SERIOUSLY PLAYING

SERIOUSLY PLAYING 

End of trying to get things done

Most people desire to enjoy life and have fun, yet most people are not enjoying life or having fun.  Yes perhaps people occasionally permission themselves to play on the weekends or to take a vacation, but few people play all day long.  Rather people are quite serious and methodical in their day to day operations and routines.  Where did we learn this methodically serious attitude about life?  Even more importantly how are you operating inside certain boxes, containers and ideas that keep you from enjoying your life fully?

The human mind is funny.  It thinks it wants certain things and so it gets you to work seriously hard in order to get or achieve those things.  When I say things I am not only talking about material things, but including all relational and spiritual aspirations as well.  There is often a general undercurrent in our psyche that runs the program that we must get things done or that we need to get something or get somewhere so that we can be happy, relax and enjoy ourselves.  This mindset keeps us somewhat constricted, limited and inside of a box of what we think we want our lives to look like in order for us to be really joyful.  There is also often some fear that if we enjoy ourselves now before we get the thing or arrive at the place that we desire that we won’t get the thing or arrive where we think we want too.  So we postpone the joy until we achieve or arrive.  This is incredibly common and I would bet most of you do this several times in any given day.  

The place where we learned that seriousness goes along with getting things done is an interesting place indeed.  We tend to think the more serious we take something means the more we care about it, and therefore the higher likelihood that we will achieve the outcome of our desire.  It probably rarely, if ever, crosses your mind to ask yourself the question, how could I play harder in order to achieve the outcome that I desire.  This question contradicts everything we have ever learned about accomplishment and achievement.  

The first thing to really understand is that its not ever ever ever the outcome that brings us the joy, happiness, rest or the resolution we think it will bring us. Instead it is us that brings the joy to the outcome.  So why not have the joy now, bring the joy now to what it is you are engaged in and with rather than waiting on the outcome to come into fruition.  It can be a long wait.  Sometimes you will wait your entire life.  Would you want to wait your entire life in order to experience the joy and happiness that you desire now?  Many people do because they don’t see any other choice.  They don’t see that than can create, permission and generate what they desire to feel right here, right now regardless of what is here inside of their experience.   

WHY PLAY? 

You radiate & serve in play

Some people rather enjoy being serious, which is perfect.  If there is enjoyment in the seriousness than there is play even if it looks serious.  However what I see more often than not is that seriousness is part of people’s personas and who they think they need to be rather than what they naturally desire to be or are.  Let’s take the one who is on a healing path or a spiritual seeker for example.  Often people are very serious about their healing journey and their path to self-realization or enlightenment.  They take all the courses, go to all the workshops, do all the programs and journeys, and see all of their practitioners and healers, yet they continue to month after month, year after year, not enjoy themselves or their life.  They feel like the have to keep working hard and that they are never going to arrive fully healed or self-realized.  They keep trying to get somewhere and keep coming up short.  They see failure and feel like the path has no end in sight so they get more serious about it, thinking that will be the ticket.

You might wonder, why isn’t that the ticket?  I mean doesn’t that mean I care and am committed because I keep showing up.  To some degree yes it does show desire and care, but the attitude or disposition from where you come from inside your seeking is of prime importance.  It makes all the difference in the world.  If your attitude is one of trying to get it over or figure it out than you’ve already lost.  There is no where to get and so you won’t ever arrive.  You can’t “arrive” until you realize that there is no where to get.  Get that.  The journey is the destination.  There isn’t an actual destination different from it.  Even if you get what you want, accomplish or achieve your goals, become healed or self-realized, get the relationship or thing that you want, that doesn’t mean you have arrived at any destination.  It simply means your mind has a check box that it can check off, that’s it.  

Why play then?  Play brings with it lightness, levity, and joy.  When you play, even if there is work and effort, its fun.  You are not attached when you play.  You create and dismantle without so much as a thought.  There is no thinking of when the moment will be over and done, instead you are present.  When you play you abundantly radiate and naturally overflow.  This abundant, radiating, overflowing yumminess is service.  You serve by being joyfully.  You can’t not help it.  It is a natural side effect.  You don’t have to figure out what to do, how to serve or what your purpose is because you are being your purpose.  

Since this is what most people actually desire you must ask yourself the question as to what you are waiting for and be willing to stop waiting.  Realize that it is not in the arriving or getting that you experience the joy of being.  You are the source of joyful being.  You are the chooser of your state of being.  You choose joy or not joy.  You therefore choose to serve through sharing your natural radiating self or to not serve.  You get to decide if you want to feel good now or if you want to postpone it until you get something you think you want or check a box off of your to do list.  Joy can sometimes feel like worlds away, but its not.  Its right here.  You simply need to choose it.  

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

ALIGNMENT IN SELF

ALIGNMENT IN SELF 

Generator of inner & outer worlds

There are many lenses to look through when it comes to your alignment.  Some people view alignment as an external phenomenon, meaning when things are lined up in either their body or life they feel innerly aligned.  Others view alignment as an internal compass, a place that they come from, their center from which everything external responds.  Whether you view your alignment as external or internal doesn’t truly matter as long as you recognize that either way you are the source of your alignment.  Self (you) generates both the inner and outer worlds that you experience and they are mere reflections of each other.  One visible in form through the senses and the other directly experienced or known without form or senses.  

To recognize yourself as the generator of your inner and outer worlds places you in the prime position of self-responsibility.  Responsibility to and for your own alignment.  You might wonder what is self and how do I align to it?  Self is you.  It is simply the knowing and direct experience that you exists.  That you are.  That you be.  It is so obvious and yet so overlooked.  That you be, is that you are, is that you exists, is what you are.  That you are is what you are.  This knowing is pivotal because everything arises out of it.  All experience is generated from the source of being.  From impulse or desire to know itself beingness shapes itself and this is what we call form.  The impulse or desire is important.  You could call that desire or impulse, that with which you align with in order to share a unique expression or flavor of being that you’ve taken on the responsibility to express.  

