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

NOTHING IS A BIG DEAL

NOTHING IS A BIG DEAL 

From big to not big

Nothing is a big deal.  That is a bold statement.  Imagine for a moment what it would feel like to claim that for yourself.  As you do you might initially feel relief, but then you may also notice that some things feel really big.  Things that feel too significant, too important or that you value too much to not be a big deal.  In order to really claim that nothing is a big deal would mean that all experiences you’ve had up to this point and all that you will have in the future, are not as significant as you might make them out to be.  That would burst a lot of bubbles in all kinds of ways.  In the most positive light you would not experience anything to be stressful anymore.  Likely you would feel a lasting levity like none you have ever known before.  On the other hand, what might feel more negative to you, is that it would also require you to let go of some of the things that give you a sense of worth, purpose, rightness, validation or fairness, and some ideas you value as special.  You would also have to give away fear and worry, which provide you with a sense of control over your experience.  In this way you would take some hits to your identity as certain experiences become less significant and you may feel more powerless, out of control, and/or confused about what matters.

When you come from the frame of mind that nothing is a big deal you nearly automatically become more allowing and accepting of whatever your experience is/was.  You let things, experiences and people come and go as they please.  You attach less to what happens in any scenario.  You feel relaxed and get a taste of freedom.  Despite all of this we still tend to make some things a big deal.  We choose charge, seriousness and our story of bigness of whatever is occurring, over feeling relaxed, at ease and free.  Then, kind of innocently, we wonder why we don’t feel good.  We genuinely can’t figure out why we don’t sleep well, digest well or experience ease in our body.  It’s a mystery to us.  We can’t seem to make the connection.  

How we are is what our experience is.  There is no difference or separation.  As we change, our experience changes with us because our experience is always reflecting us no matter how we are being.  Sometimes it can feel like quite a challenge to change our minds about something.  There can be a whole well of inner resistance to go from seeing something as a really big deal to seeing it as not a big deal.  Other times it is very quick and easy to make the transition.  It’s a matter of how much significance we place on something, how much of our identity is wrapped into our story of whatever is, and how much we want to attempt to not feel powerless and stay in control of whatever happened or is happening.  

EFFORTLESS GRATITUDE 

Caring without agenda

When we look at life and see the experiences of it as not such a big deal we effortlessly open into gratitude for what is.  A levity and simplicity arises when we aren’t indulging our energy and awareness into our story and feelings of bigness of whatever is occurring.  From that simplicity we appreciate more what’s here in the state, configuration or organization that it’s in.  When all of the experiences we’ve had and all the things we value aren’t such a big deal, we can more easily participate with life.  We enjoy more thoroughly what is here, and our enjoyment of what is, is gratitude.  People sometimes ask me how they can open their hearts more.  One of the ways to do so is to enjoy yourself and enjoy your life no matter what is.  Enjoyment is the expression of gratitude and that is a state of open heartedness.  In order to enjoy life we have often have to make the things of life a little (or a lot) less of a big deal.  

Some people may interpret not making things a big deal as not caring or being careless.  To that I would say that in order to care about something you have to enjoy it, be grateful for it and also let it be free or let it go.  That’s love.  For example if you value life then you have to enjoy it, feel gratitude for it and let it be lived rather than controlled.  The controlling of what we value (which is often confused for caring) squashes all joy out of whatever it is we value and the paradox is the we are the one doing the controlling even though it often seems external or other to us.  The more we control, the less we feel joy and gratitude for what is.  This also tends to be when we perceive things as a big deal.  Big deal usually means to us that we perceive a potential or actual threat (loss) or success (gain), something requires more energy than we want to give to it and we tend have a lot of charge or feelings around the situation.  This becomes an ideal environment for us to attempt to control outcomes, attach to things working out a certain way, and feel anxious or stressed about what will be.

