STABLE BEING

STABLE BEING 

Unaffected by the storm

Many of us desire stability in our state of being.  To feel good, relaxed, rested, while being attentive, present and aware.  To not get caught, pulled or hung up on the things of life.  It can seem at times that we are constantly getting drug down in one way or another by the stuff of life, all the doings, details and coming and goings.  It can feel like a mystery as to how to be stably rested despite all of the physical and mental activity that ensues.  

One of the prime awarenesses that we must develop of ourselves is how ahead of ourselves we get.  When our to do lists get long, our activity calendars get filled up, or life is a seeming crazy, chaotic mess we often get swept into the furry.  We are no longer the eye of the storm, but become part of the storm itself.  We leave our center behind us and focus on some illusionary future that has yet to come into existence outside of our thinking about it.  Our experience becomes one of unstable, frantic exhaustion as we are attempting to keep up the pace with what we think the pace should be.  

Most of the time when we are in the storm we don’t even realize that we’ve lost our center.  We only know that we feel tired, disconnected, not joyful or not as present as we would like to be.  We are on the treadmill of life trying to get to some destination, working up a ginormous sweat, but never actually going anywhere.  We also don’t realize, from the perspective of the storm, that we are choosing our experience.  Rather we feel that our experience is happening to us and that there is nothing that we can do about it.  We therefore spend a lot of time and energy not being at peace.  Constantly wanting things to be done, different, better, or somehow other than they are.  This underlying desire to arrive, for some semblance of organization, peace, rest or completion, propels us in this seeming forward aiming direction from beginning to end.  It is a tireless journey, particularly if our focus is on getting any part of it done and over.  

In order for us to find stability of being we must ultimately become unaffected by the storm.  The degree to which we are affected by the storm is the degree to which we will be unstable in our state of being.  Many people like to go on the ride, get charged up, take stances, fight causes, be right, not give up what we think we want, not feel defeat or disappointment, not feel un-resolve, and on and on.  The result is that we are often off center, not really present and feel like we are the wave that comes up and crashes down rather than realizing we are the water that makes up the wave.  If we realized we are the water, that we are the substance that makes up the wave to begin with, we would be at much peace and resolve.    

MAKING PEACE WITH EVERYTHING 

Not minding what happens

One of my favorite quotes comes from Jiddu Krishnamurti and it goes, “Here is my secret: I don’t mind what happens.”  If you really take this quote in, you will see just how far reaching it is.  You will also discover all of the places where you do mind what happens and hence all of the places that will take you out of your center, stable being.  See when we decide, think or insist that something be other than it is or be any particular way at all we suffer.  It is really that simple.  Suffering is a state of being, which most of us do not prefer.  In fact the preferred state of being for most is connectedness.  However due to the fact that most do not want to let go of what they think they want or desire, they by default choose to be unstable in their state of being.  They choose to be swayed, to be pulled, to be the wave rather than the water.  

What would your life and world experience be like if you made peace with everything right now?  I am not suggesting that you don’t feel what you feel, but rather that you make peace with whatever it is you feel.  I am not suggesting that you don’t have desires, but rather that you find peace with whatever your desires want to look like.  Without making peace with what is here now in this moment you will be hijacked by your thoughts and feelings that want it to be different.  

People think they want stable being.  In fact I’d say this is the crux of the spiritual journey, but what I’ve found that most really want is life to feel and look like what they want it too.  They want this rather than peace now, because they falsely believe that when life feels and looks like they want it to then they will be happy and experience a sense of perfect completeness.  I am pretty certain that as an experience this never arrives at some future place, but yet we are persistent in believing that it does.  We think it couldn’t possibly be found inside the mess we currently perceive things to be, but only in the perfect, clean clarity that lives elsewhere.  This is why we are all on this treadmill, going nowhere, but trying really hard to get somewhere.  

What would it take for you to make peace now?  What would be required?  This is important to ask yourself and to know what stands in between you and peace, or in between you and stable being.  Through asking yourself this question you will begin to see that you are in charge of your state of being.  It is not dependent on any circumstances or conditions.  It doesn’t matter what is going on in the world at large, in your relationships, in your inner world, in your body, on how much sleep you had, what food you ate or anything else.  Your state of being is dependent only on your choosing of it and your willingness to not mind what happens.  Here you will find stable state of being.  You will be unmoved by the stuff of life and will be responding only to your own inner alignment and choice for peace and presence now.  Your experience of life is then rested wakeful presence and attunement with this moment.  

