The Meaning of the Wizard of Oz

My children recently watched the Wizard of Oz at a friend’s house, and the deeper meaning of this film is so wonderful that I wanted to share it with you.

All good stories have a deeper message, and all films do too, and if you watch or read with the question in mind “what is the deeper message of this?” then you will understand the intentional communication beneath the superficial events and interactions that take place. Dreams are exactly the same. If we understand the symbology and the relationship between things in the dream, we can learn a lot about what we need on a deeper level. For more info on this, read the chapter on dreams in my free book “How To Live in Love” :

So, the Wizard of Oz is all about journeying into your heart (The Emerald City) to find love, strength, courage and wisdom, while conquering the evil and selfish impulses (the wicked witches) that attempt to get a foot-hold in every person’s life.

Dorothy is not quite enjoying her life at the beginning of the film and she longs for something more. She is unfulfilled, and not in touch with the realm of her heart. The absence of her parents is a significant feature here (which symbolises a separation from her Earthly Mother, and her Heavenly Father). She feels lonely. She longs for what lies ‘over the rainbow’. The rainbow symbolises a bridge that leads to a new reality (perhaps even a pot of gold, which is symbolic of inner richness and fulfilment)

Then along comes the wind (symbolic of divine power, spirit, God) to create a tornado. She loses consciousness, and the ‘dream’ begins.

She lands in another realm, which symbolises her subconscious. Even upon landing, she defeats the wicked witch of the east. The witches symbolise all the negative aspects of Dorothy, or of any person, (e.g. meanness, greed, selfishness, negativity, jealously, hatred and so on), and just by arriving in Oz, she rids herself of one aspect of her negativity. This is the reward for initially journeying inward. The good witch Glinda gives her the ruby slippers, telling her that she will always be safe when wearing them. They symbolise trust, faith and inner security, the essential qualities that allow Dorothy to feel a sense of safety and protection. This is essential. Trust is essential.

She meets the munchkins, who symbolise child-like innocence and joyousness, and she learns that she must follow the yellow brick road (yellow representing joy, light, happiness) to get to the Emerald City (the heart).

Along the way, she meets the cowardly lion, the tin man and the straw man, all of whom need something. These are the aspects of the self that need strengthening along the way, if we are to dwell in the realm of the heart as we are destined to. Courage is needed, strength is needed, love and wisdom are needed. The kindness of these 3 sidekicks is notable (and it was also obvious in the beginning of the film, when the 3 men on the farm helped Dorothy). This emphasises the important role of kindness in reaching the realm of the heart. Along the way the wicked witch tries to stop them, notably in the deadly poppy fields where Dorothy grows sleepy. This symbolises the importance of alertness, of being present and awake, and not becoming lazy and undisciplined.

When they reach the Emerald City and meet the wizard, he requests the broomstick of the wicked witch. It turns out he is a ‘fake’ wizard, and cannot give the group the courage, love, strength and intelligence they need. This is symbolic of the inability of any other person to give you what you need. You have to do the work yourself, you have to discover your strength, love, courage and intelligence yourself. And this is what happens as they confront the wicked witch (evil, darkness, selfishness, destructivity). They uncover these noble characteristics within themselves in the process of the confrontation, which is unavoidable.

The flying monkeys of the witch represent the tricky mind, all the thoughts that mislead you, divert you, confuse you and lead you away from your destination.

Eventually, the wicked witch is defeated by water, which symbolises purification and cleansing. This suggests that negativity and darkness will be cleansed from you when you purify and clean your body on the inside. Water is purification, and essentially the wicked witch is purified and dissolved. This is what happens to our negative tendencies in the process of purification; they dissolve.

So the witch is defeated, evil is vanquished, the journey has been successful, the healing has been completed. Now Dorothy needs to return home, to the outer world where she lives. The fake wizard is incapable of taking Dorothy home (again highlighting the inability of another person to take you on your journey) and the good witch informs Dorthy to click her heels together and say “there’s no place like home.” This is an important sentence, because home is where the heart is. It almost serves as a little cue, a trigger for remembering the realm she has ventured into. Once back in Kansas, she could simply remind herself of “home” (her heart), with this little simple action. She repeats this phrase upon waking back in Kansas, as she cuddled Toto. The presence of Toto on the journey is also symbolic, as dogs represent loyalty, trust, and friendship, all qualities of the heart.

