Queen of Consciousness
For the past few months, my morning practice has focused on Prosperity by engaging in a variety of meditations through the teachings of the Life Force Academy. The teacher, Jai Dev, talked about being a Queen of Consciousness. I chuckled to myself as I listened to him. I pictured myself sitting in easy pose, hands in gyan mudra, eyes closed, a gentle smile across my face, wearing a crown of turquoise gems.
Being a queen implies prosperity, wealth, riches. A queen is strong, powerful, determined and resilient. I wondered what a Queen of Consciousness would reign over? What does a Queen of Consciousness behave like? What is prosperous in the sovereign land of the Queen of Consciousness?
When we hear the word prosperity, our minds instinctively define it as wealth and riches. But prosperity means much more than wealth. Sure, monetary resources allow for comfort and some ease. Plenty of people have wealth and very few have prosperity. Wealth without prosperity can be a heavy load. Prosperity is more like a state of being. It is that state of bliss, or inner peace that is characterized by clarity of mind, vitality, energy, magnetism, strength and love. This state of being allows one to hold deep love and deep sadness in the same space. Being blissful or at peace is neither a high or a low; it is neutral and not disrupted by sadness, or anxiety or fear. Being a prosperous Queen of Consciousness with means cultivating this state of being, a meditative mind.
“Prosperity isn’t simply about wealth….True prosperity is only experienced when you begin to activate and move in the direction of what you were born to do.”
Reflecting on this context of prosperity, my life has been full of prosperity ups and downs. As life unfolded, my ability to be present, aware and conscious became stifled and dulled. I lived in a state of ‘just holding it all together’ and ‘getting through each day’. Now, as I enter this next phase of my life, I sometimes think about what my life would have been like if I had adopted a Queen of Consciousness mindset in my earlier adult years? What would have been different in my conversations, reactions and behaviours? How would I have responded to life events differently? How would I have shown up differently as a mother? a partner? a friend? a leader?
I am not a regret-filled person and have always been open to the ‘unexplainable’ phenomena. I have experienced several encounters over the years that affirms my belief in something greater and more vast than what is right in front of me. One only has to gaze at the night sky or the morning sun to realize this. So when a friend of mine, who is beginning to share her gift of her ‘sixth’ sense, shared a vision with me, I listene with awe and wonder:
She said that she saw my late brother, Mitch, whom she has never met or seen. His message to me was:
“ If I knew then what I know now, I would have done things differently.”
I kept listening as she expanded upon her vision. I created my own interpretation of it.
Most of us have said or thought something along these lines this at some point in our lives.
“I shoulda, woulda, coulda done, this, that or the other thing”
“If I knew then what I know now, I would have done things differently.”
I don’t view this as a statement of regret , but rather an observation and acknowledgement of learning and growth. Most of us would do things differently if we had a do-over. However, it is never too late to learn and grow, AND it is always the time to share the learning with others, in the hopeful chance they take one nugget on board to shift, change or alter their own life path, show up more fully, more present, more soulfully, more conscious. The other weekend a group of 25 year olds were at my house for the weekend and one question they asked me was “What would you have done differently at age 25?” Good question.
So what would I have done differently?
Cultivate a Meditative Mind: I would have created the time, space and energy to be a Queen of Consciousness, cultivating a meditative mind.
Listen and Be Curious: I would have listened more deeply, adopted deeper curiosity, and held the space for compassion for myself as well as for others.
Let it Be: I would have let go of control.
Become Emotionally Agile: I would have learned to manage emotions, namely fear, anxiety and anger, more effectively.
Practice Self-Compassion: I would have listened to my body and the cues it was giving me and be compassionate with myself.
Live Wholeheartedly: I would have led more from the heart and less from the head.
Whew…big list, right? It all starts with cultivating a meditative mind and adopting a daily practice. This is the first step in managing the stress response and engaging a renewal response in the body.
Cultivating a meditative mind takes willpower and consistent practice until one day, you realize that the triggers no longer activate a stress response. The human mind needs constant tuning or the mind gets drawn away from what is real…fondly often referred to as the ‘monkey mind’ . When we perceive a threat, real or imagined, the human body is designed to protect, prevent and keep us safe. Here is how it showed up in my life.
