Your Heart is the Knower

Your Heart is the Knower

The Mind is not the Knower

So often we move about our lives trying to figure out what things means, preparing and plotting our next action steps and attempting to find answers to all of our questions about this mysterious universe.  We have a tendency to feel safer if we can make meaningful sense of things, find answers to our questions or have some type of clear direction that we can comfortably take.  Being in uncertainty, the unknown or the ever present present moment tends to feel too unstable for us and we seek for solidity in our thoughts or the physical universe.  

Why is it that we attempt to create safety through our minds perceived sense of knowing?  The most direct answer is because we think that we are our thoughts.  We are identified as our thoughts and believe that we are separate distinct entities disconnected from a larger knowingness.  If we were connected to a larger knowingness of ourselves we would never for even one second attempt to use our minds to create certainty, stability and a sense of knowing. Due to the fact that being veiled from the larger truth of ourselves is part of this human experience and learning, we seek for some solid ground through our thoughts because that is what is most accessible to us.  

Despite what you may think your mind is not the knower.  Your mind is simply a thinker.  It produces thoughts but does not know from where they come.  The knower is larger than or beyond the level or your mind.  If we step back and look at this from the perspective of levels of development we will see that development evolves from physical body (the survivor), to emotional body (the reactor), to mental body (the thinker) and then into soul (the heart).  Many humans right now are waking up, if you will, to level of soul, but it is not the natural default for most.  Rather mind and thoughts is the default and hence why we seem to perpetually come back to trying to figure things out as if we are separate object in a universe of separate objects that all act independent of each other and don’t share information or energy between them.  

When the mind is in charge it tries very hard to do, to figure out, to know and to make happen.  The mind also likes to make things difficult and complex where there isn’t difficulty or complexity.  It is the great confuser.  Yet the more confused we feel the more we try to think our way through it and end up in the vicious loop of which there is no way out.  The only way to find our way through is make contact with that which knows.  The gateway to the knower is through the heart.  The language with which the heart speaks is not with thoughts but instead with the energy vibration of love.  Leaning into this language is the clearer of all confusion and recognition of non-separateness.  

Getting to Know the Knower

Language of Love

Why is it seem so hard to lean into the heart?  Why do we look for something other than the language of love?  First things first.  Many of us have layers of protection around our heart-soul body making it difficult to even make contact with it.  These layers exist due to pains that we experience in our lives.  Most of us don’t consciously close ourselves off, it is simply the defensive nature of our nervous systems to protect us when we feel any type of pain, which is quite common on this human journey.  When this protective response gets activated its puts us in our more primitive bodies which are the physical, emotional and mental bodies.  Even though the mind is more complex in organization then the physical or emotional body it is still a more primitive body than that of the soul/heart body.  

Many people live their entire life in a mostly protected, defended state and are very functional and contribute great things to the world.  They have friends and families, successful careers or businesses and belong to communities.  Most people have no idea that they are living in a state of protection, that is until life brings them a situation which seems outside of what they can handle.  This is often loss in any of it forms.  Loss of loved one, loss of a relationship, loss of purpose, loss of health, loss of function of some part of the body, loss of resources, etc.  These experiences of loss are the biggest catalyst/activator that we have to evolve, wake up to more of ourselves and become undefended, and yet we tend to see them as catastrophic.  Many people don’t see how these situations are pushing them into growth and they stay focused solely on the loss.  

This brings me to language of the heart which is love and why we tend to not listen to it or see it as the knower.  When the mind is running the show of our lives we want linear, logical and mentally sound answers.  To the mind love seems too fluffy or like its not enough.  We often feel like we need more than just love.  We need hard, concrete, physical answers and quite frankly love doesn’t seem to be powerful enough for all of that.  So we seek and search for an answer that we can make sense out of rather than directly experiencing the all knowingness that comes with love.  We choose effort, fight and resistance over ease, grace and acceptance.  Why make it easy when we can make it hard and treacherous instead.  

The reason why most people have this perception of love as not quite powerful enough, or simply not enough, is because they have only experienced love for fleeting moments at a time.  Their baseline experience has not been such where love has been the primary experience day in and out for years or decades at a time.  In fact people rarely experience nothing but love all day long for even a single day at at time.  That which we experience more often tends to speak louder and we tend to place more belief and value in it.  Hence why our thoughts dominate and we tend to rely on them as that which knows best.  

Our heart is the knower.  Its doesn’t think, it knows.  When we lean into the heart, doubt dissolves and clear seeing is revealed.  There is no longer anything to figure out.  We realize that love is not only enough, but it is the organizer of everything and essence of our very nature.  Here is where the mysteries resolve themselves and the present moment comes alive as our direct experience.  There are no problems in love, nothing to fix or solve, there is only the pure knowing of the perfection that is and the playing out of that in all the myriad of forms.  

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

Disown Everything

Disown Everything 

Radical relinquishment

Think for a moment about how much ownership you claim in your life.  Look at external things like your house, car, clothes, career, business, professional titles, kids, spouse, friends, other family members.  Also peek at internal things like emotions, sensations, thoughts and beliefs.  Begin to investigate your relationship with all of the things both internal and external in your life.  How much do you think, feel or act in accordance with the thought that something is yours?  Anything that you own or claim becomes your identity and something that you then attempt to manipulate or control.  These are also the same things that we tend to worry about or that we say create stress in our lives.  