Upon waking in Kansas, she is surrounded by concerned and loving friends and family. This again shows us the value of the heart, of care, of concern. They care about her, and she realises how lucky and blessed she is to be surrounded by them, in her familiar and homely surroundings. Nothing is lacking. She is deeply grateful. Her inward journey has been successful. Once you have discovered your heart, there truly is no place like home.

One last thing.. It says a lot that only her journey into Oz is shown in colour in the film. On returning to Kansas, it is black and white (sepia) once more. The use of colour tells us which ‘reality’ is more real, which has more depth, more beauty. Kansas is not so real after all; it is colourless in comparison to Oz. The inner realm into which she ventured was the true reality. It is Kansas which is the dream.

“Develop the strength of your heart”

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We are all children, longing to find our way back to
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Experiencing & enjoy the reality of God

What is the reality of God? It is a divine reality, not a divided reality, and thus all is perceived in complete and deep harmony.

We experience this within ourselves as the feeling of being connected to the all-pervading goodness, through our heart, the centre of our being. As we relax into this goodness simply by relaxing our body, we open our heart to it and we stop being afraid of it, for it cannot cause suffering.

Only withdrawing from it creates suffering, and there is absolutely no need to do that, for it is where we belong and what our heart is destined for. At home in love, in benevolence, in deep compassion. This, felt in our heart, joins us with the divine reality, untarnished by all the thoughts that create fear.

Thoughts exist in a different realm now; a shallow mental realm that holds no interest. The heart-felt realm of embodied goodness feels blissful when you focus upon it. It is pure divine perfection felt within the tissues your body; a fully tangible experience which you were indeed built for. Your biological circuitry is designed to experience this. It is not an altered state, it is your divine state, your ascended state, your liberated state.

You are liberated from your insecurity, from which flows all fear and doubt. You find your security in your connection to the loving benevolent force which many have called God. If we can be humble enough, we will experience that power that is greater than our own, the power which gives us life and consciousness, and we will live in deep gratitude towards it.

“Develop the strength of your heart”

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We are all children, longing to find our way back to
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This is the peace your heart longs for…

There is a flow of invisible spiritual light which you belong in, like a fish that belongs in a flowing river. In that stream of spiritual light, you are radiant, attuned, synchronised and harmonious within. Your heart feels connected.

This is the experience of divine communion, but we can feel it in day to day life too, when we act kindly and selflessly. When we give from our heart with no thought of self-reward. This is when we feel attuned to something greater than ourselves; some greater force of loving benevolence, which we can choose to allow to work through us. And thus we become a vessel of that benevolence, which is intelligence and consciousness also.

It is intelligence beyond thought. It is intelligence in the form of spiritual light, and when you consider how much intelligence and information the sun transmits to Earth in the form of light, it is an intelligence beyond all our comprehension.

Spiritual light is constantly pouring down upon us like a waterfall, and all we need to do is be still, become quiet, so that we can perceive its subtlety, because compared to our thoughts it is very very subtle. It is like perceiving the very gentlest of breezes on a warm sunny day.

Our thoughts will take us away from this subtlety, from this inner sense of light and into the realms of shadow and doubt in a split second if we allow our mind to be undisciplined and easily distracted. This is why attentiveness and alertness are vital, so we can perceive when the mind is active and pulling us away from being present to a sense of lightness, a sense of freedom within our heart.

We can easily remain in that space if we are vigilant, if we allow our heart to remain open and relaxed, ignoring all thoughts, doubts and fears that appear in our mind, like clouds passing across the sky. We don’t look up at the clouds; we keep our attention upon the beauty of the Earth, which symbolises our heart. We don’t think about it; we feel it. We feel it deeply. This takes us in the opposite direction of thought – in takes us deep into the Earth, into our body, into our heart ; where we feel deeply grounded, rooted and connected in a way the mind cannot understand. It has to be a felt experience in our body and in our heart.

It is our breath that fuels this felt experience, like oxygen fuels a fire. We feel the warmth of our blood flowing through us, like a river of energy that animates and brings sensation to every part of our body. As we breathe more oxygen into the fire of our heart, the more we feel our body; our hands, our arms, our shoulders, back and legs. We begin to inhabit the realm of our body, feeling alive, feeling life flow through us.

