Your Heart is the Knower

Your Heart is the Knower

The Mind is not the Knower

So often we move about our lives trying to figure out what things means, preparing and plotting our next action steps and attempting to find answers to all of our questions about this mysterious universe.  We have a tendency to feel safer if we can make meaningful sense of things, find answers to our questions or have some type of clear direction that we can comfortably take.  Being in uncertainty, the unknown or the ever present present moment tends to feel too unstable for us and we seek for solidity in our thoughts or the physical universe.  

Why is it that we attempt to create safety through our minds perceived sense of knowing?  The most direct answer is because we think that we are our thoughts.  We are identified as our thoughts and believe that we are separate distinct entities disconnected from a larger knowingness.  If we were connected to a larger knowingness of ourselves we would never for even one second attempt to use our minds to create certainty, stability and a sense of knowing. Due to the fact that being veiled from the larger truth of ourselves is part of this human experience and learning, we seek for some solid ground through our thoughts because that is what is most accessible to us.  

Despite what you may think your mind is not the knower.  Your mind is simply a thinker.  It produces thoughts but does not know from where they come.  The knower is larger than or beyond the level or your mind.  If we step back and look at this from the perspective of levels of development we will see that development evolves from physical body (the survivor), to emotional body (the reactor), to mental body (the thinker) and then into soul (the heart).  Many humans right now are waking up, if you will, to level of soul, but it is not the natural default for most.  Rather mind and thoughts is the default and hence why we seem to perpetually come back to trying to figure things out as if we are separate object in a universe of separate objects that all act independent of each other and don’t share information or energy between them.  

When the mind is in charge it tries very hard to do, to figure out, to know and to make happen.  The mind also likes to make things difficult and complex where there isn’t difficulty or complexity.  It is the great confuser.  Yet the more confused we feel the more we try to think our way through it and end up in the vicious loop of which there is no way out.  The only way to find our way through is make contact with that which knows.  The gateway to the knower is through the heart.  The language with which the heart speaks is not with thoughts but instead with the energy vibration of love.  Leaning into this language is the clearer of all confusion and recognition of non-separateness.  

Getting to Know the Knower

Language of Love

Why is it seem so hard to lean into the heart?  Why do we look for something other than the language of love?  First things first.  Many of us have layers of protection around our heart-soul body making it difficult to even make contact with it.  These layers exist due to pains that we experience in our lives.  Most of us don’t consciously close ourselves off, it is simply the defensive nature of our nervous systems to protect us when we feel any type of pain, which is quite common on this human journey.  When this protective response gets activated its puts us in our more primitive bodies which are the physical, emotional and mental bodies.  Even though the mind is more complex in organization then the physical or emotional body it is still a more primitive body than that of the soul/heart body.  

Many people live their entire life in a mostly protected, defended state and are very functional and contribute great things to the world.  They have friends and families, successful careers or businesses and belong to communities.  Most people have no idea that they are living in a state of protection, that is until life brings them a situation which seems outside of what they can handle.  This is often loss in any of it forms.  Loss of loved one, loss of a relationship, loss of purpose, loss of health, loss of function of some part of the body, loss of resources, etc.  These experiences of loss are the biggest catalyst/activator that we have to evolve, wake up to more of ourselves and become undefended, and yet we tend to see them as catastrophic.  Many people don’t see how these situations are pushing them into growth and they stay focused solely on the loss.  

This brings me to language of the heart which is love and why we tend to not listen to it or see it as the knower.  When the mind is running the show of our lives we want linear, logical and mentally sound answers.  To the mind love seems too fluffy or like its not enough.  We often feel like we need more than just love.  We need hard, concrete, physical answers and quite frankly love doesn’t seem to be powerful enough for all of that.  So we seek and search for an answer that we can make sense out of rather than directly experiencing the all knowingness that comes with love.  We choose effort, fight and resistance over ease, grace and acceptance.  Why make it easy when we can make it hard and treacherous instead.  

The reason why most people have this perception of love as not quite powerful enough, or simply not enough, is because they have only experienced love for fleeting moments at a time.  Their baseline experience has not been such where love has been the primary experience day in and out for years or decades at a time.  In fact people rarely experience nothing but love all day long for even a single day at at time.  That which we experience more often tends to speak louder and we tend to place more belief and value in it.  Hence why our thoughts dominate and we tend to rely on them as that which knows best.  

Our heart is the knower.  Its doesn’t think, it knows.  When we lean into the heart, doubt dissolves and clear seeing is revealed.  There is no longer anything to figure out.  We realize that love is not only enough, but it is the organizer of everything and essence of our very nature.  Here is where the mysteries resolve themselves and the present moment comes alive as our direct experience.  There are no problems in love, nothing to fix or solve, there is only the pure knowing of the perfection that is and the playing out of that in all the myriad of forms.  

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

Your Life is not Your Own

Your Life is not Your Own 

The Grand Symphony

We tend to believe that our life is about us.  We make goals, plans, and have dreams and aspirations that propel our life in certain directions.  We think that we are driving the train of those directions and that the fruition of our aspirations means something about who we are.  While in some ways and to some degrees this is true, ultimately the events of our life including the ways that we feel about our life mean very little about who we are or what we think our lives are about.

You may wonder why this is.  You may think “but my life feels like mine”.  The larger truth however is that there really is no “you” for which to have a life that feels like yours.  The you that you think that you are is based only on thoughts and ideas that have come together to create the personality that you’ve come to label as you.  There is no real separate personality you.  There is only thoughts of a separate personality you.  Everyone in spiritual circles knows conceptually that everything is one and that there is no separation yet we continue to believe ourselves to be a separate person.  Separate from not only other people, but also spirit, god or “higher self”.

