead, religion and spiritual traditions are expressions of how humans discovered this within themselves and sought to connect through these revelations.

Consciousness Hacking embraces these capacities with new forms of connection. This includes ways in which we can transcend the restricting prison of language and the limitations of any single human perspective. The community includes exponential technologies into this experiential pursuit of an inherently dynamic, adaptive, and enlivening perception. The modalities seek to meet people exactly where they are, patiently and skillfully supporting the realization of the most profound aspects of our human experience. The current manifestations appear in forms of apps, wearable devices, and primitive artificially intelligent interactions. Yet, as these transformative technologies evolve, they continue to take on a category of their own. The creations in this category bridge reasoning and sensing into a seamless experience offering individuals the ability to understand their unique place in the whole as well as explore the sensational value of synchronization and entrainment.

Technologies, sciences and organizing intelligences do not have fixed locations; they are properties of the universe in which we participate.

 

Through expanding our sensory perceptions of these properties, we begin to take part in the animation of the growth of new cells, the evolution of new species, the design of computer systems, and the development of artificial intelligence into wisdom.

Wisdom, too, has no location and is not bound to human minds. Wisdom expressing through the language and being of a luminary, is just one way that it manifests. As easily as it expresses through word or deed, wisdom can also express through bits and bytes. Humanity has the capacity to play an integral role in this unfolding story where science, spirit and technology are converging. Let’s discover these new paths together.

Originally posted at Consciousness Hacking >>

Written by Mikey Siegel & Gareth Gwyn

 

Think Ashram Meets Start-Up Accelerator

We must therefore rediscover, after the natural world, the social world, not as an object or sum of objects, but as a permanent field or dimension of existence.
— Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception

If you choose to entertain the vantage point that everything is connected, literally everything, it can lead to the idea that our work and creations are living parts of ourselves.

Therefore, when contemplating what goods, services, arts and products to invest time and energy into making, it’s strikingly worthy of exploring how the nature of our being is embedded into those tangible extensions.

In other words, the societal impact of the design of good and services we create is dependent upon the foundational state of our being.

This begs an inquiry: How we can transform our own personal growth in alignment with the creation process?

Perhaps as we continue to expand our own consciousness, the tools and techniques we assemble can also become transformational catalysts for others. In theory this may sound simple, yet a daily practice of on-going transformation is not a light endeavor. It’s also not one to undertake alone. It necessitates a community with the same caliber of commitment.

So we created one.

I’m pleased to introduce to you, The CoHack Home! This is a new project merging living, working, and transformation. We are a group of people who are choosing to act upon this perspective and explore the implications in ourselves and in the impact of our work. Our intentional community is made of 10 scientists, hackers, artists and entrepreneurs living in a home overlooking the expansive natural landscape in San Carlos. The mission of the home is to act as a base and cultural nexus point, supporting Bay Area entrepreneurs, makers, investors, and visionaries seeking to innovate spiritual practice, growth and well-being.

Although we are just getting started, it’s fascinating thus far. We engage in hacking our consciousness from multiple angles including explorations of modern technologies and practices involved with transformational healing modalities. In addition to hosting events and workshops, we share morning routines of exercise and meditation, hold engaging brainstorms, team up on tech and design projects, support each other in intrapersonal processes, celebrate authentic relating, cook delicious and healthy food, hike together in the gorgeous hills, strategize and execute bold plans, experiment with tools at the intersection of technology and consciousness and set intentions of love and beauty. In times of struggle, we lead each other back to our own hearts.

This experiment demonstrates that it is possible to merge the ways of peaceful life in a meditation ashram with more energetic ambitious work pursuits. We celebrate that through being the best version of ourselves, our creations catalyze others to be their best selves too.

DRIVEN BY THE PURPOSE OF LOVE To THE CUTTING EDGES OF TECHNOLOGY

THIS IS A STORY ABOUT HOW I FOUND A COMMUNITY WHO CONVERGES THE GRANDEST PURPOSES OF LOVE INTO MODERN DAY ENDEAVORS. IT’S HARD TO BEAT EXPLORING HOW TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS, SCIENCE CAN CONVERGE WITH LOVE.

I was on a Skype call with Marc Winn. He was on Guernsey Island off the coast of France and I was in downtown Chicago. My mind tried once again to find the words to explain how important I believe it is to view our experiences through a series of infinite frequency interactions.

