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10 Simple Steps to Cultivate the Gift of Intuition

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Intuition is a wonderful gift but despite what you believe, we all have it and can access it to the fullest if we want to. Some people are naturally gifted with intuition and seem to harness its power sometimes without even being aware of it. Quite often this is because it becomes second nature or because they have allowed it to be an ally since they were children and so it feels as natural as thinking or calling a memory.  For most people, however, intuition is something they can barely relate to either because they don’t know or forgot how it feels like or because their beliefs have repressed that part of themselves.

This comes to no surprise since our contemporary frenetic culture has installed in us a different kind of program – one that is more bent towards, logic, rational choice and left-brain kind of thinking in general. Society doesn’t engender intuitive skills, imagination and right-brain creative thinking.  It’s not something they teach in mainstream schools do they? There is no formal guidance on how to harness your right-brain skills when you are a child or growing up. That would be such a charm don’t you think?

Yet there are simple steps that can guide ANYONE to open up, grow and harness more intuition in life. But why should anyone become more intuitive you might ask? Why not learn some other skill in your free time such as a language, programming or design? Here are some kickers as to why intuition is a fantastic gift and ally to have:

1. Energy-Saver: Intuition saves you a lot of teeth grinding, head scratching, intensive mental acrobatics and strenuous analytical thinking. Why? Because intuition leaps outside the box of linear thinking and what-if scenarios and goes straight to the answer. At some level you implicitly ‘know’ the answer without needing to go through the process.

2. Problem-Solver: Sometimes no matter how hard you think about a problem, you can’t just hit a solution. Could be because you are trying to look at it from the same angle over again or perhaps there are some variables you can’t see or something entirely different. Intuition very often offers a solution to a hard problem because it accesses a deeper level of mind and attunes to your heart’s calling – something your rational judgment alone doesn’t do.

3. GPS and Route Finder: Intuition is the perfect tool to give you directions when you are lost. As mentioned above, sometimes certain variables are unknown hence we get lost in uncertainty. When we are more intuitive we somehow know our way out or what we need to do and the more we trust it, the more accurate it becomes.

4. A**-Saver: Yes sometimes trying to use rational judgment alone to make a decision can get you more into trouble rather than away from it. Similarly, there might be a troublesome turn of events that you can’t predict by just analyzing a situation. Intuition on the other hand can save your a** out of a situation by giving you a ‘feel’ that something is odd and it’s time to stir away from it.

5. Relationship Counselor: If we had to live our relationships through our heads, they are bound to be total disasters. Once again, intuition can work beautifully alongside or within relationships. It can give you bearing on how the relationship is going, help you identify issues and give you insights into what can be improved.

Developing intuition requires three different stages – Setting the stage, refining the process and reinforcing the habit. The ten steps I would like to recommend to you fall in each of these three stages.

Setting the Stage:

1.  Pattern Breaking:

A very interesting and fun way of prepping yourself to be more intuitive is breaking free from rigid habitual patterns. This idea of de-patterning trains your mind to be more fluid and be open to new things outside habit. An example of de-patterning is changing routines when you can, refreshing house decor, changing your route to work, wearing colors you usually don’t.

2. Gentle Self-talk:

Imagine intuition as a sweet young girl who is gentle and playful at the same time. Your thinking is the adult in the room. How do you invite the girl to play with you or at least not to scare her away? Being rough, strict or plain boring is not going to help. Same thing with your thinking and inner conversation. Being self-critical, skeptical or cynical is not going to invite intuition anytime soon. Be gently with yourself.

3. Trust your ‘Instincts’:

An important aspect to facilitating more intuition to flow in your life is to trust more those gut feelings and instincts. Learn to first acknowledge they are happening and then start trusting that they have something to say. The more you do that, the more you start sending out the message to your deeper consciousness that you are syncing in and ready to take the call.

4. Give Space:

So following all of the above three steps will open up inner space to accommodate more intuition to flow in your life. By breaking some patterns of habit, softening your inner conversation and giving more trust to your ‘instincts’ you are making more room for intuition to arise. After all, lack of intuition is nothing more than a lack of space for it to come through because your inner space was already fully packed with certain beliefs handed down to you by society.

Refining the Process:

5. Be Ready:

An important thing about intuition is that when it comes, it comes. You cannot hang up on it or put it on hold. You cannot say “Leave a message please and I’ll get to it when I’m free.”  Intuition is spontaneous and is a manifestation of a living, breathing system. It happens in the present. So when you do get the call – take it and always be ready for it. This will bring in more of it.

