Living Integrated


Actualized Self-Realization

Living integrated is not an act of doing but rather a state of knowing from which all doing and activity arises.  Living integrated is simply knowing yourself and being that no matter what is showing up in appearance in either your inner or outer worlds. 

Many people have at some point in their life touched or awakened to an aspect of themselves that is beyond their ordinary body-mind self.  Names we give to this newly recognized aspect of ourselves are things such as Soul, Heart, Universe, God, Source or Love.  Once touched many (but not all) people hunger to live and experience this awareness of self as Love in their every day moment to moment existence.  When people have this awareness of something beyond what they normally identify themselves as but aren’t yet living as it we tend to say that they are integrating or in the integration process.  

If we make it really really simple, integration is the process of aligning all of ourselves to that awakened or new found awareness of ourselves, aka our Heart.  What this means is that we are “integrating” only as long as we choose to stay out of alignment with the recognition of ourselves as Love.  In this way you can see integrating as a way that we postpone the full acceptance of ourselves as what we truly are.  Now granted there is a timing and rhythm to everything and all will unfold accordingly,, however it is also important to realize where we put the brakes on our own development, expansion and forward progression.  How long do we want to delay the reality of living as love that we desire?  When will we quit making excuses and accept that we are Love already?  What needs to be perfectly and precisely aligned in the world of appearances before we do?  

Sometimes after having a self-expanding experience people have the tendency to try to bring that awareness of Soul into mind, meaning they make it conceptual so that they can explain the experience to their more ordinary self or make it more relatable to others.  This is frequently what people call integrating, but its really just making the experience mental, and it is an attempt to bring a more unified awareness of self into a less unified awareness of self.  I would invite rather to include soul in addition to the mind-body-human experience as something beyond it rather than trying to put it inside of mental containers. Soul is not supposed to fit inside of mind or be reduced to it.  Soul is not to be flattened into the mundane and ordinary so that “more people can get it” or it can be more relatable to your mind or other’s minds. Everyone already has soul. It’s not by shrinking Soul that more people get it, instead it’s simply the shining of more light/awareness onto that which already is, that enables the “spreading” or waking up of it to more of itself.   


Getting in Alignment with how the Universe sees

Integration is prior to knowing. To say you must integrate is to hold onto a less than complete version of you or a lesser truth. To integrate, or to live as yourself, you must discard your story of incompleteness. Each moment you hold onto it you create an illusionary reality for yourself in which you experience suffering, separation and disconnection. 

Insisting on our own imperfection or the world’s imperfections is the prime way we disconnect from our true selves and hence we need to continually integrate. It is our lack of trust in Love/God that keeps us on the outside and in a world of objects and appearances.  When we don’t trust Love we are constantly trying to control the in’s and out’s of our moment to moment experience rather than place our focus on Love.  Most people are not taught that they can choose where to place their focused awareness so many of us have our awareness placed in the world of things rather than rested in God/Love. The turning point where you see that the choice is yours is instrumental to living integrated or fully self-realized and actualized.   A key practice is remembering God moment to moment. Putting the knowingness of God in the forefront of everything else. Placing the attention of your mind solely on God rather than appearances or things. This illuminates all appearances with the awareness of God as all that is and all that can be, and makes integration, or the being of one’s self, seamless and effortless.  An inherent trust in a natural order also arises which enables your body-mind to rest more deeply in a larger container of wisdom and Love.

The only thing that then remains is the perfection working through your vehicles of mind-body.  Any time your mind comes up and insists that something is even just one hair thread out of alignment then your experience of the life will be out of alignment.  You will not only perceive out of alignment-ness in the external world, but the generation of it internally as well.  You will begin to feel like life is up to you, that you have to manage it on your own, and you will attempt to control it all costs because you are disconnected from the larger you and out of alignment with how the universe/God perceives, which is always the lens of perfection.  

Disciplining your mind to see as God/Universe/Love sees is really the only practice you ever need.  All doubts will dissolve.  Only trust in Love will remain and thus your experience of life will be connected, open, inviting, embracing, encouraging, and expansive.  Your discovery of the container that holds all inside of it, as yourself, enables the perception of you as Creator, as God.  All movement, all actions and all unfoldings happening within you.  To resist, reject, attempt to leave out, push away, or even make different begins to seems ridiculous as you recognize everything, even all of the thoughts, feelings, sensations, things, situations people, as you.  There isn’t anything that isn’t Love and its becomes evidently clear to you once you stop insisting on incompleteness and imperfection.  

