The Ultimate Guide to Raising Your Consciousness
Being aware of your influence in the world is incredibly important to enriching your overall well-being. However, in our fast-paced and often egocentric society, it is easy to get caught up in the matrix of life. We often forget the interconnectedness of the web of life and how it affects each other.
What can you do about it?
In this step-by-step guide, I’m going to explain how raising your consciousness brings a better understanding of yourself and your place in the world. Ultimately, this will lead to experiencing more enjoyable moments.
Table of Contents
– Chapter 1: What does ‘raising your consciousness’ mean?
– Chapter 2: How to bring lifelong positivity by expanding your awareness
– Chapter 3: How Hakalau can expand awareness more than your typical meditation
– Chapter 4: How listening to music can enhance your experience
– Chapter 5: Raising your consciousness with affirmations
– Chapter 6: How mother nature can be medicinal
– Chapter 7: How balancing your chakras reconnects your mind and body
– Chapter 8: How embracing change allows your mind to grow
– Chapter 9: Extra tips and tricks
Chapter One: What does ‘raising your consciousness’ mean?
Before you can be truly happy, you must acknowledge your contribution to the world around you. Considering that genuine happiness does not rely on material possessions, we must turn within to reevaluate what is truly valuable. Are we compassionate, patient and truly loving human beings?
This is what a raising your consciousness is all about, but what else contributes to a raised consciousness?
Raising your consciousness simply means expanding your awareness. This benefits your inner world and the outer world.
By considering others with compassion starting with yourself, you will reach a greater understanding of your place in the universe. As your appreciation for others increases and your understanding of the energy around you becomes acute, you can truly transform a bad situation into a greater outcome.
This will promote feelings of love, empathy, positivity and motivation. Ask yourself, what do I want? How can I contribute in order to have a better outcome? (I’ll explain more about this change in mindset and its effects in Chapter Two.)
These questions open up a universe of greater possibilities.
Using the Levels of Consciousness as a Guide
In order to enhance your consciousness of the world around you, you must use your awareness with sensitivity and tactfulness. The levels of awareness will help you do so, thus expanding your conscious mind.
Developing new levels of increased consciousness is simply a way to bring ease and flow into your life. There are many ways to categorize the levels of the conscious awareness; four, seven and ten tend to be some of the most popular. Of course, the more intricate the levels of consciousness are set, the more intentional you become.
In Chapter Two, I’ll explain more about the different types of levels and get into specific tips for raising your consciousness from one to the next. For now, let’s begin with the Four Levels of Consciousness as a general guideline, thanks to Project Life Mastery’s video (to open video in new tab, click here).
- Egocentric: focusing on yourself and only your needs without honoring and/or caring for other beings
- Ethnocentric: focusing on your close community (close family/friends, business/workplace, country/community/neighborhood/place of residence, specific group or club)
- World-centric: caring for human beings across the world and people you have never met
- Spirit-centric: caring about humanity, all earthlings (such as plants and animals) and the planet as a whole
Most of us become stuck in the first and second levels of consciousness, severely limiting our understanding of the world. This obstructs our happiness and overall sense of place, security and self-love.
Be honest with yourself by identifying which tier you most often exist on, and read Chapters Three through Nine for practical ways to improve that awareness.
Chapter Two: How to bring lifelong positivity by expanding your awareness
The level of awareness that you operate from influences your entire day. As you sail over life’s ocean, your level of awareness determines whether you set sail smoothly or hit turbulence. Expanding this awareness lets you view your course from a bird’s-eye view, allowing you to feel at ease as you navigate through your day.
Try Personalizing It
I already touched on the four-level method of categorizing the levels of consciousness at the end of Chapter One. However, no restrictions exist to these pre-made guidelines.
In fact, feel free to customize: separate larger tiers into smaller, more easily achievable levels or even make a level all your own. For example, someone who practices a devout faith may like the simplicity of the four-level method but also feel the need to add their own Level Five, Universe-Centric: caring for spirits, a higher power and a universal energy.
Ultimately, whatever helps you consistently work on raising your consciousness is the right decision.
How Your Level of Consciousness Affects your Everyday Life
Of course, we are all constantly functioning from a particular level of consciousness in different situations, whether we realize it or not. By understanding your level of consciousness and allowing it to grow, you open yourself up to the benefits it can bring.
