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

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

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

FROM CONSUMPTION TO CREATION

FROM CONSUMPTION TO  CREATION

Life is not ours to get

As much at it might seem that we are here to consume life, we are actually here to create it.  Due to the fact that most people are disconnected from the awareness of themselves as a creator, there is a tendency to experience life as an effect, a destination or something to consume.  Our minds like to generate trajectories of getting.  Getting to the next location, the next exciting opportunity, the next moment when we can relax, the next meal, or getting any one of our million perceived needs and wants met or fulfilled.  Consumption, or getting, is so natural to us that we don’t even notice that is how we are operating.  We might think that we are completely without agenda, yet if we investigate ourselves a bit deeper we will find where and how we attempt to manipulate life in order to get or consume for ourselves.

Consuming life comes from an attempt to create safety and pleasure, through and in, your outer experience.  Most look to find ease, stability and comfort through sensation, feeling and getting what we want or need.  This comes in a multitude of forms from what you put in your mouth, what you purchase, the thoughts you think, the motivation behind your actions and the structure of your life.  We attempt to feel satisfaction and fulfillment by what we consume, as if somehow consumption will make us feel permanently good, even if we know it is only temporary.  We must keep getting our fix so that we can maintain feeling good, relaxed and safe.  This becomes a chase.  A chase to keep consuming life.

Recognizing yourself as a creator has nothing to do with creating stability in the picture of life and safely consuming it so that the illusion of all of your needs and wants is met.  Rather it is about moving with life and what you are inspired and excited to bring forth.  Not for your own individual pleasures and safety, but simply because it’s fun for you to create.  Creating for nothing more than the action of creating itself.  A response to an impulse or a call that moves you.  Not creating to consume it, but rather to give your creation to life as your offering, your sharing, and your contribution of the impulse of excitement and desire that runs through you. 

Many create in order to consume.  We build businesses, buy things, create a family, plan trips, develop community, etc. in order to consume it, rather than giving it as a gift to life.  When was the last time you looked at your life and all you’ve created so far and saw it through the lens of what you are giving to life.  Your home, your car, your belongings, your business, your children, your family, your partner, your community, and on and on, are not yours.  They are not things or stuff you have, but rather they are what you can offer to life.  How do you use what you’ve created to give it to life rather than relate to it as something that is yours? 

GIFTS OF CREATING 

Magic of giving

There is an energetic reward of sorts for creating or giving to life.  The more we give to life, rather than attempt to get from life, the more energy we feel.  You might even say that our vibration, or state of being, elevates.  This comes with a sense of levity, spontaneity, aliveness, and excitement.  Things seem to flow and move together even if we don’t know or see how it’s all related and connected.  Giving to life, or giving to the things in our life, brings us into greater energetic coherence.  Asking how or what can I give to this will instantly align you with how you can serve in any moment.  Rather than feeling lost, confused, frustrated or hopeless, you will feel the inspiration of the impulse of giving and sharing yourself.  

For some people this might all sound exhausting.  All this giving.  A part of you might say, what about me?  How am I going to be ok?  Another part might insist that it doesn’t have any extra time or energy to give or create more.  You might feel or find yourself wanting to conserve what little energy you have, so you limit or cap your creation and fall into consumption.  Believe it or not, it actually drains our energy and lowers our state of vibration to simply consume life.  A life of consumption is kind of like a bottomless pit that can never be filled.  It feels heavy, tired and doesn’t have much motivation or desire.  It keeps getting and taking yet never feels full.  It only experiences temporary fulfillment.  Motivation and desire comes from creating and therefore the only way to fill this pit is to give to life.  

There is a magic that happens in creating that you don’t experience until you shift from consuming life to creating it.  See creating is the same as loving.  To create is to love.  When you create or give to life you are instantly included in all of it.  When you follow the call or the inspiration to create, you are taken care of.  Somehow, someway life will always support you.  You likely will not know how it will happen, and you might fall into doubt from time to time, but with continued focus on creating simply to create you will come to see that this is the case.  

There is nothing to grab and hold onto in this life.  You are a creator not a getter.  You are not a passive recipient or an effect of life, you are the creator of it.  When we try to stabilize life, or stabilize our outer experience so that we can consume it, we stagnate and feel lifeless.  We feel lifeless because we aren’t utilizing our life giving potential.  We focus on what isn’t, what we don’t have that we want, and feel powerless to our circumstance.  When instead you see that everything inside of your current experience is something you can ‘give life/love to’ rather than something you ‘have or get’, you activate and utilize your creator power.  When you ask yourself in every situation, what can I give to this, you come to life.  You feel energized.  You elevate.  It doesn’t even matter what you do or the things you create.  It matters only that you come from being the creator, from giving, from loving.  

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

GETTING BEYOND COMPLACENCY

GETTING BEYOND COMPLACENCY

What do you tolerate? 

It’s easy to get lazy.  As humans we are creatures of habit.  After we do something a time or two or three, and the novelty of it wears off, we go into automatic pilot mode.  We assume that what is will always be the way it is because now we are used to it being that way.  We create the illusion of solid and fixed, and with this we stop being fully present.  Our experience of what was once novel and exciting now become more ordinary and with that we slip into a habituated state of being, which you could also call your “usual” state of awareness.  But who really wants usual and ordinary?  None of us do and yet it’s easier to maintain the lower frequency of usual than it is the higher frequency of excitement.  

In order to get beyond the habit of our usual state of being we need to literally stretch our bandwidth or increase our capacity for what we can maintain.  For most people stretching is a bit uncomfortable because it comes with a sense of effort and work.  It takes more energy to get out of our normal habituated ways of being then is does to continue with our automatic thoughts, behaviors and perceptions.  This energy expenditure is exactly what is required to increase our capacity and maintain a higher frequency, yet many chose the way of utilizing as little effort and energy as possible.  You could also equate this to not having enough desire or momentum to create change.  You might think you want something to be different in your life, but you don’t really want to put in the energy to make it different.  

We all have different tolerance levels.  Some people might tolerate being 10 pounds overweight while another person won’t tolerate being more than 2 pounds over.  Some people tolerate being out of alignment or distracted 50% of their day, while others won’t tolerate more than 10%.  There is no right or wrong here in regards to where you are at, it’s simply important to take note of it.  Take inventory of what your tolerance levels are in all the important areas of your life.  Then honestly ask yourself if you are ready to shift your level.  If you aren’t ready, what would it take for you to be ready?  In this way you get clarity around where you are and even if you aren’t ready to shift anything at least you can accept it and do the preparatory work required in order to be ready.  

Our vibrational state is up to us and only us.  No one can or will shift it for us.  Your level of desire and willingness to participate is key.  To move from your normal baseline to your next level is your work and responsibility.  You can use things or people as permission slips to feel certain ways, but ultimately you must become the source of your frequency in order for it to sustainable. 

FREQUENCY OF EXCITEMENT 

Becoming more childlike 

As much as we all like to feel excitement, most people aren’t feeling it much.  Our focus tends to be on all the things that need to get done, rather than on feeling amazing and following what feels good.  Many of our automatic patterns of behavior help us be efficient doers, which can at times be helpful, but they can also make us robotic.  We are going through the motions of life and doing all the things, but for what?  To get everything done so that we can do everything again tomorrow?  Where exactly do we think we will get to once all the doing is finished?  From what I can tell the activity of life, of this infinite creation, never stops.  We could constantly find ourselves doing something.  The goal is not the cessation of doing or activity, but rather to be present right now.  To find and feel our excitement in this moment and not when something is finished or done.

The frequency of excitement is high.  Think of a small child and how excited they get, and how much energy they have.  It’s off the charts.  They are pure examples of living excitement.  Yet we often feel tired by that level of excitement.  We don’t have the energy to keep up.  Where does energy come from anyways?  Why does it feel limited to us, but infinite in a small child?  Energy comes from excitement.  You generate energy through excitement.  Now I am not saying that rest is not beneficial.  Rest is necessary for these bodies.  What I am taking about is all the rest of the time when you are not resting.  You may also find that you require less rest the more you are able to maintain a higher frequency of energy in your day to day life. 

Like I mentioned earlier there is a stretching phase.  A phase when it feels like it takes a lot of energy to elevate yourself.  It’s true, it does.  Stretching is not effortless.  It requires work.  Work that will then require rest.  However at some point you will maintain at a new higher level of vibration that feels lighter, freer, and more childlike.  A child may swing on the same swing 50 times at the park and it will not be normal or ordinary to them.  They will find a way to feel excited about it each time, and then when some other object at the park strikes their fancy they will run over to it and play on it.  They continue to generate and follow their excitement.  

Giving yourself permission to live life in a more joyfully free and excited way is a permission slip worth giving yourself.  Trust the rhythms of life more.  The comings and the goings.  The ebbs and flows.  The natural pacing and rhythms.  Trust yourself more.  Your feelings and intuitions.  Your joy and excitement.  Follow them.  Do your best not to let your rational mind make things ordinary and normal.  Find novelty in swinging on the same swing 50 times.  Life is not flat or mundane on its own.  It requires our perspective of it to be flat or mundane.  Through what perspective do you see life?  If it’s not what you desire, are you ready to shift it?  Be willing to do the work required to raise yourself up and to get to the next vibrational level of yourself.  

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

CHOOSING OPENNESS

CHOOSING OPENNESS 

Why we choose closed 

It’s easy to be closed.  It isn’t as overt as you might think it is.  In fact most people are closed and don’t even know it.  It tends to be what we think of as our natural state of being.  Comfortable and familiar to us, being closed keeps us contained and in our own little bubble of existing and feeling like we know what’s going to happen.  In contrast, openness feels more spacious, vulnerable and mysterious.  When we are open we can feel ourselves and others.  Often people have a negative relationship with feeling, especially if the feeling that’s present isn’t a “good” one.  This is why we close, and sometimes stay closed for most of our entire life.  

