FROM SPIRITUAL SEEKING TO SPIRITUAL BEING

FROM SPIRITUAL SEEKING TO  SPIRITUAL BEING

Misidentification with the objects of our awareness

Conceptually most all of us know that we are spiritual beings.  We somehow recognize that there is something more to us than flesh, bones and the thoughts we think.  We theoretically understand this, but have difficultly coming from being.  Rather we come from mental concepts and physical sensations, using those as proof of our existence, without really investigating the source of our concepts and sensations.  If we did do a little bit of investigation we would come to see that we are what is aware of the thoughts and the body and everything in between.  We are the being, the awareness, that notices those things, therefore we can’t be them.  It’s kind of like looking at a table and identifying yourself as it.  However you know that you aren’t the table, but rather that you are aware of the table.  The same is true for everything that you are aware of, it’s simply that most of us have misidentified ourselves as the objects of our awareness rather than see ourselves as the being that knows the objects.  

This misidentification with the objects of our awareness is the reason that we spiritually seek.  We seek because we feel that there is something missing.  That something which feels like it’s missing only feels that way because we have placed our focus and sense of self onto things that are not our self.  This leaves a feeling of a void, an emptiness of sorts, or a longing for something that we know exists, but that we just can’t seem to figure out how to get, realize or know it.  We somehow feel separate from and that feeling of separateness comes from thinking that we are an object of our awareness.  So we seek to find and feel whole, because we have misidentified ourselves as a part.  This seeking for wholeness or oneness is the core of the healing or spiritual journey.  

It is not bad or wrong to seek.  In fact the seeking impulse can provide us with the experiences we need in order to remember what we are and the skills, knowledge, and awareness to realize what is already here.  When we realize what is already here spiritual seeking shifts into spiritual being.  There is however a bit of a dog chasing its tail scenario that can happen on the spiritual path if you are not clear in your intentions.  What I mean is that if you don’t have genuine desire to know yourself, you can get lost in all of the glitter and sparkle of the spiritual journey.  You can fall into chasing more objects of physical and metaphysical pleasure, rather than keeping your eye on the ball.  You get lost in the game and take detours on the path that bring you back to where you started rather than in the direction of spiritual being.  Purifying your desire to know yourself is the brightest light you can shine on your path.   

SILENCE IS YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND 

Just Be 

Somewhere some great master said that ‘silence is the greatest teacher.”   I couldn’t agree more.  To our busy mind with all of its thoughts this seems like a strange impossibility.  How could you ever learn anything from silence, after all there is nothing there?  Don’t you need content or information in order to learn?  This is how we are conditioned yes, but this conditioning has also brought us to the state of being we are currently experiencing as life.  One where we are constantly searching for more content, more answers, more reasons, which we think will provide us with the clarity of being we desire, but all they ever do is send us down more and more rabbit holes and leave us feeling overwhelmed.  Yet we continue to function in this way hoping that somewhere we will find the light at the end of hole.  

The light we are seeking lives in the silence of our own minds.  Getting ourselves to be innerly silent can be a mighty task, which we why we must have such a strong desire to know ourselves in the first place.  If we don’t then we will simply continue to allow ourselves to be distracted in and by thoughts, feelings, sensations and any other content we can find to latch our awareness onto.  The mind really, really loves content.  It is, its jam.  It’s bread and butter.  It’s life force.  Without content the mind feel useless, and because we are merged with the mind and its content as who we are, then we personally feel useless.  Other experiences that arise in silence are boredom, frustration or irritation, loneliness, restlessness, purposeless, and others.  

I have found that there are stages to the “getting innerly silent process.”  When you are first learning how to get silent by sitting or lying down and just beginning to let go of some of the content, taking a few breaths, you start feeling some sense of relaxation.  This typically feels good to us.  If however you go a bit deeper into the letting go process, sitting or lying longer, you will find lots of areas where you don’t want to let go.  You may notice this as tension in areas of the body, sensations getting louder, mental tension, thinking and being lost in the thoughts, scattered, restlessness, or feeling emotions.  Once you move through that stage, I often find the next stage to be an insightful stage.  This is where you still aren’t completely focused on being yet, but you are less fixated with the objects of your awareness.  There is now more space for you to see things from a larger perspective.  You might get insights, intuitions or be able to see your patterns or habits more clearly.  Once you move through that, I find the next stage to be simply noticing that you are, that you be.  There may still be thoughts, feelings or sensations, but you are no longer focused on them.  You are only focused on that you be.  This is often peaceful, restful and the tendency is to want to stay here, to be absorbed in simply being.  Sometimes this stage will come with feelings of bliss, energy or an increased alertness or wakefulness.  None of those things are required, but they can be present.  

The longer you allow yourself to be present to “that you be” the more you come to know yourself and less identified you are with the objects of your awareness.  I have this to be the most direct path to self-realization.  Try it out.  It takes desire, commitment and some discipline, but the rewards are epic.  It’s the end of spiritual seeking and the beginning of spiritual being.  

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

GOING WITH LIFE

GOING WITH LIFE 

Separation to liberation

We spend an awful lot of energy keeping ourselves separate from life, understandably so.  We are given a name, develop characteristics, preferences, likes, dislikes, roles, habits and patterns of thinking and behaving that create an identity of who we come to know ourselves as.  An identity that seems like a separate person who is distinct from other persons.  We have functional control over this physical body, we sense through it, and we assume that we are located inside of it.  We believe the information that our senses give us and what our thoughts tell us as fact.  We don’t recognize that we are what is aware of the sensations or thoughts, and not the sensations or thoughts themselves.  Said another way we become our experience rather than recognizing we are what is aware of our experience.  All of this reinforces our sense of separateness from awareness rather than one with it.  We feel powerless to something that seems other than us and find ourselves kind of at odds with life.  