In this guide, I am encouraging you to embrace and expand upon your consideration of other beings, because those thoughts lead to:
- Empathy (and as a result, kindness)
- Willingness to learn and understand more
- And much more
Imagine, for a moment, that you are at work and something goes wrong. Instead of allowing the problem to stew in your mind and negatively affect the rest of your day, you remember that the world is bigger than your place of work, and whatever happened is a minor problem compared to the bigger picture.
This is the beauty of expanding your awareness; now, instead of ruminating on small problems, you are able to stay positive, come up with a solution quicker and return your focus to all of the things going well that day.
An expanded consciousness also affects the way you understand others. All of a sudden, others’ feelings become more important to you than their immediate actions. If someone does something to upset you, the egocentric route is to act immediately on sudden feelings of anger. However, a world-centric mind would wonder why they did it and how it can be fixed. See how much more positive and constructive your actions can become?
How your Level of Consciousness Affects Your Life as a Whole
A world- and spirit-centric mind is also much more motivated. Realizing that you have an entire world of possibilities within your reach—and an entire world to take part in caring for—is more than something to get you out of bed. It is a virtue to live your life working towards and enjoying.
These small changes in thinking can snowball into an immensely positive impact on your life. Chapters Three through Nine explain some ways in which you can guide the process toward a raising your consciousness and enjoy the benefits.
Chapter Three: How Hakalau can expand awareness more than your typical meditation
Meditation can be a calming way to reflect on your current level of consciousness and connect to a higher one.
3 Meditation Misconceptions
- Meditation is only for monks
Though chanting “Om” is one of the most traditional ways of meditating, everyone can reap the benefits of meditation. Most simply, meditation is clearing your mind and peacefully accepting the present moment. Relax your entire body with a few deep breaths while sitting upright with your hands placed gently on your thighs or laying down flat on your back. Though a mantra like “Om” or affirmation (which I’ll talk about in Chapter Five) can be helpful, it isn’t required. Try a few things out until you find what best relaxes and focuses you.
- Meditation must be for a prolonged period of time
Though this is possibly a goal to work toward, it is not essential. Try starting with a couple of minutes of prepping your space: dim the lights, turn off any electronics (including putting your phone on silent mode), take a sip of water or drink some tea, adjust the temperature and find a sitting or lying position that is comfortable.
Then, set a timer for fifteen, ten or even five minutes. Just like exercising your body, it takes time to build endurance in your mind. It’s alright to start with smaller increments of mindfulness and build up as you expand your consciousness.
- Meditation must be in silence
Listening to a guided meditation, affirmation(s) or calming music can be just as helpful as silence, depending on how your mind best meditates. Similarly to the amount of time spent, it’s alright to start with one of the previous options to help focus your mind and work up to total silence. (In Chapter Four, I’ll explain the uses and benefits of music, including a special type of meditation perfect for music-listening.)
Want to know specific benefits of meditation besides raising your consciousness? Read our “30 Health Proven Benefits of Meditation” here.
How Hakalau is Different
Hakalau is an ancient Hawaiian practice of focusing on everything around you during meditation: your surroundings, feelings and energy. Instead of popular meditative practices of returning to the present moment in front of you, Hakalau encourages you to expand from it. This is a simple way toward fully raising your consciousness.
Here’s how it works:
According to Wellness Specialist David G. Arenson on Mindbodygreen,
“One definition of this state of Hakalau is, ‘To stare at as in meditation and to allow to spread.’ In Hawaiian shamanic tradition, entering this state is a process of approaching an expanded field of consciousness, widening one’s field of vision and entering a state of trance. Hakalau is one of the reasons why a shaman will seldom make eye contact with his apprentice or patient.”
When practicing Hakalau, keep your eyes open yet relaxed. Find a focus point slightly above your eye level. Then, allow your focus to slowly and naturally spread more and more to your periphery until you are only focusing on the outer reaches of your eyesight.
Expand until you reach the alpha state, a relaxed and hypnotic yet focused state of mind between wakefulness and sleep. As you remain in this state, think about the levels of consciousness that I explained in Chapters One and Two. Feel your mind rising towards the upper levels as you drift in a meditative state of calming awareness.
Keep reading to continue exploring the benefits of meditation in Chapter Four.
Chapter Four: How listening to music can enhance your experience
Music can also be an essential tool for broadening your mind. Music can give your wandering mind something to attach to while meditating. It can be the training wheels you need to raise your consciousness.