The less charge, seriousness, specialness, control, fear and worry we have in relationship to the experiences of life the more caring we are.  The more capacity we have to be present, attuned and participate without agenda.  This means the less we make things a big deal the more we care, not less.  Don’t be swayed by the cultural story that says stress, worry and charged polarization means you care.  It’s really a disguise in our attempts to control life and not feel powerless.  Rather make things less of a big deal.  Your mind might resist it, and that’s ok.  If control, fear, worry, stress, anxiety, wanting fairness or something to turn out a certain way, rightness, validation or significance come up, it’s also ok.  It’s not about making yourself wrong, it’s simply about becoming more aware of how you do you, the ways you operate and moving more into choice about how you respond to life.  If you do this you will notice more openness to life, more acceptance, more gratitude and you will feel your freedom more.  As always don’t take my word for it.  Be your own scientist.  Try it out for yourself.  See how it works for you.  

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

ACCEPTING SUFFERING

ACCEPTING SUFFERING

Moving towards connection

One of things we least desire to do is look at or be with suffering, both our own and others.  We often do our best to avoid, not feel, stop, alleviate or eradicate it.  Understandably so.  The large majority of people do not enjoy suffering.  It does not come with pleasurable sensations, feelings and experiences.  Rather it comes with a sense of disconnection, separation, aloneness, uncomfortableness, angst, fear, restlessness, powerlessness, helplessness, terror and more.  There really is no way to make suffering rosy, soft or nice.  It’s not.  Our minds nearly automatically want to fix it, change it or make it go away because it is such an unpleasant experience.  We do our best to push away suffering because the intensity of it is so uncomfortable.  Yet despite our attempts to somehow control or manage our experience of suffering, it remains and visits our experience time and time again.

At the core of suffering is a sense or feeling of disconnection.  We develop strategies to survive and cope with disconnection and the conglomerate array of other feelings that come with it.  These strategies are called protective mechanisms.  These mechanisms allow us to not feel the full intensity of suffering that we might otherwise feel.  These strategies are smart, intelligent and well intended.  Without them we might very well not be able to function in the world.  They work by cutting us off from fully feeling or processing experiences of suffering, which then gives us the ability to participate with the other happenings of life to some degree.  Yet the effects, or perhaps downside of these mechanisms is that while we can function we often don’t feel fully alive, integrated, joyous or connected.  Protective mechanisms compartmentalize our experiences and/or completely disconnect us from certain aspects of experiencing on purpose, that is their job so to speak.  They are a good short-term survival strategy, however they don’t allow for the fullness of life to be experienced or expressed through us.

When people seek for healing it is often because they know that there is more to life than what they are experiencing.  To even begin the healing journey one’s protective mechanisms have to soften slightly in order for them to recognize that there is more going on than meets the eye.  This allows them to embark on the path.  Healing isn’t necessarily about feeling great all of time and only experiencing pleasurable sensations.  It’s about feeling whatever is present.  Sometimes that means learning how to be with uncomfortableness, aloneness, separation, terror, powerlessness, angst and the like, because this is what your protective mechanisms have been keeping at bay so that you could function.  The paradox of sorts is that as you allow those feelings to be felt it feels good in a way.  Good to no longer be keeping them outside of your experience, and no longer utilizing energy and inner resources to avoid suffering.  Though you may not feel pleasure or joy in the moment, you do feel more connected. 

SPACE OF THE HEART 

Walking towards

The more willing and able we become to feel suffering, and as we have the inner resourcefulness to do so, the less defended and more open we become.  Protective mechanisms only engage when they perceive that there is something to protect, but if you walk towards that which you’ve avoided, protection is no longer needed.  As we open to disconnection and all of the things that come with that, we open into the heart.  The heart is the natural space that always is and when we stop separating and pushing away certain parts of our experience, we naturally experience the heart.  The reason that suffering is so intense is because it is the experience of disconnection from love.  Even though disconnection from love is not possible, the experience of it is.  It’s what we call suffering.

Accepting suffering as an experience, of which we have all experienced, is fundamental to transforming your experience of it.  As long as we remain separate from suffering, we will continue to experience it.  Only once we look at it, acknowledge it, feel it and let it move us, will we be able to change our relationship with it.  Only then will we be able to feel our heart open without needing to try to make it open.  Accepting suffering is pretty much the last thing that all of your protective mechanisms want to do, yet without your protective mechanisms up and running to show of your life all you experience is love.  It’s confusing to the mind to accept that which doesn’t feel good or desirable inside of its experience, yet in the arena of healing that’s where your freedom lives.  

When we are in nonacceptance of suffering we often feel internally cold, withdrawn, frantic, disassociated, overwhelmed, distraught, heavy, stressed, alone, restricted, not belonging and wanting out even if we are living a good life.  We can be experiencing the appearance of all the good things of life, yet internally we are disconnection from the source of life itself, which is our heart.  Even though your mind will look for a million ways out of your inner experience of suffering, you won’t come up with any that can get you out despite your endless attempts.  The only direction is in.  To be impacted, to feel, to fall apart, to let your heart be broken and then to be moved.  Moved to integrate all of the pieces that fell apart into a new configuration.  That new configuration is a new relationship with your life experiences, which offers different perspectives and ways of being that can only be known through impact and acceptance of suffering.

If you’re still reading this article then kudos to you.  Suffering is the absolute hardest thing to be with and accepting it takes everything you’ve got.  Yet the gift is opening into your own heart.  That is the healing journey, back home to where you began, before you knew anything of separation or disconnection.  To be open in your heart is to be fearless and to know the power of love is stronger than anything else.

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

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

UNIQUELY YOU

UNIQUELY YOU 

You are a gift

Each of us is unique.  An expression of the one infinite that no one else can be.  While in essence we are all the same, each of us carries  a unique flavor or frequency, which we share by being who we are and taking action in ways that excite us.  You are ok just as you are.  There is no one else that you need to be, or even that you could be for that manner.  There is nothing you need to do except that which feels resonate with you.  Yet we spend much energy thinking we must be like so and so, and that we must do more or do differently than what we desire to do.  We create negative meaning about ourselves based on arbitrary stories of who we think we should be and what we should be doing.  We then of course feel bad about ourselves, unworthy, not good enough and like we are failing our purpose.  We don’t appreciate who we are or the flavor we express, which results in us not taking actions in ways we desire.

Why do we see others and appreciate or “envy” them while not appreciating or envying ourselves? Perhaps you think it’s self-absorbed to appreciate your own being.  Maybe it feels awkward to you to like yourself and acknowledge how you contribute.  Perhaps you’ve confused loving yourself with arrogance.  Regardless of what it is for you there is likely self-denial of your own worth or refusal to see yourself as a gift.  Imagine a world where we all saw ourselves as a gift.  Since giving is inherent in being a gift, life would be an abundant resource of available energy for exchange with no depletion.  By not seeing the magnificence of your own being you actually take energy out of the field of life rather than contribute to it. Seeing yourself as a gift is the least arrogant way of viewing.  

Unwinding the story of arrogance and relaxing into yourself is not difficult.  It requires no special skills, knowledge or profound healing experience, but instead requires only the inner permission to do so.  There is no outside person, situation or force that will make you ok as you are.  Only you can decide to be ok as you are and come to appreciate and like your own self.  Seeing value in the unique expression that you are without adding anything to you is key to feeling like you are fulfilling your purpose for existing.  The reason that so many feel lost without clear direction is not because there is a lack of guidance, but rather because there is a lack of self-appreciation and love.  How on purpose you feel is directly related to how you feel about yourself.  If you turn the pressure down on trying to be or do something other than you are and turn the appreciation up on yourself as you are, your calling or purpose will be clear to you.   

CLEARING JUDGMENT  

No right or wrong

There is no right way to do life. There is also no wrong way.   This is challenging for most people to accept.  Regardless of how spiritual or evolved we think we are, most of us have judgment of self or others.  What if you radically realized that you really don’t know either way or any way, what is really right or wrong.  That your conceptions of rightness and wrongness are based only in what you’ve been conditioned to believe.  If you cleared yourself of all beliefs there would only be pure meaninglessness or said another way, there would only be what is without thought about what is.  Many will argue still that there is right and wrong, better and worse, good and bad, but what if there just is what there is.  If we stopped judging what is and instead saw what is, we may surprise ourselves as to what it is we see.  This state of clearness, of non-bias, is the essential ground from which you can effortlessly be and share the gift of you.  Where you know how to serve, share or express the gift you are and participate with what is rather than think, strategize or attempt to figure things out.

