Life would be so simple if everything was predetermined for us – if our life was simply going through the motions. This is what it is like living in the first phase of higher consciousness. While some of us truly believe this, others have come to realize that life is in our control. We make the decisions, right or wrong. When you start to realize that your life, your situations, and your future are within your own will to create, this is when you know you are transitioning into the second phase of higher consciousness.

It is incredibly empowering to feel like everything is within your grasp to create, yet it can negatively impact physical, spiritual, and emotional health in many ways. There are endless self-help books and motivational speakers that stress the importance of manifesting your destiny through your thoughts and actions. But what happens when that supposed reality that you envisioned fails? Most likely, many of you had a thought in your mind after reading that statement that resonates. Why? Because simply envisioning what you want, thinking positive thoughts, and telling yourself that your life is in your control never really changes anything. This is because you are sitting in a phase of higher consciousness that is not fully awakened.

What a wonder it would be to have every single situation be in your control, but this is not a realistic way to move through life. This mentality is like being in the ocean and expecting to control the currents – you have shifted the currents around you because of where you are standing or swimming, but you have not really controlled anything. Realistically, life is not something to be controlled, but there are ways to create what you want.

This is exactly why the second phase of higher consciousness is referred to as The Artist. You are expressing your freedom, your personal experiences that differ from others, and your shouting it out to the world – as you should! However, just like in the first phase of higher consciousness, you will reach a breaking point.

This breaking point is often realized when you spend most of your time putting in the work of manifesting your life. You tell yourself positive thoughts all day. You work hard to accomplish the life you imagined. You make small life changes, such as going to the gym more or eating better. But then life surprises you, and a bad situation arises at the wrong time, throwing your life into a tailspin. You are filled with anxiety, anger, and confusion. How could this happen when you were doing everything you are supposed to do to achieve the ideal life you envisioned?

Then, your mind starts to turn towards pessimistic tendencies, or realistic tendencies depending on the point of view. Either way, you are stuck. You start to realize that maybe control isn’t what you wanted, because you either focus too heavily on the positive and develop unrealistic expectations, or too much on the negative and become jaded.

But this is how we continue to evolve towards our path of higher consciousness. At this time, we start to realize the importance of questioning everything – our beliefs, values, relationships, ideals. Who are we? What is our path? Are these people meant to be in my life? What positive impact am I making on society? How do I move forward knowing that life is not a random series of events out of my control, yet life isn’t fully within my own control?

Eventually, we start expressing ourselves more, showing the world who we are. We learn to let go of the things in our life that are toxic, and we share our new findings with the world. We question more and more, transitioning out of the phase of complacency. We want to let go of the control we have fought so hard for, but don’t know what the next steps are. We start taking real action to better ourselves, but it isn’t really enough in this phase of higher consciousness; we are still stuck.

Once we have realized that our choices are within our control, but not the situations that life throws at us, we begin to get restless, anxious, and unfulfilled. Our suffering is no longer coming from our life experiences, but rather our understanding and perception of what is happening. As Anais Nin once said, “We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” After acceptance of reality and the world around us, and the realization that the stories we tell ourselves hold more weight than reality, we start to transition into a third phase of higher consciousness – a phase that really starts to define our realization of an awakened life.