It’s so amazing to suddenly have an important realization in your life…something that you hadn’t seen before. Most people have them occasionally. But, what if you could activate yourself to have epiphanies daily? Here’s a few methods for doing that, so you can catapult your life forward in amazing ways.
02:45 – Sample questions to activate epiphanies
09:25 – What gets in the way of having epiphanies?
20:00 – How to make sure the Lower Mind doesn’t block the Higher Mind
27:00 – What to do if the epiphany is something you don’t want to hear
THE ART OF REINVENTION: A 5-Step Process to Get Clarity if You are at a Crossroads in Life
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This is episode 107 – Activating Epiphanies. It’s so amazing to suddenly have an important realization in your life…something that you hadn’t seen before. Likely you’ve had moments like that in the past. What if you could activate yourself to have epiphanies daily that would catapult your life forward in amazing ways? Here’s a few methods for doing that. Hi, I’m Carla Rieger and this is the MindStory Speaker podcast.
An epiphany is where you see or understand clearly, something you didn’t understand before. If you could have an epiphany every day it could exponentially increase your learning, growth and brilliance. I believe this is available to most humans on the planet if you know how. More people are becoming aware that life is speeding up exponentially in terms of change. Maybe in the past you could take a long time to come to new realizations, but now we have to do it more quickly. Luckily, the pace of our ability to change is speeding up, activated by intense external events in the world.
The key is to have regular time each day away from devices, socializing, just with yourself where you can mull on big questions, just be in silence, not listening to music, not listening to a podcast, even if it’s one of my excellent ones. Just being with yourself. Our higher minds love creating epiphanies for us, but you need to feed the higher mind a question, give it a focus usually, if you want to speed up the rate of epiphanies. The more specific, the quicker you’ll get an epiphany. Here’s an example of some types of questions.
How can I deepen my relationship with my life partner? How can I increase my energy each day? How can I contribute to the world in a significant way moving forward? That third question is, I think, vitally important these days. Because I believe that each of us is vitally important, especially at this big period of change in the world. Each of us has something to contribute to our families, local community, larger community, our organizations, to the culture, or even to the whole world. This might be especially important to ask yourself if you feel at odds with yourself, you feel like your life focus is somehow off purpose, you feel stuck, you wonder what’s next. There is an unprecedented number of people these days entirely shifting everything about their life, where they live, who they are in relationship with, what they do for a living, what they do for a hobby, how they view the world, how they take care of themselves. It’s huge. But if you’re not asking yourself questions like, what’s next for me, how can I best contribute, what’s my life purpose, there’s a big chance you’ll just be swept along with the current and end up somewhere you don’t want to be.
Let me give you an example. I had been running my own business for a while doing coaching and educational programs specifically for certain sectors of the industry, but the economy changed, the marketplace changed and my services weren’t as much in demand. I didn’t ask myself a big question like – what’s next for me, how can I contribute to the world in a significant way moving forward? Instead, I got lost in fear. What happens if I don’t have enough income? Maybe there’s something wrong with me, because I’m not getting as much work as I used to? So a colleague of mine was building his business in a sector of the industry that was booming, and he had so much work that he needed an extra person to help do facilitation of his programs. He offered very good pay, I didn’t need to do very much, just show up, I didn’t need to do any of the marketing, or very little of the preparation ahead of time. I thought, this is the perfect solution. So off I went and completely dropped my own business and just was an assistant for someone in their business. The work was interesting, I got to meet a lot of new people, I got to build some new skills on the plus side. But on the downside, taking my eye off the ball of my own business, made it go down even more. After a while of doing that work, it really felt off purpose. It was a novelty at first, but then I could see how it was completely under utilizing all the skills, experience and talents I had to offer. But, I was too afraid to quit and have no income, so in retrospect I see that I arranged for the relationship to fall apart. You probably have experienced something like this. We got into a fight over something very insignificant, and I communicated in a way that was not very mature, and he said he didn’t want to work with me anymore. The interesting thing was that for the first half an hour I was devastated, really beating myself up, but then that switched quite profoundly to relief. I was my sign, I had arranged subconsciously to get that life focus out of my life.
