NOTHING IS A BIG DEAL

NOTHING IS A BIG DEAL 

From big to not big

Nothing is a big deal.  That is a bold statement.  Imagine for a moment what it would feel like to claim that for yourself.  As you do you might initially feel relief, but then you may also notice that some things feel really big.  Things that feel too significant, too important or that you value too much to not be a big deal.  In order to really claim that nothing is a big deal would mean that all experiences you’ve had up to this point and all that you will have in the future, are not as significant as you might make them out to be.  That would burst a lot of bubbles in all kinds of ways.  In the most positive light you would not experience anything to be stressful anymore.  Likely you would feel a lasting levity like none you have ever known before.  On the other hand, what might feel more negative to you, is that it would also require you to let go of some of the things that give you a sense of worth, purpose, rightness, validation or fairness, and some ideas you value as special.  You would also have to give away fear and worry, which provide you with a sense of control over your experience.  In this way you would take some hits to your identity as certain experiences become less significant and you may feel more powerless, out of control, and/or confused about what matters.

When you come from the frame of mind that nothing is a big deal you nearly automatically become more allowing and accepting of whatever your experience is/was.  You let things, experiences and people come and go as they please.  You attach less to what happens in any scenario.  You feel relaxed and get a taste of freedom.  Despite all of this we still tend to make some things a big deal.  We choose charge, seriousness and our story of bigness of whatever is occurring, over feeling relaxed, at ease and free.  Then, kind of innocently, we wonder why we don’t feel good.  We genuinely can’t figure out why we don’t sleep well, digest well or experience ease in our body.  It’s a mystery to us.  We can’t seem to make the connection.  

How we are is what our experience is.  There is no difference or separation.  As we change, our experience changes with us because our experience is always reflecting us no matter how we are being.  Sometimes it can feel like quite a challenge to change our minds about something.  There can be a whole well of inner resistance to go from seeing something as a really big deal to seeing it as not a big deal.  Other times it is very quick and easy to make the transition.  It’s a matter of how much significance we place on something, how much of our identity is wrapped into our story of whatever is, and how much we want to attempt to not feel powerless and stay in control of whatever happened or is happening.  

EFFORTLESS GRATITUDE 

Caring without agenda

When we look at life and see the experiences of it as not such a big deal we effortlessly open into gratitude for what is.  A levity and simplicity arises when we aren’t indulging our energy and awareness into our story and feelings of bigness of whatever is occurring.  From that simplicity we appreciate more what’s here in the state, configuration or organization that it’s in.  When all of the experiences we’ve had and all the things we value aren’t such a big deal, we can more easily participate with life.  We enjoy more thoroughly what is here, and our enjoyment of what is, is gratitude.  People sometimes ask me how they can open their hearts more.  One of the ways to do so is to enjoy yourself and enjoy your life no matter what is.  Enjoyment is the expression of gratitude and that is a state of open heartedness.  In order to enjoy life we have often have to make the things of life a little (or a lot) less of a big deal.  

Some people may interpret not making things a big deal as not caring or being careless.  To that I would say that in order to care about something you have to enjoy it, be grateful for it and also let it be free or let it go.  That’s love.  For example if you value life then you have to enjoy it, feel gratitude for it and let it be lived rather than controlled.  The controlling of what we value (which is often confused for caring) squashes all joy out of whatever it is we value and the paradox is the we are the one doing the controlling even though it often seems external or other to us.  The more we control, the less we feel joy and gratitude for what is.  This also tends to be when we perceive things as a big deal.  Big deal usually means to us that we perceive a potential or actual threat (loss) or success (gain), something requires more energy than we want to give to it and we tend have a lot of charge or feelings around the situation.  This becomes an ideal environment for us to attempt to control outcomes, attach to things working out a certain way, and feel anxious or stressed about what will be.