This idea of you that you’ve come to know yourself to be, which has become your full identity, is what interferes with you knowing who and what you really are.  If you had the recognition of yourself that was not filtered through the lens of you being a separate person than you would instantly realize that your life is not your own.  That all the events that occur are are simply a web of interconnected dots in the larger matrix of creation and really have nothing to do with you personally.  Now this doesn’t mean that things and events don’t occur through this perceived sense of you as this particular body and mind because they absolutely do.  Your body-mind vehicle is the way that things get expressed and brought into creation.  It’s simply that those things that express through you are not about you.  The root of much of our suffering as humans is due to this simple misidentification of believing that that which gets expressed or created through us is ours.  

The desires, dreams and aspirations that excite us and propel us are impulses from spirit or higher self.  These impulses, which we call our desires, are the way that spirit orchestrates all the parts of the symphony getting us to play our parts at exactly the right moment and in the exact right harmony.  In this way the masterful song of creation comes together whether or not we can see or hear what all the other parts of the symphony are playing.  Only the grand master, who is the ultimate organizer can put all the pieces together to make the most coherent musical masterpiece.   

Perceiving Perfection 

The End of Fear

It should by now be clearly evident that there is something going on beyond what our minds know and what our senses can perceive.  Our lives are not just about what it is we think they are about.  Our actions, the directions that we take or don’t take in our lives, and the things we create, are really part of a much bigger picture that we mostly can’t see.  Considering this is the case why is it that we worry, fear, fret, overanalyze, and judge our actions, others actions and everything that is going on in our world?  Why do we try to control and manage the details of it all?  Its simply because we believe that our life is our own, that we are solely responsible for it all and we are disconnected from that larger organizing principle or the grand master of the symphony.

Due to this disconnection from the larger and the feeling like we are on our own we doubt and judge rather than trust.  Because we grip onto our life as our own we live from our head and not from our heart.  We wonder why we don’t feel divinely guided, supported or lost and unfulfilled and can’t see that we have not created the invitation for spirit in our lives because we have been so busy deciding and determining what all of the events of our lives mean.  We’ve left no space inside of our interpretations for anything other than what we think.  We can’t seem to get out of the way long enough to see that what is occurring or happening is exactly what is perfectly supposed to be happening or occurring.  

Facing the perfection of everything requires us to face our own ignorance.  Our ignorance which thinks it knows what is supposed to be occurring from its tiny, minuscule perspective.  The truth is that our minds don’t have a clue and yet we believe them to a fault.  This is our error and our suffering.  We all want some magic bullet that will make everything perfect and peaceful and happy and yet we fail to recognize that we are the magic bullet that we seek.  It is our sole responsibility, our one and only true responsibility, to align ourselves with the accurate perspective that there is nothing that is not in perfection just as it is.  Until we are willing to align ourselves to the perspective of perfection and give up our faulty perspective of perceiving error we will experience our own judgment over and over and over again and remain in the circle of suffering.  

The end of perceiving error is the end of fear.  When you no longer see wrong you no longer have any reasons left to fear.  Survival physiology ends, defense posturing becomes irrelevant.  There is no longer anything you need to protect yourself from.  It’s the end of the over-analyzer, the worrier, and the anxious one.  Simultaneously it is the birth of the healed one, of love physiology and of the posturing of openness and commune with spirit.  It is the recognition that there is no “your life” separate from anything and the allowing of the movement and impulse of life to move through your body-mind.  

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

Disown Everything

Disown Everything 

Radical relinquishment

Think for a moment about how much ownership you claim in your life.  Look at external things like your house, car, clothes, career, business, professional titles, kids, spouse, friends, other family members.  Also peek at internal things like emotions, sensations, thoughts and beliefs.  Begin to investigate your relationship with all of the things both internal and external in your life.  How much do you think, feel or act in accordance with the thought that something is yours?  Anything that you own or claim becomes your identity and something that you then attempt to manipulate or control.  These are also the same things that we tend to worry about or that we say create stress in our lives.  

If you take this all the way to the extreme end you will see that taking ownership of something as yours is the source of all suffering.  Pause for a moment and simply feel what it feels like to give everything away.  I am not talking about physical items here necessarily, though those could be included, but instead giving away everything inside your mind.  The thoughts about the sensations in your body, your emotional state of being, the list of all the things you need to do this week, your beliefs about how things work in this world and the perspectives you hold so strongly onto.  It is in these moments of relinquishment that you taste your true self, that which remains when all is left to be as it is.

Now you may think, isn’t it irresponsible, superficial or bypassing this reality to disown everything.  The first thing I would say is to do a little self-experimentation.  Disown those very thoughts and see how it feels.  I’d imagine the peace that you desire to feel and the spiritual blissful nature of yourself is what you will instantly experience.  However if that is too radical for you and you prefer to take smaller steps into peace, freedom and bliss then the second thing I’d say is to investigate what it is that you really want.  Do you want to continue to interject, impose, manage, make sure everything turns out ok for everyone, feel stressed or exhausted, feel bad for extended periods of time because you think you need to keep holding onto a particular feeling state or a story about a sensation?  Do you have a belief that being human means that you must suffer and that the human experience can’t be congruent with a permanent state of peace or bliss?  Also investigate what it is that you think you will lose if you let go and radically relinquish.  Perhaps respect, purpose, validation, worth, people’s opinions about you, your opinion of yourself, your stories about what life means and what matters, love.  It is often our fear of loss, pain, and lack of self-worth that keeps us holding onto stationary concepts of life rather than living it.  In this way we continue the cycle of suffering for ourselves because we insist on what life should look like rather than what it actually looks like.   