Giving yourself the permission and freedom to stop judging life frees you up to be of service to it.  When you no longer need to make a difference, only then can you actually make one.  This is when simply being you, as you are, makes the difference.  There is nothing out there, added or extra needed.  There is only the unique expression of what you are to share without agenda of what will come forth from your expression.  When you appreciate and know enoughness of what you are then enoughness is the result, but because we come from incompletion and attempting to get something to happen or to get somewhere, we never quite arrive.  

All of this to say, and to give you permission if you so need it, to feel amazing about yourself.  To embrace the unique expression of the one infinite that you are.  The only things to clean up are those things in your mind or life that are inconsistent with you feeling amazing about who you are.  You don’t have to clean up to be better, you don’t have to heal in order to be more, there is no more or better to get too.  Dispel any of the beliefs that you have that this may be arrogant, dismissive or prideful.  To feel bad about yourself and/or your expression is the true pridefulness.  Recognize that where you are trying to ‘get’ to is simply to feel good, love/be yourself, and share your unique expression with others.  There is also nothing others need to get or receive from you other than what you are.    

Everything you could ever need will be met and taken care of once you embrace you.  It’s the end of trying to get things, accomplish stuff or be loved by others in order to be ok.  You will have all things you need, accomplish what is yours to accomplish and be rested as love when you accept your own inherent uniqueness as you are.  No one else can be you.  No one else can serve as you do.  No one else can fulfill the that purpose you are.  Be done trying to be or do something other than what you are.  Discover the joy, freedom and love in being you and the wonder, awe and gratitude of what naturally expresses through.  

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

ALL IS ENOUGH

ALL IS ENOUGH 

Shifting perspectives

Imagine what it would be like to look out at all of life and see it as enough.  To see nothing lacking, nothing missing and nothing that needs progress or change.  For a moment to be content with what is.  Notice how you feel when you look out and see enough.  Now share this same outward perspective of enoughness inwardly.  See yourself, your body, your inner journey, and wherever you are in life at this moment as enough.  Again notice how you feel.  Recognize the ease and sense of calm rested-ness that becomes instantly available when you see this way.  Notice how your entire system relaxes and you become present and available to whatever is here now.  This enoughness is what most all of us crave.  Many of us are tired.  Tired of feeling like life is scarce, like we have to work hard to survive, that we must stay vigilant, can never relax, or that something must change.  It’s exhausting to view from the perspective of not enough.  Yet most of us don’t realize that it is simply a perspective.  We believe scarcity to be reality.  

Enoughness is always present, always available, and always here.  It requires only that you bring your focus on it.  What we focus on we experience.  It’s challenging for the mind to accept this and to change its beliefs in this way.  We really want to keep believing what we believe even if what we believe doesn’t feel good.  We think that it’s the only option.  We don’t see ourselves in the equation as the source of our experience.  Due to this unawareness of ourselves as the source of what we experience we often feel powerless to our beliefs rather than in charge of them.  Until we see ourselves and simultaneously really, really want to believe something different, we won’t.  We will choose the same beliefs that feel bad, that generate the same feelings of fear, lack and scarcity, that is until we are truly fed up or things in our life or body break down.

It’s a bit of an interesting paradox that we have to really convince ourselves to want what we want.  We all want to feel abundant and in the state of enoughness, yet we must be really tempted to make that choice in perspective.  We will come up with one hundred million reasons why we can’t choose it, one hundred million ways to disbelieve that it’s possible, and one hundred million insistences why we must keep our old belief system of scarcity, lack and not enough.  Life will give us challenges where it will feel hard to choose the perspective of enoughness and yet that is the inner work required to make the change in belief.  The challenges are the perfect gift, the most pristine catalyst, that you need in order to choose the perspective of your true desire.   

