3 simple steps to find your heart

50990725 - the 3d heart lost his wayFinding your heart  

Where did it go in the first place?

Wouldn’t it be nice to find and live from your heart all of the time?  But what happens when life is hard, people are unfriendly, and things aren’t working out like you want them too?  How do you find your heart despite the storm?

Sometimes life seems to spiral out of your control.  Situations arise that you don’t like or agree with and somewhere in the mess you fall out of your heart.  Even though you are aware that you’re in a downward spiral you can’t seem to muster the energy you need to get back into your heart.

Falling out of your heart is not a “bad” thing.  In fact I have found that it is necessary at times during this life’s journey in order to learn lessons that have then allowed me to see a new perspective, disprove a limitation and have greater appreciation for life.  However, having a way to reconnect to your heart and its intelligence at will is key to feeling empowered even when you feel disconnected from your heart.

Truths about love

The energy of the heart is love and there are some fundamentals to reveal about love. The first is to know is that love is always there.  Sometimes your focus is somewhere else, but love never left.  It is always present.  The second truth is that love has no judgments or conditions.  Even if you don’t agree or approve of yourself, or another person or their actions it is still possible to love yourself and others.  Lastly, love is abundant.  If you give a little away to someone you don’t run out of it.  There is no shortage in supply, only a shortage in the act of giving & receiving it.

3 simple steps to find your heart

In those times when love has seemed to disappear from your life or being there is an easy method to refocus and find your heart again.

found-heart

  1. Slow down.  The hearts pace is slower pace then the active (overactive) mind.  In order to step into the rhythm of the heart we need to stop filling every moment with an action or thought.
  2. Acknowledge something that feels good.  This may be a memory that makes you smile or gratitude for someone/something in your life.  Bring this into the forefront of your awareness.
  3. Allow yourself to feel good.  As you tap into and acknowledge something that feels good let your being feel it too!  Spread it through your body.  Receive it.

With these 3 simple steps you can refocus and reconnect to your heart, which makes everything flow with more effortless ease and grace.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC

Tension is not your enemy

15832931 - woman having headache isolated on blackTension is not your enemy… 

Its your protector

Have you ever been aware of tension in your body?  The type of tension I’m talking about here is an  underlying tension that is consistently present.  You might feel it predominantly in your legs, neck, back, head, belly, jaw, or maybe even your entire being.   Perhaps you became more aware of this tension after an injury, or a life change or challenge, or whenever you feel “stressed”.

Have you ever wondered why this tension is present and what purpose it serves you?  Typically we are so busy trying to “unwind” and “destress” our tension away that we never stop to wonder why its really there at all.

Tension is energy that is bound or held “in place” in the body.  It serves the purpose to hold reality “in place” for you so that you can function in your day to day life without feeling too much.  Essentially so that you can keep going despite what is happening inside or outside or you.  It’s your shield, your protection from things that might potentially hurt you.  Oddly enough holding tension makes you feel safe and secure and like you are in control of your life.

39405932 - outer space. meditation. woman silhouette. vector illustrationTension

The barrier between you & YOU

The intention of tension is to serve you by helping you feel less discomfort, but there are also drawbacks to its presence.  Tension puts your body in “on guard” mode and triggers something called your sympathetic nervous system.  This is also known as the fight or flight response. In this state your body can’t physically heal, its hard to think clearly and emotionally you feel either overwhelmed or completely numb.  Connection to yourself or others, which is one of our most basic human needs, is impossible when you feel tense.

Tension is also the biggest barrier between your little personality “you” and your bigger all knowing “YOU”.  You can think of this as your higher self, soul, spirit, purpose or passion.  This is experienced as dullness, flatness, mundane routines, and fatigue.

Pulling up tension gives the “illusionary” feeling of control and blocks you from feeling some discomfort, but it also disconnects you from the things that make your heart light up and make your life worth living.  Again tension is not the enemy, so trying to get rid of it by rubbing or stretching it out is only a temporary bandaid.  What is required is an ability to remain open (not tense) and drop into uncomfortable feelings and sensations when they arise.  Instead of guarding/protecting yourself, you move forward through whatever is happening without getting stuck inside of it.

One of the things that I help people achieve is an open nervous system so that the body can stay open  and feel life as it occurs.  Through having an open nervous system your body can heal quicker, function better and experience higher states of well-being.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC

Stop avoiding uncomfortable sensations

28919296 - concept of fear with businessman like an ostrichStop avoiding uncomfortable sensations  

… and liberate yourself

Uncomfortable sensations make us panic, whether we are are aware of it or not.  It is a biological reaction that our nervous system has in response to discomfort.  We do everything we can to avoid uncomfortableness.  If something hurts (physically or emotionally) we tend to jump over it, around it or look the other way.  We see this in our over-medicated medical culture.  Every time an unpleasant sensation arises we try to find something to stop it and get it to go away.  This is incredibly unfortunate.  This pattern of avoiding and getting rid (though may produce temporary relief), overtime creates numbness, flatness and disconnection as we search for more methods, tools, or procedures to stop us from feeling  uncomfortable things.