As a nurse, my education and nursing practice prepared me to do what nurses do. Take care of our patients, minimize risk and keep them safe. We develop a heightened ability to scan the environment for signs of danger or risk. Everything we do, is to prepare and be ready for that small percentage of patients that go sideways related to their illness, a drug reaction or a treatment. We strive to keep our patients safe. This spills over into our private and home life. If you are a nurse, you may relate to my lived experiences.
Context: I worked in pediatric oncology; caring for kids with cancer and their families.
When my daughter was a toddler, every bump, lump, fever, ache, pain that my daughter had was a form of cancer..in my mind. I probably(?probably???) overreacted but my mind got the better of me. Consequently, she had to endure some unnecessary blood tests and trips to the doctor.
If I was to do it all over again, and cultivated a meditative mind, I believe I would have been able to tune out the irrational fear, to make way for a healthy dose of fear and mobilize a more appropriate action.
If I knew then, what I know now, I would have done things differently.
I would have adopted a consistent morning meditation practice to cultivate a meditative mind so that I could respond with emotional intelligence and mental clarity. It would have enabled me to adopt curiosity and ask a question, listen and respond with inquiry.
When my daughter was a teenager, I was so paralyzed with fear and anxiety that something terrible would happen to her. I loathed Friday and Saturday nights, knowing that there would be periods of me not knowing where she was going or what she was doing.
Working at a pediatric hospital, I knew firsthand the dangers that teenagers were exposed to. We would see young girls in Emergency and the PICU as a result of drugs and alcohol overdosing. We knew the trends with girls and binge drinking, we knew the stats. We knew too much, and it petrified me. So, I tried to control the situations, tried to prevent her from going out, and would have locked her up in a tower if that was available to me, until she turned 25. You are probably thinking I am crazy…I thought I was. But that is the power of the mind. My mind is not me, but it is insanely powerful. And when we don’t control our mind, it can control us.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have done things differently.
I would have cultivated my own practice, ensured I took care of myself, practiced self-compassion, listened more. I would have lessened my grip on controlling the outcome and let things flow more easily. I would have engaged in understanding my daughter more from her perspective, adopt more curiosity with her, engaged in authentic conversations and listened more deeply. Cultivating a meditative mind would have enabled me to be a more effective mom, minimizing the tendency to freak out animalistically and respond with emotional maturity. I would be able to discern what was true and not true. What is real and what isn’t real.
If I knew then, what I know now, I would have done things differently.
A chronic illness has been at my doorstep for 35 years. I’ve had to manage varying degrees of disruptive symptoms and pain. Some days are better than others, some days are worse than others. It is unpredictable. Living with a chronic illness brings on many challenges. For most of my adult life, I lived in a form of denial, shame and secrecy related to my illness. I pretended I was better than I felt, I pushed through events, worked longer and harder and learned to suffer quietly. As a result, I am now living with a scarred and sensitive colon, always at risk for obstruction, surgery and cancer.
Managing a chronic illness is primarily an epigenetics puzzle. Being able to alter the genetic expression through diet, exercise and environment means changing the way I live life. Managing stress more effectively through soul-full practices and eliminating or reducing stressful situations, toxic relationships and toxic work environments. Some of these were conscious decisions, and some were made for me. I have changed my habits and adopted healthier, conscious habits and practices. My health-care plan is holistic and embodies body, mind and spirit. Now, each day starts with a shower for the mind, and time in the forest, connecting with my true self, the natural environment and living with more peace and ease.
So, as I continue on my journey as a Queen of Consciousness, and adorn my turquoise gem crown, I delight in the moments when I am uber aware, and able to take control of my mind in a split second. And these moments come all the time. Whether I am out shoveling the snow for the millionth time in 4 days or feel myself being emotionally triggered, I have cultivated a depth of intuition where I do not let the human psyche take over (as much). I engage in difficult conversations more mindfully, AND I do sometimes get thrown off my rocker from time to time. I am human, after all. And gratefully, it is all about the learning!