CHOOSING YOUR IDENTITY

CHOOSING YOUR IDENTITY 

Creating a new experience of life

It can often seem like we are not choosing who we are, but rather that we simply are who we are.  You might wonder what it even means to choose your identity.  To begin with your identity is made up.  It is composed of a slew of thoughts, feelings, beliefs and assumptions, many of which you might not even be aware of, which is why it seems that you are not choosing who you are.  However if you take just a little bit of time and come up with a handful of words or phrases that currently describe you, then you will start to get a clearer picture of how you see yourself.  This is important to do if you would like to see that your identity is in fact made up by you (consciously or not) and become more deliberate in the choosing of it for yourself.

Why is your identity so important anyways?  Your identity dictates what actions you will take or not take, what emotions you will have or not have, how much risk or safety you need, how you relate to other people and yourself, the information your body will receive or not receive, what you belief is possible or impossible, and how you view the world and all of its happenings.  I hope you can see that identity is a pretty big deal.  It influences your entire experience of life.  Good news is you are not stuck with the one you have!  Identity in indeed malleable, but you must first realize that it can be changed by you if you so desire.  

Just to be clear there is nothing wrong with any identity.  Choosing one identity over another identity is not better or worse, but rather only provides different experiences for you.  Ultimately you are not any of the identities that you conjure up.  You are that which is before all characteristics and qualities, but that is another conversation.  So make that list of qualities and characteristics that you currently feel like you possess.  What are the primary thoughts and emotions that you experience on a regular basis?  What beliefs do you have that inspire those thoughts and emotions?  How do you imagine other people see/view you?  What do you present to others or the world and how is that different than when you are by yourself?  Get as clear and concise of a picture of who you currently believe or know yourself to be.  Now ponder if there is any way in which you would like to experience something that you are currently experiencing differently.  Would you like to feel different, see yourself differently, relate to others differently, have different opportunities, feel different in your body, make more money, impact others more, etc.?  If the answer is yes then it all begins with a shift in identity.  We can’t experience anything differently until we first become different. 

A NEW YOU 

Bridging the non-real gap

Now that you have gotten clearer on who you currently are, you must also create what you would like your new identity to be.  If you came up with some ways in which you would like to experience life differently than you must ask yourself, “who would I need to be in order to have those experiences?”  What type of person would experience life in the ways that you want to experience it?  Write down whatever those characteristics, qualities, thoughts, and emotions are for someone who would experience what you desire to experience.  Then notice the gap between your current sense of self and the sense of self you need to have in order to experience life in these new ways.  That gap, which really isn’t a gap, but rather only a set of habits based on assumptions of who you are and who you aren’t, and a doing of yourself one way versus another way.  

To bridge the non-real gap we must do, feel and think ourselves like the version of ourselves that we now desire to experience.  We must break the habits of our previous self by laying down the habits of our next self.  This is where people often drop the ball because this takes work and effort.  It will take energy, determination and discipline in order to make the shift because your old way of doing yourself is effortless, routine and predicable.  It takes very little energy.  Building a new self is like a baby building its body.  It takes a ton of energy.  In a way you do become like a baby again.  You are learning and laying down patterns that you have not learned or laid down before.  There will be uncertainty or lack of clarity, a sense like you don’t know where you are going or how to get there.  That is all normal.  You don’t know yet because you haven’t traversed this terrain before.  If you already knew then it wouldn’t be a new version of you.

As always your desire is the guiding light.  The more clear you are in your desire of what you want to be now, the more clear the path will seem to you even if you don’t know what direction is up/down or right/left.  Turning the light up on your desire is also your source of energy.  Without desire we don’t feel much motivation to create or bring new things to light.  With desire we are lit up.  We are motivated, inspired, and take action in the direction of our new found dreams.  Along with creating new behaviors, habits, thoughts, feelings and emotions, there will be a letting go of the old ways of being.  It is like a sweet good-bye.  A good-bye that is done in gratitude for who you’ve been and everything you’ve created from this sense of you.  It’s kind of like selling a car you really love, but you know it’s time for an upgrade because the old one just can’t do all the things you need it to anymore.  You want to have new experiences so it’s time to upgrade, it’s time for a change.  

We are by our very nature creators.  We are the source of our creations.  How do you want to play with the toys in your sandbox today?  How do you want to experience life?  You are the source of it all.  Turn the light up on yourself, see who you are now and create who you need to be in order to experience life how you desire to now.  

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

FROM SPIRITUAL SEEKING TO SPIRITUAL BEING

FROM SPIRITUAL SEEKING TO  SPIRITUAL BEING

Misidentification with the objects of our awareness

Conceptually most all of us know that we are spiritual beings.  We somehow recognize that there is something more to us than flesh, bones and the thoughts we think.  We theoretically understand this, but have difficultly coming from being.  Rather we come from mental concepts and physical sensations, using those as proof of our existence, without really investigating the source of our concepts and sensations.  If we did do a little bit of investigation we would come to see that we are what is aware of the thoughts and the body and everything in between.  We are the being, the awareness, that notices those things, therefore we can’t be them.  It’s kind of like looking at a table and identifying yourself as it.  However you know that you aren’t the table, but rather that you are aware of the table.  The same is true for everything that you are aware of, it’s simply that most of us have misidentified ourselves as the objects of our awareness rather than see ourselves as the being that knows the objects.  

This misidentification with the objects of our awareness is the reason that we spiritually seek.  We seek because we feel that there is something missing.  That something which feels like it’s missing only feels that way because we have placed our focus and sense of self onto things that are not our self.  This leaves a feeling of a void, an emptiness of sorts, or a longing for something that we know exists, but that we just can’t seem to figure out how to get, realize or know it.  We somehow feel separate from and that feeling of separateness comes from thinking that we are an object of our awareness.  So we seek to find and feel whole, because we have misidentified ourselves as a part.  This seeking for wholeness or oneness is the core of the healing or spiritual journey.  

