by Lisa Jacenich l Awareness, Habits, Neuroscience of Change
Raising consciousness is a prerequisite to transcendence. Transcendence for the purpose of this article refers to sensations such as harmony, serenity, peace, joy and sense of egolessness. Transcendence can occur through equanimity, acceptance, or non-resistance to inner thoughts or anything external. The ability to achieve this state of being has been experienced by many for varying periods of time and for others, it remains elusive. Considering the stressful lives, we lead and especially during this extraordinary time it can feel out of reach.
Neuroscience (1) gives us a great deal of research, data, and tools to use to increase the amount of time we can intentionally override our autonomic nervous system to access homeostasis within the body and mind even under extreme conditions. Changing habitual patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours can induce transcendence. The tools give us access to emotional intelligence (also called self-regulation) and improved quality of life, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. This ability to override habitual and subconscious patterns of reactive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours results in better relationships, both personal and professional, increased immune response, increased access to creative/intuitive thinking, and increased energy.
The practices are simple but not easy because we are overriding habit formations that are etched in our subconscious and provide an emotional familiarity, which to the old brain translates as being safe (no matter how uncomfortable). In order to take back your life, it is necessary to become more aware that you are aware of it. In neuroscience, this is called metacognition. By being the “observer” in those moments of awareness it is possible to make new choices if you are not energetically or emotionally where you want to be. The key is to not react (implode or explode). In the moment of awareness, take a pause to ask yourself, “What am I about to create by my thoughts, words (or silence), tone, actions, feelings, energy?” Drop into your heart and take a few slow breaths a little deeper than usual. This will allow you to take back the driver seat of what is about to happen in your life.
The ease or difficulty of what was just described has a lot to do with where you are in the evolutionary stages of consciousness itself. Michael Beckwith in his Life Visioning work2 explores evolutionary stages of consciousness in four levels. In the first level, life happens “to me” and is referred to as victim consciousness. The second stage of consciousness or manifestation consciousness refers to life happening “by me”. The third stage of consciousness is when life’s circumstances are happening “through” me, becoming a part of something greater than myself. (absence of ego). The highest state of consciousness is complete oneness with “all that is”. The same person can be in different stages at the same time. For example, interpersonally you may embody unconditional love and compassion, and simultaneously you may find yourself in a mentality of lack about financial conditions facing you and feeling helpless to do anything about it.
Unprecedented worldwide conditions are taxing the skills of even those with high states of consciousness and well-established daily practices over many years. Individuals are finding themselves experiencing frustration, impatience, and intolerance. This is understandable considering we are in an extended state of hyper-vigilance due to the current global conditions. It is important to honor all the feelings but not get stuck in them. The sensations are signals to pay attention to something in your life needing attention. Health care providers, first responders, and leaders of government and industry are encouraged to practice self-care, awareness, and self-regulation which are keys to resilience and sustainability and overcoming internal programming. If you are finding reasons outside yourself for feelings or circumstances, consider putting your “observer self “back in the driver’s seat of your life. Feelings can be dialed up or dialed down. When we find ourselves heading towards extremes sometimes the best course of action is to make the choice to move to “neutral” or calm. Diverting focus from the stories and situations that add kerosene to the fire will move us towards healthier and higher energy states of being. Once there, you can choose to raise your energy even higher. This will allow access to your creativity and innovation as well as allow your immune system to function more optimally. All of these abilities are shut down when our systems are triggered into the state of fight, flight, or freeze 3.
The entire planet and all of its inhabitants are facing conditions never before experienced. Choosing as many moments in a day as possible to induce transcendence will provide a state of being required to find our way back to what we all deserve, those states of being that are our birthright: harmony, serenity, peace, joy. You have a choice, if not now…when?
- Dr. Joe Dispenza, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. Carlsbad: Hay House, Inc., 2012.
- Michael Beckwith: Life Visioning: A Transformative Process for Activating Your Unique Gifts and Highest Potential. Louisville: Sounds True, Inc., 2013.
- Brod S, Rattazzi L, Piras G, D’Acquisto F. “‘As above, so below’ examining the interplay between emotion and the immune system,” Immunology: the journal of cells, molecules, systems and technologies (November 2014); 143(3): 311-8. Doi: 10.1111/imm. 12341.
Lisa Jacenich has studied human behavior since 1976 / BA in Psychology at Pennsylvania State University. Following her service as an officer in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, she became an adjunct faculty member for George Washington University with specialties in government contracting and project management. As a corporate consultant for NeuroChangeSolutions, she focuses on leadership and wellness integration developing innovative training environments and collaborations highlighting creativity and (inter)personal transformations.