6. Change your focal point:

When your focus on something is too narrow, it can bring things in clearer view. You can see things coming in sharp focus which weren’t in the focal field before. However intuition works best when we change our focal point for a while. Being too focused helps you bring things in higher definition but then you need to step back, defocus a little bit and wait for  your sub-conscious mind to synthesize the information and return back with an intuitive answer. Learning the process of changing focus is a powerful tool to refine your intuitive abilities.

7. Listen to your Body:

The body is an antenna that both receives and transmits information all the time from/to the mind and the energetic field around it. Think of ‘gut feelings’, butterflies in the stomach, tightness in the chest, etc. So the body can be a good indicator of what’s happening inside you at  more subtle levels. Refining the process of intuition requires that you make it a habit to check on your body for these indicators. I like doing it in quiet moments and sometimes in meditations. Being receptive to these signs will make you more sensitive and engaged with your intuitive side.

8. Ask the Right Questions:

Intuition can also be aided by the logical and rational mind but not overpowered by it. So as in the case of changing the focal point to something, we can also direct our inner attention to something by asking the right questions. I belief this is extremely helpful and powerful at times. Sometimes our idea about something is fuzzy and unclear. We lack direction and confidence. It’s like we don’t know where to start. Intuition may give us a clear answer but if not, then you need to help it out by asking more specific questions. Write them down. When you start asking questions, you discern the situation more and that is where you might hit the right spot (or focal point) and bang….intuition!

Reinforcing the Habit:

9.  Tuning in the channel:

Being ready, changing your focal point and listening to your body are really great access points to tune into your intuitions. Yet this process has to be reinforced into a system. It needs to be practiced over again. There is a wonderful course I recommend called ‘Tune in’ by intuition expert Sonia Choquette, author of NY Times best sellers The Answer is Simple and Trust your Vibes among others. It’s a good way to learn all the above or more in a guided and structured way through videos, guided meditations for intuitive guidance and visualization aids. Check it out here.

10. Be Thankful & give Value:

Last but not least, intuition is reinforced in your everyday life by recognizing and being thankful of the guidance it has provided. Being grateful to something is a way of making it more present because you are shedding the light of your consciousness on it and opening your heart to it. So never take your intuition for granted is a good advice. Be thankful to its blessings and value it as being one of the biggest assets in your life.

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Consciousness

Physicists Suggest All Matter Could Be Made Up of Energy ‘Fragments’

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Matter is what makes up the Universe, but what makes up matter? This question has long been tricky for those who think about it – especially for the physicists.

Reflecting recent trends in physics, my colleague Jeffrey Eischen and I have described an updated way to think about matter. We propose that matter is not made of particles or waves, as was long thought, but – more fundamentally – that matter is made of fragments of energy.

From Five to One

The ancient Greeks conceived of five building blocks of matter – from bottom to top: earth, water, air, fire and aether. Aether was the matter that filled the heavens and explained the rotation of the stars, as observed from the Earth vantage point.

These were the first most basic elements from which one could build up a world. Their conceptions of the physical elements did not change dramatically for nearly 2,000 years.

Then, about 300 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton introduced the idea that all matter exists at points called particles. One hundred fifty years after that, James Clerk Maxwell introduced the electromagnetic wave – the underlying and often invisible form of magnetism, electricity and light.

The particle served as the building block for mechanics and the wave for electromagnetism – and the public settled on the particle and the wave as the two building blocks of matter. Together, the particles and waves became the building blocks of all kinds of matter.

This was a vast improvement over the ancient Greeks’ five elements but was still flawed. In a famous series of experiments, known as the double-slit experiments, light sometimes acts like a particle and at other times acts like a wave. And while the theories and math of waves and particles allow scientists to make incredibly accurate predictions about the Universe, the rules break down at the largest and tiniest scales.

Einstein proposed a remedy in his theory of general relativity. Using the mathematical tools available to him at the time, Einstein was able to better explain certain physical phenomena and also resolve a longstanding paradox relating to inertia and gravity.

But instead of improving on particles or waves, he eliminated them as he proposed the warping of space and time.

Using newer mathematical tools, my colleague and I have demonstrated a new theory that may accurately describe the Universe. Instead of basing the theory on the warping of space and time, we considered that there could be a building block that is more fundamental than the particle and the wave.

Scientists understand that particles and waves are existential opposites: A particle is a source of matter that exists at a single point, and waves exist everywhere except at the points that create them.