When we feel at odds it’s like we are always working against something and there is a sense of hardness that comes with it.  It’s the feeling that there is you and then there is this other thing, object, or person, which you have to work with to do something to.  Like this other thing, object, or person is separate and you have to maintain that separateness.  If you decided to make a bold move one day and didn’t maintain that separateness, all of life would flow and you would recognize that you can pay attention to content (i.e. sensations & thoughts) or you can pay attention to the fact that you are aware while all the content comes and goes.  What is important here is that you would get that you aren’t what you experience, but rather you are what is aware of the experience.  You would feel freedom instantly rather than the bound-ness of maintaining separation, but this freedom of rejoining yourself feels chaotic, destabilizing and unknown to your current sense of being a separate person with the identity that you have created as yourself.

To go with life rather than feeling at odds, or like you have to go to work on it by attempting to do something to it, is to stop fighting anything.  It’s to end the thought that anything needs to be different.  It is the cessation of the idea that there is somewhere else to get to where you will feel amazing and where all of your prayers are answered.  There is no location that exists other than where you are.  The freedom you seek is contained inside this moment and every moment.  You will not ever arrive somewhere other because there is no other and there is no out there.  At some point we must stop running from thing to thing to thing hoping to find relief and answers.  There is nothing out there. 

ENDING NEEDS 

Arriving in the present

Part of maintaining separation is the illusion of needs.  When we believe ourselves to be a separate person we feel as though we have a lot of needs and that we somehow we have to work to get them met.  However as we merge back into ourselves, into non-separation, we realize that all needs are met because everything is gotten.  Meaning life has its own back.  It’s completely taken care of.  It’s fulfilled and all set.  When we are in contact with ourselves we know this, and when we are disconnected we don’t know it.  To be free of needing anything is to be truly free.  You lose all agenda that might have subtle underpinnings in your subconscious.  You can just be because there isn’t anything pulling you out of yourself to go and get or figure out.  Everything is also known even though paradoxically your mind knows nothing.

There are a few fundamental points to emphasize here in arriving where you are and the cessation of needs.  One is a foundational acceptance that absolutely nothing needs to change or be different than it is.  Along the same lines it would suffice to say that all is well just as it is.  Creating this as the container for your mind allows your mind to relax its incessant attempts to hook into thoughts in order to do or figure out something that it perceives to be other than itself.  There might still be thoughts, but you simply notice them rather than become them.  The next piece is giving yourself permission to not have to know and be in the space of the unknown, which is another term for the present moment.  When we arrive here to the present moment nothing is known and everything is revealed.  Our minds tend not to easily surrender themselves because the job of our mind is to maintain “known-ness”, identity and separation.  To give away what we think we know renders our mind useless and minds like to be used.  From the perspective of our mind “unknown” equals the experience of confusion.  This is one of our least favorite states of being, however learning to be good with confusion without attempting to get rid of it by making something certain again, is the gateway into now and to going with life.

To go with life is to know your freedom and experience it.  It’s to no longer be at odds with anything.  It’s to no longer perceive separation.  It’s to no longer control the happenings of life.  It’s to no longer insist that anything, including yourself, be any certain way other than what it is.  The experience of this is rested while awake.  The experience of this is peace.  It is not an outside job, it’s an inner one.  It’s not far fetched or out of reach, it’s all already here.  There is no distance to traverse, no progress that needs to be made, and there’s nothing more that you need to get or figure out first.  Available in this moment is liberation.  It requires nothing to be different than it is right now.  You don’t need to be more worthy than you already are.  You don’t need to love yourself more first.  Stop trying to get somewhere so that you can arrive and be where you are already.  You will not recognize wholeness and perfection somewhere out there at a future date if you don’t recognize it now.  Liberation is available, “achievable” and is the natural state.  It requires nothing to be done in order to “get” it.  The only sacrifice, if you want to call it that, is giving away your current state of everything you think you know.  What we think we know is actually confusion and what we perceive to be unknown and therefore confusing is truth and freedom.  

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

ACCEPTING SUFFERING

ACCEPTING SUFFERING

Moving towards connection

One of things we least desire to do is look at or be with suffering, both our own and others.  We often do our best to avoid, not feel, stop, alleviate or eradicate it.  Understandably so.  The large majority of people do not enjoy suffering.  It does not come with pleasurable sensations, feelings and experiences.  Rather it comes with a sense of disconnection, separation, aloneness, uncomfortableness, angst, fear, restlessness, powerlessness, helplessness, terror and more.  There really is no way to make suffering rosy, soft or nice.  It’s not.  Our minds nearly automatically want to fix it, change it or make it go away because it is such an unpleasant experience.  We do our best to push away suffering because the intensity of it is so uncomfortable.  Yet despite our attempts to somehow control or manage our experience of suffering, it remains and visits our experience time and time again.

At the core of suffering is a sense or feeling of disconnection.  We develop strategies to survive and cope with disconnection and the conglomerate array of other feelings that come with it.  These strategies are called protective mechanisms.  These mechanisms allow us to not feel the full intensity of suffering that we might otherwise feel.  These strategies are smart, intelligent and well intended.  Without them we might very well not be able to function in the world.  They work by cutting us off from fully feeling or processing experiences of suffering, which then gives us the ability to participate with the other happenings of life to some degree.  Yet the effects, or perhaps downside of these mechanisms is that while we can function we often don’t feel fully alive, integrated, joyous or connected.  Protective mechanisms compartmentalize our experiences and/or completely disconnect us from certain aspects of experiencing on purpose, that is their job so to speak.  They are a good short-term survival strategy, however they don’t allow for the fullness of life to be experienced or expressed through us.

When people seek for healing it is often because they know that there is more to life than what they are experiencing.  To even begin the healing journey one’s protective mechanisms have to soften slightly in order for them to recognize that there is more going on than meets the eye.  This allows them to embark on the path.  Healing isn’t necessarily about feeling great all of time and only experiencing pleasurable sensations.  It’s about feeling whatever is present.  Sometimes that means learning how to be with uncomfortableness, aloneness, separation, terror, powerlessness, angst and the like, because this is what your protective mechanisms have been keeping at bay so that you could function.  The paradox of sorts is that as you allow those feelings to be felt it feels good in a way.  Good to no longer be keeping them outside of your experience, and no longer utilizing energy and inner resources to avoid suffering.  Though you may not feel pleasure or joy in the moment, you do feel more connected. 