That’s when I started asking myself those big questions, and the answers that came were huge epiphanies. I entirely changed my business focus, everything from the delivery methods, the content, the clientele, the industry. And because that new direction was far more on purpose for me, the universe showed up in amazing ways and things started taking off very quickly. Not that this direction didn’t have obstacles and glitches, because I think those were there to test my resolve, to learn new skills and grow. But because I so felt in alignment with this direction, I didn’t mind the obstacles nearly as much. Whereas when I was being the assistant in someone else’s business, even small obstacles really brought me down.
So hopefully you can relate to something like that in your life, where you just let yourself go off in a direction that seemed convenient, it landed right in your lap, maybe you thought it was meant to be because of that, it felt easy, it helped you get out of the fear mode at least for a short period of time, but something about it was not quite right. You look back and see that you sold yourself out, and you went in the wrong direction for far too long.
Most of us have done that multiple times in our life. Of course, it’s best NOT to beat yourself up about those times in your life. They all have their value. It’s kind of like a tree growing a branch. The life force energy of the tree goes up and then goes out to one branch, then goes back to the trunk, and then goes up then out to another branch, and then it goes back to the trunk again, all of those branches are an important part of the tree. It’s just sometimes we spend way too much time out on the branches and not going back to center, where we find our epiphanies for growing upwards again, rather than just going sideways.
That’s why activating epiphanies every day can help you avoid going sideways longer than is necessary. And why I think this is so important is because many aspects of modern normal life take us away from activating epiphanies. For example the idea that you have to keep being super productive all the time, being in fast-forward mode, rushing, getting one more thing done on your task list. It’s much easier to keep yourself incredibly busy than it is to press pause, stop, look inside and see — is this really the right direction to keep going in? Now it might be your business or career is going great, but you’ve been ignoring your spouse, or your kids, or your health, or your home, or your spiritual life.
There’s been some interesting neuroscience studies on the brain that show that when we are encountering silence, meaning the absence of input, our brains go into an entirely different higher brainwave state than if we’re in consuming mode, when we’re receiving input. I used to hate silence. I grew up in a family where we had afterschool activities every single day. Both my parents had jobs that were long hours, and they were involved in a variety of organizations in leadership roles. We were constantly rushing from one thing to another. So I grew into my adult years being exactly the same way. I always had part-time jobs in school, and then also in university because I needed the money. And then soon after I left university I started my own business. And if you do own your own business you know that there really isn’t any quitting time. There’s always more you could be doing to build your business. It’s endless. I found it really hard to just relax, because there was this voice, in the background cracking the whip. If you don’t work through the weekend then something bad will happen. That voice was never specific about the bad thing that would happen, but it liked to target the survival brain. It’s much easier for these negative voices to win your life force energy, by being vague.
When I started asking these big questions, I also asked myself things like – what’s the bad thing could happen? The lower mind, or the ego programming, never has a really good, concrete, logical answer for that. But if you ask the higher mind, you usually get an answer like, nothing that bad would happen if you just relaxed, sat in silence and pondered on big questions. Now, on those occasions that I did allow myself to ponder on big questions I was often confronted with the possibility that certain aspects of my life needed massive change. Because a part of me didn’t like change, I would then go through periods of time where I stopped asking the big questions. I didn’t want to hear that I should probably move from where I was living, or take care of my health better, or stop socializing every night of the week. But once life had bit me in the butt enough times, pushing me in a direction I knew I should be going in, but I just resisted, I resigned myself to having regular periods of silence. Every day silence. And by silence I just mean not having input from outside yourself. You can be writing say in a journal, walking in nature, gardening, doing some kind of gentle exercise without music on. Because often epiphanies happen when you are moving your body, or near bodies of water, like walking by a river, lake, ocean or when you are having a shower or bath. All those negative ions seem to trigger the higher mind. If you are just locked in your linear logical mind just looping in a frantic state – and it’s then hard to get epiphanies. The minute you get into your body and start moving then you activate brain cells and whole body, where lots of wisdom resides that you didn’t even know was there.
So, say you have this ongoing back pain, and you ask your higher mind…how can I resolve this back pain? And see what comes either in the moment, or later on in the day you might have an epiphany that the way you’re sitting at your desk isn’t working. You just need to make your seat higher, sit with your low back more supported.