True Power 

What we give away

However paradoxical this might sound, disownment of everything is where your true power resides.  It is where the personality you steps out of the way and you come to know the real you that has been ever present but masked behind the scenes of your busy mind.  Most people have a misconception that the more they have, whether that having is physical possessions, relationships, fancy titles or roles, conceptual knowledge, respect, admiration, some special gift, etc., then the more powerful they become.  Though this is the surface appearance, the underlying truth is that true power lives not it what you have but rather in the giving away of all.  

Many people have a desire to get out of the way and allow spirit to become them, live through them, and yet simultaneously they feel like they don’t know how to do this.  The one that feels like it doesn’t know what or how is the one that is trying to stay in control of and do life.  This one will never be able to figure it out because it is the one that is the roadblock in the first place.  It like a large rock in a stream.  The rock can’t figure out how to allow the stream to move through it because from the rock’s perspective its solid and fixed in place.  It has no idea how to move itself.  It needs either a large force that is other then its perceived self to move it so that the stream can flow clearly through or the rock itself needs to realize its non-solid nature.  Its the same with us.  Our minds (which is what we think we are) can’t figure it out.  Our larger awareness or consciousness must come in to move us and the only ways that it can do that is if we are either empty enough to be moved (having realized our own non-solidity) or the force is stronger than our rock like nature.  

The power of personality and personal will can only go so far.  It is an important driving force and also what ultimately must be suspended and transcended if we are to grow and evolve beyond it.  Our personalities are very persistent.  They like to be right.  They hate feeling wrong.  They look at life in linear and black and white ways.  They are insistent on labelling, defining and making sense of everything they see.  They take things personally because they are by their very nature personal.  When we confuse our identity with the mind this is what becomes our perceived real reality.  

When we boldly give away everything in our mind rather than accumulate, hold onto or take, we empty ourselves out so that the brighter, more luminescent consciousness that we are becomes more apparent to us.  This loosens our hold on the small person centric world view and opens us into a broader, less personal awareness.  With more and more tastes we come to know this as our self rather than the personal self we’ve assumed ourselves to be.  Loss of individuality is nirvana.  Though disownment may seem irresponsible and sometimes scary to our person, it actually feels so freeing when we do and gives us direct access to our beyond self.  

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

Connected Movement

Connected Movement

Motion guided by thought

Unless you are a dancer, athlete or have practiced a lot of body awareness you probably don’t really pay too much attention to how your body moves.  Rather than tuning into our body’s natural movements or allowing our bodies to be moved we tend to think or do our movements.  Thinking our movements comes from our thinker deciding it wants to do something and then our body following through on that thought with the necessary actions.  For example say you are sitting on your couch and you have the thought that you would like an apple from the kitchen.  Your body then gets up and walks to the kitchen in response to this thought.  This is the process or act of doing.  This motion is guided by the thoughts in your head and often not in connection with the larger rhythms of your consciousness.  

When motion is guided by thought alone it is mechanical in nature, meaning you have to do the motion and there isn’t a sense of aliveness inherent within the movement itself.  In this previous sentence you are the thinker (as that is what most people identify themselves as) and the thinker/you is guiding the motion.  The process of pure doing, or moving guided by thought, involves effort and there isn’t a synergistic flow to it or something that is energizing it; you have to put all the work into it.  Another way to say this is that the movement is not connected.  Disconnected movement is movement guided by thought that feels like you have to do the work to produce the action.  This is how most people move most of the time.  

When our thoughts are the primary motivator of our movements we are then thus limited in our movements by the thoughts we think.  Our thoughts decide what movements we take, where we go, where we don’t go, how we are and aren’t able to express ourselves through our movements (including the movement of voice/sound) and what we think we are physically capable of doing.  The effects of this are vast and include how the movement of a single joint in our body moves or doesn’t move, the way a muscle or group of muscles tense up, or the posturing we hold ourselves in and extends into the expression of our purpose and what we move towards and away from in life.  When our movements are guided by the mechanical nature of thought intelligence we experience the limitation of our thoughts through this physical body which intelligence moves within. 

Intelligently Guided Motion 

Beyond the thinker

You may be wondering what can move us besides our thoughts?  Believe it or not there is something more intelligent then your thoughts that can guide your movements.  We are largely conditioned to believe that we are the thoughts we think, or one step beyond that, that we are thinker of the thoughts we think, and that our identity stops there.  This creates a limited perspective on who/what we are and that limited perspective is what gets expressed through these bodily forms as movement.  

What is this intelligence that lives beyond our thinking minds which can inform our movements and how do you access it within your own consciousness and experience?  One of the first pieces I’ve found to be fundamental for people in discovering themselves beyond their thinking mind is the development of body awareness.  What this means is learning how to drop your awareness from your head/thoughts into your body and simply rest it there.  Through learning how to rest your awareness into different parts of your body you begin to notice yourself and your energy within your body rather than be focused in your thoughts.  This opens your awareness to the more subtle aspects of your being.  This is simple in application, but requires a consistent practice to discipline where you allow your attention to go as it will almost always want to immediately go back into your thoughts.  