It is not bad or wrong to seek.  In fact the seeking impulse can provide us with the experiences we need in order to remember what we are and the skills, knowledge, and awareness to realize what is already here.  When we realize what is already here spiritual seeking shifts into spiritual being.  There is however a bit of a dog chasing its tail scenario that can happen on the spiritual path if you are not clear in your intentions.  What I mean is that if you don’t have genuine desire to know yourself, you can get lost in all of the glitter and sparkle of the spiritual journey.  You can fall into chasing more objects of physical and metaphysical pleasure, rather than keeping your eye on the ball.  You get lost in the game and take detours on the path that bring you back to where you started rather than in the direction of spiritual being.  Purifying your desire to know yourself is the brightest light you can shine on your path.   

SILENCE IS YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND 

Just Be 

Somewhere some great master said that ‘silence is the greatest teacher.”   I couldn’t agree more.  To our busy mind with all of its thoughts this seems like a strange impossibility.  How could you ever learn anything from silence, after all there is nothing there?  Don’t you need content or information in order to learn?  This is how we are conditioned yes, but this conditioning has also brought us to the state of being we are currently experiencing as life.  One where we are constantly searching for more content, more answers, more reasons, which we think will provide us with the clarity of being we desire, but all they ever do is send us down more and more rabbit holes and leave us feeling overwhelmed.  Yet we continue to function in this way hoping that somewhere we will find the light at the end of hole.  

The light we are seeking lives in the silence of our own minds.  Getting ourselves to be innerly silent can be a mighty task, which we why we must have such a strong desire to know ourselves in the first place.  If we don’t then we will simply continue to allow ourselves to be distracted in and by thoughts, feelings, sensations and any other content we can find to latch our awareness onto.  The mind really, really loves content.  It is, its jam.  It’s bread and butter.  It’s life force.  Without content the mind feel useless, and because we are merged with the mind and its content as who we are, then we personally feel useless.  Other experiences that arise in silence are boredom, frustration or irritation, loneliness, restlessness, purposeless, and others.  

I have found that there are stages to the “getting innerly silent process.”  When you are first learning how to get silent by sitting or lying down and just beginning to let go of some of the content, taking a few breaths, you start feeling some sense of relaxation.  This typically feels good to us.  If however you go a bit deeper into the letting go process, sitting or lying longer, you will find lots of areas where you don’t want to let go.  You may notice this as tension in areas of the body, sensations getting louder, mental tension, thinking and being lost in the thoughts, scattered, restlessness, or feeling emotions.  Once you move through that stage, I often find the next stage to be an insightful stage.  This is where you still aren’t completely focused on being yet, but you are less fixated with the objects of your awareness.  There is now more space for you to see things from a larger perspective.  You might get insights, intuitions or be able to see your patterns or habits more clearly.  Once you move through that, I find the next stage to be simply noticing that you are, that you be.  There may still be thoughts, feelings or sensations, but you are no longer focused on them.  You are only focused on that you be.  This is often peaceful, restful and the tendency is to want to stay here, to be absorbed in simply being.  Sometimes this stage will come with feelings of bliss, energy or an increased alertness or wakefulness.  None of those things are required, but they can be present.  

The longer you allow yourself to be present to “that you be” the more you come to know yourself and less identified you are with the objects of your awareness.  I have this to be the most direct path to self-realization.  Try it out.  It takes desire, commitment and some discipline, but the rewards are epic.  It’s the end of spiritual seeking and the beginning of spiritual being.  

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

SET YOUR LIFE DOWN

SET YOUR LIFE DOWN 

All is taken care of

Whether or not you are aware of it you are most likely holding life.  What I mean by that is that there is some level of managing, controlling or attempting to keep all the parts in place.  There is frequently a feeling like we can’t stop holding or set things down, or else we won’t be in control of all of the pieces.  We fear that if we aren’t in control then things will go wrong, badly or just simply feel uncertain, which we tend not to like.  The paradox is that if we do find a way to set the things of life down we feel more ease, yet getting to the point where we feel like we can is the tricky part.  Probably the even bigger paradox is that ultimately we don’t have control over all the pieces and parts that we hold onto so tightly yet we illogically hold onto them anyways.

The effects of not being able to set life down are many.  At a body level we feel tension in our head, jaw, muscles, chest and belly, our breathing is not as full as it could be, we feel fatigue, there can be difficulties with sleep and digestion.  Beyond that we may experience things like pain or other various bodily ailments that are the result of life force not being able to efficiently flow through and fuel our bodies.  On an emotional level we may feel anxiousness, irritation, frustration, impatience, annoyance, restlessness, and general vigilance.  At the mental levels we can have ruminating or repeating thoughts, feel unable to turn our thoughts off, be hyper-focused on what we think others are thinking of us, or constantly be trying to figure things out in our heads.  For most people all of the things I just described are their “normalized” state of being, meaning people throw all of those things into a basket called “stress” and assume that this is just the way life is.  They don’t see how they are creating this experience of life for themselves.

In order to even begin to entertain the idea, and beyond that the actuality of setting our life down, we must know one fundamental thing and that is that all is taken care of.  If we don’t know this then we will never set things down because we will always feel like we are somehow in charge of it all.  Knowing that all is taken care of requires a hefty dose of faith that something that is more aware or intelligent than our individual limited minds, is running the show of this cosmic dance of life.  We must move past our egocentric view of ourselves and our lives as being the center of everything and realize that they aren’t.  We are part of a much larger orchestration of things occurring, most of which we are completely unaware of.  Yet as obvious as this is, we tend to think we know what is going on, what should or shouldn’t be happening and how things should turn out or be.  This is the root of all of our stress.   

