Part 1: What does it mean to expand consciousness?
You may have noticed that I am working on building a resource for you called SpiritWell. You may have also noticed that the words I use to describe SpiritWell – a place to expand consciousness, manage energy, raise vibration – seem rather esoteric and obscure. You are not wrong!
While these words may seem far from your reality, one of my primary objectives with SpiritWell is to take the esoteric and obscure and make it accessible and realistic for where you are currently in your life. Yes, YOU!
You may wonder how I know that these terms apply to you. Well, that is because they are universal, natural laws, that while explained in depth by ancient wisdom traditions again and again, have only recently stepped into mainstream conversations.
In this three-part post, I want to illustrate my understanding of consciousness, energy, and vibration, beginning today with consciousness.
So go ahead, read along. Comment if you feel moved or curious. And stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 where I will aim to deepen your understanding of energy and vibration.
My goal is to make consciousness as simple as possible for you to metabolize. If you are craving a deeper scientific, shamanic, or spiritual analysis on consciousness, there are a gazillion resources for you. Yet, here I wanted to help you deepen your understanding on WHAT we mean by expanding consciousness, WHY it is critical in our progress and growth, and HOW you can get started today.
As a teacher, student, PhD(c) in Mind-Body Medicine, I have noticed that there is an intimidation factor related to such spiritual vernacular, oftentimes inhibiting the “non-expert” from digging deep into these subjects. This is likely due to a fear of feeling inferior on a subject matter that very few people in the West know in-depth anyways. I myself am still and always a student first!!
I’m going to hypothesize that if you are reading this article then you might already have the knowledge that we have two opposing “minds” or “awarenesses,” known as the conscious mind and the unconscious mind.
When something resides in our conscious mind, it means it is inside of our current awareness. That which we are not aware of lives in the opposing space, the unconscious mind. The more aware we become through self-examination, we begin to usher our unconscious parts of ourselves (motivations, impulses, behaviors) into our current awareness. Bringing these unconscious parts of ourselves forward, minimizes the masks and defenses that keep our true self hidden, and help us to realize the true nature of our Self.
Simply put, consciousness is the true self. And it cannot exist in the past or future.
It lives in the now.
If you go back to the tagline of SpiritWell, you will see we promise to expand consciousness. To expand means to make larger, right? Now, if we are to recognize a so-called negative tendency of ours and greet that awareness of the so-called negative tendency with resentment and contempt (reactions) – where do you think that will take us?! Really, think about it. In fact, your reaction may be another layer living in your unconscious.
In the quest for expanded consciousness, it is therefore critical to embrace and practice the concepts of acceptance, non-judgement, and compassion. Without these practices at play, we may find ourselves continuing to hide our true nature, consciousness, or perceptual awareness, by listening to an old message or belief that is in some form limiting.
The idea behind SpiritWell, is to ultimately learn how to get out of our own way and embrace living in our conscious, true nature. Now, from someone who used to be an all-star at getting in her own way, I kind of consider myself an expert in this area, and more importantly, in how to transcend such limited living.
So here is the gist…consciousness will not expand without doing some kind of “work.” Now you may hear the word “work” and think it’s going to be a full time job. Not true. But rather a discipline of mindset. But wait for it. The word discipline used to really freak me out, particularly because I didn’t feel like I had enough of it. Until I realized that the discipline I needed was the discipline TO BE MYSELF. This then became the practice of coming into reality with my true nature, which in turn expanded my consciousness.
So if there is a part of you that keeps saying,
“Oh it will be too much work,” or…
“I’ve lived this long without looking at those parts of myself,” or…
“How do I even get started?!!”
Try this simple exercise:
1) Sit quietly with no distractions (lock yourself in the bathroom if you have to)
2) Focus on a few deep breaths, preferably sighing out of your mouth with sound
3) Perform a body scan as you shift your awareness from specific body parts starting with your toes, up to the crown of your head
4) Use your breath and your body awareness as an anchor for you, every time your mind wanders to a thought (likely something from the past or future)
5) Become aware of feelings as they travel through you and consider these feelings as pulsating energy
6) Place your hand on your heart and set an intention to compassionately and gently expand your awareness towards your true self
Practice regularly. And before long you will notice that you are living in more spaciousness as you are developing your inner-self, promoting optimal well-being, and alleviating suffering you may consciously or unconsciously be experiencing.
Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 on energy and vibration. Coming soon!