SPACE OF THE HEART 

Walking towards

The more willing and able we become to feel suffering, and as we have the inner resourcefulness to do so, the less defended and more open we become.  Protective mechanisms only engage when they perceive that there is something to protect, but if you walk towards that which you’ve avoided, protection is no longer needed.  As we open to disconnection and all of the things that come with that, we open into the heart.  The heart is the natural space that always is and when we stop separating and pushing away certain parts of our experience, we naturally experience the heart.  The reason that suffering is so intense is because it is the experience of disconnection from love.  Even though disconnection from love is not possible, the experience of it is.  It’s what we call suffering.

Accepting suffering as an experience, of which we have all experienced, is fundamental to transforming your experience of it.  As long as we remain separate from suffering, we will continue to experience it.  Only once we look at it, acknowledge it, feel it and let it move us, will we be able to change our relationship with it.  Only then will we be able to feel our heart open without needing to try to make it open.  Accepting suffering is pretty much the last thing that all of your protective mechanisms want to do, yet without your protective mechanisms up and running to show of your life all you experience is love.  It’s confusing to the mind to accept that which doesn’t feel good or desirable inside of its experience, yet in the arena of healing that’s where your freedom lives.  

When we are in nonacceptance of suffering we often feel internally cold, withdrawn, frantic, disassociated, overwhelmed, distraught, heavy, stressed, alone, restricted, not belonging and wanting out even if we are living a good life.  We can be experiencing the appearance of all the good things of life, yet internally we are disconnection from the source of life itself, which is our heart.  Even though your mind will look for a million ways out of your inner experience of suffering, you won’t come up with any that can get you out despite your endless attempts.  The only direction is in.  To be impacted, to feel, to fall apart, to let your heart be broken and then to be moved.  Moved to integrate all of the pieces that fell apart into a new configuration.  That new configuration is a new relationship with your life experiences, which offers different perspectives and ways of being that can only be known through impact and acceptance of suffering.

If you’re still reading this article then kudos to you.  Suffering is the absolute hardest thing to be with and accepting it takes everything you’ve got.  Yet the gift is opening into your own heart.  That is the healing journey, back home to where you began, before you knew anything of separation or disconnection.  To be open in your heart is to be fearless and to know the power of love is stronger than anything else.

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

STOP DOING TO GET THINGS DONE

STOP DOING TO GET THINGS DONE 

Be finished with finishing

So often we do to get things done.  In fact most of our days are spent getting through one activity or task after another.  It seems as though the doing is ceaseless, except perhaps for a few moments at the end of our day or week.  Why do we live in the constant cycle of doing?  It as if we are all trying to get somewhere.  A place where we can rest, relax and be at ease.  We think that we might arrive there if we can just get done all of the stuff we feel like we have to do.  Such is the case that most of us are not enjoying much of our doing, but rather wanting to simply get it over with so we can move onto doing the next thing that we don’t enjoy.  All so that hopefully, at some point, we can get to an activity we like or simply just rest. 

In a culture where we value productivity more than enjoyment, connection or presence, and perceive non-activity as laziness, we are set up to live as doing machines.  The foundation for our dominant train of thought is how much or how many.  When we go to our jobs we don’t get praised or promoted for our non-productivity or for our presence, but rather for how much we get done.  We don’t get paid for how much we enjoy what we are doing, but rather only for the job done.  While the culture creates this container for us, it is still us that values productivity more than enjoyment of what we are doing, and we continue to insist that perhaps we will arrive somewhere better at some future time.  

As a result of this we are fairly disconnected from own impulses, urges to move and natural rhythms.  You might call this intuition, but really it’s just listening and following your inner rhythms rather than your conditioned response to things. We constantly feel like we need “know something out there” because we can’t hear our own inner knowing.  We seek for safety and certainty inside of situations or circumstances rather than within our own selves.   So like any good and reliable machine we produce.  We meet all of the outer expectations from bosses, friends and family members.  We live up to all the marks the best we can and do whatever we perceive we need to do in order to be ok.  With this we often ignore, repress, or deny our own rhythms of activity and non-activity.  We feel stressed, not necessarily because of the situation, but because of our own disregard for listening to what feels good to us.  We fear we won’t be taken care of, supported, or have all of our physical, emotional or social needs met if we don’t answer to the doing machine.  We reserve relaxation for the few moments in our life where we don’t perceive threat.  Then we call this being human.  I’m not sure about you, but I think being human can be better than this.   

DOING FROM ENJOYMENT 

Courageously choose joy

What would it take for you to do all you do through enjoyment, and never simply to get something done again?  How would you have to think or structure your life differently?  What if the purpose of activity is not to finish it, but rather to actively participate with the doing of it?  What if you did not allow yourself to do something unless you were in a state of enjoyment about the doing?  This is what it would be like to enjoy life rather than do life.  It’s pretty much guaranteed that the activity of life will never come to a halting stop, but what can is how we engage with activity and what we value in terms of productivity and presence.  There are no hard and fast rules here.  It’s all about creating your experience of life how you want to be rather than the way it currently seems to be set up.

Many live as if there isn’t enough time.  Like we can’t, or won’t be able to do all the things we need or want to in the time allotted.  What if you create a new story for yourself that there is enough time for everything.  Beyond that, what if rather than focusing on time altogether and what will or won’t be done inside of that time, you focus on enjoying whatever is occurring now.  What if you stop should-ing and hav-ing yourself, and dismantle all of your resistance to enjoyment.  Yes believe it or not most people resist enjoyment, but gladly accept suffering through things to get them done.  It’s not logical, but it is normalized.  

You might realize that you have some pretty hardcore beliefs in there that you are supposed to do stuff at whatever cost it is to your own enjoyment.  That to enjoy life is a luxury rather than a must.  But what if you made it must?  What if you realized that enjoyment is not luxury, but rather it’s the value or standard you firmly ground your feet in and make it more important than productivity and getting things done.  What if you don’t force yourself to do things that you don’t feel like doing, and what if you made it ok to rest and be, without guilt or fear, rather than always be engaged in activity?  See it’s really your choice even if you think it’s not.  

You might be wondering, won’t there be “consequences” for your actions, or more particularly for your non-actions?  There will most definitely be effects, however they may not be as negative as you conjure them up to be in your mind.  You might discover and fully embrace resting and enjoying, without judging it as lazy or making it mean something about your worth as a human being, which is something that not many people are successful at achieving (pun intended).  Also as you let go of the pressure you place on yourself to do many of things you do or think you should do, you may find that you want to do some of those things, and in that way they become desirable and enjoyable rather than tasks to get done.  This  is all to come to the knowing that your ok-ness, worth, validation, approval, permission to feel good about yourself, security and safety is not dependent on your actions or non-actions.  This frees you to do only from and through enjoyment.  To longer be manipulated by your own or other’s stories about what you must do.  Believe it or not, doing only from enjoyment takes tremendous courage, even though it’s the most natural way of living, which points to the fact that we live quite unnaturally.  Be courageous and do only from enjoyment.  

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

UNIQUELY YOU

UNIQUELY YOU 

You are a gift

Each of us is unique.  An expression of the one infinite that no one else can be.  While in essence we are all the same, each of us carries  a unique flavor or frequency, which we share by being who we are and taking action in ways that excite us.  You are ok just as you are.  There is no one else that you need to be, or even that you could be for that manner.  There is nothing you need to do except that which feels resonate with you.  Yet we spend much energy thinking we must be like so and so, and that we must do more or do differently than what we desire to do.  We create negative meaning about ourselves based on arbitrary stories of who we think we should be and what we should be doing.  We then of course feel bad about ourselves, unworthy, not good enough and like we are failing our purpose.  We don’t appreciate who we are or the flavor we express, which results in us not taking actions in ways we desire.

Why do we see others and appreciate or “envy” them while not appreciating or envying ourselves? Perhaps you think it’s self-absorbed to appreciate your own being.  Maybe it feels awkward to you to like yourself and acknowledge how you contribute.  Perhaps you’ve confused loving yourself with arrogance.  Regardless of what it is for you there is likely self-denial of your own worth or refusal to see yourself as a gift.  Imagine a world where we all saw ourselves as a gift.  Since giving is inherent in being a gift, life would be an abundant resource of available energy for exchange with no depletion.  By not seeing the magnificence of your own being you actually take energy out of the field of life rather than contribute to it. Seeing yourself as a gift is the least arrogant way of viewing.  

Unwinding the story of arrogance and relaxing into yourself is not difficult.  It requires no special skills, knowledge or profound healing experience, but instead requires only the inner permission to do so.  There is no outside person, situation or force that will make you ok as you are.  Only you can decide to be ok as you are and come to appreciate and like your own self.  Seeing value in the unique expression that you are without adding anything to you is key to feeling like you are fulfilling your purpose for existing.  The reason that so many feel lost without clear direction is not because there is a lack of guidance, but rather because there is a lack of self-appreciation and love.  How on purpose you feel is directly related to how you feel about yourself.  If you turn the pressure down on trying to be or do something other than you are and turn the appreciation up on yourself as you are, your calling or purpose will be clear to you.   

CLEARING JUDGMENT  

No right or wrong

There is no right way to do life. There is also no wrong way.   This is challenging for most people to accept.  Regardless of how spiritual or evolved we think we are, most of us have judgment of self or others.  What if you radically realized that you really don’t know either way or any way, what is really right or wrong.  That your conceptions of rightness and wrongness are based only in what you’ve been conditioned to believe.  If you cleared yourself of all beliefs there would only be pure meaninglessness or said another way, there would only be what is without thought about what is.  Many will argue still that there is right and wrong, better and worse, good and bad, but what if there just is what there is.  If we stopped judging what is and instead saw what is, we may surprise ourselves as to what it is we see.  This state of clearness, of non-bias, is the essential ground from which you can effortlessly be and share the gift of you.  Where you know how to serve, share or express the gift you are and participate with what is rather than think, strategize or attempt to figure things out.

Giving yourself the permission and freedom to stop judging life frees you up to be of service to it.  When you no longer need to make a difference, only then can you actually make one.  This is when simply being you, as you are, makes the difference.  There is nothing out there, added or extra needed.  There is only the unique expression of what you are to share without agenda of what will come forth from your expression.  When you appreciate and know enoughness of what you are then enoughness is the result, but because we come from incompletion and attempting to get something to happen or to get somewhere, we never quite arrive.  

All of this to say, and to give you permission if you so need it, to feel amazing about yourself.  To embrace the unique expression of the one infinite that you are.  The only things to clean up are those things in your mind or life that are inconsistent with you feeling amazing about who you are.  You don’t have to clean up to be better, you don’t have to heal in order to be more, there is no more or better to get too.  Dispel any of the beliefs that you have that this may be arrogant, dismissive or prideful.  To feel bad about yourself and/or your expression is the true pridefulness.  Recognize that where you are trying to ‘get’ to is simply to feel good, love/be yourself, and share your unique expression with others.  There is also nothing others need to get or receive from you other than what you are.    

Everything you could ever need will be met and taken care of once you embrace you.  It’s the end of trying to get things, accomplish stuff or be loved by others in order to be ok.  You will have all things you need, accomplish what is yours to accomplish and be rested as love when you accept your own inherent uniqueness as you are.  No one else can be you.  No one else can serve as you do.  No one else can fulfill the that purpose you are.  Be done trying to be or do something other than what you are.  Discover the joy, freedom and love in being you and the wonder, awe and gratitude of what naturally expresses through.  

