How I Found My Voice on Instagram

When you think of Instagram, you might think of selfies or celebrities, but Instagram is so much more than that. The reason I was drawn to Instagram in the first place was that I could control the content I see. My issue with Facebook was always that it was nearly an obligation to be friends with someone, and that meant you would have to see all their posts, good, bad, and ugly. With me being so sensitive to energy that often meant just opening Facebook would cause me to process and clear other people’s emotions.  Instagram is entirely different, you follow who you want, they choose to follow you back or not. If someone starts posting things I don’t want to see, I can unfollow them. No big deal, no hurt feelings, and most importantly for me, the experience is as positive as I make it.

Because of this, I decided to really make a good go of being on Instagram in July 2017. Plus, I have over 10K photos and I really needed a place to share them. I had an older account that I had started, but really had done anything with, @karenedowning . When I started back I was trying out different topics, posting photos of all topics, blog posts, vegan food, affirmations, past life patterns, and I certainly didn’t know much about engagement. I would follow people I was interested in, in in the hope that they would follow me back, and that seemed to work. But, my problem still was what to post.

From July to September of 2017 posting on Instagram was a mystery to me, I would just pick something and share it with a few hashtags, thinking that was enough. My description would be a few short words, like, “picture of flower”, or something similar. Not exactly an original caption!

Near the end of September, I began to be aware of some the photo feature hubs, and I joined onto one as page moderator. For those who don’t know what a photo feature hub is, it is a place on Instagram that features original photographs from other photographers and Instagram users. A photographer will use your page hashtag in their description, to put forward their picture for a chance to be featured. As a moderator, I learned so much about posting, hashtags, images, and content. It was an incredible learning curve. A short 3 weeks after becoming a moderator, I was asked to be an administrator of the page, the duties moved from only posting pictures, to engaging with the audience, sharing Instagram stories, creating graphics, and so much more. I also become the administrator for the photo hub’s challenge page and learned about how to run a photo challenge.

In December 2017, the photo hub I was a part of split into two different hubs, and the admins and mods were asked to choose where to go. I still didn’t have much experience (I thought), and so I followed some of the people I had connected with to newly named hub. While here, I started to admin a third page, and also became one of the lead administrators for the entire hub (about 60 Instagram pages). My new duties here included training new moderators, creating even more graphics, and also handling personality conflicts at times. It really pulled from my HR background. I learned so much from every person I met and every task and duty I had.

This went well for a few months, the new hub grew, and my knowledge also grew more and more. I started to get inspired ideas about why something worked (or didn’t), and begun to research more about different ways to post, share, engage and grow a page. Eventually in late March of 2018, I saw some things in the hub that I didn’t agree with, and I chose to leave. A friend of mine encouraged me to start my own photo feature hub, and the first page, @Colorful_challenges , went up on April 3, 2018.

During the month of April, I added 7  hub pages to my photo feature hub, called @Colorful_clicks ! I was able to take my knowledge and apply it to this new hub, and learn more about what works, and what doesn’t. Plus, since it was only me, I was also free to experiment with different ways of doing things, including trying out new Instagram features, like IGTV. At the time of this writing, 3 ½ months after starting out, over 4000 photographs have been tagged to #colorful_clicks for a chance to be featured on the main hub page. Phenomenal!

Now, here comes the part about how I found my voice. So, during all this time, I had connected with amazing photographers from all over the world, who are all passionate about sharing great photos as well as words of kindness and encouragement. This was the world of Instagram that you would never know about if you didn’t follow these pages! With so much positive energy and encouragement swirling around me, it gave me the confidence to share more about myself to push the boundaries beyond my fear of judgment.

From July through the end of 2017, would experience an incredible amount of fear when trying to figure what to post, who would like it, would would be upset by it, how to say it in the best way, etc. But, what I learned from all of this is to simply be myself, drop the façade that had become my security blanket, and allow the words to flow free. Only with giving myself permission to be truly free in my expression, was I able to find my voice.

