Ah, the great Aha! moment. That flash of consciousness that usually strikes when we least expect and most need. That sudden turning point where we grasp a previously mind-riddling problem. That feeling of synchronicity when information and insight gel ever so harmoniously.
One of my most brilliant Aha!s happened when I came across Richard Barrett’s work on consciousness and psychological development. It happened one afternoon during my second residency of the Master of Arts in Leadership program in Victoria, BC. It was after a meditative run through the ocean-side rainforest and a good, clean meal, buzzing among wonderfully curious, leadership-study-loving peers. Context is important… will explain later. The Barrett Model brought the Needs Theory talk commonly heard in business school to the next level.
From Barrett’s website:
The Seven Levels Model describes the evolutionary development of human consciousness… There are two aspects to the model—the Seven Levels of Consciousness® Model and the Seven Stages of Psychological Development Model. We operate at levels of consciousness and we grow in stages (of psychological development).
Every human being on the planet evolves and grows in consciousness in seven well defined stages. Each stage focuses on a particular existential need that is common to the human condition. These seven existential needs are the principal motivating forces in all human affairs.
… when we are faced with what we consider to be a potentially negative change in our circumstances or a situation that we believe could threaten our internal stability or external equilibrium—anything that brings up fear—we may temporarily shift to one of the three lower levels of consciousness.
Alternatively, if we have a “peak” experience—an experience of euphoria, harmony or connectedness of a mystical or spiritual nature— we may temporarily “jump” to a higher level of consciousness.
This Aha! triggered a series of moments as mighty as the one-hit power ballad wonders of the late 1980s. Deep, meaningful, and generally focused on love. While I studied the Model, I reflected on my life path to date. I remembered the times when I was operating with a fear-dominated mindset as the times I would enter into a cycle of judging, blaming, trying to control, and making decisions based on fear. During the darkest of times, my health became poorer as my anxiety manifested beyond psychological symptoms and into my physical body. Low level of functioning. Low consciousness. Low vibe. In contrast, when I approached life from a place of love (higher consciousness, high vibe) I would experience good health, harmonious relationships, and positive self-worth. I was a better communicator, felt alignment in my actions and intuition, and served with greater empathy, creativity and actualized meaning. I was grateful and living courageously.
I felt that Barrett’s Seven Levels neatly gift-wrapped everything I’ve come to learn about life. Well, the important things anyway. His research articulated that consciousness is of the soul, which is our natural high vibe and love-centered state of being. Life, in our observation, is all about the journey back to the soul.
The more we cultivate the soul, the deeper into consciousness we go. Conditions have to be ripe, as they were on that magical afternoon in Victoria. I know that my soul is better activated when in nature, well-fed and exercised, surrounded by humble people who are on the path to higher vibrational living. After Barrett and the Royal Roads program, I started seeking other soul enlightening researchers, authors, friends and experts. I grew my high vibe tribe. When I Want To Know What Love Is, I insert myself in as many spirit-feeding situations as possible. I believe that cultivation of the soul is a constant process. And, when I’m low, I just Don’t Stop Believin’. These five words I swear to you… Okay I’ll stop with the power ballad puns. For now.
In sum, this Aha! inspired me to reach for that higher level of consciousness and share the narrative of the bumpy, beautiful quest back to it. May this website be a log of this journey. An ode to the work; to leaning into conscious teaching, leading, parenting. A collection of aha! moments, musings, and a platform to launch conversations about high vibrational living.
Thank you for joining me here.