Julianna Raye, mindfulness meditation trainer and professional singer/songwriter, gives insight to mindful meditation:
Mindfulness practice is designed to promote insight. In fact, it’s also known as insight meditation. With mindfulness, you’re not looking to achieve any particular state (such as relaxation). Instead, you’re working meditatively with whatever comes up. So, if you’re listening to music as your practice, you’re discovering what’s happening inside you while you listen to that music. You’re exploring your relationship to the music, as a path of self discovery.
So, how can we use mindfulness as a tool? Here’s what to do:
Using this type of mindfulness practice, we can use a music-filled session to focus on raising your consciousness. Instead of “whatever comes up,” as Raye suggested, press Play with the intention of reflecting on your awareness of the greater universe around you.
Luckily, Merkaela offers seasonal playlists for its followers! Check out our spring Flourish playlist here.
Also, feel free to ruminate on our past playlists, add a few songs of your own, and build your own playlist. A personal touch to a tailored list might be the key to unlocking your awareness.
Chapter Five: Raising your consciousness with affirmations
Affirmations or mantras can work in a similar way as music: they give something for your mind to start off with until it reaches the ability to expand its awareness silently.
The Difference Between an Affirmation and a Mantra
A mantra is a sound or word said repeatedly to deepen focus or meditation. “Om” is a common one. On the other hand, an affirmation is a string of words (often a full sentence) that are meaningful in a positive way. Affirmations are often used to rewire negative feelings and trains of thought into positive ones. ‘I am worthy of (blank)’ and ‘I am enough’ are two common positive affirmations.
Though mantras can be helpful for skilled meditators, their repetitiveness does not offer the same potential for growth and positivity as affirmations do for beginners.
So, open your mind with the many facets of affirmations.
Positive, Negative and Self-Affirmations
Affirmations are generally split into two categories: positive and negative. Of course, to a point, they are what they seem: positive affirmations are statements that positively affect us, and the opposite is true for the negative. If you ever find yourself repeating negative thoughts, catch yourself and turn them into positive statements.
Any negative thought can be turned into a positive affirmation. For example, “I’m not beautiful,” becomes, “I am beautiful.” “I’m not good enough for this job position,” becomes, “I am perfect for this job position. I am fully qualified and a quick learner. I can do anything I set my mind to.” Imagine yourself plucking any negativity out of your mind, your day, your life. Fill yourself up with positive affirmations in their place.
For a full list of positive affirmations, click here.
However, especially in the beginning stages of a new positive affirmation, it can be easy to slip into thoughts of why the positive affirmation isn’t true. One way to flow back to the positive is the self-affirmation.
Self-affirmations are actions that uphold the message of the positive affirmation. Our previous post on affirmations said,
“For example, if you are feeling lost or without purpose, you can begin a self-affirmation ritual that includes jotting down a list of things or people that you value. Engaging in this activity will remind you of what’s important to you, which in turn can fuel your sense of purpose and drive. Alternatively, if you are feeling unattractive or unwanted, you can begin a self-affirmation ritual involving activities aimed at self-care.”
As you practice the self-affirmation, feel positivity fill you up. Allow your past negative thoughts to be your teachers. Let them go to make room for a greater space within you.
“Put simply, the practice of self-affirmation expands the foundation of our self-worth, rather than depends on it.”
(Enjoy the rest of that post here.)
Using Positive and Self-Affirmations Toward Raising Your Consciousness
Positive and self-affirmations can be specifically helpful with raising your consciousness. Simply create positive statements encouraging yourself to relax in and enjoy higher levels of consciousness. (For spiritual awakening quotes to start your creative process, click here.) Repeat them to yourself throughout the day and during meditations to enhance your state of mind, and write them down or use them in another activity (listed below) to exercise self-affirmations:
Here are some positive affirmations to start you off:
- I deserve a fuller understanding of the world.
- The universe is a beautiful, peaceful place.
- I am intertwined with every other blossom of life.
Can’t think of an activity to try? Look no further.
- Write down or type several positive affirmations on slips of paper and put them in a jar to take out and read another day.
- Make a small bulletin board full of positive affirmations to hang up.
- Write positive affirmations on sticky notes to post on your mirror.
- Write something kind to the world on your bathroom mirror when it’s foggy.
- Research a charity that is not in your country and donate (no matter the amount).
Chapter Six: How mother nature can be medicinal
It is often easy to rush from building to building and forget to appreciate the natural world around us. Luckily, part of raising your consciousness includes a vital change in the way you perceive and wonder at mother nature.
