UNWINDING NEUROLOGICAL DEFENSE

UNWINDING NEUROLOGICAL DEFENSE 

Dismantling our protection from pain

We’ve all experienced tension.  That tight, constricted, unrelaxed feeling.  Sometimes it feels hard to breathe.  It can come with feeling overwhelmed and like there isn’t enough time or resources available to us.  It can be challenging to discover and feel what we are feeling.  Often it comes with uncomfortable sensations in the body.  Tension is means of protection.  We create tension, and our body feels that tension, in order to protect us from pain, when we perceive that pain might be present or imminent.  The pain, which tension is protecting us from, isn’t always clearly evident to us.  Yet if we investigate we can always find the thing we are attempting to avoid feeling or experiencing.  

Pain can come in many forms.  It can be purely at the body/sensation level.  You might experience this in a car accident or a fall where you finding yourself bracing (i.e. creating tension) in order to protect the body from damage and lessen the impact.  You may also have a chronically painful part of your body.   Often we create tension around that area in order to attempt to not feel the pain as much.  It’s not the tension that is painful even if that is what we think is the source of the pain.  The true source of the pain is often below the tension.  The tension is the means to dull what is underneath it.  Pain can also be felt at the emotional level.  The root of most emotional pain is the fear/experience of being unloved or unlovable.  At the next level up pain felt at the mental levels is often rooted in not being enough, sharing enough or having anything worthy to give/be.  Lastly pain is also experienced at the spiritual level, which is rooted in believing we are separate from spirit/God.  

Due to the fact that most people don’t want to experience pain we learn to create protection or defense from it.  We gear up and create armoring.  This armoring is like a neurological suit that we wear that we don’t even know that we are wearing.  Everything we experience or interact with gets to come into contact with this suit.  The suit is a filter.  It’s not who we are, but it is often who we think we are and also who others perceive us to be.  Loosely you could call this our personality, and it also comes with a particular way we posture our body, talk, walk, think, perceive, dress, eat, behave and the sensations we have or don’t have.  It colors our entire world.  The suit comes with wiring.  That wiring is called neurological defense.  There are patterns and architecture to neurological defense.  These patterns are specifically what Network Chiropractic addresses.  Network assesses for the patterns that are present and helps wake up awareness and liberate energy inside these patterns of protection, so that your true self may be known to you.   

OPENING INTO THE HEART 

Rewriting the nervous system

The true self is the heart.  It is that space or experience of relaxation and easefulness that is joyfully and blissfully present.  It is light and spacious.  It is all inclusive and allows everything inside of it to be as it is.  It is energized and alive.  It is awake.  It sees nothing as wrong.  There is no resistance and we feel just as our self.  Nothing to hide, protect, avoid, or run away from experiencing.  It is that which we are all hungry for and finding our way into in our own ways.  The heart is not just for some people or for some times.  It is for all times and all people.  

The heart seems absent, foreign or mysterious to us when we are in a state of neurological defense.  When we are in protection mode we view ourselves as a subject/object that is independent from other subject/objects.  This is how most beings in the world view themselves and also why there is such a disconnection from the heart amongst our collective at large.  When separation is the predominant perspective than there is always something/someone to protect ourselves from.  Yet when that predominant perceptive changes to non-separation or unity, than protection becomes nonsensical and arbitrary.  

The heart isn’t something hard to find.  Its all pervasive, ever present and never comes or goes.  What does come or go is our focus or attention on it.  When our focus and attention is wrapped up in all the ways we need to protect ourselves to physically survive, get all of our emotional needs met and to satisfy the demands of the stories we’ve learned to tell ourselves about what our life is supposed to be and who we are supposed to be, then the heart is not in our view.  Shifting priorities, changing stories and reconditioning the neurological patterns present in your energetic and physical configuration is required in order to experience life as heart.  

Opening into the heart is closer than you think.  It’s not too hard to find/feel glimpses of it.  These glimpses are important as they start to light up pathways that don’t get lit up that frequently inside most people’s nervous systems.  This is what Network entrainments provide the container for as well.  During entrainments an energetic field is created that is organized in such a way to amplify the experience of heart for you.  While the gentle contacts along the spine help dismantle neurological defense, this field or container of the heart is readily present and available.  With continued tastes, touches and glimpses of this field of the heart, a person can receive and exchange more and more energy and awareness with this field.  The energy, awareness and perspective of heart then becomes the dominant program in your system.  The heart starts speaking louder than the pathways that are fighting for survival and viewing life from a scarce and separate perspective.  This is the progression, the objective and the intention.  It’s simple.  It’s available.  It’s time is ripe.  

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

Levels of Identity

Levels of Identity 

Our reference points for who we are

3D Segmented Funnel ChartThere are different levels of identity.  Identity is a reference point for who/what we know ourselves to be.  Identity is important because depending on what we are identifying ourselves with or as will determine what we perceive and thus how we interact with everything in our world.  

So what are these different levels of identity?  I am going to describe 4 different “levels of identity” as I’ve come to know them. The 4 different levels are pre-rational, person, soul and God identity.  