This is what sensitises us to the realm of spiritual light, because it flows through our heart, and we have to sense it with our heart. Our heart will tell us how aligned we are with the river of light that wants to flow through us. It will tell us if we are acting from a pure space of selflessness or not. Thoughts of selfishness, greed, personal pleasure and so on, encourage an increase in the sense of darkness in our consciousness. The reason being that they have their origins in ego-based thought, which is essentially fear-based thought. Such thoughts always pull us into more shadowy and unilluminated spaces, where we need more, we want more, we are lacking something that we have to pursue or grasp for. At its essence, it is insecurity, because the ego is purely a product of insecurity.

You will see this if you observe your thinking mind, and most of the thoughts it offers you. They are thoughts of limitation, insufficiency, negativity, criticism and judgement. Heart based thoughts are easily distinguishable, because the voice is not a negative one. It is like the voice of a deeply loving parent, speaking warmly and gently, telling you to have faith, to believe in your ability, to not be afraid. It tells you that you are forgiven, that you are loved.

As we attune to this voice throughout the day, rather than the negative, critical and fearful voice, we start to feel very different inside. Imagine how a young child who is constantly being criticised by their parent must feel. Now imagine how a child who is constantly being praised and reassured by their parent must feel. One child would feel deeply insufficient and insecure as a result, while the other child would feel loved, secure and confident.

The voice in your mind is the same. It speaks to you with a similar kind of authority that we used to attribute to our parents, and thus we listen to it and we believe it. But you can change who you listen to. You can continue listening to the critical fearful mind, or you can switch to the loving and reassuring heart. Is one more true than the other?

You are to some degree what you believe yourself to be, but on a deeper level you are the awareness that perceives everything, and the aliveness that feels everything. Like the sky and the Earth; the sky is awareness, the space in which everything occurs and the Earth is aliveness, the realm of feeling, experience, sensation, energy, vitality, and joy. This is epitomised by your heart. When we bring the two together – when we bring our awareness to our heart – something truly miraculous occurs. Spirit meets matter, light meets form, God meets human. This all occurs within you, as you simply bring your attention to your heart, allow it relax and feel comfortable in the presence of your attention, and just breathe.

This is resting in the depth of your being. This is the end of struggle and stress and fear and uncertainty. This is the peace that your heart longs for.

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The total security found in your heart

Irrespective of whether or not you are a Christian, we all have the capacity to develop our heart to the degree that Jesus did. We each have a heart that is capable of being strong yet gentle, of forgiving all people, forgiving all transgressions, understanding the hearts of all others, and seeing the suffering individual behind all acts of greed or malevolence.

This last one – the ability to see past someone’s antisocial behaviour and understand that they are wounded inside – is one of the most important. Many of us have expectations about how others should behave, and if they transgress we can become angry and judgmental very easily. But there are many people in this world who have experienced pain and suffering that we cannot comprehend. It is often suffering that drives such people to hatred, hostility and even violence. Should we judge those people as ‘bad’? It would be far wiser to view them as wounded, because that is the truest perspective on the situation. A wounded person can be healed, through genuine forgiveness, compassion and love.

However, conventional thinking tells us that a bad person should be punished, until they can become a ‘good’ person, but in reality this is rarely the case. Punishment often creates anger and bitterness, and rarely heals a wounded soul. There are many wounded souls in this world, as we all know.

Change your perspective about all people, including yourself. Seek to truly understand what is at the root of people’s behaviour; what is the cause? You are not bad and they are not bad. If you decide that they are ‘bad’, then you will be condemning yourself also, and it is vital you don’t don’t this. You need your compassion, as much as everybody else does. We have all been conditioned by a society that is – to a large degree – not good for our heart, and our heart is the centre of our being. Our heart has been neglected and hurt. Our heart became afraid by what it perceived as a threatening and unstable world, and thus insecurity took root on the deepest level.

It is this we need to address, as it is the root cause of all our dysfunction. We need to rediscover our security, our sense of feeling safe in this world. Every living creature needs to feel safe; it is one of the most primal needs that we all share. Once we feel safe, we relax inside and we can actually enjoy being alive. But if we do not feel safe, if we feel anxious and tense, then we will not truly enjoy anything until we finally find a way to relax and let go of our anxiety.

This is the most important thing to address in your life – the sense of security you feel deep in your heart. You can become aware of it easily, just by sitting down with no distractions and noticing how at ease you feel, how peaceful you feel. How quickly does anxiety try to creep in? Can you just let it go, relax your body and not feel worry about anything?