When we are closed we can avoid feeling the fullness of “bad” things or feelings.  While on the surface this might seem advantageous to you (which is why so many do this), but when viewing from the bigger picture of your life it’s quite disadvantageous.  The first reason it is disadvantageous is that when you are closed, and are unable to be feel, you lose connection with your guidance system and therefore yourself.  Feeling is guidance.  It’s your beeline to your higher self.  Emotions tell us how to proceed forward on our path and which choices to take.  What to say yes to and what to say no to.  When you can’t feel you will often have the experience of being lost, confused or stuck.  You can call this disconnection, and a sense of not knowing how to move forward or what actions to take in your life.  The second reason being closed is disadvantageous is that when you are closed you can’t feel the bad or the good, so your experience of life flattens.  It’s like being kind of numb.  You might sort of feel things, but your range of feeling is limited. Most days and experiences feel ordinary (aka non-magical).  You go through the motions of life, feeling human and like a separate person from other people.  Again you might not even know that things could be, or are, different than this.  It’s just your normal known state of existing or being in the world.  You don’t feel particularly bad, but you also don’t feel particularly good.  

Being closed feels protective.  It is a defense mechanism that we learn in order to not experience impact.  This is important when we don’t have the inner resources or awareness to be with that impact, and when we’ve either lost touch with ourselves or don’t yet know ourselves.  Examples of this are when we are infants, toddlers or young children and we had experiences that were too painful, scary or confusing to feel.  This is when we develop protective mechanisms.  Nearly all people are still functioning in their day to day life using these strategies.  This is why there is so much disconnect from self, others, animals, the planet, and the universe at large.  It’s why we feel separate and why people are often oblivious to their impact on self or others, or exceptionally vigilant to it.  It’s because we aren’t feeling or are afraid of feeling “bad” things.  It is not wrong.  It’s simply the stage of the game we are personally and collectively at; that is until we choose different. 

FEELING 

Good, bad and everything in between

It really isn’t as bad as you might think it is to feel things that don’t feel good.  In fact it’s rather freeing and liberating, but we aren’t there quite yet.  From where we are now it might seem scary to feel because you don’t know what will happen if you do.  Some people create stories that they will never stop feeling bad once they start.  That they will enter a bottomless pit of despair and suffering with no way out.  Others fear attracting more bad feelings to themselves.  Still others know that if they feel what they are feeling then something will need to change and they aren’t ready for that change yet.  Then there are those people that simply don’t even recognize that they are feeling.  All they know is that they don’t feel on par.  Maybe they have pain in their body, or things aren’t going how they would like them to be going in their life.  Maybe they feel irritated or they don’t sleep well.  Perhaps they have digestive issues or skin problems.  What we are feeling will manifest into our physical experience if we don’t feel it in our emotional bodies.  Feeling will do whatever it can to get our attention and find its expression, because remember feeling is nothing more than guidance, and our higher self wants nothing more earnestly than to guide us on this journey.  

Bad feelings have really gotten a bad rap.  There is an important distinction here between having a negative disposition on life and feeling bad feelings.  Bad feelings don’t equal having a negative outlook, that is unless you don’t feel them.  See many people that are angry, anxious or depressed, are so because they aren’t feeling, not because they are.  This is opposite to what most people believe.  Most people think that the people that seem generally negative on life must be feeling bad things all of the time, but what’s actually happening is that they are avoiding feeling bad things.  That is why they are angry, anxious and depressed.  When we feel bad feelings we liberate energy, and this feels good.  We get less angry, anxious and depressed rather than more.  We open rather than stay closed, and because openness is our true natural state of being, it feels good.  We feel connected even if we are feeling something bad.  

People that you view as having a generally positive disposition on life are regularly feeling bad things.  This is how they can stay positive.  It would otherwise be very challenging to do so because so much energy would be bound up in their system.  Bound energy is closed, looped, tight and distorted.  To have the courage to feel is to be honest with what’s present.  It’s to be authentic with what is.  It’s the opposite of spiritual bypassing, which is to have a kind of “false” positive disposition.  It’s to say everything is great when you aren’t actually experiencing great.  There is an incongruence there, it’s inauthentic, and it’s ok.  It’s simply another protective mechanism to not feel bad feelings, because for some reason you view them as less spiritual.  

To be open is to allow all.  Nothing needs fixed or changed.  All is allowed and all is ok.  It’s not hard to feel bad things when they arise, but it does take a practice of slowing down and paying attention to yourself.  When you are in the doing mode of life, you are often not focused on your feeling body.  This is when you don’t even know that you are feeling, or you notice that something is off, but don’t want to take the time to stop and feel it.  Feeling might feel foreign to you at first, but I promise with a little attention to it, it’s not as mysterious as it might seem.  The reward in it, is you being connected to yourself again.  It’s to have more guidance and clarity.  It’s to be able to feel life, yourself, others, and to have connection to all of existence on this planet and inside this universe.  It’s to have passion for life and to act in alignment and integrity with yourself, your path and your calling. 

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