This was another of my many attempts to communicate how significant it is to me to never lose sight of how what we perceive as properties, such as matter, are actually just representing a depiction of a transitory densities resulting from a unique combination of vibrational interactions. The Beatles articulated this in less scientific terms, “I am you and you are me and we are all together,” helping to disclose our innate interconnectedness with everything. Getting lost in hippie dippie love songs is a valued past-time, yet I’ve always desired to leverage this perspective to bring more love into the world in more tangible ways. And today’s playground often includes the world of what we call technology.

Often in the past, when I’ve disclosed my passion for this perspective, the reactions involve how it’s rather irrelevant to a career pursuit, especially because I don’t have a degree in quantum physics or anything so deeply entrenched in the mathematical modeling of it all.

BUT THIS TIME WAS DIFFERENT.

 

Marc’s reaction was one of complete understanding. He didn’t even ask for clarification. He actually spoke to how most of the modern day ventures in exponential technology effectively impact culture, yet they hit a wall when it comes to consciousness expansion.

A SMALL PART OF ME FELT VALIDATED. FINALLY.

 

Marc then proceeded to tell me about a growing assembly of people from around the world: Consciousness Hacking. He explained that this group shares ardent passions for helping tackle the world’s most critical challenges, yet through the lens of where the most fundamental levels of technology meet the most fundamental levels of human existence.

THE BEST PART IS IT’S ALSO ALL IN THE NAME OF MINDFULNESS, EMPATHY AND LOVE.

 

All the sudden my previous self-doubts about lack of scientific degrees suspended for a moment. There must be somewhere within this community I can explore where my own unique talents can help.

The following months marked a pivotal moment in my dive into pursuing my deepest dreams and the Consciousness Hacking (CH) community played a big role in that. I attended CH meet-ups in Manhattan and San Francisco. And even participated in the Transformative Technology Conference, a major Consciousness Hacking assembly held at Sofia University in Palo Alto.

I heard energetic founders of companies speak to how their products help induce mindfulness. I listened in fascination to scientists explain how we can quantify brain waves emitted and then activate a transformative healing process to generate new waves, ones more associated with joy instead of fear.  We played with tools of entrainment. We engaged in dialogues about methods of what empathy means in science. And so.much.more.

WHAT I DISCOVERED IS THIS IS NOT ONLY A RARE GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS THAN BRINGING LOVE INTO THE WORLD, THEY ALSO PURSUE IT AT THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND POTENT CHANNELS.

 

Do I think what we term “technology” is the answer to dissolving suffering within the human experience? No. But I think it’s one tool we have to work with as a current and potent extension of our own selves. It's also an effective lens to comprehend our already innate interconnectedness. I'm also curious to explore how technology can help us reveal interactive patterns in real-time that have never before been visualized or experienced. Although, regardless of the tool, opening broader access to love is fundamentally what I’m after.

AMID MANY EGO-DRIVEN BUSINESS PURSUITS, THERE’S ALSO A COMMUNITY OF HUMANS THAT DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS THAN THE DRIVING PURPOSE OF HELPING HUMANS TO SUFFER LESS. THIS EMERGING WAVE OF PEOPLE ARE ASSEMBLING UNDER THE CONSCIOUSNESS HACKING UMBRELLA, HELPING OUR SPECIES TO ULTIMATELY ACCESS MORE LOVE IN TANGIBLE WAYS.

 
 
When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.
— Carl Gustav Jung

AN UNEXPECTED HACKATION STORY

REFLECTIONS ON AN experiment in dissolving the work/joy dichotomy through hacking an app while meditating on vacation.


It’s productive and effective to bring distinct people together with a shared purpose to make fascinating creations. Combine that with merging the office space with a retreat center and conduct a vacation at the same time, now that is simply just brilliant.

Sign me up.


The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Consciousness Hacking shared an interest in developing a smartphone app to test for and experiment with psychic abilities. They also wanted to have fun doing it. Their approach was to recruit a targeted group of people and host a full-on Hackation.

At the same time I was giddy about getting to be a part of this weekend venture, I was also pretty nervous. Ok, really nervous. Not only did I doubt my lack of coding skills and knowledge about the science of consciousness, I had no clue what I could contribute to such a brilliant team.