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

ALL IS ENOUGH

ALL IS ENOUGH 

Shifting perspectives

Imagine what it would be like to look out at all of life and see it as enough.  To see nothing lacking, nothing missing and nothing that needs progress or change.  For a moment to be content with what is.  Notice how you feel when you look out and see enough.  Now share this same outward perspective of enoughness inwardly.  See yourself, your body, your inner journey, and wherever you are in life at this moment as enough.  Again notice how you feel.  Recognize the ease and sense of calm rested-ness that becomes instantly available when you see this way.  Notice how your entire system relaxes and you become present and available to whatever is here now.  This enoughness is what most all of us crave.  Many of us are tired.  Tired of feeling like life is scarce, like we have to work hard to survive, that we must stay vigilant, can never relax, or that something must change.  It’s exhausting to view from the perspective of not enough.  Yet most of us don’t realize that it is simply a perspective.  We believe scarcity to be reality.  

Enoughness is always present, always available, and always here.  It requires only that you bring your focus on it.  What we focus on we experience.  It’s challenging for the mind to accept this and to change its beliefs in this way.  We really want to keep believing what we believe even if what we believe doesn’t feel good.  We think that it’s the only option.  We don’t see ourselves in the equation as the source of our experience.  Due to this unawareness of ourselves as the source of what we experience we often feel powerless to our beliefs rather than in charge of them.  Until we see ourselves and simultaneously really, really want to believe something different, we won’t.  We will choose the same beliefs that feel bad, that generate the same feelings of fear, lack and scarcity, that is until we are truly fed up or things in our life or body break down.

It’s a bit of an interesting paradox that we have to really convince ourselves to want what we want.  We all want to feel abundant and in the state of enoughness, yet we must be really tempted to make that choice in perspective.  We will come up with one hundred million reasons why we can’t choose it, one hundred million ways to disbelieve that it’s possible, and one hundred million insistences why we must keep our old belief system of scarcity, lack and not enough.  Life will give us challenges where it will feel hard to choose the perspective of enoughness and yet that is the inner work required to make the change in belief.  The challenges are the perfect gift, the most pristine catalyst, that you need in order to choose the perspective of your true desire.   

INNER BOOTCAMP 

Choosing enough

Choosing the perspective you desire is not always easy.  When the experience of life appears empty of things you desire, or it feels like life is not working for you and you can’t make sense of what appears to not be inside of your experience, doubts arise.  When doubt is present you default to your habitual way of perceiving life, which for most is through the lack and scarcity lens.  Fear arises based on how you are perceiving things to be and you find yourself stuck.  Stuck in nothing more than a perspective, yet it feels like so much more than that.  You might wonder how things can just be a matter of perspective, perhaps it seems too simple, yet how could they be anything else?  Two people could experience the exact same situation or conditions, and experience them very different based on how they perceive the experience.  

Living from enoughness or completeness is entirely possible.  It is not fantastical to entertain this as your lived experience.  You must first start seeing the challenges that seem contrary to enoughness in your life as opportunities to learn it.  What this means is that when situations arise that seem to activate your lack, not enough, or scarce thoughts, you must see these situations as opportunities to choose a new perspective, and then you must actively choose to see abundance where you previously saw it as not.  Again your mind will likely resist this at first.  It won’t want to make the change in perspective because it doesn’t yet believe it.  That’s ok.  Choose it anyways and then notice that you begin to feel better.  You might oscillate back and forth between choosing lack and then choosing to see enough.  You might go back of forth 15-100 times for just one situation or challenge that presents itself, and that’s ok.  That oscillation back and forth is building a muscle, you inner muscle of enoughness.  

Lack perspectives can just be tricky to see.  They can come dressed up in a strong need to make progress or make something different.  Though this might seem very natural to you to want to make progress, because it is quite engrained in us that this is what we are supposed to be doing as humans, you must recognize what your need to make progress is rooted in.  Do you feel that there is somewhere better to get too?  Do you feel where you are is not enough?  Do you feel there is something wrong with what is happening now and you need to make it different?  All of that is rooted in lack and not enoughness.  

When instead you choose the perspective of enoughness and become rooted in it, life still flows, and there is still projects, activities and happenings.  The difference is that you play in the unfolding of life rather than try to make stuff happen to it.  It quite a bit more easeful even though there is still activity and doing occurring.  There is nothing to fix so you have less attachment to any outcome and your only purpose in doing is to have fun and because you enjoy it, not because something more or better must occur.  This is what is to come from enough rather than to try to get to enough.  If you keep trying to get there you will never arrive.  If instead you simply choose it, over and over and over again until you are rested there, then and only then will you experience it.  

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

HEALING TO SERVING

HEALING TO SERVING 

Rhythms of development

There are many rhythms in this cosmic-human dance.  Stages of development, themes, and learnings that we all experience.  The stages themselves are quite predictable, but the content of them and how we learn what we learn, is unique for each being.  Each stage or rhythm is whole onto itself and yet is part of larger wholeness.  The goal of each stage or rhythm is to be in it.  To be where you are even if you don’t like where you are or wish you were at some other place on the path.  Integration or learning occurs when you accept where you are, and then naturally the next rhythm or stage reveals itself to you.  It’s synonymous with a child who rolls over, sits up, crawls, stands and then walks.  Each next developmental step reveals itself as the child masters where it’s at.  The child does not go from rolling over straight to walking even it really wants to.  There is a natural sequence and staging to the learning.  

We are all like children, learning and developing as we go.  While our development is less focused on achieving sensory-motor milestones and more on the development of our consciousness, perspectives and inner workings, it is nonetheless still development.  Sometimes there are shortcuts or quick accelerations, but they are rare.   We must master each stage before moving to the next one.  For example, it’s quite challenging to sustainably go from believing you are a separate person, into knowing there are no others in a quick flash.  While you might have a momentary experience of this in a peak state, there are many stages in between that must first be learned in order for you to go beyond conceptual knowing into living your knowing.

One such stage of our development could be called “healing”.  There are many rhythms inside of healing, but for simplicity sake we could say that healing is the stage of our development where we believe that we are not whole.  Our perspective is such that something is/was wrong or lacking in our self, experience or environment, and we seek to find completion or wholeness.  The end of healing is the knowing that there is no (and never was) disharmony, imperfection or lack.  It’s knowing that the natural state of all is complete.  That there is nothing lacking inside or outside in all of creation.  In the perceived space from healing to wholeness there is a whole slew of learning that is primarily concerned with you reclaiming and remembering your power, what you are, and that you are the creator of all you experience.  So much so until your only response to any event, sensation, emotion, thought, or experience is love.  Once achieved, you know wholeness as all that is, and move forward into the next stage of development called service.   

