LIVING FREELY

LIVING FREELY 

Giving to life

In spiritual circles we often talk about freedom and what it is to live freely, but we don’t actually live freely.  The number one reason why most people don’t live freely is due to their attachments, which are rooted in lack and scarcity beliefs.  Those beliefs are centered around the themes of not having enough, being enough, and not being safe or supported.  There is fear of what will be lost and what you might not have that you think that you want or need.  The focus of all scarcity beliefs is self-survival and self-preservation.  

When our self-preservation mode is in the driver’s seat of our life it is impossible to live freely.  We are hooked into getting and making sure everything we need is gotten.  We want to hold onto what we have and we tend to not like change or disruption to what we know, as that instability activates feelings of uncertainty.  We therefore prioritize sameness and the illusion of consistency over novelty and the ever changing moment.  Our appearance of life is that each day seems almost the same as the previous one with slight nuances and we paste the same identity onto ourselves and everyone we know.  In these ways the world seems relatively safe, secure, unchanging and kind of mundane or flat.  There isn’t a lot of new energy that is allowed for inside of the world view of self-preservation therefore the exchange of energy is unidirectional, meaning it ends with you.  

Living freely is about open energy exchange with life.  It does not attempt to keep things the same as it realizes that that is impossible.  It is not attached to the comings and goings of relationships, projects, family, friends, business ideas, vacations, cars, houses and other objects and such.  This does not mean that it does not care or invest itself fully into what it is doing or into things, it does, but it does so empty of any attempt to derive safety, security, validation and ok-ness from them.  Imagine doing only because of what you can give or bring to something and completely devoid of what your doing may bring you.  This is a taste of what living freely really is.  It is pure committed devotion to what feels important to you from the energy or perspective of giving to it.  To give in this way is to simultaneously receive the world of your giving as you become your giving.  This is creation mastery.   

UNATTACHED DEVOTION 

Self-purification

You might ponder what in this life you feel is important enough to devote your entire existence to.  Perhaps it’s love, connection, magic, unity, truth, bliss, generosity, kindness, etc.  This is a worthwhile self-exploration at any stage of life.  Most people follow the unspoken script of life rather than realize their creator self potential.  Living a life devoted to creating something that feels of prime importance or deeply exciting for you is key to living freely.  While total devotion and freedom might seem like a paradox for some who may think that commitment and freedom are opposites, devotion is a clear path to liberation.  It immediately cuts out anything that is not in alignment with your truest intention for existing and in that way you are free to be, and share your being, uninhibited by anything.

Devotion is by its very nature unattached.  If there is attachment then it is not devotion, but rather attempting to get something.  Explore where you feel resistance to give.  Where you don’t want to share yourself, be yourself, or give to life.    Another way to explore is to notice where you feel closed off, separate from, distant or not a part of.  Also notice situations or aspects or your life that feel depleting.  These are all cues into where you are doing out of perceived necessity or “have to” rather than in joyous being and giving.  This will also show you your attachments and where you are compromising in your life out of fear of loss or belief in scarcity.

When you give to life you free it and by default you free yourself.  When you are free your heart is naturally open and it radiates.  The radiation of the heart is giving to life and it feels natural and organic.  It is not hard to radiate.  It is not hard to give, particularly when you are not attached to your giving.  The hardness only comes when want something specific to happen through our giving.  This distorts it and makes it feel tough.  Living a life in pure devotion to giving while also giving away our desired outcome of our giving is what living free is all about.

This is the path of self-purification rather than self-preservation.  Through purification you realize that all needs are met and all wants that are true wants have come into manifestation through your being and radiating.  Your journey becomes increasingly singularly focused and this makes it easy.  Again the toughness only comes into account through our attachments.  Self-purification is not like turning on light switch.  It does take time, dedication, persistence, and energy in order to purify.  It is an ongoing journey and it can be fun even when it may feel challenging to let go attachments to things or ways of being.  In fact learning ways to make purifying more and more fun will accelerate and increase your capacity to give, radiate and be of service.  Loving and accepting yourself at every moment of the journey is the journey.  

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

THERE IS NO OTHER

THERE IS NO OTHER 

Unity is the one truth

We are all familiar with unity or oneness.  There is an innate impulse inside each of us towards unification.  That which feels or thinks itself separate hungers to come into connection with its otherness less it feels incomplete.  You could say that this unification impulse is what drives this entire universe.  The drive back towards itself.  If unity or oneness is truth then why is it that we perceive there to be an other or that things or people appear separate or distinct from us?  