NOTHING CHANGES IS-NESS 

Being always is

Setting your life down takes faith and also courage.  Courage in knowing that you are important, valuable and an indispensable part of creation even when your individual life isn’t the center of it.  Though you don’t have awareness of the entire cosmic game, you are perfectly positioned to be playing whatever part that you are, and that requires a bit more faith.  When you trust and believe in yourself, in who you are just as you are, knowing that you could be nothing and no one else, you come into agreement with life.  You stop self and other judgment, you stop hating yourself and others, you stop disagreeing with or opposing what is.  Another way to say this is that you accept yourself and in doing so you realize you can’t be other than you are, so you whole heartedly accept the position you are currently playing in this game of life seeing that it could not be other than it is.  With this a whole new perspective or view of life emerges.  You see through different glasses.

This new set of glasses sees what is without trying to figure it out, make it different, manipulate it some how or change it.  You come to know and rest in being, rather than stuck inside of controlling, managing, fixing or doing as if there are separate objects doing onto other objects.  A shift in identity also starts to occur from the one that does all the stuff and thinks a whole bunch of thoughts, to the one that just is.  The being from which doing or activity arises.  This enables us to set life down as we move from “do”-er to “be”-er.  

When we recognize that we be or that we are, we can see movement or activity occurring, yet we know that we aren’t the activity itself, but rather the source of it.  Activity happens, emotions continue to occur, there are sensations and thoughts, but none of them affect or change the fact that you are, that you continue to be.  Another way to say this is that as you recognize yourself as being, you are unaffected by the things that are occurring.  You also don’t see yourself as a separate person/object from the stuff, but rather as the source of it.  The experience of this is that you feel stable, rested, and at ease regardless of how the parts and pieces of life are moving about.  You are no longer concerned with trying to control them, but rather recognize them as expressions of you.  

Nothing can change is-ness.  Being always is.  It is the source of all expressions.  The light behind the forms.  When you recognize that you are not the stuff of life, you can put the stuff down and rest back in yourself, into being.  Nothing could ever not be taken care of because all is included in being, all perfectly playing its part, in this infinite celestial soup of light.  Start by being courageous enough to know you are a valuable part and set the luggage that you carry around on your back down.  The luggage that is always trying to make sure that you are ok.  Have faith in being and come more and more into knowing yourself as that, that you are.  If you do you will become increasingly more sourceful and rested in your actual self, and your experience of life will match your newfound glasses.

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

ENTRAIN TO YOUR HIGHER SELF

ENTRAIN TO YOUR HIGHER SELF 

Your high self is here now

Entrainment is a process of two independent systems or frequencies coming into alignment or phase with one another.  We can see this in biology as our circadian rhythms (i.e. light/dark sleep cycles) come into alignment with the seasons or time changes.  We also see this in physical systems such as when two individual pendulum clocks that are sitting on the same surface become synchronized to each other in their movements.  Energy gets transferred between the two independent moving systems and eventually they get locked into phase or frequency together for the period of time that they are interacting.  

Our individual physiological, psychological and I’ll even say our spiritual frequencies or rhythms can respond and lock into phase with other frequencies or oscillating bodies.  This in fact how spinal entrainment works when you are laying on the table receiving Network Care.  One spinal segment or oscillator interacts with another spinal segment or oscillator and they entrain to each other, hence why we call the sessions entrainments.  Entrainment is happening all of the time though it’s mostly unconscious to us.  Individual cells in our body are entraining to rhythms or frequencies put out by master gland or organ systems.  If we are around one person a lot we will start mimicking some of their behaviors or even moving or sounding like them.  When we attend a retreat or healing program we will start entraining to the field that is created there with the intention that is set by those who are running the program.  This is why we might have access to different thoughts, emotions or spiritual frequencies that we don’t typically have access to when we are there.  

To me the process of entrainment clearly demonstrates that everything is vibrating/oscillating energy or frequency, and when we come into different environmental conditions, energies will vibrate or oscillate together.  In the process of entrainment, whatever energy or vibration is stronger or more coherent, that is the one that the two will come together and oscillate as.  If you have followed this so far then you could extrapolate that your higher self, which is that self that knows, understands, and sees from a much wider vantage point such as like the perspectives of an eagle to an ant, is also energy or frequency.  It’s simply vibrating at a different frequency than the one that your conscious mind is vibrating at right now.  Energy can never be created or destroyed which means that the frequency of your higher self is here now in existence.  Even if you don’t have conscious awareness of it, it is here among the frequencies of creation and is part of the cosmic environment.   

UTILIZING FOCUS 

Becoming in phase with your higher self

I often talk about focus and where we place it.  Our focus, meaning our awareness, will only notice what we choose to tune into.  For example if we are not at all interested in basketball we will probably never see a basketball game.  We know it exists, but we place no awareness or energy into noticing its existence.  If however you are incredibly interested in chocolate you will likely seek out chocolate wherever you go, meaning it will be inside of your experience a lot of the time.  Even though it seems like “spiritual” things are more elusive than say basketball or chocolate, using your focus or awareness works the same way.  If you have no interest in seeing angels you will likely never see one, however if you have an intense desire and love of angels you will more likely interact with them because your desire, focus and love brings them into your environment.  I see this the same as for your higher self.  

You might ask yourself how much energy, time or focus you give to your higher self?  Equally you may ask yourself how connected you feel to it?  You may even have to ask yourself if you believe in it.  If not that is totally ok, however you will likely need to shift that belief if you have desire to make contact with it, as our beliefs generate our experiences.  Imagine for a moment what it would be like to feel clear, confident, easeful, peaceful, rested, vital, aligned, fearless, abundant, blissful, wise, loving, compassionate, discerning and endlessly energized.  These are some of the frequencies that your higher self is constituted as.  What if connecting to these frequencies is the equivalent of entraining to your higher self?  What if as you use your focus to tune into these qualities of higher self you entrain or become more and more in phase with the frequency of your higher self?  It is after all just physics and biology at play in the realm beyond our ordinary visual sense awareness of what is.

Focus is one of those things that is not very natural for most.  Most of us can’t choose to one-pointedly focus on whatever we choose for as long we want.  We will get distracted nine hundred billion times by thoughts, feelings and sensations.  So if we want to use focus then we must train it just like we would train any other muscle.  In my humble opinion training your focus is probably the most worthwhile muscle to train because your ability to focus is your power.  Focus can activate every single super power that currently lays dormant in the infinite field of vast consciousness.  It is the attractive force of the universe.  It is what allows instant manifestation to occur.  Meditation is probably the best tool currently in existence to help you build your focus muscle.  