Last Saturday, while at my mom’s birthday celebration, we were talking about Instagram. I expressed how I had learned so much over the past year. My brother-in-law replied with something so profound for me, “Imagine if you applied that to your business!” It took a moment to settle in, and my fearful resistance initially tried to pop up. But then, oh my goodness, it just clicked into place for me. That is what the whole year had been all about, to learn about Instagram, and to work through the fears of judgment and ridicule. The very next day, I started an IG account for my business @Your_soul_mission . It is the place for affirmations, past life patterns, blog posts, and vegan foods. I will still hang onto my other accounts, they are part of the fun!

On Your_Soul_mission, my posts are no longer one sentence descriptions, they tell a story, they are a part of me, as I finally feel free to share my vulnerabilities, and to be a person, not a well-groomed façade. In my previous blog post, I wrote about cracking the façade, and how it important it was for me to bare my truth in such a public way. I found my voice in that journey, and can’t wait to see where it will lead me.

Are there outworn patterns of fear that have become your security blanket? A good way to find out is to take the Past Life Quiz and read about the different past life patterns. One of my patterns is the Infidel, where I had been persecuted for my beliefs in previous lifetimes, and I had such of fear of saying or doing the “wrong” thing, that it would holding me back from experiencing who I truly am. I do not want to be in the prison of the past any longer, and I’m sure you don’t either. When you are ready to have some help with working through your challenges and growing your past life gifts, consider my Past Life Discovery program. Thank you and Blessings, Karen

P.S. Be sure to follow my new Your Soul Mission Instagram page!

Perception Perfection

Throughout my work with Past Life Patterns I have come to notice a common thread throughout them all. This common thread is woven deeply in all past life experiences, and I call it Perception Perfection.

What is Perception Perfection? It is the quest to control how other people will perceive of you. Each one of us is trying in some way to provide others with a controlled perspective on who we are.

Perception Perfection

Everything you do conveys something to the world and to the people around you. Most of the time, the controlling factor behind why we do what we do is rooted deeply in our subconscious.

Based on our unique and individual past life history, we have lived through hundreds (or more) of lifetimes. What you have experienced most frequently within those lifetimes, becomes the foundation for your specific mix of 3 to 5 primary Past Life Patterns.

Each one of the past life patterns, carries a different expectation of being judged. Those various expectations of judgement can be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or any combination thereof.

Whatever you have an expectation of being judged about, is also representative of the ways in which you subconsciously judge yourself. That is the part that is so tricky.

Because much of our judgement is subconscious, we do not recognize it at first. However, if you instead begin to have awareness of your own mind chatter, and what thoughts/expectations you have about the perception others could have of you, this awareness can give you a great glimpse into your own pattern of Perception Perfection.

Why is it Perception Perfection? Because it is the effort we make to try to put forth a perfect facade. Sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Well, it is. A facade is a false front, to be thought of like a mask; our controlled vision of what we want others to see.

However, by definition it is impossible to be perfect, because it is hiding exactly what we are judging ourselves for. The more we become aware of what we doesn’t want to share, the more the facade grows. The more the facade grows, the more susceptible it is to crack apart under its own perfectionism pressure.

That pressure to pursue perfection is based on how we are expecting others to judge us. Here is how that breaks down for each of the 16 Past Life Patterns.

Infidel: wants to be perfectly accepted despite their viewpoints; fears being judged for their beliefs.

Doll: wants to be perfectly accepted for their body; fears being judged for their appearance.

Monk: wants to be perfectly accepted by God; fears being judged for not being holy enough.

Victim: wants to be perfectly accepted for being skilled/smart; fears being judged for being incapable/unintelligent.

Savior: wants to be perfectly accepted for helping others; fears being judged for not helping enough people (or for not helping the “right” people).

Ruler: wants to be perfectly accepted for making the best decisions for everyone; fears being judged for the outcomes of their decisions.

Prophet: wants to be perfectly accepted because of the guidance they provide; fears being judged as being a fraud.

Scoundrel: wants to be perfectly accepted despite what moral lines they have crossed; fears being judged because of how they have skirted the law.

Merchant: wants to be perfectly accepted because of their ability to manage/control resources; fears being judged for not possessing enough resources.

Utilizer: wants to be perfectly accepted for their ability to discover/create solutions; fears being judged for not being able to solve all the problems in their lives/lives of their family.

Servant: wants to be perfectly accepted for their willingness to serve; fears being judged for not doing a good enough job.