Navigating your awareness into your body you begin to learn presence and how to simply be without doing.  It is then through the next step of turning your attention towards your beingness that you become aware of yourself at that level beyond thoughts.  It is also here that spontaneously organized movement can arise that is generated not through your thoughts but through your being.  Here movement is effortless and not limited, controlled or determined by your thoughts.  It is also not mechanical, but instead has it own coordination and defies what the thinking mind previously thought possible.  The mind cannot makes sense of it, nor is it necessarily supposed to be able too.  Here, you the person, must have also developed enough trust, faith and surrender or you will not be able to experience beyond your thinking mind.  Without trust, faith and surrender the mind is simply unwilling or not ready to let go.  It needs more time to keep its confined, limited and illusionary sense of safety a little longer before experiencing freedom.  

At first some people experience this more organized, spontaneous movement as scary, strange or other worldly, but it is simply the waking up of your awareness to the beingness aspect of itself where thoughts don’t interfere and the intelligence beyond your thinking mind can get a moment to enter your body and organize it in a more efficient configuration.  Life is always evolving and moving towards greater organization, intelligence and knowledge of itself.  This is built into the blueprint of creation.  It is natural that we are waking up to this next aspect of ourselves where we tune to the more subtle aspects of our nature and our thinking minds get out of the drivers seat.  Here a more highly ordered and energized intelligence (that we are) can stream through and use the vehicle of the thinking of mind to express through rather than the thinking mind running the show.  Overtime and with more tastes we become more stable and rested at this level of our being and our identity shifts from thinker into illuminator or simply pure awareness.  

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

Linear & Nonlinear Reasoning

Linear & Nonlinear Reasoning

Stages of development

The next stage of development we move into as older children and adolescents is that of analyzing, reasoning and trying to make sense of things that we perceive.  For many this comes in the form of logical and linear reasoning as this is what is mostly reinforced in our schools and culture.  It is black and white and views progress as moving from point A to B without deviation from the line.  It is focused on finding cause and effect relationships in which 1+1 must=2.  While others develop abstract or nonlinear reasoning.  In this type of reasoning things don’t move in a sequential fashion or progress on a straight line from A to B, but instead may move from A to P to O to D.  There are infinite shades and dimensions of all colors and things move out in many directions from one point.  A singular cause and effect relationship is a mute point as everything is influencing and effecting everything else, 1+happiness+an apple might=2.  People often categorize this into left brain vs right brain activity, where left brain is linear/logical and right brain is nonlinear/abstract.

Anyone who has spent time with a young child knows their insatiable hunger to know why things are the way they are.  This is rooted in a fundamental curiosity to know the outer world with which we find ourselves abiding within.  As young children we are little explorers with awakening mental capabilities that we use to make sense of what we see, feel, hear, taste and touch.  Developmentally we move from putting things in our mouth and touching things with are hands when we are infants and toddlers to using our mind to ask questions about things and formulate thoughts about what we sense.  Once we think we know our outer world well enough we stop asking so many questions with that child-like curiosity and we now have many developed assumptions based on what all of the adults in our lives have told us about the world.  We are not really aware of these assumptions as we’ve simply absorbed the information given to us and made it into a concrete and factual world which we now live in.  

While many people have a higher tendency towards logical, linear reasoning as that is what we are taught as primary, most people have aspects of both types of reasoning.  However as a collective we tend to lean towards what the culture accepts and expects and find ourselves locked into linear reasoning even if that isn’t our natural default or tendency.  We go for what “makes the most sense”, “is logical”, which is implied to be the “higher, more prestigious order”.  Whether or not that is actually true or valid is up for debate, but the logical mind tends to be quite rigid, singularly focused, at times righteous and has a hard time coloring outside the lines.  For it to see itself, and for you to see it in yourself, can be challenging because it must be proven to with facts, data and direct cause and effect or else it remains closed, skeptical and judgmental.  

Addiction to Reasoning 

Shifting into presence

While reasoning, linear and nonlinear, are fundamental developmental milestones to this human experience many people get locked into and addicted to reasoning, especially linear reasoning.  We tend to need to know why things are they way they are rather than simply experiencing them.  We feel a compulsion to figure things out particularly when undesirable occurrences are showing up in our lives or bodies and we feel frustrated when we can’t make sense of it all.  We think if we could just figure it out, have some reason or answer be revealed to us, then everything would be ok again.  

While linear reasoning absolutely has its place say for example when organizing your house, structuring your day or creating an action plan for something very specific that you want to achieve or create, in the realms of healing it often gets in the way.  Our near complete obsession with thinking and figuring it out postpones our healing like nothing else.  Why is this so you might ask?  It is because all healing happens in the present, in fact healing is a return to the present, and when you are thinking you are not present.  Our minds have a really sneaky way of convincing us that if they can just have a few more thoughts or think about something for a little longer than they will get closer to some kind of knowing that will benefit them.  This is why we develop an addiction to our thoughts in the first place.  We think that our thoughts and reasoning will benefit us more than simply being present to our experience.  That somehow our thoughts have the answer separate from our direct experience of whatever it is that we are experiencing.  We have learned to become so reliant on our thoughts that we can’t even imagine or trust that there is another way.  We often perceive being present to our experience as inactive and being in our thoughts/head as active and productive.  As long as our minds are active we feel success or as if we are moving towards success, but to still our minds and experience simply being with feels boring or empty, unproductive, or like a waste of time, especially when we want answers.

The other piece to this is that our minds have agendas.  When life isn’t looking/feeling like we want it to the mind looks for a way out rather than a way inGetting out of our experience is impossible and yet we will try at all costs to do so when we don’t like what we are experiencing.  Getting into our experience is the process of presence.  To feel and see what is here without turning away from it is what allows for healing and eventually transformation to occur.  We are so busy being in our heads avoiding the aspects of our lives that we don’t want to feel and yet feeling them is the key to healing them.  Remember avoidance is simply a protective mechanism, a way that we can check out of our experience rather than into it, because sometimes what is here is too uncomfortable, more uncomfortable than our continual avoidance of it.  

Being in your experience provides all of the energy and information that you will ever need.  Your capacity to feel the emotions and sensations that are present in any moment, particularly the ones you resist or don’t like, is what allows them to be part of the whole rather than separate in a concept or thought.  This integrates them back into the unified whole of which they never really left, only your thoughts kept them separate.  It is from this place that you can see a larger perspective.  This is where the energy and knowingness for actions, transformation and change occurs.  There is no more figuring out.  There is simply knowledge of how to proceed and what must occur now.  If you find yourself “not knowing how” then you’re not present yet because when you are present you always know.  Here self-doubt ends and self-knowing is inherent.  

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

Opening into Nothingness

Opening into Nothingness 

Going beyond thought

Stars and material falls into a black holeWhether you are aware of it or not opening into stark nothingness is terrifying for most.  We both hunger to feel emptiness and instantaneously grab onto the next thing or thought the moment we taste even the slightest sliver of nothingness.  We are so bound up in our thoughts, worries, ideas, activities and the like that few of us even get a glimpse of what it feels like to experience total emptiness.  The irony is that emptiness is our natural state of being and yet most of us have never experienced it.  

Emptiness or nothingness is what is prior to or before thought arrives on the scene.  When thought does arrive it creates and colors the world that we see and what we call reality.  Reality for most people is just a conglomeration of their thoughts.  True reality however is completely without thought.  It simply is.  Pure beingness.  Awareness itself.  Why is it that we are so terrified of our natural state of pure beingness?  Well firstly it is because there is no separate, individual self in nothingness.  This means that the you that you think is you, let’s call this the “thought” you, dissolves into nothing.  There is no you in the traditional sense that you’ve come to know.  This feels completely destabilizing to the one you think you are (often people describe it as the feeling of death) and so the reaction-response is to fuse back with thought to feel a sense of stability again.  

Secondly in order to even taste nothingness we must be in a state of total openness and acceptance.  We cannot be attempting to make something happen, figure anything out or control something with our head/thoughts.  All of these put us in a state of resistance or closure, which equates to creating the experience of separation or otherness.  You cannot know nothingness from a state of perceiving otherness.  Many people however try to do this and nothingness becomes another box or container for their mind to explore rather than directly know.  In order to truly experience nothingness you must fuse with it thus becoming it rather than continuing to fuse with thoughts.  

When you make the commitment to open your system and let go of thoughts rather than continue to use your thoughts to figure out how to open your system, you will begin to know the beingness and the world beyond thought.  You cannot get beyond thought through using thought.  You must relinquish the thoughts altogether less your awareness will habitual continue to latch onto them out of familiarity and comfort.   

The End of Otherness 

Surrender into the Self

relationshipsAs we approach nothingness from a still separate point of view some of the experiences that we have are centered around feeling like we won’t know, that we will be totally useless, that we will be completely exposed or vulnerable, that if our mind/thoughts don’t inform us then what will, and above all we doubt because we don’t yet know what is on the other side of our thoughts.  We don’t perceive that we can trust that nothingness will provide and contains everything that is known and needed.  

The only way to really work with this is to allow yourself to feel the energy of all of these states of being that arise.  That means allowing the feeling of not knowing what is or will happen next which brings in the felt experience of trust, feeling exposed and vulnerable which brings in the direct experience of openness, feeling the spacious empty nothingness that is without thoughts which brings in the direct knowing of yourself.  See we often say we want to trust, or we want to be more open, or we want to more clearly and directly know ourselves and we think that we have to do something or figure something out in order to do it.  The truth is that trust, openness and knowledge of self come through you staying with those feeling experiences that you keep trying to avoid which just happen to be trust, openness and knowledge of self.  The direct path to what we desire is always inside of what we are currently experiencing.

To know ourselves, which is the final destination of the spiritual journey, is really just the beginning of life.  Before we know ourselves we are just trying to survive because all we perceive is separation and the fight for our physical needs, desires and existence.  If we have something than it means someone else does not have it and vis versa.  When we perceive otherness someone or something always wins and the other loses.  We fight to save live from the perspective of our eminent demise as we believe death of the body means death of us.

The end of otherness and the bridge into totality is the surrender into nothingness which is the true self or the true you.  This is to walk willingly into our own personalized ego death.  Ego being that perspective which believes itself to be a part, and apart from, rather than the whole.  This is the end to personalization of our lives and the unbending trajectory of the individual needs, wants and desires.  To be clear this does not mean death of the body, but to the perspective that body means separate from.  There is no separate you.  There never has been.  There has only ever been the thought of a separate you.  Separate you is just a thought.  When you relinquish all thought, even for a moment, you immediately realize this.  This is the direct experience and knowledge of self.  This takes you beyond the concept of you to where you no longer perceive other and the will of this body-mind instrument is divinely inspired and moved.  Personal insistences have dissolved and all that remains is God/Love/Spirit of which these vehicles are gladly utilized.  “Your” will becomes Love’s will as there is but one will.  