This will probably not be a surprise to you, but as you numb away the uncomfortable sensations, you also numb away the range of pleasant and blissful sensations that you can feel.  You narrow your range of feeling.  Because the mind and body are connected I see this mirrored in the body as people experiencing a limited range of motion in their body.  This can manifest as decreased flexibility in the spine or decreased motion in a specific joint such as the knee, shoulder, hip, wrist or hand.

Learning to be with uncomfortable sensations is a skill

You can do it in 1, 2, 3

Because we spend so much energy and time trying to avoid what is present (especially when its uncomfortable) we often feel exhausted.  Then when we finally hit a crisis point we look for the easiest method to restore us back to at least a functional level again because we don’t have much energy left for anything else.  This is the primary reason most people never fully heal.  They get themselves back to functioning and forget to address the underlying causes that got them into crisis in the first place.  Then 6 months down the road they find themselves in a new or similar crisis.  Its a vicious cycle.

The good news is that you can learn to be with uncomfortable sensations.  You can even start today!  Here are 3 easy steps to get started.

  1. Next time you have an uncomfortable sensation, either in your body or mind (feelings/thoughts), stop doing whatever your doing.
  2. Put your hand on the sensation if its in your body, or place your focus on it if it a feeling/thought
  3. Instead of trying to wish it away, slowly sink into the sensation/feeling as much as you can allow yourself too

As you make this a daily practice you will being to notice that you can go a little bit deeper into uncomfortableness each time.  If you do this you will begin to notice changes in your sensations and feelings without having to “fix them”.  You will also notice that your biological tendency to run from or need to try and change them lessens.  With this you will being to realize how powerful you are.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC

Inner work is Hard work: Why do I need to change or transform? Aren’t I already perfect?

Why do I need change or transform when I am already perfect? Can’t I just accept myself and be done with it? The answer is Yes! Of course you can. No one is forcing you to change or be different than you already are. By the nature of your essence you are divine, perfect, enlightened and free. No one is stopping you from accepting this perfection of youexcept for maybe yourself… hence the need for your inner work.

Inner Work can feel like hard work.  I sometimes hear people complain about how hard the process of change and transformation is; and it can feel like that for sure. We often create quite a bit of resistance between who we operate as on a daily basis and who we know our “bigger” self to be, and resistance is energy draining. The more we resist the amazing, beautiful, graceful, loving, kind, generous, perfect, divine being that we inherently are, the harder and more effortful our inner work will feel.

Some of our resistance comes from beliefs we have about ourselves that are “hard-wired” in our nervous system. These hard-wired pathways are so pervasive that even if we try and think differently we end up resorting to the same old resistances and patterns. This is called neural programming. It is easier and takes less energy to do the same thing over and over. This is why our nervous system habituates and creates dominant pathways, so that we don’t have to think about everything all of the time. This can be beneficial and also requires our attention to continual monitor what works for us and what doesn’t work for us at any given moment. This is where most of us drop the ball. We get lazy, we fall “asleep” or go unconscious and live on automatic pilot.

One of the best ways to come out of automatic pilot mode is through paying attention to your body. Your body is the storehouse of your unconscious. It is a gauge for what is happening in your mind and will tell you when something needs to change because it no longer fits for who you are. This can look like tension patterns, pain, and disease. These are simply indicators that something is out of alignment with the bigger parts of yourself. And what do most of us do when these things arise in our body? We try and get rid of these expressions instead of using the energy available in them to make change. So we feel tired and like inner work is a lot of work, because we are trying to create movement (change) without any fuel in the gas tank.

The most pervasive and outdated pattern I have found in my own life and in my work with others, which brings the most resistance with it, is that we are not worthy of the grandness of who we “hope” that we are. We feel shame for getting what we want because we think it means someone else won’t get something or that we are taking from someone else. We feel grandiose or arrogant if we feel amazing about ourselves, and for some reason label that as bad. We fear we might not be accepted, fit in with others or be desired, so we will be alone and no one will love us if we love us. These are just a few expressions of how unworthiness can manifest in your life.

All inner work as I see it, is to bridge the gap between who you really are (love, infinite worth, amazing, precious, rare) and who you believe yourself to be most of the time (undeserving, ordinary, no real gifts to contribute, un-valuable, can’t make a difference, small). So if you already live as infinite worth, and know your preciousness and value in every single moment, then yes you are done with your inner work. However, if there is still a gap for you, then there is even more that you can realize and embody about your true nature. This does not mean you are less than or imperfect now, because you are perfect, it simply means that you have yet to realize the fullness of your perfection and live as it.