Pre-rational identity

Pre-rational identity is that level of identity before we know ourselves as a self, or as an individual person.  This level of identity is pre-thought or pre-thinking ourselves into being.  There isn’t a sense of separateness between self and other selves because you don’t know yourself as a self yet.  In a sense you are your environment.  There isn’t the self awareness of having an experience.  You are experience and it’s simply happening.  This is seen in early stages of human life, especially noted in babies and very young toddlers before they know that a “me” exists.  Since you are experience and its simply happening there isn’t a “you” in the drivers seat, instead the environment is driving.  This is important especially if survival or emotional needs don’t get met by the environment that we are, because inherent in this is a sense of powerlessness to the environment.  When this occurs pathways can go undeveloped in our nervous system, particularly pathways that get fired when our nervous system experiences safety,  satiation, and rest.  Simultaneously other pathways get overdeveloped that relay information that environment is not safe, there is hunger, and to stay vigilant.  

When the pathways that know safety, satiation and rest are underdeveloped then the structure or framework that our system needs to integrate pre-rational identity gets halted and fragmentation or splitting of experience occurs.  We can call this distortion and it activates a cascade of protective mechanisms to try and keep us safe and alive.  Since there is a myriad of experiences that occur, some which fire safety pathways and some that fire pathways that say “not safe” what happens is that some fragmented parts stay at this pre-rational level of identity.  What this can show up as in our adult life is feeling victim or  powerless in certain aspects of our life.  You can also experience a general sense of not being able to relax or only being able to relax in certain environments or if certain conditions are met.  You may also experience that people or things aren’t safe or can’t be trusted, and that there may not be enough food or attention and love so you hoard or over consume.  There can also be a naivety about how things work and things can seem magical and mysterious.  This is also the place where life force (or body) intelligence and emotional intelligence reign.  What this means is that if we have aspects that have fragmented and are halted at this level of identity we can have challenges in physical health/healing and emotional resilience.  If this level of identity isn’t integrated there is also more reactivity and focus on survival, so we can see defensive and protective posturing and physiology that would be associated with fight, flight or freeze responses. 

Person identity

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At the level of person identity we have developed a sense of a separate self that is separate from others and from the environment.  This level of identity requires the faculties of mental intelligence which include the ability to think, discern,  see self as separate from other selves and be aware of feelings, sensations and as having a body without being identified as them.  There is a self that is aware that it has feelings and sensations which means you are not completely fused with them as them.  This begins to wake up choice, options, different possibilities and seeing the bigger picture, along with the awareness that you are in charge of and even the creator of your life.  

Usually around age 3 this person identity has showed up on the scene and it continues to develop into adolescence and early adulthood.  We can have experiences within this time that create fragmentation and distortion at this level of identity.  Some examples would be in not being seen as a unique person that we are, not having mirrored to us that we have skills and abilities, not being given options and being able to choose but instead being told what to do, and not having opportunity to express our unique nature.  These experiences don’t allow us to fire the pathways in our nervous system that are related to confidence, to feeling both failure and success and making it through, to feeling our power and our ability to choose, and to see how we impact our environment including our own body.  This stunts us in the development of our person identity as a separate self.  This can show up in us as adults by having difficulty with making choices, head being foggy, thoughts are unclear, difficulty knowing what you desire as a person or knowing your preferences, allowing people to walk all over you, or lacking confidence and drive.  In the nervous system this has less to do with protective posturing and fight/flight/freeze (though some of that may be present from on un-integrated pre-rational identity) and more to do with oscillating between disempowerment and feelings solidity and strength in self.  When person identity is not integrated the posturing tends to be more slumped or defeated, and as person identity get more integrated the posture becomes more upright and assertive.   

Soul identity

heart people vectorSoul identity is knowing yourself as in individuated being (like person identity), however there is awareness of your interconnectedness with all beings (and not just beings with physical, human form).  The separation of people and things is not like it is in person identity.  There are less solid barriers, defined edges and distinctions between people and objects.  Your experience is less “contained inside of  your own head” and is more fluid and interwoven with everything else.  Different from pre-rational identity you are not identified as the environment, but instead know your interconnectedness within it.  This allows you to experience a greater range of energy and you notice the presence of things and people more than their physical form or personality characteristics.  When your identity is at the soul level you are able to move your awareness around in your body and outside of your body and even into other bodies and objects, which is different than person identity where your awareness is primarily located in your head.  

This level of identity in connected with soul intelligence.  Soul intelligence is concerned with expanding and deepening in presence energy, love, wisdom, and interconnectedness.  Unity is at its core frequency.  The concerns that drive a person who is identified at soul level identity are how to be more awareness, knowingness of our truest nature and creating things to better serve the whole.  In general stabilizing in soul identity has been less accessible to humans.  We have had less mirrors available for mirroring this level of identity to us at our current planetary level of development, so the pathways are not as developed in our nervous systems, however this is changing.  The nervous system of someone who is identified at soul level identity expands to include what I call the “galactic” nervous system.  This is what allows you as an individuated being to be interconnected with everything else including what people may refer to as your “higher” self as well as other parallel versions of yourself and others.  Your thoughts are not just your thoughts, feelings are shared between people and things, information is more readily available to you but not through your normal pathways of mental intelligence or knowing, but instead through this soul intelligence or galactic highway.  The posturing is of the chest/heart being expanded and open, the head/neck come backwards instead of forward of the body and the physiology of the body is in greater communication and interconnectedness.  