If you take this all the way to the extreme end you will see that taking ownership of something as yours is the source of all suffering.  Pause for a moment and simply feel what it feels like to give everything away.  I am not talking about physical items here necessarily, though those could be included, but instead giving away everything inside your mind.  The thoughts about the sensations in your body, your emotional state of being, the list of all the things you need to do this week, your beliefs about how things work in this world and the perspectives you hold so strongly onto.  It is in these moments of relinquishment that you taste your true self, that which remains when all is left to be as it is.

Now you may think, isn’t it irresponsible, superficial or bypassing this reality to disown everything.  The first thing I would say is to do a little self-experimentation.  Disown those very thoughts and see how it feels.  I’d imagine the peace that you desire to feel and the spiritual blissful nature of yourself is what you will instantly experience.  However if that is too radical for you and you prefer to take smaller steps into peace, freedom and bliss then the second thing I’d say is to investigate what it is that you really want.  Do you want to continue to interject, impose, manage, make sure everything turns out ok for everyone, feel stressed or exhausted, feel bad for extended periods of time because you think you need to keep holding onto a particular feeling state or a story about a sensation?  Do you have a belief that being human means that you must suffer and that the human experience can’t be congruent with a permanent state of peace or bliss?  Also investigate what it is that you think you will lose if you let go and radically relinquish.  Perhaps respect, purpose, validation, worth, people’s opinions about you, your opinion of yourself, your stories about what life means and what matters, love.  It is often our fear of loss, pain, and lack of self-worth that keeps us holding onto stationary concepts of life rather than living it.  In this way we continue the cycle of suffering for ourselves because we insist on what life should look like rather than what it actually looks like.   

True Power 

What we give away

However paradoxical this might sound, disownment of everything is where your true power resides.  It is where the personality you steps out of the way and you come to know the real you that has been ever present but masked behind the scenes of your busy mind.  Most people have a misconception that the more they have, whether that having is physical possessions, relationships, fancy titles or roles, conceptual knowledge, respect, admiration, some special gift, etc., then the more powerful they become.  Though this is the surface appearance, the underlying truth is that true power lives not it what you have but rather in the giving away of all.  

Many people have a desire to get out of the way and allow spirit to become them, live through them, and yet simultaneously they feel like they don’t know how to do this.  The one that feels like it doesn’t know what or how is the one that is trying to stay in control of and do life.  This one will never be able to figure it out because it is the one that is the roadblock in the first place.  It like a large rock in a stream.  The rock can’t figure out how to allow the stream to move through it because from the rock’s perspective its solid and fixed in place.  It has no idea how to move itself.  It needs either a large force that is other then its perceived self to move it so that the stream can flow clearly through or the rock itself needs to realize its non-solid nature.  Its the same with us.  Our minds (which is what we think we are) can’t figure it out.  Our larger awareness or consciousness must come in to move us and the only ways that it can do that is if we are either empty enough to be moved (having realized our own non-solidity) or the force is stronger than our rock like nature.  

The power of personality and personal will can only go so far.  It is an important driving force and also what ultimately must be suspended and transcended if we are to grow and evolve beyond it.  Our personalities are very persistent.  They like to be right.  They hate feeling wrong.  They look at life in linear and black and white ways.  They are insistent on labelling, defining and making sense of everything they see.  They take things personally because they are by their very nature personal.  When we confuse our identity with the mind this is what becomes our perceived real reality.  

When we boldly give away everything in our mind rather than accumulate, hold onto or take, we empty ourselves out so that the brighter, more luminescent consciousness that we are becomes more apparent to us.  This loosens our hold on the small person centric world view and opens us into a broader, less personal awareness.  With more and more tastes we come to know this as our self rather than the personal self we’ve assumed ourselves to be.  Loss of individuality is nirvana.  Though disownment may seem irresponsible and sometimes scary to our person, it actually feels so freeing when we do and gives us direct access to our beyond self.  

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

Body Intelligence

Body Intelligence

Stress & Acceptance Physiology

There is a natural intelligence to our bodies.  It is clearly evident that our bodies know how to coordinate a zillion biochemical process each day without us even being aware of it.  Modern medicine has barely scratched the surface in understanding the complexity of the way that our body operates and functions.  While it has made advances in looking at the physical components and parts it almost never steps back to see what is the operating force for this physical body in the first place.  

It is obvious that when we cut or injure ourselves that our body initiates a sequence of events to heal the tissue.  Different tissues tend to repair at different rates.  Many of what we label disease processes are the body’s intelligence attempting to recalibrate or heal itself in the best way it can given the situation it finds itself within.  Even when things seem maladaptive to us, meaning producing some kind of symptoms, this is often an intelligent process that is initiated to help adapt and heal the body.  This is also why simply eliminating symptoms can be dangerous as the body created them for a purpose, which is to support homeostasis and healing.  The adaptability and capacity of this body intelligence is really quite astounding and one that we often don’t give much attention to unless it seems to not be working correctly.  