Or, maybe you don’t know whether or not to say yes to a certain business opportunity. Say someone asks you to address a certain group regarding an area of expertise you have. You could ask your higher mind…what is the best decision here? And the higher mind loves to go gathering all the pertinent information and synthesize it down for you into a succinct answer. Maybe you get a clear yes or now, or maybe you get the answer that you need more data, more specifics about the opportunity to see if it’s the right fit, or maybe you get the answer that the opportunity as presented needs to change a bit. You need more time, a bigger group, a slightly different topic focus and then it IS a yes.
Or, you can activate epiphanies for unsolved mysteries, big and small. Why has so and so not gotten back to me? Maybe at first you think…they’re just busy, or they don’t care, but the higher mind lets you see into the ethers and you sense they are going through a challenging time and don’t want to talk to people. Now you can ask other questions about how to move forward if that’s the issues. Or, where did I leave that ring I can’t find? For lost items sometimes the higher mind will flash a location to you, like behind the dresser. Or, how can I spend less time on computer and still make good income? And you are flipping through a magazine and read a story about someone in your field who only works 3 hours a day on computer. The intention of activating epiphanies organizes the Universe to bring you answers in unexpected places.
Of course sometimes epiphanies just come naturally, not from any promptings from you…like I recently discovered this tub I had of activated charcoal that I got in a package of other things. I didn’t know what to do with it, and by accident I watched a video on how well it works to lower gum inflammation and cleans your teeth. I find the more I seek to activate epiphanies, the more the natural and spontaneous ones increase.
I also remember a big epiphany when I was writing a book on Storytelling. Something was missing, I was just about ready to publish, but things were glitchy, huge slow downs. I listened to several brand or signature stories at an event, and I saw a throughline between them all in terms of the structure, that I hadn’t seen before. As soon as I added that into the book, everything went smoothly again.
You can also just ask “Can I have an epiphany on something important right now?” and that’s when you’ll often get something way out of left field you hadn’t even been focused on, like prompting you to get back in touch with someone from long ago.
So I give you all these examples in case it triggers examples in your own life so you better understand the nature of epiphanies in general and also personally for you.
Now, in all these cases it serves to really let go of all attachment to the answer. Allow something totally unexpected to come up, something mundane, something that doesn’t seem like an epiphany at first. I say this because if you’re hungering for something specific that means your lower mind is in the way of the higher mind doing its job.
I write out all answers because otherwise I forget them. That way I can also revisit the answers on another day, and ask more about them, or see if they still ring true. Sometimes the lower mind will interfere with the process, so you have to become discerning about what’s a true higher mind epiphany and what isn’t. Usually it’s a feeling of rightness, a knowing that it’s true, a heightened level of energy. Some days you’ll be more connected to the higher mind, than others. And that’s okay. It’s like a radio signal. Some days there’s more interference. That’s why regularly checking in is good, and not letting yourself give up on it because there were a few days with a bad connection.
Now, you might already do that kind of thing, having quiet reflection time, and that’s easy for you. But you also might be saying well, I’m an extrovert. I need lots of input. I go a little stir crazy when I don’t have that. I was one of those people, massive extrovert. But now I’m much more of an introvert. The sense of fulfillment I get from quiet alone time far exceeds any fulfillment I get from keeping myself inundated with input from outside myself. Once you experience that fulfillment, is very easy to keep it up as a regular practice. And then if you stop doing it for a while, you really feel it. You feel thirsty for it. Because silence really restores your brain.
So think about that for yourself. How much silence do you take for yourself every day? Do you have time like this set up as a ritual? This would be especially important to structure it into your life if you have lots of obligations. You have a busy job, you have a business with never ending needs, you have a spouse, pets to take care of, kids running around, parents or other relatives you’re looking after. So, don’t wait until you have an entire afternoon free, because that might never come. Take it in little chunks, like 10 minutes early in the morning before anyone else gets up. Tell others what you are doing so they don’t interrupt you, if possible. Find a little corner of your home where you can ask yourself these big questions. I’m a big believer in journaling – writing these down, because it keeps the mind focused. As we start having a conversation with this higher mind, that knows your ideal future, that is eager to speak with you if you just give it some time and attention. And the more you build a relationship with this part of you, the easier it is to receive information.