Incompleteness and imperfection are merely thoughts in your mind, nothing more.  Master the thoughts in your mind to align with the one perception that the Universe has of creation as complete unified perfection, and that is the reality that you will create.  All of physical reality will follow your singular perception.  We don’t create or re-create the world through physically and mentally hard work and toil.  We create it with our perception.   I know it seems like things happen out there, but they don’t.  They happen inside of your consciousness.  Now is the moment to realize that every form follows consciousness whether that consciousness is awake to itself or asleep to its self.  The benefit of being awake and thus creating awake is that rather than experiencing cyclic suffering you experience eternal bliss.  The bliss that comes from knowing yourself and being yourself.  Alive, awake and integrated.  

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

Prioritizing Presence

Prioritizing Presence

Consumption, distraction & dissociation

There are a thousand million ways that we avoid being present.  Many of the strategies that we use to avoid being present revolve around consumption, distraction and dissociation as these things provide relief from all of the uncomfortable sensations, feelings and experiences that come along with being human.  Let’s investigate how these strategies manifest so that you can identify them in yourself when they arise.  

Consumption is king when it comes to avoidance of the present.  Over eating, over drinking, over shopping, over scrolling, over thinking, over watching, over looking, over searching and seeking, all provide a temporary feeling of satiation or fullness.  This fullness activates the parasympathetic part of the nervous system, which gives us a sense of relaxation and the ability to check out of life (aka our thoughts) for a few moments.  Just to clarify that while relaxation is integral with the development of your ability to be present, relaxation for most people is a checking out rather than a checking in, which is the opposite of presence.  The goal is to be stably present which is a state of calm, steadiness wakefulness no matter what arises, which is very different than relaxation which is a temporary disengagement from stressful conscious or unconscious thoughts.  

Distraction and consumption are closely related.  Distractions often come in the form of consumption.  This can be the busyness that we keep ourselves occupied with, constantly needing to be engaged with something or doing something and not having the ability to simply allow things to be.  This can look/feel like difficulty unwinding or physically sitting still, inability to still your thoughts/mind, and not being able to pay attention or focus your awareness to be productive in ways you desire.  Distraction could be summarized as giving your attention to things, activities, thoughts and doing more than your state of being.  

Lastly there is dissociation.  Dissociation is a disappearance of your awareness from the here now.  With dissociation there is a charge or something unresolved, and instead of being with it you learn how to escape it completely.  This can be seen as people who meditate into emptiness states and feel peacefully calm there yet feel unrest at all other times.  Taking recreational or other types of drugs/medicines also provide the opportunity to dissociate where you experience bliss elsewhere and have resistance/charge on this earthy plane of reality.  Other ways to recognize this are feeing spacey without a ground, feeling like you have no idea what is going on, or not engaging with others or certain aspects of your life.  The difference between dissociation and healthy disengagement which allows you to see a bigger picture of life is that with dissociation there is resistance to the experience of now, where in healthy disengagement there is full acceptance of now.   

Presence is life 

What we truly desire

In order to prioritize presence you must first identify your strategies and ways that you check out of it.  Only when you can identify and see your patterns can you change them.  The next piece after this awareness of self is the commitment, desire and prioritization of presence.  Without making this a priority you will simply fall back into your patterns as they are easy, known, somewhat comfortable and the more grooved path.  Checking out takes less energy then checking in and by default we tend to take the path that requires less energy and therefore less from us.  If you want to bring more energy and awareness into your system (energy & awareness are the components of life, health and vitality by the way) then you must want it more than anything else.

Presence is life.  Presence is ground.  Presence is being.  Its components are energy and awareness.  When you prioritize presence you prioritize life, ground and beingness more than all of the content and experiences that fill it up.  When you turn your attention, your awareness, to the beingness rather than the stuff you will begin to experience the freedom, lightness and bliss that most people desire deep down yet struggle to find their way to.  On the surface it seems that what we want are certain sensations, feelings and experiences to be a particular way, but if we dive a bit deeper into our being we will discover that its not the sensations, feelings or experiences that we truly desire to be a certain way, but instead we desire inner stillness and peace no matter what is occurring.  We desire to be free from having to constantly navigate, plan and prepare our life’s trajectory attempting to prevent the “bad”.  We desire to be in the mystery unafraid and in trust and faith of the magic of the moment.

Being present means you give away the control that was never yours in the first place.  You let life be as it is and unfold with it rather than try to plan, fix, mange and coordinate the unfoldings.  You realize that while you are in the driver’s seat of your own state of being, that is really the only thing you are in the driver’s seat of.  You stop saying or thinking that anything should be different than it is.  You stop insisting on rightness/wrongness thinking and perspectives.  This alone bumps you up to the next stage of awareness or consciousness that is beyond simply fighting for your survival and making sure you are taken care of.  

What’s beyond survival and trying to make sure you are taken care of you ask?  Freedom, peace and love.  All of this does not mean inaction, it doesn’t mean not standing up for yourself or causes that you feel inspired too, it doesn’t not mean you stop expressing or creating.  It simply means that your actions are in direct response to an intelligence that is beyond the intelligence in your own head.  It means moving beyond the person you, which you are so concerned and fused with, and that you’ve come to believe is who you are so much so that you’ve forgotten your true identity.

Your true identity lies beyond your own head, beyond the eyes that look out from this human body.  You cannot know it until you prioritize it over everything else.  You must make presence and a focus on your beingness more important than anything else that arises in your experience.  You must be willing to let everything go and become focused on existence rather than experience.  This is how/where you will come to recognize your true identity as being rather than as person or thing.  This will be your shift out of a survival state of being that is full of fear, threat and insecurity into a rested, stable ground of presence that is all pervasive, doesn’t come and go and is always ever presently here.  

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

Self-Love School

Self-Love School

12 week online course to master self-love

Hi friends & avid blog readers.  I am excited to announced that I have just completed and launched SELF-LOVE SCHOOL.  This is something that I have wanted to create for several years and it has now come into full manifestation.  Self-Love School is a 12 week online course designed to help you master self-love.  The largest pain we have as human beings is feeling unworthy and unlovable.  However you don’t need to keep living out this story.  You have the ability to reclaim and know your worth so that you are unshakably rested as love now.

Self-Love School provides you with all the teachings and tools that you need to master self-love.  Through self-love mastery you will know what it feels like to love yourself and experience living a life knowing your worth and thus increasing your contribution to life and others.

The curriculum includes 12 separate modules (one released each week for 12 weeks) on different topics related to self-love.  Here is a list of each week’s topic:

Week 1: Cultivating Desire for Self-Love

Week 2: Self-Love & Survival

Week 3: Self-Love & Emotions

Week 4: Self-Love & Sense of Self

Week 5: Self-Love & Service

Week 6: Self-Love & Wisdom

Week 7: Self-Love & Energy

Week 8: Self-Love & Spirituality

Week 9: Self-Love & Your Health

Week 10: Self-Love & Relationships

Week 11: Self-Love & Gratitude

Week 12: Self-Love Mastery


Why Self-Love?

  • Every single thing in your life works better when you love yourself
  • You feel comfortable inside of your own skin and body
  • Life feels less hard and more fun
  • You easily see how to support yourself and others
  • Trusting yourself becomes natural
  • You recognize that love really does heal all
  • Presence becomes effortless
  • Kindness to yourself and others emerges freely
  • You enjoy yourself and feel like you and your life matters
  • And so much more….


What’s included?

  • Each week, for 12 weeks, you will receive access to an online teaching module that includes a core teaching on a specific topic related to self-love.  The core teaching is approximately one hour in length.
  • In addition each module has bonus and supplemental materials.  These include guided meditations, exercises to help you connect with yourself, additional teachings, articles to read and homework/practical assignments to do each week.
  • Inclusion in a private Facebook group dedicated solely to participants of the 12 week Self-Love course
  • Access to all materials and modules for 1 year from purchase date allowing you take the program up to 4 times


How does it work?

  • Once you enroll in the course you will receive an email that leads you directly to the course where you will have access to the welcome information along with the first module of the course
  • Each week a new module will open up for your viewing.  You will get an email notification when your access to it is available.
  • You will need to devote 1.5 – 2 hours each week to get through the material in each week’s module.  The course is self-paced meaningif you need more time for each module you can take as much time as you need to complete it.  Once the module becomes available to you, you will have open access to it for an entire year.
  • The course is open enrollment, meaning new participantswill be joining every day.


How much does it cost?

There are 2 options for payment:

  • One time paid in full cost is $299 or
  • 3 monthly payments of $133

You save $100 by paying in full

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about the course.  For more information or to enroll please visit:


Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC

Owner of Chiropractic Alchemy

Founder of Aligned as Love

Creator of Self-Love School

True healing

True healing 

Learning how to un-control your experience

healing and transformationOften when we experience some type of dysfunction in our body our first response is panic or fear as we feel the threat of how things have been functioning being compromised.  We may feel the fear of loss of a certain way of living or being in this world, which is currently not acceptable to us.  Our ideas about ourselves and who we are get shaken up as this force of instability that we call disease, pain and dysfunction arises in our experiencing.  