The next question you may have is how to know what that desire or impulse is, which is unique for you.  Said another way what unique flavor did you agree, volunteer and eagerly want to share with the rest of creation?  People often struggle over this, thinking that it has something to do with what they do.  They try to find their purpose rather than be their purpose.  They put their purpose “out there” rather than recognizing that they are their purpose.  I’m here to tell you that your purpose, your desire for being here now, has absolutely nothing to do with what you do.  The doing is simply an emanation of the being and of the desire to share an aspect of the creator through your being.   

DISCOVERING THE IMPULSE 

Being yourself

Discovering the desire or impulse that created your current configuration, location and experience is way easier than you think.  The easiest way to discover it is to feel what lights you up the most.  You can explore this by reflecting on a peak experience that you may have had, or simply just noticing what you enjoy feeling the most.  It may also help to see what you enjoy seeing others experience.  This exploration gives you the knowingness of what you are here to express and also help others experience through your being.  

When we try to do our purpose, no matter how well intentioned we are, we are not in our alignment.  Doing, that is disconnected from the flavor of beingness that we are, is just hard work.  While we might be accomplishing stuff it is never truly fulfilling.  It is more fulfilling to do nothing and be ourselves, than it is to accomplish and create a bunch of stuff while being outside of our alignment.  When you prioritize your alignment with the desire that created you than you can’t help not create that world.  The world of your alignment is what is.  Regardless of what you do or don’t do, that world gets generated through and by you being what you are.  This is not to say that you won’t also create cool stuff, but its really only truly epic and serving to all if it comes from you being you.

It only seems complex to be aligned with you because people have made it complex with all their thinking, reasoning, and analyzing.  When you instead just allow the feeling state of what you desire most to overtake your entire existence (i.e. become you) you realize just how easy it really is.  Then the only “demons” (also known as stories and attachments) you face are the ones inside your own thinking mind that tell you that you should feel or be different than you are.  The work is for you to turn everything you experience into the flavor of your unique expression of the creator that you be.  

Sometimes we are pretty insistence that something we experience is outside of our own alignment.  This can be tricky as we are constantly generating experience from our alignment.  However due to our insistence that the experience we are having is outside of our alignment we forget our alignment.  When this happens we feel victim to circumstance and become what we’ve been conditioned to think about the thing or experience rather than be what we are.  We thus fall out of service, out of alignment and into trying to get through it, which comes with survival, scarcity, and wrongness mode.  When we be our alignment rather than what we’ve been told to believe about something than we only know abundance, we only know ourselves.  There is nothing that feels safer, more perfect and more right than that.  In this way nothing pulls you out of your self and your beliefs and stories lose their grip on you.  Again none of this hard.  Its does take inner reflection and awareness of self and patterns.  It does take self-investigation, self-responsibility and self-commitment to be who you are no matter what appears to your senses.  It takes creating new habits and it takes some time in this relative world in order live fully as you are.  But none of this is impossible and the path leads to only more and more life being itself, knowing itself and serving all of creation.  

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

LIFE IS NOT ABOUT YOU

LIFE IS NOT ABOUT YOU

Serving others, serving life

One of the most sure fire ways to have a disappointing, unfulfilling and neutral/boring life experience is to make your life about you.  As soon as we develop awareness of self we begin to claim me, me, me.  It is all about our needs, wants and preferences and we have little awareness of others.  We see this in young children.  As part of our developmental journey we must learn to recognize and include others and see that life is not about getting what we want, however many people have been stunted along this developmental progression.  Many people, actually I’d venture to say most people, have as the focus of their life getting everything they want.  While not all have emotional outbursts about not getting what they want, the general aim of their life is about achieving their desires for themselves even if its masked underneath the appearance of serving others.  

As a caveat I will say that as adults it is fundamental that you have all your basic security, health and well-being needs met.  This is a baseline must.  Without this baseline stability in yourself of knowing your capacity to be well and take care or yourself, your survival mechanism will take precedence and your life will be about keeping this physical vehicle alive and well.  This baseline is likely a lot less extensive then you may initially think.  We really need very little in order to have all of our basic needs met.  Making sure this is in check for you is not making your life about you, but rather ensuring that you have the physical ability to make life not about you.  

One of the most important self-inquiry explorations you can do for yourself is to see where you are attempting to get something from others.  Whether its love, affection, attention, money, security, safety, approval, kindness, words of affirmation, someone “getting” you, being there for you or meeting you, its all about you.  Also notice where you might be giving to others in order to get these things.  That can be a sneaky way where it looks like we are serving, but really we are wanting to make sure we are safe, seen and supported.  Seeing these areas in yourself is the fertile ground for where you need to go to work on yourself.  As long as you are attempting to get anything from anyone you cannot be of service to them because you have agenda.  Even if your agenda feels innocent, justified or something you need because you are “human”, it is still agenda and distorts the purity of what is to be of true service, which is giving to life rather than taking from it.   

DEDICATING YOUR LIFE TO SERVING OTHERS 

Generating flow & energy

You may ask why you would want to dedicate your life to serving others and giving to life.  At some point, in this lifetime or one of your next ones, you will realize that there is nothing to gain in the getting.  It is a dead end.  The energy gets absorbed by you and stops.  There is a near constant replenishment that you must always be focused on in order to sustain you.  While there are temporary highs there is no sustainability in your presence, your energy or your state of being.  This is what its like for your life to be about you.  

In contrast when we give to life, when we serve life and others, we generate flow and energy.  Energy exchange is the name of the game of life.  You cannot develop past a certain point until you get this fundamental working of the universe.  Giving is receiving and receiving is giving, but not until you stop trying to get through either your giving or receiving.  What I find that most people truly desire is to simply be themselves.  When we are being just as we are without agenda, we radiate, we give naturally.  Sometimes people have the perception that to serve or give to life or others is exhausting and depleting.  That they have to go outside themselves to give “over there” endlessly.  This is not the case.  If you are depleting yourself in your giving you are out of balance, which indicates that there is still some agenda in your giving.  When your giving is pure it should be energizing for you.  

