Defenselessness

Defenselessness 

Beyond Self-protection

Imagine for a moment what it would be like to live defenselessly.  To not react, protect, prove, rationalize or justify yourself to anyone including your own self.  To become so completely transparent that everything moves through you and nothing sticks, lodges or festers away inside of you.  To be so open that no longer is any ounce of separation perceivable by you.  To no longer be afraid.  

We all have a different relationship to defenses.  Some of us think we need to have defenses so that we don’t get hurt physically or emotionally.  It is after all the job of our defenses to protect us from feeling pain and surviving.  Defenses get activated when we feel threat.  That threat could be to our physical or emotional survival or to our sense of self in regards to how we both see ourselves and others see us. However this all begs the question as to if there is something more than reacting to survive or to keeping our sense of self fixed, and the exploration of allowing the impact of pain rather than attempting to keep it at bay.  

You may wonder why in the world would you allow yourself to feel pain willingly whether it be physically or emotionally.  You might ask, what’s the sense in that?  Feeling pain when it’s present is the number one catalyst to healing, transformation and self-empowerment.  It is also what allows you to come back to into presence and an innerly resourceful, clear state when you feel lost and can’t find home or clarity inside of you.  Feeling pain provides the fuel that moves you into the directions where you’ve been too scared to go.  Pain, or the perception of pain, lives underneath fear.  When we don’t allow the pain that is underneath the fear, then fear runs the show of our lives.  Fear reacts.  Fear can see only a very limited perspective which includes only itself.   

It doesn’t take much of feeling pain to get us either in a state of full acceptance of what is or moving us in a new direction that we must take.  Sometimes people have an idea that they have to keep feeling pain over and over and over and just stay in a painful state indefinitely in order to heal.  This is not advisable or beneficial.  Pain is simply the catalyst or activator into healing and transformation and not what is supposed to become your lived day to day experience.  If you find yourself in a perpetual state of experiencing pain then you are mostly likely stuck in your story about pain rather than actually feeling it or you are postponing an action that you must take and not listening to the message of the pain.   

Defended vs. Closed 

Choosing openness or closedness

Defenses keep things away from us and make us unreceptive, un-influenceable, and un-feeling.  This is because a state of defense is a closed, self-contained state of being rather than open and unified.  There are times when a closed state is preferable and your capacity to discern when this is appropriate is a key factor in your personal and spiritual development.  There is also a difference between a defended state and a purely closed state.  The prime difference is choice.  In a defended state you are reactionary and not in full choice or conscious of your chosen state of being.  Meaning no matter what you try to do you can’t shift from closed back into open and you are often triggered or thrown by what is occurring.  Your reactor or survivor is running the show rather than your chooser and you are locked into the pattern.  However when you consciously choose a closed state because that is what best serves or is preferably by you in a particular situation there is no difficulty in shifting from open to closed to open again instantly and at will.  You are also not triggered or knocked out of your center.  This is because you are aware of yourself and not merged with the situation that is occurring.  This is true self-empowerment and an important stage of development.  

Being defended is the the opposite of growth.  What this means is that in order to grow and evolve, both personally and spiritually, you must find your way through your defenses.  You cannot learn when you are defended, you can only protect yourself.  One of the reasons that we often feel disconnected or that we can’t feel or see what is going on beyond our limited perspective is because we are defended in a closed off state and frequently we don’t even know that we are.  This is why learning how to tune into yourself through your body is such a vital resource in discovering your patterns of protection and defense.  Rather than speaking through words or thoughts like the mind does, the body speaks through sensation, breath, movement and energy.  It is through learning to tune into those aspects of our being that we can begin to discover where we protect, how we avoid and where we are not open or receiving energy or information.  Through this discovery of protection we can begin to make contact with fear, and the pain that is underneath that fear.  Developing the capacity to be present with the intensity of these sensations and emotions is our gateway into healing, openness and unlimited energy.

Defenselessness is our natural state.  Open, vast, receptive, and connected.  It is only because we have taken on forms that we have become identified with that we have developed defenses.  With this we’ve learned to perceive ourselves as separate from and therefore having something to protect ourselves from.  In absolute truth there is no other and on a relative level there is the appearance of other.  Don’t be swayed by the multiplicity of forms and the illusion of separateness that they create.  Look past appearances and see with the heart.  The heart sees but one, feels but one, knows but one.  Stop confusing yourself with the form of this body and come to know yourself deep to and beyond the form.  Here you will experience the freedom of defenselessness.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Your Life is not Your Own

Your Life is not Your Own 

The Grand Symphony

We tend to believe that our life is about us.  We make goals, plans, and have dreams and aspirations that propel our life in certain directions.  We think that we are driving the train of those directions and that the fruition of our aspirations means something about who we are.  While in some ways and to some degrees this is true, ultimately the events of our life including the ways that we feel about our life mean very little about who we are or what we think our lives are about.

You may wonder why this is.  You may think “but my life feels like mine”.  The larger truth however is that there really is no “you” for which to have a life that feels like yours.  The you that you think that you are is based only on thoughts and ideas that have come together to create the personality that you’ve come to label as you.  There is no real separate personality you.  There is only thoughts of a separate personality you.  Everyone in spiritual circles knows conceptually that everything is one and that there is no separation yet we continue to believe ourselves to be a separate person.  Separate from not only other people, but also spirit, god or “higher self”.