My colleague and I thought it made logical sense for there to be an underlying connection between them.

Flow and Fragments of Energy

Our theory begins with a new fundamental idea – that energy always “flows” through regions of space and time.

Think of energy as made up of lines that fill up a region of space and time, flowing into and out of that region, never beginning, never ending and never crossing one another.

Working from the idea of a universe of flowing energy lines, we looked for a single building block for the flowing energy. If we could find and define such a thing, we hoped we could use it to accurately make predictions about the Universe at the largest and tiniest scales.

There were many building blocks to choose from mathematically, but we sought one that had the features of both the particle and wave – concentrated like the particle but also spread out over space and time like the wave.

The answer was a building block that looks like a concentration of energy – kind of like a star – having energy that is highest at the center, and that gets smaller farther away from the center.

Much to our surprise, we discovered that there were only a limited number of ways to describe a concentration of energy that flows. Of those, we found just one that works in accordance with our mathematical definition of flow.

We named it a fragment of energy. For the math and physics aficionados, it is defined as A = -⍺/r where ⍺ is intensity and r is the distance function.

Using the fragment of energy as a building block of matter, we then constructed the math necessary to solve physics problems. The final step was to test it out.

Back to Einstein, Adding Universality

More than 100 ago, Einstein had turned to two legendary problems in physics to validate general relativity: the ever-so-slight yearly shift – or precession – in Mercury’s orbit, and the tiny bending of light as it passes the Sun.

These problems were at the two extremes of the size spectrum. Neither wave nor particle theories of matter could solve them, but general relativity did.

The theory of general relativity warped space and time in such way as to cause the trajectory of Mercury to shift and light to bend in precisely the amounts seen in astronomical observations.

If our new theory was to have a chance at replacing the particle and the wave with the presumably more fundamental fragment, we would have to be able to solve these problems with our theory, too.

For the precession-of-Mercury problem, we modeled the Sun as an enormous stationary fragment of energy and Mercury as a smaller but still enormous slow-moving fragment of energy. For the bending-of-light problem, the Sun was modeled the same way, but the photon was modeled as a minuscule fragment of energy moving at the speed of light.

In both problems, we calculated the trajectories of the moving fragments and got the same answers as those predicted by the theory of general relativity. We were stunned.

Our initial work demonstrated how a new building block is capable of accurately modeling bodies from the enormous to the minuscule. Where particles and waves break down, the fragment of energy building block held strong.

The fragment could be a single potentially universal building block from which to model reality mathematically – and update the way people think about the building blocks of the Universe.

Republished from TheConversation.com under Creative Commons

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Neuroscientist Claims That Consciousness Itself Is Its Own Energy Field

Justin MacLachlan

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A neuroscientist has suggested in a new theory that our consciousness is derived from a field of electromagnetic waves given off by neurons.

The study published last month in the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness is entirely based off a theory absent of tangible evidence. However, the author of the research Johnjoe McFadden said that his hypothesis could offer a way forward for robots that think and feel emotions.

McFadden believes that neuron waves of electrical activity get sent out and as they propagate across the brain, they help compose our entire conscious experience.

Johnjoe McFadden, is a molecular geneticist and director of quantum biology at the University of Surrey. McFadden points to flaws in other models of consciousness as the reason that we don’t have sentient artificial intelligence or robots capable of achieving consciousness.

McFadden’s hypothesis swerves away from most traditional neuroscientists, who generally see consciousness as a narrative that our brain constructs out of our senses, perceptions, and actions. Instead, McFadden returns to a more empirical version of dualism — the idea that consciousness stems from something other than our brain matter.

McFadden’s theory adapts the idea of “dualism,” which is the belief that consciousness is a supernatural force. Dualism has long been rejected by scientists and ruled pseudo-science, but McFadden has attempted to apply a scientific explanation for the idea, which hasn’t been done before.

Neuroscience news reports that the theory is based on scientific fact:

“The theory is based on scientific fact: when neurons in the brain and nervous system fire, they not only send the familiar electrical signal down the wire-like nerve fibres, but they also send a pulse of electromagnetic energy into the surrounding tissue. Such energy is usually disregarded, yet it carries the same information as nerve firings, but as an immaterial wave of energy, rather than a flow of atoms in and out of the nerves.”

It’s also a fact we have an electromagnetic field surrounding our brain is well-known and is detected by brain-scanning techniques such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) but has previously been dismissed as irrelevant to brain function and supernatural. Instead, McFadden contends that the brain’s information-rich electromagnetic field is, in fact, itself the seat of consciousness, driving the ‘free will’ of an individual.

