HAVE FUN NOT KNOWING

HAVE FUN NOT KNOWING 

Welcoming uncertainty

Know, know, know.  We are eager to know what’s next, where we are going, what’s going to happen and how it’s all going to work out.  In fact we are so eager to know what will happen and to get to it already, that we don’t live in what is happening now.  The focus on the future, what it will bring or not bring, captivates our attention, consumes our thoughts and takes us right out of the present moment.  

We often don’t perceive much fun in not knowing.  In fact not knowing feels downright scary to most people as their sense of security, safety, validation and purpose is wrapped up in them knowing.  If you take a step back, a pretty far step back, and expand your perspective, you will see that everything is truly a mystery.  You’ve created routines, habits and schedules that make life look the same from day to day and give the appearance of knowing what is going to happen, but truly you don’t know.  If you stayed viewing from this larger perspective you would most likely start to notice feeling a sense of uncertainty and fear.  Due to this fear of uncertainty (which we mostly don’t let ourselves feel or even register that we feel) we do our best to create certainty.  Certainty in our relationships, our careers, the place we live, our families, our finances, our community, etc.  This artificially contrived sense of certainty gives us illusionary comfort in feeling that we will be ok because we know.  

So we must ask ourselves the question, how can not knowing be fun?  How can we change our relationship with uncertainty to one that feels good rather than one that feels bad?  If we don’t change our relationship with uncertainty than we will attempt to avoid it all costs because we perceive that it feels bad, and by nature we avoid things that don’t feel good.  However attempting to avoid uncertainty is also attempting to avoid the present since the present moment only reveals itself in the moment and not a single second before.  Trying to create certainty leads to a life that goes by and you don’t even know what really happened or if you even lived it.  You were so busy trying to get somewhere, figure out where you where headed and how to get there that you missed out on your life now.  Your life doesn’t happen in the future it happens now, this is it.   

LOVING WHAT IS 

Coming alive

One of the best ways to make not knowing fun and change your relationship with uncertainty is to love what is now.  To be a full fuck yes to what is here and committed to being here even if you don’t like what is here.  If you are busy living in fantasy land of what might happen, hasn’t happened yet or didn’t happen, you are screwed.  There really isn’t a more eloquent way to say it.  You are living in a made up world of “things will be better when…”, when I know my purpose, when I get a different job, when I have the relationship, partner or family I desire, when I find the perfect home, when I land my next gig or client, when I have this amount of money, when I find my next place to live, when I go on vacation, and on and on and on.  

To love what is stops you in your tracks.  It forces you to be present.  It forces your heart open.  It forces you to wake up and recognize what is here, what is already perfect, where you already are.  It does so really without any force at all, but will the power of love and loving.  When you choose to love what is rather than be somewhere other than you are (which is impossible by the way) you live for the first time.  To love is to live, to be alive.  Love requires that you let all resentments, hatreds, wrongness, failures, mistakes, imperfection, and the like go.  All of those perspectives keep you out of loving and therefore out of the present moment.  

Loving gives.  It gives to life.  It is what makes life come alive and be fun to live.  We all know this.  When uncertainty arises and you feel that sense of not knowing, and you recognize the pressure, stress or anxiety that are the side effects of your resistance to uncertainty, simply pause.  Take a breath.  Notice the feelings of stress, pressure, fear, and perhaps even doom and distress.  Notice that you are trying really hard to fight the feeling of not knowing, which comes with some threats to your sense of self, safety and purpose.  Simply allow.  Allow not knowing.  Open into the curiosity and even eventual playfulness that can arise from the mystery of what is to be revealed.  Don’t try to plan or figure out the reveal, when you will know, when you will get “there” wherever there is.  Just be here in the mystery of it.  Open into the mystery.  Invite it.  Welcome it.  Do not push it away or try to get through it.  Just be inside of it as if there is nothing to figure out and nowhere to go.  You already are where you are meant to be/go.  You already are doing what you are meant to be doing.  Will it change?  Yes it will always change.  

Trying to get (somewhere or something) contracts, tightens, constricts, and closes you off to all communication and information, whereas loving gives and allows for free exchange of energy, movement and information.  The paradox is that inside the mystery all is revealed, all is known.  Each moment fully informed, fully wise, fully self-aware.  That is the gift of presence, of the mystery, of the moment.  You can’t know from trying to know, but only from allowing the not known to be as it is.  In this way you create the space and container for all to be revealed to you inside the playful dance of creation.  