I say that, because if you haven’t done it for a while and then you sit down and you ask yourself these big questions, it’s common to go completely blank. Like you just start worrying about something, or noticing that back pain, or wondering about whether you should really be cleaning out the fridge. Partly that’s just lack of practice, lack of a strong relationship between you and your higher mind. Partly, I say that is, what I’ll call The Lower Mind, purposely wanting to distract you. The ego programs, the lower mind, feeds off your fear, impatience, frustration, stress. If you start asking these big questions that trigger epiphanies, then you might move out of fear, impatience, frustration and stress. Can’t have that happening. So just be aware that when you try to create a regular habit, a regular sacred ritual in your life, you will find yourself getting easily distracted, allowing external things to take you off track. But as soon as it’s a regular habit, you will guard it with your life. Maybe you already do that, which is great.
So, say you have regular habit of silence, asking yourself the big questions I want to take it to the next level here’s some ideas. I take at least an hour every day to go through the whole process of asking myself deep, stirring questions. And I think of these questions throughout the day, not necessarily when I’m sitting down to Journal. So therefore I have posted notes all over the place with those questions and then I gather those altogether for my journaling time. That way I have an immediate focus. If you don’t have a specific, immediate focus, it’s easy to go back into looping on negative things. Unless you are a well-trained meditator.
You can look up journaling online to see different exercises you could do. I also have a process called The Art of Reinvention which is specifically for people at a crossroads in life, who are maybe having a hard time letting go of the old, because they don’t have a new vision for their life. You can see the link in the show notes. Hundreds of my clients have got huge epiphanies from answering these big questions and honing in on what’s the next best direction for their life.
Now what happens if something comes up in your journaling that is confronting? Instead of running from it, like I’ve done in the past, only to find myself regretting not listening to myself later on, I suggest just listening, but not doing anything about it at first. For example, at one point in my life, I got an epiphany that it would serve me to move from where I was living. And also to do something that was notoriously hard to do or be successful at — which was to write a novel. I hate moving, uprooting my life. And writing a novel was something I hadn’t done before, so I had no skills, novel writers are notoriously broke, and I was already worried about money. So really didn’t want to hear those two things. So, I just left it alone for a while. I said to my higher mind – thank you for sharing. I’m not rejecting these ideas, I’m just going to mull on them for a while. Because you don’t want to start ruining your relationship with your higher mind — by outright rejecting these epiphanies that come to you. You’ll just stop getting epiphanies.
So, six months after I got the Epiphany to move from where I was living, I did it. Best thing ever did. It was not that hard. Huge relief. Writing the novel was something I still haven’t started, but I thought I’d start reading the type of novel I wanted to write, and read a few books on novel writing. So this was me saying yes to the idea but not fully committing to it. Two years later I went on a writer’s retreat and my first novel got birthed. It still took a couple more years to finish, and did not end up on the New York Times bestseller list, got some good reviews, and a small readership.
But when I look back on those two things that my higher mind told me were important, both of them gave me enormous energy. The new home I moved into, and the fact that I had this regular creative outlet in my life. In fact, my higher mind told me not to expect this novel to make money. It was very important that I did it just as a creative outlet and that took a huge amount of pressure off. I wasn’t trying to write something that I thought a certain type of reader would want. I just wrote what I wanted to write. I love story, I’d studied to storytelling for years, and I wanted to not just write and perform short stories like I been doing, I wanted the challenge of writing a big mythic journey story. So the payoff was that it brought me back to the trunk of my tree, it helped me grow up instead of send me sideways only. Because having a creative outlet to me is, now that I look back on it, is as important as breathing air. I can’t just live my life doing mundane, obligatory, linear, logical things. I need to have some kind of artistry in my life. Anytime I did have that, I was happier, more fulfilled, were energized and everything else in my life worked better. And that was true with choosing to write a novel on the side. It made my business take off, improve my health, improve my relationships.
Okay, that’s it for today. I do hope that was helpful. Do check out the Art of Reinvention for a short tutorial video, audio, and downloadable process to help you find those epiphanies if you’re at a crossroads in life. See the link in the shownotes.
In the meantime, please hit subscribe, please like this episode and do share if so others can find it. And, may you have some amazing silence this week. Until next time, thanks for listening.