For millennia, humans were submerged in nature for our entire lifespan, and this vital connection to the outdoors is still written into our DNA. Several scientific studies explain the connection between nature and health benefits in humans, explained in an article by Alternet,
- “In 1984, a classic study found that hospital patients recovered from surgery quicker if their room offered a view of nature compared to those who looked out on a brick wall. Another study, published in 2003, found that health increased with the amount of greenspace in one’s living environment.”
- “One study concluded that the psychological benefits of nature increase with biodiversity, defined by the richness of different types of habitats, plant species, and birds. Another line of research has examined whether benefits of exercise on self-esteem and mood can be increased if exercise is done in a natural environment, known as ‘green exercise.’”
- “In one instance, mental health patients’ self esteem improved significantly more if they participated in green exercise than if they simply participated in a social club. (One study of adults even found that exercising on a treadmill indoors while viewing pleasant outdoor scenes achieves such an effect, although another study failed to replicate the effect with adolescents.)”
These are just a few of the many studies completed. Clearly, mother nature is the elixir that brings us many positive emotions and better health. You have probably experienced similar feelings of positivity, happiness and well-being before when choosing to spend time in and observe nature. Going outdoors is also the perfect natural boost you need to expand your awareness.
How to Utilize Mother Nature’s Positive Effect on Us
Engaging in exercise, meditation, or simple mindfulness in nature—even for just 15 minutes a day—will greatly help you on your journey toward raising your consciousness. Practicing being present and appreciating everything around you naturally encourages your thoughts in the right direction. In addition, nature can help ease any stress and encourage positive, happy thoughts. Observing nature also naturally engages all five senses, an important part of expanding awareness. Through this, it increases your feeling of oneness with the world and connectivity to not only humans, but all beings.
Feel like you can’t get outside enough? There are also ways to bring the outside in:
- Enjoy work and living spaces with windows facing as much sky and greenery as possible
- Eat farm-to-table cuisine
- Plants, plants, plants! There are plenty of houseplants that require minimal care. Starting a garden can also be less maintenance than you might expect.
- Even small offices can be nature-rich. Find areas to take breaks in with windows, have a succulent that lives on your desk, fill the office with houseplants and look for a park in your area to eat lunch in often.
- Move at least part of your exercise, eating or meditation routine outdoors.
Chapter Seven: How balancing your chakras reconnects your mind and body
All of the previous chapters have given you ways to expand your mind. Now, it’s time to start realigning your consciousness with your body by focusing on your chakras.
The Seven Chakras
First, what are chakras? There are seven chakras in your body, one for each endocrine gland. A combination of philosophy and science from around the world supports the theory that leaving chakras closed and out of balance can create health issues.
Consider this explanation of the seven chakras from our previous blog post, “How to Open and Balance Your Chakras.” (Read the full article here.)
“The first three chakras, which start at the base of the spine, are considered to be the chakras of ‘matter’. Muladhara, Svadhisthana, and Manipura are respectively related to our basic needs. These boil down to security, sex and companionship, as well as food.
The fourth chakra, however, is very different. Anahata is located at and around the heart, and is at the very center of the seven chakras. You can think of it as a unifier between the chakras of ‘matter’ and the chakras of the ‘spirit’, which are delegated to the remaining three. Because of its role and location, it serves as the source of our love and sense of connection to each other, the world, and the life-giving energy that flows through us. In this sense, Anahata is more of a spiritual chakra that mediates the connection between all of the chakras together.
Now, Vishuddha, Ajna and Sahaswara are chakras of the ‘spirit’. These are responsible for our search and desire for the ultimate truth, intuition, and enlightment – respectively. When we combine the chakras of matter with the chakras of the spirit, we have a complete human being.”
Read a full description of each chakra and their history here.
Ways Toward Rebalance
The simplest path toward rebalance is reflective meditation, which includes ruminating on all of the possible causes of the imbalance. Because of how personal and specific it is, a journal will enhance your reflection.
Breathe deeply and relax your body into a comfortable position. Take a few moments to reflect on your symptoms and their possible causes. If this does not make way to a silent meditation, or if you need extra assistance, try listening to a guided chakra mediation, which can be found with a simple Google search. Like I said in Chapter Four, music can also be a helpful guide. Be sure to try a few different meditation practices and find the one that is best for your journey.
As you meditate, you should find yourself relaxing, but if you find yourself falling asleep, stop and try again as you get into bed that night. Afterwards, keep a record of what you explore during your meditations. (If you fall asleep, write a journal entry just after waking. What do you remember reflecting on before sleep? What did you dream about? Are there connections between the two to explore?)