LIFE BEYOND HEALING 

Dare to heal

Some people might think it’s arrogant to think that you could ever stop needing to heal.  They see healing as something you must do forever, that it has no end, and that you are either arrogant or spiritually bypassing something if you even entertain that you could live whole.  I personally don’t agree with that perspective, but as always choose whichever perspective resonates and feels more accurate for you.  I see healing as a stage of development, not the be all end all.  Healing is a stage where the focus is on ourselves and our inner workings.  It is about unearthing or unpacking our disempowering, discordant and incoherent patterns and ways of being.  It is revealing the ways we have deceived ourselves, how we’ve believed things that feel bad and ultimately are not true, and where we see ourselves as a product or circumstance of life rather than as the creator of our life.  It is a correction of the perspective of seeing lack into seeing only wholeness.  Healing is an absolutely important, vital, and necessary stage of development, one that can’t be overstepped or passed by, and there is both learning and life beyond healing.  

Life beyond healing is serving.  In service the focus is no longer on you.  It’s not about what you think is right or better.  It’s not about what you want to happen or any outcome at all.  It’s not about validating, empowering yourself or making yourself feel good.  It’s not about sensations in your body coming or going away.  It’s not about becoming worthy.  All of those things must be known, must be intact, must be taken care of, for the next rhythm of your development to be revealed to you, which is that of serving.  Service is oriented towards giving and is rested in the heart.  If you don’t clear up all of those other things in your life and know all as whole, than your service will always have some personal agenda in it, which is not really service, but is still part of your own healing process.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, in fact I’d say almost all of us do this as we are healing and developing, but at some point there is a demarcation.  A kind of line in the sand in which where you come from is serving rather than healing.  

Serving is not better than healing.  It’s simply the next developmental stage on the path.  Just like for the toddler, walking is not better than standing up.  Walking simply proceeds as the next learning once we master standing.  Mastering healing is knowing your worth, knowing all is well & has always been well, and that nothing is outside of perfection even if you don’t like it or agree with it.  As you move towards mastering healing you realize that your life is not yours; it never has been.  You’ve never been a separate person with a separate life.  To the person that is in an early to middle stage of healing, this would be ludicrous to entertain.  In fact it is imperative that they realize that they are a person and that they can impact their emotions, their body and their environment.  That learning must be integrated first, which is why you must always accept where you are.  Learn the lessons of the place and stage that you are in.  Nothing is better somewhere else, it’s just different.  Enjoy wherever you are.  Find levity in everything.  Make it as fun as you can.  Ultimately it’s all smoke and mirrors.  Energetic patterns configuring and reconfiguring into infinity.  Just play and enjoy it all.  

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

THE ULTIMATE RECEIVER

THE ULTIMATE RECEIVER 

Where’s your focus?

Receiving.  Most people have difficulty receiving.  As much as we all want to manifest and create we don’t give much attention or space to receiving.  Rather we work hard, and then harder, to create what we want and then wonder why we are so tired and still don’t have the life we desire.  While it seems that receiving would be the simplest of things, we defect it, avoid it or feel like there is never enough of what we need because we can’t receive what’s in front of us.  To receive is to be open, to be receptive, and most people spend their existence being closed off, shut down, narrow minded, and in judgement rather than in open receptivity.  We then wonder why life doesn’t look or feel like we desire.

We are quite wired to see what isn’t.  We focus on where we’re going and what we think we are going to get when we get there, and rarely see what’s here.  This is because we tend to live in a lack mindset.  We view whatever is here now as if it is missing something.  Something that we need to work to find or get into our lives.  We might perceive that we don’t have relationships that we want, money that we want, opportunities that we want, skills that we want, the inner state that we want, the outer environment that we want, feelings that we want, and on and on.  It really seems that life isn’t quite here yet, but will be here once something arrives inside of our experience so that we can give ourselves the permission to temporarily stop seeing through our lack glasses.  Our focus on lack is intense.  It pretty much takes up our entire bandwidth whether we are conscious or it or not.  This is why we feel bad so frequently.  

The thing is that in order to receive you have to see what is here rather than focus on what’s not here.  Since this is a mostly rare way for us humans to focus we are always feeling depleted.  Depleted because our focus is constantly on what isn’t in our experience, or what is in our experience that we don’t like.  When there is something we don’t like or doesn’t feel good, we attempt to get into our experience whatever we perceive is missing, which we believe will make us feel better.  At the core of this game of lack that we are playing out in our physical reality, is a sense of inner lack.  A sense that something about us is missing or incomplete.  A feeling that we somehow need to be different or more than we are.  So we reject ourselves.  We work really hard to prove ourselves.  We over stretch to attempt to meet what we think the people of the world want from us.  All the while not really realizing that we aren’t receiving our own selves.  Again we wonder why our life isn’t as we desire it to be.  Why aren’t we manifesting or creating what we want.  As long as we continue to come from lack, to come from the perspective that something is missing, that is all we will ever create.   

GRATITUDE 

The “how”

You might say that our “inability” or difficulty with receiving, stems back to the fact that nearly all of us feels a sense of inner lack.  You could call this the “not enough”  or “not good enough” perspective or wound.  It’s like an article of clothing that we all get when we are first born into this world.  Most of us have been wearing this piece of clothing for so long that it’s kind of become like a part of us. We’ve identified with it and let it become who or what we think we are.  It colors everything we see.  Other people, or reflections in our environment, have mirrored this not enoughness back to us and we’ve come to believe that lack must indeed be a very real thing.  After all we experience it and see it, don’t we?  

