Category: Collective-evolution

VIDEO: Multiple Residents Witness UFO Over Queensland, Australia

http://ift.tt/eA8V8J

Undeniably, UFO’s and ET’s have taken many minds by storm, and for good reason! This is a subject with the power to change our world as we know it in SO many ways and humanity is becoming increasingly more ready to explore this subject.

So what do UFO sightings do for this subject of conversation? They provide just that, a conversation. A chance to expand our minds and consciousness further as we imagine beyond our everyday accepted reality. As we explore the potential of what these objects and the intelligence that may control them means, we expand the way we think of ourselves and our world, effectively shifting our consciousness.

Given the mass consciousness shift we’re experiencing on this planet right now, this fits right in.

There have been a ton of new sightings over the past couple years, you can see them here, but this one is a bit older. We’re going to look at it as it’s quite fascinating.

The UFO Sighting

It was a regular night in Queensland Australia when witness and filmer Jack Purcell’s mother pointed out the lights in the sky to him.

“We were all just sitting out the front and my mum pointed to the sky and said ‘look at that colourful plane flying over’,” Purcell said.

“Then it came to a sudden stop and was just hovering there. So I ran inside and grabbed my video camera.”

Purcell stated that when when the police tried to ‘call it in’ with a police helicopter the unidentified object would turn its lights off and disappear.

“It was really strange. I was quite skeptical of these things but it just blew my mind.”

This is what Jack wrote about what he saw as he posted his video to YouTube: “Ok so I’m pretty sure I’ve captured a UFO on camera. Early last night we saw flashing lights in the sky and I ran and got my camera to record it. The cops came straight away and told everyone that they had no idea what it was and they were going to “call it in”. When I ran inside to get my phone, everyone said that they saw another huge light twice it’s size zoom across the sky and disappear. At the end of this video, I slowed the footage down and stabilized it and you can clearly see that it’s a giant triangle with flashing lights. after I finished recording, it zipped down really quickly and vanished. so weird. sorry about the shaky footage, it was filmed on my handheld camera.”

Skepticism

This video was of course met with skepticism and most people thought it was a drone. This was the first thing I began to research when writing this as well. Being a Phantom drone owner, I know what they look like, how they function and the color and pattern of the flash on the lights. I knew this couldn’t be stock settings as a stock drone does not look like that in the sky at all. The video I did find of aftermarket lights for Phantom’s still doesn’t come close to resembling this pattern. So to me, the drone explanation doesn’t work yet.

Jack states in response to people asking if this was a radio controlled device: “For those saying that it could be an RC craft or ‘quad-copter’, keep in mind that this thing was at least four times the size of the police helicopters that flew by. It’s also the shape of a giant triangle, as you can easily see in 720p if you pause directly on 4:15. This thing was also flying with the point of the triangle facing behind it, which is extremely odd in terms of aerodynamics. If somebody can make a remote controlled object that big, and fly it around like this, then make it vanish like it did, i would like to see the video.”

This leads to one of the challenges with deducing truth from any video like this. Often times seeing the footage second hand, i.e. not being there, doesn’t allow us to know things like size, height, what it looked like to the naked eye. Jack is stating what he saw, but ‘expert commenters’ online believe they know the truth based on what they see second hand. Typically this is where intelligent conversations around what these things might actually be ends. But I hope to change that by inspiring us to truly think critically about this versus just trying to brush things off with a cheap explanation.

We must realize that the evidence for UFO’s and ET’s goes so much further beyond YouTube and Facebook. The denial culture is truly one we must begin to look at to realize what is actually happening out there. A great place to start is the groundbreaking documentary called Unacknowledged which you can find on Netflix.

Gold Coast Police admitted they were notified about the flying object but believed it was likely a radio controlled device. A spokesman from the department added : “If it was anything larger it would have been picked up by the air control radars.”

Or would it have? That’s assuming our detection technologies would undeniably pick up the flying object.

If you are interested in exploring this subject seriously and further, here is a great place to start.

Vía Collective Evolution http://ift.tt/2iqjYXD

Advertisements

Neuroplasticity Sheds Light On The Amazing Fertility Of The Older Mind – How The Brain Can Change Itself

http://ift.tt/2xVqWWE

If you are anything like me, you may have thought to yourself over the years, Man, I really wish I would have learned another language in high school, or wondered, Why didn’t my mother put me in guitar lessons? Now I’ll never be able to learn how to play. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, right?

Wrong!

This common misconception couldn’t be further from the truth, and older minds are still very much capable of learning and mastering new skills.

Emerging studies in psychology and neuroscience are now proving this very fact. They are also showing that continuing to learn and experience new things may actually help you to maintain good mental health and cognitive functioning as you age. It’s time to reconsider any previously held beliefs that we are simply incapable of learning new things after a certain age.

Where Did This Assumption Come From?

This pessimistic view of the ageing mind can perhaps be traced back to the ancient Greeks. In his treatise De Memoria et Reminiscentia, Aristotle compared our memories to a wax tablet; at birth the wax is hot and pliable and can take on whatever shape you give it, but as it begins to slowly cool down, it becomes tough and brittle, making it difficult to mould or imprint upon.

Enter the Exciting Realm of Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity refers to “the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.”

This essentially means that the brain is capable of regenerating new cells, a process once thought to be impossible. The concept of neuroplasticity is not new, but the ability to observe it in action is, thanks to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology, which has allowed us to confirm the incredible morphing ability of the brain.

Even though your brain may become a bit more plastic as you age, certain practices can trigger neuroplasticity and regenerate brain cells.

How to Encourage Neuroplasticity

Change happens when you make the effort and are motivated to learn. This conscious effort causes the brain to release the neurochemicals necessary to facilitate change. In other words, you have to have interest in what you are doing; it has to be something that you truly want and desire for yourself. The harder you try and the more motivated and the more alert you are, the greater that change will be.

Every single instance of learning strengthens and stabilizes the brain. So, every time your brain strengthens a connection to the mastery of a skill, it will also weaken connections to neurons that weren’t being used at that moment. This helps to change or erase some irrelevant or interfering activity within the brain.

It is important to remember that neuroplasticity is a two-way street. While you can wasily create positive changes, you can also create negative ones just as easily. This is important to keep in mind every time negative self-talk comes up or you tell yourself that you can’t do something. You are just convincing yourself that you can’t and your brain takes note of that, which means you’ll have to reprogram that belief system first in order to accomplish whatever you thought was impossible for yourself.

Amazing Example of the Capacity of an Older Mind

In 1993, John Basinger decided to memorize the 12 books, 10,565 lines, and 60,000 words that comprise the second edition of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Nine years later, he achieved his goal, performing the poem from memory over a three-day period.