In response to this potential loss of ourselves as we’ve known ourselves to be we often go into management mode in order to make sure that we can keep the sense of self that we’ve learned ourselves to be.  In this phase we look for the modalities, treatments and people that will fix us so that we can return to the life and who we knew ourselves to be before this situation arose.  Sadly many people stay in this phase of trying to control and manage their experience of themselves for the duration of their lives and never truly find acceptance for themselves as they are now.  Instead they stay stuck in an outdated version of themselves that has come and gone.  

Due to the fact that many people stay here trying to live as this past version of self, controlling and managing every aspect of their life, they don’t transform and come to know the new self that has emerged.  Their focus is in the rearview mirror so to speak and they keep looking backwards rather than seeing where they are at right now.  With this they will often feel sad, like they aren’t making progress, and like it takes so much effort to maintain everything.  They may frequently feel low energy, be resentful of all the compromises and the degree of vigilance that they have to have in order to maintain their previous sense of self which they are still holding onto as who they are.  They simultaneously continue to fear the unknown, fear who they would be if they accepted what and who is here now.  This is often too destabilizing for our sense of self and so we will fight tooth and nail to keep who and what we’ve known ourselves to be.   

Beyond controlling

Mastering healing & transformation

chain disconnectedWhat does is take to get beyond controlling your experience?  The first step is full acceptance of what is here now.  Zero transformation can occur if you don’t do this first fundamental step.  You will always feel like you are fighting something and “transformation or healing” will feel effortful because you are literally in a state of resistance to what is.  Acceptance is often the hardest because it will feel like defeat to your mind.  Like you are losing and something else is winning.  Again this is only because you have been holding onto a previous version of yourself that is no longer really here or relevant for you anymore.  You may still have attachment and desire for that previous version of yourself, not ready to let it go, even though its already gone.  It only stays “alive” through your mental clinging to it.

Once you accept what is, healing and transformation can now effortlessly occur.  This does not mean that there is lack of activity or doing, its simply that it becomes very clear to you exactly what you need to do, what methods will support you as you embrace this new version of yourself that is here now, and what changes you need to make in your life.  It becomes crystal clear because you are no longer in resistance/control mode.  There is no longer this aimless searching where you keep hoping that the next thing you try will fix you and you will feel like your previous self again.  The resentment and effort is gone and you are simply doing what you must do.  

What I’ve discovered through all my years of healing and transformative type of work is that when disease, pain and dysfunction arises it is always a source of destabilization to help us wake up to more of ourselves.  We live in these limited bubbles of knowing ourselves and when we come to edge of a bubble that we’ve been living in that bubble needs to somehow burst.  If we are really comfortable in our bubble it is harder for us to want to deliberately pop it and so life gives us situations (disease, pain, accidents, etc.) to make us a little less comfortable so that we will pop that limited bubble that we were previously living in.  In this way we go beyond, stretch into more of ourselves, and into a range of ourselves that we previously weren’t experiencing.  

This process is typically never comfortable.  I believe that is done purposely.  One of the gifts of having this human incarnation is that there is often a massive amount of discomfort that comes along with it.  This discomfort gives us the opportunity to accelerate our soul’s journey at exponential rates, but this requires that we walk towards the discomfort rather than palliate or try to get rid of it.  The more willing we are to let go of what is gone and accept the new, the more versions and flavors of ourselves we will get to experience and play with in this single lifetime.  Healing and transformation will be a game that we master.  We will become adepts of listening, moving with life, learning what we came here to learn and embodying the range of who and what we are.  

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

Our need to know what’s “wrong”

Our need to know what’s “wrong”

Labels, names, patterns and diagnoses

22175536 - set of tagsWe have a compulsion in our society to know what is “wrong”.  We somehow think that if we can figure out what’s wrong with us by giving it a label, name, pattern identification or diagnosis that some how we will be better equipped to fix it, heal it or change it.  Unfortunately this perspective is flawed.  

When we give something a label or name we make it more solid, fixed and “real”.  Though this gives our mind the ease it often needs by naming a previously “out of control” experience, sensation or feeling it simultaneously does little in helping us realize our wholeness which is true healing.  

Some might argue that when they discover a name for their state of being or condition that they then have a path or means in how to address their issue or condition.  Say for example you have a set of symptoms and you go to your doctor and he/she looks at your set of symptoms and says, “ah yes you have multiple sclerosis”.  Now you can take drugs or do therapies that address the symptoms that you are experiencing to try and repress them or get them to go away.  Some level of comfort or success may be felt by all parties yet has any actual healing happened; any return to a more unified and whole state?  

This entire scenario above is based on the assumption that the symptoms you experience are wrong and should be stopped or suppressed because they are interfering with the life you think you should be living.  What if there was a different scenario?  What if instead symptoms that you experience or sensations or feelings that you don’t like that you experience where simply life trying to teach you something?  What if they are meant to interrupt your life?  Would you still try to get rid of them or would you try to discover what it is they are there to teach you?  


Seeing life reorganize itself

Deep listening

8000948 - man looking through a telescope isolated on whiteI have found in my personal experience with symptoms over the years that once I’ve learned what they are there to teach me they abate on their own.  The intelligence of the body resolves them because their function is no longer needed or  useful.  Even things that would be considered “incurable” by western standards I’ve watched resolve time and time again.

So what is required to allow for this course of action?  A change in our perspective in how we view disruptive, disturbing or uncomfortable sensations or feelings.  What if symptoms were there to teach us how to love ourselves more?  Or what if they are there to teach us how to relax and be present or to guide us down a different path in life then the one that we are currently on?  These are some to the rich lessons that can be learned when we stop resisting and trying to figure out our symptoms, and rather listen to and be with them.  

This is a radical shift in perspective for most.  The tendency to resist, get rid of, change or “freak out” when we experience a sensation, feeling or state of being that doesn’t feel good or “right” is very strong.  We must first recognize our tendency to do this and catch ourselves in the act.  When we have the capacity to catch ourselves in the act we have an opportunity to change our perspective.  The perspective change is from one of operating out of wrongness and being motivated by fear to one of operating in acceptance of what is and being motivated by seeing what life is teaching us through this.  

This requires deep listening and a willingness to feel what is below the surface of our freak out. We will be different and we will transform as we change our perspective.  We will be able to see more clearly what is really going on rather than going on an epic search in the dark trying to finding the next magical cure that will be the one to fix us.  We will feel a drop into greater acceptance of what is and thus greater acceptance of ourselves.  This is the only way that true transformation can occur.  Everything else is efforting.  

We reorganize to more efficient configuration when we transform.  We essentially start to “work” better.  Though it may be challenging to really shift perspectives when we do a whole new world of possibilities becomes available to us.  

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

Maintaining energy richness

Maintaining energy richness 

Energy states

energy statesOur energy state is pivotal to how we engage with life and how our body functions.  When we are in an energy poor state we have little capacity to do anything other than survive. We typically can’t engage fully in our daily activities, our bodies are ill and there isn’t any energy available for growth, social interactions or contribution.  We are merely trying to make it through the next moment or day.  

Energy neutral is one step beyond energy poor.  In energy neutral we have enough energy to engage in our day to day activities and be “functional” humans, but we are often tired, don’t feel like engaging with others much and have the need to disconnect or check out in order to recover.  Our bodies are not in crisis, but there may be a few things not working as well as we would like them too.  This is the zone where most humans hang out in their energy state.  

Then there is energy rich.  When we are in an energy rich state we are alive.  We actively participate in our lives, our bodies are not just maintaining status quo, but instead are getting healthier and more vital.  We can show up for ourselves and for others.  People often describe flow states as being energy rich.  This is where life seems to unfold effortlessly and in synchronicity with everything else.  

We all have probably had tastes of each of these energy states at various times in our lives.  More often than not when we are not in an energy rich state we are trying to figure out how we can get there again.  So what are the keys to maintaining energy richness?  How do we live there rather than just visit periodically?   

Choosing your state of being 

Realizing the power of choice

47912357 - businesswoman standing in front of opened doors and making decisionEnergy state is based on your level of awareness.  Let me explain.  Most of us do not realize that we are choosing our lives.  What this means is that we have thoughts, emotions and sensations that we believe are random occurrences; that these things simply happen to us.  We are not aware that we are the chooser of such things.  What is it like to stop for a moment and entertain that the sensations you feel, the emotions you experience and the thoughts that you have are not random?  Do you believe it or does some disbelief arrive?  

It is the disbelief that we are the chooser of the things that we experience and that there is seeming randomness in what occurs to us that makes it difficult for us to maintain the energy state of our choosing.  This is because we don’t realize yet that we are choosing.  So how do we realize that we are the chooser and that life is not happening to us, but instead that we are happening to life?  