This idea of you that you’ve come to know yourself to be, which has become your full identity, is what interferes with you knowing who and what you really are.  If you had the recognition of yourself that was not filtered through the lens of you being a separate person than you would instantly realize that your life is not your own.  That all the events that occur are are simply a web of interconnected dots in the larger matrix of creation and really have nothing to do with you personally.  Now this doesn’t mean that things and events don’t occur through this perceived sense of you as this particular body and mind because they absolutely do.  Your body-mind vehicle is the way that things get expressed and brought into creation.  It’s simply that those things that express through you are not about you.  The root of much of our suffering as humans is due to this simple misidentification of believing that that which gets expressed or created through us is ours.  

The desires, dreams and aspirations that excite us and propel us are impulses from spirit or higher self.  These impulses, which we call our desires, are the way that spirit orchestrates all the parts of the symphony getting us to play our parts at exactly the right moment and in the exact right harmony.  In this way the masterful song of creation comes together whether or not we can see or hear what all the other parts of the symphony are playing.  Only the grand master, who is the ultimate organizer can put all the pieces together to make the most coherent musical masterpiece.   

Perceiving Perfection 

The End of Fear

It should by now be clearly evident that there is something going on beyond what our minds know and what our senses can perceive.  Our lives are not just about what it is we think they are about.  Our actions, the directions that we take or don’t take in our lives, and the things we create, are really part of a much bigger picture that we mostly can’t see.  Considering this is the case why is it that we worry, fear, fret, overanalyze, and judge our actions, others actions and everything that is going on in our world?  Why do we try to control and manage the details of it all?  Its simply because we believe that our life is our own, that we are solely responsible for it all and we are disconnected from that larger organizing principle or the grand master of the symphony.

Due to this disconnection from the larger and the feeling like we are on our own we doubt and judge rather than trust.  Because we grip onto our life as our own we live from our head and not from our heart.  We wonder why we don’t feel divinely guided, supported or lost and unfulfilled and can’t see that we have not created the invitation for spirit in our lives because we have been so busy deciding and determining what all of the events of our lives mean.  We’ve left no space inside of our interpretations for anything other than what we think.  We can’t seem to get out of the way long enough to see that what is occurring or happening is exactly what is perfectly supposed to be happening or occurring.  

Facing the perfection of everything requires us to face our own ignorance.  Our ignorance which thinks it knows what is supposed to be occurring from its tiny, minuscule perspective.  The truth is that our minds don’t have a clue and yet we believe them to a fault.  This is our error and our suffering.  We all want some magic bullet that will make everything perfect and peaceful and happy and yet we fail to recognize that we are the magic bullet that we seek.  It is our sole responsibility, our one and only true responsibility, to align ourselves with the accurate perspective that there is nothing that is not in perfection just as it is.  Until we are willing to align ourselves to the perspective of perfection and give up our faulty perspective of perceiving error we will experience our own judgment over and over and over again and remain in the circle of suffering.  

The end of perceiving error is the end of fear.  When you no longer see wrong you no longer have any reasons left to fear.  Survival physiology ends, defense posturing becomes irrelevant.  There is no longer anything you need to protect yourself from.  It’s the end of the over-analyzer, the worrier, and the anxious one.  Simultaneously it is the birth of the healed one, of love physiology and of the posturing of openness and commune with spirit.  It is the recognition that there is no “your life” separate from anything and the allowing of the movement and impulse of life to move through your body-mind.  

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

End of Avoidance

End of Avoidance 

Leaning into your discomforts

avoidance 2There is an overarching tendency to push away parts of our experience that are unpleasant or that we don’t like or prefer.  Many of us are not even aware that we are pushing away certain parts of our experience instead we just know that we don’t like what is and that we are in some way uncomfortable, whether physically or psychologically.  This tendency to avoid, push away or get rid of certain parts of our experience makes for a state of inner resistance also known as suffering.  Some of us suffer loudly while others do so silently, so silently that they hardly even notice it themselves.  

Most people have a belief that when all of their experiences are pleasant or their personal preferences are all actualized then they will experience peace and happiness.  The thing is that experiences constantly change and come and go.  In one moment all of your preferences may be actualized and in the next moment you may find yourself not preferring what is happening at all.  Due to the fact that nearly all people base their state of being on circumstances this means that you feel happy and peaceful when your life experiences line up with what you prefer and unhappy when they do not.  

Your experiences only determine your state of being in the ways that you allow them to, but in order for you to consciously choose your state of being you must first be in full acceptance of what is.  If you are pushing any aspect of your experience away you are not in the driver’s seat of your life.  Instead you are victim to that which you refuse to accept and your creative options for moving with or adapting to life are extremely limited.   