INNER BOOTCAMP 

Choosing enough

Choosing the perspective you desire is not always easy.  When the experience of life appears empty of things you desire, or it feels like life is not working for you and you can’t make sense of what appears to not be inside of your experience, doubts arise.  When doubt is present you default to your habitual way of perceiving life, which for most is through the lack and scarcity lens.  Fear arises based on how you are perceiving things to be and you find yourself stuck.  Stuck in nothing more than a perspective, yet it feels like so much more than that.  You might wonder how things can just be a matter of perspective, perhaps it seems too simple, yet how could they be anything else?  Two people could experience the exact same situation or conditions, and experience them very different based on how they perceive the experience.  

Living from enoughness or completeness is entirely possible.  It is not fantastical to entertain this as your lived experience.  You must first start seeing the challenges that seem contrary to enoughness in your life as opportunities to learn it.  What this means is that when situations arise that seem to activate your lack, not enough, or scarce thoughts, you must see these situations as opportunities to choose a new perspective, and then you must actively choose to see abundance where you previously saw it as not.  Again your mind will likely resist this at first.  It won’t want to make the change in perspective because it doesn’t yet believe it.  That’s ok.  Choose it anyways and then notice that you begin to feel better.  You might oscillate back and forth between choosing lack and then choosing to see enough.  You might go back of forth 15-100 times for just one situation or challenge that presents itself, and that’s ok.  That oscillation back and forth is building a muscle, you inner muscle of enoughness.  

Lack perspectives can just be tricky to see.  They can come dressed up in a strong need to make progress or make something different.  Though this might seem very natural to you to want to make progress, because it is quite engrained in us that this is what we are supposed to be doing as humans, you must recognize what your need to make progress is rooted in.  Do you feel that there is somewhere better to get too?  Do you feel where you are is not enough?  Do you feel there is something wrong with what is happening now and you need to make it different?  All of that is rooted in lack and not enoughness.  

When instead you choose the perspective of enoughness and become rooted in it, life still flows, and there is still projects, activities and happenings.  The difference is that you play in the unfolding of life rather than try to make stuff happen to it.  It quite a bit more easeful even though there is still activity and doing occurring.  There is nothing to fix so you have less attachment to any outcome and your only purpose in doing is to have fun and because you enjoy it, not because something more or better must occur.  This is what is to come from enough rather than to try to get to enough.  If you keep trying to get there you will never arrive.  If instead you simply choose it, over and over and over again until you are rested there, then and only then will you experience it.  

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

INEXHAUSTIBLE SOURCE OF LOVE

INEXHAUSTIBLE SOURCE OF LOVE  

Recognizing what is

What moves us?  What drives us?  What is our fuel source? What are we made of?  At the source of everything is love.  We know this, at least we know it conceptually, but how do we really grok this, get this and live this?  Love is boundless, infinite and inexhaustible, yet why does it seem scarce and limited inside of our experience?  Let’s first be clear on our definitions.  Love is not an emotion, but it is the source of all emotion.  Love is not a thought, but it is the source of all thought.  Love is not a sensation, but it is the source of all sensations.  Understand we often confuse love for its expressions rather than recognize it as the source of all expressions.  Love is the birthplace/birth space of all of creation.  It’s the very fabric of the universe, that which everything is made from.  

Love is exchanged or expressed when it is recognized, acknowledged or made aware of by you, by your awareness.  The primary reason that love seems to be limited or scare is because it remains largely unrecognized in our day to day life.  Whatever we tune our awareness to or focus on we see.  Sometimes, or rather oftentimes, we look out and we see our judgments, labels, stories and ideas about what we think we are seeing rather than seeing what is, which is love.  When our judgments, labels, stories and ideas dominate our awareness, which they do for most people, then our life experience is the fabrication of those things.  We see what we think rather than what actually is.   

