I’ve been working with Jake and Hannah Eagle, learning and practicing the art of Live Conscious for over three years now. The art of Live Conscious is a method of changing my perspective based on how I use language and how I focus myself and my energy.
Back in the old days when many of us were into New Age discovery we used the phrase, “personal power,” which we learned from Carlos Casteneda. Say what we will about Carlos, much of what he wrote still holds true for me today. Don Juan often spoke to Carlos about the idea of manipulating and focusing one’s personal power to assume control of one’s life and take responsibility for one’s actions.
When I was in my late teens and early twenties, the idea of controlling my own destiny was powerful and really appealing, and I read and re-read Casteneda’s books and they are still on my bookshelf.
However, whether I was too young, immature, unprepared or not “spiritually ready,” I was unable to follow the teachings of Don Juan to my satisfaction. In fact, I spent the next three decades not controlling my life and not taking responsibility for my actions.
At the mercy of the wind
I lived, as Don Juan so aptly phrased it, as a “leaf at the mercy of the wind.” I wholeheartedly believed in my own victimhood and I had ample support in my past to uphold my beliefs. And the secret to my liberation is hidden in the last sentence—do you see it? “…I had ample support in my PAST…”
The secret for me has been practicing living NOW, and although I’d read many books and been to many lectures and retreats, I didn’t know how to live in the NOW without dragging my past along with me and using it to remind myself that no matter what I do in the moment, my past was heavy and dark. Regardless of the light of today, I would find myself dissolving into the darkness of then.
And then I found Live Conscious and I learned a few simple concepts. The first concept is languaging myself in the present tense, so I stay focused on what is going on in the moment. The second is recognizing that there is no out there, out there. Everything I see, touch, feel, smell, encounter and experience is mine alone. What you see as blue, I call grey—we’re both right and it doesn’t matter—the value is in respecting and honoring that we are different.
Free to accept myself
The other concept I learned is no praise, no blame—I won’t go deeply into this concept, that’s a whole blog in and of itself, but what I will say is that the concept of no praise, no blame allows me to be me exactly as I am right now, warts and all. I’m free to accept myself in whatever state I’m in and it’s not my parent’s fault and it’s not your fault. In Live Conscious I’m encouraged and supported to simply be. I learn to reveal myself and all that I bring to the table without criticism, without blame and without praise.
And, perhaps the most profound concept for me is the reality that no one makes me feel anything—I make myself feel, I control my nervous system and when I am uncomfortable with myself, my conduct or my mood, I, and I alone, have the power to shift myself by changing how I use language. Jake can tell you why this works—he knows all about brain waves, and neurons, the primitive brain vs. the pre-frontal cortex, he’s like an engineer of the mind—I am more like a mechanic. When I find I’m not “running smoothly”—behaving immaturely—I can tune myself up with the tools I learn and practice at a Live Conscious retreat.
Jake and Hannah hold retreats twice a year and they also periodically offer i-Workshops. If you feel like a “leaf at the mercy of the wind,” check out a workshop or sign up for a retreat—for the price of a cruise you can change your life—and in my world you’re worth it.