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You're Getting Conscious (Even If You Don't Know It)!

Posted: 02/07/2013 11:55 am

A new white paper commissioned by GaiamTV and generated by market research firm Sparks & Honey says there are 100 million consumers of conscious media in America today.

Are you one of them? (Yes. The answer is yes. I know it.)

Conscious media can be defined as:

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Sparks & Honey's research shows an "explosion of conscious media" already underway, which is set to accelerate over the next five years as technological and sociopolitical conditions align to fuel interest in topics at the very core of the conscious media movement.

The defining topics of conscious media include mysteries of the universe, yoga, qi gong and tai chi, science and spirituality, holistic healing, the health of our planet, food and sustainability, sacred activism and community.

Conscious media has become so pervasive that many people do not even realize they are being exposed to it. Examples of conscious media in the mainstream include the movie Avatar, best-selling books such as The Celestine Prophecy and The Power of Now, American and Japanese anime features Avatar: The Last Airbender and Spirited Away, and the video game Journey.

The report describes a journey of six stages through which the typical conscious media consumer travels.

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Those seen as "asleep" and "awakening" comprise 70 percent of the population. Many of these individuals are "undergoing some kind of health challenge or life transition, such as the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship or a career change. Life transitions like these are often the entry point for an individual awakening."

Take a look at the chart below. With which category do you identify?

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Notice how very few "awake" individuals are considered "conscious activists" or "truth seekers." These numbers make me wonder if I qualify for those categories; and if not, what else can I do with this one precious life to affect positive change in our world?

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Naturally, there is a great deal of overlap in these categories. Certain individuals harness a variety of practical and philosophical elements to deliver dynamic, life-affirming messages inspire people all over the planet.

Sparks & Honey identify the major figures leading this movement, showing how people like Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, and Eckhart Tolle leverage an ecosystem of multiple media streams to engage people with their lifestyle and message.

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A quotation shared through Facebook or Twitter leads to further exploration. Discovery of a website leads to the purchase of a book or attendance at a seminar (be it virtual or in-person). Personal experience motivates greater engagement with the community through newsletters, social media and word of mouth. And just so, the good word zips around!

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The report identifies three cultural factors catalyzing the conscious media boom: the fall of institutions, citing the ongoing financial crisis and dissolving faith in "traditional" societal structures such as government and organized religion; the new isolation, caused by changing demographics as well as the isolating nature of the very technology that is the means for global interconnection; and the growing popularity of yoga and healthy lifestyle, as "the idea of namaste... [has] become mainstream," and celebrities embrace (read: endorse) core principles of conscious media.

Forgive the metaphor, but a perfect storm of sorts is brewing, and conscious media is forecasted to continue on its transformative course and intensify its positive impact. The report concludes with the observation that,

"The turbulence of events in 2012 -- from natural disasters to mass shootings -- have shone a spotlight on the need for healing and oneness. People touched by tragedy in 2012 will demand more media that speaks to these needs and promotes understanding and transformation."

There is a long history of conscious media in America, from Transcendalists to Hippies, through to Whole Foods, Oprah, What the Bleep and GaiamTV ("the mindful Netflix") until now, in the age of connectivity when everyone is an influencer.

So the question is: What are you sharing today?

David McConaghay is an explorer based in Boulder, Colo. He is an ambassador for GaiamTV.com, the sponsor coordinator for HanumanFestival.com, and a representative for TumericAlive.com and NudeFood.com. You are invited to view his other work at elephantjournal.com/author/david-mcconaghay/ and to follow @DaveTelf. Hari Om!

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