You can see here that love is not what’s limited, but only our experience of it is limited based on what we choose to see.  To see all as love, as what it is, is a high ask of ourselves.  Our conditioning is such that to our mind’s stories and ideas this seems ridiculous.  We have a multitude of perspectives, experiences, situations and things that we do not, and often refuse to see as love.  For example things that have created physical, mental or emotional pain for ourselves or others we tend not to see as love.  Things that we don’t understand or that we disagree with we tend to leave out of love.   While some expressions of love may be sourced from a more distorted or confused perspective, at their core they are still love.  When love in its purity isn’t recognized as such then it continues to play out and create expressions of love that are more twisted or bent.  Not until the source of love can be looked upon and seen as what it is and have itself reflected back to it, can it come to see itself and unbind some of its bent or confused perspectives.  But we tend to not do this for ourselves or for others.  Rather we look at the confused expression of love and offer only our judgments, fears and condemnation.  Hence we live in a collective reality where love seems limited and scarce.   

KNOWING YOURSELF AS LOVE 

Seeing self as the source

In order to see all as love, and to recognize love at its source, you must first know yourself as the source of love.  You are not able to mirror or reflect love to other aspects of creation if you don’t first know yourself as it.  While this might seem obvious it’s a pretty big missing link for most.  The primary human wounding is unworthiness and unlovability, which is the opposite end of the spectrum of knowing yourself as love.  Knowing yourself as love is seeing yourself as it.  It’s beyond sensing, feeling or thinking of yourself as love.  Although those are great entry points they still don’t go direct to the source of love, but rather utilize expressions of it.  To be rested as love, to know it without doubt, to recognize yourself unequivocally as it, to no longer need to think, feel or sense yourself as it because you are it, is to know yourself as love.  

Why don’t we know it?  Primarily because we’ve agreed to forget for learning sake.  Also because there are not many pure mirrors available on this planet to reflect this knowing to us.  The result is that we don’t see ourselves very clearly.  It’s like we are constantly looking at reflections in the mirror that are bent, twisted and distorted, except they look “normal” to us.  They look like who we think we are and therefore we’ve come to identify with those reflections more and more as the years have gone by.  Just because something feels normal or has become familiar to us, such as our sense of identity, it doesn’t mean it’s accurate.  As we’ve come to believe and accept the reflections given to us from distorted mirrors about what/who we are, we’ve naturally created our life experiences based upon these beliefs and see life through our bent perspectives.  Hence again we experience a world scarce and limited in love and genuinely can’t figure out why because we don’t recognize the source of the reflections is our very own self, and how we see our very own being is what we experience life to be.  

If we are indeed love, then how do we know ourselves to be it?  The most direct path would be to simply accept it as fact.  This is however a radical shift for most people’s belief systems and therefore direct acceptance, while entirely possible, is not highly probable.  The more experiential way is to commit/devote to seeing yourself as love.  Multiple times a day reflect to yourself that you are love.  I suggest not focusing on your form when you do this.  Many times people will practice loving their form/body, or qualities they have, or things that they do for themselves or others.  Again those are expressions of love, but they are not recognizing the source of it.  Instead go to the source.  The essence of you is love.  It is what you are made of.  It is what/who you are.  Yes your body, your qualities  and all the things you do are expressions of love, but they aren’t the source of it.  Come to know yourself, your actual self, not the fabricated body-personality of you that is made up of thoughts, labels and ideas that have been conditioned.  As you get this, begin to see others as this same source, and all things/experiences as well.   It is not out of your hands/heart to shift this entire creation.  The change is and has always been with and inside of us.  As we insist on seeing ourselves as what we are, and including the rest of creation inside of that perspective, we live a very different reality where love is abundant and inexhaustible.

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

HEALING TO SERVING

HEALING TO SERVING 

Rhythms of development

There are many rhythms in this cosmic-human dance.  Stages of development, themes, and learnings that we all experience.  The stages themselves are quite predictable, but the content of them and how we learn what we learn, is unique for each being.  Each stage or rhythm is whole onto itself and yet is part of larger wholeness.  The goal of each stage or rhythm is to be in it.  To be where you are even if you don’t like where you are or wish you were at some other place on the path.  Integration or learning occurs when you accept where you are, and then naturally the next rhythm or stage reveals itself to you.  It’s synonymous with a child who rolls over, sits up, crawls, stands and then walks.  Each next developmental step reveals itself as the child masters where it’s at.  The child does not go from rolling over straight to walking even it really wants to.  There is a natural sequence and staging to the learning.  