Entraining to the frequency of your higher self locks your current state of being into phase with your higher state of being, meaning your current state entrains to your higher state.  For as long as you maintain your focus on your higher self you will create the environmental conditions for entrainment to happen.  As soon as you lose focus, you fall out of the conditions required for entrainment and begin operating as a separate independent system again, entraining to your ordinary state of being and knowing.  Focus is the key, which is fueled by practice and your desire to live a more magical experience of existence.  

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

CLEAR YOUR SH*T OUT

CLEAR YOUR SH*T OUT 

Be a vessel for source

We all have shit.  Lots and lots of shit.  We are full of it.  Most are solely consumed in it and don’t even know it.  It is the source of our dissatisfaction, our disempowerment and our suffering.  So what is all of this shit and where does it come from?  It is all of the stories, beliefs, opinions, ideas, judgments, and everything we think we know about stuff and life.  Essentially it’s everything we make up about who we think we are, what life is and the rightness or wrongness of what’s happened or is currently happening to us or in the world.  The source of all of our shit is our own thoughts and beliefs about stuff and the societal conditioning and norms that we learn from others and take on as our own.  We are often extremely convicted in our shit.  It gives us a sense of personal individual identity.  To let go of it means that we have to admit defeat to the fact that we actually don’t know and accept that which often feels unacceptable to us.  For many this is a tall order and most would rather keep their experience of dissatisfaction, disempowerment and suffering than dismantle their personal ego.  

Outside of the obvious, and perhaps it’s all obvious, you may wonder why anyone would want to clear out their shit and give away everything they think they know about life.  Well besides knowing your power, feeling fulfilled and ending suffering for yourself, it is also the gateway to being a vessel for source and living joyfully in levity and service.  When we empty out all of the shit inside of us, our mind and body become a clear container for life to be as it and move through us in the most precise, gracious and graceful ways.  It is only from this state of emptiness of self that we can truly be of service to others and life without any personal agenda whatsoever.  It is a state of true allowance and a giving to, rather than attempting to get anything at all to happen or be any way other than it is.  To our minds this might feel or seem like lack of progress or forward momentum, but to all of our souls it’s a welcome home.  

All progress is to get to better or get to perfection, but when you accept that as the current state then all of the sudden there is no where to get.  You’ve instantly arrived where you have been trying to get.  Again most people’s minds will fight this tooth and nail because it means that whatever you’ve thought about something, some injustice you feel you’ve seen or experienced, something you’ve perceived as not right, must be forgiven and allowed to return to its natural state of wholeness within your mind.  Our minds experience this as failure and yet paradoxically we become more free and in connection with all of life when we stop fighting.  This is healing, and beyond that, this is healed.   

THE JOY OF BEING A VESSEL 

Surrendering self

There is tremendous joy in surrendering to what is and becoming an empty vessel of pure service.  To give your life over to that sourceful intelligence that created the entire universe, that put galaxies in place and planets into orbit, which sees and knows way beyond what the human mind does, relieves so much pressure on your system.  For some this might not seem all that exciting on initial thought.  To give away our agendas of all the things we think we want, that feel important to us, and simply be moved by the source of life itself can feel scary to the mind.  We may feel loss of control.  We might have thoughts that we will be purposeless if we don’t have a clear trajectory of what is next.  We often fear the quiet, the silence or non-activity because it seems to threaten our worth and sense of contribution, safety or survival.  Most people lack trust in the silence so they fill up the spaciousness of their mind with as many thoughts as possible about everything that has happened, is happening or might happen.  In this way we can’t hear in the silence, and feeling nothing is there, we busy ourselves as much as they can so that we don’t feel the uncomfortableness of the fertile spontaneous present arising of the mystery of silence.

Much to your surprise you might discover that on an appearance level your life doesn’t look that much different when you give away all the stuff inside of you that keeps you full of your own self.  You may live in the same place, have the same job, be engaged in the same relationships, yet even though things look the same on the outside, where you are coming from on the inside is completely different.  Coming from your current thoughts and beliefs about stuff versus coming from pure emptiness that remains when you give away all of that stuff, generates a completely different experience even it looks the same from the outside.  The level of presence, connection, ease, purity, depth of impact and non-attachment you feel is worlds different than what most people are experiencing inside of their minds in their day to day experience.  

There really is nothing greater that I’ve found than giving away the personal mind stuff and being open to whatever is present.  To be available in this way allows you to feel rested inside of every single moment.  There is no time or place where you need to leave this rest to go outside of yourself and meet something other than you.  All of you is included inside of the moment when you drop all of your ideas, thoughts and agendas about what’s happened or is happening.  Here you experience magic in action, because your mind doesn’t have it figured out yet, but somehow that which knows all moves through you.  What comes through is stuff you wouldn’t have even been able to figure out or make up.  You know, but don’t know how you know.  You do, but don’t really know what you are doing.  Yet eternal yumminess is all you ever experience no matter how things unfold and you realize your tiny little person mind could never take credit for it all.  This is mastery of the yourself to the point where you are willing to surrender yourself completely to all of you rather than just what you think you are.  This brings an indescribable peace to your experience because you no longer have any personal attachment to anything that happens, and paradoxically in giving yourself away you finally experience the freedom you’ve always innately longed for.

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

SELF-CENSORSHIP

SELF-CENSORSHIP 

Being dishonest

There is often controversy around censorship, particularly about information getting hidden or concealed in or by the media.  It is a popular topic of conversation as many people feel like they aren’t getting the full story or all of the information that is going on behind the scenes, or behind the appearance of things.  There are narratives that people want to be seen or heard more than other narratives.  Each person or group does their best to be the loudest or have the most attention placed on what they want to be seen or heard.  This often lends to debates around violations of free speech or free expression.  For some people this is a very heated debate.  Ultimately this censorship leads to feelings of mistrust and that no one is being honest about what is really going because the full story isn’t being shared.  