The reward if you will, of dedicating your life to serving, is the constant influx and flow of energy.  It’s not that serving others makes you a better person or that it is the right thing to do.  Please don’t “do it” for that reason.  Instead it is a way of honoring, energizing, including, evolving and giving to all of life.  Only choose service to others if you really want to and if it resonates for you.  Going back to our early development again, when we are just developing self-awareness our world is small with just ourselves and our few primary caretakers.  However the world is much larger than our nuclear family and the way to include more of it inside of our own developmental process is by serving others.  

Serving others stretches the boxes and containers of our zone of impact and increases the power that we have to create in and through love.  It opens our hearts into more as we begin to see beyond ourselves and our individual needs, wants and preferences.  We can let go of not getting what we want and instead focus on giving what we want.  We start to see one family rather than multiple, separate, individual families.  Other begins to seem more and more like self.  All of these realizations are aspects that wake you up more and more to the true unified nature.  

I invite you to start each and every day this week with the simple questions of asking yourself, who is it that I want to be today?  How do I want to show up?  How do I want to serve?  How do I want to give to others and life?  You don’t have to have the answers, just ask the questions and let it be revealed to you.  Allow the intention to guide your each and every thought and action.  

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

LOVING WORKS, DOING DOESN’T

LOVING WORKS, DOING DOESN’T 

No moment is better than another

We are all over conditioned to do.  Something must be done, we must accomplish and finish, get it done, check it off, do, do, do.  If we aren’t doing we tend to feel purposeless.  Doing provides the meaning for our existence.  Each day we wake up and think about what we must do that day.  Our day revolves around our doing.  We do our morning workout, yoga or mediation, we eat our breakfast, we work, we run errands, we make dinner, we do our hobbies and then we “relax”.  So often we are trying to get to this place where we can just relax, but we have to finish all of our doing first.  This is the pretty typical day to day human existence, thinking there is somewhere to go, something to get and some place to arrive.

Doing is so close to us that we often don’t see that we are in a state of constant doing.  We might not even think to think that there is another way of living other than doing.  Pause for a moment and ask yourself what would happen if you stopped putting any focus at all on doing, accomplishing or getting things finished or done.  The most common answer is that nothing would get done.  However do you know this to be fact?  Have you ever stopped focusing on getting something done while engaged in doing and noticed what happens?  The experience tends to be what people call a flow state, which is one of the most desired states for many.  

Why do we get so trapped in doing?  The primary reason that I’ve discovered is that people tend to perceive that one moment or experience is better than another moment or experience.  It is easy to fall into flow and joy while hanging out with friends, being on vacation, playing your favorite sport or eating a decadent meal, but less easy to fall into flow while exercising, working or running errands.  These are aspects of experience that many try to get over and done.  When you stop trying to get an experience over than there is nothing left but to be in the experience that you are in.  

The judgment, preference or bias for one thing or experience over another thing or experience puts us into doing mode as we attempt to get where we more desire to be, which is frequently other than where we are.  Doing mode takes us out of presence and is mechanical in nature.  Mechanical because it is work that is disconnected from aliveness.  It takes effort and is hard.  Its focus is only on something physically shifting or changing and does everything from a physical perspective to shift a physical thing.  It gives the appearance of getting somewhere or something happening when there is no where to get and nothing to happen.  If you were to instantly realize that you can never get somewhere other than where you are and nothing can happen other than what is, you would see how preposterous all of the doing really is.   

FOCUS ON LOVING 

Work through giving & receiving

What if rather than focusing on doing, getting it done or accomplishing something, you instead focused on loving?  What if you stopped all the incessant brain activity and brought your awareness into your heart and just left it there?  How different would your life be?  How different would you feel?  How much more would you overflow with radiance and serve?  From my experience doing doesn’t really work.  Its tiring, its hard and oddly at the end of the day I don’t feel like I did anything except make myself really tired.  Maybe actions occurred that gave the appearance that stuff happened, but nothing really changed.  The only thing that occurred was movement from place to place to place or moment to moment to moment, and while movement happened there was nothing there doing the movement, no real conscious one home inside.  This is quite honestly the state of most of humanity.  It is not bad, it just asleep, disconnected, and not aware.  

If we are to live more awake then we must realize that we are in this perpetual doing mode and wake ourselves up out of it.  This requires being more attentive to self and to your patterns of doing.  Learning to refocus your focus from the linear projected course we all believe that we are on into the present moment heart.  The heart equally gives and receives.  It is through receiving that it gives and through giving that it receives.  This is how doing or work gets done.  Work by and through radiation and invitation.  Actions still occur when you are loving, it’s simply that you are not focused on the actions themselves or trying to make anything different.  Instead your focus is on loving and that is it.  Change effortlessly and instantly occurs.  This is because that natural state of love is recognized and seen by you and through you.  

The change that occurs through loving is an opening into more.  It is through opening into more that our perspectives widen.  How we see changes what we see, not because the actual object, person or thing changes, but because we see it differently.  This is how you begin to really get that trying to shift or change an object by physical means from a physical perspective is really hard and actually maybe even impossible.  Instead loving melts, molds, and reshapes everything into its original forgotten nature. 

Doing is an elementary step in the evolution of remembering what we are.  You realize at some point along the journey that the doing mode is optional.  The more you bring into focus loving and drop into your heart the more you increase your awareness of yourself and your energy becomes more coherent.  Magic occurs, and its not even really magic, its just the way it is when you live loving rather than doing, but it seems like magic to the ordinary mind.  As always please don’t just take my word for it.  Try it out.  Experiment.  Try only focusing on loving all day long no matter what actions you are engaged in or what experiences present themselves.  Stop trying to get anything done and just love and see how you experience life.  