Remember what we refuse to accept is often subtle or completely unseen by us.  These blinds spots are often experienced as a sense of disconnection, lack of presence or energy,  or seeking out distractions without the seeming ability to refocus.  Other ways in which our blind spots are experienced are through rationalization or making logical that which is happening or attempting to turn our experiences into something pleasant or pleasurable.  One way of doing this is by pasting something on top of our experience while still not being in full acceptance of what is underneath.  When you are in full acceptance of your experience as it is there is no need to paste anything on top of it or make it different in any way.  This doesn’t mean that your experience won’t change, it may or may not, but your inner resistance will have ended and you therefore feel a sense of inner peace no matter what the circumstances are in that moment.   

Beginning of Peace 

Embracing of all

Newborn Baby Boy Floating on a Swim Ring

The fastest way to peace is radical acceptance of what is.  Peace does not mean all external things (including your own body) are pleasant, kind, and quiet.  It simply means that your mind is.  This is how you come to know the unshakable, undisturbed nature of your very own beingness.  There is also a distance of sorts that gets created between you and your experiences or circumstances.  You are no longer fused or merged with them and due to this your perception is expanded and you are able to see that which you were previously blind too.  It is only here that we can gain true clarity.

Another thing begins to happen at this point of un-fusing or un-merging with our experiences; we realize that our preferences are not so important.  This doesn’t mean that it isn’t still nice when our preferences are what we are experiencing, but we also realize that they don’t have to be, and either way whatever shows up we are happy and peaceful.  

When we sink into discomfort the rewards are so great.  We liberate ourselves.  We become autonomous.  We come to know our true self.  There really is no reward greater.  The nature of love is all embracing and all including.  When we resist or push something out of love’s all embracing nature we suffer because we are going against the fundamental truth of our nature as we are love.  I know it seems hard at times to accept those things (experiences, sensations, feelings, etc.) which we don’t prefer or that we even judge as wrong, bad or should be different than they are, but the larger truth is that everything should be exactly as it is.  When you fully get this you embody your power and you embody love.  

What is also realized at this point is that your truest preference is not to have all the external situations or circumstances turn out or be a certain way, including the sensations and experience of your body, what your true preference is, is to know yourself and be yourself.  In knowing yourself and being yourself you express love perfectly and can’t help see the perfection of the divine folding and unfolding all around through your circumstances and experiences.

Know that at times we forget this.  Also know that all experiences are intentioned to bring us back into this remembering.  If you find yourself in resistance, not wanting to feel the discomfort of something or a lack of your preference being experienced, remind yourself that you can use this very experience to remember your true nature as love.  Know that just as easily as you can resist an experience you are having you can equally accept it.  There is no special skill you need to learn in order to accept, you just simply do it.  You stop insisting on wrongness, badness and your personal preference for something else, and you drop into what is here now.  In that moment connection is re-established.  You find and feel home inside of you again and just like that you begin to have a different relationship with all of your experiences that show up thereafter.  

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Field of the Heart

Field of the Heart

Going beyond the physical, emotional & personal

17361305 - cloud heartWhen most people think about the heart they tend to think solely of the space inside of their chest where their physical heart resides.  Some people that are more aware of the subtle energetics may even refer to the space around their chest as their heart, including the heart chakra in their definition. While these are aspects or components of the heart, they are not the heart in its entirety.  

There is also frequently an association made between the heart and one’s ability to feel emotions, so many refer to or think of the heart as the emotional center.  While its true that an opening of or into the heart can allow us to experience more feelings and emotions, the heart is not the seat of the emotional body.  The emotional body is more connected into this physical form through our belly rather than what we tend to call the heart.  

I find that the heart really is not emotional, physical, or even personal in nature.  That doesn’t mean that the heart does not impact or influence the emotional, physical and personal aspects of us, but the heart is not contained or defined by them.  The heart is also not just our heart chakra, meaning a subtle energetic structure.  The heart instead is a unified field of all pervasive awareness.  Unified in knowing that it is just one.  It is not just in one part or one location; it is in all locations and all parts.  It goes beyond ideas of you and me and knows inherently the nature of inseparability and oneness.  

Often times when we touch or open up into this heart field our mind will jump in and try to figure it out by labeling or creating ideas about it.  Yet when we can simply allow the mind to rest and be still then we don’t create ripples within that pristine field of love and it remains undisturbed.  When undisturbed we experience the purity of this field of love without insisting on trying to dumb it down into a concept and make it something that our minds can understand.  This also allows us to be pure transmitters of the information and energy that this field contains.  

Experiencing yourself as Source 

The “New Normal”

Light burst with starsWhen our awareness expands to include the heart field, magic and mystery arrive as our lived experience.  We begin to know yet don’t know how we know what we know.  We write, speak and move and the impulse for all of our thoughts, words and movements is not our mind or thoughts.  There is a guiding source that writes, speaks and moves these bodies and all things that have appearance or form without the filtering of mind.  This source is pure intelligence, it is the true self or the true you.  Ask yourself, “where does all information, love and movement arise?”  This will draw your awareness inwards, in to yourself, so that you can directly experience yourself as the source rather than as the forms and appearances.  