In some recent experiments, Dayna Touron from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro showed that adults aged 60 and over frequently underestimate the power of their own memories, and this lack of confidence — not lack of ability — prevents them from harnessing the full capacity of their minds.

In one study in particular, Touron’s participants were asked to compare a reference table of simple word pairings with a second list and then identify which words had not appeared on the original table. She saw that the older participants were more reluctant to rely on their memory and chose instead to cross reference the two tables, despite this method taking much longer. They seemed unsure of whether they could actually remember the pairs, so without even trying, opted for the more time consuming strategy.

A Lesson in Remembering How Capable We Really Are

This really goes to show that we are capable of anything, so long as we put our minds to it (no pun intended). Instead of just assuming that you won’t be able to do something, try believing in yourself, and then dedicating some time to it, and see how it goes. If you want something badly enough, you can and will achieve it. We are more powerful than we realize, and it’s time to start acting like it!

Much Love

 

Vía Collective Evolution http://ift.tt/2xURreX

Research Shows What Living Near A Forest Can Do To The Human Brain

http://ift.tt/2zs3sJT

European research from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany suggests that city dwellers who live near nature experience positive effects on their brains compared to their purely urban counterparts, especially on the amygdala, the brain’s integrative center for emotions, emotional behaviour, and motivation. When we think of stress or fear responses, we should be thinking of the amygdala.

This research should come as no surprise, since the physiological and psychological benefits of nature are well documented. In our article “How Walking In Nature Changes The Brain,” we explored the study led by Gregory Bratman, which suggested that being in nature can potentially change our brains and positively impact our health:

Researchers conducted a study which asked randomly selected participants to spend 50 minutes walking in either a natural or urban setting, and to submit to a series of psychological assessments before and after the walk. They found that volunteers who walked through a lush, green portion of Stanford campus showed improve cognitive function and mood compared to those who walked near heavy traffic for the same period of time. However, while this study showed that nature could have a positive effect on mental well-being, it did not examine the neurological mechanisms underlying this change.

Similarly, a more CE recent article, “Study Shows What Living In A ‘Greener’ Neighbourhood Can Do For Your Health,” also delves deeper into the benefits of living in green spaces:

Researchers at the University of New Brunswick collected data on 1.3 million non-immigrant Canadian adults living in the 30 largest cities in the country. The data analyzed was dated from 2001-2012, and the researchers measured the amount of greenery around the participants’ houses, from giant trees to tiny shrubs. Their findings suggest that the more greenery people live around, the lower their risk of premature death.

The Study

City dwellers are at higher risk of developing psychiatric illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia than people who live in rural areas, and the amygdala is more active in people who live in cities, since this part of the brain is important in processing stress and reactions to danger.

There are many reasons for this, the most obvious being the noise, pollution, and crowds that come with city living, all of which can factor into chronic stress.

According to the study’s lead author, Simone Kühn, “Research on brain plasticity supports the assumption that the environment can shape brain structure and function. Studies of people in the countryside have already shown that living close to nature is good for their mental health and well-being. We therefore decided to examine city dwellers.”

Kühn and her team looked at 341 adults aged 61 to 82. They asked participants to undergo MRI scans to determine the structure of stress-processing brain regions, particularly the amygdala, and asked them to complete memory and reasoning tests.

They combined the MRI data with geoinformation about participants’ locations in order to better examine the influence that nature has on these brain regions.

The research showed that those who lived in a city but closest to a forest were more likely to have a physiologically healthy amygdala structure and therefore better able to cope with stress. This information was still true even when they factored in other influences like education and income levels.

The team commented that “at the moment it is not possible to determine whether living close to a forest has positive effects on the amygdala, or whether people with a healthier amygdala are more likely to choose to live in an urban area close to a forest.”

More Research Shows How Nature Benefits Our Bodies

But other research has suggested that when we bring ourselves outdoors and place our feet directly on the ground (not concrete), we can reduce our stress levels and potentially treat a number of degenerative diseases. Here is an excerpt from our article “Studies Show What Happens To The Human Body When We Walk Barefoot On Earth” that explores this idea more thoroughly. From the article:

A study published a couple of years ago in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health titled “Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons” postulates that earthing could represent a potential treatment/solution to a variety of chronic degenerative diseases.

It concluded that simple contact with the Earth, through being either outside barefoot or indoors connected to grounded conductive systems, could serve as a natural and “profoundly effective environmental strategy” against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hyper-coagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease.

If you’d like to learn more, please visit “Studies Show What Happens To The Human Body When We Walk Barefoot On Earth” to access more studies.

Vía Collective Evolution http://ift.tt/2xd26lw

Activate Your XFactor: Breaking Free of Limitation & Unlock Your Full (Series 1 of 3)

http://ift.tt/eA8V8J

[Series 1 of 3] Are you ready to break free of a chaotic world spinning out of control?

You may be all but ready to give up on any hope of things getting better, but suddenly . . .

You feel an excited quickening of your heart — your enigmatic connection to the unprecedented evolutionary leap in consciousness that is opening millions to the greater awareness that we have far more power in our lives than we were led to believe.

“You have far more power in your life than you were led to believe.” TWEET THIS

Humanity 1.0

For eons, human potential has remained predominantly dormant due to the mass perpetuation of the false doctrine we are separate from one another and all that exists. This is known academically as separation consciousness or in spiritual terms, the “veil.”

(Technology in itself is not a measure of evolution — it’s how we apply it that reveals a species’ maturity.)

This belief has kept most of humanity locked in unsustainable cycles of desperate survivalism, the visible evidence the ongoing and prevalent exploitation of one another and planet Earth.

The global breakdown of societal/social systems that is presently occurring is the collapse of these self-destructive recursive looping thought patterns rooted in separation consciousness.

Evolution (Creation in process) ensures Creation’s perpetuity by introducing quantum energy fields — formed out of its own internal processes — that act as catalysts and accelerants that spontaneously bring about change. (Science has barely begun to explore our metaphysical world to understand these processes.)

Your future depends on whether you continue to limit yourself by focusing on end times (like corporate media), or if you are part of a new generation of newly awakening souls.

This exciting wave of arising consciousness is literally transcending external confusion, allowing you to enter into a new era of the limitless human being — Humanity 2.0.

Reuniting Worlds

As we come to the realization that material science is limited without the incorporation of the immaterial world, we must seek to unite the left and right hemispheres of our brain, going a step further by connecting your mind with your heart, then connecting with Universal Consciousness.

“Embracing the entire spectrum of what you know about mind, body, and spirit, you finally realize internal and external freedom. Yes!” TWEET THIS

Chances are you’ve already begun the necessary shift, one that is long overdue. But how do you know you’re on the right track for sure?

Join the millions now tapping directly into:

  • enhanced insight — personal and big picture beyond academia
  • access to your creative inner genius; your link to true wealth
  • influence on your health — it’s all energy fields
  • unlimited prosperity by going within directly to Source
  • living life on your own terms peacefully and harmoniously

This following action/checklist will pinpoint not only how Humanity 2.0 is already busily opening doors once closed, but what you must let go of to achieve the big results that have always eluded you.

Yes, you heard correctly. Humanity 1.0 is unsustainable and is coming to an end.

Let’s explore what is abundantly sustainable.

#1 – Take 100% responsibility for your life.

A friend would complain that without a big publisher marketing budget, no one was ever going to know her books existed. I kept suggesting she stop using lack of funding as an excuse and look for other writing opportunities that would lead readers back to her books.

She took responsibility for her limited thinking, came up with a unique solution over time, and now readers from some of the top online media websites around the world click through to order her books.

Activate Your XFactor: Notice every time you have a self-limiting thought or wish to lash out in anger over your circumstances. Allow your feelings to come and go in silence (do no harm). Say, “I’m open to infinite possibility — what should I do next?” Then wait and watch.

#2 – Give up any claims to playing life’s victim.

This same friend complained she desired lots of money to help support others actively being the change they wish to see in the world, but that “life” had kept her in “poverty.” She finally ignored the thought, moving forward to co-create a private foundation and is slowly giving away more and more micro-grants as funding becomes available.

BTW, that woman is me. My friend? The Universe — an ocean of consciousness that is my ultimate collaborative resource and guide. The reality is no one or institution can hold you down when you align with the Universe. Stop blaming others and using them as an excuse.

Activate Your XFactor: Are you checking in, asking questions, then listening as in Step 1? Take it a step further by sitting in silence for the length of a cup of coffee daily. Do it any way you like, eyes open/closed, with a drink or not. It isn’t even necessary to pose questions.

The more you practice, the more you notice the amazing ideas you have and begin to trust them. Your desires are already floating in the collective.

#3 – Open your mind and heart.

A closed heart and mind shut down the XFactor in your life. Strategic Coach Dan Sullivan says, “When 10X is your measuring stick, you immediately see how you can bypass what everyone else is doing.”

In unity consciousness, what’s so amazing is that no one is left behind. When you lift your conscious awareness, it’s absorbed by others.

Activate Your XFactor: Daily, consider one new idea (philosophical, scientific, spiritual, or other). Is the idea sustainable or is it now self-limiting? That’s 365 grander ideas each year. You just scaled your life up in a big way. Do this for one week, then review the new you versus the old you. Talk about wow factor!

Getting Started

With seven ways to activate your XFactor still to come, how are you tracking so far? In part 2, you will receive the rest of the action/checklist, and in part 3, a blueprint of what’s in store for you as part of Humanity 2.0.

Are you ready to regain control of your life and achieve big? YES! Reread the first three ways to activate your XFactor and begin to add them to your daily routine one at a time.

Rate Your XFactor

If you’re committed to making sure you’re part of Humanity 2.0, download the Humanity 2.0: Activating Your XFactor free guide by clicking here.

…………………………..

Reprinted with permission: Your Brilliant Future Here Now

Vía Collective Evolution http://ift.tt/2zqIhbh

Why Death Rates Of White Non-Hispanic Americans Are Soaring

http://ift.tt/2yDPA1v

In September 2015, researchers announced that death rates have been rising dramatically since 1999 among middle-aged white Americans with a high school degree or less. This dramatic assertion contradicted decades of increasing longevity among all Americans.

A Health Affairs study found this to be especially true for white, female high school drop-outs whose life expectancy “has fallen so much over the past 18 years that these women are now expected to die five years younger than their mothers did.”

Researchers called this occurrence Deaths of Despair. Why? The deaths were mostly caused by suicide, drugs, and alcohol, not the usual things that kill Americans.

What was causing so many white, middle age Americans (45 to 54) to resort to such extreme behaviours leading to their premature deaths?

The reasons were unclear at the time. But in 2017, the same researchers followed up with a clearer explanation for why they thought these deaths were happening. The reasons have to do with what social epidemiologists call Social Determinants of Health (SDoH).

The Social Determinants of Health

Most of us are familiar with the idea of disease as a biological process. We recognize that there are genetic, dietary, and environmental elements that make us healthy or ill. But there is more to the story of what makes us healthy as individuals, as communities, and as a nation.

How often have you considered the role social conditions play as a primary source of our well-being or our state of disease?

Social scientists have steadily, over decades, documented how adverse social conditions can be directly deleterious to health outcomes. These factors are called the social determinants of health (SDoH).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the social determinants or causes consist of the “conditions in the places where people learn, work, and play” and they “affect a wide range of health risks and conditions.” SDoHs are the causes behind the causes. In other words, the conditions under which we live heavily influence the levels of health or the depths of illness we achieve.

The CDC further defines our health as “determined in part by access to social and economic opportunities; the resources and supports available in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities; the quality of our schooling; the safety of our workplaces; the cleanliness of our water, food, and air; and the nature of our social interactions and relationships.”

This manner of thinking owes a great debt to Thomas McKeown, a British physician who studied death records from the 19th century to the 1960s for England and Wales.

Paula Braveman, MD, indicates that McKeown discovered that mortality rates fell “steadily decades before the availability of modern medical-care such as antibiotics and intensive care units.” McKeown attributed the increase in life expectancy to “improved living conditions, including nutrition, sanitation and clean water.”

Decades of research in this vein has led Tom Boyce, Chief of University of California San Fransisco’s Division of Developmental Medicine, to confidently assert: “Socioeconomic status is the most powerful predictor of disease, disorder, injury and mortality we have.” For example, poor adults who have limited income, poor education, and job status live nearly eight years less than those whose income is well over the poverty level.

It’s been well established by social epidemiologists that health disparities are pronounced in communities that suffer poor housing, low income, dangerous neighborhoods, and substandard education.

So What’s Happening to Non-Hispanic White People in America?

Current research is finding very disturbing trends.

Case and Deaton, authors of the original research cited above, who discovered the Deaths of Despair phenomenon, published an update in March 2017 clarifying what seems to be happening nationwide.

Here’s what they have found:

  • Mid-life mortality rates for all educated classes continues to fall nationwide.
  • Middle-aged non-Hispanic whites with a high school diploma or less have experienced increasing mid-life mortality since the late 1990s.
  • These whites now have a mortality rate 30% higher than blacks in 2015.
  • Originally centered in the southwest in 2000, Deaths of Despair is now nation-wide, including Appalachia, Florida, and the west coast.

According to Prof. Shannon M. Monnat, “Over the past decade, nearly 400,000 people in the U.S. died from accidental drug overdoses and drug-induced diseases. Nearly 400,000 more committed suicide, and over 250,000 died from alcohol-induced diseases like cirrhosis of the liver.”

Most of these increases occurred among white non-Hispanics.

Why Is This Happening?

What makes non-Hispanic white Americans with high school diplomas or less resort to drugs, alcohol, and suicide?

Case and Deaton, in their 2017 article, document an array of social determinants that may explain the unfortunate predicament of a growing segment of the American population. The Brookings Institute’s summary of the research indicates that Deaths of Despair are accompanied “by measurable deterioration in economic and social well-being, which has become more pronounced for each successive birth cohort. Marriage rates and labor force participation rates fall . . . while reports of physical pain, and poor health and mental health rise.”

Case and Deaton have accumulated compelling evidence of the “pain, distress, and social dysfunction in the lives of working class whites that took hold as the blue-collar economic heyday of the early 1970s ended, and continued through the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent slow recovery.

With the ever-looming twin spectres of globalization and technological change, white Americans were faced with dwindling resources and shrinking opportunities. Unions faltered, mining spiralled downward, pensions disappeared, and high paying working-class jobs dwindled. Social institutions faded. Church attendance decreased, marriage became less common, while men were less likely to find good jobs or even be in the labour market at all.

These trends continue to deepen and spread. Outcomes for non-Hispanic white Americans are expected to worsen.

What Is to Be Done?

If social epidemiologists are correct, illness within a population is shaped, in part, by social dysfunctions or political imbalances such as poor educational opportunities, unemployment or underemployment, lack of access to health care, political dis-empowerment, and a breakdown in social institutions.

Changing current socioeconomic dynamics will take decades to ameliorate. Robust economic and structural policies need articulation addressing deepening white American marginalization.

At a minimum, policies mitigating the negative impacts of globalization and technological change need to include a societal and governmental commitment to:

  • Address and alleviate the negative impact of global trade agreements, especially on regional populations that may be losers in the rush to globalization and open markets.
  • Provide proper job training and retraining, apprenticeships, quality education, and career development to affected areas.
  • Maintain an effective safety net to address problems of unemployment, social dysfunction, nutrition, and mental and physical health.
  • Support access to healthy food, clean water, medical services, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, affordable housing, and the rule of law.
  • Address the social, emotional, and reproductive needs of white women who have been disproportionately affected by despair and hopelessness.

Illness in the SDoH paradigm is related to the daily living conditions people endure. Solutions to the Deaths of Despair need to help people maintain and improve their daily living conditions, preserve hope, and live with dignity.

Watch this video to learn more about the Deaths of Despair research.

Vía Collective Evolution http://ift.tt/2xUHkXv

Hospitals Recruited Volunteers To Cuddle Babies Addicted To Drugs

http://ift.tt/eA8V8J

Ever wondered how something as simple as a hug can somehow fix so many things? You might be upset, angry, lonely, or scared, and yet when you receive a hug in that moment, even if it’s from a complete stranger, you feel comforted. We’re creatures who not only love connection, but crave it, whether that be connection with yourself or with others.

Hugging releases oxytocin from the brain, otherwise known as the “love hormone.” Oxytocin plays a huge role in our social interactions and our sexuality. It is released whenever we hug or become intimate with someone, and even when breastfeeding. It can also help those of us living with depression.

Well, as it turns out, the superpower of hugging also translates to newborn babies struggling with drug addiction. After a newborn suffers the effects of their mother’s drug abuse, that baby also needs special care and attention to cope with their withdrawal symptoms post-birth. For a mother who is likely also addicted to drugs, this can be a difficult task to take on.

That’s why many hospitals have implemented volunteer programs to help these newborn babies addicted to drugs, where volunteers can hug and cuddle with them. Hospital workers have found that giving some extra love to these babies actually helps their healing process!

You Can Volunteer to Hug Newborns Addicted to Drugs at Hospitals

Programs designed to help newborn babies who are addicted to drugs have been popping up all over hospitals in the U.S. Many babies born from mothers with drug addictions need to spend weeks or months in hospitals post-delivery, as they gradually wean off the drugs they were born addicted to.

What’s worse is that these babies often don’t have families with them a lot of the time, because their mothers may be in rehabilitation programs trying to recover from drug addiction themselves. But, interestingly enough, hospital staff have found that human connection and love can actually help these babies heal faster.

As a result, some hospitals have implemented programs whereby volunteers can come in and hold these babies as they endure withdrawal. Snuggling has been found to have a very positive effect, and volunteers can even talk or sing to the babies if they’d like to as well.

“These babies need to feel love, human touch and a soft voice to comfort them when they’re in pain,” explained Maryann Malloy, a nurse manager in Philadelphia. “It makes the parents feel better knowing that even when they cannot be here there is someone to rock and hold their baby. . . . Our cuddlers help so the babies do not reach that point. They pick them up before the first whimper.”

The medical term used to describe this condition is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), which stems from their mothers using painkillers like opioids or drugs like heroin during pregnancy. NAS can cause symptoms like excessive crying, fever, irritability, rapid breathing, seizures, sleep problems, trembling, vomiting and sweating.

Can you imagine entering into this world, probably already confused about where you are, how you got there, and why you were torn from the warm comfort of the womb, all the while trying to cope with these symptoms? These babies deserve love, and it’s incredible programs like these that help them feel it.

Some of the effects hospital workers have observed from the program include a reduced need for medications and less time spent recovering in the hospital overall. These babies are recovering quicker, and it’s all because of cuddling!

One program offered in a hospital located in Virginia found that cuddling newborn babies suffering from drug withdrawal cuts their time spent in hospital in half. To be specific, cuddling these babies reduced their hospital stay from 40 days to only 21.

“[Cuddling] is helping them manage through these symptoms,” Maribeth McLaughlin, chief nursing officer and vice president of Patient Care Services at Magee said. “They are very irritable; they are hard to console. This is about swaddling them and giving them that comfort and safe, secure feeling.”

Final Thoughts 

More and more information is coming out about the power of human connection, particularly the health benefits of hugging and cuddling (read our CE article on this here). However, this may not come as a surprise to many of you, because if you’ve ever had a really good hug, it feels amazing.

Sometimes if I’m stressed, my friend will literally just hug me until I feel better, and this somehow always works after about a minute. My heart palpitations dissipate, my shakiness subsides, and I feel a sense of peace. Even hugging yourself can have the same effects!

So, next time you’re feeling upset or angry or sad, or maybe you’re just craving a bit of human connection, try giving someone a hug. Likewise, if you don’t know what to say to console someone, try saying nothing and instead giving them a hug. You might be surprised to find that hugs can heal!

Vía Collective Evolution http://ift.tt/2gt0qNU

Document Shows The CIA Recruited Top Quantum Physicist To Help Them Figure Out How UFOs Work

http://ift.tt/eA8V8J

Although UFOs are no longer the fringe topic they once were, the official campaign of secrecy and ridicule against their becoming public knowledge, as described by former CIA director Roscoe Hillenkoetter, is still in effect. Recent episodes of Bill Nye’s new show, for example, openly ridiculing UFOs on national television, make this clear. The close relationship the CIA holds with the media is clearly at play here.