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

YOUR BODY IS NOT SEPARATE FROM YOU

YOUR BODY IS NOT SEPARATE FROM YOU 

The catalyst of bodily symptoms

Most people don’t like it when their body behaves in ways that seem dysfunctional.  People’s relationship to novel or chronic sensations, pains, or symptoms that don’t make sense often throw them into a state of alarm, panic and distress.  The struggle to attempt to change the expression through figuring out and controlling one’s self or environment can become life consuming.  Often the journey can feel exhausting and like it isn’t achieving the desired outcome.  

If you see from the perspective that this entire life experience is about learning, then including the experiences that you have in relationship with your body is no different.  Oftentimes however rather  than viewing from the perspective that life is about learning we attempt to find some solidity or permanence inside of our experience, particularly when it comes to our physical body.  Since most people identity as their body rather than the presence that makes their body come alive many feel intimately threatened by certain bodily sensations or symptoms.  That threat can come in the form of not being able to do things we feel we want to do, loss of certain functions that seem vital to our existence and a general hopeless or powerless perspective towards the body and its expressions.  

First I want to offer the perspective that you are not your body.  Your body is an instrument of you.  It is what you utilize inside of this human experience, but it is not you.  The body also does not function independent of you.  Just like a piano does not play without the pianist, your body does not function without you playing it.  Without you your body does not make a sound, a beep, or a single move.  This is important to fully understand.  See when things go “awry’ in our body we tend to view the body as separate from us and while your body is not you it does nothing without you.  

When we view our body as acting independently from us we disown ourselves in the equation and thus any power we have.  This is why we feel powerless, helpless and try to figure it all out as if it is something other than us.  It is not that we are actually powerless or helpless to our body, but only that we have the perspective that we are somehow separate from our body.  When we see through and dissolve the story of separation we no longer perceive disconnection or otherness.  There is no other thing inside of your body running the show.  It is only you inside your body running the show.  How could there be something or someone else inside of your body?  That one that is you is the one that is playing this instrument of your body.   

EMPOWERED YOU = HAPPY BODY 

You are the Creator

All learning is to help us realize more of ourselves, and the more realized we are of what we are, the more empowered we experience ourselves to be.  To say this another way the more we know ourselves, the more aware we are, and the more resourceful we are in navigating with the forms of life because we see more clearly how we are the creator of them.  The body is one of those forms of life, one in which we are seemingly more intimately connected too.  

In times when we perceive greater separation there is often the feeling that life and our body are against us.  Maybe we see our body’s symptoms, pains and expressions as punishment for something, or as unfair, or as wrong.  However our body is not against us as that would be absolutely impossible.  That would be like saying the piano is against the pianist.  How could that even be so?  Who would be inside the piano to be against anything.  The piano is inherently neutral and so is your body.  What chooses for or against is you.  

What I am pointing to here is a high level of empowerment and knowing yourself.  Not everyone is ready to take full responsibility for knowing themselves and therefore will keep trying to fix and manipulate the form.  The form will change in response to those manipulations, however it may or may not change your experience.  This is why people don’t arrive where they hope to arrive.  They are waiting on the form to inform them.  They are allowing the form to decide for them rather than deciding for themselves.  

The way I see it is that the body’s expressions are catalyst, meaning ways to help us wake up and realize ourselves.  They are learning tools.  They are not meant as punishment, or to harm us, and they are not wrong or unfair.  They are pointers, pointing us to pay attention to ourselves.  To see, choose, act, respond, think, and feel differently then we currently do.  To expand our range of life and possibility and move beyond our current perceptions of limitation.  To ultimately turn our awareness towards ourselves rather than the stuff of life.  To come to know ourselves.  This is how I see all of life.  There is nothing in this entire universe that isn’t moving towards greater self-recognition.  That is the impulse that drives all movement, all energy and all direction.  It drives your entire life even if you don’t yet see it.  

No forms are permanent.  We all know this despite our great efforts to try to make them so.  You are on an epic learning journey with the only destination being greater awareness of self.  The one stable, non-changing element is you.  Not your mind, thoughts, emotions, sensations or ideas about who you are, but your very essence.  Come to know that.  Realize that is all any of this is about.  Find safety in yourself, not in the ever changing world of forms.  

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

PAIN OF NOT EMBRACING PERFECTION

PAIN OF NOT EMBRACING  PERFECTION

Disagreeing with the universe

In the spiritual growth community we are all so busy working on ourselves.  Attempting to do it right by clearing our trauma, healing our wounds and purifying ourselves to ever more refined versions of ourselves.  While we are engaged in this journey towards our ultimate remembering and purest expression we often lose sight of the fact that we have never left the innate perfection that we are.  Though at times we seem to have disconnected or forgotten this, the truth remains that we could never not be what we are even if it has been temporarily placed out of our sight.  

To say or view from the perspective of imperfection creates all the suffering that we could ever imagine, and which we do imagine every single day.  Imperfection implies that the intelligence that organizes this universe, including your body, mind and every single little detail of creation, somewhere made a mistake.  This is the birthplace of the view of wrongness, error and separation.  For certain aspects of creation to be included and others not is an illusion that we perpetuate over and over again which lives inside the idea of imperfection.  

Imperfection is simply an idea, a view, a judgment, a perspective.  There is no actual truth to it.  It’s preference and bias.  What one person sees as perfection another sees as imperfect.  This occurs infinitely inside of this idea of imperfection.  See healing happens the moment that we remember that we are perfect and therefore so is everything else.  We may not like what shows up on the screen of life, but that doesn’t alter its perfection.  When we get this completely through and through the healing journey ceases because it’s no longer relevant.  What is true is remembered and evident is the nature of what is.  