One part of my mind asked another part of my mind questions such as, what if I’m a fraud? It was as if my brain part that asked was expecting some sort of solution-based response from it’s companion. No solutions emerged. Instead the mental banter just erupted into a vicious unproductive mind cycle of insecurity.

Ugh. Stuck.

 

I remembered a commitment I had made to myself to never deny the information brought to me through my emotional senses. So I figured there was nothing to lose and I decided to own up to my fear-based state of being and spilled the beans about my self-doubt to the small group I was sharing a table with. The first breakthrough happened when a few others expressed they shared similar feelings of inadequacy. Yikes, I thought, now I’ve started a pity party. I’ve made things worse and now even more of us are distracted from productivity. And yet, that’s not what unfolded.

The resulting experience was beautiful. And it’s not about the vacation part.

 

Julia, the director at IONS Innovation Lab, embraced it all. She started by offering words of encouragement about our talents. Her main message however, was when she explained that in order to unlock our best creative powers, it helps to first meet our own selves at a place of deep faith in our true worth to exist without any need to create anything. Then she basically detached us from any expectation of contributing to the project. Looking back, I see how this could have been risky. The Innovation Lab had assumed the costs to host this Hackation and she was literally telling this group we could just go play in the gorgeous grassy Petaluma hills.

But that isn’t what happened.

 

Our small group continued the dialogue about self-worth, self-love and our existence not being based around the need to produce. Ironically, after this entire ten-minute experience was over, the level of energy had been shifted to one of exuberance.

Some of us did take a break for a bit, but ultimately what emerged was an unexpected wave of productive creativity. For example, I was able to design a storyboard for the coders so they’d have clarity about what the user experience involved.

What I had been unable to remember during the initial stages of fear was that I was around a bunch of people who enjoy working in the consciousness space because in addition to the goods and services explored, they also value being highly conscious themselves. This Hackation not only merged hacking + a vacation, it also merged meditation aspects of allowing every single experience to arise as sacred + work dynamics. And ultimately, the team produced in two days what often takes teams many months.


The underlying idea is that when internal emotional experiences are denied, numbed or suppressed – they block our creative expressions and also come back to haunt us again and again. If they are fully expressed with care and love, then they dissolve back into the field of infinite possibility and the body opens up and delights in creation again. Of course we dove into the physiology and science behind all this, but I’ll spare that part of the story here. Conceptually, this may not sound revolutionary, but executing this concept in a pressure-filled work environment in real-time is another matter. Not something I’d seen executed previously.



After the event ended as we continued to collaborate on Slack, I noticed someone express their gratitude for the event to the group by writing:

 

The collective space had an awareness allowing me to stay grounded and see what comes up instead of rejecting the experience.

 

Apparently others were experiencing the benefits of this unique environment too.

 

So that’s what I mean by:

experiments in dissolving the work/joy dichotomy through hacking an app while meditating on vacation.

 

I'm filing it in my memory as a measurement of success. It also certainly aligns with my goals in converging love and work. And it's way beyond solely focusing on the product outcome.

Love + Work: The Pursuit of a Lifetime

Driven Forward by the Forces of Successive Stages of Consciousness

I'm pursuing the beautiful intersection of where work meets love. As depicted in my flight plan, this involves the convergence of consciousness, communication and commerce. It also involves deliberate focus on expansion of my own consciousness. I view this as fundamental to discovering and releasing my potentials as well as accessing the most effective channels for my creative expression.

This epic journey includes taking a heavenly ride inward to the home of the self, dancing with old and new clay-like identities and exposing the sub-conscious shadows of my psyche to the light of the day.

The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. Nikola Tesla

As Tesla so urgently stated, the convergence between these seemingly disparate worlds can be a transformative foundation to work from. Combining the esoteric worlds of consciousness with more science-driven approaches is not only fascinating, it’s grounding. Therefore, my recent explorations have included working with The Institute of Noetic Sciences and Nine Gates Mystery School. Both of these organizations value the bridge of how we can bring the mysteries of the cosmos into everyday reality for more meaningful living.

And still, my mission is beyond just constructing a meaningful vocation, it’s also rooted in being a productive and healing ripple within our broader co-existing world.