A wise person once said that “condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance,” and that is no less true when it comes to UFOs, a field so full of witness testimony and hard evidence that it’s a wonder mainstream media can still avoid covering it.

How anybody can still deny the existence of UFOs when the world’s brightest minds have been actively studying the phenomenon and the evidence available for decades is a mystery. Indeed, intelligence agencies like the CIA are recruiting the world’s top scientists to do so.

For example, a declassified secret document discovered in the CIA’s own electronic reading room titled a “Telephone Conversation With Dr. John A. Wheeler” shows how the agency was trying to recruit him to look into a “CIA attack on the flying saucer problem.”

The CIA has a long history of putting resources toward studying this phenomenon, as well as putting forth efforts to investigate what other countries know about it as well. For example, another unclassified document outlines:

Scientists of the PRC and the Soviet Far East have begun joint study of UFO’s. The first meeting of ufologists of the two countries has ended in the small maritime townlet of Dalnegorsk. The Soviet and Chinese specialists on anomalous phenomena have mapped out a program for investigating incidents that are already known and have also arranged to directly exchange video and photographic materials on new similar phenomena. Dalnegorsk has not been chosen by chance as the place for such acquaintance. In the last few years the number of cases of visual observation of UFO’s has noticeably increased there. In just the last four years alone no less than 10 UFO’s have been recorded. Specialists link their heightened interest in places here with the variety and wealth of useful minerals in Maritime Kray. Similar, incidents have also occurred in mountainous regions in China whose climatic conditions and natural landscape resemble our own. (source)

As for the Wheeler document, it shows how the agency really wanted him to work with the CIA on this subject, and that he regretted that he could not because of prior work comittments. It also mentions that “he would be pleased at any time to discuss the matter briefly.”  It also states how Wheeler mentioned “two foreign nationals who were currently outstanding in related fields.”

The document goes on to mention a few other names, some of which are redacted, and others not, like former Director of Research at Cambridge, Massachusetts USAF research center, Dr. O’Day.

The document pertains to a “scientific attack” on the UFO problem.

Another document regarding the call with Wheeler states that he might actually have some time available to get involved.

The document doesn’t offer much information, but its existence itself proves that as far back as 1953 the CIA was looking into UFOs and recruiting the world’s top minds to study them.

“This thing has gotten so highly-classified . . . it is just impossible to get anything on it. I have no idea who controls the flow of need-to-know because, frankly, I was told in such an emphatic way that it was none of my business that I’ve never tried to make it to be my business since. I have been interested in this subject for a long time and I do know that whatever the Air Force has on the subject is going to remain highly classified.”

– Senator Barry GoldwaterChairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee (source)

The topic of UFOs lie within this world of classification that Senator Goldwater mentions above.  Here is another video of him speaking on it.

The United States has had a history of government agencies existing in secret for years. Though the National Security Agency (NSA) was founded in 1952, its existence was hidden until the mid 1960s. Even more secretive is the National Reconnaissance Office, which was founded in 1960 but remained completely secret for 30 years.

We are talking about Special Access Programs (SAP). From these we have unacknowledged and waived SAPs. These programs do not exist publicly, but they do indeed exist. They are better known as ‘deep black programs.’ A 1997 US Senate report described them as “so sensitive that they are exempt from standard reporting requirements to the Congress.”

You can read more about the black budget here.

Just imagine the scientists working in the world of intelligence today, those who are examining these craft, and those who work inside, the ones dealing with the science that goes on in the black budget world.  These people have no lives.

Take Dr. Norman Bergrun, for example. He’s worked for Ames Research Laboratory, NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), and Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, now known as Lockheed Martin. He then went on to found Bergrun Engineering and Research.

You can view some of his publications for NASA, where he worked for more than a decade, here.

In this interview, he outlines what it’s like in that world, and how these scientists aren’t really allowed to have much of a life, as they are constantly kept behind closed doors.

The Sturrock Panel

Independent scientists have also investigated UFOs. Below is a clip from the Thrive documentary that has now amassed over 100 million views. I apologize if you’ve seen it before, as I’ve posted it multiple times.

Another great example comes from what’s know as the Sturrock Panel. In the 1990s Peter Andrew Sturrock, a British scientist and Emeritus Professor of Applied Physics at Stanford University, met with other prominent scientists from around the world to examine the physical evidence that is commonly associated with the UFO phenomenon. One example used by Sturrock in his analysis is a photo taken by two Royal Canadian Air Force pilots on August 27th, 1956, in McCleod, Alberta, Canada. (“Physical Evidence Related To UFO Reports” – The Sturrock Panel Report – Electromagnetic Effects) (source) (source)

“If it does indeed turn out that there is relevant physical evidence, if this evidence is carefully collected and analyzed, and if this analysis leads to the identification of several facts concerning the UFO phenomenon, then will be the time for scientists to step back and ask, What are these facts trying to tell us? If those facts are strong enough to lead to a firm conclusion, then will be the time to confront the more bizarre questions. If, for instance, it turns out that all physical evidence is consistent with a mundane interpretation of the causes of UFO reports, there will be little reason to continue to speculate about the role of extraterrestrial beings. If, on the other hand, the analysis of physical evidence turns up very strong evidence that objects related with UFO reports were manufactured outside the solar system, then one must obviously consider very seriously that the phenomenon involves not only extraterrestrial vehicles but probably also extraterrestrial beings.”

–  From the Sturrock Panel (source)

The 2011 Global Competitiveness Forum, at which a number of prominent scientists attended, featured a lecture by Jacques Vallee, notable for co-developing the first computerized mapping of Mars for NASA, and for his work at SRI International on the network information centre for ARPANET, on the UFO/extraterrestrial phenomenon. There, he also discusses the physical evidence we currently have.

Vía Collective Evolution http://ift.tt/2hTKcxN

A Complete Detox Program To Cleanse The Body, Help You Loose Weight & Boost Your Health

http://ift.tt/1riZs3G

Disease has been on the rise for multiple decades. It seems quite clear that things aren’t really getting any better, and with a growing population, the rate of chronic illness seems to be getting worse. On top of that, we have a medical ‘industry’ full of good-hearted people who want to help people, and are helping people, that’s plagued by fraud and deception. One that is not really interested in healing people, but rather, in profiting off of their sickness. There are countless instances of this. For example, a study that was published last week in the British Medical Journal by researchers at the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen showed that pharmaceutical companies were not disclosing all information regarding the results of their drug trials. You can read more about that and access the study here.