As we see this all being played out before us, sort of like watching a movie on a big screen, we are getting a peak into the inner workings of our own collective and personal psyche.  The way I see it is is that everything is projection.  That which we have the most inner charge around we will work out in our outer environment, and it will become our experience or what we call fact or reality.  The outer experience of censorship and the unfairness or violation around it, is a mere reflection of the massive amounts of self-censorship we do on a day to day basis.  Many are frustrated by how un-fully expressed they feel and simultaneously they are constantly censoring themselves.  Why do we self-censor?  There are a multitude of reasons.  We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, we don’t feel like who we are is valid or good enough to express, we don’t want to appear to come off as rude or insensitive, we think other people won’t accept us, like us or maybe will even leave us if we don’t censor ourselves.  

Another way to say self-censor would be to say that we aren’t being authentic or honest.  When we censor ourselves we become un-trustable.  People don’t know if we are being honest or not and this makes them not trust us.  How much do you trust someone who you know isn’t telling you the truth?  Probably not much, and rightfully so.  If we want to live authentically, and authentically relate with others, then we must be ourselves.  Now on the flip side of this, sometimes we might not really want to know the truth that someone is expressing to us, because it isn’t what we want to hear, see or know.  As a “recipient” of authenticity we must be willing to receive the information as it is.  When we don’t receive the information well, it breads more of an environment where censorship is the socially accepted way of engagement in our collective and personal relationships.   

BEING AUTHENTIC 

Facing your fears

Making the shift from inauthenticity to authenticity may feel tough.  It may bring up some of your biggest fears such as rejection, worthlessness, or being a bad person.  These fears run pretty deep through most all of us as human beings.  What it boils down to though is the type of experience you both want to have and create, which are the same thing.  Even though authenticity can feel super scary and threatening, being inauthentic feels miserable in other ways.  We usually feel disgruntled, frustrated, stuck, trapped, unaligned, disempowered, heavy, tired, irritated, annoyed and not at peace when we are choosing inauthenticity.  On a bigger level it can also feel like we aren’t living our purpose or engaging with life in the ways we desire too.  We each must personally evaluate the cost and decide if authenticity or inauthenticity makes more sense to us.  We may perceive that we get certain things like survival needs, love, attention, approval, validation, or respect if we engage inauthentically, or in ways we think other people want us too.  On the other hand being ourselves, having self-acceptance, feeling at peace and being aligned with our purpose may hold more weight.   

Now being authentic isn’t a permission slip to be mean or righteous, rather it’s only to be truthful.  If the receiver of your authentic expression can’t receive you, first know that it isn’t about you.  It’s about them not being able to accept what is being presented to them in the reflection of you.  Secondly you can consciously choose not to express an aspect of yourself in any situation or relationship that you find it relevant not to do so.  The key here is that you are deliberately choosing to withhold because you feel greater relevance in not expressing yourself.  When you are in the position of chooser there are no feelings of violation of self-expression, no frustration in not expressing yourself and you feel nothing is lost.  It can sometimes be a bit tricky to discern if you are avoiding authenticity or truly feeling it relevant not to express yourself.  The determining factor is often how much inner peace you have at the end of it all. 

There are overt ways that we self-censor that are often very obvious.  Examples would be not saying something we are feeling to someone, flat out lying to others, saying we will do things that we don’t want to do, shutting down completely and not speaking.  These things are obvious to just about anyone that is aware.  There are also subtle way that we self-censor that may not be as apparent.  Examples would be ways that we posture our body, being stiff or rigid, holding our breath, not making eye contact, smiling or nodding a lot, being agreeable, shyness, and not feeling.  In order to uncover these for yourself simply notice when you feel most yourself and contrast that with when you feel the most not yourself, and then pay attention to some of these subtleties.  

To live uncensored is simply to be yourself and to receive what life offers you.  It is to be trustable in self and of life.  It is to live aligned and feel inner peace.  Being authentic with others is being authentic with self.  

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

GOING WITH LIFE

GOING WITH LIFE 

Separation to liberation

We spend an awful lot of energy keeping ourselves separate from life, understandably so.  We are given a name, develop characteristics, preferences, likes, dislikes, roles, habits and patterns of thinking and behaving that create an identity of who we come to know ourselves as.  An identity that seems like a separate person who is distinct from other persons.  We have functional control over this physical body, we sense through it, and we assume that we are located inside of it.  We believe the information that our senses give us and what our thoughts tell us as fact.  We don’t recognize that we are what is aware of the sensations or thoughts, and not the sensations or thoughts themselves.  Said another way we become our experience rather than recognizing we are what is aware of our experience.  All of this reinforces our sense of separateness from awareness rather than one with it.  We feel powerless to something that seems other than us and find ourselves kind of at odds with life.  

When we feel at odds it’s like we are always working against something and there is a sense of hardness that comes with it.  It’s the feeling that there is you and then there is this other thing, object, or person, which you have to work with to do something to.  Like this other thing, object, or person is separate and you have to maintain that separateness.  If you decided to make a bold move one day and didn’t maintain that separateness, all of life would flow and you would recognize that you can pay attention to content (i.e. sensations & thoughts) or you can pay attention to the fact that you are aware while all the content comes and goes.  What is important here is that you would get that you aren’t what you experience, but rather you are what is aware of the experience.  You would feel freedom instantly rather than the bound-ness of maintaining separation, but this freedom of rejoining yourself feels chaotic, destabilizing and unknown to your current sense of being a separate person with the identity that you have created as yourself.

To go with life rather than feeling at odds, or like you have to go to work on it by attempting to do something to it, is to stop fighting anything.  It’s to end the thought that anything needs to be different.  It is the cessation of the idea that there is somewhere else to get to where you will feel amazing and where all of your prayers are answered.  There is no location that exists other than where you are.  The freedom you seek is contained inside this moment and every moment.  You will not ever arrive somewhere other because there is no other and there is no out there.  At some point we must stop running from thing to thing to thing hoping to find relief and answers.  There is nothing out there. 