Relaxing our heart is the number one spiritual practice we should engage with every day, because a tense heart is carrying fear, and it will influence everything we think, say, and choose to do. But if you consciously notice any tension inside, then you breathe and relax your body, with a specific awareness of your heart relaxing too, peace will come to you on the deepest level. We cannot feel peace when there is tension in our heart. We cannot feel truly secure if there is tension in our heart. Security and peace are the pre-requisites for happiness and joy. They are the foundation.

So address the foundation on a daily basis. Is it being weakened by anxiety, tension and fear, or is it strong, open and trusting? Develop the strength of your heart through daily physical activity, being in nature, healthy natural foods and laughter. Laughter is a great medicine for releasing the tension in our heart, and we all need it. Instead of watching the news, watch something that makes you laugh! Instead of talking about the gravity of civilisation with other adults, play with children whenever you can.

Adults often gather and talk serious, while the children are left to their own devices. Join the children; be silly, have fun, and you will remember the lighter side of life. You will remember the innocent child that is still within you, and you will remember the beautiful realm of your heart, which awaits your attention in this and every moment…

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And thus the world will know true peace…

When people realise that all their efforts to create security, to right all the perceived wrongs, to teach people their lessons and to fix the world are a complete diversion, they will ask “What left is there left of merit and meaning to pursue?..”

At some point they will realise that the purification of their own state of consciousness is the only way they can evolve as a human being, and consequently the only way the human species will evolve. Because truly, it is the only way, and if you are not evolving you will feel inside as though you are missing something absolutely vital in life, and it would be true.

We evolve as we learn about ourselves, and correct all errors in consciousness, thought, word and deed. But essentially, there is only one crucial error: that we are literally looking in the wrong direction. We give so much of our attention to the outside world, hoping to find the answer in some material achievement, some dramatic change in the world that will fix all our problems, or perhaps in another person that will finally make us feel whole, complete and safe. Or we occupy our mind, endlessly searching among our own thoughts for answers, for understandings or truths that might finally make everything make sense, that might finally bring us the deep sense of security we all desperately need in our life.

But none of this can be found or achieved, because we must look inside our own heart to find the missing piece of the jigsaw. We need to have an encounter with the divine spiritual truth of life. Anything else will simply not align our consciousness in the way that it is waiting for, in the way that it needs. It is waiting for its fulfilment, which is union with the Divine frequency, with light, with joy, with Love.

This occurs as we practice allowing our attention to transcend thought, in tandem with relaxing our body and connecting with our heart. This simple practice, aided and supported through just breathing consciously, allows our awareness to unhook itself from all mental entanglements, from physical tensions within the body that hold fear in place, and thus become aware of something new, something more crystalline, more pure and vibrant within perception itself.

This something cannot be put into words and turned into a concept. It has to be experienced. We need to experience it if we are to understand what is actually real from the highest perspective. You could attribute to this higher reality names or descriptions that are commonly used, but words simply are not good enough, as they usually create an idea in the mind.

Without experiencing this transcendent perspective (which is actually easily available to all) we will continue to get caught up in other ideas and information, believing that they matter. What we really need to realise is that fully harmonising our being with this purer, loving consciousness, is our primary purpose in life. Because when we do, we stop creating ‘karma’ or suffering for others with our ill-informed words, thoughts and actions.

We need true divine inspiration to show us what is real. When we realise the loving and deeply benevolent nature of reality, through our own conscious awareness of it, we realise that nearly the whole world is looking in the wrong direction. Everyone is caught up in the drama of the world, in the drama of words and thoughts, opinions and beliefs, while all the time missing the profound beauty of the true nature of Reality, which can be perceived through their own mind and heart.

When you realise this, and you see how distracted and lost everyone is, you feel compelled to say something. To help people turn their attention in the right direction, away from all that causes division and pain, back towards that which their heart recognises as the highest truth. Because the heart does know this. It is the authority. It needs no-one to verify it, to confirm it. It really knows. This is the realisation that changes everything.

You realise that everyone simply needs to move their attention to a higher place to find total fulfilment and peace. Until they do, they will seek it through the world, through consumption and achievement, and through other people, all of which is completely futile.

Once people have this realisation, they will understand that their purpose is to regularly attune to and embody this higher energy of deep harmony, light, peace and joy, which emanates from their heart. It is the essence of who they are as magnificent human being. Their purpose is to become a vessel of harmony and positive energy, with a healed and vibrant heart that truly loves, cares, and lifts up others up in whatever way it can.

