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

MAKING THE INNER MATTER

MAKING THE INNER MATTER 

Inner states, projects & endeavors

We all have a collection of activities, projects, and things that we deem valuable and worth our time.  It’s easy to see what these things are, as they are the things we spend our time engaged in on a day to day basis.  It’s important to pause for a moment and recognize what exactly it is you spend your time and energy doing as this is what you are prioritizing as most important.  Often times we say that such and such thing matters to us, and yet we spend little to no time and energy focused on it.  We may not even be aware of the mismatch of what we say is important and what we spend our time doing, but when we pause and look at the reflection of our life as a mirror we can’t refute what we see.

We also tend to value the outer more than the inner.  What I mean by this is that we make external projects or activities that produce physical, tangible results superior to internal projects that create more depth and connection inside our inner experience.  The perspective of the outer as productive and worthwhile, and the inner as just a hobby or self-indulgent, keeps inner endeavors having seemingly less value to us in our own eyes.  Even though we might say that inner work matters, we spend minimal time cultivating our ideal inner state because we see it as not as important as the physical creations.

You might be wondering just exactly what inner projects and endeavors are.  Inner projects and endeavors all have to do with cultivating the state of being of where you come from.  There are infinite ways to cultivate our inner state, some of which may be external activities such as exercise, yoga, or coming in for your entrainments, but the focus is on producing or generating the state of being you desire to live as while you interact with your environment.  

Most desirable inner states often have to do with feeling a sense of stability, peace, joy, love and aliveness.  If this isn’t your ordinary state of being than there is inner work to be done and inner projects to initiate in order to find this as your foundation.  So many people desire their resting state of being to be joy and peace and yet they don’t put enough of their value on it.  Rather they value what they can produce and what they perceive needs to be done regardless of their inner state of being.  The result is a lack of presence and real engagement or participation with life.   

TAKE THE RISK 

Prioritize the inner

There may be some perceived risks in valuing the inner.  One of the most common scarcity beliefs that arises is that there is not enough time.  The mind will often create a story that if you focus on the inner than you won’t get all of the outer things done that you either want to or need to.  This can also be looped into the story that you won’t fulfill your purpose, be of enough service or maximize your intention for existing.  Our focus is so predominantly on the physical aspect of our world and the thinking that our service and purpose is only in what we create or produce.  This is a largely accepted perception, particular in spiritual groups and thinking.  It is also largely distorted.  

The way I see it is that where we come from (our inner state of operation) is way more important than anything we can or will ever produce.  I am not discounting the value on the external.  I see tremendous value in unleveling systems, creating new offerings for humanity, and sourcing novel ways to organize life that support others.  Supportive environments and systems matter, and can create a more fun, easeful and enjoyable experience of life.  Yet they will all come and go.  Systems and environments change, but we are what evolves and grows.  Our awareness, our consciousness, our state of being, we take with us inside of every new system and environment that we create.  Despite the obviousness of this, we still think that the production, the doing, and all the things we want to create and manifest matter more than the inner state.  

Where we create from, where do from, where we live from, is an endeavor worth taking the risk of investing our time and energy.  The only true thing lost is the illusion of the story that the external manifestation is most important.  What if you decided to shift your thinking and behavior, and place 90% of your focus on cultivating your inner state of being to be one of joy, peace, and love, and 10% focus on what you are physically creating or doing.  I imagine for most a sense of fear arises if they truly entertain this, as everything they have been placing their focus on crumbles out of view.  It is a death.  A death of placing our value on external manifestations.  A death of projecting our value and worth into things.  

Does it feel risky?  Yes it does.  It’s a giving of your life, your attention, your energy and your focus to your state of being rather than what you think you are creating.  It’s trusting that life will continue to create through you as you align your focus in this way.  It’s prioritizing your state of being over what you think you need to do.  What if you started by creating an inner project?  Perhaps you want to establish self-love.  Create a 12 week program for yourself to uncompromisingly love yourself.  Place this as your top value.  Put whatever into the program you think needs to be included.  Be creative.  Movement, activity and “life” will still occur, but your priority above all else is self-love.  When your program is done, then be done.  Receive that which you desire to be.  You can do this with any inner state quality you wish to cultivate.  The key is you can’t just kind of do this.  You can’t partially make it valuable.  It will take all of you to be on board.  Take the risk.  Test the results.  Experience the magic unfold.  