You may be curious as to why you don’t always or perhaps ever experience life in this way, meaning as source rather than appearances of source.  It is because you, like most all of us, were taught to focus on appearances and not on essence.  With the repetition of focus on appearances you fused your awareness with the appearance of you and are now lost in the projection of yourself rather than being rested in your actual self.  When you touch in, taste or rest into the field of heart you make contact with yourself again.  For many this experience feels so foreign to them that they doubt, question, analyze and try to make rational their own selves to the appearance of themselves. They feel like something is happening to them, like they are being moved by something other than them, when in truth they are simply allowing themselves to be moved by their true self rather than by programmed and learned responses.  For others that perhaps have less conditioning or are less fused with the appearance of themselves, when they touch in, taste or rest into the field of the heart they remember and feel a sense of being home.  It is an instant recognition and remembrance.  They do not doubt or question themselves as much and there is more trust, allowing and knowing of the goodness that they are.  When we don’t know our inherent goodness and that love is our natural state, then we will fear or push it away when it arrives.  Pushing away can occur through rationalization, deflection, emotional hijacking, stories about heightened sensations and the like.  

Many people are talking about the “new normal”  these days, what that is, what our world looks like with various measures of physical (appearance) distancing and self/other protection.  I like to dream that the new normal is where more and more people are rested in the field of the heart, know themselves as the source of love and are less fused with the physical appearance of themselves.  Imagine how powerful and resourceful we are when all are rested in the complete unification and inseparability that actually is.  When we stop waging war on and fighting oneness.  It’s true, we are all in this together, including every single appearance and aspect of creation that’s been created.  We can’t exclude or try to eliminate some aspects and expect to experience harmony.  We couldn’t be separate even if we tried really, really hard and we have been trying really, really hard for billions of years unsuccessfully so.  Separation is and has always been an illusion of appearances.  You have never been an appearance.  You have always been the source of all appearances.  That source is the field of the heart.  You are the source of love.  May that knowing become your new normal.  

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Group Consciousness

Group Consciousness 

Group field effect

The atomic nucleus. Abstract representation. Image molecules and atomsWe are all impacted and influenced by one another.  Never is that more apparent then when collective instability arrives.  For example someone is scared or upset and we begin to notice how it rattles something inside of our being.  We can find ourselves listening to someone speak or reading a piece of news and find ourselves caught in a fear loop, when just 5 minutes earlier we were going along happily without a fear in the world.  The opposite of this is true as well, meaning we can hear someone speak something inspiring or motivational and shift into joy and bliss in a single moment.  This impact on us, dreadful or joyful, can spread if we let it and if it spreads enough, meaning impacts a certain number of people, it creates a group field or group consciousness.  The more energy that is given to a particular thing or idea the larger it grows and the more opportunity it has to impact and engage more consciousnesses into it.  Group fields make information more accessible to more people and with that more people being influenced by the information that is contained within that field.  

Due to the fact that we are all humans, experiencing this reality together, we each feel the effects of group fields to varying degrees.  Our beliefs and perceptions filter how we will experience the information that is contained within a group field.  If we have a belief or perception that is incompatible with the information in the field than that information will not really land anywhere in our system.  However if we have a belief that is compatible or in resonance with the information contained in that group field than we will be influenced by it.  This is neither bad nor good.  Its is inherently neutral.  It really is simply a resonance game.  We are energy beings, being impacted by larger energy fields (group consciousness) and energy either finds resonance and amplifies or finds dissonance and cancels itself out.  For those scientifically inclined we see this in physics with wave interference patterns that are either constructive (increase the amplitude of the wave) or destructive (cancel out the wave).  

When we are talking about group fields it really is about what do we want to amplify (bring more energy too) and what do we want to cancel out (i.e. not add energy too).  Each point within a collective field (being you or I) has an impact on the overall field and how much energy that field will contain.  We often don’t realize that we matter and make a difference to the collective overall experience, but indeed we do.  In fact it would be impossible for you not to have an effect, unless you had absolutely no energy to you at all, which would mean that you were not embodied.  But the hard cold fact is that you are indeed embodied, therefore you have energetic influence that is filtered and directed by your thoughts and beliefs.   

Collective purging 

Embracing instability

Office chaosThe energy with which we give things has an effect.  Not only a collective group field effect, but also a physiological effect on our own nervous system and thus the functioning of our body.  We are all familiar with this through the stress response.  When we perceive a threat, we go into “on-guard mode” also known as self-protection or stress, and our bodies produce chemicals aimed at immediate survival.  This is a healthy response when its warranted.  Its our body’s way to keep homeostasis, self-regulate and purge what is no longer needed or working for the system.  We typically don’t feel well when this response is activated.  Our perspective is also narrowed and focused only on immediate survival.  No energy is available for anything else.  This response is what most people call sickness, though its really just the body purging to keep itself well.  

Purging occurs at the collective level as well.  Times of collective instability such as wars, pandemics, economic crashes and like are the ways in which the larger societal or group system that are no longer working optimally deconstruct in order to reorganize into a more energy efficient configuration.  Nothing is more unstable than collective fear and chaos.  Almost no one would argue that our world is in need of some massive upgrades, that many of our systems need a complete reboot, yet when the waves of instability come crashing in we may not always have the insight to see how what is currently happening is part of what will enable necessary change to occur because we are fully in the “sick” phase where the energy for such insights is not available to us and our perspective is narrowed.  Also although most wouldn’t argue that world change is heavily needed, simultaneously people like their sameness, consistency, and external stability.   Most also dislike putting energy into rebuilding, so when the waves of instability come, we activate our stress response in attempt to keep everything the same and hopefully prevent “bad” change, and then add that energy of frozenness to the collective field.  A frozen collective field will need more waves of instability (meaning more chaotic events) to eventually allow reorganization and change to happen, as change will always happen.  