We experience what we see and what we see depends on the glasses (or clothes) we are looking through.  Said another way, we experience what we believe and not necessarily what is.  The good news is that all articles of clothing can be taken off even if they are really, really tight; even if they appear to be fused to our skin and inseparable from the tissues underneath, they can still be removed.  Essentially what I am saying is that every belief that you have can be changed or a new one can be chosen.  It may not be as hard as you think it is.  How might it be easy you ask?  All that is required is a quadruple shot of gratitude taken several times a day.  It is the instant cure for your lack mindset.

In general we tend to be incredibly ungrateful.  This is why the lack mindset is so strong and pervasive on this planet still.  It is why human consciousness doesn’t evolve.  It’s why people continue to be asleep, disconnected and working hard to prove themselves or get what they think will make them happy.  Every time you don’t receive yourself you are ungrateful.  For many people that is their constant state of being.  They know nothing else.  For others it’s more intermittent or dispersed, but nonetheless still present.  The level of self-rejection is high among humans and this makes it nearly impossible to receive, and ultimately therefore create, as creating is receiving.  When you have a belief that you are not worthy, that belief is incompatible with receiving.  It’s incompatible with being open to life or others.  It’s incompatible with manifesting your desired reality and seeing the abundant world that you want for yourself and others.

Many people don’t know that they aren’t receiving.  We are so used to pushing our energy in the outward, doing direction that the receiving, inward direction is quite foreign for most.  If you are very innerly or outerly busy this is key sign that you aren’t receiving.  Do your thoughts never stop?  Do you talk incessantly?  Do you listen or receive others without thinking about what you are going to say or do next?  Do you constantly need to be doing stuff for yourself or for others?  Is it hard to tune into yourself for more than few moments?  Do you feel tired a lot?  Are you “doing” your meditation rather than actually meditating?  These are all signs that you aren’t receiving.  In order to receive you must be worthy and know that nothing is missing from you.  That you are complete and whole as you are.  To bridge the gap from incomplete to complete you must only find, feel and radiate gratitude.  Gratitude for yourself, gratitude for what is in your experience now and gratitude for all future experiences.  At any moment you can tune yourself to become a stream of infinite, unconditional gratitude.  It is always here and available for your choosing.  

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

SPIRITUAL ALIGNMENT

SPIRITUAL ALIGNMENT 

What it is?

Most all of us desire spiritual alignment.  We may not call it that exactly, but the essence of it, is that we want to feel soulfully connected with ourselves, have purpose, be contributing to life in meaningful ways and feel as good as possible while engaged in this thing called being human.  Many people have the misconception that being spiritually aligned means that everything is easy, you get what you want, and you never struggle, have painful sensations or feel bad.  In fact people think that if their life is not the idealized picture they have in their head of what their life should be, then they must not be spiritually aligned.  

I’d like to make two distinctions.  The first is that on an absolute level there is no such thing as misalignment or being out of alignment.  Every single aspect of your experience is perfectly orchestrated for every learning and expression that you are participating in and creating.  Rest knowing that all is well regardless of whatever your thoughts and feelings are about your current experience.  The second distinction is that on a relative level, which is the level of this dualistic human playground, there is the experience of misalignment or being out of alignment.  Part of the learning here in this human game is how to refine ourselves to become a closer and closer reflection and expression of our complete self.  Since nearly all of us are living as a twisted or distorted fragment or version of ourselves, this refinement is a necessary process in coming home or remembering who we are.  

Back to spiritual alignment.  What blocks or seems to interfere with our experience of it?  The biggest obstacle is our definition of what it is and what it’s not.  The second is our lack of passion or intensity of desire for it.  Lastly is our avoidance of un-pleasurable sensations, feelings or experiences.  The combination of these three things makes for the experience of living spiritually unaligned.  It takes redefining, intensifying and moving with un-pleasurable experiences in order for us to have a new experience of alignment.  One that feels soulful, on purpose, and gives to others and life.  As you move up the developmental levels of your being you start at your root where the focus is survival, then moving up to having personal, emotional and social needs met or achieved.  The next level after that is the heart.  Once you reach the level of the heart, living spiritually becomes the central focus of your learning, sharing and expression.  Aligning yourself with the bigger picture of why you exist is fundamental to your growth as the spiritual being you are.   

LIVING SPIRITUALLY ALIGNED

Redefining, intensifying & moving with un-pleasurable experiences

Let’s start with our definitions.  We all have ideas and pictures in our minds of what living spiritually means.  Take a moment to ponder, investigate and explore what your particular ideas and pictures are.  Maybe there is a certain way you imagine it feels to be spiritually aligned.  Perhaps you see yourself having certain financial resources and being at a certain “place” in your life.  You might see that you have some special gift, knowing or intuitive abilities that you’ve harnessed.  Maybe you have specific relationships, partnerships, or connections with people.  Perhaps there are projects or work that you are doing that is more “spiritual” in nature.  Most often we have many of these ideas running in the back of our mind as to what it means to be spiritual.  Yet none of these things, ideas or pictures equals living spiritually aligned.  These are all simply preferences and appearances.  To live spiritually aligned is all about where you come from in your moment to moment experience and has nothing to do with the experiences themselves.  Where you come from is an intention or vibration of beingness.  Orienting to that over and over and over again is spiritual alignment.

Next is intensifying our passion and desire for orienting to our intention for existing.  We are mostly distracted by the experiences of life and what we are getting from them even if we think we are altruistic and spiritual.  We often don’t have much inner driving force beyond basic survival needs and personal and social validation.  Once our needs are met and we feel validated in our existence, meaning we’ve proved to ourselves and everyone else that we are worthy and valuable, we often lack drive and intentionality.  We’re lazy.  We don’t have much self-discipline.  Truly who can blame us.  The experience of a human life is not exactly a walk in park and if we aren’t literally “forced” (i.e. perceive a strong need) to make something happen then we typically won’t bother.  To be moved or driven, not by need, threat, loss, lack or what we think we will get, but rather moved only by our intention for existing is to live devoted.  Devoted and committed to the sole purpose of our existence.  This too provides the direct experience of spiritual alignment.