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

STABILITY IN THE MYSTERY

STABILITY IN THE MYSTERY

End your avoidance of the unknown

Let’s face it, life is one big fat mystery.  No matter how much we create meaning, define, categorize, label, plan, coordinate and directionalize our lives, at the core none of us have any real clue as to what this thing called life really is or what is going to happen next.  We spend an awful, and I mean awful, amount of energy attempting to navigate, predict and strategize the next move and the next move, juggling the pieces and the parts, so that nothing falls between the cracks or goes contrary to the plan.  Mind you those cracks and plan interferences are the one and only place that we can actually get a taste of the true mysterious nature of life rather than this self-architected, controlled chaos that we’ve attempted to create and which we call life.  The cracks, which we avoid like the plague, are our only real hope of seeing through this illusionary story of the life that we’ve created and deluded ourselves into believing as the one real, true reality.

Why do we avoid the cracks and the plan interferences?  There are a couple reasons.  The first being that we have an assumption that we are right or that the way we see the world is right, so when something occurs that doesn’t seem to fit with what we think should be then we view it as wrong and create a splice or separation in our perspective.  This divide comes with the sense that we need to fix the situation somehow, to right it so that it is no longer wrong.  Life then becomes a constant play of attempting to fix, solve, or correct things so that they align with our “right” perspective.  If things don’t align with our right perspective we suffer, if they do align we feel temporary goodness while silently waiting for the next shoe to drop, or the next problem we need to solve.  Another way to say this is that we avoid the cracks because we have certain internal expectations or stories about life, about our life specifically, what it should look like, feel like, all the things that need to happen or not happen, etc.  If something comes along that interferes with the ideas that we have about our life we often dislike it because we view it as something that shouldn’t be, as a deterrent.  We fail to see that what is happening should be happening just as it’s happening and we attempt to “get our lives back on track” without seeing that our life could never truly be off track.  We avoid the mystery of the thing we view as the “deterrent” brings, because we feel like we don’t know inside the mystery and we fight to get back to the known, which is this proverbial track we think we should be on.  

Clearly this demonstrates how much our minds like to be in the know.  They like to feel like they have a plan, that they know what is going on and where they are going.  They also like to know that certain things will be guaranteed and that there will be some sense of certainty, safety and security in whatever outcome they desire.  The mind is very uncomfortable when it senses that it doesn’t know, doesn’t have a plan or things aren’t guaranteed.  It might feel stupid, scared, confused, lost, limited, disappointed, unsafe, unstable, wrong, ashamed, etc. when it perceives that it doesn’t know what’s going on or where it is going.  This is yet another reason that we avoid the cracks and plan interferences.  When our sense of safety, security, purpose, value, worth and validation is dependent on circumstances (i.e. plans and life occurrences happening or turning out a certain way) then we manipulate, control, effort and at all costs try to make life be what we think it should be.   

ENDING THE STORY OF YOU 

Reunification in God

So really what’s so bad about the mystery?  Well as I’ve described above, from the mind”s perspective the mystery can be completely terrifying.  It is the end of our perceived sense of rightness along with death of the perspective of wrongness, which most of us want desperately to hold on to even though it feels soooo bad.  Feeling safe, secure, stable and comfortable in the world of objects being in a certain place or configuration dissolves.  Instead one must learn to be in a constant state of faith, never ending faith, in which true safety and stability is found.  Living in the mystery can also be the end of feeling that you are on your path or purpose, which is connected to one’s worth and value as a person.  I will make a side note here that a person first does need to develop a sense of individual purpose and worth, which is often achieved through their capacity to make things happen in the physical manifest world in a particular way.  This is a stage of ego/self development and an important one.  However what I am pointing to here in this article is the next stage where that illusionary sense of worth, that has been derived based on one’s capacity to make things happen, is ready to be seen through and transcended so that true inherent worth and value can be known.

Coming face to face with the mystery and deciding to stay there without trying to make something permanent takes your willingness to end your story about life.  Most people are not ready to end their story.  The story, the thoughts, the concepts, and the ideas is where most humans hang out.  Its fantastical, with ups and down, highs and lows, drama and boredom, creation and destruction, and although it seems very real from the mind’s perspective, it’s ultimately unreal and simply all made up in your head.  The mind has a great capacity to make things appear very real, very physical, very solid, and it is only through finding your way through your mind by falling into the cracks and going with the plan interferences that the seeming realness can reveal its un-realness to you.   