If you’d rather be more active, any calming activity paired with mindful reflection could be beneficial—just remember to keep a journal before and after each session and find what’s right for you.
Remember, your efforts will not only rebalance your chakras, but rebalance your mind’s efforts toward raising your consciousness with your body.
Chapter Eight: How embracing change allows your mind to grow
As you work to expand your awareness, embracing change is crucial. How could your consciousness improve if it never changes? As with any improvement, raising your consciousness will encourage some changes in your life, and that’s okay. Change is a good thing to hope for. It is the way we evolve.
Read on to learn possible changes to expect and how to embrace them in order to receive their wholehearted benefits.
- Questioning what was once considered unchangeable: Allow yourself to ruminate on beliefs and habits that you may feel a desire to question or change. This could be in the big picture, such as a change in career or spiritual beliefs, or on a smaller scale, such as introducing something new to your diet or exercise routine. Whatever fate is pushing you towards, embrace it. Enjoy a ‘new normal.’
- A shift or increase in motivation: Opening your consciousness also comes with a new world of possibilities. You may feel a need to pursue a new interest, start a new hobby or reconnect with people who are distant. Allow any ties to the past to be lifted as you pursue an improved future.
- A shift in sleep: You may find your sleep off-kilter as you begin raising your consciousness. If you are having more trouble sleeping, this is a sign that you’re in need of more calm reflection and mindfulness during the day. If you find yourself needing a break or nap in the middle of the day, take one. As your mind begins to get used to your new understanding of the world, everything will resettle.
- A greater sense of connection: Embrace feeling connected to others, the universe or energy with a renewed sense of compassion.
- Feeling more: Finally, raising your consciousness also comes with being more in-tune with your emotions. Embrace everything you are feeling without judgement; you can meditate on possible causes and effects of the emotion later.
Chapter Nine: Extra tips and tricks
Remember, just like anything else, expanding your awareness takes practice. Here I’ve put together several other, simpler tips to help you along the way.
- Exercising your body is just as important as exercising your mind. A fitter body and a regular routine will make it easier to expand your mind. (Read here for more exercise tips.)
- What you put in your body is also vital. Your mind is only as good as the fuel you give it. Try cutting back on alcohol and sugary drinks (Drink water instead.). Try to eat more natural, less processed food, especially junk food. (Read here for more tips on a healthy diet.)
- Get enough sleep. How much sleep you get and how well you sleep deeply impact all of your waking thoughts and actions. Strive for the best sleep schedule possible.
- Allow yourself to feel everything—the good with the bad. Observe your emotions without judgement. Denying or running away from your troubles is the only way to ensure that you never overcome them. Allow anything to wash over you for just a moment. Then, work toward positivity.
- Accept who you are, as you are. This includes your body. Simply be with yourself. Be patient; change will come with time.
- The future/unknown isn’t scary. It just hasn’t happened yet. In fact, look forward to it! Imagine how wonderful it will be.
- Focus on why something happened instead of what. Causes will bring you more answers than effects.
- Have an open mind. Focus on the big-picture. Allow thoughts to ebb and flow as waves in the ocean.
- Use the Law of Attraction to your benefit. The Law of Attraction is the fundamental principle that whatever you put out into the world, you receive in return. As you practice mindfulness, focus on your dreams, goals and positive outcomes (large and small), as well as possible ways to realize them. (Read our post here for more specific ways to use the Law of Attraction.)
- Be thankful: for all that you have and all that you will receive.
- Allow yourself to make mistakes. Be creative. Do something just for the fun of it. Try something new without preconceptions or judgements.
- Write down your experiences. Keep a journal of thoughts, feelings, challenges, successes and your journey in raising your consciousness. If you aren’t one for keeping a journal, try slips of paper to put in a jar, a list or calendar, a bulletin board or any other form of collected writing that comes to you.
- Talk to others with similar pursuits. Perhaps you can help each other. (The comments section is a great place to do so!)
- Invest in your well-being. Try our handmade, personalized products here to relax and reinvigorate your body and mind. A little self-care can go a long way.
Congratulations on completing the Ultimate Guide for Raising Your Consciousness! You’re another step closer to an enhanced connection with the universe around you.
Merkaela is dedicated to helping others obtain better personal wellness. Raising your consciousness can be easy with our products and this guide’s techniques. Our quarterly boxes will become a regular reminder for you to relax and enjoy introspective time with yourself. Also check out our shop for one-time indulgences!
Did I leave anything out? Do you still have questions? Let me know in the comments below, along with whether this guide is useful to your journey of personal growth!