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

Impermanence

Impermanence 

Pleasure & pain principle

Four season treeMost people assume that things will always be the way that they are.  In fact this assumption is one of the the prime causes of suffering and disconnection.  Whether life feels painful or pleasurable we tend to default into thinking that it will always be this way even though from a more rational or practical perspective we know that it won’t be as everything is always changing.  Yet we are often in denial or oblivious to the fact of the ever changing nature of life.  

Why do we deny the blatantly obvious changing nature of life?  It almost always comes down to not wanting to feel loss of something.  Change means that things will come and go.  Some things we don’t want to let go of because they feel so good to us.  This could be a relationship, a family structure, the state of our body or health, the place we live, some possession we own, a job/career, etc.  We desire it and thus grasp onto it at all cost.  We feel pain at the thought of losing something we love or cherish in our experience.  This is a natural part of the human experience and yet the root of our suffering.  It is also the motivation for our attempts to control or manage all aspects of our life.  This is not only exhausting to us on a mental-emotional level, it also affects the health and functioning of our body.

The other side of perpetuating the illusion of permanence is when we don’t like our experience or what we tend to call pain.  For example we may be in a relationship we don’t want, have a sensation in our body that we don’t like, or dislike our job/career and yet we feel hopeless and like there is no way out or through.  We feel like it is just going to always be this way permanently and we find ourselves trapped in the illusion of solidity and fixation rather than realizing the ever changing nature of life that includes each and every expression and form. 

The uncertainty of things coming and going leaves us feeling like we are tethered to nothing at all and this experience of freedom is too much for most minds.  Minds like to know what comes next and will do their best to create certainty even if that certainty comes in the form of something we don’t want or prefer such as an uncomfortable body sensation, a job that we are over or a relationship that has ran its course.  The thing is that we don’t live in a certain, stable or known world.  In fact we live in the exact opposite.  Our resistance to uncertainty, instability and the mysterious nature of life keeps us trapped in a prison that lives only inside of our own minds.  This prison is home for most and what they believe reality to be.   

Embracing the Comings  & Goings

A gateway to gratitude 

Wave Hollow Inside OutIf asked, most people would say they prefer freedom and joy rather than constraint and suffering, and yet most people choose constraint and suffering without even realizing that it is their choice.  The way that we choose joy and freedom is through fully accepting and inviting in the ever changing nature of life.  By embracing the comings and goings we find ourselves in a perpetual state of gratitude and awe for life rather than attempting to manage and control it.  

Take for example the novelty of a new relationship, job, house or any other exciting thing.  In this beginning stage we often find ourselves elated and what many would name as “in love”.  We are in love because we are not taking anything for granted nor making anything too solid or permanent.  We don’t yet have assumptions about what will occur, as we don’t really know yet.  We have lots of excitement, but not too much attachment because there hasn’t been much of ourselves invested yet.  We feel hopefully for possibilities and yet remain in an open state of being in regards to how it all looks and feels.  There is much to be revealed, determined and experienced as we live it.  Most people love being in this novelty phase of unfixed excitement, yet it doesn’t take long for the mind to come in and attempt to make things more solid.  Particularly as we develop routines with these new aspects of our lives and they become more “integrated”, ordinary, solid or real.  

As soon as things become increasingly and increasingly more fixed we simultaneously “lose” that feeling of love.  This is not a coincidence.  What we really “lose” is novelty and the unattached state of gratitude that comes with it.  We create solid where there is not really solid and then when our sense of solid either become too solid (where we feel suffocated) or becomes less solid (when we we aren’t wanting it to change) we suffer.  

The less moveable and flexible we are with the comings and goings of life the more we will experience suffering.  Again these comings and goings include everything: your body and its sensations and the expressions of ease or dis‘ease’, your relationships with yourself and others, the state of your physical comforts or discomforts, financial resources, business failures or successes, the range of your emotional body, etc.  All of these things are always going to be in a state of constant flux.  Though there are times when your experience will be that some of aspects of your life are seemingly more stable, this too is just an illusion.  Its simply that the relevance/teachings that you are learning from those experiences takes longer or serves you and/or the rest of the creation more so they hang around for a longer duration of time until their relevance is complete.

Everything constructs and deconstructs, stabilizes and destabilizes, binds and becomes free again.  This is simply the nature of this universe that we live in.  Learning to ride this wave through embracing the comings and goings will keep you in a perpetual state of gratitude, awe and love, which is truly what we desire more than the constant appearance of any aspect of our reality being fixed or staying the same.  

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

Giving Everything Back to Source

Giving Everything Back to Source 

Tendency to hold on

Studio shot of worried and upset caucasian woman holding hands in pray near chin, squeezing it tight and begging for something, smiling nervously and standing with closed eyes over gray backgroundAs human beings we tend to hold onto everything.  This perpetual holding on gives us a sense of security and like we can somehow manipulate our external reality if we just hold on a little bit tighter.  Holding on is our attempt to control the spontaneous, unpredictability of life so that we are not caught too far off our guard where we perceive that things might get or go “bad”.  This holding onto life keeps our life looking a particular way and provides us with the illusionary experience of consistency and sameness.  While a part of us feels better when this illusionary experience of life appears to be intact, another part of us feels stifled and like it can’t breathe inside of delusion we are perpetuating.  

We not only hold onto material things like homes, jobs, relationships and such, we also hold onto thoughts.  In fact we are almost never entirely without a thought.  For many people to open into the spacious, emptiness beyond thought is terrifying.  I believe that most have never done it for much longer than a second or two, if even that, which means that we are always holding onto something.  Why the terror to let go you may ask?  Perhaps we fear that this world that we live in now, with all the things that we know, will disappear.  Perhaps the tastes we’ve had of freedom have felt “too free” and we prefer some constraint and limitation over our freedom.  Maybe we’ve created the story that we don’t know how to let go, or maybe we don’t even know that we are holding life in the grips of our own mind.  