It begins, as with everything, with awareness.  So what is awareness?  Awareness is the noticing of what is present without being merged with what is.  What this means is noticing your sensations, emotions and thoughts without identifying yourself with your sensations, emotions and thoughts.  For example, say you have the thought “I am stupid”  and you believe that thought to be a true reflection of who you are, you are merged with the thought instead of realizing it is simply a thought and not you.  When you are identifying with thoughts such as these the highest level of energy you will ever experience is energy neutral.  If you are identifying yourself with certain emotions you will have energy neutral to energy poor states and if you identify yourself with your sensations, such as being your pain or a physical condition, you will experience energy poor states.  

Energy rich states result when you realize that you are not your thoughts, feelings and sensations, but simply are aware of them.  When you are aware of them you can be present with them instead of merged with them.  It can seem scary to stay and be present with some sensations, feelings and thoughts.  As you do things may arise in your awareness that you have had a tendency to push down or avoid previously such as inadequacies of self, feelings of powerlessness, shame, etc., but as you stay present instead of merged with, you begin to realize that all of those things you were afraid of are just smoke and mirrors, illusions, never actually real.  As you stay present and aware more and more, you being the chooser of all of your life experiences becomes increasingly apparent.  This is ultimately how you claim, own and live energy richness.  

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

Being an empty vessel

Being an empty vessel 

Neurological bombardment

bombardedAll day long we are bombarded with things, people, thoughts, feelings and sensations.  Our nervous system is pretty much always taking in information and almost never throughout our day are we completely quiet or empty of these things.

For most people quiet or empty is scary.  It triggers our wounds of not doing enough, contributing enough or being enough and also feelings of being alone and separate.  Simultaneously, on a deeper level many people crave inner stillness and emptiness yet can’t seem to experience it because they are so entrenched in these patterns of production and doing.

In our culture production and achievement is honored, while quiet stillness is seen as lazy or unproductive.  The thing about production and achievement is that it keeps us continually out of the present moment and always into the future of what we are creating and doing.  It sets up the conditions of getting our “to do list” done and that equalling a productive day.  Rather than movement, action and productivity being inspired from inner stillness, it is an effortful process that is directed by our minds.

Now I’m not suggesting to stop all doing and action, but instead to value the quiet as much as the noise.  Since we are predominantly noise driven in our culture (whether externally or from our own minds) we have not learned how to rest in stillness and therefore can never really hear much beyond our own mental thoughts about things.  This limits us to one perspective, which is our own.  Our perspective is only one piece of the whole and therefore provides a limited amount of insight and wisdom.

Being of ultimate service 

Neurological freedom

58762013 - silhouette of woman meditating with energy beams surrounding himOne of our fears about stopping inner or outer activity is that we will not be in as great of service to others.  When we begin to value inner stillness it may require us at time to say no to things or not help people when perhaps we think we should be.  So we do and we do, and our doing fills a need, a need in us to feel significant through helping others or being productive, yet we also ignore the part of ourselves that actually feels a stronger no than yes at times.

It is not until we can become innerly still that we can really be of service.  When we empty out ourselves of our thoughts, feelings, sensations, and things we become present.  In presence all information that is needed is readily available.  Learning to rest in inner emptiness teaches us to be present.  Presence is the most powerful and energizing state that there is.

Being an empty vessel is of being in ultimate service.  Though it may seem that then you have nothing to give or contribute in this state, the opposite is true.  You now have everything to give and contribute.  You are dynamic and alive and also rested in presence.  You have emptied yourself of yourself, of a you, of a being that has needs, wants, desires and preferences, at least temporarily.  In a way you transcend your ego, which is your small, personal self in order to be of even greater service.  A service of which is yet unknown to you and to be revealed.  Surrendering the need to know and being ok in the mystery are necessary.  Things are revealed to you exactly when and how you need to know them when you are in a state of presence.

The clearer your nervous system is, the easier it is to be an empty vessel.   When you experience level 2C of Network care it is called a “clear out.” What that means is that your nervous system temporarily suspends all anchors to you as a sense of self (person) through your spine.  Momentarily you experience a state beyond who you believe yourself to be.  This is a pattern interruption and provides the opportunity to experience yourself differently (beyond yourself).  It requires surrender and the result is inner stillness, emptiness.   When you enter and progress through level 3 of Network care you realize that the emptiness is filled with light and the light is who you actually are.  Hearing the unheard and seeing the unseen become your reality.  I call this neurological freedom and find it is essential for being more empty of self so you can know even more of who/what you truly are and be in ultimate service to all.

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

Conscious resting

Conscious resting 

The need to check out 

man sleeping at deskStress and overwhelm seem to be the norm of everyday life.  We go, go, go until something stops us.  Sometimes what stops us is pain (physical or emotional), sometimes its sickness, and clearly death will bring us to a complete stop.  These “stops” are typically not chosen.  Instead they are “given” to us by life, to slow us down, so that ultimately we can wake up and become more conscious to greater degrees.