Unwell: wants to be perfectly accepted for whatever state of health their body is in; fears being judged for their illness/condition/disease/dependence on others to care for them.

Warrior: wants to be perfectly accepted by showcasing power/strength; fears being judged for being soft/weak.

Outcast:wants to be perfectly accepted unconditionally for all parts of who they are; fears being judged (and therefore abandoned) by their closest inner circle of friends/family.

Agent: wants to be perfectly accepted despite their challenges with trusting others; fears being judged by authority or “powers that be.”

Creative: wants to be perfectly accepted for their creative expressions; fears being judged as being untalented.

These are just a very small taste of the energetic dynamics for each past life pattern. As you can see from each of the shared examples, our perception perfection is directly connected to our subconscious expectations of being judged in a specific manner. Deep down, it is also precisely the way in which we are judging ourselves. The only cure for Perception Perfection is self-acceptance!

When you are ready to learn more about the Past Life Patterns you hold (and how to transform them), take the Past Life Quiz.

The Path to Compassion

Understanding what compassion means can sometimes be quite tricky. Compassion is about recognizing that each soul is unique and special and that everyone has a specific life path and destiny to complete. This life path is different for everyone, and when we can truly grasp what that means, we can begin to release many of our judgments about others.

It is through compassion that humanity can truly be united. For compassion allows souls to look past the ways in which others would be classified as different, and it allows for individuals to see each soul as a Divine expression of the Ultimate Being. All souls are a piece of the Divine and all deserve compassion.

Whenever you find yourself judging someone, you must remember that the judgment comes from your own experiences, conditioning and past life energy. Those experiences may or may not be aligned with another’s person truth.

If humanity was to expect everyone to think and act the same, how would learning be able to take place? How would things such as empathy, compassion, diversity, equality and unity be able to be understood? It would be quite difficult to learn these concepts, and pieces of the expression of Divine Love, without experiencing their opposing viewpoints as well. Those expressions of judgment, anger, comparison, fear and so forth are also worthy of acknowledgment; for if humanity did not experience these emotions, than souls would not be able to understand what true compassion is all about.

Whenever you find yourself at a point of anger toward someone for having a different view than you, or if someone’s energy causes a deep reaction inside of you, then it’s time for you to explore why that is happening. It is in your illusion that the reaction is taking place, and not necessarily that way for the other involved. So, ask yourself, why does that person or situation make you feel that way? What are you basing that judgment off of? Where does that energy come from?

If you allow yourself to ask those questions as related to the situations and people affecting your life, it will help you be able to move past the emotions and to a place of compassion. Most of the time these souls took on this difficult role to help you to uncover something about yourself that you did not wish to see. When you can get to the point of having true compassion for them, with the total absence of other emotions, then you will know that they have fulfilled the role in your life that they are here to complete.

Compassion is just one part of Love; it is the energy that allows for unconditional love to be possible. And it is compassion that allows each soul to understand another person’s experience.

Compassion cannot happen without a degree of personal detachment, and understanding that individuals are all more than their human visage. Just as you change your clothes each day, the physicality of your life changes from incarnation to incarnation. Just because you have a certain skin color in this life does not mean it was always that way. And this holds true for religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender, economic status and all of the other ways in which humanity judges another.

In order to experience and understand the compassion of the Divine Being, all souls must have experiences as all different situations and peoples. So, what you are judging in another person, is really a part of yourself that you do not wish to recognize. Within each soul is a piece of everything, and your outer world is always a reflection of your inner world.

Compassion does not mean being a doormat, or allowing others to take advantage of you. It is merely a lens to view the world out of hope and possibility versus fear and oppression. What we focus on we create more of; so detach from that which does not bring you joy, learn to understand it, and then step beyond it. Just because something fearful or terrible occurs in the world, does not mean you need to define your life because of/in spite of it. By shifting into compassion, you raise your vibration to a place where fear-based energies/emotions have a much harder time holding on to you.

What in your life do you need to have compassion for? What is the Universe trying to show you in the experiences in your life? By understanding and having compassion for others, you will be able to release your own self-judgments and be one step closer to embracing the full beauty of the Divine that is You.