Learning how to un-control your experience
Often when we experience some type of dysfunction in our body our first response is panic or fear as we feel the threat of how things have been functioning being compromised. We may feel the fear of loss of a certain way of living or being in this world, which is currently not acceptable to us. Our ideas about ourselves and who we are get shaken up as this force of instability that we call disease, pain and dysfunction arises in our experiencing.
In response to this potential loss of ourselves as we’ve known ourselves to be we often go into management mode in order to make sure that we can keep the sense of self that we’ve learned ourselves to be. In this phase we look for the modalities, treatments and people that will fix us so that we can return to the life and who we knew ourselves to be before this situation arose. Sadly many people stay in this phase of trying to control and manage their experience of themselves for the duration of their lives and never truly find acceptance for themselves as they are now. Instead they stay stuck in an outdated version of themselves that has come and gone.
Due to the fact that many people stay here trying to live as this past version of self, controlling and managing every aspect of their life, they don’t transform and come to know the new self that has emerged. Their focus is in the rearview mirror so to speak and they keep looking backwards rather than seeing where they are at right now. With this they will often feel sad, like they aren’t making progress, and like it takes so much effort to maintain everything. They may frequently feel low energy, be resentful of all the compromises and the degree of vigilance that they have to have in order to maintain their previous sense of self which they are still holding onto as who they are. They simultaneously continue to fear the unknown, fear who they would be if they accepted what and who is here now. This is often too destabilizing for our sense of self and so we will fight tooth and nail to keep who and what we’ve known ourselves to be.
Mastering healing & transformation
What does is take to get beyond controlling your experience? The first step is full acceptance of what is here now. Zero transformation can occur if you don’t do this first fundamental step. You will always feel like you are fighting something and “transformation or healing” will feel effortful because you are literally in a state of resistance to what is. Acceptance is often the hardest because it will feel like defeat to your mind. Like you are losing and something else is winning. Again this is only because you have been holding onto a previous version of yourself that is no longer really here or relevant for you anymore. You may still have attachment and desire for that previous version of yourself, not ready to let it go, even though its already gone. It only stays “alive” through your mental clinging to it.
Once you accept what is, healing and transformation can now effortlessly occur. This does not mean that there is lack of activity or doing, its simply that it becomes very clear to you exactly what you need to do, what methods will support you as you embrace this new version of yourself that is here now, and what changes you need to make in your life. It becomes crystal clear because you are no longer in resistance/control mode. There is no longer this aimless searching where you keep hoping that the next thing you try will fix you and you will feel like your previous self again. The resentment and effort is gone and you are simply doing what you must do.
What I’ve discovered through all my years of healing and transformative type of work is that when disease, pain and dysfunction arises it is always a source of destabilization to help us wake up to more of ourselves. We live in these limited bubbles of knowing ourselves and when we come to edge of a bubble that we’ve been living in that bubble needs to somehow burst. If we are really comfortable in our bubble it is harder for us to want to deliberately pop it and so life gives us situations (disease, pain, accidents, etc.) to make us a little less comfortable so that we will pop that limited bubble that we were previously living in. In this way we go beyond, stretch into more of ourselves, and into a range of ourselves that we previously weren’t experiencing.
This process is typically never comfortable. I believe that is done purposely. One of the gifts of having this human incarnation is that there is often a massive amount of discomfort that comes along with it. This discomfort gives us the opportunity to accelerate our soul’s journey at exponential rates, but this requires that we walk towards the discomfort rather than palliate or try to get rid of it. The more willing we are to let go of what is gone and accept the new, the more versions and flavors of ourselves we will get to experience and play with in this single lifetime. Healing and transformation will be a game that we master. We will become adepts of listening, moving with life, learning what we came here to learn and embodying the range of who and what we are.
Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado