Your Heart is the Knower

Your Heart is the Knower

The Mind is not the Knower

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

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

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

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

Getting to Know the Knower

Language of Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defenselessness

Defenselessness 

Beyond Self-protection

Imagine for a moment what it would be like to live defenselessly.  To not react, protect, prove, rationalize or justify yourself to anyone including your own self.  To become so completely transparent that everything moves through you and nothing sticks, lodges or festers away inside of you.  To be so open that no longer is any ounce of separation perceivable by you.  To no longer be afraid.  

We all have a different relationship to defenses.  Some of us think we need to have defenses so that we don’t get hurt physically or emotionally.  It is after all the job of our defenses to protect us from feeling pain and surviving.  Defenses get activated when we feel threat.  That threat could be to our physical or emotional survival or to our sense of self in regards to how we both see ourselves and others see us. However this all begs the question as to if there is something more than reacting to survive or to keeping our sense of self fixed, and the exploration of allowing the impact of pain rather than attempting to keep it at bay.  

You may wonder why in the world would you allow yourself to feel pain willingly whether it be physically or emotionally.  You might ask, what’s the sense in that?  Feeling pain when it’s present is the number one catalyst to healing, transformation and self-empowerment.  It is also what allows you to come back to into presence and an innerly resourceful, clear state when you feel lost and can’t find home or clarity inside of you.  Feeling pain provides the fuel that moves you into the directions where you’ve been too scared to go.  Pain, or the perception of pain, lives underneath fear.  When we don’t allow the pain that is underneath the fear, then fear runs the show of our lives.  Fear reacts.  Fear can see only a very limited perspective which includes only itself.   

It doesn’t take much of feeling pain to get us either in a state of full acceptance of what is or moving us in a new direction that we must take.  Sometimes people have an idea that they have to keep feeling pain over and over and over and just stay in a painful state indefinitely in order to heal.  This is not advisable or beneficial.  Pain is simply the catalyst or activator into healing and transformation and not what is supposed to become your lived day to day experience.  If you find yourself in a perpetual state of experiencing pain then you are mostly likely stuck in your story about pain rather than actually feeling it or you are postponing an action that you must take and not listening to the message of the pain.   

Defended vs. Closed 

Choosing openness or closedness

Defenses keep things away from us and make us unreceptive, un-influenceable, and un-feeling.  This is because a state of defense is a closed, self-contained state of being rather than open and unified.  There are times when a closed state is preferable and your capacity to discern when this is appropriate is a key factor in your personal and spiritual development.  There is also a difference between a defended state and a purely closed state.  The prime difference is choice.  In a defended state you are reactionary and not in full choice or conscious of your chosen state of being.  Meaning no matter what you try to do you can’t shift from closed back into open and you are often triggered or thrown by what is occurring.  Your reactor or survivor is running the show rather than your chooser and you are locked into the pattern.  However when you consciously choose a closed state because that is what best serves or is preferably by you in a particular situation there is no difficulty in shifting from open to closed to open again instantly and at will.  You are also not triggered or knocked out of your center.  This is because you are aware of yourself and not merged with the situation that is occurring.  This is true self-empowerment and an important stage of development.  

Being defended is the the opposite of growth.  What this means is that in order to grow and evolve, both personally and spiritually, you must find your way through your defenses.  You cannot learn when you are defended, you can only protect yourself.  One of the reasons that we often feel disconnected or that we can’t feel or see what is going on beyond our limited perspective is because we are defended in a closed off state and frequently we don’t even know that we are.  This is why learning how to tune into yourself through your body is such a vital resource in discovering your patterns of protection and defense.  Rather than speaking through words or thoughts like the mind does, the body speaks through sensation, breath, movement and energy.  It is through learning to tune into those aspects of our being that we can begin to discover where we protect, how we avoid and where we are not open or receiving energy or information.  Through this discovery of protection we can begin to make contact with fear, and the pain that is underneath that fear.  Developing the capacity to be present with the intensity of these sensations and emotions is our gateway into healing, openness and unlimited energy.