This begs the question as to why we hold tight to the perspective of imperfection even when we “get” spiritually that we are perfect.  Why don’t we accept our total, complete and absolute perfection right now in this moment and every moment that will ever follow?  What exactly are we waiting for?  This is a really good question to ask yourself.  What stands in the way of you embracing every single aspect of yourself and this entire universe as innately perfect?  Do you still think some things are wrong?  If so what are those things, and what will it take shift your perspective of them?  Whatever it is that you don’t include will stay un-included until you directly and consciously include it.  How much longer do you want to wait?  How much more suffering do you want to endure?  When is it enough? Only you can determine and decide this for yourself.   

SELF & OTHER FORGIVENESS 

Courage and humility

If there is a tool that bridges this sometimes seemingly gaping gap between perfection and imperfection it is self and other forgiveness.  Forgiveness “corrects” the perspective, removes the hate, and ends the insistence on rightness and wrongness.  It softens the heart and drops the veil of separation that never was.  It ends the roles of victim and victor.  It doesn’t negate or say what happened did or didn’t happen, but it clears the slate.  No karmic charge, no battle to fight, no war to be won, nothing to prove or justify.  Inner & outer peace, harmony and resolution are the effects of forgiveness.  

Forgiveness requires courage.  Why?  Because to open our heart towards what feels hurtful often seems like the wrong direction to our minds.  Our minds want to protect us from all pain and that is why we build walls of separation inside of our experiences.  It takes bravery to move towards rather than away from these experiences.  To let down our walls and allow ourselves to feel instead of continuing to choose the path of self-protection.  This must be a very deliberate, conscious choosing on our part.  This will not just automatically happen because for most people the default mode is self-defense rather than self-love or other-love.  The seeming paradox is that love it the ultimate protector, and not the mind with its defenses which are wired to keep you separate from the rest of creation.  To love one’s self (or love other) is to bravely walk into the fire of our own mind and refuse to not allow light of our awareness to shine.  To see what we are trying to hold separate, and to feel how much more pain holding separate causes us rather then feeling the hurt that we are resisting.  To then choose to feel the pain so that the energy can move through our system and the charge can find its resolution.

Forgiveness requires humility.  Why?  Because we must end our insistence on rightness/wrongness in order to forgive.  To arrive at the place of “I don’t know better than that which organizes this entire universe” is incredibly humbling to the personality we identify ourselves as.  People avoid and deny this level of humility at all costs because they want to be right and feel justified in their rightness.  What happened happened.  What I am I am.  No right and no wrong.  End of story.  End of all stories.  The mind hates this.  Some people feel this is a permission slip for people to do or get away with “bad” things or to ignore changes that need to be made.  I am suggesting neither, but instead to see what is possible through the power of forgiveness.  To see what naturally and organically organizes itself into different configurations without force, effort, punishment, or shaming when the true essence of what is is seen, reflected, and given.  I dare you.  

The power of the heart is stronger, more real and more palpable then any limiting perspective, including that of imperfection.  Choosing forgiveness opens the door directly into the heart.  Heart leads, mind follows.  This is what most all hunger for even if they can’t fully articulate it in this way yet.  The only thing standing in the way is your insistence on the idea of imperfection.  That’s it.  Imperfection really is just a thought and not an actual thing.  I know this may be hard for your mind to believe, but its worth investigating and changing this belief for yourself.  Your joy and freedom from suffering awaits on the other side of it.  

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

LIVING INTENTIONALLY

LIVING INTENTIONALLY 

Beyond hopefulness

How often do you set an intention?  If you are like most people I’d imagine you do so relatively regularly particularly around New Years, birthdays or other significant events and time landmarks.  Setting intentions is a very common practice and even so most people do not live very intentionally.  There is a tremendous difference between setting intentions and living intentionally.  Typically when we set an intention it is for something that we want to show up in our physical reality.  Perhaps it’s setting the intention to purchase a house, find a relationship, read more books, eat healthy, exercise more, or start a new business.  If you are really ambitious you might intend things like world peace, the end of hunger or the awakening of humanity.  While there is nothing wrong with setting intentions, in fact I recommend that people do, it does not equate to living intentionally.  

See as humans we tend to be quite lazy.  Even if we “do a lot of stuff” we can still be incredibly lazy.  In fact I believe that some of the least lazy people might not do much at all.  Strange paradox right?  What I mean by lazy is that we tend to lack mental discipline, focus and the harnessing of our own will power.  We tend to just let life happen and hope for the best even if we keep ourselves busy with a lot of stuff.  Often all of that stuff is a distraction from living intentionally.  If we are more spiritually oriented, rather than just hope it all works out for the best we might say that we leave it all up to divine orchestration and intervention.  While that is not entirely inaccurate many people use it as a cop out to not show up or discipline themselves, and they fail to recognize that THEY ARE the divine orchestration and intervention.  The divine is not something other than them, it is them, and the use of their own personal will is their divine power.  

Being “hopeful” is pretty strong indicator that you are not aware of your divine power and you are expecting/waiting for something to save you or the other humans on this planet.  Its empty and lacks power (aka lacks you).  See true intentional living has less to do with what is happening in the manifest world and more to do with where you are coming from.  What I mean by that is knowing why you exist, what convictions you hold to be truth and allowing that to be the guiding light for all that you do.  Ask yourself are you just doing on automatic pilot and routine, or is each breath and action deliberate.  You might sense some heaviness or impossibility around making every action deliberate because it may feel like a lot, and you are right it is a lot, and it is what is required if you truly want to live in an awake and empowered physical manifest reality.  Living intentional means you take no action from a sleepy, unconscious, or automatic state.  Instead you are constantly attuning to where it is you are coming from.   

WHERE YOU ARE COMING FROM 

Why you exist

Do you know where you are coming from?  This is the first step.  Most people do not know what internally motivates them, what is actually important to them, what they are convicted in or why they even exist at all.  Where you are coming from and why you exist are synonymous.  You must decide this for yourself if you are to choose the path of intentional living.  No one will do this for you and it will not just magically reveal itself.  It must be a deliberate chosen knowing.  As tempting as it is to reduce ourselves to things, objects, roles, jobs, businesses, physical creations and the like, none of these things are why you exist.  Not to say that certain of these things won’t be ways that you choose to express the why of why you exist, none of them define the why.  We are so accustom to externalizing our power that it may be challenging for you to get what I am saying here, but its worth getting.