The easiest explanation for this is that “you” are misidentified.  You are identified with the appearance of you, meaning the body and mind-personality characteristics, habits and preferences that make up the “me” you think and feel yourself to be.  As long as you focus and see only the appearance and rely on your senses to tell you what you are, you will remain misidentified.  The you that you experience yourself to be on a day to day basis is not the you that you are.  In fact it is impossible to experience yourself as any thing at all, you can only be yourself.  You can only be because that is what you are.  The only way to experience yourself is to recognize that you are, that you be.  You cannot experience your true self through forms or thoughts because you are prior to and creator of all forms and thoughts.  

All experience outside of directly recognizing your beingness is simple a projection of you (an appearance of you) and not the actual you.  Experiencer and experience are one because no experience can be experienced without the experiencer.  However when you are identified as the experience (meaning the sensations, thoughts and feelings that make up experience) without recognizing the experiencer you come to identify as the appearance.  Now separation seems to exist and a world of objects seems like the reality because you are disconnected from the source, from the experiencer, from you.  Thus the birth of the illusion of duality.   Duality or otherness appears, is perceived by you, solely because you are not in recognition of yourself.   

This idea of otherness is so second nature to us that we assume it to be true nearly all of the time.  We don’t even just make “other” people other than us, we even fragment ourselves into multiple parts.  We say things like “well a part of me knows and a part of me doesn’t” or “a part of me wants this and a part of me doesn’t”.  Again this is so second nature to us that it seems normal, but it’s not.  Who is the other you?  Is there not just one you?  Show me this you that is other than you.  You cannot, because there is just one you.  One presence.  One beingness.  One being.   

BECOMING COHERENT

The end of otherness

The sure fire fastest way to increase your coherence, your light, your alignment, and your frequency (which are all the same thing) is to dismantle your identification with the appearance and end your story of other.  When you perpetuate the perception of other, particularly other parts to your own being, you create mixed frequencies.  Mixed frequencies are by nature less coherent, contain less organized and efficient energy, and have capacity for less self-awareness.  They waver and flitter, they are not stabilized, typically they don’t work that well together and it takes a lot more energy to create anything from them.  When you are incoherent, aka innerly split, mixed and creating multiples of you, this is what you experience your life to be.  

To end the story of parts of you and rest in the fact that there is only one of you requires that you take 100% responsibility for yourself.  What I mean by that is you can no longer project say “laziness”, or that you don’t have what you want or do what you want, on a part of you.  You can no longer say a part of you knows or a part of you doesn’t know.  You either know or you don’t know, you either do what you want or you don’t do what you want.  You either show up or you don’t.  You must realize and accept that you, the only you that there is, is the one choosing what is currently appearing on the screen of your awareness or the projection of experience.  There are no shades of grey here as attempting to create shades of grey only produces scattered energy that is fueled by doubt, questions and other mental strategies of avoidance and postponement.  Another name for this is suffering.  

Turning your focus away from experience and towards that you be or that you are naturally opens up the realization of the experiencer and the absolute certainty and direct knowledge of unity.  The more you realize yourself the harder it is to continue the perception of separation until eventually it becomes impossible.  

Increasing your coherency allows you to create much more effortlessly and to feel and be more rested in yourself even without the impulse to have to create or serve.  This rest is not in the appearance of you, but your actual self.  In fact the appearance can be turbulent yet you remain undisturbed.  Wars can be happening, mass chaos, things going on in your body, tensions, conflicts and disagreements can be occurring and you don’t get hooked into any of it.  Its doesn’t mean you don’t take action where you feel the impulse to take action, you simply don’t take any of it personal, because you know there isn’t a real separate person to take it personal.  You naturally exude confidence and freedom because that is your true nature.

This isn’t rocket science and its not that hard.  In fact this is the organic flow of evolution.  To evolve is to increase coherency, complexity and energy efficiency.  We feel pain and suffering when we fight this natural flow.  Coherency and harmony starts and ends with you, as you are one and all is you.

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

SOUL’S JOURNEY

SOUL’S JOURNEY

Outside the box

We are all on a soul’s journey.  Current incarnational destination, Planet Earth.  Your journey did not start when you were born into this body, nor will it end when you leave this body.  While you are in this body you learn to call yourself human and think of yourself as this body, but you are not.  This human experience is simply one stop along a infinite spiraling journey that your soul is embarking on to learn, teach, expand and make manifest its creative potential.  