Consider this:

The structure of society does not enforce imitation and conformity. The human fear of self-actualization necessitates structures that enable imitation and conformity. There would be riots demanding such structures if they didn’t exist. No government in history has ever had to deal with the problem of too many of its citizens wanting to live so imaginatively that institutions based on conformity and imitation become unsustainable. If anything, the problem has always been the reverse one: getting enough of the population to act with enough imagination to keep the institutions alive. (Venkatesh Rao)

This perspective is powerful because it begs each human to take responsibility for himself or herself as an individual. It offers credence to how we can take accountability for the creation of our identities, lives and creative expressions, rather than get stuck in fear-based entitlement demands. A country filled with increasing self-accountable and self-actualized people could be a peaceful and loving place to live. Therefore, in light of doing what I can for contributing to a more liberated world, I’m driven to continually discover where my love of myself and of life intersects with purpose-driven work product.

The old temple inscription "Know Thyself" is often repeated today, but perhaps it is not adequate. It should declare "Construct Thyself" as well. Shape your mind, train your thinking power, and direct your emotions more rationally; liberate your behavior from the ancestral burden of reptiles and monkeys—be a man and use your intelligence to orient the reactions of your mind.

San Francisco Bay, January 2016

San Francisco Bay, January 2016

Beyond the horizon of the place we lived when we were young
In a world of magnets and miracles
Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary
The ringing of the division bell had begun

SAYING YES

Explore A brief glimpse into the past few months of living from the roots of my own rhythm:

 




In Conversation with the Mysteries of the World


Do you ever have the feeling of excitement when you come across a passage in a book, a song, or a painting that so deeply speaks to you? Well, that's how I feel right now about the below excerpt from Bill Plotkin's presentation of Soulcraft.


She no longer conforms to nor rebels against society, she chooses a third way.

She wanders, beyond the confines of her precious identity. The wanderer crosses and recrosses borders in order to find something whose location is unknown and unknowable. She will conclude she has found it not by its location, but by how it feels, how it resonates with her upon discovery. She doesn't know where or when or how clues will appear, so she wanders incessantly, both inwardly and outwardly, always looking, imagining, feeling.

In her wandering, she makes her own path.

The wanderer discovers her unique path by perceiving the world with imagination and feeling. She senses what is possible as well as actual. She sees into people, places and possibilities, and she cultivates a relationship with the invisible realms as much as with the visible. She is in conversation with the mysteries of the world, on the lookout for signs and omens. She attend especially to the edges, those places where one thing merges with another, where consciousness shifts and opens, where the world becomes something different from what it initially appeared to be.

The wanderer seeks to discover her unique and authentic place in life. Not just any place will do.

Her authentic place is not simply one that someone will pay her to occupy (like a job), nor a task she happens to have talent to preform (like an art or craft), nor a career a vocational counselor recommends for her (like banking or social work), nor a social role (like caregiver, student, parent, servant or leader, whore or rebel) in which other people will accept her. It's got to be her place, one in keeping with her virtual core. It is a place defined not by the deeds she performs, but by the qualities of the soul she embodies; not by her physical, social or economic achievements, but by the true character she manifests; neither by her capacity to conform to the masses nor by her ability to creatively rebel against the mainstream, but...

...by the unique way she performs her giveaway for her community.


My gratitude to Bill Plotkin for discovering these truths. I am also thankful he took the time to find a way to so eloquently articulate and share them, so people such as me could find resonance, hope and connection in understanding.

(Shout out to Ryu for introducing me to Soulcraft)

No Place Like Dome

“We need to find within technology that there is something we can do which is capable of taking care of everybody, and to demonstrate that this is so. That’s what geodesic domes are about and that’s what my whole life has been about.” –Buckminster Fuller

The month of October was packed with all types of consciousness and technology explorations. These experiences covered conferences such as Transformative Technology and Science and Nonduality, immersive studies involving interactions with subtle vibrational energy systems, as well as attending workshops and consciousness hacking events.

Throughout all these crazy adventures, there surfaced a magical re-occurrence of geodesic domes in my life. I can’t help but explore the synchronicities! This includes a fun contemplation regarding the role they play in the external reflection of my internal pursuit – all based in energy proficiency, structural veracity and the ability to endure all types of natural disasters with resiliency and grace.

While gathering to explore the depths of consciousness with many other curious beings, we met in a white mystical dome in the mountains. My current understanding is that this is a group who all share a pursuit of continual discoveries around the threshold of where deep internal revelations meet the power of external collective physicalities. The dome blanketed our ambitious group with love while we dove into uncharted territories together. The acoustics in the structure were exceptionally fun for experimentation.