Regardless of our reasoning or our lack of awareness into ourselves as to our patterns of holding the result of holding is the same.  Holding on always creates some level of tension in our body-mind.  That tension then becomes the filter with which we interpret and experience everything and with which we come to believe what is.  Tension patterns also create disconnection from source or from the larger organizing principle of creation.  This is the inherent function of tension patterns, to be self-protective of this individuated body-mind organism that we call ourselves, and yet simultaneous with this comes reinforcement of the illusion of perceiving yourself as separate from the rest of creation.   

Reconnecting with Source 

Its easier than your mind thinks

Happy girl jumpingRe-establishing connection to source is always easier than our mind thinks that it is.  It is the job of our mind to make things way more complicated than they are in actuality.  People’s minds like to talk about how they have to do this or that, change this or that, or how they just have to surrender and let go already.  Yet for most this simply stays in their mind as another thought or idea that takes up space inside of the infinite spaciousness of ourselves.  I find if people are talking about their need to surrender and let go they are quite far from actually doing it.  Why does letting go or surrendering stay in the mind rather than become our direct experience?   It is because ultimately we don’t really want to let go of what we say we want to let go of.  We prefer our uncomfortable (or unnoticeable for some that have less awareness of themselves) tension patterns and delusional stories of reality over ease and truth because more than anything else we fear what we might lose.  

So fear of loss runs the show of our lives until we boldly and courageously decide to no longer let it.  Not until we are willing to lose everything can we truly experience surrender.  Few people arrive here without exhausting every other possible route first.  We quite literally exhaust ourselves into the truth.  Our beliefs in scarcity, lack, and wrongness, that we won’t have enough, be enough, achieve the right things, things won’t last or turn out, that we’ve failed, will be alone,  etc… triumphs.  

How do we walk this path towards surrender step by step?  I have found that to give everything back to source is the quickest route.  This means making the commitment to first tune into yourself and develop awareness of your patterns of tension and disconnection.  As tension patterns arise at the body level immediately release them.  Don’t try to figure them out or process them at length, simply just drop the tension.  Rather than continue to hold on to it, let it go, just like that.  You will notice instantly more ease and breath in your body.  You will also begin to realize just how powerful you are and how you are the creator of your own tension patterns.  Second is the willingness to let go of your thoughts as they arise.  This will take consistent practice for most.  If you get fixated on a thought recognize the fixation and then let the thought go.  This is important particularly for thoughts that really grab you and bring you into a less resourced and often fearful state.  

As you do this more and more you will be developing your skill set in giving back to source rather than taking from or holding on as if nothing else will ever come your way.  Whenever we give back we are instantaneously rewarded with more energy and aliveness.  What we hold onto we maintain.  At best our energy state stays neutral which means life looks the same and feels mundane most of the time.  However what we give back to life, to source, frees us up and thus we become available to exponentially greater and greater states of energy.  This also means that we almost never know what will happen.  We are in the moment of ever present aliveness, trust, and knowingness in the perfection of it all.  This is what at our heart of hearts we all desire and seek no matter how much our minds want to interfere.  

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

Power of Love

Power of Love 

Infinite Life Force

16152518 - beautiful lotus backgroundMost all of us make claims to the power of love.  On some level we know that love is the ultimate everything and yet when things get “serious” or when we get caught up in our emotional or thinking bodies the power of love is forgotten.  Why is it that we drop love or downplay its position as the grand orchestrator of all of life when things get messy, unclear or uncertain?  Why does our thinking mind along with its linearity and rationality become the prime ruler rather than the heart?  

First of all let me just say that love is the source of infinite life force.  Life force is love, love is life force.  Life force is what makes everything come alive.  It is the breath of the universe and everything within it.  This is why when we feel like we are in love we feel alive, awake, alert and juiced up, because we actually are.  Love, whether for self, other or just as a state of being, brings with it infinite, inexhaustible life force.  It can not because love and life force are one and the same.  

Life force, energy and love are terms that can be used interchangeably.  Life force is the quite literal energy source that powers everything in the universe including your physical body.  It is fairly common knowledge at this point that everything in the universe is energy.  When all matter is broken down into its most basic components all that remains is vibrating energy.  That vibrating energy is life force/love.  Patterns of thoughts, beliefs and perceptions then give shape to that energy and the world of forms that we see with our eyes.

As powerful as our thoughts are in their ability to bring forms to life, they are nothing without the energy source of love to back them up.  Pure, unconditioned love is the most coherent, whole energy source that there is.  When we have thoughts that are fueled by less coherent states of energy, such as fear, rage, or rationality, they are much less efficient or effective and therefore the forms they create are not as optimal, complex or productive.  Less coherent states of energy are simply states of energy that are not as aware of their inherent wholeness.  Love knows it wholeness which is where its extreme power arises.   

Fall from Grace 

Perception of Wrongness

Spiritual conceptual image of a female angelWhen we think about the power of love without being connected with the knowingness of love our power is greatly diminished.  True power does not come from thought alone, but from the intimate acknowledging and resting into love so that its power naturally expresses.  The primarily perception that keeps us disconnected from knowing love intimately is the perception of wrongness.  