So what can we do?  Learn to ride the waves of instability rather than being submerged underneath them.  Embrace the constant ever present change that will never stop coming.  Relinquish your attachments to things having been a certain way and invite the novelty of what will arise on the other side.  Discern your fear from your intuition.  Follow your intuition in taking action in whatever ways you need to and that you feel will best support the collective field of humanity.  Meditate and activate love through your entire field adding that to the collective mix; it is more far reaching than you may know.  Realize that your energy will effect the outcome, as well as the learning and change that becomes available to humanity through this global destabilizing force we are collectively experiencing.  Allow any emotions that arise to be felt permissioning your heart to open even more deeply and transmuting fear into love.  Lastly Be well no matter what.  True well-being is independent of any and all circumstances.  It arises as a knowing in you that no matter what you and all are ok.  This knowing and the emanation to it through your field allows you to be a guiding light in the midst of darkness for many.  

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Destruction

Destruction

Tides of transformation

Hot fires flames in round shapeMost of us fear destruction.  Yet destruction is an inevitable aspect of growth. Things can not stay the same and simultaneously look or be different.  When we allow our fear of deconstruction (i.e. what we think we will lose) to reign we feel stuck, frustrated and powerless. These feelings are simply the postponement of change that must occur.  The only thing that shifts frustration is forward movement. The tendency for most is instead to move backwards into the same habituated thinking patterns because they are known rather than to push forward into the unknown.  Growth does not occur in the known.

What it boils down to is that people want to feel different or have their life be different yet expect that they can remain the same.  They project that they want the situation or circumstance to change, but deny their participation in that change. They fail to see that in every moment life (including their body) responds to them, not to some mysterious, outside, unknown force.  They avoid and deny their power rather than own their power.  The building up of frustration and stuckness rather than the alleviation of it, is what provides the energy for forward momentum.  Due to the fact that we avoid feeling uncomfortable we don’t allow the build up of tension that is required to make change.  Instead we find the most accessible ways in which we can to alleviate it.  Frequently that involves dropping into a lower state of awareness or consciousness where we feel like things are continuing to happen to us, that we are powerless, and that someone or something must fix us rather than us recognizing ourselves in the equation.

If rather than running from our uncomfortable sensations and situations we learn to move towards them, not in a way to fix or get rid of them as if they are some separate object from us, but instead to make contact with ourselves through them, we will be able to harness the energy of stuckness to move forward.  This will begin to expand our perspective of our current situation or circumstance.  The moment that we move towards rather than away from, is the moment that we stretch ourselves beyond our known.  This stretching expands our view of what we can see and allows us to revisit that which previously felt separate to us with new eyes. It allows us to see our patterns and how we are creating the circumstances and situations we’re experiencing, including what’s happening within our body, so that we can make necessary changes that are required. It is at this point that the inevitable destruction that was always eminent is now so clearly in the forefront of our awareness.  It is now no longer a choice that we can grapple with, but instead a must that we must do. 

Destroyer 

Recognizing yourself in the equation

Female with Indian feather hat and colorful makeup.Ultimately destruction is about the dissolution or breakdown of aspects of our self that no longer serve our highest good and don’t allow for optimal function of our bodies and lives.  These parts of us, or more accurately these patterns which we have identified as who we are, are often mysterious to us in the early part of transformation. We can’t yet see that we are the ones creating the circumstances and situations because we are so fused as being the pattern or part.  However when transformation moves to mid phase we begin to gain insight into what is occurring and more importantly our participation with it.  At transformation’s end phase we clearly see how we have been in charge all along and that it’s never been about the situation or circumstance, ever. 

I invite you to see from the perspective that stuckness and frustration is a gift. It is a gift from you, to you, that is showing you that some aspect of your consciousness must be made more aware.  It is the way in which you are teaching yourself to wake up.  Rather than keeping the perspective that tension is a problem or that the circumstance is a problem, see it as an opportunity for growth. Accept that destruction and change is a part of growth.  As you move into the frustration and wake up to seeing your contribution to what is occurring, you will be required to change.  Recognize your own resistance to this.  Recognize your desire to maintain sameness or perceived safety and stability rather than instability and change.  Recognize that things will come and go as required whether you like it or not.  Know that some of those things you will want to hold onto for dear life and yet they remain incompatible with who it is you are waking up to be.  To continue to hold onto those things and attempt to control external circumstances will keep you in a state of suffering and stuckness and suffering and stuckness and suffering and stuckness until the point where you have finally had enough. 

Some of us will tolerate suffering and stuckness for such a long time because we are so afraid of change, growth and what we think we will lose along the way, but change and growth is the nature of this universe. To remain the same or in resistance/fear to change when change is eminent, is nothing short of a miserable life experience as the soul cannot express through you in the ways that it desires due to your persistent attempts to try to control it.  