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

UN-CONDITION THE SPACE OF YOU

UN-CONDITION THE SPACE OF YOU

Birthplace of programs, patterns & conditions 

Often in spiritual circles we talk about deprograming or de-conditioning ourselves from the programs and conditions we’ve learned, which are either untrue or don’t serve us any longer.  Much of our personal work and development is focused on dismantling these patterns that create inauthentic ways of being, so that ultimately we can simply be ourselves just as we are with nothing added or subtracted.  In fact much, if not all of our suffering, stems from disconnection from ourselves (i.e. not knowing ourselves) and then attempting to be someone or something out of that sense of disconnected emptiness.  This creates the entire gamut of patterns, programs, strategies and conditions that come along with attempting to be someone or something other than what we nakedly and innately are.  

What are these programs, patterns and conditions really made up of?  All patterns are simply made up out of thought.  Those thoughts inform, direct and mold the forms and behaviors that you see and experience.  The root of thoughts are beliefs, the root of belief is perspective, and the root of perspective is simply perception or the ability to perceive.  So the fact that you can perceive (i.e. that you are aware) creates a perspective or lens from which beliefs, thoughts and forms are birthed or brought into creation.  Each level back is less conditioned or patterned.  Forms are the most conditioned or patterned, thoughts a little less so, beliefs even less so, perspectives less so than beliefs, and pure perception/awareness is the least conditioned.  This is why as people become more steeped in pure awareness (which is the most refined or primordial essence or substance if you want to call it that) the more transparent they become.  Transparent in actual form, less fixated in thought, and less biased and strongly held in their beliefs.  This is the space of what all of the work of de-conditioning or deprogramming brings us all directly into contact with and ultimately shifts our sense of identity.  

See when we are fixated on the body and the thoughts in our head we think ourselves to be a separate human being, that becomes our identity.  Be clear that separate human being is just a thought.  When we start to recognize the beliefs that create the thoughts and forms, we see ourselves as less and less separate as we begin to be able to change our thoughts and see the direct impact of that change on our physical world.  This makes us feel less separate from and more a part of or interconnected, so our identity is more like a web of beings rather than just a separate individual being.  When the beliefs become clearer and clearer and lighter and lighter we open into the recognition of perspective, which is like the lens through which light is focalized.  Here our identity is that of what I would call the soul or higher self.  We realized our selves beyond a linear timeline seeing our entire trajectory or journey forward, backward and now.  Until finally even the lens is transcended and all that remains is pure light or pure awareness, which is non-localized, spacious, all encompassing and all pervasive.  Here identify is just one, one beingness, which is what I call the God state.   

BEING UNCONDITIONAL SPACE

Giving the gift that you are

Now that we are clear on how conditions arrive in the first place we can easily see that as we track our way back to the source of it all we arrive in that unconditional, non-localized, all pervasive space of ourselves.  This is the purest state of being possible and it is your true self; it is what and who you are.  (Side note: There is a traversing beyond beingness itself which is to remove yourself completely from creation. It is quite advanced and another transition all together which I will not address in this article.)

When you know yourself as God, or as pure awareness, the space of you is unconditioned.  This means that anything and everything is possible as no conditions are set and no programmed responses have been decided or determined.  It also means that anything that interacts with this unconditional space has an opportunity to see, remember and know itself clearly.  For example say that there is a group of 5 sitting in a room and one of those in the group has recognition of the unconditional space that they are and they’re completely rested in that knowingness.  Through the restedness they have in themselves, in what they are, they naturally and effortlessly emit that and it becomes the container of the group or room.  What will then organically occur is that any beings that are present in that group who are more transparent in their form, thoughts, beliefs and perspective will naturally and effortlessly meet that awareness.  To whatever degree one is transparent in self will be the degree to which they can meet that awareness.  Of course that awareness does not stop at the container of the four walls and therefore has opportunity to be picked up by any and all open enough to become coherent with it.

When no conditions are set and no programmed responses have been decided or determined God just simply is and moves.  This is where we recognize that self-organizing principle of life that does itself by itself.  Our heart flies open and moves towards God, merging into that source of what it is through the recognition of itself.  If we are still fused with our thoughts including our worries, concerns, plans for our future and such, than we may try to define it, put it in a box, label it, force it somehow, or figure it out, but when we are beyond the box of our thoughts we simply allow it and recognize it as God and eventually as ourselves.  