If you don’t know why you exist then you will follow the societal standards that have been laid out and think that a successful life means that you accomplished them all and an unsuccessful life means you didn’t.  This is akin to being a robot as it is void of any real life.  If you have enough awareness, at some point you realize that getting and doing (or not getting and doing) all the stuff, matters not at all.   Not at all.  All of the getting and doing will keep coming and going, its ceaseless, it will never stop.  If you arrive at a place where you think its all done, you will soon realize its not, it keeps going.  If you don’t ever realize that it is where you are coming that matters, then you will eventually find yourself stressed, exhausted, depleted, and waiting for a “vacation” or for physical life to end so you can have some peace.  Even death is not an escape.  

So how do decide why you exist? Well you just do.  We all know it for ourselves because it is who we are, its simply that most do not ever self-inquire.  People are so busy in the doing and thinking of life that their actual being is extremely neglected.  In fact most have never even made contact with their being, believe it or not.  One thing that often arises when we begin to self-inquire as to why we exist is that we often don’t feel worthy of what we are.  If for example we say we exist to “be love” and thus where we choose to come from is love, we may feel some shyness or inhibition in claiming this for ourselves.  We might also reject it by saying to ourselves that being love is not enough and fall back into our reliance on what we are doing rather than where we are coming from in order to feel a sense of worth.   

To live intentionally you must fully claim where you are coming from 100% of the time.  It must be in the forefront of everything that you think or do.  In this way you stop being lazy and filling your life with stuff that you think you’re supposed to be doing.  You become more aware, more actively participating even if you are not doing anything in particular.  You harness your power of will, which again is your divine power.  Life stops just happening.  You stop being hopeful.  You stop caring so much about what things look or feel like.  Your desire or need to control anything lessens and your vigilance to your own self, to your own state of where you are coming from increases.  You become the intention you set and therefore realize it matters not if it actually physically manifests.  The security and stability in your being dominates and you become unmovable and unshakable by any change of appearance.   

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

FEEL GOOD NO MATTER WHAT

FEEL GOOD NO MATTER WHAT 

Moving past the indirect approach

The “thing” that most all of us want is to feel good.  We might think that we want this thing or that thing, but that is only because we think that this or that thing will give us the state of feeling good.  This is an indirect approach.  The obvious truth is that its not the thing that brings us the good feelings, it is instead our choice to allow the thing to shift our feeling state.  Now even though the fact that we are in charge of our feeling state is relatively obvious I’m certain to get lots of objections about this as we often don’t like to take full responsibility for how we are feeling.  If we did people would move through their emotional rollercoaster ride with more ease and grace and less blame, shame, attack, repression and hatred of self or other.  With that feelings would be no big deal rather than the seeming crisis they seem to be for many.

I’m a believer that our natural state is that of feeling good.  Anything that does not feel good is added to our natural state of being.  What I mean by that is that if we do not feel good it is because we have somehow agreed to believe something that isn’t fully true.  We’ve added something on top of our natural good feeling self.  We all know truth.  This knowing is innate.  Truth always feels best, even if it sometimes stings or we don’t like it.  We would much rather have people be forthright than lie to us, to be in the know rather than left out of it.  The same is true for inner truths.  When we lie to ourselves by believing something to be true that isn’t the result is that we feel bad.  When we create a story whose tagline is about how horrible we are or how awful something is, we will always feel bad, because it simply isn’t true.  

So here come the objections.  What about murder, rape, sickness, pain, death, abuse, violation, and loss of anything in general, how is one supposed to feel good about that?  I am not suggesting that you must feel good about any of those things, however I will say that when people feel good about themselves and about life many of things either do not occur or if they do occur (like the inevitability of death) our experience of them is radically different.  For example we don’t go out and murder, rape or abuse someone when we feel good about ourselves.  Harming self or others is simply not on our radar when we feel good.  I would also venture to say (obviously hypothetically) that when we feel authentically rested in a state of feeling good, we would probably stop manifesting sickness and disease in our individual and collective body.  I would also say that when we feel good, loss seems much less traumatic.  Maybe a relationship ends or we loss our job or even lose a loved one, there is a normal grieving time, but there isn’t inner suffering about the loss.  Grief is simply the process of releasing of what was and does not have to come with suffering.  Suffering always comes when we feel that whatever happened was wrong or bad.   

WELCOME INNER CONTRADICTION 

Working through objections

Even though feeling good may feel contradictory at times I can absolutely guarantee you that you will move through whatever is occurring in your life with greater ease and grace if you do.  So I say welcome the contradiction in yourself and test out the theory.  How can you feel good about something that you have been perceiving as feeling bad?  Maybe your partner just gave you some news you didn’t like, or a sales call or job offer fell through, or you’ve had persistent painful sensation in your back for weeks, how can you take one of those things and shift your feeling state towards it?  This is your homework.  Test it out and see how it works.  

Now because we have so many objections to choosing to feel good (crazy I know, but true) here are some more things that arise.  Some of you might say well if I feel good about a “bad” situation then I allow or invite the situation and it keeps manifesting.  First off I would say the situation already is, so your choosing to feel good about it or to not feel good about it is not going to change that fact.  Secondly I would also say that when you feel good you naturally manifest things into your life that are in alignment therefore you do not have to worry about generating more of what you don’t want.  You only manifest what you don’t want when you feel bad.  

Others of you might say isn’t this spiritual bypassing?  It depends.  It’s spiritual bypassing if you don’t authentically choose feeling good.  What I mean is if you pretend to feel good, but you don’t actually feel good then you are a fraud and doing a half ass job.  You must do it completely otherwise you are bypassing because after all bypassing is simply being inauthentic, pretending to be or feel something you aren’t/don’t and staying conceptual rather than embodied in your knowing.  What I am suggesting is that you fully embody feeling good, don’t just think about it, let every cell in your body feel and know it.  I am also not suggesting that you repress emotions that are alive for you.  Believe it or not you can be in the midst of extreme discomfort, whether physically or psychologically, and still access feeling good.  It does not have to be an either/or, but rather a yes/and.  