This is the journey required for each human being on Earth. One can avoid it or pretend it is not true, but that will only ensure further suffering to one degree or another. But if we accept this… in fact, the moment we accept this, we become centred in our purpose and power to assist our consciousness to evolve. This ensures that it happens at a much more appealing and noticeable rate, and we feel like we are finally on the right path. Essentially, it is the path home, back to a place of pure peace, light and deep inner harmony, whilst our body continues to live simply and effortlessly on this beautiful planet, in this beautiful garden of Eden.

We are so blessed. Let your many blessings into your heart, because they are a gift to be appreciated and enjoyed. Life is a gift. The Earth is a gift. Just receive these gifts, because they are unconditional, and your heart needs them. Let your mind end its compulsion towards cynicism and criticism, and instead focus upon your heart. Let it be open and un-interfered with, so that you can feel it’s innocence, it’s vulnerability, it’s joy, and its deep, deep Love.

“Develop the strength of your heart”

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“We are all children, longing to find our way back to
the world of innocence, joy and freedom we once knew…”

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Joy: the antidote to fear, anger & darkness

So much in this world brings us down, weighs upon our heart, troubles our mind, and makes us feel isolated and afraid. You could say this is the human condition, and it is about as far from joy as you can possibly get, especially when we are lost in states of hopelessness and fear.

So as a race we have a metaphoric mountain to climb, back to more consistent states of inspiration, happiness and joy. If these are to become the norm in our civilisation, which I assure you they are destined to be, then we each have to focus upon our own heart, and see what is oppressing it, keeping us in negative states, and preventing us contributing our inherently joyous nature to this world, which is our purpose.

People may argue that we are not inherently joyous, but just look at young children playing together in nature. That was how we started out, and that is our true essence; that playfulness, that humour, that mischievousness and light-heartedness. Of course, most of us lost it as we grew older and ‘adjusted’ (or more accurately, mal-adjusted) to our society and civilisation. Surrounded by a climate of seriousness and gravity, it is not surprising we slowly became more and more weighed down by the adult ways of the world, and consequently we became less and less happy, less inspired, less creative, less passionate and less joyful. The ways of the world crept into our heart, and tainted our natural joyful innocence, which is the essence of who we are.

We became judgemental about free self-expression, about being joyful and carefree. We became more reserved; more like everyone else. We conformed to the norm.

But guess what? The real you, the inspired, creative and joyful you has not gone away. It only became buried, withheld and hidden from yourself and from the world. But it is still there. The child whom you were is still there in your heart, desperate for free self-expression, play, laughter and fun. Perhaps you find this hard to believe, now that you have ‘grown up’, but I assure that it is true.

Because in the eyes of the adult world, these are frivolous and unproductive qualities that do not makes the cogs of the societal machine turn more effectively. And the denial of them within you is par for the course. We relegate their importance. They drop way down our priority list, because they are they not valued as a commodity by the world around us, and we inevitably become serious and generally unhappy as a result.

But these qualities are incredibly valuable, in fact the most valuable aspect of who we are. They are vital to our appreciation and enjoyment of being alive – absolutely vital – and it is of the utmost importance that we do enjoy and appreciate being alive, because in this we experience our wholeness, our fulfilment and our deep sense of union with the universe. There is nothing more important, and without this basic enjoyment of being alive, we miss the purpose of life itself. It is meant to be a joyful and wondrous experience that we share together, and thus amplify the enjoyment by doing so. This is a vision of heaven on Earth, and this is exactly what we are all working towards, whether we realise it or not.

We are collectively becoming more conscious of the human dysfunction, and our own dysfunction in the process. We are learning about how we make ourselves, (and thus others) suffer, through our stubbornness, selfishness, greed, judgment, aggression and arrogance. We are noticing and learning about these aspects of our personality, and doing what we can to overcome them, to eradicate them, to heal them. This is the personal journey each one is us us on. It may be a slow and arduous journey, but each little decision we make that moves us away from dysfunction and selfishness bring more light into our life, into our heart, into our relationships and into the world.

We each have been given a most precious and beautiful gift: our heart; a radiant, loving, giving and deeply caring entity in and of itself. The human heart is the most divine and magnificent creation in the entire universe, and you have one. Are you aware of it? Do you know what it needs? Is it active in your life? How much of your attention does it get? Is it strong, is it healthy, is it free?

These are the vital questions we must each ask ourselves, and work on addressing. We do need a strong, active and healthy heart that we can feel, that gets plenty of our attention. It needs to be the dominant force in our life, making the most vital decisions in our life in consultation with our intelligence. We must consider what improves our ability to be a light in this world, to increase our desire to care for others, to support and understand others, rather than judge and condemn them, ourselves included.