Nothing remains the same.  Nothing.  You can hold onto absolutely nothing. The deeper that you can accept this the more easily you will allow the process of destruction and transformation to run its course in whatever ways are needed. This will accelerate your journey as a soul who’s sole function is to expand and express.  Ultimately you are the destroyer/changer.  Destruction and change do not happen to you, you are not a victim of them, instead you initiate them because you realize that you must.  This is the realization and actualization of your power. 

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Grace

Grace

Resting in the heart

Young and beautiful ballerinaGrace.  Grace is the state of being that is revealed when all tensions have come to an end.  It is the space of the heart which remains when we are no longer trying to find, fix or figure things out.  Grace is empty and yet simultaneously full of love.  Grace is flow and synchronistic.  It is awareness aware of the divine timing of all occurrences.  It is not pressured.  It does not force.  It is peaceful and vitality alive.

Grace occurs or is, not by you giving up because you feel powerless or as a last stitch effort to try to impose your preference from a helpless state of being.  Instead grace is known through the complete ownership of your power in such that the only thing left is full relinquishment of that power into something beyond it.  Grace goes beyond the mind, beyond the person.  There is still a person/form and yet the reference point for knowing yourself is not the person/form.  Your reference point is something much more encompassing of which your mind-body is but a mere vehicle for.  

Being in a state of grace is being rested in the heart.  The heart is what is beyond the mind.  The heart can know the mind, but the mind cannot know the heart.  The mind can only respond to the felt effects of the heart.  Before we are ready to fully relinquish ourselves we will continually try to think or figure out what the heart is.  This is called thinking the heart, but the heart cannot be thought, it can only be experienced when we are ready to deeply surrender any and all resistance in which we have to it.   

Why would we resist the heart?  It seems contrary to what most of us think that our intentions are and yet ironically we live mostly in a state of perpetual resistance or disconnection from the heart.  This is called living in our heads and being consumed by our thoughts.  The most common reason for this, which underlies all other arising, is that we don’t feel worthy of love and we fear that we will be less than or insignificant if we fully surrender to the heart.  Our logical minds will try and reason their way into or out of the heart which is of no benefit.  You cannot prove your heart to your mind, you can only allow your mind to feel your heart.   

Resolving all tensions

Preparing yourself for the complete consumption by love 

soar like an eagleWhat is it to be all consumed by love, to only know love and no longer be identified as a separate mind-body person?  What does it take for this to be your everyday, every moment reality?  It takes everything and nothing less than that.  It takes all of you.  It requires that every morsel of your beingness be on board, be intentional, be devotional and directional into this single focus above every other focus.  You must want to be consumed by love more than you want anything else.  The entire process, the entirety of this so called spiritual journey, is all about the discovery of where you are not wholly devoted to this single focus.  

To prepare yourself for this final relinquishment of personal power and agenda into grace paradoxically takes all of your will.  We often don’t realize that our will drives the ship into surrender and grace.  Will and grace seem like opposite sides of the coin, but without your will and the realization that you can use your will, (which is self-empowerment0 you don’t have a chance.

The truth is that overtime everyone will naturally come to realize the state of grace and love, but it could take you eons and lifetimes rather than just this one lifetime if you don’t come to know your power and utilize your will.  Why most people feel stuck or frustrated in terms of their personal growth is because they are not harnessing, utilizing and realizing the power of themselves.  The ultimate self-empowerment ends in self-realization and self-realization is simply knowing the truth of who you are as love rather than as what you’ve learned yourself to be.

Preparation requires that we move forward and into tension, pushing ourselves beyond our perceived barriers of what we think is or what we know.  With this generation of tension and simultaneous forward momentum the gap between where we are and where we want to be gets bridged.  The tension/energy builds and builds and builds and builds until the only choice left is relinquishment into something bigger and beyond what we’ve known.  We come to edge of our own perceived limited threshold, stretch past our known container of self, and we go beyond it.  When we go beyond, all tensions discharge and we fall into the unknown, and here discover grace.  We come to know what it is to be rested in love because some new container that was previously unknown to us arrives and we are suspended it.  With deeper immersion and realization of self we merge and become one with this state of grace.  This is the all consumption of love and realization of the truth of what we are.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Self-trust

Self-trust 

What we know & that we know

Water Lily, Radiant Orange Lotus with Rays of LightHow much permission do you give yourself to listen to yourself, and even beyond that to know that you know even if you don’t know what you know?  How frequently do you find yourself looking to something or someone to affirm you or tell you what to do?  We are taught from a very young age to look towards others to tell us what do and what is acceptable, right or ok.  Many of us have experienced punishment from having “done the wrong thing” or “behaving the wrong way”, which has reinforced the idea inside of our heads that we don’t know.  This is the birth of self-doubt and the questioning that we can know for ourselves.

What we know and that we know are two very different things.  People can know many different things than us.  For example someone may be very proficient in physics or human dynamics, where another might know about culture and religion.  These are all areas of study or experiences which inform us in worldly ways.  Unfortunately what we know is often the basis for how we perceive our value and worth.  Our culture has placed a lot of value on what we know rather than our capacity to simply know that we know.  If people appear to know a lot of information or have some special skill set we see them as more “knowing” than us and with this we have a tendency to view ourselves as less than in some way.  This is the root of the unworthiness that so many of us have felt and experienced.  