When life forces us to stop in these ways it’s usually an unpleasant experience for us.  We don’t want to stop, even though on some level we know we need too.  Sometimes we don’t want to stop because we are thoroughly enjoying life, but are not participating with it in ways where we are fully awake and conscious.  At other times we don’t want to stop because we are afraid that if we do everything will fall apart.  The later is more common.

Whether these “stops” are forced from being so overwhelmed and overstretched, or self-chosen stops, such as sleep or vegging out on the couch watching TV, rest of some kind is inevitable.  This is what I call unconscious resting.  Your system or body have been on overdrive, or checked out on automatic pilot mode, for such a long stretch of time that when you stop you simply crash and check out.  This is often needed to allow the body to recover.  Most people get caught in a cycle of stress, stop and recover, stress, stop and recover.   When feeling rested they go back to doing their life in the exact same ways and never actually become more conscious and aware through the process.

Rested and conscious 

Inner silence

conscious restingHow do you engage with life being both rested and conscious?  Being consciously rested is totally different from unconscious resting.  Unconscious resting is what we do to decompress or unwind from the activity or stress of our day or life.  However you can learn how to consciously sleep, work, watch TV,  and do anything including even die consciously.  One of the key questions to ask yourself when resting is are you decompressing, “taking a break” from stressful thoughts or feelings, or are you becoming more present and aware?

Being still, not doing, and not thinking are radical notions for most people.  Even if you aren’t actively engaged in doing stuff you most likely never stop thinking for more than a few seconds at time.  This is still considered activity and creates stress.  Silence, particularly inner silence, is a foreign experience for most.  Its something that seems to be reserved for monks, meditators or spiritual teachers and seekers.

The thing about conscious resting however is that it doesn’t mean that you need to be totally still sitting on a meditation cushion (though this may help to learn the skill of quieting your mind).  Instead it means that you are in an internal state of rest, ease and relaxation and also simultaneously participating in your life.  When you start to embody this state you realize that activity does not have to equal overwhelm, disconnect, tiredness and stress.  You begin to experience that you don’t need a break or a vacation in order to relax from your life.  Instead the real goal is learning to rest and be present in every moment of your every day life so that you are never taking a “break” from anything.

In conscious resting you are fully present and engaging in such a way that it becomes energizing for you, not depleting.  Next time you find yourself tired or exhausted notice where you went into simply doing to get things done and ask yourself how you could be more aware and present.  Notice what thoughts, sensations or emotions seem to interfere with you being present.  The more you do this the more you will learn how to rest consciously and never need a break from your life again.

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

Dampening out love

Dampening down love 

Dumbing it down, numbing it out 

34249675 - metaphorical expression of squashed heart on a black backgroundMost of us are afraid of our own hearts.  True story.  We can use a myriad of excuses as to why we can’t love, feel love or be love, but what is boils down to is that we are afraid to love.  Afraid to use that thing that sits in the middle of our chest and is the core essence of what every person is striving, consciously or unconsciously, to feel more of.

So what are we really afraid of?  We fear rejection, being “too much”, not being received by others, or feeling too much.  We also create stories about what it means to love, which limit our expression of it, and thus of ourselves.  The level of love that we choose to express in most situations is correlated with how much of it we think the other can receive.  If it seems that the other can only take a certain amount in, then we dumb it down or numb it out.  Meaning we numb and dumb what we are feeling which then influences the actions we will or won’t take.

This simply choice dramatically impacts the level of passion, desire, and drive we have for life.  Our fear of rejection, need of acceptance, and inability to be vulnerably safe overpowers that of anything else.  We will squash our own selves to significant degrees just to make sure that others receive us.  Then we wonder why we “can’t feel” anything and seem to wander aimlessly claiming to not know our purpose in life. Its because we have compressed, shut down, or numbed out the very thing that is our compass and guide on this journey of life.  Our heart.

Love in expression 

Reconnecting with your inner compass

92561896 - heart with compass isolated on white backgroundLove is love.  It has no limits.  Its bound by nothing and is the essence of everything.  Regardless of how much you participate in the expression of love has no effect on love itself.  Love itself never changes, is always present and is abundance itself.  It is your truest nature and core essence.  However most of us do not know this, believe it or really get it.  Instead we believe that we are separate, isolated, distinct beings, and thus live disconnected from the source of what we are.  With this we think we can be cast out, not included and need to fit in and fend for ourselves.  We fall out of alignment and feel that things are not right or could go wrong at any moment.  The result of this is protection, defense and being “on guard”, which is also known at chronic stress or fight/flight.