As our heart gets more of our attention, gets consulted more regularly, become stronger and more active in our day to day life, we notice ourselves becoming a deeper person, a more whole and rounded human being, with the facets of compassion, humour and joy shining more and more brightly, among many others. A deeper sense of fulfilment is experienced, and our relationships become more rich, more harmonious, more fun and more enjoyable. Life becomes a much more rewarding and enjoyable experience, with a deep sense of purpose and direction. We are moving away from the sense of terminal seriousness created by the adult thinking mind, away from worry, away from fear away, from criticism, judgement and hostility, and embracing (or more accurately, remembering) the heart-based truth of who we really are.

Is there a down side? Of course not, but we must be willing to let go of our fears, let go of our judgement, anger and resentment. We must be willing to forgive all those people who we feel hurt us or wronged us. This is essential, if our heart is to become more free and more joyful. Resentment keeps us trapped in the cycle of blame and anger that slowly destroys our joy and our compassion, and forgiveness is the only way to release it.

So how do we forgive? It is simple; we consciously decide to stop punishing someone, stop throwing our anger in their direction (even if they are no longer alive, or in our life). Sending out our anger and bitterness simply brings it back to us, and our heart continues to be poisoned. For it to be free, it must forgive, it must stop punishing with anger. Only then can love and joy be fully restored.

So, as you can see, we each have work to do, to let go of that which weighs down and poisons our heart. That which divides us from all the people we know and meet. To rise above this, we must be practical, as mental theories simply keep us in our mind.

We need to become aware of how everything we do affects us. What we eat, what we think, what we watch and listen to, what we read, the environments we choose to spend our time in. Everything affects us, because we are much more sensitive and easily influenced than we realise.

The information that we read, watch and listen to influences our thoughts, often encouraging greater negativity within them. We observe the villains of the moment in the news and in politics, and we are encouraged to be angry, sometimes even hateful in our opinions about them, and this rubs off on everyone we interact with. All the negative global news simply encourages a negative mindset; one of fear and anxiety about how things might turn out in the future. Watching violence in films desensitises us and thickens our skin, encouraging us to be guarded and tough minded, rather than open, sensitive and vulnerable with the people we interact with. All the advertising (which is specifically engineered to influence us subconsciously) makes us feel inadequate and insecure about ourselves, encouraging us that we will be more likeable, more popular and more acceptable if we just spend our money on certain things.

Days of predominantly being sedentary, staring at screens of one sort or another, rather than being outdoors enjoying nature and being active, makes us feel tired, lazy, unenthusiastic, demotivated and often denies us the deep states of sleep we all need to recuperate and recharge every night. And the food, the terrible food that people put in their body just compounds this sense of physical malaise. We are either over-stimulated by sugar, chocolate, coffee and so on (resulting in inevitable energy crashes), or weighed down by heavy, hard-to-digest meals that make us feel sluggish and tired, often encouraging digestive problems and a sense of physical unease.

It is very hard to be aware of your heart when your entire digestive system is groaning and aching as a result of what you have eaten. And stimulants such as coffee and sugar turbo-charge our energy levels and release adrenaline, making us feel temporarily super energised and efficient, yet unable to be calm, steady, attentive and aware of the more subtle things. Things like sugar, coffee and chocolate can actually make us feel more aggressive and irritable, especially when they leave our blood stream. Almost all stimulants & drugs have a withdrawal effect when they wear off.

Balanced, more simple, natural and lighter eating makes us more sensitive, more alert and more naturally energised without the need for stimulants. We start to feel a natural high, just from being alive, especially if we include a high percentage of raw foods, juices and smoothies in our diet. Couple this with regularly spending more time in nature – walking, hiking or cycling perhaps – then you are drastically changing the way you nourish your heart, and you will feel it. You will feel more healthy, more inspired and more positive about life generally. Your day-to-day moods will change. You will feel more uplifted.

Add to this a drastic reduction in screen time, whether it is social media, YouTube, TV or anything else, plus a more regular sleeping habit of going to bed earlier (and eating a lighter evening meal), and you will be amazed how much brighter, healthier and happier you feel. Your patterns of thought will naturally change to be more positive, especially as you realise that you are in control of how you feel. You no longer feel at the mercy of other people, of world events, of politics etc. because your sense of freedom and joy does not depend on them. It is completely the result of your choices and your decisions.