One of the missing links I find with people is that they have done lots of inner work through their mind but haven’t addressed their body. You must work through both. When tension patterns shift in your body that energy becomes available to you.

How do tension patterns shift? Through your nervous system receiving new input that you can hold yourself differently in your body and through diving into your resistances. This is where the energy comes from to make change and where transformation becomes less effortful and more sustainable. Many approaches bypass or avoid the resistance, labelling it is as “negative” and uncomfortable, and come from the angle of “just think differently.” While this may work for some people, others will need more energy, momentum, and fuel to create the change they desire, especially when it has been a lifelong pattern.

The approach I use to support people is called Network care. It works with you through your body to reprogram the dominant neural patterns to ones that serve you better now and makes available the energy to create change so you can live as the perfection you are.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, MS, L.Ac

How can such a light touch type of chiropractic (i.e. Network Spinal Analysis) help me?

 

I hear this question frequently, “How can such a light touch do anything?”  Typically after people receive one or two sessions they begin to experience just exactly how profound light touch Chiropractic is, but today I am going to demystify it for those who have never experienced it before.

Network Spinal Analysis works at the level of the spinal cord and effects nervous system function and communication.  Through thorough analysis of the body’s spinal-neural integrity systems from a skilled practitioner, the precise location is identified where the body says “yes, this is the spot to place a precise, gentle touch in order to make the most effective global response throughout my entire body.”

Now that may seem impossible to some but our body’s nervous system is actually wired for this degree of subtlety and communication.  Think of a time when someone gently kissed your neck at just the right time and place and how that gentleness created a response throughout your entire body.  At a neurobiological level that feeling creates a cascade of feel good neurochemicals (how your nervous system communicates) which promote health, enhance your body’s innate immune system, and produce feelings of overall well-being.  This is one of the ways that a light touch can create a global healing response throughout your entire body.

“In a system of considerable complexity (such as the human body and nervous system), there is a precise point where even a small amount of energy applied (light touch) brings about a major change.” ~Dr. David R. Hawkins

These gentle touches also cue your brain (particularly the frontal part of your brain) to pay greater attention to your body.  This is how healing becomes an inside out approach.  What I mean by that is that parts of your brain begin to “wake up” and create connections to parts of your body.  Sometimes these are parts of your body that hold tension or have pain, other times these are parts of your body that feel peaceful or experience bliss.  Often times when something hurts (or yes also when it feels too good) we tend to try and protect, guard or avoid feeling it in order to decrease what we believe will feel like greater pain (or joy).  What this effectively does is decrease the communication between that part of your body and your brain and you actually lose some of your internal resources for being able to heal and connect to that part of you.

For sustainable healing to occur you must be the one making the changes and connections from the inside.  Nothing done outside of you, to you, will create a lasting change.  Network Spinal Analysis in conjunction with Somato-Respiratory Integration helps you become more aware of you so you can make the necessary shifts from the inside.  Benefits of this type of care are:

    1. You become more aware of your body by enhancing neural communication to parts of your body on the inside
    2. Creates ease in your nervous system so that you can heal and grow instead of being in survival mode in your body’s communication system
    3. Develop new neural pathways and strategies to help you become more adaptable to life stressors and this creates greater health and well-being
    4. Feel more empowered in your ability to navigate whatever comes to you in life (including physical dysfunction, pain, disease or other everyday life events)
    5. Expand into versions of yourself that are more healed, whole and experience more joy and fullness of life expression

Sound good to you?!  Let’s get started!  I can’t wait to help facilitate you connecting to more of you and your self-healing and self-regulating abilities so that you feel more empowered in your health and your life!

Dr.  Amanda Hessel, DC, MS, L.Ac

What is BodyMind Alchemy?

BodyMind Alchemy is the transformation process of you through your bodymind. The body and the mind are not separate. This is mostly common knowledge but many people are not aware of just how intimately they are connected. For healing and transformation to occur bodymind must be addressed holistically and seen as two expressions of you affecting and interrelated to each other.

Alchemy can be thought of as transformation however it goes even beyond. Alchemy is concerned with finding the preciousness in what seems ordinary, it finds meaning in the meaningless, and it illuminates that which appears dark or dull bringing it to new life.

What does this mean for you? Often when something goes “wrong” in our body or we have a life situation that feels unpleasant or unwanted we want that expression of life to be fixed or eliminated. That symptom or life situation is often very charged and when things are charged they are full of energy, energy that can be harnessed and used to create change and transformation.

Instead of getting rid of problems, bodymind alchemy helps you connect with and harness that energy to be used to get you where you want to be. Symptoms and unpleasant life situations occur when life is calling us to move into a new part or expression of ourselves. It doesn’t mean that something is “wrong” with us, but instead that life is asking us to grow, expand, evolve, accept and rise into something even more beautiful and profound than we already are.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, D.C., M.S., L.Ac