Reconnecting with your inner compass, aka your heart, requires noticing when you are in reaction and defense in your body and in your day to day life interactions.  One of things that Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) assists you with is noticing where you are in defense and protection mode in your body.  Where you are holding resistance and tension patterns.  NSA does not magically eliminate these tension patterns, but instead illuminates them so that you are more aware of how you do you.  Without this illumination and awareness it is impossible for you to create different choices or hold yourself differently.  How you hold yourself in your body is a reflection of how you interact with life.  If you hold yourself in tension and protection then your participation in life and with others will reflect this as well.

Love in greater expression also takes risk and courage.  Courage to look or feel dumb, to not be received in the way you hope and desire, and to do it anyway.  There is not a single guarantee.  It is simply a matter of how you desire to show up and be with life.  This life really is a momentarily glimpse.  I invite you to stop dampening and numbing it out.  Be bold, take the risk and let love express through you in the myriad of ways you desire to express it.

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

Disconnection disguised as independence

Disconnection disguised as independence 

The cost of detachment 

7085655 - woman running with usa flag on beachWe live in a culture where independence is the primary value for most people.  From the time we are little kids on up we are praised for being able to do things for ourselves.  One of our biggest fears is losing our independence or perceived freedom.  Along with this there is the notion that the more detached we are the better we will be.  The underlying belief is that being “detached” keeps us open and available to life instead of tying us down and threatening to take away our freedom.

When it boils down to it detachment is always based in fear.  Fear that something will be missed, taken away or that we will get hurt.  One example of this can be seen when people have “commitment phobia”.  They can’t commit to be in a relationship, or to a job, or to stay living in one location for very long.  These people often have a horrible time making definitive decisions for themselves.  They have an underlying story of “what if I commit to this and then there is something else that arises.”  They often feel that they won’t have a way out if they need one and will be trapped (lost freedom).  There is also a fear that they will get hurt or hurt others with their decisions and by remaining detached they avoid emotional pain.

There is also what I call “pretend detachment”.  This is where people act detached, but underneath care so deeply that the only way they can cope is to appear aloof and non-caring.  This can show up as having low motivation, being rebellious, appearing distance, not giving opinions and pretending not to care what happens.

One of the coping strategies we use to detach is to quit desiring or taking action in our lives.  Its ironic that so many people don’t know or are perpetually seeking for their life’s “purpose”.  Most of them have numbed out their desires and with that their passion for their life’s mission.

True freedom and interdependence

Secure attachment

When it comes to attachment, there is both healthy (secure) and unhealthy (insecure) attachment.  When attachment is not healthy we are clinging on for dear life.  We may cling to another person (called co-dependent) or we may cling to a job or any life circumstance where we are perceiving we NEED it in order to survive.  Unhealthy attachment is survival based.  There is a fear that we will not have enough without our attachment.  Our security is outside of ourselves and we always feel at the mercy of our circumstances.  We can experience this as a feeling of neediness inside of ourselves, feeling not ok unless others are ok, or not feeling ok if circumstances are unstable.  We feel internally constricted, our breathing may be hard, people/things are not allowed to come and go out of our life and we feel trapped (yet circumstantial safe) and simultaneously afraid of freedom.

56329448 - free happy woman over sky and sunSecure attachment on the other hand is healthy.  Being securely attached allows you to rest in connection with yourself, others and the rest of the universe, of which you are already a part of.  Secure attachment provides freedom rather than feeling threatened that it will take your freedom away.  Being securely attached in relationship with others allows you to both share your desires and wants and simultaneously be ok if the other cannot respond to your desires in the way that you want.  It also allows you to care deeply about others (rather than be aloof pretending you don’t care) and also to be able to let them go, be who they are and listen to their inner calls as they need even when its different than yours.  When this isn’t allowed within relationship we grow stagnate, feel stuck and can’t move forward.  The same is true for jobs, careers, passions, etc.  Being able to show up fully, feel fully, open our hearts and also to fully let go is only possible when we are securely attached.

When we stop demanding that support come from certain people, jobs, or circumstances, and open our perspective to include the support of seeming strangers and ordinary circumstances, we begin to see that support is always there.  Rather than valuing independence as primary we begin to value interdependence.  We realize the web in which we live and how each person/thing/situation is supporting us.  We stop feeling that we have to do it on our own and that there is no one there to help us.  In secure attachment we feel vulnerably safe, all inclusive and have the ability to care as deeply as we desire too without losing connection to our inner essence.

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