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

STABLE BEING

STABLE BEING 

Unaffected by the storm

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

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

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

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

MAKING PEACE WITH EVERYTHING 

Not minding what happens

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

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

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

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

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

LET EVERYTHING HAVE IT’S EXPERIENCE

LET EVERYTHING HAVE IT’S EXPERIENCE 

Ending the battle of proving your worth

Imagine what it would be like to not interfere with experience whatsoever.  What I mean by this is to allow whatever shows up to show up without you medleying, intervening, changing, or improving it at all.  Having zero thoughts about it and instead just simply experiencing it.  For some of you this might feel impossible, like a fantastical dream that no one can possible live in.  You might also notice that you have judgments or stories about what living in such a way would mean about you, such as that perhaps you don’t care, you’re lazy, you’re not in reality, too many things need you to show up in a certain way, nothing will get done, no progress will be made, etc.  

The truth is that until you can get to the point where you can simply allow everything to have its experience, even if it feels devastating or someone is freaking out about something, you don’t actually know what its like to be present and truly be of service which is a natural expression of presence.  It is not until you get to this place that you know what rested freedom is and the awareness that you know everything you need to in any moment reveals itself.  It is also through landing here that you are finally rested in your own self-worth which arrives through the humility of ending your projected agenda onto experience.  

If this is all indeed the case then why do we not end our efforting with experience right now.  Why do we continue to feel that we must do something to what already is?  The number one culprit is our feelings of lack of self-worth which come with attempts to prove our worth through shifting experience.  Due to the fact that putting on the cloak of perceived lack of self-worth is one of the human garments we tend to cloth ourselves with when we incarnate, we find strategies (consciously or not) to prove that we are worthy and to have personal purpose, value or meaning.  This most often comes through accomplishing something, making something different, or getting someone to feel a certain way in which they approve of or like us for.  Through this we give ourselves the permission slip to feel good about ourselves and we get a sense of individual value or worth.  The downfall of this strategy is that when we don’t accomplish, make different, or people don’t feel good in their interactions with us or we perceive we can’t make them feel a certain way, then our self-worth again plummets.  True self worth cannot be found through interfering with or manipulating experience no matter how well intentioned it may be.  It can only be derived through the full acceptance of the experience just as it is and the recognition that what you think about it doesn’t matter one bit.  This opens you into humility where you can actually see what is rather than your projection of what you think is.  This enables you to be of true service, and the humility that is a natural effect of suspending the significance of your own thought projections is the birthplace of unconditional, inherent worth that requires nothing of you.   

SURRENDERING TO NOT ENOUGH 

Death of the ego

How ok are you with not needing to do anything, or be anything in particular, or having any particular outcome appear?  Most people are not very comfortable with this, with simply being without agenda.  Though they might enjoy it for a weekend retreat or workshop, when they come back to their everyday life, being is viewed as a luxury and not a priority.  And truth be told even if we are at a weekend workshop or retreat we are often trying to get something out of the experience rather than simply be and experience.  We compartmentalize doing from being because it comes back to this fundamental issue of self-worth and feeling like we have to earn our keep somehow.  Deserving to be without anything, without progress, without accomplishing, without change, is simply not in our vernacular.  

I have found that there is no real way to get the ego to accept its worth.  Even all of the achieving, production and glorification in the world won’t do it.  Its entire premise is built upon this core underlying lack belief, that somehow it is not enough.  When we misidentify as the ego it then means that we perceive we are not enough and hence the strategy of not allowing experience to be as it arrives on the scene and we can only feel good if we are doing something about it.  The only way to end this battle of lack of self-worth and resistance to certain experiences is by surrendering to your own feeling of lack of self-worth.  Accepting that this is so, that you feel like you are not enough.  It is the only way to get over yourself.  If you do not accept this you will continue to attempt to fight it by finding all the ways to prove that you are worthy through manipulating experiences (which includes other people’s reactions to you), while underneath it all continuing to feel unworthy, and your life will feel effortful as you swim upstream.  

I will just say that your ego will hate this like nothing else because it means game over for it.  To surrender to not enough means that most everything you think is so important is not and every way that you derive self-worth from your experiences comes to a screeching halt.  In accepting your own sense of unworthiness you’ve taken away the fuel source for the ego to perpetuate itself along with all of its compulsory actions to prove itself.  The more identified you are as your ego-personality the more this will feel painful and like you are dying, because in a way you are.  However do not fear as it is only the illusionary self that is dying and through this death process you come to know the real you that is beyond this made up you.  The real you is the you that is inherent worth in and of itself.  With nothing any longer to prove, you are free to just be.  To just be you without having to make anything different.  You are free to be present to experience just as it is.  Now you are in true service, true alignment, with everything that is and with the creator, God, Source, Love.  