The beauty of the mystery is that it is the birthplace of infinite energy and infinite possibilities.  It is prior to form or manifestation.  As you trek forward in your development and awareness of self, in a way you are actually trekking back, back to the beginning, to the more primordial state of being.  At some point you realize that there is no forward or back but rather that everything is occurring right now.  This is presence.  This is having arrived.  Arriving is not stagnant or stationary but it is stable.  Stable not in the made up world of appearances and ideas, but in its knowing of it’s self.  The more allowing you are of the mystery the more stable you are in your true self.  To not have to know anything in particular, but instead to move into knowingness itself, which ironically is the mystery, brings the freedom of being beyond a separate person living for its survival, protection, importance and worth.

This is the beginning of life not being about you, not being about your plan, your goals, your wants, your desires, your dreams, your problems, your needs, your perceived purpose, your perspectives or your anything.  This ending of your personal life opens you into the space of God, of infinite intelligence and energy, and an unwavering stability in the mysterious unfolding of this thing we call creation or life.  As no longer a separate object in a universe you move with and as, rather than making up stories about what is.  Nothing recognized as separate, disconnected or wrong.  No attachment to what you think should be.  You realize movement and stability as one in the same as they arise out of each other.  Yes this is a seeming death of sorts, a complete dis-identification with everything you think of as you and which makes you who you think you are.  At some point all consciousness will arrive here, however your choice to consciously and deliberately choose the end of your perceived self-importance will accelerate your return to unity.  To join with God again in consciousness, in awareness, is to remember yourself.  All that is required is the end of the separate personal you who thinks its living a life for its own and even for others betterment.  In truth there is no such thing.  There is no you and there is no others.  There is only God being and God expressing.  There has never been anything else.  Everything else has been made up.  

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

Finding clarity in the dark mystery

Finding clarity in the dark mystery 

The role of our nervous system

28469896 - a child is hiding his eyes in the dark and looks scared or upset.Many of us desire more clarity.  This may manifest as a desire to have greater intuitive seeing and knowing or more direction and guidance in life.  Sometimes we may feel confused, lost, or like we are walking blindly or directionless.  We may plead or beg those “forces outside of us” to give us more clarity, direction, guidance or the answers we seek.  This leaves us feeling like we are at the mercy or whim of life, often times holding our breath and hoping it all works along the way.  

So how do we find clarity and guidance in what can feel like the dark mystery of life?  How do we know while simultaneously not having a clue?  The easiest, and least mysterious way, to gain clarity, direction, intuitiveness and guidance is by acknowledging what is and moving towards.

What does it mean to acknowledge what is and move towards? Let me back up.  Remember when I said that most of the time we are holding our breath and hoping that things work out?  This is true for most all of us.  We tighten our muscles, clench our jaws, hold our breath, sometimes we attack ourselves or others, and ultimately we try to not really look at what is happening while hoping that things turn out a certain way that we deem as positive or good.  

Why do we do this?  We do this because we are bracing ourselves for the unknown.  These visceral responses are part of the fight, flight or freeze responses that our nervous system responds too when there is perceived threat or danger.   We feel that if we brace ourselves than perhaps the impact of whatever happens won’t be so great.

 

Moving towards

Acknowledging what is

Largely the reason why we feel cut off, disconnected or lost is because our nervous system is so busy processing and responding to our perceived threat of the unknown (aka the mystery of life).  We perceive the unknown as dangerous or scary and therefore we lose access to the bigger whole that we are, which includes our sense of knowing and clarity.   

Its kind of like being lost in a storm that our mind and biochemistry created and not being able to see anything outside of this small perspective that we are existing inside of.  This is called defense physiology and it is a result of living in a defended and protected internal state.  There is a posturing that comes along with this particular state of being which is called defense posture.  In defense posture the head comes forward of the body and leads our life while the shoulders and chest draw inward protecting the heart from feeling too much, or sometimes from feeling anything at all.  When we are in this state we are only accessing a limited portion of ourselves which is why we often feel lost, disconnected, unclear, uncertain and eventually frustrated and stuck.  We lose touch with feeling and when we can’t feel its very hard to have any clarity in our direction, purpose or knowing.  We simply do the stuff of life but don’t feel much connection to what we do.  

48837246 - cliff jumping into the ocean at sunset, summer fun lifestyleIn order to gain clarity, connection and inner knowing we must begin by acknowledging what is present instead of  avoiding, managing, or protecting ourselves from it.  When we begin to acknowledge what is we are bravely moving towards the unknown rather than retreating away from it.  This is a bold step and it will feel unsettling in our body as our nervous system will still be running those patterns that say “this isn’t safe, protect, shutdown, protect, attack”.  It is through our persistence and willingness to feel uncomfortable and move towards the unknown of what is, even with the fear response activated in our physiology, that we begin to “override” these fear based responses in our physiology.  