We are all like children, learning and developing as we go.  While our development is less focused on achieving sensory-motor milestones and more on the development of our consciousness, perspectives and inner workings, it is nonetheless still development.  Sometimes there are shortcuts or quick accelerations, but they are rare.   We must master each stage before moving to the next one.  For example, it’s quite challenging to sustainably go from believing you are a separate person, into knowing there are no others in a quick flash.  While you might have a momentary experience of this in a peak state, there are many stages in between that must first be learned in order for you to go beyond conceptual knowing into living your knowing.

One such stage of our development could be called “healing”.  There are many rhythms inside of healing, but for simplicity sake we could say that healing is the stage of our development where we believe that we are not whole.  Our perspective is such that something is/was wrong or lacking in our self, experience or environment, and we seek to find completion or wholeness.  The end of healing is the knowing that there is no (and never was) disharmony, imperfection or lack.  It’s knowing that the natural state of all is complete.  That there is nothing lacking inside or outside in all of creation.  In the perceived space from healing to wholeness there is a whole slew of learning that is primarily concerned with you reclaiming and remembering your power, what you are, and that you are the creator of all you experience.  So much so until your only response to any event, sensation, emotion, thought, or experience is love.  Once achieved, you know wholeness as all that is, and move forward into the next stage of development called service.   

LIFE BEYOND HEALING 

Dare to heal

Some people might think it’s arrogant to think that you could ever stop needing to heal.  They see healing as something you must do forever, that it has no end, and that you are either arrogant or spiritually bypassing something if you even entertain that you could live whole.  I personally don’t agree with that perspective, but as always choose whichever perspective resonates and feels more accurate for you.  I see healing as a stage of development, not the be all end all.  Healing is a stage where the focus is on ourselves and our inner workings.  It is about unearthing or unpacking our disempowering, discordant and incoherent patterns and ways of being.  It is revealing the ways we have deceived ourselves, how we’ve believed things that feel bad and ultimately are not true, and where we see ourselves as a product or circumstance of life rather than as the creator of our life.  It is a correction of the perspective of seeing lack into seeing only wholeness.  Healing is an absolutely important, vital, and necessary stage of development, one that can’t be overstepped or passed by, and there is both learning and life beyond healing.  

Life beyond healing is serving.  In service the focus is no longer on you.  It’s not about what you think is right or better.  It’s not about what you want to happen or any outcome at all.  It’s not about validating, empowering yourself or making yourself feel good.  It’s not about sensations in your body coming or going away.  It’s not about becoming worthy.  All of those things must be known, must be intact, must be taken care of, for the next rhythm of your development to be revealed to you, which is that of serving.  Service is oriented towards giving and is rested in the heart.  If you don’t clear up all of those other things in your life and know all as whole, than your service will always have some personal agenda in it, which is not really service, but is still part of your own healing process.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, in fact I’d say almost all of us do this as we are healing and developing, but at some point there is a demarcation.  A kind of line in the sand in which where you come from is serving rather than healing.  

Serving is not better than healing.  It’s simply the next developmental stage on the path.  Just like for the toddler, walking is not better than standing up.  Walking simply proceeds as the next learning once we master standing.  Mastering healing is knowing your worth, knowing all is well & has always been well, and that nothing is outside of perfection even if you don’t like it or agree with it.  As you move towards mastering healing you realize that your life is not yours; it never has been.  You’ve never been a separate person with a separate life.  To the person that is in an early to middle stage of healing, this would be ludicrous to entertain.  In fact it is imperative that they realize that they are a person and that they can impact their emotions, their body and their environment.  That learning must be integrated first, which is why you must always accept where you are.  Learn the lessons of the place and stage that you are in.  Nothing is better somewhere else, it’s just different.  Enjoy wherever you are.  Find levity in everything.  Make it as fun as you can.  Ultimately it’s all smoke and mirrors.  Energetic patterns configuring and reconfiguring into infinity.  Just play and enjoy it all.  

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