No longer perceiving error, wrongness or lack is now the natural way that you see when die to trying to make experience different than it is.  Your vision opens for the first time and everything looks glorious even if the same appearances are in your visual field.  Action still arises, naturally, organically and effortlessly.  Each movement, behavior, thought, feeling, sensation and impulse being informed as directly from God, Source, Love.  There is seamlessness.  No you and other, just one continuous awareness.  One indivisible, unified is-ness, beingness.  Your experience is simply beingness in action and you find there is nothing to do about it, but only to be and play within it.  Play in the natural expression and reflection of Love in its infinite myriad of forms.  

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

Holding Your Breath

Holding Your Breath 

Waiting for the shoe to drop

16854815 - funny young woman with colorful air balloons enjoyingSo many people are holding their breath, waiting for the next shoe to drop.  It seems to us that if we can just keep holding our breath then we won’t feel what is about to happen next.  Why is it that we don’t want to feel what will happen next when we don’t even know what will happen?  It is because our minds like to create the most potentially devastating stories about what things mean and how something that might occur might threaten us.  So we live with this lurking feeling of potential threat and we hold our breath in attempt to not feel it.

This holding of our breath is conscious for some people and unconscious for others, meaning you might be really aware that your breath is not fluid, rhythmic, deep, easeful or full or you may have no idea at all.  We often need contrast to become aware of ourselves and our patterns.  This applies to our breathing patterns as well.  If you’ve had experiences in your life where your breath was labored or challenged it becomes really easy to recognize when that is not the case because there is contrast.  However if your breathing has been relatively stable throughout your life you may not yet realize that more expansive or restful breath is possible because you have not yet experienced that something more is indeed possible.  

Breathing occurs naturally.  Air comes in and out of our lungs without us needing to think about it or make it happen.  Yet when this feels like it is not the case, for example if we feel short of breath or the breath feels shallow, there is quite naturally an added survival panic response that results.  It is like throwing more fuel on the fire.  As our anxiety heightens then our breath feels less and less full, the more resistance builds up in our body and the harder it feels to breathe.  Resistance is the primary ingredient that interferes with the natural process of breathing in the first place.  

This brings us back to the feeling sensation of waiting for the next shoe to drop.  When we clench or grip to protect ourselves from feeling something we put our body in a state of tension aka resistance.  Resistance makes everything more challenging including our breath.  Many people are not aware of how much they resist or attempt to prepare themselves against the impact of something potentially bad happening to them.  In fact it is this preparation or “on guard state of being” that is far more uncomfortable then simply feeling the impact of thing we are attempting to not feel the impact of.  

While this all seems rational and we might get it conceptually, particularly if nothing feels super uncertain or turbulent in our life in the moment, allowing ourselves to get it physiologically is another thing entirely.  To convince ourselves to feel the thing that everything in our mind is telling us is unsafe to feel or that we don’t want to feel is the perpetual dance we do with our defenses.  See for most people their defenses are running the show pretty much all of the time.  We tend to not notice this and think that we are in charge and not our defenses if our life seems to be going relatively well and we are in agreement with what is showing up in our reality.  However when our life shakes up a little bit and something arrives in our experience that feels unknown or undesirable we get a front row show to just how much our defenses are really in charge. 

Story of our Defenses

Bridge from concept to direct physiological experience 

perspective of wood bridge in deep forest crossing water stream and glowing light at the end of wooden waysSo you might be asking what is the story with our defenses.  First of all it may be helpful to know we all have them and their job is to protect us from harm.  They develop as mechanisms of survival for this body-mind organism.  Some of our defenses develop when we are really young and are more primitive.  They are more easily recognized as they tend to be more reactionary, emotional or physical in nature.  Other defenses develop when we are a little bit older and are more sophisticated, rational and logical.  These more sophisticated defenses are much tricker because they are based on socially acceptable rules of engagement.  We often think that we are these defenses and it is more challenging to see that our defenses are running the show of our life because we just think it is who we are.  These defenses are also more thought based meaning they are activated in response to memories of past experiences and anticipation of future events.  