Your life is not what you think it’s about.  Most people are absorbed in the content of the day to day life of what it means to be and think yourself as human.  Things like how to survive, pay bills, build family and relationships, connect with people, have good health, manifest dreams and desires, have fun and hopefully create cool stuff are the typical human scripts.  This lens of human focus is narrow and rarely takes into account anything beyond the surface appearance of what is occurring.  Well all of these aspects of the human experience provide learning, adventure, and add value to your soul’s journey, they often occur out of connection with the knowingness of your actual self.  There is nothing wrong or bad about this, its simply an incomplete knowingness or lack of awareness as what is really going on beyond the senses and the logical mind.  Due to this we think our life is about all the stuff and about our individual human selves when really it is about the recognition of our true nature as the source or creator of all the experiences.  Said another way life is not about the experiences, but instead about the recognition of the experiencer.  

The way I see it is that there is a master architect that organizes all of this experience that we call being human including the opportunities we have or don’t have.  We are largely unaware of this architect.  Sometimes we notice synchronicity or what we might call magic and that gives us a glimpse of the architect, but yet it remains a mystery as to what is really going on here as experiences continue to endlessly come our way.  Just as a person locked inside a room for their entire life would not know that anything outside of that room existed, being human is similar.  As humans we are unaware of the box that we are living inside of.  We don’t know that there is a box nor that there is something outside of that box, until we find the door and open it.   

BECOMING ENSPIRITED 

Return of life

The master architect is the soul.  You can think of your soul as less personal than you probably tend to do.  Your soul is more like a consciousness or a state of knowing rather than a being with some other form somewhere in a far away distance galaxy or dimension.  In fact your soul is here now informing your mind and body and organizing your life, whether you are aware of it or not.  It is the intelligence that knows.  It is the knower.  It is the actual you rather than the person human you that you think you are.  There is nowhere that your soul is not.

Part of having the human experience is about being unaware of the architect.  Even though to some aspect of consciousness the architect is blatantly obvious, to human consciousness it is not.  Yet we are now moving into a time of evolving beyond human.  Human is simply one stage of consciousness, one platform of learning, of which there are infinite platforms.  Humanness is not the be all end all.  It is not the top of the hierarchy.  Our consciousness and thus perceptibility is expanding to see what else is here that we have not been able to see before.  

Waking up means to become aware of the next level of consciousness that comes after human.  Rather than being asleep to yourself you start to recognize yourself.  Rather than experience being the thing that takes up the entire screen of your focus and attention, the shift is made to the experiencer, to the soul.  The focus is turned inward and then outward rather than simply outwardly focused.  This is the recognition of the soul’s journey.  Through this recognition you become enspirited, meaning you remember that you are spirit and not a body and that you have never been a body.  Life returns to you.  Memory returns.  You are no longer lost to yourself.  The aliveness of everything, even of the densest matter, is easily recognized.  What we call form, appearance or experience is simply vibrational packets of consciousness that organize themselves according to the information contained within.  This all becomes common sense, common knowledge, and common experience.  

The cracking open and breaking down of the perpetual mental fixations on thoughts (aka things) takes us out of solidity and into fluidity.  Through fluidity we can merge and go beyond the rules and structures that keep us locked inside of the human mind.  As we destabilize our sense of the self as merely human the world follows suit and destabilizes right with our awareness even if it looks the same to others within it.  As they recognize themselves the appearance of the world will change for them as well.  As we each individually and collectively recognize ourselves enspirited, as more than human and not as experience, but as the creator of experience the world re-stabilizes into something else entirely. 

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

LOVE

LOVE 

Perceived & perceiver

Love.  We are all trying to find love, get love, give love, be love.  As the New Year arises and people set their intentions it is clearly evident that every intention is simply a call, cry, or plea for love.  For love to be felt and lived.  For love to be seen, experienced, rested into and breathed moment to moment.  For the heart to be flung open, consuming all that is inside of it.  The hunger for lived love is palpable, more palpable than ever before on this planet.  

How do we fall so fully into love?  How do we let love consume us completely?  How do we vow and unshakably commit to remain in love no matter what?  Love is the natural state.  It is the truth.  It is pure, it is free and it is contentless.  Everything that appears is what we put on top of love.  Labels, definitions, stories, worldly desires, rules, ideas, constructs, people, relationships, etc are all made out of love, yet these things can cloud our vision if we lose sight of the substance from which they are made.  When we get caught in the appearance and forget the essence we feel disconnected from love.  When we feel disconnected it’s not that love has gone anywhere, its simply that we’ve shifted our focus from love to an assumed object or thing instead.  