ENDING NEEDS 

Arriving in the present

Part of maintaining separation is the illusion of needs.  When we believe ourselves to be a separate person we feel as though we have a lot of needs and that we somehow we have to work to get them met.  However as we merge back into ourselves, into non-separation, we realize that all needs are met because everything is gotten.  Meaning life has its own back.  It’s completely taken care of.  It’s fulfilled and all set.  When we are in contact with ourselves we know this, and when we are disconnected we don’t know it.  To be free of needing anything is to be truly free.  You lose all agenda that might have subtle underpinnings in your subconscious.  You can just be because there isn’t anything pulling you out of yourself to go and get or figure out.  Everything is also known even though paradoxically your mind knows nothing.

There are a few fundamental points to emphasize here in arriving where you are and the cessation of needs.  One is a foundational acceptance that absolutely nothing needs to change or be different than it is.  Along the same lines it would suffice to say that all is well just as it is.  Creating this as the container for your mind allows your mind to relax its incessant attempts to hook into thoughts in order to do or figure out something that it perceives to be other than itself.  There might still be thoughts, but you simply notice them rather than become them.  The next piece is giving yourself permission to not have to know and be in the space of the unknown, which is another term for the present moment.  When we arrive here to the present moment nothing is known and everything is revealed.  Our minds tend not to easily surrender themselves because the job of our mind is to maintain “known-ness”, identity and separation.  To give away what we think we know renders our mind useless and minds like to be used.  From the perspective of our mind “unknown” equals the experience of confusion.  This is one of our least favorite states of being, however learning to be good with confusion without attempting to get rid of it by making something certain again, is the gateway into now and to going with life.

To go with life is to know your freedom and experience it.  It’s to no longer be at odds with anything.  It’s to no longer perceive separation.  It’s to no longer control the happenings of life.  It’s to no longer insist that anything, including yourself, be any certain way other than what it is.  The experience of this is rested while awake.  The experience of this is peace.  It is not an outside job, it’s an inner one.  It’s not far fetched or out of reach, it’s all already here.  There is no distance to traverse, no progress that needs to be made, and there’s nothing more that you need to get or figure out first.  Available in this moment is liberation.  It requires nothing to be different than it is right now.  You don’t need to be more worthy than you already are.  You don’t need to love yourself more first.  Stop trying to get somewhere so that you can arrive and be where you are already.  You will not recognize wholeness and perfection somewhere out there at a future date if you don’t recognize it now.  Liberation is available, “achievable” and is the natural state.  It requires nothing to be done in order to “get” it.  The only sacrifice, if you want to call it that, is giving away your current state of everything you think you know.  What we think we know is actually confusion and what we perceive to be unknown and therefore confusing is truth and freedom.  

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

LETTING PEOPLE HAVE THIR EXPERIENCE

LETTING PEOPLE HAVE THEIR EXPERIENCE

Ending control

We tend to be really good at trying to control life.  One of our most favorite ways to do this is through attempting to control ourselves or others in effort to make things amiable and peaceful.  In part this tendency is born out not wanting to see, or be the elicitor, of suffering and distress in another person.  The other part is that it creates a sense of external safety and security for us when everyone is happy.  As an effect of this we learn to not fully express ourselves, make things ok that really aren’t ok, not say or do what is true for us, and walk on the eggshells of life trying not to create too much distress or suffering in the experience of those around us.  This helps us feel like a “nice or good” person and like we won’t be left, abandoned, cast out or hated by others.  It keeps us feeling like we belong and like we will have our basic human needs met for survival and connection because people will like us.  This however comes at tremendous cost.  Cost to our own energy system because it’s draining to not be ourselves, and this drain on our energy system effects our physical, emotional and mental health.  That equates to not being able to maximally utilize your body, mind and life to play and be of service.  There are also costs in terms of learning for self and others.  When we control ourselves or try to control another person’s experience, we delay or lose out on development steps or stages in our personal and soul evolution.  We also don’t get to be mirrors for others assisting them in their growth.  

There is no denying that feeling bad at any level of our being sucks.  Suffering and distress is not a walk in the park.  It makes sense that we want to avoid and move in any direction but towards it.  While I believe that we can learn and grow without suffering, it currently tends to be part of the experience of learning for most.  Many of us will choose our own suffering over seeing another person suffer.  We will mold ourselves any which way we need to in order to try to take away, or not be the seeming source of suffering from someone, particularly someone we love.  Even though this seems incredibly honorable and kind, it robs people from fully having their experience.  Our addiction to fixing, alleviating or avoiding suffering and distress does not allow people to have their experience, whatever that experience might be.  This doesn’t in any way mean that you don’t lend a helping hand or words of kindness to someone who needs it, but rather that you don’t try to control their experience of their experience.  When we can fully be with our experience, liberation ensues.  We don’t end suffering by trying to manipulate people’s experience of it, but rather by helping to usher them through it.  Assistance and support in the ways that feel authentic and true are always in alignment, but it is not your responsibility to fix how someone feels.  It is not your job to make people feel differently than they do.  Notice where your own uncomfortableness with other people’s uncomfortableness comes in and runs the show of your words, actions and the ways you do or don’t express yourself.  Recognize where you might feel threatened if someone doesn’t feel good around you.  These are the indicators that you are hijacked by your own emotions, and whatever your actions are in the moment are not from coming from alignment, but rather from your own uncomfortablenesses and sense of threat. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CARE ABOUT OTHERS? 

Moving beyond manipulation

This might all create some sense of confusion for you around what it means to care about others.  We are quite conditioned to believe that caring about others means that we help them feel a certain way about themselves or have certain experiences.  This assumes that we have some type of control over others, their free will in choosing their state of being and that somehow we know best.  It creates a power dynamic, which typically goes unseen, but can be felt as a subtle tension in the field of you and them.  It may also show up as a feeling of disempowerment, inferiority, distance or uncertainty that is is temporarily satiated externally by another, but isn’t sourced from your own knowing and therefore comes with subtle feelings of mistrust or instability.  