We must experientially move through (not just think about in our heads), feel the discomfort of uncertainty, so that we can come through the other side having survived.  Through this experiential process our nervous system lays down a new pathway.  When we have acknowledged what is and have felt all of the scary stuff associated with it, only then do we have the knowing of exactly what to do and how to do it.  The mystery reveals itself to us. 

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

Operating in the mystery

Operating in the mystery 

The truth of the moment 

32702468 - young woman with lantern walking in dark forestEvery moment is a total mystery.  Whether or not you think you know what the next moment will bring, the truth is that you really don’t.  The mind likes to plan, organize, and structure what will come next.  This gives us a false sense of stability, safety and okness.  In some ways this is important because to live in total not knowing is too terrifying and destabilizing for most people.  While in other ways, to not operate in the mystery at least some of the time, is detrimental to your growth and evolution.

Operating strictly in the mind’s need for sameness, security and stability keeps you rather confined, rigid, and overtime feeling stuck and not present in your day to day life.  When this happens your mind is running its own script over what is really true, which is the unknown or the mystery.  You can identify if your mind is running its own script if you find yourself not in the moment of what you are engaged in doing and instead thinking about what happened yesterday, when your “day will be over”, what you will have for dinner or the plans you have tomorrow, next week or next month.

Even if your past experiences or future plans excite you, your focus on them can rob you of the present moment that is here and now and also create the illusion that things will happen in a specific sequence or certain way.  What you think does become your reality, even if that reality isn’t necessarily the truth.  One of the many pitfalls of this “mind created reality” is that you get so fixated on what you’ve planned that you actually begin to believe that that is the way it is supposed to be.  Then when things don’t turn out how you believe they were supposed to turn out you feel upset, sad, angry, bummed, frustrated or like something is out of alignment.  None of those feelings are bad, in fact they are normal, but what often happens is people turn to blame or shame and get fixated on what they think should have happened instead of what IS happening.  In that moment you lose your connection to the mystery, synchronicity and wonder of life and momentarily stop seeing the magic of the moment until you can rest in and embrace the mystery again.

Finding comfort in the unknown

Requirements for living in the mystery

There are a few skills to learn that are pivotal for being able to operate in the mystery and getting more comfortable with the unknown.  Those are the skills of faith/surrender and not knowing.

The first skill is “not knowing”.  So much throughout our ordinary life we are taught to know things.  We label, define and giving meaning to everything we perceive.  These are skills we learn starting the day we are born and they fall under the category of “knowing”.  Not very often do we practice “not knowing”.  To practice not knowing means that we have to momentarily suspend our thoughts, meanings and definitions of things that we perceive.  For example instead of opening your kitchen cabinet, looking inside of it and saying in your mind “these are dishes”, allow yourself to not define or label what you see.  You can do this with people in your life as well.  Instead of looking at your spouse and saying/thinking “this is Tom or Jill” and laying on top of them all of the qualities you think they possess, allow yourself to simply see them without any labels or definitions.  You may be surprised to see how things and people begin to seem and respond  differently when you stop defining them in a certain way.

The second skill is faith (aka surrender).  Yes faith is a skill and one that we are running out of time to learn on this planet.  The veils that separate us from source, love, or our inseparability-oneness are becoming thinner and thinner, and soon our full connection will be re-established.  Once those veils are lifted the lessons of faith will become obsolete as we will be in full remembrance, but until then faith is essential to learn.

Faith is trusting in something bigger than you that you have no proof exists; the unknown and unseen.  To some this may seem religious, but faith does not need to solely fall underneath religion.  It is simply trusting in the support that something is orchestrating and intelligently designing life, so you don’t have to call every single shot.  You develop faith by loosening your grips of control.  This could look like making a “hard” decision, perhaps one that you have some doubt about, and instead of thinking about all the possible scenarios that could or could not happen from having made this decision, you let go of the mental constraint, and trust that it will work out perfectly no matter how it works out.

Faith/surrender and not knowing are in some ways the easiest skills to learn because instead of requiring us to DO something to learn them, they require us to STOP doing, thinking and allow.  This is contrary to what most of us think as “learning”.  Someone once said that “all learning is unlearning” and that couldn’t be more true than here now and in learning how to operate in the true mystery of life.

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