To stay acutely focused on the nature of a perceived thing or object rather than to focus on the object itself is the gateway into seeing, knowing, remembering and resting into Love.  At times some of the appearances that arise inside of our human experience do not feel or seem to be made out of love.  They seem to be made out of some other substance because we wonder how something that hurts, looks ugly, smells bad or is clearly unkind could be made out Love.  There is however no other substance in the universe for anything to be made up out of so how could anything be other than this primordial essence that we call love.  

Rather than the thing/appearance itself not being love it is instead the observer, judger or subject that deems it so, meaning it is you that deems it so.  You as the decider of what you see decide what you see.  It is a worthwhile self-investigation to thoroughly assess what you include and what you un-include as love.  That which you view as made up of something other than love is where the jewels of healing wait for you.  It is in the seeing of what you keep outside, different or other than love that gives you the answer to the question of how to remain in love no matter what.  Acceptance of all, even that which we do not understand brings us deeper and deeper into love’s all encompassing embrace.   

EVER PRESENT LOVE 

Seeing what already is

When you’ve lost connection to the heart re-connecting can be instantaneous or it can be a long drawn out process.  It simply depends on how long you want to insist that a particular flavor or experience is something other than love.  Sometimes that flavor which we resist to include in love is our own self.  Perhaps its something about our body or the way we look, what value we feel we contribute or not, or a personality trait we have or don’t have.  Whatever it is, we view its presence or lack therefore, as an indicator of something that is not love.  

As you move deeper into acceptance, and in particular self-acceptance, you can’t not begin to see the perfected everything of allness.  All of your own and others idiosynchronicities, behaviors, thoughts and perspectives seem to matter less and less and the illuminated background of them comes more into view.  This is a purification process where the distilled compound that remains is the natural essence that was always there, but simply covered from view by you.  

See situations can stay the same, sensations can be as they are, thoughts can keep their limited view and yet you can come to see beyond them.  Rather than the incessant impulse to change them you can’t but help to fall in love with them just as they are.  The inner battle quiets down as the clarity of the power of love to recognize itself becomes evident.  When love wakes up to love, meaning when you realize your nature as love, when you see the truth, then nothing is left out and nothing needs or could be different than it is.  

Love is always here, always accessible, even in the darkest of places in our minds.  Its not a matter of creating love, generating love, or becoming more love because all of those things are actually impossible.  You couldn’t be more love than you are right now.  There couldn’t be more love in the world than there is now.  Creation is love itself.  We can’t put love into creation, we can only see that it is already there and end the delusion in our minds that it is not.  

Anytime we hope for something we push it away because we fail to see that it’s already here.  This goes for love.  Anytime we hope that we will feel more love or that the world will be a more loving place we push away that reality.  The only real “change” naturally takes place through the seeing of what already is here, not by attempting to make it different.  Difference occurs, change happens, through recognition of the essence of all being love, not through force or power over.  We must wake up to see love now in every situation, thought, feeling, sensation, image, idea, concept, word, person, dynamic and the entirety of creation.  It is through this recognition, this seeing of Self, that the natural harmonious interplay of all the dancing pieces and parts can be seen.  When one sees itself, remembers itself, then everything moves in the seamless, perfected, orchestrated magic and nothing operates separate from anything else.  

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

PEACE & HARMONY

PEACE & HARMONY 

Our inner & outer worlds

Peace and harmony, the condition that so many people say that they desire.  To be in a state of eternal peace, calm, balance and harmony within one’s self and with their seemingly external environment is the final destination so to speak for many.  People may experience inner peace, but their outer world may look chaotic and vis versa, they may see outer peace in their environment yet their inner world is turbulent.  How do these inner and outer worlds merge and are they even supposed too?

By in large we are a “collective of individuals” who are all at some level attempting to get their own needs and wants met, along with making a contribution to the collective in some way, i.e. making the world a better place through our presence and actions.  Within these motivations and intentions we may feel like there is not enough of something (meaning our needs might not be met) so we run around in survival mode inside of our minds strategizing how we can make it all work so that we can survive.  This perspective of scarcity is clearly not in congruence with inner peace.  When we are stuck inside this perspective of scarcity, even if we have a million dollars in the bank and can logically see that this is plenty of money, we will continue to feel fear that we might not have enough.  Here the disturbance lives inside of our own mind and we do not feel rested, calm or at peace even though the external world is abundant.  These same disturbances can live in our outer world too.  There may be something that appears to be a threat in our outer world, perhaps disrupting the environment and lives of others, while simultaneously we feel at complete peace and calm inside.  Our inner state is unperturbed and not matching that of the outer world.  