The second dome that emerged ended up being the place in which I am now living. Nestled up in the Woodside Highlands of California is a heartwarming dome community that welcomed me with open arms. I was told that these domes were originally built as a hippie commune. My experience living here has involved feeling an environment of inclusivity from the neighbors as well as a certain wisdom from the enchanting domes themselves. Gratitude flowing.

A third dome intersected my explorations and served as my roof for four nights at the Science and Nonduality Conference. This white geodesic dome was erected on the lawn outside of the mansion in which the conference was being held. After long days of mind-bending conversations, we’d have tea parties and music in this geodome as night fell. Curled up in a sleeping bag under the spherical geometry, I slept soundly and my dreams ran free.

While diving into the unknown and learning to thrive in ambiguity, these unexpected geodesic domes have offered welcomed shelter.

ThE DOME embodiment of an open spaciousness, while concurrently remaining structurally profound, has offered a grand metaphor for the attributes I am also cultivating within my own self.

To Be Home Is To Be The Best Me

Far away from my sweet pup and my cottage in Chapel Hill, NC, I am sitting in a hostel in Wicker Park, Chicago. My endeavor here is centered around how and why I am choosing to take responsibility for my part in contributing to a positive cultural transformation underway. This shift I am referring to is how our society is poised at the "seed-time of a new personalist culture."

Firstly, what is seed-time? And what is a personalist culture? Seed-time is the moment of a new beginning. When a seed is planted in the ground and the surrounding conditions are just right -- soil, sunlight, water -- it will sprout at the right time and eventually become a strong tree, plant or living entity. In the same way, societies and individuals encounter seed-time -- moments in history in which multiple aspects of society are increasingly aligned around specific growth transformations.

This begs the question: In what direction is humanity currently transforming? Theodore Rosak, in People/Planet (see below for context in excerpt), introduces the idea that we are living in the fertile time of a new cultural transformation in which multiple aspects of society are increasingly personalized around individuals according to their desires and uniqueness. This also includes where and how these individual traits intersect with the deeper ecological and technological spheres.

This transformation of individual lifestyle design is underway in technology as we customize our phones and measure our unique body activities through wearables. It's underway in the creation of new business models as they meet needs of individual consumers. It's underway in the advancements of personalized medicine, as we tailor drugs and health solutions suited for unique genetic sequences and diseases.

And yet, customizing a phone, and other desired experiences, doesn't foster true cultivation of a person's unique identity.

 

Although, a new personalized learning process could.

 

Alright, so what does this have to do with why I am living in a hostel in Wicker Park? Because as an individual, I am owning my own growth as I strategize and design my life forward.

If we entertain Rosak's prophetic vision, then spiritually, ecologically, biologically and technologically, the time has come for each individual to discover their uniqueness and find a way to channel their energy system into vocations that align their individual fulfillment with the fulfillment of universal progress.

Dabbling with band-aid solutions, like flexible work schedules and workplace perks, will continue to prove insufficient at fulfilling human potentials. Therefore, this is one reason I chose to leave the security of a multinational corporate job to join the pioneering leaders at Experience Institute who are transforming learning models with the bold mission to authentically bring out the best in individuals. Although in one perspective, this could be viewed as a selfish motive because I want to bring out the best in myself, my true belief is that continually growing into an infinite series of better versions of myself is truly the greatest gift I could give to all of humanity, all entities and all life.

Hidden in the chaotic industrialized workplace, I was truly seeking to know myself and then construct my identity accordingly. But now, I am taking stance to own the responsibility myself, as I embrace the interconnectedness of all things, and discover my unique aspirations that are entangled within biology, technology and consciousness, and to live them out vividly with bold purpose.

Experience Institute offers a solid community of support and tools to help trigger self-discovery and shape key skills and abilities. Evenmoreso, the team cultivates the rare space for individuals to learn how to shine their brightest.

 

As the light that shines farthest often shines brightest at home, we must learn to find our home within ourselves.

 

I'm on my way home. And I'm ready to design it as my own.