The less charge, seriousness, specialness, control, fear and worry we have in relationship to the experiences of life the more caring we are.  The more capacity we have to be present, attuned and participate without agenda.  This means the less we make things a big deal the more we care, not less.  Don’t be swayed by the cultural story that says stress, worry and charged polarization means you care.  It’s really a disguise in our attempts to control life and not feel powerless.  Rather make things less of a big deal.  Your mind might resist it, and that’s ok.  If control, fear, worry, stress, anxiety, wanting fairness or something to turn out a certain way, rightness, validation or significance come up, it’s also ok.  It’s not about making yourself wrong, it’s simply about becoming more aware of how you do you, the ways you operate and moving more into choice about how you respond to life.  If you do this you will notice more openness to life, more acceptance, more gratitude and you will feel your freedom more.  As always don’t take my word for it.  Be your own scientist.  Try it out for yourself.  See how it works for you.  

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

THE GIFT OF YOURSELF

THE GIFT OF YOURSELF 

You are the gift you give

For many people there is an innate drive to give to others.  To serve, help, and support others generally generates good feelings inside of us as long as our giving comes from a place of true desire rather than obligation or agenda.  We are taught early on that we must learn skills, trades or other tools and means in order to have something to give.  Those things become our contribution to others.  This is the whole idea of work, and of trading services and resources.  

While our skills, services and abilities can add value to people’s lives and create ease, flow or greater efficiency in the world, they are not the gift that we give.  Two different people can have similar skills, services or abilities and yet they give an entirely different gift.  Sure on the surface it may seem that two architects can write up similar plans for a building, and yet they produce very different feels or results with their plans.  You may wonder why this is so.  It is so, because it is the energy of you that brings the gift of what gets produced.  It is the heart, the core of who you are, that is the actual gift you give.

Now this may seem very obvious to you conceptually.  Of course you understand that it’s you and the not the thing, but also notice how much of your mental and physical energy you spend on searching for the next cool thing you are going to create, the next career you will have, the next relationship you will start, all the while thinking that it will be your new purpose, the new thing that will define you and give you some sense of contribution.  It is very easy to pin the thing, meaning it is very easy for us to say “oh there is this thing that I can do or give to others and that makes my existence worthwhile.”  To say to yourself “I created this product, shared this service with others or did this thing and it changed people’s life, it’s so amazing!”  It is innocent enough and perhaps even true that your skill or ability did change their life and yet it is still not the gift you give.  

See in order to recognize the gift, you must be able to recognize and see yourself.  We are quite blind and distorted in our perspectives of how we view our own self.  We are not very clear mirrors for our own reflection.  We tend to not view ourselves as very worthwhile in general and therefore it’s easier to project our goodness on things we do rather than on our own selves.  We project our worth onto things.  Then to top it off the world reinforces all of our do-gooding all the while also telling us that if we think too highly of ourselves we are selfish and arrogant. Oh the conundrum! 

BEING WORTH 

Self-gratitude

Unless you know your worth you can’t give, because your giving is giving you.  If you see nothing of value in and of yourself, naked and without skills, abilities and stuff, then nothing will radiate out of you.  Sure you will still do stuff, create stuff and function in the world, but you will grow tired because you are running on empty inside trying to generate worth through what you do.  Until you know how worthy you are you will always have agenda, because you will always be trying to get love rather than realizing you are it.

Your radiance is your gift.  How you shine is your gift. It is really, really simple.  You could never attain worth or get more worthy and valuable based on any skill or ability that you may have or acquire.  Again it doesn’t mean that your skills won’t help out the ease and flow of this human existence, but they are not your service.  You are your service independent of anything that is done.

Since it is impossible to increase our worth this begs the question of how do we elevate our sense of self-worth.  Our sense of self-worth and our actual self-worth are two very different things.  The journey is in how we bridge the seeming gap in between without it being based on things that we accomplish or do.  Since most of our confidence comes through feats of walking into the fire of our own fears and limitations it is based in accomplishment or doing.  