To un-condition yourself, which is simply to remember yourself, is the biggest gift and really the only gift any of us have to give.  The giving being inherent and naturally occurring, you couldn’t stop it even if you tried.  Your thoughts, actions, behaviors, and movements are all seamlessly in God as God.  Nothing being out of flow or coherence.  Not acting as the person you, but from the knowingness of what is prior to it all.  

It all boils down to what you desire and where you place your focus.  Do you desire to play in the world of forms, manipulating and achieving, moving from here to there, feeling like you have purpose in a particular way and hoping to find peace and happiness once everything settles into place?  If so you will not have the penetrative power that you need to break through the layers of your own mind.  Do you desire to know yourself, know the truth and know God and is that your one and only sole desire that you seek at the expense of all else realizing there will never be an external settling into place or peace and happiness found in anything you do, achieve or accomplish?  If so you will have the fuel that you need to realize yourself and so it will be.  You then become the gift that you’ve been all along and your radiance touches all.

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

Inauthenticity: The Biggest Energy Drain

Inauthenticity: The  Biggest Energy Drain

Identifying your fake self

Business Executive and His Energy Level Concept Vector Cartoon I

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

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

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

Your Inner Fire 

Inviting the messy, destructive & chaotic

the burning woman head profile

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

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

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

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

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

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

Authentic Caring

Caring Disguised as Agenda 

How do we care without agenda?

man manipulated by cunning woman to make a proposalWhether we want to admit it or not most of us have an agenda to the things that we do and the ways we behave, particularly when it comes to other people.  Agenda can be tricky for us to see in ourselves.  Often it is disguised as caring, but when we dissect it out further we frequently find that our caring isn’t pure.  We discover that we really want something in return for the things we do or the ways that we behave, even if its simply to be talked to, treated or touched a certain way, or to have others love us or show up in a way that we are more comfortable with or desire to be around.  

Anytime we want anything in return for the way that we show up, the things we say or ways we behave, our caring is tainted with agenda.  Though wanting something in return may seem very normal or innocent to us, or even like we are entitled to it, it creates immense underlying and unnecessary suffering for us which we are often not really aware of.  It also creates a situation where we not truly being ourselves.  It pulls us out of our authentic self and we become some semblance of “ourselves” that we’ve learned to be and which we think gets us what we want from others.  Often these ways of being that we’ve learned are so engrained in us that we actually think we are them, when in truth they are just strategies and ways we’ve learned to navigate this world to feel internally safe and comfortable.

There is also often this inherent thing that happens when we care.  Its as though caring activates something inside of us that makes us want to control or manipulate the outcome or circumstances of our caring.  This can be seen in anything from a project you are working on, a business venture, the creation of a family, a book you’re writing, a relationship that you are in, etc.  As soon as we “care” there is this gripping that comes along with our caring.  We unconsciously hold our breath, tense up, and can’t stop thinking about how it will turn out, as if any of those actions will help our caring or the outcome.  This is where our initial excitement or care for something turns into manipulation, control and ultimately agenda.   

Authentic Caring 

Service vs. Slave

little girl bubbleBeing of service is true caring and that doesn’t arrive until you are completely without personal agendas.  This is how you can see/know exactly what will support life rather than trying to “figure it all out”.  Whenever there is a personal agenda you will find yourself feeling like a slave rather than feeling like you are being in service.  Service is simply being yourself completely and participating with life from the fullness of being yourself; sharing/expressing whatever excitement or thing naturally arises.  Service feels effortless and organic even though there is still work and activity involved.  Where being a slave is feeling like you have to do something, make something in particular happen, or showing up in ways that are not authentic to you.  Slavery feels effortful, disempowering and like something that you have to do or else you won’t be taken care of or things won’t work out for you or others.  

Rather than the focus being on what you care about, try shifting your focus onto simply being yourself.  For example say you are starting a project or a new relationship and you feel excitement being engaged within it.  The excitement is evident, but then the idea of the “future” comes in.  What will happen in the future?  What will be the future of this project or relationship?  We often get so ahead of where we are at that we lose contact with the present moment.  We begin to live in a future “idea” rather than where we are now.  Most people are living this way.  This makes us feel heavy, like things are effortful or hard, when really the effort or hardness is just our own manipulation or control of what is.  Things aren’t hard or heavy in and of themselves, its simply our relationship with what is that makes it seem so. We say to ourselves that our caring is motivating us, but really what is motivating us is a particular, hopeful outcome that we have for the project or relationship.  With this we begin to feel like a victim to our own desires and like we aren’t in control, which is why we attempt to control and manipulate everything.  Our focus is not on being ourselves, but instead on what we think we “care” about.  We’ve actually lost touch with caring because we’ve lost touch with ourselves.  