Though the job of our defenses is to protect us from harm this comes with a cost.  That cost is fragmentation, separation and disconnection.  We have quite normalized living disconnected partly because we haven’t had a ton of contrast as to what it is to live connected, so disconnection seems normal.  The long term effects of fragmentation, separation and disconnection are far more reaching then any of us might currently realize.  

Bringing this back to our body, physiology and breath we must ask ourselves how we bridge this gap between knowing conceptually about our defenses to being able to move through them and feel the experiences that they are attempting to push away.  The result of this being that we open our system, relax and allow breath to breathe in and out of this body in its full, rhythmic, expansive, vital and deeply nurturing ways.  

If for a moment you think of breath as life, as what you are, rather than all of the rest of the stuff that you identify with, how would that shift your focus and change your relationship to breath?  In seeing that when you create tension patterns based on unconscious and conscious stories created inside of your own mind, that interfere with the movement of breath in and out of your body, what you are really doing is resisting life.  Creating resistance to breath is the foundation for resisting life.  Life is a myriad of infinite expressions and comes with an entire gamut of sensations, feelings, emotions and experiences.  Some of these sensations, feelings, emotions and experiences will feel amazing and others will feel horrible.  There is no real way around this unless you completely 100% shift your perspective to seeing only divine perfection in everything making every experience blissful, which for most people at this stage in the game is not impossible but highly improbable.  Due to this improbability at this current time/space nexus we must cultivate another strategy that will open us to life rather than close us down to it.  That strategy is willingness, self-permission, allowing and inner invitation to feel, sense and experience the entire gamut of whatever experiences show up in our lives no matter how uncomfortable or undesirable they are for us.  

This is a tall order I know.  Yet the only way to the other side is through.  Going through means feeling and experiencing all of it so that none is left out, split or fragmented.  This is how we arrive at the experience of connectedness and wholeness.  We leave nothing out.  We reject nothing.  Through that we arrive at wholeness.  Breath, life, moves in and out of these bodies, free and unimpeded.  

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

The Dynamic Principle of Awakening

The Dynamic Principle of  Awakening

Ingredients of the Universe

Illustration man sitting in pose of lotus. Meditation on outer sWe are all awakening.  Every being, human and other, within this universe is waking up to more and more of itself.  Awakening is the blueprint of creation.  It’s written in the fabric of the cosmos and intelligently informs all expressions of life, including you. What does it mean to awaken?  Awakening is the process of becoming increasingly self-aware.  As you become more and more aware of yourself, the self that you once identified or thought of as you begins to dismantle its ideas, boxes and containers of what/who it thinks it is, so that a greater experience of your self is revealed and known to you as you.  Meaning what you once identified as you changes and you re-identify as something beyond what you previously did.  In a nutshell that is awakening.  The final identity, if you will, is an identity of pure being, or what people describe as oneness or God. 

Often when people think about awakening they think about meditation, silence and inner contemplation.  While these are aspects or modes to assist in awakening they are not awakening itself.  What awakens is consciousness to itself and this can come through many different modes and look a lot of different ways outside of these traditional ideas.  

For simplicity consider that there are two primary ingredients to this universe.  There is consciousness/awareness (these terms mean the same thing) which is still, unmoving, intelligent and unchanging.  Then there is energy/movement, which is dynamic and always changing and making new configurations of forms.  This energy/movement is the dynamic principle of creation and it is how things come into existence.  This energy/movement is at its core, Love.  In this way Love is the substratum of all of creation.  It is the matrix with which everything gets built from and on. Ultimately love is informed by awareness/consciousness.  So awareness (pure being) intelligently moves love.  This is what we call creation.  A blend of awareness and love.   

Active Love 

Coming into expression

statue golden girl doing yoga at sea 3d illustrationYou can think of love and awareness as two sides of the same coin.  They are inseparably one yet seemingly different aspects of creation from a relative perspective.  Awareness knowing itself as intelligent pure potentiality and active love making the pure potentiality of awareness come alive through light and the myriad of expressions and forms.  Our soul/higher self is an expression of this intelligent aware love that has more remembrance of what it is then say our human minds know us to be.  Our souls are each expressing a unique aspect of awareness/love while simultaneously knowing that they are that one awareness/love.  As human beings we too are expressing a unique aspect of awareness/love yet we don’t remember that we are that one awareness/love.  This is the difference between the human perspective and the soul perspective of ourselves and hence the “need” for a path of awakening, back into this remembrance of ourselves.