Defenselessness is our natural state.  Open, vast, receptive, and connected.  It is only because we have taken on forms that we have become identified with that we have developed defenses.  With this we’ve learned to perceive ourselves as separate from and therefore having something to protect ourselves from.  In absolute truth there is no other and on a relative level there is the appearance of other.  Don’t be swayed by the multiplicity of forms and the illusion of separateness that they create.  Look past appearances and see with the heart.  The heart sees but one, feels but one, knows but one.  Stop confusing yourself with the form of this body and come to know yourself deep to and beyond the form.  Here you will experience the freedom of defenselessness.

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

Your Life is not Your Own

Your Life is not Your Own 

The Grand Symphony

We tend to believe that our life is about us.  We make goals, plans, and have dreams and aspirations that propel our life in certain directions.  We think that we are driving the train of those directions and that the fruition of our aspirations means something about who we are.  While in some ways and to some degrees this is true, ultimately the events of our life including the ways that we feel about our life mean very little about who we are or what we think our lives are about.

You may wonder why this is.  You may think “but my life feels like mine”.  The larger truth however is that there really is no “you” for which to have a life that feels like yours.  The you that you think that you are is based only on thoughts and ideas that have come together to create the personality that you’ve come to label as you.  There is no real separate personality you.  There is only thoughts of a separate personality you.  Everyone in spiritual circles knows conceptually that everything is one and that there is no separation yet we continue to believe ourselves to be a separate person.  Separate from not only other people, but also spirit, god or “higher self”.

This idea of you that you’ve come to know yourself to be, which has become your full identity, is what interferes with you knowing who and what you really are.  If you had the recognition of yourself that was not filtered through the lens of you being a separate person than you would instantly realize that your life is not your own.  That all the events that occur are are simply a web of interconnected dots in the larger matrix of creation and really have nothing to do with you personally.  Now this doesn’t mean that things and events don’t occur through this perceived sense of you as this particular body and mind because they absolutely do.  Your body-mind vehicle is the way that things get expressed and brought into creation.  It’s simply that those things that express through you are not about you.  The root of much of our suffering as humans is due to this simple misidentification of believing that that which gets expressed or created through us is ours.  

The desires, dreams and aspirations that excite us and propel us are impulses from spirit or higher self.  These impulses, which we call our desires, are the way that spirit orchestrates all the parts of the symphony getting us to play our parts at exactly the right moment and in the exact right harmony.  In this way the masterful song of creation comes together whether or not we can see or hear what all the other parts of the symphony are playing.  Only the grand master, who is the ultimate organizer can put all the pieces together to make the most coherent musical masterpiece.   

Perceiving Perfection 

The End of Fear

It should by now be clearly evident that there is something going on beyond what our minds know and what our senses can perceive.  Our lives are not just about what it is we think they are about.  Our actions, the directions that we take or don’t take in our lives, and the things we create, are really part of a much bigger picture that we mostly can’t see.  Considering this is the case why is it that we worry, fear, fret, overanalyze, and judge our actions, others actions and everything that is going on in our world?  Why do we try to control and manage the details of it all?  Its simply because we believe that our life is our own, that we are solely responsible for it all and we are disconnected from that larger organizing principle or the grand master of the symphony.

Due to this disconnection from the larger and the feeling like we are on our own we doubt and judge rather than trust.  Because we grip onto our life as our own we live from our head and not from our heart.  We wonder why we don’t feel divinely guided, supported or lost and unfulfilled and can’t see that we have not created the invitation for spirit in our lives because we have been so busy deciding and determining what all of the events of our lives mean.  We’ve left no space inside of our interpretations for anything other than what we think.  We can’t seem to get out of the way long enough to see that what is occurring or happening is exactly what is perfectly supposed to be happening or occurring.  