“How brain matter becomes aware and manages to think is a mystery that has been pondered by philosophers, theologians, mystics and ordinary people for millennia,” McFadden said in a press release published by Medical Xpress. “I believe this mystery has now been solved, and that consciousness is the experience of nerves plugging into the brain’s self-generated electromagnetic field to drive what we call ‘free will’ and our voluntary actions.”

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Ann Arbor becomes latest city to decriminalize “magic” mushrooms and other natural psychedelics

Elias Marat

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(TMU) – The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has effectively decriminalized psilocybin or “magic” mushrooms along with other natural psychedelics in the latest sign that public opinion across the U.S. is continuing to turn against prohibitionist policies.

On Monday, the Ann Arbor City Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution that would make it the city’s lowest-ranked law enforcement priority to the investigate or arrest anyone planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, using or possessing entheogenic plants or plant compounds.

The resolution applies to all psychedelics derived from plants and fungi, including psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote and other substances with hallucinogenic properties deemed illegal under state and federal law.

The council also requires the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office to halt the prosecution of those involved in the use of entheogenic plants and plant compounds.

Ann Arbor now joins a growing list of cities including Denver, Colorado, and the California cities of Santa Cruz and Oakland that have decriminalized all entheogenic plants. Other cities including Chicago and Austin are considering similar measures. A ballot measure that would legalize the use of psilocybin in therapeutic settings will also be voted on in the state of Oregon this November.

The move to de-prioritize law enforcement around psychedelics was spearheaded by the efforts of local grassroots advocacy group Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor, or DNA2.

At the beginning of the year, councilmembers were skeptical about any move to decriminalize psychedelics. Since then, they’ve found themselves convinced by evidence of the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of psychedelics, including for mental health treatment and treating addiction, reports MLive.

Councilmember Zachary Ackerman cited the opening of a $17 million psychedelic and consciousness research center by Johns Hopkins Medicine as proof of “the tremendous potential of these future medicines.” The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore is currently conducting clinical trials to find out whether the drug is suitable as a prescription drug for the U.S. market.

Councilmember Jack Eaton described the council’s unanimous backing for the decriminalization resolution as carrying on the city’s legacy of backing the local decriminalization of marijuana during the 1970s, when the plant was still illegal under state and federal law.

The resolution doesn’t allow for the commission of crimes or any significant violation of state or federal law, and any use of entheogenic substances that pose a threat to public health and safety could require intervention by law enforcement bodies.

In the resolution, entheogenic plants are defined as the full spectrum of plants and fungi that contain indole amines, tryptamines and phenethylamines “that can benefit psychological and physical wellness, support and enhance religious and spiritual practices, and can reestablish human’s inalienable and direct relationship to nature.”

The resolution also states that psychedelic substances can be used to address substance abuse problems, addiction, recidivism, trauma, post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, grief, cluster headaches and other debilitating conditions.

“The use of entheogenic plants, which can catalyze profound experiences of personal and spiritual growth, have been shown by scientific and clinical studies and traditional practices to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals and communities in addressing these conditions,” it states.

Psilocybin mushrooms are currently considered a Schedule 1 narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

However, psilocybin – the main chemical component of the mushrooms – was designated as a “breakthrough therapy” by the FDA in 2019 due to the positive results of psilocybin in treating depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health problems.

Studies have also shown how a microdose of psilocybin—far from the level needed for a full-blown trip—actually increases the creativity and empathy of participants.

Other researchers have also found that psilocybin has provided effective help to patients struggling to quit other addictive substances such as cigarettes.

The newfound recognition of psilocybin therapy as a valid treatment has eroded old stereotypes of psilocybin as some intoxicating and hallucination-inducing party drug that drives its users insane – a reputation that largely grew out of the hippie counterculture of the 1960s when they were widely known as “psychedelic” or “magic” mushrooms.

The resolution further notes that entheogenic plants have been the basis of spiritual practices by human cultures for thousands of years, yet those who seek them for the sake of improving their health and wellbeing must risk arrest and prosecution to obtain them.

“Decriminalization of naturally occurring medicines is necessary for progress,” councilmember Jeff Hayner said in a press release from DNA2 last week, reports Detroit Metro Times. “We can no longer turn a blind eye towards the wisdom of indigenous peoples, and the bounty the earth provides. I have been moved by the testimonies of those who have found profound relief from the use of entheogenic plants.”

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