Lastly is our avoidance of uncomfortable sensations and feelings.  Whether or not you are aware of it your life is likely focused on how to increase pleasurable sensations and feelings, and how to avoid the un-pleasurable ones.  We tend to categorize unpleasant sensations and feelings as less spiritual than the pleasant ones.  When we feel bad we like to blame the circumstances, conditions, people, our body, ourselves, and on and on.  Through our blaming we hope to feel better so that something can be responsible for how we feel, rather than allowing ourselves to feel what is present.  I will simply say that life is full of un-pleasurable sensations and feelings.  If you just accept it rather than avoid it, you can include all of your experiences inside of your spiritual alignment rather than push some of them away.  Unpleasant sensations and feelings are not bad.  They are just part of the experience.  Suffering occurs only when we are in opposition to what is occurring, meaning when we resist it.  Painful sensations and feelings do not equal suffering when we unwind our story about what they mean.  

I invite you to play with these 3 ingredients of living spiritually aligned.  Redefine your definitions, intensify your desire and accept all the sensations and feelings that come with your experience.  Recognize that perhaps living spiritually aligned is different than what you thought it was.  Explore where you need to clean up or elevate your perspectives.  Be surprised and surprise yourself.  You might even find that you already are living your highest alignment.  

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

WANTING WHAT IS

WANTING WHAT IS 

Getting into alignment

Wanting is an inclusive energy.  Wanting invites, welcomes and moves towards.  Wants guide our actions, our choices and they are the fuel behind our motivations.  Wanting is an attractive force.  When we don’t want we tend to feel aimless, lethargic and like we are just trying to get the day (or our life) over with.  When we do want it brings more energy into our system to move in a particular direction.  Sometimes we will try to convince ourselves that we want something other than what is in our present moment, yet when we realize that what is, is what we want, the inner battle ends and we become available to life again.

I think it is frequently the case that people have the experience that whatever it is they are experiencing is not what they want.  We tend to call this having a bad day, feeling low energy, or being out of alignment.  When we look at life through the perspective of seeing it as something we don’t want then we are out of alignment.  We are out of alignment with the way life is expressing itself in that moment, or said another way, we are in disagreement with the universe.  It never feels good to be in disagreement with what is.  It’s heavy, we feel irritation or annoyance, and generally experience less vitality or zest for life.  This is why feeling bad is an indication of being out alignment.  Sometimes we can’t always pinpoint the “thing” that created the sense of out alignment for us, all we know is that we feel bad.  Whenever you notice that you feel bad it is an opportunity to stop, pause, and notice that you are in disagreement with what is.  You are not wanting what is to be what is, and yet it is what is.  This is also an opportunity to shift your perspective to wanting what is, which brings you back into alignment.

As casually as I write that it does not always seem so easy to get ourselves into agreement with what is.  When we perceive that what is, is not what we want, we will often fight tooth and nail to convince ourselves and the world that what is should be different.  Perhaps it’s that we should feel different about how we feel or what we are doing with our day or our  life.  Maybe we think we should have different sensations in our body than we currently do.  Perhaps we feel cheated by our experience or lack of experience and we want to insist that we were wronged.  Maybe we are trying to convince ourselves that we want something we don’t really actually want, but that we think we should want.  It can feel hard to let go of our story about what is and simply let what is be.  Yet this is exactly what must occur if we are to get into alignment with ourselves and feel the freedom of being present. 

OPENING THE HEART

Choosing what is

A beautiful thing happens when we change our mind, and rather than disagreeing with what is showing up we decide to want it instead; our heart re-opens.  It might be that 5, 10, 20 or 100 times a day your heart oscillates from being open to being closed.  The only difference in it being open or closed is whether or not you are in agreement with what is showing up inside of your experience.  Being in disagreement tends to shut us down.  We get opinionated, judgmental, righteous, disgruntled, peeved, angry, sad, scared and on and on, when we are in disagreement.  Reactions, agendas, fears and self-survival dominate and motivate our actions.  When we are in that state of being the heart is not open and not in free flowing acceptance and love of what is.  

It takes a hell of a commitment/devotion to being in an open hearted state in order to get ourselves to make the decision to shift our perspective, or to shift where we are coming from.  To turn towards wanting what is.  You are the one that must choose what you value.  In fact you are the only one that can choose.  If your value is open-heartedness and living from the perspective of love, than making the shift is a must.  It’s really not even a choice, it is simply the only possible way to go.  What will then be required of you is that you must turn towards and lean into what is.  You must want what is.  Even if what is, is the most undesirable thing that you can possibly imagine or feel.  If you feel heavy or tired, want that.  If you just got turned down by a potential partner, want that.  If your body weighs 10 more pounds now than it did last year, want that.  If the house is dirty or disorganized, want that.  If a big project you’ve been working on tanks, want that.  If you are scared or depressed, want that.  If your body hurts or expresses some other sensation or experience, want that.  See if you want it, you stay open.  You feel what you are trying to not feel and that lets you relax and let go.  Can you feel that?  If you don’t want it, you close down and keep fighting or resisting, and you don’t really get anywhere new.  

We must first accept what is before any change will show up inside of how we experience life, and acceptance of what we think we don’t want is one of the hardest things for us to do as humans.  Yet when you master this, you master life.  You master life because no longer does what is showing up inside of your experience dictate how you experience it.  You become the source, seer and chooser of the experience when you come into agreement with what is.  This is where true power lies, where miracles are the ordinary way things work, and love/bliss is how you feel and see even when sensations in your body or other various emotions are present.  You realize none of it matters, because you’re in charge and the experience/appearance is not.  

Wanting what is opens the heart.  When your heart is open you give everything the opportunity to be as it is, you include all, you recognize wholeness and perfection, and you give everyone around you the opportunity to open their heart as well.  This is what it is to be of service, to be living your purpose, to be in alignment.  Being of service, in purpose and in alignment are not about what you do, but instead who and how you choose to be and see.  Here is the invitation to be brave enough, devoted enough and committed enough to love, to choose what is and want what is.  Any fear you have around doing this will be resolved in the act of you doing it. This is true sovereignty, autonomy and power.  

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