The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful. — Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard Professor of Medicine and Former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal

The above study is one of many examples, with various medications for various diseases. This is extremely concerning, especially given the fact that various experts estimate more than 100,000 people die every year in the United States alone from prescription drug use. (source)

There doesn’t seem to be much attention paid to the environment we choose to surround ourselves with, the foods we eat, and detoxifying our bodies. The answer to everything from the world of medicine seems to come in the form of drugs, which is not always the best option depending on your situation.

Ask yourself: why are so many people getting sick all the time? Why is disease constantly on the rise? One explanation that many experts are putting forth is the environment. We live on a planet where simply breathing in the air from any major city is a health hazard. Our cosmetics, self-care products, and common everyday household products are littered with hormone disrupting chemicals, and the food most of us eat has been linked to multiple diseases. Roundup herbicide has been found in the urine of people across Europe, and the list goes on and on. It’s no secret that we are currently living in a toxic environment, and for those looking to stay in good health, detoxifying is something important we can to do instead of putting so much stress on our internal organs to do it on their own. We need to assist them and we can do it in several different ways.

Autophagy

The body does a great job of detoxifying itself on its own, and it’s quite amazing. Perhaps this is why some people can smoke, drink, and eat poorly for most of their life and still survive into old age, but that’s not true for the majority of people.

Autophagy means “self” eating, and it’s a process where your body cleans out various toxins and recycles damaged cell components.

The video above provides a more in-depth biochemical review of the autophagy processes involved in health and disease.

Dr. Colin Champ, a board-certified radiation oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center explains it well:

Think of it as our body’s innate recycling program. Autophagy makes us more efficient machines to get rid of faulty parts, stop cancerous growths, and stop metabolic dysfunction like obesity and diabetes. (source)

One of the best ways to detoxify your system, and slow the aging process (thus greatly reducing the risk of various age-related diseases) is to assist your body in the process of autophagy.

Exercise 

Exercise is a great way to fight disease. Our bodies are built to move, which is something many people don’t do enough of. Exercising alone has been shown to kill cancer cells, because it’s an excellent way to boost the autophagy process.

Clinical trials were conducted to help detoxify people from the Gulf War, and in doing so, results showed that that using a combination of exercise, sauna (detox through sweating), and niacin supplementation, maximized the elimination of toxins through the skin. Not only that, exercise does cause an increase in blood flow and vasodilation.

Scientists have also engineered mice to have glowing green autophagosomes and found that the rate at which the mice were demolishing their own cells (in a healthy way) increased significantly after they ran for 30 minutes on a treadmill. The rate also continued to increase as they ran past the 30 minute mark.

All of this is discussed by Dr. Yu, in the interview below that was conducted with Dr. Joseph Marcela discussing those studies. You can check it out for more information.

Intermittent Fasting

A number of scientists have been studying fasting these days, and the results are quite remarkable to say the least. One thing it definitely does is boost autophagy. Fasting has a number of other benefits, including regenerating new stem cells, fighting cancer, and reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

When you supply fuel to your mitochondria when they don’t need it, they leak electors that enhance reactive oxygen species as free radicals, and free radicals are extremely damaging. Supplying fuel to your mitochondria (via food) is the opposite of fasting.

Mitochondria is the power source to your cells, and these free radicals damage it.

Here is a video (TEDx) talk given by Mark Mattson, the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging. He is also a professor of Neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University, and one of the foremost researchers in the area of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying multiple neurodegenerative disorders, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. In it, he describes how fasting can reverse multiple age-related diseases.

Basically, when you take a look at caloric restriction studies, many of them show a prolonged lifespan as well as an increased ability to fight chronic disease.

Calorie restriction (CR) extends life span and retards age-related chronic diseases in a variety of species, including rats, mice, fish, flies, worms, and yeast. The mechanism or mechanisms through which this occurs are unclear.

The quote above is from a review of the literature that is more than 10 years old. The work presented here is now showing some of these mechanisms that were previously unclear.

A study published in the June 5 issue of Cell Stem Cell by researchers from the University of Southern California showed that cycles of prolonged fasting protect against immune system damage and, moreover, induce immune system regeneration. They concluded that fasting shifts stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal. It triggers stem cell based regeneration of an organ or system. (source)

Human clinical trials were conducted using patients who were receiving chemotherapy. For long periods of time, patients did not eat, which significantly lowered their white blood cell counts. In mice, fasting cycles “flipped a regenerative switch, changing the signalling pathways for hematopoietic stem cells, which are responsible for the generation of blood and immune systems.” (source)

This means that fasting kills off old and damaged immune cells, and when the body rebounds, it uses stem cells to create brand new, completely healthy cells.

We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system. . . . When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged. What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back.  – Valter Longo, corresponding author (source)

One well-known option is the “5:2 Diet.” On the 5:2 plan, you cut your food down to one-fourth of your normal daily calories on fasting days (about 600 calories for men and about 500 for women), along with plenty of water and tea. On the other five days of the week, you can eat normally. Another way to do it is to restrict your food intake between the hours of 11 am and 7 pm daily, while not eating during the hours outside of that time. This is also explained in the documentary below.

image

 

Watch What You Eat & Monitor Your Protein Intake

This is really a no-brainer: eating healthy organic fruits and vegetables is important. One factor to consider is your protein intake. Today we seem to be bombarded with the idea that a lot of protein is necessary, especially if you are working out quite a bit. Although this may be true, over doing it on protein is definitely not a good idea.

It’s important to watch your protein intake when talking about autophagy, because too much protein will shut down autophagy, which is why it might not be a bad idea to limit your protein intake to about 40-70 grams a day, depending on your body bass. The usual formula health experts use to calculate how much protein your body requires is one gram of protein for every kilogram of lean body ass, or one-half gram per pound of lean body mass.

One of the quickest ways to shut down autophagy is to eat large amounts of protein. What this will do is stimulate IGF-1 and mTOR, which are potent inhibitors of autophagy. This is expanded upon by the scientists in the documentary linked above if you’re interested in learning more.

Vía Collective Evolution http://ift.tt/2gU6tf5

Still Banking With The Big Banks? Here’s Why You Should Consider Some More Ethical Options

http://ift.tt/eA8V8J

Do you consider yourself a socially conscious person? Are you someone who stays up to date on current events, researches what’s going on in the world, and knows which companies are contributing to our world’s problems and which are working to solve them? If you said yes, then it sounds like you are a conscious consumer and understand the power of voting with your dollar and putting your money where your mouth is… but — where do you put your money? Which bank do you use? This is something many of us don’t even consider, but just like anywhere else you put your money, the bank you choose to support with your dollars matters.

This is something that I myself am just learning the importance of now, as I have recently begun researching the best places for storing my dollar bills. Not that I have a lot of them by any means, but still, I want them to be supporting things that I myself would support, which does not include a machine fuelled by greed — no matter the cost.