There is one fast and short easy way to elevate our sense of self-worth and that is gratitude.  Gratitude for ourselves just the way we are in any given moment.  Appreciating the quirks, oddities, subtleties, nuances, particularities, and the way that we are exactly as we are.  Ending the desire to change ourselves or make ourselves different in any way brings greater and greater self-acceptance.  

Anything other than total gratitude for self is self-absorption, self-denial, self-hatred and the true selfishness.  It’s the true selfishness because when we don’t feel amazing about ourselves then we focus on ourselves.  We focus on what’s wrong with us and how to be different or better.  When we are focused on ourselves our energy goes in rather than radiating out.  The result is that we feel depleted rather than energized.  Giving/being ourselves is energizing because it’s effortless.  It doesn’t need to be more or less.  It is complete in and off itself.  None of this means that we won’t grow or change, but instead simply that growth will come through acceptance of self rather than through non-acceptance.  

Develop a daily practice of self-gratitude, not for what you do, but for who you are.  Nothing added, nothing subtracted.  Just you as you are.  This will be your portal into a sense of stable, infinite self-worth where you will naturally radiate the gift that you are.   

Dr. Amanda Love, 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

Finding gratitude in the mess

Finding gratitude in the mess  

Why does life need to get messy in the first place? 

40623643 - little girl eating her dinner and making a messWell lets just start off by saying a “neat” life is relatively boring.  Now I’m not talking about a de-cluttered home or general cleanliness (as I’m a big fan of both).  I’m talking about a well-managed, controlled life.  A life where little movement or change is allowed and where stability and safety is prioritized over living a juicy, energized life.

Now its great when our life feels wonderful, when we feel good, and there is ease and flow.  Yes, its great, and its also not very growthful.  Its seems that we are all striving to get to that place of everything being easy and good, but as soon as we arrive there life gives us another “obstacle” or challenge.  Thank God!

The tendency is to resist this as we don’t want anything to rock the “perfection” we’ve created and so long strived for, so we try to keep this rhythm going.  Sometimes we even succeed in not rocking the boat, we don’t allow any “mess” in our life and therefore our life remains easy.  However with time things get more and more static, frozen almost in this particular way of being, and with that a mundane stability becomes our existence.  That which we once strived for becomes flat.  We are comfortable now, and things are relatively easy, but with this comes a neutrality.  Have you ever been in a neutral relationship?  Its definitely stable and comfortable, but how exciting is it?

Growth is the purpose of our existence.  Without it we are simple achieving material goods and physical success.  Even when we think we are “creating” something in life, no matter what it is, we are really simply in the process of expanding and deepening into more of our true nature or soul.

Using gratitude to grow

Where’s your focus

So where does gratitude fit into the picture and how can we use it to grow.  Gratitude is both the most difficult and easiest state to activate within yourself.  When things are going great and just how you want them to be going, gratitude is effortless and easy.  However when things are not going how you want them too gratitude can feel like an uphill battle.

8000948 - man looking through a telescope isolated on whiteWhen we view that things suck or are not going how we want them to be going we tend to focus on what is not going our way.  Like attracts like, so our state of dis-ease escalates as we continue to feel that life is somehow working against us.  We are moving further and further away from that which we want by focusing on what is not working.

Instead we must stop, pause, take a breath and recognize where our focus is at.  We must see that what is currently presenting itself is not our desire and we must turn around our perspective and find gratitude.  You can do this by searching for and finding something that can generate a true state of gratitude in your being.  You will notice how incredibly hard this will be at first to really shift your focus.  Focusing on what is not working is like a drug and we are so addicted to it, especially when we are in the throws of a  difficult situation.

15817143 - heart and brain that walk hand in hand, concept of health of walkingThis is our challenge, our learning, to see if we can stretch ourselves more to feel gratitude and find love even in the midst of distress.  What this ultimately allows us to do is to see clear again, to step into presence of what is really going on, instead of the wild story our mind has created.  From here we drop into rawness and realness of what is.  Now we can make the “right” choice of how to respond to a situation or take a needed action.  This in not a rational process where the mind “figures out” the right course, instead your heart is in charge, leading the way.

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