GOING WITH LIFE
Separation to liberation
We spend an awful lot of energy keeping ourselves separate from life, understandably so. We are given a name, develop characteristics, preferences, likes, dislikes, roles, habits and patterns of thinking and behaving that create an identity of who we come to know ourselves as. An identity that seems like a separate person who is distinct from other persons. We have functional control over this physical body, we sense through it, and we assume that we are located inside of it. We believe the information that our senses give us and what our thoughts tell us as fact. We don’t recognize that we are what is aware of the sensations or thoughts, and not the sensations or thoughts themselves. Said another way we become our experience rather than recognizing we are what is aware of our experience. All of this reinforces our sense of separateness from awareness rather than one with it. We feel powerless to something that seems other than us and find ourselves kind of at odds with life.
When we feel at odds it’s like we are always working against something and there is a sense of hardness that comes with it. It’s the feeling that there is you and then there is this other thing, object, or person, which you have to work with to do something to. Like this other thing, object, or person is separate and you have to maintain that separateness. If you decided to make a bold move one day and didn’t maintain that separateness, all of life would flow and you would recognize that you can pay attention to content (i.e. sensations & thoughts) or you can pay attention to the fact that you are aware while all the content comes and goes. What is important here is that you would get that you aren’t what you experience, but rather you are what is aware of the experience. You would feel freedom instantly rather than the bound-ness of maintaining separation, but this freedom of rejoining yourself feels chaotic, destabilizing and unknown to your current sense of being a separate person with the identity that you have created as yourself.
To go with life rather than feeling at odds, or like you have to go to work on it by attempting to do something to it, is to stop fighting anything. It’s to end the thought that anything needs to be different. It is the cessation of the idea that there is somewhere else to get to where you will feel amazing and where all of your prayers are answered. There is no location that exists other than where you are. The freedom you seek is contained inside this moment and every moment. You will not ever arrive somewhere other because there is no other and there is no out there. At some point we must stop running from thing to thing to thing hoping to find relief and answers. There is nothing out there.
Arriving in the present
Part of maintaining separation is the illusion of needs. When we believe ourselves to be a separate person we feel as though we have a lot of needs and that we somehow we have to work to get them met. However as we merge back into ourselves, into non-separation, we realize that all needs are met because everything is gotten. Meaning life has its own back. It’s completely taken care of. It’s fulfilled and all set. When we are in contact with ourselves we know this, and when we are disconnected we don’t know it. To be free of needing anything is to be truly free. You lose all agenda that might have subtle underpinnings in your subconscious. You can just be because there isn’t anything pulling you out of yourself to go and get or figure out. Everything is also known even though paradoxically your mind knows nothing.
There are a few fundamental points to emphasize here in arriving where you are and the cessation of needs. One is a foundational acceptance that absolutely nothing needs to change or be different than it is. Along the same lines it would suffice to say that all is well just as it is. Creating this as the container for your mind allows your mind to relax its incessant attempts to hook into thoughts in order to do or figure out something that it perceives to be other than itself. There might still be thoughts, but you simply notice them rather than become them. The next piece is giving yourself permission to not have to know and be in the space of the unknown, which is another term for the present moment. When we arrive here to the present moment nothing is known and everything is revealed. Our minds tend not to easily surrender themselves because the job of our mind is to maintain “known-ness”, identity and separation. To give away what we think we know renders our mind useless and minds like to be used. From the perspective of our mind “unknown” equals the experience of confusion. This is one of our least favorite states of being, however learning to be good with confusion without attempting to get rid of it by making something certain again, is the gateway into now and to going with life.
To go with life is to know your freedom and experience it. It’s to no longer be at odds with anything. It’s to no longer perceive separation. It’s to no longer control the happenings of life. It’s to no longer insist that anything, including yourself, be any certain way other than what it is. The experience of this is rested while awake. The experience of this is peace. It is not an outside job, it’s an inner one. It’s not far fetched or out of reach, it’s all already here. There is no distance to traverse, no progress that needs to be made, and there’s nothing more that you need to get or figure out first. Available in this moment is liberation. It requires nothing to be different than it is right now. You don’t need to be more worthy than you already are. You don’t need to love yourself more first. Stop trying to get somewhere so that you can arrive and be where you are already. You will not recognize wholeness and perfection somewhere out there at a future date if you don’t recognize it now. Liberation is available, “achievable” and is the natural state. It requires nothing to be done in order to “get” it. The only sacrifice, if you want to call it that, is giving away your current state of everything you think you know. What we think we know is actually confusion and what we perceive to be unknown and therefore confusing is truth and freedom.
Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado