Consciousness — a term often associated with heightened awareness, lucidity, and intellectual prowess. Society often paints a picture of consciousness rooted in our cerebral cortex, pushing us to think, strategize, and constantly remain at the pinnacle of our mental capacities.
Yet Philip Shepherd, a leader in the global embodiment movement and the creator of The Embodied Present Process™ (TEPP), presents an intriguing proposition. He encourages us not to raise but to lower our consciousness.
Confused? It’s a compelling paradox, isn’t it?
While we’ve been conditioned to believe consciousness rests in our heads, Philip suggests its true home is much lower — right “in the belly.”
Philip Shepherd is recognized as a leader in the global embodiment movement. He is the creator of The Embodied Present Process™ (TEPP), which he developed over 40 years of teaching embodiment practices, and shares worldwide in both in workshops and Facilitators Trainings. TEPP uniquely combines the two resources necessary for embodiment: effective practices, and a deep understanding of our culture’s blind spots, which tend to keep us in our heads. TEPP is based on Philip’s two books – Radical Wholeness and New Self, New World – which articulate the causes, perils and challenges of our culture’s disembodiment. Philip’s personal journey to embodiment includes cycling alone as a teenager through Europe, the Middle East, Iran, India and Japan; studying classical Noh Theater; co-founding an interdisciplinary theatre company; and playing lead roles on stages in London, New York, Chicago and Toronto.
What Does “Lower Your Consciousness” Mean?
The term “lower your consciousness” might initially sound perplexing or even counterintuitive. But rather than pointing towards any deficiency or decline in awareness, it’s about a profound relocation of where genuine consciousness resides.
“Our consciousness, our center of thinking ten thousand years ago, was in the belly,” explains Philip. “So we actually felt our thinking in the belly.”
Essentially, what he’s referring to is your gut, your instincts, your sixth sense.
But as humans evolved and our way of life went from being in harmony with our environment to a go-go-go lifestyle, our relationship with everything changed. Philip adds, “What happened, as we moved up into the head and our consciousness went higher and higher, is we came out of connection with ourselves and the world.”
As you get further away from the lower consciousness, it distances you from your true self. And then, the higher your chances of losing touch with the heart-centered life that’s intrinsic to human nature.
Why does it matter?
Many of us live “in our heads,” constantly processing, analyzing, and overthinking. This cerebral approach, while valuable in specific contexts, detaches us from the intuitive wisdom the body offers.
“We are dominating this fathomless, sensitized wealth of intelligence and rendering it mute,” Philip highlights. And because of this, we tend to have anxiety, feel disconnection, feel estrangement, and, as he adds, “no sense of being.”
One study highlighted in the Harvard Business Review found that gut feelings can be useful. The research looked into how seasoned executives and professionals, faced with high-stakes decisions, often lean on their deep-seated intuitions rather than just data, leading them to more confident and sometimes groundbreaking choices.
It’s a sentiment that Philip suggests in his sit-down with Kristina—we, as humans, should use both our minds and our feelings to understand life better. And his embodiment manifesto highlights the importance of this grounded consciousness, which allows us to navigate life with authenticity, trust, and grace.
How to Lower Your Consciousness, According to Philip Shepherd
Exploring your consciousness is a journey toward reconnecting with a profound part of yourself and embracing the essence of simply being you.
Philip highlights this with five qualities of being: spaciousness, fluidity, groundedness, centeredness, and attunement. As he puts it, “When you come back to your being, you come back to those qualities.”
At the core, spaciousness speaks to the immense depth within you. It’s like realizing that even the hardest objects, when observed closely, are mostly empty space.
Your inner world is vast, but life’s troubles can often make you forget this, leading you to feel isolated or contracted.
“We lose our sense of spaciousness as we become contracted and congested and filled with the troubles of our lives,” Philip explains. “As that happens, we contract into aloneness.”
He points out that your true nature, your being, is inherently spacious. And looking at it from this mindset, you find room to breathe, to be yourself, and to avoid feeling trapped.
Fluidity isn’t just a concept—it’s quite literally who you are. After all, you’re around 65% water. But often, life’s rigid patterns can stiffen your natural flow, making you feel distant from the world around you.
“You are a fluid being,” says Philip. “And we lose the body’s fluidity as we hold it in these contained patterns.”
The thing is, everything in existence, from the toughest diamond to solid granite, is in constant flow. And to reconnect with your innate fluidity, it’s important to “release the body to the breath.”
By embracing this fluid nature, you tap into a deeper bond with the universe, experiencing the beauty of the ever-changing dance of life.
Groundedness is about more than just being present—it’s about deeply connecting with the world, much like a tall tree rooted firmly in the earth. Philip shares how, as our minds have soared and buzzed with endless thoughts, many have lost this vital touch with the ground.
“We forget even what it means to be at rest,” he says. “If you’re living in your head, it’s impossible to be at rest. It’s only when you come back into relationship with the earth that you truly find rest.”
So, whenever you feel adrift in the chaos, remember to reconnect with the earth. Find that anchor that keeps you centered and at peace.
Everything, from the Earth to the solar system, has a center it revolves around. In the same way, you have an inherent center within you.
However, as Philip highlights, when you live from the head, you can often drift from this core. But when you trust your gut, you’re truly aligning with that inherent center.
So what’s his advice? To tune into your centeredness. When you’re able to do so, the distractions and chaos of the outside world seem to melt away.
Did you know that even a tiny electron from the furthest reaches of the universe can influence the very room you’re in? This is the essence of attunement: understanding that everything is deeply interconnected.
By setting an intention to be present in the body, you can tap into this natural attunement that’s always at play. It’s as Philip says: “The fluctuations of the present are always moving through you, and you can either attune to those or dull yourself to them.”
Instead of seeking conclusions, it’s about trusting and tuning in. As you do this, you may just discover guidance and realize that the present moment always leads you.
Unearth Your Consciousness
To lower your consciousness isn’t a retreat into yourself but an opening up to the world. And while you may have been taught that introspection is the sole path to self-discovery, Philip offers a whole different perspective:
“The more deeply I come into felt relationship with the world around me the more deeply who I am is discovered bye me.”
It’s in the profound connection we feel with the simple wonders around us—a blade of grass, the gleam of the moon, or the fleeting dance of a grasshopper. And as you lower your consciousness and truly engage with the world, the essence of who you are shines brighter.
For more insights and guidance on this, Kristina’s YouTube series, Honest Conversations, serves as a valuable companion.
Philip Shepherd | LinkedIn
Tatiana Azman is a content writer for Mindvalley and a Certified Life Coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as being a cancer survivor, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.