Facing the perfection of everything requires us to face our own ignorance.  Our ignorance which thinks it knows what is supposed to be occurring from its tiny, minuscule perspective.  The truth is that our minds don’t have a clue and yet we believe them to a fault.  This is our error and our suffering.  We all want some magic bullet that will make everything perfect and peaceful and happy and yet we fail to recognize that we are the magic bullet that we seek.  It is our sole responsibility, our one and only true responsibility, to align ourselves with the accurate perspective that there is nothing that is not in perfection just as it is.  Until we are willing to align ourselves to the perspective of perfection and give up our faulty perspective of perceiving error we will experience our own judgment over and over and over again and remain in the circle of suffering.  

The end of perceiving error is the end of fear.  When you no longer see wrong you no longer have any reasons left to fear.  Survival physiology ends, defense posturing becomes irrelevant.  There is no longer anything you need to protect yourself from.  It’s the end of the over-analyzer, the worrier, and the anxious one.  Simultaneously it is the birth of the healed one, of love physiology and of the posturing of openness and commune with spirit.  It is the recognition that there is no “your life” separate from anything and the allowing of the movement and impulse of life to move through your body-mind.  

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

Body Intelligence

Body Intelligence

Stress & Acceptance Physiology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Linear & Nonlinear Reasoning

Linear & Nonlinear Reasoning

Stages of development

The next stage of development we move into as older children and adolescents is that of analyzing, reasoning and trying to make sense of things that we perceive.  For many this comes in the form of logical and linear reasoning as this is what is mostly reinforced in our schools and culture.  It is black and white and views progress as moving from point A to B without deviation from the line.  It is focused on finding cause and effect relationships in which 1+1 must=2.  While others develop abstract or nonlinear reasoning.  In this type of reasoning things don’t move in a sequential fashion or progress on a straight line from A to B, but instead may move from A to P to O to D.  There are infinite shades and dimensions of all colors and things move out in many directions from one point.  A singular cause and effect relationship is a mute point as everything is influencing and effecting everything else, 1+happiness+an apple might=2.  People often categorize this into left brain vs right brain activity, where left brain is linear/logical and right brain is nonlinear/abstract.

Anyone who has spent time with a young child knows their insatiable hunger to know why things are the way they are.  This is rooted in a fundamental curiosity to know the outer world with which we find ourselves abiding within.  As young children we are little explorers with awakening mental capabilities that we use to make sense of what we see, feel, hear, taste and touch.  Developmentally we move from putting things in our mouth and touching things with are hands when we are infants and toddlers to using our mind to ask questions about things and formulate thoughts about what we sense.  Once we think we know our outer world well enough we stop asking so many questions with that child-like curiosity and we now have many developed assumptions based on what all of the adults in our lives have told us about the world.  We are not really aware of these assumptions as we’ve simply absorbed the information given to us and made it into a concrete and factual world which we now live in.  

While many people have a higher tendency towards logical, linear reasoning as that is what we are taught as primary, most people have aspects of both types of reasoning.  However as a collective we tend to lean towards what the culture accepts and expects and find ourselves locked into linear reasoning even if that isn’t our natural default or tendency.  We go for what “makes the most sense”, “is logical”, which is implied to be the “higher, more prestigious order”.  Whether or not that is actually true or valid is up for debate, but the logical mind tends to be quite rigid, singularly focused, at times righteous and has a hard time coloring outside the lines.  For it to see itself, and for you to see it in yourself, can be challenging because it must be proven to with facts, data and direct cause and effect or else it remains closed, skeptical and judgmental.  

Addiction to Reasoning 

Shifting into presence

While reasoning, linear and nonlinear, are fundamental developmental milestones to this human experience many people get locked into and addicted to reasoning, especially linear reasoning.  We tend to need to know why things are they way they are rather than simply experiencing them.  We feel a compulsion to figure things out particularly when undesirable occurrences are showing up in our lives or bodies and we feel frustrated when we can’t make sense of it all.  We think if we could just figure it out, have some reason or answer be revealed to us, then everything would be ok again.  

While linear reasoning absolutely has its place say for example when organizing your house, structuring your day or creating an action plan for something very specific that you want to achieve or create, in the realms of healing it often gets in the way.  Our near complete obsession with thinking and figuring it out postpones our healing like nothing else.  Why is this so you might ask?  It is because all healing happens in the present, in fact healing is a return to the present, and when you are thinking you are not present.  Our minds have a really sneaky way of convincing us that if they can just have a few more thoughts or think about something for a little longer than they will get closer to some kind of knowing that will benefit them.  This is why we develop an addiction to our thoughts in the first place.  We think that our thoughts and reasoning will benefit us more than simply being present to our experience.  That somehow our thoughts have the answer separate from our direct experience of whatever it is that we are experiencing.  We have learned to become so reliant on our thoughts that we can’t even imagine or trust that there is another way.  We often perceive being present to our experience as inactive and being in our thoughts/head as active and productive.  As long as our minds are active we feel success or as if we are moving towards success, but to still our minds and experience simply being with feels boring or empty, unproductive, or like a waste of time, especially when we want answers.

The other piece to this is that our minds have agendas.  When life isn’t looking/feeling like we want it to the mind looks for a way out rather than a way inGetting out of our experience is impossible and yet we will try at all costs to do so when we don’t like what we are experiencing.  Getting into our experience is the process of presence.  To feel and see what is here without turning away from it is what allows for healing and eventually transformation to occur.  We are so busy being in our heads avoiding the aspects of our lives that we don’t want to feel and yet feeling them is the key to healing them.  Remember avoidance is simply a protective mechanism, a way that we can check out of our experience rather than into it, because sometimes what is here is too uncomfortable, more uncomfortable than our continual avoidance of it.  

Being in your experience provides all of the energy and information that you will ever need.  Your capacity to feel the emotions and sensations that are present in any moment, particularly the ones you resist or don’t like, is what allows them to be part of the whole rather than separate in a concept or thought.  This integrates them back into the unified whole of which they never really left, only your thoughts kept them separate.  It is from this place that you can see a larger perspective.  This is where the energy and knowingness for actions, transformation and change occurs.  There is no more figuring out.  There is simply knowledge of how to proceed and what must occur now.  If you find yourself “not knowing how” then you’re not present yet because when you are present you always know.  Here self-doubt ends and self-knowing is inherent.  

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

Inauthenticity: The Biggest Energy Drain

Inauthenticity: The  Biggest Energy Drain

Identifying your fake self

Business Executive and His Energy Level Concept Vector Cartoon I

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

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

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

Your Inner Fire 

Inviting the messy, destructive & chaotic

the burning woman head profile

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opening into Nothingness

Opening into Nothingness 

Going beyond thought

Stars and material falls into a black holeWhether you are aware of it or not opening into stark nothingness is terrifying for most.  We both hunger to feel emptiness and instantaneously grab onto the next thing or thought the moment we taste even the slightest sliver of nothingness.  We are so bound up in our thoughts, worries, ideas, activities and the like that few of us even get a glimpse of what it feels like to experience total emptiness.  The irony is that emptiness is our natural state of being and yet most of us have never experienced it.  

Emptiness or nothingness is what is prior to or before thought arrives on the scene.  When thought does arrive it creates and colors the world that we see and what we call reality.  Reality for most people is just a conglomeration of their thoughts.  True reality however is completely without thought.  It simply is.  Pure beingness.  Awareness itself.  Why is it that we are so terrified of our natural state of pure beingness?  Well firstly it is because there is no separate, individual self in nothingness.  This means that the you that you think is you, let’s call this the “thought” you, dissolves into nothing.  There is no you in the traditional sense that you’ve come to know.  This feels completely destabilizing to the one you think you are (often people describe it as the feeling of death) and so the reaction-response is to fuse back with thought to feel a sense of stability again.  

Secondly in order to even taste nothingness we must be in a state of total openness and acceptance.  We cannot be attempting to make something happen, figure anything out or control something with our head/thoughts.  All of these put us in a state of resistance or closure, which equates to creating the experience of separation or otherness.  You cannot know nothingness from a state of perceiving otherness.  Many people however try to do this and nothingness becomes another box or container for their mind to explore rather than directly know.  In order to truly experience nothingness you must fuse with it thus becoming it rather than continuing to fuse with thoughts.  

When you make the commitment to open your system and let go of thoughts rather than continue to use your thoughts to figure out how to open your system, you will begin to know the beingness and the world beyond thought.  You cannot get beyond thought through using thought.  You must relinquish the thoughts altogether less your awareness will habitual continue to latch onto them out of familiarity and comfort.   

The End of Otherness 

Surrender into the Self

relationshipsAs we approach nothingness from a still separate point of view some of the experiences that we have are centered around feeling like we won’t know, that we will be totally useless, that we will be completely exposed or vulnerable, that if our mind/thoughts don’t inform us then what will, and above all we doubt because we don’t yet know what is on the other side of our thoughts.  We don’t perceive that we can trust that nothingness will provide and contains everything that is known and needed.  

The only way to really work with this is to allow yourself to feel the energy of all of these states of being that arise.  That means allowing the feeling of not knowing what is or will happen next which brings in the felt experience of trust, feeling exposed and vulnerable which brings in the direct experience of openness, feeling the spacious empty nothingness that is without thoughts which brings in the direct knowing of yourself.  See we often say we want to trust, or we want to be more open, or we want to more clearly and directly know ourselves and we think that we have to do something or figure something out in order to do it.  The truth is that trust, openness and knowledge of self come through you staying with those feeling experiences that you keep trying to avoid which just happen to be trust, openness and knowledge of self.  The direct path to what we desire is always inside of what we are currently experiencing.

To know ourselves, which is the final destination of the spiritual journey, is really just the beginning of life.  Before we know ourselves we are just trying to survive because all we perceive is separation and the fight for our physical needs, desires and existence.  If we have something than it means someone else does not have it and vis versa.  When we perceive otherness someone or something always wins and the other loses.  We fight to save live from the perspective of our eminent demise as we believe death of the body means death of us.

The end of otherness and the bridge into totality is the surrender into nothingness which is the true self or the true you.  This is to walk willingly into our own personalized ego death.  Ego being that perspective which believes itself to be a part, and apart from, rather than the whole.  This is the end to personalization of our lives and the unbending trajectory of the individual needs, wants and desires.  To be clear this does not mean death of the body, but to the perspective that body means separate from.  There is no separate you.  There never has been.  There has only ever been the thought of a separate you.  Separate you is just a thought.  When you relinquish all thought, even for a moment, you immediately realize this.  This is the direct experience and knowledge of self.  This takes you beyond the concept of you to where you no longer perceive other and the will of this body-mind instrument is divinely inspired and moved.  Personal insistences have dissolved and all that remains is God/Love/Spirit of which these vehicles are gladly utilized.  “Your” will becomes Love’s will as there is but one will.  

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

Inner Alchemy

Inner Alchemy 

Philosophy, practice & the Philosopher’s Stone

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

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

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

Your Inner Alchemist 

Soul metamorphosis 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Impermanence

Impermanence 

Pleasure & pain principle

Four season treeMost people assume that things will always be the way that they are.  In fact this assumption is one of the the prime causes of suffering and disconnection.  Whether life feels painful or pleasurable we tend to default into thinking that it will always be this way even though from a more rational or practical perspective we know that it won’t be as everything is always changing.  Yet we are often in denial or oblivious to the fact of the ever changing nature of life.  