There is more often than not a congruence between our inner and outer worlds.  The reason for this being that most individuals take their cue from their environment and/or project their inner state onto external circumstances.  So if something appears to be bad in the outer world people will match that in their inner world and thus feel bad inside.  The opposite goes as well, if someone wakes up in the morning and feels amazing, energized and fully vibrant then they will tend to project that onto their outer environment despite what might actually be appearing.  This is how two people can look at the same thing and see it completely differently.  This is also why it sometimes appears that people live in different worlds from each other, because in some ways they actually are living in different realities.  

I personally believe that we are at a time in our evolution where this disparity will become increasingly and increasingly more evident.  Where based on people’s chosen perspectives they will create outer worlds together that match their inner frequencies.  It may even be that at some point that beings of slightly different frequencies may not be able to physically perceive each other anymore as the different frequencies band together creating more coherence within themselves as a collective of like frequency.  Like waves riding on top of or parallel to each other with less and less mixed frequencies and more distinctly coherent and unified frequencies coming together.  Literal parallel realities which have none or minimal interaction with each other as they offer completely different experiences.  Again speaking from my personal perspective I believe this is similar to what happens in what we have come to call the death process.  There is a different frequency in which the spirit of the body transitions into, which is why we can no longer see them, however they are very much still in existence just imperceptible to us from our current frequency.  Death simply being a transition into the new.  Some beings may pick another human body and reincarnate into a similar type of experience and others may have learned everything they came to learn/express and move into another frequency experience.  Either way I see us on Earth, while embodied, making this transition collectively, some will be repeating this cycle and staying at the current frequency to learn/express more at this vibratory level, while others are ready for the next vibratory level of beingness.   

COLLECTIVE TENDENCY TOWARDS DISHARMONY 

Coming into right relationship with what is

Our current frequency or collective has a tendency towards disharmony.  The prime reason for this being that we still perceive ourselves to be separate from our environment and from other people.  This sets up the conditions of needing to live for a “me”, take care of a “me” and support a “me”.  As long as the perspective of being an individual is primary we will also need to protect ourselves from perceived others including our perceived outer environment.  This will bread more war, both outer and inner, as we will always have to defend ourselves from the evil thing, which in truth is just an aspect of ourselves, but we cannot perceive this if we continue to insist on the perspective of separation.  So we will fight, protect, avoid and try to get rid of or stop certain things inside of the appearance because we fear the end of our personal, egocentric existence.  In truth your small limited person centric consciousness cannot stop life from occurring.  You can definitely attempt to hide your portion of the One that you are from life, avoid life, avoid certain people or experiences, however in the end its all included and at some point on your soul’s journey you will, you must, come face to face with everything you attempt to push away.  This is how you will come to know your unity, your oneness will all.  From the smallest microbe to the largest galaxy, you are one with it all.  

Due to the fact that we do not intimately and undoubtedly know ourselves as One we do not know harmony.  Harmony is an impossibility from the perception of separation.  You see harmony is health.  Health of our human body, health of our planet as the larger body, and even health of our universe as the One body.  Most of us don’t think in scales this big, but instead only see ourselves as human(s) and maybe our planet as being important.  However every action you take either physically or in consciousness has an impact on the entire universe.  

In our healthcare system we call harmony homeostasis, however we only look at it from a physiologically perspective.  If all of the chemical reports reveal the right ratios and numbers we think that is health.  Never mind the investigation of where harmony comes from in the first place.  To be in harmony is to be in right relationship with.  This means to see all as extension of you.  In this way you can come into right relationship with your cells, bacteria, viruses, cancers, and the myriad of other “afflictions” that can occur to this physical vehicle.  Things are only afflictions if you are not in harmony.  People fear because they do not see that they are the operator of this vehicle, that they can come into harmony with themselves and with everything else and thus see the effects of that that harmony play out through this human vehicle.  Instead they feel the need to fight the foreign invader and fail to see how they can come into harmony with what is and produce health.  When will we believe more in the power of peace and harmony than we do in the power of destruction, alienation, fighting and war?  

All that is required is a change in belief.  To see harmony as the power that it is.  To believe in its power.  To stop protecting ourselves from ourselves.  To see ourselves in and as all.  To see how coming into right relationship with what is is more powerful than resistance and fighting what is.  To do so, to choose so, creates an entirely different outer world.  This may seem too simple for some to believe.  They want it to be harder, more complex, but really what they want is to hold onto their belief that destruction and war is what heals and creates harmony.  They also want to continue to hold onto the belief that they are separate from their own body, from other humans, from plants, animals, insects, trees, dirt, bacteria, other worldly beings, other planets and the universe.  They prefer the story line that they are alone in the universe and that life is solely up to them.  