Reference Theodore Roszak's words in 1979:

It may only be a certain nagging sense that the world you live in does not fit. The job you hold, the education you receive, the institutions that claim authority over you (the government, the corporations, the unions, the courts, the welfare system), all these may seem to have been crudely designed for everybody in general, but for nobody in person, least of all for you.
These may come and go as fleeting, private irritations.
Nevertheless, they are signs that the great change I speak of is at work in your experience, nourishing a certain brash assurance in you that you have a right to be handled with care, a right to the employment, education, time and space you need to find your peculiar style, a right to participate directly in the decisions that shape your life even if exercising that right means endless delay and disruption.
But where do you think these rights come from? How long do you think they have existed? Which is really to ask, how long do you think your experience of uniqueness has existed in the world? Perhaps you sense that such rights would have been seen as preposterous luxuries by your grandparents, perhaps even by your parents. But do you know they would have been regarded as utterly incomprehensible no more than a century ago, even as a kind of intolerable insanity? Would you be surprised to discover that this right you feel so certain is yours, this right to have your uniqueness respected, perhaps even cultivated, is not at all a simple extension of traditional values like civil liberty, equality, social democracy, which is precisely why it must now pit itself against so many institutions that were created to further those familiar ideals, but that it springs independently from another, far more mysterious source, one that reaches into the biological foundations of life.

(Excerpt from Person/Planet by Theodore Rosak)

Published on Experience Institute Blog Channel >>

How and Why I Am Taking Lifestyle Design Very, Very Seriously.

I’ve always loved to sing along with Jethro Tull to their song, Skating Away On The Thin Ice of A New Day. There is one part in which the lyrics unfold:

...You were bred for humanity and sold to society. One day you’ll wake up, in the present day, a million generations removed from expectations of being who you really want to be....

I can genuinely say I experienced this awakening in my own life. This awareness didn’t come in the form of one ah-ha moment; rather it was a gradual self-discovery involving a series of realizations. Although there was a re-surfacing hopeful feeling that stayed with me, I found that embracing the reality that I didn’t like who I was becoming was largely riddled with pain, confusion and doubt.

Realization 1: I was surrounded by victims. At my corporate work environment, I noticed people using language that blamed others for why their situation wasn’t ideal or they would complain about being trapped in the rat race with no other life options. Over time, exposure to this perspective has the ability to be rather depressing. At home, my five-year relationship was crumbling as I discovered I’d been lied to. Once an initial lie was revealed, the rest seemed to come like a waterfall, literally knocking me down. My questions shifted from being curious about why people would lie to me, to different inquires, such as: Why am I attached to suffering? Why do I allow my dignity to be taken advantage of? Why am I continually a victim?

Realization 2: I have had a lifelong quest pursuing the prioritization of truth above consequence, yet ironically this pursuit led me right into the arms of deception. I wasn’t just surrounded by victims or simply acting like a victim, I actually was a victim. Deception feeds on victims and I was playing the role of a subconscious volunteer victim. I was allowing various forces to control my perspective.

Realization 3: In order to thrive in an environment where others were authentic and honest, I would have to change my identity. I’d have to interact with the world in a whole new way. This would involve shedding aspects of the environments that enabled my victimization, yet more importantly it involved taking the risk to live my absolute fullest potential.  

So I did. I quit the job where I was surrounded by people who felt trapped in narrow realities. I got out of the relationship that was enabling my victimization and woven with lies. And then I got in touch with my lost inner child, the one who loves exploring higher consciousness and seeing the multiverse through a lens of vibrational energy systems. I took accountability to follow that part of myself. This included getting deeply in tune with that authentic thread of my suppressed identity, a part I wanted to own up to and construct my entire life vocation around, yet had been allowing social constructs to override for a long time.

I’ve found it to be true that once the conviction has been made to pursue the truest parts of oneself, the multiverse conspires to help. 

Yet, to live the reality, does one have to forgo the dream?

Perhaps. However the beautiful part about that is that it ensures there is always space to create new dreams. As one architects these series of creative dreams into reality, over and over, it designs a life in which the boundaries between dreams and reality merge into a living space of freedom and enchantment.

During the next few months, I chose many wild and different ways to ensure I was holding myself accountable to stay on track with this new identity design. This included exploring with spiritual masters in the remote desert, conducting extensive thought-stream writing, studying my childhood brain programming, having deep and honest conversations with my parents as well as visiting friends and family all over the world. And in August of 2015, I joined a community of others who were also choosing to take full ownership as the authors of their lives and identities. As previously strangers, we assembled in a circle on a rooftop in Chicago, Illinois. Quickly no longer strangers, we became united as we vowed to support each other fully as we embarked on a year to discover and pursue our deepest dreams.