Why do we deny the blatantly obvious changing nature of life?  It almost always comes down to not wanting to feel loss of something.  Change means that things will come and go.  Some things we don’t want to let go of because they feel so good to us.  This could be a relationship, a family structure, the state of our body or health, the place we live, some possession we own, a job/career, etc.  We desire it and thus grasp onto it at all cost.  We feel pain at the thought of losing something we love or cherish in our experience.  This is a natural part of the human experience and yet the root of our suffering.  It is also the motivation for our attempts to control or manage all aspects of our life.  This is not only exhausting to us on a mental-emotional level, it also affects the health and functioning of our body.

The other side of perpetuating the illusion of permanence is when we don’t like our experience or what we tend to call pain.  For example we may be in a relationship we don’t want, have a sensation in our body that we don’t like, or dislike our job/career and yet we feel hopeless and like there is no way out or through.  We feel like it is just going to always be this way permanently and we find ourselves trapped in the illusion of solidity and fixation rather than realizing the ever changing nature of life that includes each and every expression and form. 

The uncertainty of things coming and going leaves us feeling like we are tethered to nothing at all and this experience of freedom is too much for most minds.  Minds like to know what comes next and will do their best to create certainty even if that certainty comes in the form of something we don’t want or prefer such as an uncomfortable body sensation, a job that we are over or a relationship that has ran its course.  The thing is that we don’t live in a certain, stable or known world.  In fact we live in the exact opposite.  Our resistance to uncertainty, instability and the mysterious nature of life keeps us trapped in a prison that lives only inside of our own minds.  This prison is home for most and what they believe reality to be.   

Embracing the Comings  & Goings

A gateway to gratitude 

Wave Hollow Inside OutIf asked, most people would say they prefer freedom and joy rather than constraint and suffering, and yet most people choose constraint and suffering without even realizing that it is their choice.  The way that we choose joy and freedom is through fully accepting and inviting in the ever changing nature of life.  By embracing the comings and goings we find ourselves in a perpetual state of gratitude and awe for life rather than attempting to manage and control it.  

Take for example the novelty of a new relationship, job, house or any other exciting thing.  In this beginning stage we often find ourselves elated and what many would name as “in love”.  We are in love because we are not taking anything for granted nor making anything too solid or permanent.  We don’t yet have assumptions about what will occur, as we don’t really know yet.  We have lots of excitement, but not too much attachment because there hasn’t been much of ourselves invested yet.  We feel hopefully for possibilities and yet remain in an open state of being in regards to how it all looks and feels.  There is much to be revealed, determined and experienced as we live it.  Most people love being in this novelty phase of unfixed excitement, yet it doesn’t take long for the mind to come in and attempt to make things more solid.  Particularly as we develop routines with these new aspects of our lives and they become more “integrated”, ordinary, solid or real.  

As soon as things become increasingly and increasingly more fixed we simultaneously “lose” that feeling of love.  This is not a coincidence.  What we really “lose” is novelty and the unattached state of gratitude that comes with it.  We create solid where there is not really solid and then when our sense of solid either become too solid (where we feel suffocated) or becomes less solid (when we we aren’t wanting it to change) we suffer.  

The less moveable and flexible we are with the comings and goings of life the more we will experience suffering.  Again these comings and goings include everything: your body and its sensations and the expressions of ease or dis‘ease’, your relationships with yourself and others, the state of your physical comforts or discomforts, financial resources, business failures or successes, the range of your emotional body, etc.  All of these things are always going to be in a state of constant flux.  Though there are times when your experience will be that some of aspects of your life are seemingly more stable, this too is just an illusion.  Its simply that the relevance/teachings that you are learning from those experiences takes longer or serves you and/or the rest of the creation more so they hang around for a longer duration of time until their relevance is complete.

Everything constructs and deconstructs, stabilizes and destabilizes, binds and becomes free again.  This is simply the nature of this universe that we live in.  Learning to ride this wave through embracing the comings and goings will keep you in a perpetual state of gratitude, awe and love, which is truly what we desire more than the constant appearance of any aspect of our reality being fixed or staying the same.  

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

Power of Love

Power of Love 

Infinite Life Force

16152518 - beautiful lotus backgroundMost all of us make claims to the power of love.  On some level we know that love is the ultimate everything and yet when things get “serious” or when we get caught up in our emotional or thinking bodies the power of love is forgotten.  Why is it that we drop love or downplay its position as the grand orchestrator of all of life when things get messy, unclear or uncertain?  Why does our thinking mind along with its linearity and rationality become the prime ruler rather than the heart?  

First of all let me just say that love is the source of infinite life force.  Life force is love, love is life force.  Life force is what makes everything come alive.  It is the breath of the universe and everything within it.  This is why when we feel like we are in love we feel alive, awake, alert and juiced up, because we actually are.  Love, whether for self, other or just as a state of being, brings with it infinite, inexhaustible life force.  It can not because love and life force are one and the same.  

Life force, energy and love are terms that can be used interchangeably.  Life force is the quite literal energy source that powers everything in the universe including your physical body.  It is fairly common knowledge at this point that everything in the universe is energy.  When all matter is broken down into its most basic components all that remains is vibrating energy.  That vibrating energy is life force/love.  Patterns of thoughts, beliefs and perceptions then give shape to that energy and the world of forms that we see with our eyes.

As powerful as our thoughts are in their ability to bring forms to life, they are nothing without the energy source of love to back them up.  Pure, unconditioned love is the most coherent, whole energy source that there is.  When we have thoughts that are fueled by less coherent states of energy, such as fear, rage, or rationality, they are much less efficient or effective and therefore the forms they create are not as optimal, complex or productive.  Less coherent states of energy are simply states of energy that are not as aware of their inherent wholeness.  Love knows it wholeness which is where its extreme power arises.   

Fall from Grace 

Perception of Wrongness

Spiritual conceptual image of a female angelWhen we think about the power of love without being connected with the knowingness of love our power is greatly diminished.  True power does not come from thought alone, but from the intimate acknowledging and resting into love so that its power naturally expresses.  The primarily perception that keeps us disconnected from knowing love intimately is the perception of wrongness.  

When we view through the perception of wrongness we create separation where there is none.  Separation creates a less coherent state of energy because within separation implies a lack of wholeness.  Wrongness means that something must be thrown out of the whole and when that occurs there is less energy/life force available to the system (individual or collective).  Say for example you (or your culture) judge multiple things about yourself, another person, or the environment as wrong.  The more you judge the more you shrink your perspective.  With this comes a sense of confinement and limitation.  Simultaneously the less innately good you feel and the less energy you have available to you.  Manifestation feels more effortful and there is greater disorganization in what gets created. This is a state of decreased coherency where your knowingness of love and ability to utilize the power of love is diminished.  This does not mean that love is actually diminished, but only your perception of it.  Again this happens at individual and collective system levels.  

Perceiving wrongness also brings on both sides of it righteousness and shame.  To defend one’s rightness or hide in one’s shame birth the entire gamut of defensive patterns of self-protection.  This is our fall from grace or love.  This is the imposition of limitation on life force.  This is the disconnection from our power, which is the power of love.   To restore connection and remember the power of love we must dismantle our belief in our own or others wrongness.  To know love rather than think love requires this.  

Love has no boundaries, it penetrates all.  Love brings light to even the darkest dark, to every recess of unconsciousness.  Nothing is brighter than love.  To stand in the radiance of love is to illuminate the entire world.  All healed, all whole, all intimately aware of itself.  From here the purest and most efficiently organized forms of creation are created.  Life force vitalizes all.  This doesn’t happen independently of you, it happens because of you.  At some point we must all surrender to love.  It is inevitable.  We must give away our addiction to less coherent thoughts of wrongness, missing and lack of wholeness, and open our system into greater coherency, full force life force and the power of love.  

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