This brings me to the dynamic principle of awakening which is love.  Many beings awaken to and through this active principle of love and into increasingly subtler and subtler aspects of it.  In essence all that is, is an expression of love and yet we can increase the brightness of our awareness to realize it (aka ourselves) at more refined levels.  The most dense or grossest level is physicality.  As the brightness of our awareness increases we are able to tune into, realize and experience the more subtle aspects to our beingness, first realizing our energy body, then our soul body and eventual back to the one pure beingness body.

When our awareness wakes up to our soul body we have dismantled many of our identity boxes that have kept us as being a separate being.  This is the level of being or identity in which there is no longer a separate person moving this form we call a body.  Instead because that story/idea of being a separate person has dismantled, at least to some degree, awareness/love moves through forms much less impeded or distorted.  This is when people begin to experience spontaneous or non-planned/non-thought movement and energy course through their physical form.  At first it can be surprising and the “person” identity can come back in and feel like its being moved by some outside force or energy.  However with further awakening one comes to realize that it is the prime mover rather than the one being moved.  

For many this is their path to awakening.  Rather then a purely meditative/awareness path it is a path that includes energy and the dynamic love aspect of beingness.  Both are the one simultaneously.  It seems in general that people tend to gravitate towards one aspect more than the other.  Meaning some focus strictly on the pure awareness aspect (more meditative) while others focus on the love/movement aspect (more energy).  I have found that there are different phases and rhythms where the focus on one aspect rather than the other is of benefit as a being awakens.  I personally do not believe that focusing one aspect is superior than the other (though some will definitely disagree with me), instead I find both mutually beneficial to the journey.  Always follow your own resonance as it is your best guide to what you need to awaken.      

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

Slowing down

Slowing down 

Gaining awareness of self

slowing downWe live in a fast paced world and even more than that our minds are going at a million miles a minute.  Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world.  Among spiritually focused people there is often a desire to gain greater awareness of self and most think that the more they think about something the clearer they will understand and get themselves.  

We may not even be aware of how much we are thinking about stuff.  In fact when people say that they need to “integrate” something they’ve learned typically they mean that they need to think about it more.  Integration however is not thinking more about what we already know, but instead living what we’ve learned.  

The first step in slowing down is detaching from your thoughts.  As you do this you may realize just how addicted to thinking you are.  Going from one thought to the next thought without space or silence leaves no room for new awareness.  What it does is perpetuates what you already know and regurgitates it over and over.  It may feel to your mind that you are “getting somewhere”, but in the end you are left with that unresolved, unclear feeling that you can’t quite put it all together or see what’s really going on.  

Contradictory to what our minds will want to habitually do we must learn to slow down and even stop our minds frequently throughout our day in order to gain greater awareness of ourselves, our patterns, our triggers, etc.  Without that it will be challenging for us to see ourselves and thus to create changes that we desire.    

Increasing our capacity to feel 

The pace of the emotional body

feelingIn addition to creating the space for greater awareness, slowing down will also allow us to feel more than think.  Many people have a desire to be more intuitive or in touch with the natural rhythms of life.  The emotional-feeling body has a much slower pace than the mental body (mind/thoughts), and the physical body an even slower pace.  In order to bridge the gap between our mind and our body (aka our lived experience) we need to slow down and begin to feel again.  

Often times we don’t even know what we are actually feeling because we are so consumed with our thoughts.  We may even be thinking our feelings.  By this I mean creating stories around our feelings and about what they mean.  We may convince ourselves that this is feeling, but really we are just looping the same story over and over.  We might even cry or feel rage or upset, however if it feels “familiar” and not deeply vulnerable its most likely a reaction to a story you are telling yourself and not authentic feeling.  

Being consumed with thoughts puts us out of touch with what is real and into a kind of self created fantasy world.   For some it is a pleasant fantasy world but not grounded here, and for others it is a painful fantasy world that they can’t seem to escape.  

When we hang out in our thoughts things and people seem like separate objects to us.  We lose the sense of the interconnectedness of everything.  The mind is great at thinking, it’s a master of thinking, but it cannot feel or know.  Those abilities come from different aspects of ourselves, namely our emotions and our soul body.  These bodies are often less familiar to us because we spend so much time thinking.  That however does not make them any less real or valid.

The number one key to gaining greater awareness of self, feeling, becoming more in tune with life and living interconnectedness is slowing down your mind.  Allowing space.  Detaching from the addictive tendency to think another thought that you think will somehow give you a magical solution or answer to something.  Magical living arising spontaneously when something beyond the mind is allowed to enter your awareness.

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