Still some of you others might say if I don’t stay mad or angry how will people learn when they do something I don’t like.  Yes feelings of anger and frustration can be used to set boundaries, however we must simultaneously state to the other person what works for us and what doesn’t work for us.  I find that the anger and frustration we feel is typically not at the person, but instead at a behavior we don’t like or prefer (this is true for ourselves as well).  We tend to misdirect our anger onto the person rather than using the anger to say to ourselves “hey something isn’t working for me and I need to change it.”  I need to state my needs, wants or preferences and set guidelines for certain behaviors that are and aren’t acceptable for me.”  This is taking responsibility for what you feel which is a healthy use of emotions and their intended purpose.  Emotions are not meant to be felt over and over indefinitely.  They are meant to be felt and propel us into action that is in alignment with us.  

Holding onto feeling bad does not generate feeling good.  To feel good we have to change our feeling state.  The addiction to feeling bad is strong.  It’s a hell of a program, but we can decondition ourselves and rewrite a new one.  It really boils down to asking yourself what you really want and what serves.  Do you want to feel good or feel bad?  Is there benefit in remaining to feel bad?  Perhaps there is because there is something you need to change.  Make the required change as quickly as possible and then come back into alignment with your natural state of feeling good.  The bottom line is don’t let the situation decide for you either way.  You decide.  You choose.  It is 100% in your power to do so.  

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

SECURE DESTRUCTION YOU CAN TRUST

SECURE DESTRUCTION YOU  CAN TRUST

The healing shake up

Earlier this week I was sitting in my car while stopped at a traffic intersection.  There was a large cargo truck in front of me that had the words “secure destruction you can trust” written on it.  I found this to be a very interesting and slightly comical phrase.  As I further looked at the truck it became evident to me that this truck belonged to a document destruction company, which clearly is an appropriate tagline for such a business.  However I also thought what an appropriate slogan for the healing process!  Healing is indeed a process of secure destruction that must be navigated through trust.  

Many people in the general public don’t perceive the destructive or destabilizing aspect of healing.  In fact most look for “healing” because they want more stability or less perceived uncertainty.  Often what these people are really looking for is not healing, but instead something to return them to a previous state of being or functioning that has been disrupted by a set of conditions in their body or life.  Returning to a previous state of functioning is not healing, it is a temporary bandaid.  Its buys you time until you are ready to actually heal.  Healing is a deep remembering of self, of what you are beyond the conditioning, a return to unshakable and undeniable love.  What I have found is that when our life gets shook up in unfavorable ways (what we might term a crisis of sorts) this is prime fertile ground for healing.  In fact little to no healing happens without the shake up.  

You might wonder why do we need the shake up?  Why don’t we just heal without things, including our bodies or lives, needing to fall apart?  The reason is that most people are not motivated in comfort.  When we feel comfortably stable there often isn’t momentum to grow.  When we are in comfort we may not even recognize that there is more to explore, share and know about ourselves.  Also we may not be able to see some of our limiting patterns and beliefs that keep us trapped in boxes inside of our own minds without the shake up.  

So the shake up, the destabilization and destruction, serves.  It serves our remembrance of ourselves, which is our healing.   Its serves by breaking down that which no longer serves.  Even though we often don’t like it and would rather be anywhere else then inside of massive instability, it is required which is why it is present.   When it no longer serves it will no longer be necessary and therefore will not manifest itself, but until then it is part of the way we grow.  One of the main reasons that we suffer inside of the destruction phase of a healing process is because we don’t trust it.  We don’t trust the intelligent process of life and therefore attempt to fix it so that we can return to our previous sense of self and stability.  But what if you aren’t meant to go back to who you were before?  What if you are meant to instead recognize a new version of yourself entirely?  That is after all what healing, growth and evolution is all about.   

CONSCIOUSNESS & PHYSICAL HEALING 

Spirit-matter

Consciousness is a state of wakefulness or awareness.  The brighter your wakefulness or awareness is the more you recognize yourself.  This is healing.  It’s healing because to see, recognize, or remember ourselves aligns our individual perspective with the larger, more encompassing perspective that we are.  We are often looking through this tiny pinhole perspective and extrapolating it to be the ultimate truth of all that we are, when in actuality we are much, much, much more then what we see through our tiny little viewpoint.  The wider our lens becomes, the more inclusive it becomes, the more allowing we are of life and the less we attempt to control and manipulate it.  We learn to love and accept what is just as it is.  This means accepting what we don’t understand, what we don’t agree with, often what we don’t want and discovering that this is what heals us.

One might say that everything in the universe is consciousness.  That all forms that you see, feel and touch are simply awareness.  I find it interesting that there is still a deep non-recognition of this.  We attempt to manipulate forms while not paying any attention to that which is awake, alive and the essence of the form.  We are deeply unaware of ourselves.  Even when we do begin to recognize and metaphorically taste, touch and smell ourselves beyond the forms we tend to externalize or make our essence other.  In fact we put it into this fancy category that we call “spirituality”.  Spirituality or spirit is none other than you.  It is inescapable as you cannot be other than you.  Spirituality is not reserved for some people or some times or places.  It is all that there is.  You could never leave it.  You can only not recognize it.  

Consciousness is not separate from matter.  It is matter.  It is simply vibrating at a slower wavelength than say thoughts or emotions.  Other words for consciousness are awareness, intelligence or information.  Awareness is intelligent.  The more your individual awareness recognizes itself the more intelligent you become.  I don’t mean the kind of mental intelligence that most of us think about as intelligence, though that is included as well, but instead I’m talking about self-organizing, self-healing, self-knowing intelligence.  This is the intelligence that organizes every single detail and moment in the universe.  Call it universal intelligence if you prefer.  This universal intelligence is in total and complete charge.  This intelligence is you.  