This is also where we drop out of being in service and into being a slave.  We are really being a slave to ourselves yet we think its to our circumstances and situations.  A slave to our own ideas, hopes, dreams and perceived needs to be comfortable and have the illusion of external safety,  security and love.  We give away being our true selves in exchange for our ideas and with this deep down we feel that we are out of touch with true caring.  We may become aloof or feel that its hard to connect with our heart.  We see that most of our “caring” is really an attempt to manage and control life.  We can even give the illusion that we are “on purpose” because we are doing all the right things yet we feel exhausted and unfulfilled.  We are only fooling ourselves. 

True caring is being connected to our hearts.  This is also how we are most authentically ourselves.  With that we no longer need to behave in ways that have underlying self-protective or self-assuring agendas because we know we (and all) are already taken care of and there is no thing we need to manipulate or control, even that which we seem to care about the most.  Trust arrives.  We can then be truly self-less (which is loving self) and truly without agenda (which is loving other) and experience true caring.  

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

Valuing authenticity

Valuing authenticity 

Being unapologetically you

authetic manIn personal growth communities there is often an emphasis on authenticity.  It seems to be one of the popular themes in the spiritual and relational world.  Its fascinating that authenticity, or, simply being unapologetically ourselves, is something that we have to “work on”.  Working on being ourselves, who we naturally and innately are, seems kind of silly when you really think about it.  Yet this is where we are at in our development.  

So why are we fake? From where did all of our inauthenticity and pretending arise?  At some point on this human journey we learned that simply being who we are was either not enough, too much, or it wasn’t safe to be ourselves.  Through this learning we developed patterns of inauthenticity in order to feel safe, accepted and loved.  It’s basically that simple in a nutshell.  

What is it to feel safe, accepted and loved, and be yourself?  To say the things that are in your heart to say.  To act from and trust your intuitive knowing without having to rationally and logically justify yourself, and without doubting yourself.  To know that you are kind, good and loving and that your intention is not to do harm, but to be of benefit and simply share and express yourself naturally without effort or fear of rejection or hurting others.  Being authentically you isn’t a permission slip to be a douche bag and act in unkind and unloving ways, but that isn’t who you actually are anyways, now is it?  

To be authentic it is a requirement that we love and value ourselves.  Without this, valuing authenticity is an impossibility.  We have to know that our heart is pure and clean.  We must remove the doubt in our mind as to what our essential nature is.  This creates the solid ground from which we can feel safe and trust that it’s ok to relax, be present and naturally express as we feel so moved to do so.   

From fake to real 

Dismantling your masks

Woman breathing fresh air in winter on the beachDismantling our masks ultimately brings rest and freedom, however it can be quite uncomfortable at first.  At times it may even be hard to distinguish between what is a mask and what is you.  When you’ve worn some of these masks for such a long time you may actually think that the mask is who you are.  You may even be attached to or like some of your masks even though they are not really true to your most essential nature.  

How do you know a mask from you?  Masks always come with the a few key qualities.  One is that you have to maintain them, meaning you always have to show up in a particular way or you fear you might lose something.  That something is related to a sense of external security and/or approval of yourself by others.  This constant maintaining is often exhausting and overtime people begin to feel stressed or burnt out.  The stress and burnout is from maintaining something that you actually are not.  When you are yourself you are not stressed, you are simply in your natural expressive rhythm and flow.  

Another quality of a mask is that they create an underlying feeling of separation.  When you are wearing a mask or you are not being you, you feel separate from other people.  There is a you and them.  This can show up as feeling isolated from others or like you don’t belong.  Or there can be the need to prove yourself through rationalization, speaking “logically”, or competing subtlety or overtly with others.  It can feel like if someone else wins then you lose or vis versa and with this it can feel hard to be happy for others successes, or sometimes your own. 

With masks there is often a mismatch with what you are really feeling and what you tell the world that you are feeling.  Many people put on the “I am fine” mask everyday and they may even believe it themselves, but you can palpably feel when someone is wearing this mask and they are not congruent in what they feel like and what they say they feel like.  

The crucial point in moving from fake to real is in identifying your masks and slowly laying them to rest.  It takes courage and the willingness to feel vulnerable and uncomfortable at first.  With time your comfortable level with relaxing and being yourself will increase and before you know it you will be ok with just being you.  That is the ultimate embrace of self-love.  

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