What if caring about others simply meant that you are without agenda in relationship with other.  To be a container of acceptance and love for whatever is present.  To not take anything as a personal insult or threat.  To not run or move away from anything and also not fix anything.  To not hold on or insist that anything stay, go or change out of your own desire for it be a certain way.  What if this is what it means to care rather than trying to make people happy and give them what you think they want so that they feel good and un-triggered, and you feel safe.  That, by the way, is a recipe for stagnation, lack of intimacy, and suffering if you ask me.  Again I am not suggesting that you not do or say things that are authentic acts of caring for you and that you desire to do, but rather that you stop protecting yourself and others in order to avoid unpleasantness.  What if transmutation of suffering occurs through allowing it rather than trying to get rid of it?  I get this is radical for most people and yet this is what healing (i.e. wholeness) is.  In order to come to know our wholeness we must include all, allow all and be with all, even the unpleasantries that we try to ignore, smash or manipulate out of existence.  

You could say that we live in a sea of manipulation of sorts.  Manipulating ourselves, others and buying into all of the manipulation of media, schools, healthcare system and such in order to feel as good as possible.  Not all manipulation is negative, but I do believe that it’s important to be intentional in its use.  Is it used to help one know that one is the source of all experiences?  That one is in charge of one’s own self?  If not you become reliant on external sources of manipulation to feel certain ways rather than moving through all of your life experiences that are there to guide you into greater self-knowing and self-sourcing.  

Letting people have their experience is caring about them even if that means that they will experience things that don’t feel good.  It’s ok to not feel good sometimes.  It’s ok for others to not feel good sometimes.  There is so much rapid learning that can occur when we stop trying to control life.  When we simply allow the truth of what is in our experience to be expressed we create liberation for everyone even if it doesn’t feel like it right away.  It’s ok to feel shaky, scared and frightened that you might lose something you love dearly if you be yourself and act authentically.  However you might also be surprised at how your fears don’t always live themselves out how you imagine they might.  The path takes courage and trust that all is well despite our experience of it.  

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

WHAT DO YOU SERVE?

WHAT DO YOU SERVE?

Living devoted

So much of our lives we live on automatic pilot.  We go through the motions of our days without much thought as to why we are doing what we are doing.  We simply do the things we think we need to do in order to make life happen.  By the end of our day we only hope that we got everything done just to wake up and do it all over again.  In this way we aren’t living intentionally, but rather only to survive.  While this is valid, it doesn’t do much for us in terms of feeling soulfully aligned, fulfilled and like we are completing the mission for our existence.  Instead we feel like we are on a treadmill that we can’t get off of because the stuff of life doesn’t stop happening.  Eventually we get tired, then exhausted, yet we continue to focus on the stuff of life rather than on why we even exist in the first place.

What we serve is what we focus our time, energy and attention on.  Most of us have aspirations to serve something great.  Examples of something great would be serving love, joy, freedom, truth, peace, or unity.  While many of us might have the aim to serve these things, what most of us end up of serving is our to do list, our emotional states, our frustrations, our limitations, our judgments, our preferences, and our pleasures or comforts.  We make these things primary in our life rather than what it is we say or think we desire to make primary or serve.  For example say we feel frustrated about something.  We tend to focus our energy on the state of being frustrated and what we are frustrated about, rather than on being or feeling peace, which is what we might ideally like to think that we serve.  Or say we have 30 things on our to do list for the day and feel overwhelmed.  We then keep our feelings of overwhelm in the forefront, rather than focusing on joy.  One more example is that we might lose ourselves inside of pleasurable sensations or comfort that may actually be limiting, rather than conjuring up the energy to focus on freedom.  

In order to live intentionally devoted to what it is you consciously want to serve requires that you give away your own personal life with all of your preferences and the ways you think/want life to be.  99%, or maybe even 100% of our frustrations have to do with life not looking, feeling or being the way we want it to look, feel or be.  However if it is no longer about us, but only about what we serve, it cuts out all the b.s. and confusion.  Life becomes very uncomplicated when it is no longer about all of your personal preferences and desires being met, but rather it’s about the reason why you exist, which for most people is lives along the lines of serving love, joy, freedom, truth, peace, or unity, and helping others know or experience this too. 

GIVING AWAY YOUR SELF

Moving beyond self-indulgence

In order to move beyond our constant self-indulgence in our own preferences, needs, wants, desires, emotional states and thoughts, something has to be even more important than us.  This isn’t to dismiss our own inherent value or worth, but rather to make it not so important.  There is a development move, stage or step so to speak, from making your self value important, to simply accepting it and understanding that it is.  See the paradox is that when we understand, know and accept our own inherent value or worth, all of our own “stuff” doesn’t really take up space inside of us anymore.  We don’t need to focus on ourselves.  This frees up our internal space to align with our mission, why we exist, and serving that which we desire to serve rather than our own little personal world stuff.  

Some people might call this ego death, but it really isn’t as dramatic as spiritual people tend to make it out to be.  It’s just a shift in focus.  That focus is from your personal life and all of its details and perceived demands being central, to making what you serve to be central.  It’s also easy to know your purpose, mission or what you really want to serve.  It’s not something that you do or even what you are doing now, but rather it’s what you want people to get by your existence.  It’s what you would want everyone in the world to know if you died tomorrow.  You can ask yourself the question, “If I died tomorrow what would I want every child, woman, man, animal, etc. to know, experience or feel?”  What imprint, information or feeling do you want every person that you interact with to get from you?  What quality or energetic vibration do you desire that everything in creation experiences?  What kind of world do you want to live in?  You must be what you want yourself and others to experience.  

