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If I were to pick one book out of all the books I’ve read to take with me on a deserted Island, it would be The Map of Consciousness Explained by David Hawkins. 

The Map of Consciousness is a way of measuring the evolution of human consciousness. Mapping the stages of inner evolution is nothing new. It’s been cataloged across time by major religious traditions, the Ladder of Divine Ascent in Christianity, the Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila, the Twelve Levels of Initiation by Sufi mystic Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee to name a few…

But “the map” is the first scale that objectively measures human emotion according to its energetic power as one evolves into higher vibes. 

And why do we care about objectively measuring human emotion according to its energetic power, you ask?

Look, I’m a pragmatist and a multi-passionate person with three kids at home so I don’t have time to sit around and intellectualize. I need to see RESULTS. 

What Hawkins found is that certain emotional frequencies create “resistance” and certain emotional frequencies create “flow”.  When you act from emotions that create resistance you are in the energy of FORCE. When you act from emotions that create flow you are in the energy of POWER.

Here’s a breakdown of the difference between power and force:

  • Force: must constantly be fed energy
  • Power: complete within itself, needs nothing
  • Force: insatiable, constantly consumes
  • Power: energizes, nurtures, gives, inspires
  • Force: Win/Lose, Lose/Lose, end justifies the means mentality
  • Power: Win/Win
  • Force: Polarizes
  • Power: Unifies
  • Force: Enemies created, defenses required
  • Power: Unity, harmony, compassion

Who doesn’t love a win/win situation?

Disclaimer: This is not about labeling certain emotions as “good” and certain emotions as “bad.” In fact a key phase of spiritual evolution is to be able to hold NEUTRALITY. In neutrality we rise above us/them, black/white, good/bad, democrat/republican thinking. We detach from judgment and the need to “prove” one side is better than another.

After all, lower frequency emotions like anger, shame, sadness (just like difficult life circumstances) teach us. It’s our “curriculum” as Ram Dass would say. For example, anger shows us where our needs aren’t getting met or a boundary needs to be set. Shame shows us our wounding and where we have trauma that needs attention. Sadness shows us where we need to let go so we can move on in life. My favorite resource around this (and another life changing book) is Karla McLaren’s The Language of Emotions.

Bottom line? 

Some emotions help us get what we want and some emotions hurt us in this department.

Plus, I don’t know about you, but I want to make the world a better place. And according to Hawkins, once we reach a certain emotional threshold, we “put back into the world as much energy as [we] take; at lower levels, populations, as well as individuals, drain energy from society without reciprocating.”

I don’t want to drain energy from society without reciprocating.

And there is a point when we cross from being a drain on society to making the world a better place, and that is the emotional frequency of: 


As you can see from the diagram above, courage is where force becomes power. People in courage take responsibility for their actions, face their fears, try new things, seek self understanding despite difficulty and trauma and evolve because of this. Because people at the level of courage are willing to try new things and seek the truth instead of getting shut down by fear or shame, success is only a matter of time because they learn from their setbacks and use that to get better. This creates a positive upwards cycle towards more and more expansion and evolution.

The challenge is passing the threshold because…

Most of us, when the “call to adventure” beckons and we take that bold move towards our call and then some well meaning asshole says, “wait, are you sure that’s a good idea?”, we say “fuck this shit! I’m out!”

It’s because those lower density emotions like fear, grief, anger, pride, shame, are heavy. Like a merry-go-round of doom, these emotions have us cycling through the same lower density emotions with no end in sight. In other words, we’re pissed because we’re sad then we’re ashamed because we’re pissed then we do something to make ourselves feel better about ourselves and get stuck in your ego about it (pride) but we never make it up to courage…

So what’s a pragmatist to do??? Especially when you’ve got trauma and this shit is HARD?

The first thing to do is to ask yourself, what does courage look like?

HINT: It’s not always what you think…

Courage might look like:

Finally making a phone call you’ve been avoiding.

Telling the truth about something you’ve been hiding.

Taking responsibility for your role in a conflict instead of blaming other people.

Offering a sincere apology.

Doing what you want to do even though some people might judge you.

Resting because you know you need to despite all the things on your to do list.

Being open to hearing other ideas even though they are not the same as yours.

Seeking out help.

Dancing in public.

Following your inner guidance even if other people think you’re nuts.

Setting a boundary.

Speaking your truth even though others don’t agree.

Enrolling in a course.

Sharing your art with others.

Asking for something you want.

Wearing your bikini to the pool.

I’ve been thinking a lot about courage these days. So I think I’ll make this a series on courage. Next week, I’ll talk about what gets in the way of anchoring into courage. So stay tuned.

In the meantime, I want you to think of one problem you are facing right now in your life… When you think about it, what emotion comes up? No judgement! Maybe it’s triggering fear or shame or anger or pride (which is just another word for ego). Now ask yourself this: What would change if I approached this problem from the energy of COURAGE?

And, of course, I’d love to hear from you. Post a comment below!

Oh and hey! I’m doing something fun this summer to get the word out about my new coach mentor group. Visiting coaching pods! So if you want me to come talk to your coaching group about courage (or anything else), shoot me an email and we’ll set up a zoom chat.

And to get on the wait list for North Star Coach Mentoring, click here.