This is why all healing is remembering.  A remembering that you are this intelligence.  The focus on consciousness knowing itself turns the brightness knob up.  More brightness means more resourcefulness, more knowing, more intelligent navigating, and better listening and attuning to self.  Seeing and hearing the lessons you are learning more clearly and feeling less like a passive victim of circumstances and conditions.  At first you become co-creator, an active participant in the unfolding of each lesson and moment, until ultimately separation ceases to be perceived and you recognize the one creator as your true identity.  

Forms (including your body) are simply mirrors, pictures, reflections of consciousness, of you.  When you realize this inseparable nature you stop seeking outside of you for a magical pill or answer.  You are the magical pill and answer.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t elements inside the seeming form mirage that will be supportive to you, as there most likely will be.  But do recognize their function as consciousness illuminators, permission slips or pathways that carve the way inside your own awareness to more deeply know itself and it’s inherent self-healing, self-organizing and self-knowing power.  

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

EXCRUCIATING RHYTHMS

EXCRUCIATING RHYTHMS 

Root of real happiness

We all have times when we want our lives to look, feel or be different than they are.  Where what is showing up is undesirable and not our preferred reality.  These sometimes excruciating moments and rhythms feel like they throw us under the bus.  Heaviness, ungrounded, sadness, anger and frustration is the state of being we experience.  Sometimes a sense of hopelessness or powerlessness ensues.  Our insight feels limited and we are low on appreciation because all we can see and feel is what we don’t want.  

When we find ourselves here often our number one agenda is to attempt to get out of these rhythms as quickly as possible.  We try to make the situation different, change it, get it over with, run from it, create something around it or somehow resolve it.  We hate the discomfort, difficulty and sense of doom we feel when we are here.  By in large we are pain avoiders and pleasure seekers.  When we feel pleasure (gain) we like our experience and when we feel pain (loss) we try to escape our experience.  The issue here is that we become chasers of all the feel good stuff and think that our happiness lives inside of these experiences.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  When we try to increase these pleasurable/preferable experiences and minimize the un-preferable ones there is a level of constant underlying management of life and we are never really present.  This mode of operation provides temporary/illusionary happiness that is circumstantial and always leave us disappointed and unfilled.  

The truth is that happiness lives inside of us not inside of our experiences.  This may be tricky for you to really get.  You may wonder how you could possibly experience joy while everything in your life (or the world) is not going according to your desires.  While you feel pain or have disease, while others suffer, while things look messy or are unsettled, while you don’t have the possessions, relationships, or money that you want, while things appear to limit your freedoms, while your friends or family members lose it, while personal and world crises persist.  See the thing is that we tend to blame circumstances for our state of being.  When circumstances are nice then “I choose to feel good”.  When circumstances not nice than “I choose to feel bad”.  Most people don’t realize that they are choosing in this way even though it is so apparently and undeniable clear.  When you give your power (aka your state of being) over to circumstances the result is feelings of disempowerment, randomness, and hope for something better that will shift the situation so that you feel like you can shift your own self.  Your power is in the appearance of life rather than being rested in you.  This will always lead to unhappiness because the only true happiness is when we are rested in our own power.   

ACCEPTING THE UNDESIRABLE 

Ending the pain/pleasure cycle

As much as this might come as a surprise to you, your wants, preferences or desires are not always what’s right or meant to happen.  People aren’t always supposed to be nice to you, consider you, like you or appreciate you.  Things aren’t always meant to run smoothly.  You are not always meant to get what you want.  It’s simply the way that it is.  In the new age spiritual culture where we are often so focused on “living our dreams” and “manifesting our reality” it may seem contradictory for me to say that maybe your dreams or preferences aren’t always what is the most important.  However when we get so wrapped up in the story of ourselves and the importance of what we think is important we miss the boat and aren’t connected to the larger rhythms of life.  We start to try to control the narrative (i.e. control our life) and simultaneously suck the energy out of it.  We can get easily lost inside of our own agendas and begin to attach to outcome.  No matter how well intended, pure or altruistic our ambitions are they still may not be what is meant to be.  This can be incredibly hard to accept.  

Accepting the undesirable is not something we readily do.  Again we are not big fans of feeling pain, particularly of the emotional nature.  However when we take a moment to pause and feel the underlying hurt, pain, loss or frustration of life, people and circumstance not being how we want them to be we allow the energy to express.  Rather than binding that energy in the form of resistance, tension, holding our breath, and bracing our bodies, the energy gets to move and we get to feel rather than be stuck in our resistance to feeling.  When we feel we instantly become clearer and more present.  It doesn’t mean that the situation has changed, but it does mean that we have changed.  We have allowed where we previously were resisting.  

In allowing that which doesn’t feel good we end the cycle of chasing pleasure and avoiding pain.  We come to experience what its like to be present no matter what is occurring.  We realize that pain and pleasure, preferable and non-preferable, desired and not desired are all simply transient.  They come and go.  They will always come and go.  We can’t speed it up or slow it down.  We can only allow ourselves to drop into whatever rhythm is present, excruciating or exuberant.  

We will like some things and dislike other things.  This will mostly likely continue for the rest of your incarnation.  Accepting the entire range of experience rather than attempting to control the experiences allows you to develop a depth of presence and stability of beingness.  That stability becomes the container for everything to simply have its experience.  Its the end of fixing or controlling anything.  No agenda.  Just pure, unadulterated freedom and true love.  There is nothing more powerful than this because everything is included just as it is.  Nothing pushed out, pushed away or gotten rid of.  You are with it all, inviting of it all, whether or not it is your preference.  Even though sensations, feelings or things may still be present that you don’t like or wish were different, you no longer resist their presence.  They are allowed to be as they are and as such you are free.

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