There is a difference between being able to receive the gifts of someone’s knowing versus giving our power over to them.  To receive another’s gifts with appreciation of their sharing rather than as the knower or decider for us (or others) is healthy receiving as we don’t see ourselves as less than in the dynamic.  However when we see others as better than us or we perceive them to know more about ourselves then we can know because we are riddled with self-doubt, then we are giving our power to them.  They may or may not want to be in that role of having your power, but nonetheless you’ve given your knowing that you know over to the perception of what another knows.  This is a recipe for disaster and a life of feeling unnecessarily bad about yourself.   

Self-denial 

Refusing to see your own self

The woman covers her face with a knitted hat and turns awayWhen we don’t trust ourselves it is very hard to relax and be present with others.  We are always running scripts inside our heads, overanalyzing our behaviors, actions and what we said or didn’t say, and we feel confused a lot.  Confusion is natural as it is part of growth, however anguish is not.  Self-doubt often leads to slow forward movement in life.  Not being able to decide and constantly feeling like you don’t know for yourself.  There are always rhythms of more clarity and production and then feeling less clear and productive, but to continue the story that you don’t know for you is the worst kind of self-punishment there is.  

There isn’t anyone that knows better for you than you.  That can feel a bit overwhelming or scary at first for some people as it means that you are now accountable and responsible for yourself fully.  It also means that you can’t use the excuse anymore that you don’t know.  Saying that you don’t know is form of self-denial.  Clearly there will always be things that you don’t know and you will always be learning in those more worldly ways if you so choose.  Ultimately the what of what occurs or happens in life, meaning how situations, circumstances or relationships turn out, is always deeply trenched in mystery which only reveals itself in the moment it is experienced, but the knowing that you know never changes, never goes anywhere unless you allow it too.  Unless you refuse to see or acknowledge yourself.  It is from knowing that you know all life is birthed and all experience had.  It is not so important what happens, which ironically is what we tend to put all of our focus on, but only that we know that we know.

What would it be like if you shifted your focus off of the known and onto the one that knows the known?  Trust would be inherent.  There would be nothing to doubt as experience would be arriving in the moment as you were present to it.  You wouldn’t have to try and navigate all the unknowns that your mind conjures up or get stuck in your head trying figure it all out.  

Self-trust is not about knowing what is going to happen.  It is not about controlling any kind of outcome.  It is not about protecting yourself.  It is about boldly being fully open and rested in your own knowing, in that you know, and not what you know.  End of story.  This ends self-doubt.  This ends self-torment.  Freedom to just be you arrives.  Undefended.  Nothing to protect, fear or hide.  It is in this way that you can truly receive others without feeling less about yourself.  It is a meeting of knower to knower, creator to creator, god/goddess to god/goddess.  

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal  Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Your sickness is not your fault

Your sickness is not your fault 

Symptoms don’t mean anything about you

Upset girl feel down having relationships problems“What did I do wrong” is the question we frequently ask ourselves when we are experiencing some kind of sickness, pain or illness in our body.  There is the tendency to blame ourselves for those things that manifest in our physical body, and we go to great lengths to attempt to figure out exactly what is was that we have done wrong.  Often this means losing sleep, feeling tense and confused, and spinning our minds in an attempt to figure it out.  We think if only we could figure out what we’ve done wrong we could fix it.  

The first thing to address here is that your sickness is not your fault.  This doesn’t mean that there aren’t certain things that would be helpful for you to change in your life, but fundamentally your sickness doesn’t mean anything about you. You are not bad, wrong or imperfect because your body has a particular sensation or is expressing something that’s been labelled illness.  One of the ideas that the alternative health community has made more prevalent in the last 10 years is this idea that your “symptoms mean something.”  Many people have taken this to mean that something is fundamentally wrong with them and they must figure out it is so that they can stop their body from expressing in a particular way.  If they could just fix themselves then they could fix their body.  This erroneous thought pattern sends people into a spiral of self blame and shame about having symptoms and doesn’t bring people closer to healing but instead further from it.  

Instead the idea that your symptoms mean something should only be viewed through the lens of seeing symptoms as a  red light that says hey stop for a moment, pay attention and see what needs to be done differently in your life.  It is not about saying that something is wrong with you or even that you’ve done anything wrong in the past.  Its simply a call for a different way of interacting with life now without any judgment on the previous way you’ve been interacting.  Rather than choosing the endless search for meaning instead ask yourself questions such as “how could I interact differently, how could I show up differently, what is life asking of me now in this moment or rhythm in my life, what is this expression currently perfect for.”  The answers to these questions should flow in naturally, and not be forced or figured out.     

Disempowered to Empowered Health

Feeling bad to feeling good

healing and transformation

Making this switch from “what did I do or what am I doing wrong to make this current scenario in my body happen” to “what is life asking of my now” moves you from a state of disempowered helplessness into present moment empowerment.  From a disempowered state of being you don’t get clarity and you endlessly seek answers to the problems you are perceiving with very little change or result.  In empowered health you realize that nothing was ever wrong and still is not wrong, but instead life is guiding you through these “symptom expressions” to help bring forth another part or version of you that is ready to emerge.    