When we view through the perception of wrongness we create separation where there is none.  Separation creates a less coherent state of energy because within separation implies a lack of wholeness.  Wrongness means that something must be thrown out of the whole and when that occurs there is less energy/life force available to the system (individual or collective).  Say for example you (or your culture) judge multiple things about yourself, another person, or the environment as wrong.  The more you judge the more you shrink your perspective.  With this comes a sense of confinement and limitation.  Simultaneously the less innately good you feel and the less energy you have available to you.  Manifestation feels more effortful and there is greater disorganization in what gets created. This is a state of decreased coherency where your knowingness of love and ability to utilize the power of love is diminished.  This does not mean that love is actually diminished, but only your perception of it.  Again this happens at individual and collective system levels.  

Perceiving wrongness also brings on both sides of it righteousness and shame.  To defend one’s rightness or hide in one’s shame birth the entire gamut of defensive patterns of self-protection.  This is our fall from grace or love.  This is the imposition of limitation on life force.  This is the disconnection from our power, which is the power of love.   To restore connection and remember the power of love we must dismantle our belief in our own or others wrongness.  To know love rather than think love requires this.  

Love has no boundaries, it penetrates all.  Love brings light to even the darkest dark, to every recess of unconsciousness.  Nothing is brighter than love.  To stand in the radiance of love is to illuminate the entire world.  All healed, all whole, all intimately aware of itself.  From here the purest and most efficiently organized forms of creation are created.  Life force vitalizes all.  This doesn’t happen independently of you, it happens because of you.  At some point we must all surrender to love.  It is inevitable.  We must give away our addiction to less coherent thoughts of wrongness, missing and lack of wholeness, and open our system into greater coherency, full force life force and the power of love.  

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

Appearances

Appearances 

Seeing the surface

Enchanted mirrorEverything that we see, feel, touch or somehow sense is an appearance.  The world of appearances can be equated with the physical world that we see including our physical bodies.  Most of our daily attention and focus is on these appearances.  Appearances come and go.  That is their nature.  None of them are permanent, hence the seeming impermanence to this thing that we call life.  Despite this quality of impermanence and constant mutability most have come to believe appearances to be the most real, physical, and solid thing that exists.  It is with this seeming realness or physicality that we’ve created our baseline for what we think is, what we focus on and what we believe to be important and valuable.

With so much of our attention focused on appearances very little attention is brought to what is underneath or deep to appearances.  When our sense of stability and knowingness of what is, is fused with the appearance of things then when appearances change (which they always do) so does our sense of knowing what is.  If people are completely fused with appearances then when appearances change they will call it a crisis and the typical response they feel/experience is fear.  If people have some recognition beyond appearances then they will sense the subtle undertones of what is going on past what simply appears to be going on and will see/feel opportunity rather than fear.  If people are completely unfused with appearances then when appearances changes they will be completely undisturbed because their sense of knowing what is has not been affected in any way.  

It is good to take an inventory to see how fused you are with appearances because when you are fused with appearances you are unable to see what is actually there.  One way to easily assess this for yourself is to see where you feel an emotional charge about something that is occurring.  Emotional charge is an indication that there is some fusion with the appearance of what is.  That emotional charge and be positive or negative, meaning it can be either excitement, eagerness or anger, frustration towards something that is occurring.  Either way that charge will focus your awareness on the appearance of the experience that is occurring rather than the essence or unchangeable nature that is deep to all appearances and experiences.   

Diving beneath the  surface

Neutrality and unchangeability

Woman in a white dress under water.Your capacity to be unaffected, undisturbed or unshaken by what is occurring is a measure of how you are able to fully focus your awareness on the unchangeable aspect of your nature.  It is your ability to focus your attention in such a way that you go deep to appearance and feel the stability of yourself that never changes, never moves, and is always present.  When you are rested here, in the core of your being, every single thing in your appearance based world (including people, relationships, financial resources, jobs, state of your physical body or health, self-image, reputation, etc.) can all fall away or change dramatically and yet you remain in a rested state of never ending well-being.  This well-being is neutral, meaning without charge, yet the experience of it is safe, well, blissful, and abundant no matter what appearances are or aren’t in your experience.

This neutrality to those that have not experienced the well-being that comes along with it may seem boring or dull.  Some people will prefer the drama and chemical responses to charge over neutrality as the derive a sense of identity within experiencing life in that way.   To not be swayed and influenced by the ups and downs (typically what we call stress) of the appearance based world may feel like an “un-human” life, yet what are we if not evolving into the next version of new species on this planet that includes and transcends being human?  What does it take to bring that consciousness here?  It requires us to perceive and be anew.  To emit the frequency of well-being rather than be pulled out of our center each time we experience a new set of appearances.   

There are times when you being rested as the stable source that you are, that you must pick a bias.  Where you seemingly pick a side, preference or position on something in the world of appearances.  You may find yourself needing to express an underrepresented perspective to a group of people or find it of service to take a particular set of opinions and behaviors.  People who have not yet realized themselves will often confuse you as the ideas you are representing because again people tend to focus on appearances rather than essence.  Other people’s perception of you is simply them judging their own projection of you until they reach the point in their capacity to focus their awareness beyond appearances and know their own stability.  When they reach that point than all they will see is your essence and everything that they previously painted on top of you simply vanishes as a focal point.  It is for those that have found their own stability that the taking on of biases and preferences is simply in service to helping others realize that same source inside themselves.  

Being unswayed and stably present is one of, if not the biggest gift, that you can be and share with others that don’t know it yet.  Being that source of brilliantly bright stable safety allows everyone and everything around you to relax and rest.  You are not their source of stability, but rather you mirror their own stability to them so that they can experience it. 

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