This idea of taking your money out of the big financial giants really came into my reality around the time of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, when people were withdrawing their money en masse. Protesters came to understand that, by giving their money to the big banks, they were actually contributing to and supporting the very oil giants t hey were fighting so hard to stop.

What Would Happen If We All Took Our Money Out of the Banks?

This is the thing that is a little scary to consider. When you put your money in a bank, it doesn’t just sit there, patiently waiting for you to decide to spend it. It is being invested at high levels. If you choose to, you can actually get involved in that game and potentially profit from your money rather than letting it collect dust, but again, it is up to you to be aware of what your money is actually going to support if you should choose to do that. If everyone were to take out their money from their banking institutions, the banks would essentially collapse. Those who were late to the money party, moreover, wouldn’t get their money back, because once in a bank, it’s technically under the bank’s control, and they do not hold it all in a safe waiting to be returned to customers.

Now, there are some other options, the most obvious being to keep all your money in cash format, but in this day and age, that is becoming increasingly less practical, as we need credit cards for so many things, and carrying a lot of cash is both inconvenient and risky.

So, Where Should You Keep Your Money?

Enter “Green banks.” Sometimes referred to as a green investment bank, clean energy finance authority, or clean energy finance corporation, a green bank is a public financial institution that uses innovative financing techniques and market development tools in partnership with the private sector to accelerate the deployment of clean technologies. This is one option.

But there are also a number of other socially responsible banks that you can choose from that invest the money they receive into ethical and sustainable businesses that truly have the consumer and the planet in mind.

Consider Credit Unions

You can also consider credit unions, whose model is people before profits. They use a co-operative model, which means any profits they make are reinvested back into the credit union to serve the members better, and some of these benefits are shared directly with their members and the community.

There are a lot of misconceptions around credit unions. People think they don’t have good online banking services, use mobile apps, or offer ATMs, but that simply isn’t the case. Most credit unions have all of these perks and more. Essentially, a credit union can do anything a bank can do, but it all revolves around you as the customer. Check out this cute video from Vancity that describes the difference between credit unions and banks:

Thinking About Making a Switch?

It’s a lot easier than you think. You can walk into your bank and tell them you want to close your account, and that’s that. Of course, if you have any loans or mortgages with your bank, the process becomes trickier, but it’s not impossible. Here are some simple steps, courtesy of GreenAmerica.org,

10 Steps  ToBreak Up With Your Mega Bank:

1. Find a new community development bank or credit union. As you research your new bank, be sure to ask about fees, services, and the details about the banking products you need. Make sure the institution you select is FDIC or NCUA-insured.

2. Open your new account with a small deposit while keeping your normal mega-bank account open. Order the products you need such as checks, debit cards, and deposit slips.

3. Make a list of any of your automatic deposits like your paycheck, or auto-withdrawals, like your bills.

4. Move your automatic deposits to your new account. If you have direct deposit for your paycheck, ask your employer to transfer your paychecks to your new account (you will likely need to provide a voided check from your new account to your employer). The same holds true for Social Security payments or other forms of income you receive automatically into your account. Ask for the date on which the payment to your new account will take place.

5. Move your automatic withdrawals to your new account (you will likely need to provide the routing and account numbers at the bottom of your checks). When you know that sufficient funds will be in your new account, transfer your automatic payments so that they are now deducted from your new account. Ask for the date on which the payments from your new account will begin. It’s wise to leave a small amount of cash in your mega-bank checking account for a month after you think you have shifted your deposits and withdrawals to your new bank or credit union to guard against any unforeseen circumstances like checks you wrote that hadn’t been cashed, or payments you forgot about.

6. If you have only online banking through your mega-bank, take screenshots of statements or print them out. Save them for your records and keep canceled checks you may later need.

7. Transfer the final funds from your mega-bank account to your new account – once you have all your automatic deposits and payments transferred and any last checks have cleared your old account. Electronic transfer of these final funds to your new account is usually the fastest and safest method to use.

8. Close your mega-bank account. Once the last remaining funds in your old account have transferred to your new account, follow the bank’s procedures for closing accounts. Obtain written confirmation that your account is closed.

9. Inform your bank why you are breaking up (You can use our sample letter as a guide).

10. Encourage your congregation, workplace, or alma mater to use a community development bank or credit union if they do not already do so. Also, if you are on the boards of any nonprofits, or live in a condo or housing co-op, you can encourage these organizations to switch too. For colleges and universities, turn to Responsible Endowments Coalition.

Final Thoughts

If you believe in the power of voting with your dollar and putting your money where your mouth is, then this is the next important step you can take. There are many aspects of our system that aren’t working, and we know it, but the good news is, we do not have to participate in these parts of society that no longer serve us. We can take responsibility for our own lives and our  actions and make a powerful impact wherever we leave our money. We always have a choice, and a vote, because every time we spend money, even at a bank, we are casting a vote for the type of world in which we want to live.

Much Love

Vía Collective Evolution http://ift.tt/2yvI9ub

#MeToo: Celebs Come Together And Create Short Films To Increase Awareness of Sexual Harassment

http://ift.tt/eA8V8J

In light of all of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse and harassment cases, many women (and men) have come forward to share their own stories of abuse and harassment on social media using the hashtag “#MeToo.”

I was so thrilled to see so many people speaking their truth and shedding light on a very serious issue; however, there was one story that truly stopped me in my tracks, which was of one woman’s reason why she felt uncomfortable posting #MeToo on social media.

It wasn’t that she hadn’t experienced sexual harassment, abuse, or rape in the past, but because she hadn’t necessarily faced the reality of those situations herself. Since her experiences weren’t of an extremely violent nature, and because she hadn’t felt “traumatized,” she felt that they were somehow unworthy of being called “sexual harassment” or “rape.”

This is an issue that I’ve seen so many people struggle with, including myself: We often try to justify other people’s actions, even when we know they’re “wrong.” We’re compassionate beings and we don’t want to believe that people could knowingly commit violent or genuinely mean or disturbing acts, and so we attempt to rationalize them, which in turn minimizes them.

I’ve listened to so many women describe situations in which they were very clearly sexually harassed, assaulted, or raped, but they don’t use those words. And whenever I used those labels, they immediately started to question whether or not their experiences can truly be classified as such.

It’s not that they had difficulty communicating their experiences to others; the difficulty lay in calling it what it was, and admitting the reality of the situation to themselves. Sometimes it can be just as difficult to admit the truth to yourself as it is to communicate that truth to others (whether that “truth” be related to sexual assault/harassment or any other trauma/hardship).

