The world is changing at break-neck speed as we inch ourselves closer and closer to the planetary shifts of consciousness and being. And, as with any new birth, there will be some pain, contractions, doubt, fear and maybe, even, a bit of panic as we work to bring forth a bouncing new world that operates from a place of co-operation versus competition, understands the interconnectedness of all and honors the earth and all sentient beings.

Like the tectonic plates shifting on the earth’s crust, these shifts will change our terra firma. What we call ground will shift in some great gestalt. We will be in a state of flux – which for many of us is rather uncomfortable. We like what we know; we gather comfort from the familiar. We human beings, for the most part, are change-adverse. Change is scary; we often keep the devil-we-know in a stranglehold rather than deal with the new and unknown behind door number one.

Change on a grand scale, like these planetary shifts, can be unsettling; we may find ourselves uncertain, afraid and out of balance. We may feel unglued, untethered and, most likely, very stressed.

Stress and fear can bring out the best and worst in us. Often we feel better prepared and more in control when we plan ahead. With that in mind, here is a suggested Big Shift packing list for your cosmic backpack:

A sense of humor
This is a must. It helps keep everything in perspective, is a terrific stress reliever and keeps you in the here and now. And it always lightens the load and creates bridges for connection.

An open hand
No need for white-knuckled or tight-fingered control; leave that management style at home. Being stoic and appearing stonily strong do not make your fears or insecurities disappear. Those tightly-coiled worries remain compacted inside of you, fueled by your runway brain, and ready to collide and explode into the next brick wall you encounter. It serves no purpose in these days of expanded thinking.

In lieu of the tight-fisted approach, allow your hand to be open -- open to receive, open to share and open to allow. These types of fluid exchanges will help you negotiate the Big Shift with greater ease.

Flexible feet
Flexible feet offer you motion and mobility so that you can receive new operating instructions; this flexibility allows you to jump and leap, twist and bound as you leap to the next level of consciousness.

Surfing skills
Energetically, see yourself riding the big one. Notice how you keep your knees bent, your body aligned and you are able to maintain balance as you coast over wave after wave. If you wipe out, you see yourself getting up from the surf with a big, goofy grin on your face as you climb back on to your board and ride, baby, ride. This is what the Big Shift is all about – riding the waves.

Linking cords
The planetary shift is all about oneness: the interconnectedness of all. To aid and abet the process of connection, it is most helpful to consciously bring these energetic cords to help you join with others, one by one, like twinkling lights on a strand that will encircle the globe we call home. Kindergarten had it right: It’s always easier with a buddy or two.

Mother Earth’s phone number
Speaking of home, bring your connection to the Great Mother Earth with you. With this connection, you can find solace, wonder and healing symbols. The mother will hold and ground your energies and offer you comfort and peace.

Third eye
During the Big Shift, you will be called on to be your Best Self and that requires you to learn to trust yourself – more specifically, to trust your many forms of intelligence, your instincts and your intuition. You know and absorb and realize far more than you think you do. Trust yourself; it is one of the most important steps on the rung of the ladder of personal transformation.

Answers to two questions
With this planetary birth of consciousness, there will be change afoot on every level. With this consideration in mind, it is helpful to determine your unique responses to these two questions:

1. What makes you safe?
Perhaps it’s being in nature, surrounded by others, a deep connection to someone special or trust in the invisible realms. Or maybe it is room to breathe, space to run, time to be or togetherness with others? Identify those qualities – and there will be more than one -- idiosyncratic to you that provide you with comfort and allow you to feel safe.

2. What makes you sane?
Each of us has a number of grounding elements that make us feel less scattered and out of control – in other words, sane. These are personal coping responses to the cumulative effects of daily stress. These elements are drawn from our personal repertoire to help us emotionally and mentally reboot. Some examples might be creating order, making beauty, being understood, having choices, discretionary time, a place to clear your head, a heartfelt conversation and the like.
Take some time and discern those elements that provide you with the ability to maintain your mental and emotional equilibrium and keep yourself sane.

The mirror allows you to really see yourself. It permits you to look deep into your soul and remember who you are -- and to remember that you raised your soul hand to be here, at this moment, at this time, for this very shift. Your unique skills, perceptions, talents, passions, joys, experiences, light and love have already been programmed into the mix to make this Big Shift, this journey of consciousness, a grand adventure. Allow your magnificence to unfold.

One heart with stretch marks
And last, but never least, bring along your heart that has been squashed-upon so many times that of all the judgment and cruelty has been pounded out. This heart is held together with stretch marks from moments when you were cracked wide open, again and again, so that your heart could expand and hold greater and greater buckets of compassion, understanding, forgiveness and unconditional love.

If you can only fit one thing in your cosmic backpack, make it your big, squashy, stretch-marked heart; it is the perfect accompaniment for the Big Shift.

Take precious care, dear ones. I look forward to waving hello as I see you ride the waves, tread the paths and dance in the light as we shift, shift, shift, all together now.

Author's Bio: 

Adele Ryan McDowell, Ph.D., is a transpersonal psychologist and higher consciousness teacher who likes looking at life through the big viewfinder. She is the author of Balancing Act: Reflections, Meditations, and Coping Strategies for Today’s Fast-Paced Whirl. You can find more at