This is one of the most liberating realisations we can have… that our choices determine our experience of Life. They determine how we feel, how we think, how we perceive the world and how we act within it. Your amazingly powerful yet seemingly insignificant choices; they will take you in the direction of health, joy and fulfilment, if that is where you want to go. Or they will keep you stuck in repetitive cycles of negative thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

And then life simply seem like a broken record going round and round, that you have no power to change. But the power you have is not so much to change the world, but more to transcend the inner negativity, division and darkness that human society can encourage within us. So the vital change occurs within you. As you make more wise, intelligent, conscious and life affirming choices that nourish and uplift your heart, you become more full of light, more full of joy. You became happy and radiant. You begin to shine like the Sun, acting as an example and an inspiration to those around you, and those you encounter. It really does all begin with you. Today.

Alexander Bell :

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Choosing illumination

In this article I would like to illustrate how you influence your own state of consciousness through your choices, and help you realise that you are totally free to make different choices if you desire a more expansive and luminous state of awareness. Your state of consciousness is not in the hands of any other person or group of people. The power of choice is yours, and this is where your freedom lies.

Now to illustrate this, imagine if I suggested that for one whole day you listen to the most depressing or aggressive music you could find non-stop. What do you think would be your state of mind by the end of that day? How would you be likely to be feeling?

And what if I suggested the opposite; that you listen to the most beautiful, inspiring and uplifting music for an entire day. You can imagine the likely outcome. By the end of the day, you would most likely be in a very positive state of mind and experiencing an elevated mood, probably feeling quite energised too.

What I am highlighting here is that all day long we are choosing to listen to different communications; some from the outside and some from within. Internally, we are usually listening to our thoughts chattering on and on, commentating on our experiences, proffering opinions on anything and everything (especially other people and their behaviour), passing judgement upon ourselves and others, imaging the future and the problems we expect to arise, and on and on and on. Needless to say, this strongly influences how we feel, yet listening to it is totally optional.

On top this, every day we are giving our attention to a significant amount of information from external sources, a lot of which is negative, and all of which affecting us, even if we don’t realise it. Again, we are choosing what to give our attention to, even though so much of it seems compelling, and almost impossible not to look at or listen to. But it is vital to realise that it is a choice, and this realisation opens up our mind to greater freedom, because we can literally put our attention wherever we choose. We just have to become a little but more disciplined and careful with it, and realise that our choice of what to be aware of really does affect us profoundly.

Finally, we also add to this the food which we consume on a daily basis. The things we put in our stomach are incredibly influential upon how we feel and how our mind operates. Things we consume usually stay in our system for a number of hours, and effect our physiology in a very direct and powerful way. To become aware of how we are choosing our state consciousness, we must become aware of what substances we are putting in our body on a daily basis, many of which do nothing positive for us whatsoever; they often makes us feel heavy, tired and lethargic, or over-stimulated, restless and irritable.

So, if you listen and give attention to your negative mental chatter – the inner bad news broadcast in your mind, the criticisms, the complaints, the worries that endlessly arise – you will inevitably perceive the reality which they create for you. It is an inner reality that is experienced in your mind and in your body (although we often tend to project it ‘out there’ and imagine that we are just perceiving the world as it is). It is a reality of disharmony and dis-chord, more shadowy and uncertain than we would want. Yet we choose it.

As a consequence of listening to all the mental negativity, you are bound to feel in a negative mood; perhaps stressed, anxious, angry, agitated, worried and so on, because you have been paying attention to all of the things that actively create a negative attitude, a negative outlook, a critical and often pessimistic perspective that exists in your mind. Listening to the ‘negative mind’ creates ‘negativity consciousness’, or what I call “problem consciousness”. We just see problems everywhere, and most of them are out of our control, so therefore the way we feel becomes out of our control. We feel powerless; a victim of our circumstances or a victim of others people’s choices. But this is not true, it is just a state of consciousness that is the consequence of our choice to listen to the mental negativity.

This negative state of consciousness is fed and encouraged by our choosing to give our attention to negative external information, such as world news, politics, disturbing or aggressive films, programmes, books and music. We literally create an inner abstract world of negativity using the information we absorb. We start to think along the lines of this negative information, imagining the worst for the future, expecting bad things to happen every day. We can very easily become pessimistic, because the information we are absorbing actively encourages “problem consciousness”. Again it is a choice.