God identity

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God identity goes beyond knowing yourself as anything individuated.  When you penetrate beyond the subtlest aspects of soul identity the only place left to identify with is One.  There is absolutely zero separation from anything in God identity.  You know  yourself as pure awareness, beyond all forms, beyond all energy, only aware of awareness in its most pure state.  There is no activity here, but instead primordial awakeness before anything is made manifest; simply being.  This is what most call our truest identity, yet some say there is still something even beyond this, something without beingness and without experience which is actually our truest identity.  

Since God identity is beyond form there is no posturing or physiology to note, but when someone is identified at this level while in form its like touching space.  There is a vast, open, pure and empty quality that expresses through their form.  There is no need for a nervous system to communicate with itself on an individuated level or a galactic level with others because you simply are everything.  All is instantaneous and happens at once.  Interconnectedness becomes one.  This is universal intelligence.  

Summary

Each level of identity is important, one is not better than the next.  From my current level of understanding these levels of identity are a developmental progression, each creating a foundation for the next.  You can be identified mostly in one level, say person identity, and you can simultaneously have tastes of these other identities.  But to truly stabilize at another level of identity you need multiple tastes of the next level and also full integration of the previous levels.  For example it would be very hard to stabilize in soul level identity if you have a lot of unresolved or unintegrated experiences at pre-rational or person level identity, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have tastes of it.  Typically when we have “peak” experiences, like say when we go to some type of transformational program, we get a taste of another level of identity that is possible.  If we’ve done enough integration work at previous levels than sometimes that’s all it takes to stabilize into a new identity.  However if we don’t stabilize at the next level of identity which we tasted than those parts of ourselves that still need to get integrated will rise up  into our awareness.  This is why sometime we actually go into chaos after a peak experience or a really high energy state.  The chaos is not bad or something to be fixed or gotten rid of but instead it is all of the stuff that we need to look at, address and be with so that we can really stabilize into the next level of our identity.  

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

Trust the Wisdom of Your Body

What does it mean to trust the wisdom of your body? Think about a time when your body stopped functioning normally. Perhaps a body pain arose, or your digestive system had a sudden change, maybe you developed a skin condition or you got sick and never really healed fully from it. When these things occur we often feel concern about what this means for us. Sometimes we think of potential loss or limitation, and experience a general sense of powerlessness to how our body is expressing.

It is typical for us to go into “managing” mode. We try to find a reason why our body is acting this way. We look for a diagnosis, search for specialists to fix the problem, make appointments to get answers to our questions and hopefully solutions to our problem. We may try some procedures or techniques to remedy this problem and sometimes they seem to help and other times not. This can become an exhausting cycle, especially when it turns into a cascade of fixing one problem only to have it arise again after a short time. There is temporary relief, but then we find ourselves in the same or similar conditions down the road.

So how do we change the pattern? How do we discover what our body is trying to teach us so that we can learn the lesson and move on already? The first step is slowing down, getting quiet and starting to listen to your body. Your body has an intelligence of its own called life force. This intelligence is responsible for running all of the basic functions of your body. It is always at work even when symptoms occur. In fact symptoms are messages that contain information from your body’s intelligence. This is how our body talks to us. We have learned that symptoms mean that something is “wrong”. We get scared, go into fear about what is “wrong” with us and don’t trust how our body is expressing and therefore can’t learn from it. Let’s reframe that thinking to what symptoms really mean: 1. Stop, 2. Pay attention (listen), 3. Feel, think or do something differently. Symptoms are wakeup calls to say “Hey, pay attention right here, right now, this is important, don’t ignore me or try to get rid of me but instead listen to me, I am trying to help you”.

I have found that there are themes to symptom expression. In my own personal life symptoms have manifested in connection with something that I needed to change in my life. Wrist and back pain arose for me when I needed to make a change in my work life that I was scared to make. Skin problems developed at times when I felt insecure about my self-image and beauty and I needed to change the way I felt about myself. Severe dental problems occurred at times when there was a large amount of instability in my life and where I needed to create more stability for myself. We have the ability to look at these symptoms as “problems” or look at them as sources of information/energy, that when utilized, help us create the self and life that we want.

Network Spinal Analysis combined with Somato Respiratory Integration (together called Network Care) provide tools and techniques to help you discover your patterns and how your body is uniquely talking to you. The first step is to help you move from “fear mode” also known as fight or flight, into “relaxation mode” in your body. It is nearly impossible to slow down and listen if you are really scared about something being wrong with you. On a neurological level Network care helps your nervous system move from “sympathetic dominance” to “parasympathetic dominance”. From here you can start to listen instead of being hijacked with impending doom that something bad is or might happen to you. This is the starting point for gaining information from symptoms so you can use the energy contained in them to create changes that liberate you into a life of joy, inner freedom, extraordinary health and happiness.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, L.Ac