Life is not solely up to you and simultaneously you matter beyond infinity.  Come to understand that you are part of one much larger beingness of which you have never been separate, you’ve only believed your separateness.  Its just a belief, one that can be changed by you, through you.  In opening your own mind to the possibility that separation is simply an illusion, just a veil or mask through which you’ve been looking through, you will come to see that you could never be separate from anything ever.  What is possible is that you are connected in and as the source of all.  Human consciousness on this planet is like a cancer in the universe believing itself to be separate from the whole of the universe.  The universe is benevolent and is organized towards increasingly higher and higher orders of coherence, i.e. wholeness.  It is time for the cancer of our consciousness to heal, to come into its knowingness of itself and reunite with its universal family remembering the power of peace and harmony.  

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

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

Becoming

Becoming 

Making the shift into who you desire to be

VanityYou have all probably heard the phrase: think it, feel it, become it.  Its often used to reference a process of transformation in becoming something that what we desire to become.  We use our thoughts to think it, then our feeling bodies to feel the qualities we want to become, and through feeling it we become it.  When we want to become something anew there is often also a process of simultaneously undoing who we have previously thought ourselves to be as frequently who we desire to be now is in conflict with what we currently think we are.  

Most of us aren’t even really aware of who it is that we currently are and even beyond that. that who we are is a choice.  We don’t realize that we carry many underlying assumptions and hidden beliefs about ourselves that are based on our life experiences.  If fact most all of who we think we are has been based on our life experiences.  How frequently does it seem that our life experiences have just happened to us, particularly early on in our lives when a large portion of our identity is formed, but even continuing through into the present?  Therefore how much do we just assume that this is “just who I am” and not question it or think that we could ever be different?  This is one of the conundrum’s of having lived disempowered and not realizing that we have always been in the driver’s seat.  If we begin to see/accept that we have chosen every single one of our life experiences (this occurs through acceptance of what was/is) then we can begin to see how our identity has been chosen by us.  This is a breath of fresh air because that means we can also choose anew at any moment.

The assumptions we have about who we are also come with a lens of perception.  That lens of perception becomes the filter with which we then view ourselves through.  Meaning say that we have an assumption that we are weak, strong, cold, warm, unloving, loving, kind, unkind, likable or unlikeable, etc. then we experience ourselves as those qualities and we also view our world from that perception of ourselves.  This is quite literally how we “create our reality”.  Our reality is created by who it is that we think we are and that lens of perception than filters everything we see.  This is why if we want to change our reality (i.e. experience of life) we must actually just change ourselves, as reality follows our perception which comes from our sense of identity.  

Final Becoming 

Relinquishing our role identities 

Surreal portraitOne of the ways to bring more awareness to the self-discovery process of who it is you believe yourself to be is to take a look at your roles, and the responsibilities and activities that come along with them.  These are often indicators as to who it is we think that we are.  Perhaps you are a business man/woman, a scientist, doctor, community leader, a father/mother, daughter/son, wife/husband, an organizer or planner, an athlete, outdoorsy, indoorsy, a reader, an adventurist, etc.  Looking at your roles provides insight into who it is you identify yourself as being.

Again who it is you identify yourself as being is how you will experience yourself and the world.  Let’s say for example that you have the role of being a “wife” or an “athlete”.  Often when we take on a role, we identify as being that role.  You think that you are a wife or an athlete and therefore that role becomes part of your identity.  Every role always comes with some level of expectation of how we must show up within that role.  That expectation could be created by us or have been created by others.  Either way if we’ve agreed with ourselves that a particular expectation lives within a certain role, and if we don’t fulfill those expectations, then we take it as a personal deficit.  

The truth is that we are not our roles, nor the responsibilities or activities that come along with them, but because we are merged as the role then when we don’t meet those role’s responsibilities or perform the activities associated with the role we feel bad about ourselves.  The self that we feel bad about is not our true self.  The self we feel bad about is only the one with which we’ve come to identify ourselves as through becoming the role.  To relinquish being merged with our role’s identities doesn’t mean that we can’t/don’t still participate in the responsibilities and activities that come along these roles.  It simply means that we don’t identify ourselves as the role.  The falling away of being merged with any and all roles is what allows you to taste and know your true self, which is beyond any and all roles.  This is the final becoming.  