We create emotional blockages in order to protect ourselves and hide from the truth, and sometimes they run so deep that they genuinely blind us from recognizing the “wrong” in a given situation. We have these false belief systems surrounding unwanted or unsolicited sexual comments or contact, and society often perpetuates them. Most women (and many men as well) have probably experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault, from fear-inducing catcalling to unwanted grabbing of body parts in bars.

In my opinion, this stems from a deep-rooted, systemic issue regarding our sexuality, one that makes us blind to the ways both men and women are sexualized and exploited in the media, and one where we as women don’t even flinch sometimes when we’re in a crowded club and men squeeze our behinds. To a certain degree, sexual harassment and assault are normalized, especially in certain industries like the entertainment sector, and that’s not okay.

In discussing the “#MeToo” hashtag and the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in society, I found the following series of videos. Based on a series of true stories, these short films take you through some examples of sexual harassment, from unwanted sexual contact by doctors to inappropriately sexual photoshoots.

Celebs Create a Series of #ThatsHarassment Videos 

The following videos were designed to increase awareness surrounding the prevalence of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment occurs so frequently that we’ve stopped calling it out for what it is, creating almost a veil of protection over it.

These videos illustrate precisely what sexual harassment could look like in a number of scenarios. Israeli-American director Sigal Avin wrote and directed these five short films, and with the help of David Schwimmer (who played Ross in the TV show Friends), they distributed the videos in the U.S. in hopes of increasing awareness surrounding sexual harassment.

Here’s one “That’s Harassment” video featuring a doctor and his female patient:

Here’s another titled “The Coworker” that plays out a scene between two people working at a bar:

Here’s another titled “The Photographer” which depicts harassment in the modelling industry:

Here’s one more called “The Politician,” starring a journalist and a politician:

You can check out more of their videos on their Facebook page here.

What was perhaps most disturbing to me personally about these videos is that, as I watched them, I kept asking myself: “Is this really sexual harassment and/or sexual assault?” I recognized that I had, at least in part, become so indoctrinated by society’s warped view of sexuality that I myself had difficulty using these terms.

Then, I proceeded to think about times in my life when I felt that some form of sexual comments, contact, etc. were clearly not okay, but I just internalized and justified them to myself. Though these experiences made me uncomfortable, I pretended or assumed that the individual(s) involved didn’t mean to offend or scare me, and so I brushed it off.

If something genuinely feels wrong, then listen to your intuition. Have you ever experienced a “gut feeling?” That’s your soul giving you a clue about what’s going on in your life. Pay attention to those cues, and don’t doubt your judgement or second guess your initial feeling, because your feelings are valid. The fact that you are feeling your feelings is “validation” enough, and you don’t need anyone to distinguish what’s right or wrong for you.

If someone is touching you inappropriately without your consent and it’s making you uncomfortable, whether or not you’ve said the word “no,” then that’s not okay. If someone is saying extremely sexual comments to you that’s making your skin crawl, then that’s harassment. 

Why Do We Have Difficulty Addressing Sexual Harassment and Assault?

Society often pities rape survivors, deeming them as damaged or even blaming them for what happened. Women are told their skirts were too high or that they must have somehow “been asking for it.” We don’t exactly create an “open space” for women and men affected by sexual harassment, assault, or rape to come forward, which is perhaps why so many people refuse to either come to terms with their experiences or share them with others.

It’s also rare for rapists or those who sexually assault or harass others to own up to their actions as well, in part because they’re ostracized and dehumanized, as society has so little compassion for them. No, these actions are never okay, but that doesn’t mean these people aren’t human. If we demonize them and treat them like they’re some sort of monsters, how can we ever get to the root cause of this problem in the first place?

It’s not like it’s this tiny problem that’s going to go away without some serious effort being put forth by society. The fact of the matter is, 1 in 16 men are rapists, so odds are that you’ve met someone or are even friends or related to someone who’s a rapist. Not to mention the fact that females can be rapists too, and that there are far more people who have sexually assaulted or harassed others.

Why do men and women feel that they have a “right” over another person’s body in the first place? Why do we try to rationalize our own actions or the actions of others when they hurt other people? Why are we so afraid of addressing our inner turmoil?

These questions cannot be solved if we do not face them head on, take responsibility for our actions, and call these acts exactly what they are. In my opinion, souls that succumb to violence are simply lost, so instead of judging them for their actions we need to help them see their actions for what they truly are. Although I’m not a fan of labels, it’s important that we call sexual harassment, abuse, assault, and rape exactly what they are in order to increase awareness and shed light on these serious issues.

These videos reminded me of an article I wrote earlier this year on a man and woman who gave a joint TED talk together. This TED Talk was a profound dialogue between the woman, a rape survivor, and the man, her rapist. Despite the horrific experience they shared with one another, they were able to come together and share their experience in order to create awareness about sexual violence.

Thordis found peace in forgiving her rapist, and her rapist, Tom, was able to truly come to terms with what he’d done by discussing it with Thordis and trying to forgive himself for his actions. The woman, Thordis, expressed how easy it is to blame yourself after being raped.

As Thordis points out, “the only thing that could’ve stopped me from being raped that night is the man who raped me.” At the end of the day, you cannot control another person’s actions. Yes, you have the power to manifest and create your own reality, but so does everyone else. There’s no point in over-analyzing or regretting your actions because the victim’s actions are ultimately never the cause of rape.

As Tom says, “Far too often the responsibility is attributed to female survivors of sexual violence and not the males who enact it. Far too often the denial and running leaves all parties at a great distance from the truth.”

You can read the full article and watch their TED Talk here.

Final Thoughts 

Although I believe it’s important to call these experiences out for what they are so both the perpetrators and the victims can come to terms with it, I think it’s important to remind ourselves that we are not defined by one experience.

If you have been affected by sexual harassment, assault, or rape, know that you are so much more than just a “victim.” You should not have to wear your perpetrator’s shame, because it is their shame to bear, not yours. You are a human. You are a soul. You are deserving of love, compassion, and inner peace.

That being said, rapists and those who have committed sexual assault or harassment are humans as well. They too house souls, and they too deserve compassion. I am not justifying their actions by any means, but I am suggesting that one despicable, inexcusable choice should not have to define us indefinitely. I encourage you to reflect on why someone would ever choose to inflict harm on another, and how that must reflect the extreme inner turmoil they’re experiencing.

Whenever we feel that someone has “wronged” us, often times the best way to get over this experience is through forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the best ways to overcome anger or sadness, as it allows you to find the light within the dark. Even if you don’t think your perpetrator deserves your forgiveness, recognize that you deserve it.

Of course, this is easier said than done, and perhaps forgiveness is not a necessary part of everyone’s healing. I believe that one of the most important aspects of forgiveness is extending that compassion toward yourself, and so if you cannot forgive someone else, at least be gentle with yourself in knowing that you deserve forgiveness.

Vía Collective Evolution http://ift.tt/2zoPYyw