I’d like to bring this journey into the present moment. Right now, I am living in full of enchantment with un-before thinkable synergies. I am free. I am at the Raleigh Durham airport headed to a Consciousness Hacking event in Manhattan. My near-term plans include commitments to conferences and events in thought spaces I’ve never thought I could participate. In addition, the conversations I’ve been having with new human connections are of an entirely new caliber of curious quality. They are authentic, bold and honest. These are some of the exact frequencies I've been craving to be around. And it turns out there is an entire budding community that cares about the convergence of consciousness, technology and commerce. I am experiencing external feedback, in an invitational way, that I could in fact be part of this loving community that wants to heal the entire world... and that I could actually contribute too. Bits and pieces of my self-worth are finally being put together inside me and it’s ineffable. I’ve got an outrageous amount of work ahead to actualize my lifestyle design and construct my boldest identity, yet I feel the way I’m channeling my energy is finally in the direction of love, freedom and growth.

It’s my hope these words have planted a seed inside you to explore a more authentic version of yourself too. Why not step into a world without excuses? I’ll be calling all angels to surround you and loving you living your choice.

Now, back to Jethro Tull:

As you push off from the shore, won’t you turn your head once more, and make your peace with everyone? For those who choose to stay will live just one more day… to do the things they should have done. And as you cross the wilderness, spinning in your emptiness: you feel you have to pray. Looking for a sign that the universal mind (!) has written you into the passion play. Skating away on the thin ice of a new day.

 


7 Year Life Reset Button

Chapel Hill, NC

Hello 7 year reset, or what is perhaps more commonly referred to as a “seven year itch!” Why the number 7? Well, that’s a rabbit hole for another time. Today’s adventure is a reflection on what led me to break up with my job and from the path society had laid out for me and instead to follow my heart.

The desire for a life reset came nagging through my intuition, eventually becoming way more than what I could simply term a catchy phrase and laugh off. In fact, the pull for change became so annoying that I had to find a new way to deal with it, instead of just staying busy. So, with thanks to @starlag12 and @J_CameronLive for offering a tool to help obtain clarity, I began to write three full pages of thought streams every morning. This is not traditional journaling and it does not even entail attempts to make the writing eloquent. Rather, this process is all about generating a spontaneous flow and cleansing established thought patterns. By allowing a direct channel from my mind onto the paper, I was able to bypass the analytical brain and unproductive rumination cycles. Although analytical processes definitely have their shining place in effectiveness, what I needed at this point in time was a way to reach my inner voice. After a few weeks, the clarity became so strong that the consequence involved a happily welcomed confidence as well. I knew what I had to do.

Both my manager and boss at work had been exceptional champions for me and the thought of letting them and the team down made my stomach queasy. Yet, I felt strongly that if one really chooses the path to follow intuition and inner callings that it would likely entail letting people down along the way. Therefore, I would just have to find a way to do it gracefully. My meeting with my boss was pushed up to Monday morning. So there it was. It was Friday and I was going to resign on Monday. The two weekend days only brought more clarity.

The details of what led up to the original restless state of mind include aversion to conformity, frustration with the politics of the bureaucratic corporation I was involved, and other resistance you can imagine. Yet, ultimately, it was a re-surfacing innate feeling that this was not all my life was meant to be, that I have great talents that are not being used and that there really is a place in the world where these talents can both make a great positive impact to better the world while simultaneously generating personal autonomy and financial freedom in the process.

Now, it must be stated that the job I had was dynamic, mostly interesting, and the leadership with which I was aligned offered empowerment and cared for my well-being. This is part of what made the decision so tough. I didn’t just have a good job, I had a customized job at a leading healthcare company. And leadership seemed to mostly like me!

But, perhaps like the 7 year itch in relationships, sometimes the pull for change can occur so strongly that it can bring you to break up with situations that are even great ones, not just solely bad ones. So I changed the background of my cell phone screen to a picture of the ocean and the phrase “listen to the quiet pull from within” (great image by @heyamberrae) and began to believe in myself in a whole new way – and believe in my whole life too.

What’s next is mine to create. I’ve got a lot to do. Anchors aweigh.