In giving away yourself you might be a little cranky and put up a bit of fight.  You might feel sad or like a death of sorts, as the focus on your personal dreams perishes.  However you will open into something more magnificent that it will be easy to forget your crankiness.  Be clear though that what you open up into is not finally getting what you want, which is often what people think is the spiritual reward for surrendering the self.  Rather you open into the larger mission of which you are a part of and for which there is so much more support for, than whatever it is you are trying to do on your own, but again it’s not about you.  One more time be clear this is not a recipe for things happening how you prefer them to happen.  There will still be hard work and showing up, probably way more than you currently do.  It also doesn’t mean that your body changes, sensations go away, or that situations or people in your life change.  Those things might happen, but this isn’t about them happening.  It’s only about you aligning with why you exist and opening yourself to serve that.  While you still may not have what you want, living aligned and serving what you desire to serve is actually a 1000 times more rewarding than serving yourself, and a bit relieving because it’s finally not about you.  

There is a choice to make and it’s one that you must consciously choose, and continue to choose over and over again until you’ve got it.  That choice is what you serve.  This is what you focus on, what you tune your self to, what you put in the forefront over anything that appears in your experience.  That choice creates a developmental shift from what we might call a pseudo self-empowerment into the dissolution of self, and thus self-importance.  Said another way it’s simply growing up.  While it’s an important development step to become a self, it’s also important to realize that you’re not.

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

STOP DOING TO GET THINGS DONE

STOP DOING TO GET THINGS DONE 

Be finished with finishing

So often we do to get things done.  In fact most of our days are spent getting through one activity or task after another.  It seems as though the doing is ceaseless, except perhaps for a few moments at the end of our day or week.  Why do we live in the constant cycle of doing?  It as if we are all trying to get somewhere.  A place where we can rest, relax and be at ease.  We think that we might arrive there if we can just get done all of the stuff we feel like we have to do.  Such is the case that most of us are not enjoying much of our doing, but rather wanting to simply get it over with so we can move onto doing the next thing that we don’t enjoy.  All so that hopefully, at some point, we can get to an activity we like or simply just rest. 

In a culture where we value productivity more than enjoyment, connection or presence, and perceive non-activity as laziness, we are set up to live as doing machines.  The foundation for our dominant train of thought is how much or how many.  When we go to our jobs we don’t get praised or promoted for our non-productivity or for our presence, but rather for how much we get done.  We don’t get paid for how much we enjoy what we are doing, but rather only for the job done.  While the culture creates this container for us, it is still us that values productivity more than enjoyment of what we are doing, and we continue to insist that perhaps we will arrive somewhere better at some future time.  

As a result of this we are fairly disconnected from own impulses, urges to move and natural rhythms.  You might call this intuition, but really it’s just listening and following your inner rhythms rather than your conditioned response to things. We constantly feel like we need “know something out there” because we can’t hear our own inner knowing.  We seek for safety and certainty inside of situations or circumstances rather than within our own selves.   So like any good and reliable machine we produce.  We meet all of the outer expectations from bosses, friends and family members.  We live up to all the marks the best we can and do whatever we perceive we need to do in order to be ok.  With this we often ignore, repress, or deny our own rhythms of activity and non-activity.  We feel stressed, not necessarily because of the situation, but because of our own disregard for listening to what feels good to us.  We fear we won’t be taken care of, supported, or have all of our physical, emotional or social needs met if we don’t answer to the doing machine.  We reserve relaxation for the few moments in our life where we don’t perceive threat.  Then we call this being human.  I’m not sure about you, but I think being human can be better than this.   

DOING FROM ENJOYMENT 

Courageously choose joy

What would it take for you to do all you do through enjoyment, and never simply to get something done again?  How would you have to think or structure your life differently?  What if the purpose of activity is not to finish it, but rather to actively participate with the doing of it?  What if you did not allow yourself to do something unless you were in a state of enjoyment about the doing?  This is what it would be like to enjoy life rather than do life.  It’s pretty much guaranteed that the activity of life will never come to a halting stop, but what can is how we engage with activity and what we value in terms of productivity and presence.  There are no hard and fast rules here.  It’s all about creating your experience of life how you want to be rather than the way it currently seems to be set up.

Many live as if there isn’t enough time.  Like we can’t, or won’t be able to do all the things we need or want to in the time allotted.  What if you create a new story for yourself that there is enough time for everything.  Beyond that, what if rather than focusing on time altogether and what will or won’t be done inside of that time, you focus on enjoying whatever is occurring now.  What if you stop should-ing and hav-ing yourself, and dismantle all of your resistance to enjoyment.  Yes believe it or not most people resist enjoyment, but gladly accept suffering through things to get them done.  It’s not logical, but it is normalized.  

You might realize that you have some pretty hardcore beliefs in there that you are supposed to do stuff at whatever cost it is to your own enjoyment.  That to enjoy life is a luxury rather than a must.  But what if you made it must?  What if you realized that enjoyment is not luxury, but rather it’s the value or standard you firmly ground your feet in and make it more important than productivity and getting things done.  What if you don’t force yourself to do things that you don’t feel like doing, and what if you made it ok to rest and be, without guilt or fear, rather than always be engaged in activity?  See it’s really your choice even if you think it’s not.  

You might be wondering, won’t there be “consequences” for your actions, or more particularly for your non-actions?  There will most definitely be effects, however they may not be as negative as you conjure them up to be in your mind.  You might discover and fully embrace resting and enjoying, without judging it as lazy or making it mean something about your worth as a human being, which is something that not many people are successful at achieving (pun intended).  Also as you let go of the pressure you place on yourself to do many of things you do or think you should do, you may find that you want to do some of those things, and in that way they become desirable and enjoyable rather than tasks to get done.  This  is all to come to the knowing that your ok-ness, worth, validation, approval, permission to feel good about yourself, security and safety is not dependent on your actions or non-actions.  This frees you to do only from and through enjoyment.  To longer be manipulated by your own or other’s stories about what you must do.  Believe it or not, doing only from enjoyment takes tremendous courage, even though it’s the most natural way of living, which points to the fact that we live quite unnaturally.  Be courageous and do only from enjoyment.  

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