Simply put the process is this.  Fully accept yourself as you think you are right now.  Investigate your roles and decipher who it is that you’ve created yourself to be.  See how that has filtered your entire perception of life.  Recognize the power of think it, feel it, become it.  Who is it that you desire to be now?  Through full acceptance of who you’ve been there is no longer resistance or incongruence with who you are wanting to become.  Think and feel your current desire of who you want to be often.  Realize that the final becoming is the embrace of all the things you have thought that you are not.  This allows you to realize that you are all and ultimately that you are the chooser/becomer of whatever becomes and not the becoming itself.

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

Authentic Caring

Caring Disguised as Agenda 

How do we care without agenda?

man manipulated by cunning woman to make a proposalWhether we want to admit it or not most of us have an agenda to the things that we do and the ways we behave, particularly when it comes to other people.  Agenda can be tricky for us to see in ourselves.  Often it is disguised as caring, but when we dissect it out further we frequently find that our caring isn’t pure.  We discover that we really want something in return for the things we do or the ways that we behave, even if its simply to be talked to, treated or touched a certain way, or to have others love us or show up in a way that we are more comfortable with or desire to be around.  

Anytime we want anything in return for the way that we show up, the things we say or ways we behave, our caring is tainted with agenda.  Though wanting something in return may seem very normal or innocent to us, or even like we are entitled to it, it creates immense underlying and unnecessary suffering for us which we are often not really aware of.  It also creates a situation where we not truly being ourselves.  It pulls us out of our authentic self and we become some semblance of “ourselves” that we’ve learned to be and which we think gets us what we want from others.  Often these ways of being that we’ve learned are so engrained in us that we actually think we are them, when in truth they are just strategies and ways we’ve learned to navigate this world to feel internally safe and comfortable.

There is also often this inherent thing that happens when we care.  Its as though caring activates something inside of us that makes us want to control or manipulate the outcome or circumstances of our caring.  This can be seen in anything from a project you are working on, a business venture, the creation of a family, a book you’re writing, a relationship that you are in, etc.  As soon as we “care” there is this gripping that comes along with our caring.  We unconsciously hold our breath, tense up, and can’t stop thinking about how it will turn out, as if any of those actions will help our caring or the outcome.  This is where our initial excitement or care for something turns into manipulation, control and ultimately agenda.   

Authentic Caring 

Service vs. Slave

little girl bubbleBeing of service is true caring and that doesn’t arrive until you are completely without personal agendas.  This is how you can see/know exactly what will support life rather than trying to “figure it all out”.  Whenever there is a personal agenda you will find yourself feeling like a slave rather than feeling like you are being in service.  Service is simply being yourself completely and participating with life from the fullness of being yourself; sharing/expressing whatever excitement or thing naturally arises.  Service feels effortless and organic even though there is still work and activity involved.  Where being a slave is feeling like you have to do something, make something in particular happen, or showing up in ways that are not authentic to you.  Slavery feels effortful, disempowering and like something that you have to do or else you won’t be taken care of or things won’t work out for you or others.  

Rather than the focus being on what you care about, try shifting your focus onto simply being yourself.  For example say you are starting a project or a new relationship and you feel excitement being engaged within it.  The excitement is evident, but then the idea of the “future” comes in.  What will happen in the future?  What will be the future of this project or relationship?  We often get so ahead of where we are at that we lose contact with the present moment.  We begin to live in a future “idea” rather than where we are now.  Most people are living this way.  This makes us feel heavy, like things are effortful or hard, when really the effort or hardness is just our own manipulation or control of what is.  Things aren’t hard or heavy in and of themselves, its simply our relationship with what is that makes it seem so. We say to ourselves that our caring is motivating us, but really what is motivating us is a particular, hopeful outcome that we have for the project or relationship.  With this we begin to feel like a victim to our own desires and like we aren’t in control, which is why we attempt to control and manipulate everything.  Our focus is not on being ourselves, but instead on what we think we “care” about.  We’ve actually lost touch with caring because we’ve lost touch with ourselves.  

This is also where we drop out of being in service and into being a slave.  We are really being a slave to ourselves yet we think its to our circumstances and situations.  A slave to our own ideas, hopes, dreams and perceived needs to be comfortable and have the illusion of external safety,  security and love.  We give away being our true selves in exchange for our ideas and with this deep down we feel that we are out of touch with true caring.  We may become aloof or feel that its hard to connect with our heart.  We see that most of our “caring” is really an attempt to manage and control life.  We can even give the illusion that we are “on purpose” because we are doing all the right things yet we feel exhausted and unfulfilled.  We are only fooling ourselves. 