So we have to realise what we are doing; how we are fuelling this outlook, how we are thinking daily, how we are eating daily, what information we are consuming daily. All of it influences us far more than we think, because our consciousness is so very easily influenced. It is like water, which adopts the frequency and pattern of the sounds which it is subjected to, but to an even greater degree. We need to protect our consciousness, and treat it like it is the most valuable substance in the universe, being extremely careful what we subject it to, because it is so impressionable, and it affects how we feel on a deep level. It is far from being inconsequential.

As an experiment, if for 5 days you stopped watching and listening to the news, stopped watching films, TV and YouTube, stopped reading social media and instead spent your free time in nature, being active, or being creative in some way, what do you think would happen to your state of mind?

To support this, what if you had 5 days of no junk food, no fast food, no big heavy rich meals, but instead are more fruit, salads, smoothies and lighter meals? Do you think you might feel a little less tired, and a little more inspired? I can assure you that you would. And because of the above-mentioned information detox, your mind would be feeling lighter and less burdened also. You would feel freed from the burden of the negative perspective which so much of the mainstream information encourages within our thoughts.

And to really add the icing to the cake (so-to-speak), what if you started and ended each day with 5 minutes of gratitude, or 5 minutes of meditation, or 5 minutes of deep relaxation? How would this enrich your daily state of consciousness? Because you would start listening to your body more. You would start listening to your heart more, and we all need to do more of this, because our heart has deeply valuable information to share with us. It tells us things that our mind cannot, because our heart possess greater wisdom, greater sensitivity and greater compassion. Our heart feels everything, and when we listen to it, it will guide us to act, speak and think in much more evolved ways than we are used to, and this will benefit not only ourselves and all those we interact with. Our life will change in so many positive ways.

Every single choice we make, every single day, makes us feel (and think) a certain way, and these choices are all cumulative; they add up. So if you want to feel miserable by the end of the day, you know exactly what to do! Watch the news, listen to uninspired music, eat junk food, don’t exercise, be rude to everyone you meet, spend most of your time sitting down indoors, stare at the computer screen until late at night, and then feel guilty for doing all of this!

However, if you want to feel really good about yourself and about the world by the end of the day, if you want to feel inspired and enthusiastic about the next day, become more aware of the many automatic choices you make throughout the day, and see if you can improve them, bit by bit. You can choose the healthier meals, you can spend more time in nature, you can choose to be more patient and attentive with the people you meet, you can choose to be more physically active during the day, you can choose to listen to inspiring music or podcasts instead of what you normally listen to or watch. You can choose those things that really make you feel inspired.

Such choices directly change your state of consciousness. Many people say “What’s the point? It’s just too much effort…” then they carry on their life feeling uninspired, frustrated, and anxious about the future. That is a choice too, and to be honest, not an intelligent one. Yes, effort and awareness are required to step out of the ruts that we habitually get ourselves stuck in, but the rewards for doing so are invaluable, and sometimes even life-saving.

Do you want to go down the same path as a unhappy relative or a friend you may know? Someone who complains all day, has weight / health problems, feels lonely, bitter, and lives in a constant state of subtle anxiety about the future? That could very easily be you if you surrender to doing what everybody else does: being consumerist, eating the standard diet, being overly sedentary, absorbing and believing all the negative media information, and worrying, worrying, worrying about the future. That’s an easy path to choose, because our society makes it easy. It promotes consumerism.

But you could break the cycle if you chose to. You could become an example of someone who chooses intelligently and consciously, someone who does not surrender to laziness, consumerism, and mediocrity; someone who chooses good health, who chooses to enjoy nature and be active, who chooses to help others, rather than get absorbed in their own wants and desires. You truly have the choice of who you want to be. You can feel like a different person tomorrow if you make those better choices, because you already know what those choices are. The only thing needed is your firm decision to choose them, and the discipline to make sure you follow through on your decisions. The rewards for such discipline are bountiful, because we become a stronger person with higher standards for ourself. Therefore we feel better about ourself, and carry ourselves with greater self-respect. Essentially, making better choices for your health and happiness is the practice of being more loving towards yourself, because you really do deserve goodness, health and happiness. But you have to choose it.

Your state of consciousness, your health and your life really are in your own hands. Yes, it is a responsibility, but only you know what is in your heart, so you must be the one to follow it. A happy, healthy and meaningful life beckons you, simply awaiting your decision to step out of the old, and into the new. I can assure you, the world looks like a different place when you are seeing through bright and inspired eyes.

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