This begs the question as to why it seems that this intelligence fails us at times.  Why does the body not repair after injury or find that perfect balance in its internal processes that we maybe once experienced?  Why does the body’s intelligence sometimes need external or outside assistance?  Lets start with the most significant cases first and work our way backwards.  In the most significant of cases an injury or insult to the body structure is so great that the body’s intelligence can’t reconnect and revitalize that part of the body despite its best attempts to do so.  You might see this with a car accident where there is loss of a limb or a stroke when a portion of the brain dies.  Connection has been severed and the body’s intelligence simply can’t reach or reconnect to that part.  When a part of this body is disconnected from its intelligence source its energetic resource is limited and it eventually ceases to function.  This is what we would call a death process of that part.  When intelligence completely ceases to inform this body structure that is what we call a full or complete death of this physical form.  Again this is the most significant of cases. 

Now at the body level we experience death processes every minute and this does not mean that a portion of the body or the entire body dies.  Believe it or not millions of cells die each second and millions of new ones are born each second.  Unbelievable I know but look it up for yourself.  The death process is actually a very important part of the regulation and health of this body, so much so that I would say that our resistance to a death process occurring is one of the major factors that interferes with our ability to heal.  Wait, what did I just say?  Yep you read correctly.  Due to our often impatience, fear, loss of stability in our body of what once was and wanting to go back to how we felt in our body before a pain or symptom arose we tend not want to let go of what once was.  We thus create a state of resistance aka stress physiology in our body and we are attempting to live in the past which always creates suffering because its impossible to do so.  In this way we interfere with the emergence of the new (which is on the other side of every death) by holding onto the old with the grips of our current idea of life.  When we are unwilling to accept what is, including the potential or actual death of the way that things were, we get stuck.  When we are stuck we desperately seek for some answer or some clarity that will bring us back to the knowing we once knew rather than this new state of uncertainty and instability that we find ourselves in.   

Now back to the body’s intelligence.  The body’s intelligence is always programmed towards health, vitality and wholeness in its actions.  When communication between our body tissues and the intelligence that informs them are intact and not interfered with this information is effortlessly communicated behind the scenes of our conscious awareness and our body functions optimally.  However if this information cannot reach the tissues of the body for some reason then the communication cannot get relayed.  In my opinion and experience the number one thing that interferes with this communication process is us.  Meaning we create the interference in the system through the inner state of being that we are choosing.  Now are there other things that interfere with this communication besides our inner state of being?  The answer is most definitely yes.  Not creating a good physical environment for the body by consuming crappy foods, crappy thoughts and not taking care of the physical body in the ways it needs all interfere.  These things are vitally important to our physical health and vitality, but they are not the entire story.  

The good news is that in many cases reconnection can be re-established.  The sometimes hard to swallow news is that we first have to accept the current-present-now state of our body before that connection comes back to life and our tissues can be re-vitalized.  On a body level this means that we have drop resistance, drop fight/flight mode, drop stress physiology so that the body intelligence can reconnect.  The physiology of stress (aka resistance) blocks physical healing and blocks the communication of the intelligence of the body with the body tissues.  Stress and healing physiologically work in opposition.  On a mental-emotional level this often means we have to stop thinking and start feeling the loss of what was, feeling the pain of not being able to go back, and feeling all of the other difficult emotions that are connected to not feeling or experiencing how you want to be feeling and experiencing being in your body.  

Acceptance physiology is radically different than stress physiology.  It’s the physiology of flowing, communicating, non-interfered with body intelligence.  When we quit holding onto what was, which is embracing the death of what we once knew, only then will we see the new that can emerge.  The clarity that we were so hungry for when we were feeling stuck begins to illuminate our experience.  We can see what needs to be done and take actions accordingly.  We become increasingly ready for whatever we need to do and be.  Our physical body may still be experiencing some symptoms but our relationship to their expression has dramatically changed such that we don’t even really mind that their present if they are.  This is the power of acceptance.  You have this power.  We all have this power.  

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

Inauthenticity: The Biggest Energy Drain

Inauthenticity: The  Biggest Energy Drain

Identifying your fake self

Business Executive and His Energy Level Concept Vector Cartoon I

Being someone you are not is absolutely exhausting and yet we attempt to do this all of the time.  Whether its in a social setting, work setting, or a one on one interaction with another person we find ways to filter, tame or ignore our true nature rather than just be ourselves.  Why is it that we pretend to be other, different, better, kinder or more amiable than we actually are?  It mostly comes down to wanting approval and acceptance by others and our fear of rocking the boat and creating a messy or destructive splash.  

When we choose approval or acceptance by others over our own natural impulse or nature we drain our own energy and dim our inner flame.  We literally become a shell because we’ve lost connection to our essence.  We are gone and only the outer clothing of the image we project remains.  We have all had this experience.  Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a conversation with a friend, client or co-worker and were completely drained afterwards. Or maybe you were in a social setting not speaking or engaging at all, yet feeling like you should be interacting in someway and find yourself similarly exhausted just being in that setting.  In these scenarios the ideas that we have about what and who we should be and how we should interact dominate our inner environment and take over our person.  This is the birth of the inauthentic version of ourselves that we think that world wants more than the authentic version.

The disappearance of the real you and the presentation to the world of the fake you gives you the illusion of safety and security, which is why you choose it over the real you.  This illusion of security provided by the acceptance of you by others temporarily feels safe and reassuring yet has significant long-term costs.  The costs are a drain to your life force which has physical effects on your body and its capacity to heal, rest and regenerate.  There is also a dimmed down expression of yourself that often comes with a sense of either not knowing yourself, liking yourself, valuing yourself or a lack of self-confidence.  Lastly there can be the experience of frustration that comes from not listening to or following through on your natural impulses or excitements.  In these ways your inauthenticity and choosing safety and security over your own beingness becomes the biggest energy drain.  The greater your inauthenticity the more lethargic, moody, tired and eventually sick you will feel.  These are the effects of disconnection from ourselves.   

Your Inner Fire 

Inviting the messy, destructive & chaotic

the burning woman head profile

Due to our conditioned propensities towards organization rather than mess, constructive rather than destructive, and calm rather than chaotic we live within a limited range of ourselves while attempting to control and manage life so that we experience more comfort rather than discomfort.  Our often complete aversion to discomfort makes us a planet of people pleasers and do gooders that jump to immediate alleviation at the first sign of upset or distress while simultaneously feeling suffocated, constricted and tight as we keep ourselves confined to expressing only that which is pleasing and containable. We wonder innocently enough why it is we feel so tense and why its feels hard to breath while not allowing ourselves to feel a grain of discomfort and thus only allowing a fraction of our expression.  

To invite the entire range of ourselves to play we have to be willing to feel the burn from time to time.  Not everything we say is nice and not everything we do is kind, nor is it always supposed to be.  Sometimes the most loving way to be has nothing to do with niceness, kindness or making sure others are ok with our expressions.  This isn’t a permission slip to be belligerent, but rather a permission slip to be authentically you.  We each are and have access to every characteristic and aspect in existence.  We are all parts and all parts are us.  To only play with or express a few parts is what gives us the experience of limitation.  

Your inner flame or fire is your source of passion and life force.  It is lit when you are simply being you.  There isn’t anything extra or added that you need.  In fact it is quite the opposite.  It is the dropping away of the added or extra, which are the filters and layers of falsity, allow your fire to burn effortlessly and as brightly as you are.  This is when you feel the most alive, energized, and vital.  Fire also has the capacity to burn away that which is false or inauthentic to you.  The more you allow the flame of your authentic self the clearer you become in yourself.

What then is required of you is simply to be yourself.  This is the experience of being rested and energized simultaneously.  To have the ability to respond, act and be in accordance with your true nature and not be dependent on other people or situations that you find yourself in to give you an external sense of comfort and safety.  This is the expression of confidence and self-worth.  To no longer compromise yourself at the expense of other peoples thoughts, opinions and perceptions of you.  To value your expression enough to simply be it no matter what.  This is what it is to be authentic.  

Inviting the sometimes messy, chaotic, destructive and uncomfortable is a good practice as it will stretch you out of your safety nets and help you drop the filters you have up that you don’t even know you have.  Moving towards your aversions of discomfort rather than away will liberate you from them.  Your freedom lies within being able to be with all expressions of you and not just picking and choosing the select few that you like or feel good to you.  When you can be with all of you, you are free.  

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

Trusting Others

Trusting Others 

Fear, betrayal & mistrust

Men's hands hold the female palms.

Relationships with others are key to life.  It is nearly impossible to have zero relationships with others as our world is interconnected and inter-reliant.  We rely on others to support us in various ways as they symbiotically rely on us.  Relationships can be causal such as the the one you have with the person who checks out your groceries or they can be more intimate such as that which you have with your family or significant others.  

The foundation that underlies all relationships is our capacity to trust others.  If we’ve had experiences of betrayal, being hurt, left or not seen/heard by others than our capacity to willing trust other people can be diminished.  We may find it challenging to open our selves up to others and trust that we won’t feel hurt by them.  At the extreme end of mistrust of others we may isolate ourselves as much as possible from other people and minimize relational interactions, even ones that support our basic needs.  We may feel skeptical of everyone and vigilant to their behaviors as we look for any subtle sign that we might get hurt, disappointed, or let down by them.  At the most extreme end there is simply the assumption that we will get hurt no matter what and we therefore completely close off ourselves to other people even if we have to interact them.  We don’t allow for an energetic exchange to occur between ourselves and others and therefore our experience is quite lonely, sometimes cynical, and we can come off as harsh, cold or mean to others.

When we lack trust in others we will often find reasons why we can’t trust based upon another person’s actions or lack of actions. We will use their actions/non-actions as a justification to ourselves as to why we can/can’t trust.  In this way our capacity to trust will seem external to us and dependent on the person(s) rather than the recognition of our internal choice to trust.  When we don’t recognize our internal choice to trust or not trust we will feel powerless and like it is not up to us, but instead up to them.  Often we will expect them to somehow change so that we can trust them.  This is the disownment of our power and the projection of that internal disowned state onto other people.  

Its important to recognize that this pattern of behaviors of mistrust is not us.  It is not who we are even if we are engaging in it.  Instead it is simply a protective pattern/mechanism which we have learned in order to protect ourselves from getting hurt.  As long as we keep the pattern going then we can keep people at a distance and the fear we have of feeling hurt by them is diminished.  The down side of this is that we don’t get to develop the level of closeness, intimacy and joy of being with others that most of us crave.   

Divine Relating 

Courage & resolution

divine relatingWe are all familiar with the phrase “divine timing”, which implies the resting into the perfect unfolding and sequencing of life events.  This capacity to rest into divine timing is birthed from our willingness to trust the timing of life.  This means being ok with not knowing for certain at what pace things will unfold but knowing that however they unfold will be perfect and that it will all work out in the right timing.  This same trusting which we can do with timing also occurs in relationship to others.  I like to call it “divine relating”.  

What is divine relating?  Divine relating is birthed from an internal state of trust of others.  It has nothing to do with the other person, but only with you and your willingness to trust others.  Trust always implies not knowing for certain what the outcome of any moment, situation, interaction or relationship will be.  Simultaneously with that uncertainty is an inner knowingness that however it turns out it will be ok, even if that means that at some point you feel hurt by another.  Its the willingness to stay open and feel the hurt rather than close yourself off from other people altogether.  There are no guarantees as to how we will feel at some moment in the future and living trying to protect ourselves from never feeling hurt, disappointed, unseen or unheard is a very lonely life.  

So is there some kind of perceived risk in trusting others?  From our mind’s perspective absolutely.  Our minds and their patterns are all about minimizing risk and protecting us from pain.  If we solely listen and abide by our mind’s protective patterns then we will live the experience of a very limited life where things will be mostly flat/neutral.  Well this will be ok for many people and is the life that most people live, for those that want to experience a greater range of life experience and ultimately freedom, they will need to learn a different way.  The entry point or metaphorical door to that different way is trust.  

When we have the courage to choose trust and not base our current experience on our past experiences we can create a new pathway for ourselves that is empowering.  One where we see that it is up to us to choose trust and that it is not dependent on others.  One where we can create empowering boundaries for ourselves based on our preferences and standards for what we want and deserve.  

When we completely resolve the pattern of mistrust of others we realize that our soul, essence, true self has never been hurt or harmed.  Though our body or mind may have experienced hurt we realize that we are not our body or mind and that ultimately there is no other.  To love other is to love self.  To love self is to love other.  Through choosing trust we breakdown the walls of separation and experience the unity that always has been and is.  We end the internal fight.  We feel what it is to rest.  We directly experience connectedness and stop creating separation.  

Unity is inescapable.  We cannot keep anything or anyone separate from it no matter how hard we insist on trying.  It is all inclusive.  On the other side of mistrust is immense love and compassion for self, other and all.  This love dissolves the bars around our heart and reunites it with the one heart of all.  

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

Trusting the Timing of Life

Trusting the Timing of Life 

Scarcity of time

19563913 - hands holding sand flowing down on a clock covered in sand

What is time?  Who set the clocks and put the hands where they reside?  Who decided how many days make up this thing we call a year?  Why is it that we never feel like we have enough time, or sometimes too much of it, or that things aren’t occurring in proper rhythm within it?  Time is but an arbitrary construct that we’ve created in our mind and yet we allow ourselves to feel controlled, confined or ruled by it.  We tell ourselves that such and such (i.e. a project, the trajectory of a relationship we are in, something we want to buy or create, the healing of our body, our healing process in general, our spiritual evolution, etc.) must be completed or accomplished within a certain time frame or else it means xyz.  Xyz is “I’ve failed”, “It’ll never happen”, “I won’t make it”, “Its hopeless”’ “Everything will fall apart”, “I won’t have enough money, love or support”, “I’ll die”, “Things won’t work out for me”, “I’ll hurt or suffer forever”, and the like.  You can see there is a lot of pressure we place on ourselves and life all due to the stories that we create about what the timing of things means.  

There is also an overarching tendency for us as humans to rush things and make them occur as fast as possible.  We have very little tolerance for a slower pace particularly due to our increasingly fast paced world.  Advancements in technology have allowed communications to happen nearly instantaneously that used to take a week or month to occur.  We are learning to expect that everything move at this instantaneous pace less we get impatience or start to think that something is wrong with us, others or the world if it doesn’t move quickly.  This expectation for immediacy along with bombardment of the senses has placed our nervous systems into sympathetic dominance (active mode) and has left us challenged in our capacity to relax and be present.  Instead we are easily distractible and have trouble maintaining our attention in the present which is here now because we think that what is here now should include something else or more and we can’t pause ourselves long enough to even see what is here.  

Our story of scarcity of time has its foundation in our lack of trust of the natural unfolding.  Our perspective of not enough time, things not occurring fast enough or not happening now when we want them be happening now leaves us feeling victim to time while doing our best to try to beat time.  We focus on what we feel we will lose, what we will have to shift and all the things that will occur that we think we don’t want to occur because the timing of life isn’t working out for us.  We think that we know what is the best unfolding of everything and forget that we actually don’t.  We truly don’t have a clue what or when things are supposed to happen.  Things occur exactly at the pace they must whether or not we are personally in agreement with that timing.   

Being in the Present 

Stably awake

hourglass angel wingsBeing present brings with in a sense of wakefulness and aliveness that we all hunger deeply for.  To be stably present or awake is the goal of all healing and of the spiritual path.  Get that.  The goal is not that you feel different, have different sensations, achieve certain things, succeed in finishing projects, get the relationship you want, have connection to your higher self, experience all the mystical inlays and outlays of universe, etc, but instead the only goal is that you arrive to now.  Not replaying the past, not focused on the future, but here now.  No matter how comfortable or uncomfortable the here now is, it is the only place that life occurs.  To not be here is to be lost in thoughts or other distractions.  This is the place of wishful thinking and hoping things change, but not being able to make any impact because you aren’t present and are stuck in your head/thoughts instead.

This goal of presence if you will must be realized in the moment rather than one that occurs in the future or “in time”.  When you are fully present you then realize that there is no time, but until you arrive here in this moment life will seem like a constant linear progression with past and future.  Presence is key so that we are awake to whatever wants to unfold in this moment, rather than what our mind tells us should be happening in this moment.  To be focused on our minds timeline will produce suffering each and every time.  To instead be present is to know everything that is needed in this moment and to move perfectly with it.  

Humility is the number one required ingredient when you arrive at the door of the present moment.  Humility means that you drop all of your insistences of what should be here now and accept that you don’t know the timing of things.  Your mind simply does not know.  You have access to one perspective that you call you within an infinitely large mind that is communicating with itself in ways that are currently unfathomable to your one perspective.  Its like being the letter “A” on a computer keypad that has infinite letters and although you know all about the letter “A”, what it feels like to be it, how the world looks from the letter “A”, you have no awareness of what it is to be another letter or even what occurs when you combine with different letters, you become something else completely when you do.  You lose your identity as A and therefore your perspective changes.  

When we have enough humility to say that we don’t know we allow a larger perspective to reveal itself and we come to know ourselves as something different than we thought we were.  It is here that we can perceive an orchestration of timing that we could not perceive before.  The timing of events, situations, circumstances, feeling states, sensations, the body’s healing and more reveal themselves.  We see how not a single strand of hair, a single breath, or a single event or situation has ever been out of place or out of timing.  This is the process of transformation from scarcity of time or fighting the timing that what is occurring into being rested, present and in sync with the larger organizing principle of life.  

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

Inner Alchemy

Inner Alchemy 

Philosophy, practice & the Philosopher’s Stone

alchemy moon sunAlchemy is a philosophy and practice that has its origins in ancient Egyptian and Greek times.  There is both an inner and outer expression of alchemy.  The outer being the scientific, exoteric or objective experience that was associated with the transmutation of natural substances such as turning ordinary base metals like lead into more refined metals like gold.  It was also concerned with finding external elixirs to remedy all diseased conditions with the goal of perfect health and immorality.  This outer alchemy became the foundation for the now modern field of chemistry.  We can see evidence of this in fields like pharmacology that alter the chemical structure of matter in order to change its form and function.

There is also an inner alchemy that is spiritual, esoteric or subjective in nature that is associated with the transmutation of the inner immaterial being or consciousness rather than the outer material form.  The idea is the same however in that its goal is the purification and refinement of our essence from an ordinary state of being into an extraordinary state of being.  The resultant experience of this process is the knowing of our truer, more distilled, purer, refined self.  In modern times this can also be explained as the process of enlightenment or waking up that is spoken about in psychological and spiritual groups.  

Within the philosophy of alchemy there is a search for something called the “philosopher’s stone.”  The philosopher’s stone was the “substance” that allowed for this transmutation into something more refined or evolved to occur.  The core tenant of alchemy is that everything is evolving into a state of greater perfection.  This includes metals, plants, animals, humans and consciousness itself.  There is question as to whether the philosopher’s stone/substance was an actual stone or a metaphorical stone.  Clearly in the modern field of chemistry this substance/“stone” would be chemicals as that is what shifts the composition of the material.  When looking for this substance from the inner alchemical perspective the substance would be spiritual power aka life force, love or the soul.  The soul being that element or substance which allows for transmutation from ordinary beingness into extraordinary beingness.   

Your Inner Alchemist 

Soul metamorphosis 

3d illustration of an Angel in heaven land,Mixed media for bookWe all have an inner alchemist.  It is called our soul.  Some people are more familiar with their inner alchemist than others, in fact some people don’t know or deny the presence of it altogether.  Whether you are aware of or deny your inner alchemist or not does not make it any less real or present.  In time all gets revealed.  

The soul is that immaterial substance that breaths through all forms.  Forms being physical bodies, trees, plants, animals, rocks, as well as thoughts, emotions, feelings and sensations.  Soul is what is actually alive, intelligent and present within all things.   Other words for soul are life force, love, God, beauty, breath, energy, awareness, intelligence, consciousness, light, Sun, life.  Soul is the agent of life, vitality, movement and change.  When we are not aware of soul life seems to be happening to us as we view ourselves as objects that are done onto, we perceive things as random and disorganized, and the seamless connectedness of all of life is absent from our awareness.  Life appears as separate pieces and parts and never is the picture seen as whole.  

On the other hand when we are aware of soul, interconnectedness is evident and intelligent design is no longer denied.  Instead of life happening to us we realize that we are life.  This is fundamental to our awakening and the essential ingredient that makes the shift from ordinary being to extraordinary being and from the perspective of separate to one with/as.  The intimate knowing of soul bridges the gap, is the alchemical elixir, the inner philosopher’s stone, the transmutational esoteric substance that allows for the knowingness of the divine perfection of all to be revealed.   

Soul is a metamorphosing agent.  It is pure intelligence.  It knows how to perfectly unfold, reveal, and evolve itself.  The process of soul being realized is a metamorphosis that all are experiencing in every moment.  All consciousness is growing and moving towards the light of soul.  Soul is like a ray of sunshine that is constantly guiding, illuminating, informing and growing you, and you are continuing inch by inch, getting closer and closer to it.  The unification with it is the realization of it as you.  The real you, not the personality-body you.  This is the full acceptance of the divine self as you.  

Soul then is awake in this body-mind vehicle.  The most refined, distilled aspect of light shining through.  Free agency having realized itself as abiding in these forms, and all forms.  This is the inner alchemical transmutation of consciousness.  This intelligent design is the pre-programmed program of all of life.  All consciousness will wake up to itself, realize itself as the life principle, as the one creator.  This is the end of forgetfulness and beginning of eternal life.  

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

Holding Your Breath

Holding Your Breath 

Waiting for the shoe to drop

16854815 - funny young woman with colorful air balloons enjoyingSo many people are holding their breath, waiting for the next shoe to drop.  It seems to us that if we can just keep holding our breath then we won’t feel what is about to happen next.  Why is it that we don’t want to feel what will happen next when we don’t even know what will happen?  It is because our minds like to create the most potentially devastating stories about what things mean and how something that might occur might threaten us.  So we live with this lurking feeling of potential threat and we hold our breath in attempt to not feel it.

This holding of our breath is conscious for some people and unconscious for others, meaning you might be really aware that your breath is not fluid, rhythmic, deep, easeful or full or you may have no idea at all.  We often need contrast to become aware of ourselves and our patterns.  This applies to our breathing patterns as well.  If you’ve had experiences in your life where your breath was labored or challenged it becomes really easy to recognize when that is not the case because there is contrast.  However if your breathing has been relatively stable throughout your life you may not yet realize that more expansive or restful breath is possible because you have not yet experienced that something more is indeed possible.  

Breathing occurs naturally.  Air comes in and out of our lungs without us needing to think about it or make it happen.  Yet when this feels like it is not the case, for example if we feel short of breath or the breath feels shallow, there is quite naturally an added survival panic response that results.  It is like throwing more fuel on the fire.  As our anxiety heightens then our breath feels less and less full, the more resistance builds up in our body and the harder it feels to breathe.  Resistance is the primary ingredient that interferes with the natural process of breathing in the first place.  

This brings us back to the feeling sensation of waiting for the next shoe to drop.  When we clench or grip to protect ourselves from feeling something we put our body in a state of tension aka resistance.  Resistance makes everything more challenging including our breath.  Many people are not aware of how much they resist or attempt to prepare themselves against the impact of something potentially bad happening to them.  In fact it is this preparation or “on guard state of being” that is far more uncomfortable then simply feeling the impact of thing we are attempting to not feel the impact of.  

While this all seems rational and we might get it conceptually, particularly if nothing feels super uncertain or turbulent in our life in the moment, allowing ourselves to get it physiologically is another thing entirely.  To convince ourselves to feel the thing that everything in our mind is telling us is unsafe to feel or that we don’t want to feel is the perpetual dance we do with our defenses.  See for most people their defenses are running the show pretty much all of the time.  We tend to not notice this and think that we are in charge and not our defenses if our life seems to be going relatively well and we are in agreement with what is showing up in our reality.  However when our life shakes up a little bit and something arrives in our experience that feels unknown or undesirable we get a front row show to just how much our defenses are really in charge. 

Story of our Defenses

Bridge from concept to direct physiological experience 

perspective of wood bridge in deep forest crossing water stream and glowing light at the end of wooden waysSo you might be asking what is the story with our defenses.  First of all it may be helpful to know we all have them and their job is to protect us from harm.  They develop as mechanisms of survival for this body-mind organism.  Some of our defenses develop when we are really young and are more primitive.  They are more easily recognized as they tend to be more reactionary, emotional or physical in nature.  Other defenses develop when we are a little bit older and are more sophisticated, rational and logical.  These more sophisticated defenses are much tricker because they are based on socially acceptable rules of engagement.  We often think that we are these defenses and it is more challenging to see that our defenses are running the show of our life because we just think it is who we are.  These defenses are also more thought based meaning they are activated in response to memories of past experiences and anticipation of future events.  

Though the job of our defenses is to protect us from harm this comes with a cost.  That cost is fragmentation, separation and disconnection.  We have quite normalized living disconnected partly because we haven’t had a ton of contrast as to what it is to live connected, so disconnection seems normal.  The long term effects of fragmentation, separation and disconnection are far more reaching then any of us might currently realize.  

Bringing this back to our body, physiology and breath we must ask ourselves how we bridge this gap between knowing conceptually about our defenses to being able to move through them and feel the experiences that they are attempting to push away.  The result of this being that we open our system, relax and allow breath to breathe in and out of this body in its full, rhythmic, expansive, vital and deeply nurturing ways.  

If for a moment you think of breath as life, as what you are, rather than all of the rest of the stuff that you identify with, how would that shift your focus and change your relationship to breath?  In seeing that when you create tension patterns based on unconscious and conscious stories created inside of your own mind, that interfere with the movement of breath in and out of your body, what you are really doing is resisting life.  Creating resistance to breath is the foundation for resisting life.  Life is a myriad of infinite expressions and comes with an entire gamut of sensations, feelings, emotions and experiences.  Some of these sensations, feelings, emotions and experiences will feel amazing and others will feel horrible.  There is no real way around this unless you completely 100% shift your perspective to seeing only divine perfection in everything making every experience blissful, which for most people at this stage in the game is not impossible but highly improbable.  Due to this improbability at this current time/space nexus we must cultivate another strategy that will open us to life rather than close us down to it.  That strategy is willingness, self-permission, allowing and inner invitation to feel, sense and experience the entire gamut of whatever experiences show up in our lives no matter how uncomfortable or undesirable they are for us.  

This is a tall order I know.  Yet the only way to the other side is through.  Going through means feeling and experiencing all of it so that none is left out, split or fragmented.  This is how we arrive at the experience of connectedness and wholeness.  We leave nothing out.  We reject nothing.  Through that we arrive at wholeness.  Breath, life, moves in and out of these bodies, free and unimpeded.  

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

Giving Everything Back to Source

Giving Everything Back to Source 

Tendency to hold on

Studio shot of worried and upset caucasian woman holding hands in pray near chin, squeezing it tight and begging for something, smiling nervously and standing with closed eyes over gray backgroundAs human beings we tend to hold onto everything.  This perpetual holding on gives us a sense of security and like we can somehow manipulate our external reality if we just hold on a little bit tighter.  Holding on is our attempt to control the spontaneous, unpredictability of life so that we are not caught too far off our guard where we perceive that things might get or go “bad”.  This holding onto life keeps our life looking a particular way and provides us with the illusionary experience of consistency and sameness.  While a part of us feels better when this illusionary experience of life appears to be intact, another part of us feels stifled and like it can’t breathe inside of delusion we are perpetuating.  

We not only hold onto material things like homes, jobs, relationships and such, we also hold onto thoughts.  In fact we are almost never entirely without a thought.  For many people to open into the spacious, emptiness beyond thought is terrifying.  I believe that most have never done it for much longer than a second or two, if even that, which means that we are always holding onto something.  Why the terror to let go you may ask?  Perhaps we fear that this world that we live in now, with all the things that we know, will disappear.  Perhaps the tastes we’ve had of freedom have felt “too free” and we prefer some constraint and limitation over our freedom.  Maybe we’ve created the story that we don’t know how to let go, or maybe we don’t even know that we are holding life in the grips of our own mind.  

Regardless of our reasoning or our lack of awareness into ourselves as to our patterns of holding the result of holding is the same.  Holding on always creates some level of tension in our body-mind.  That tension then becomes the filter with which we interpret and experience everything and with which we come to believe what is.  Tension patterns also create disconnection from source or from the larger organizing principle of creation.  This is the inherent function of tension patterns, to be self-protective of this individuated body-mind organism that we call ourselves, and yet simultaneous with this comes reinforcement of the illusion of perceiving yourself as separate from the rest of creation.   

Reconnecting with Source 

Its easier than your mind thinks

Happy girl jumpingRe-establishing connection to source is always easier than our mind thinks that it is.  It is the job of our mind to make things way more complicated than they are in actuality.  People’s minds like to talk about how they have to do this or that, change this or that, or how they just have to surrender and let go already.  Yet for most this simply stays in their mind as another thought or idea that takes up space inside of the infinite spaciousness of ourselves.  I find if people are talking about their need to surrender and let go they are quite far from actually doing it.  Why does letting go or surrendering stay in the mind rather than become our direct experience?   It is because ultimately we don’t really want to let go of what we say we want to let go of.  We prefer our uncomfortable (or unnoticeable for some that have less awareness of themselves) tension patterns and delusional stories of reality over ease and truth because more than anything else we fear what we might lose.  

So fear of loss runs the show of our lives until we boldly and courageously decide to no longer let it.  Not until we are willing to lose everything can we truly experience surrender.  Few people arrive here without exhausting every other possible route first.  We quite literally exhaust ourselves into the truth.  Our beliefs in scarcity, lack, and wrongness, that we won’t have enough, be enough, achieve the right things, things won’t last or turn out, that we’ve failed, will be alone,  etc… triumphs.  

How do we walk this path towards surrender step by step?  I have found that to give everything back to source is the quickest route.  This means making the commitment to first tune into yourself and develop awareness of your patterns of tension and disconnection.  As tension patterns arise at the body level immediately release them.  Don’t try to figure them out or process them at length, simply just drop the tension.  Rather than continue to hold on to it, let it go, just like that.  You will notice instantly more ease and breath in your body.  You will also begin to realize just how powerful you are and how you are the creator of your own tension patterns.  Second is the willingness to let go of your thoughts as they arise.  This will take consistent practice for most.  If you get fixated on a thought recognize the fixation and then let the thought go.  This is important particularly for thoughts that really grab you and bring you into a less resourced and often fearful state.  

As you do this more and more you will be developing your skill set in giving back to source rather than taking from or holding on as if nothing else will ever come your way.  Whenever we give back we are instantaneously rewarded with more energy and aliveness.  What we hold onto we maintain.  At best our energy state stays neutral which means life looks the same and feels mundane most of the time.  However what we give back to life, to source, frees us up and thus we become available to exponentially greater and greater states of energy.  This also means that we almost never know what will happen.  We are in the moment of ever present aliveness, trust, and knowingness in the perfection of it all.  This is what at our heart of hearts we all desire and seek no matter how much our minds want to interfere.  

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