True caring is being connected to our hearts.  This is also how we are most authentically ourselves.  With that we no longer need to behave in ways that have underlying self-protective or self-assuring agendas because we know we (and all) are already taken care of and there is no thing we need to manipulate or control, even that which we seem to care about the most.  Trust arrives.  We can then be truly self-less (which is loving self) and truly without agenda (which is loving other) and experience true caring.  

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

Body-Mind-Spirit

Body-Mind-Spirit 

Where’s Spirit? 

Meditation - flower of lifeWe are all body-mind-spirit complexes.  Many of us are aware of the fact that we have a body and a mind.  Less of us are aware of the fact that we have a spirit.  Conceptually it may seem obvious to us that we have a spirit however experientially many of us may not be making direct contact or have direct knowing of our spirit.  In fact often times when we do make contact with our spirit we may experience a few moments of bliss and then our minds comes plunging in trying to make sense of it all or even deny, forget, or flatten the experience of spirit altogether.  

Why is it that even when we have been on a spiritual seeking path for many years that spirit remains an elusive mystery to us in our direct day to day experience?  Why do we continue to attempt to rationalize spirit and put it in some kind of box to make sense of it?  Our minds so badly want answers and want to feel safe, secure and like they know what is going on even when they don’t.  Because we have the tendency to heavily rely on and believe the thoughts that our minds create as the sole reality there seems to be no way around this.  The mind believes that if it can just figure spirit out then it will know what spirit is.  This would be equivalent to the body trying to sense the mind and through sensation know a thought.  A sensation however cannot know a thought, just like a thought cannot know spirit.  Meaning you can’t use your mind/thoughts to know spirit.  Your thoughts can think about spirit, this is called conceptual spirituality and where most spiritual seekers hang out, but a thought cannot directly experience and know spirit.  

Just like the mind can see what might be helpful for the body, which the body can’t necessarily see on its own, the spirit knows what is helpful for the mind (and body) more so than by their independent faculties alone.  Spirit is that next level of ourselves which many of us are waking up too.  Its that intelligence which moves us into alignment and greater coherence once we make direct contact with it.  As our awareness finds spirit, spirit is revealed to us and becomes active in our day to day lives.  What then does it take to bring greater awareness to the spirit aspect of ourselves rather than being so heavily dependent on the body-mind aspects of ourselves? 

Bringing spirit into greater awareness

Beliefs, worthiness and self-commitment

Man with conceptual spiritual body art

In order to bring spirit into greater awareness for your direct experience of it you must first investigate any stories and beliefs that you have about spirit which don’t support your capacity to perceive it.  Our beliefs are our filters.  They color everything we see and thus everything we will experience.  Even if we have thoughts about liking spirit or thinking spirit is real, our beliefs will trump those thoughts.  Many of us don’t even know what we believe because we haven’t ever really investigated ourselves to discover it.  Once we do find value in this self-investigative process we will begin to see ways in which our beliefs don’t support the direct perception of spirit.  If you don’t directly experience spirit at all times you can bet you have some beliefs that aren’t supporting your capacity to know spirit.

Another thing that often interferes with our direct experience of spirit is our sense of worth.  Many of us feel incredibly unworthy of spirit.  Substitute the word divine, God, or love for spirit and you may find some of these unworthy feelings arise.  If you feel unworthy of spirit you will be unable to perceive spirit, or anytime you begin to experience it, you will find some way to deflect or push away the experience.  Often people will go into their head to try and figure things out as a defense mechanism to prevent themselves from having to feel unworthy of spirit.  Allowing yourself to feel the unworthiness, rather than go into your head or flatten out your experience in some way, brings you closer to the experience of spirit.  

Lastly where you place your value and focus is of prime importance.  If you only conceptually value spirit and get some sense of personal identity or validation from being a “spiritual” person this will not lead to the direct experience of spirit.  You must create a hunger so intense inside of you to know spirit.  This is how you will begin to stably experience it at all times.  Until that is your sole value you will find yourself distracted and more focused in your body-mind reference point of self.  

Many will get tastes of spirit, but few will commit whole heartedly to a life where spirit is in awareness 100% of the time.  Without this commitment the value gets placed on other things and experiences which take precedence, and suffering continues as you don’t yet know yourself.  It takes a full-hearted commitment to want to know yourself completely.  When you do you activate the pure potential of life to emerge through you into a myriad of infinite expressions and into this play of forms we call creation.  

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