Only when we view symptoms, pain, illness, or anything in our life for that matter as wrong, do we feel bad.  Feeling bad does not make us feel good or make us healthy.  Obvious point yes, yet many people insist of feeling bad about what is happening to their body, circumstances or situations.  Feeling bad about what is does not promote healing, does not provide the energy we need for our lives and for physical healing, and does not promote us participating in our life in the ways that we desire.  Again I am not saying that symptoms don’t indicate some kind of change is wanting to happen in your life, they almost always indicate that some kind of change is eminent, but its not about self-blame and shame and thinking that something is inherently wrong with you.  

Sometimes symptoms do require extreme measures to resolve in the immediate, particularly if they are life threatening.  I am not suggesting to ignore symptoms when they arise, in fact I’m suggesting the exact opposite.  We all must work with the symptoms that arise in our body in whatever ways feel best to us and our in resonance with our being.  We must all evaluate this for ourselves.  To choose that which feels empowering to us rather than reacting out of fear.  

When you move into an empowered state of being things flow in.  You know what you need to do.  Things seem feasible and possible.  Healing will happen.  Change will occur.  Rather than searching around in the dark for answers you know and that knowing comes from inside of you.  You know what must change, you know who you need to seek out for help and support, it isn’t a guessing game anymore.  The outcome is still uncertain, as that is always a mystery, but the certainty in yourself is there.  You are listening to yourself, your own guidance and your own knowing.  This brings inner peace and calm no matter what outcome ensues.  

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Being with physical pain

Being with physical pain 

Types of pain

There are four primary types of pain each having their own flavor of expression. Physical pain is the most obvious being that of the production of unpleasant sensations in the the body.  It often deeply activates our survival mechanisms and more primitive, reactive brain structures.  Emotional pain is experienced when our feelings get hurt or we feel unloved or unloveable.  This is less connected with our immediate survival and more with our sense of a personal self and inherent worthiness.  Mental pain is the experience we have when we’re trying to force or insist that life to be a particular way,  when we argue with what is and can’t see outside of a limited perspective.  This is often connected with who we are in the world, what we want to accomplish and how we are perceived by others.  Lastly spiritual pain is that which we feel when we tap into the collective at large and feel the suffering of a group or community.  Spiritual pain is the least personal of all the experiences of pain, but it tends to invoke a high desire towards service towards others when felt.

Though none of the pains that we experience are necessarily easy to be with I find that physical pain can sometimes be the most challenging for us. Our relationship with physical pain is such that we feel the threat to our survival through its expression.  Most of us have subtle, or not so subtle, beliefs in place that to allow ourselves to feel physical pain may ensue our demise. Even if our higher brain centers know this is not necessarily the case, the lower primitive survival structures take precedence and rule our reactions.  

Due to the perceived threat to our survival that physical pain activates inside of our psyche we have a higher tendency to protect or guard ourselves from this type of pain.  This creates a hyper-vigilance which activates our sympathetic (fight/flight) nervous system, creates massive amounts of tension and hijacks our awareness.  In this state of being our capacity to recognize that we are not the pain and that the pain does not control us is quite limited.  We feel consumed by it and have lost awareness of anything else.   

Mastering the primitive nervous system

Coming back into connection with yourself

separated by wallUltimately we must become the master of this primitive survival response of our nervous system so that we can learn to be present with physical pain rather than consumed by it.  When we guard against physical pain we wall off our awareness from  that particular location within our body.  Walling off awareness creates a sense of disconnection from that expression.  When we perceive disconnection we feel powerless because the expression is something other than us. When something seems other than us the mind perceives it to be an external problem and often goes into trying to figure out the solution to that problem. This is a rabbit hole without resolve. You will constantly be looking for and trying the next best magical cure.  

When instead you begin to create a connection with this aspect of your self that’s expressing as a painful sensation you begin to realize your power again.  You realize that you can be with this expression too. That you can even move into and towards it rather than away from it.  That you don’t have to protect yourself from it, but rather that you can experience it. 

It is through this and through realizing your power and thus your capacity to work with these sensations that you can come back into oneness with yourself and with that which was previously perceived to be other than you.  This is how all healing happens in every category of pain.  In this way you begin to master those primitive survival responses of your nervous system.  Rather than letting them run the show of your life you develop greater awareness of your self beyond them and with that new options for how you can engage with these painful sensations begins to open up.  With that you stop seeing pain as the enemy that’s overtaking you and you discover how you can work with whatever sensation arises.  In this working together communication happens.  Vital communication.  Communication that is required for all systems to function and work coherently towards a common vision, in this case a physical vehicle that moves with ease.  

All healing happens through connection and coming back into oneness with yourself.  When we forget our wholeness we appear to ourselves to be broken. From the perception of brokenness no healing arises, only further brokenness.  To join with what’s present (even physical pain), rather wall yourself off from it, creates balance, harmony and an optimal environment for you to thrive within. 

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado