RESPOND TO EVERYTHING WITH LOVE

RESPOND TO EVERYTHING  WITH LOVE

Dancing with the mind

We tend to live quite polarized.  Liking this thing, not liking that thing.  Feeling joy when life looks like we want it to and frustration when it doesn’t.  As much as we like to think that we are always going with the flow and living in a state of surrendered acceptance, the truth is most of the time we are not.  The moment something looks or feels other than our preference we tend to go into some level of resistance.  Rather than welcoming what is present we tense up, get anxious and begin to strategize how we are going to survive or get what we want.  Our minds create worst case scenario stories about how what is, isn’t good, isn’t right and is going to turn out badly for us.

All of this puts us in a state of vigilant survival, which then activates us to react with self-protection.  Some of our ways of self-protection are more primitive and others more sophisticated.  The more primitive reactions are to shut down, withdraw, check out, avoid, attack or disappear completely.  More sophisticated reactions are to manage, rationalize, control, or contain whatever is occurring that we don’t prefer.  Be clear that whether we are utilizing a primitive or a more sophisticated reaction, both are means of self-protection in order to attempt to not experience what is occurring or manipulate it in some way.  Some of the more sophisticated self-protective reactions are viewed as “normal” or commonly accepted behaviors, but are still are coming from resistance to, rather than acceptance of what is.

It’s a tricky dance to not be taken by the mind because we often believe the stories it tells.  It’s hard not to as we’ve learned to look through the lens of it’s perspectives and have created an entire life through those lenses, both individually and collectively.  What we believe is so, or better said, what we believe is our experience.  This makes it hard to refute the mind because we will always experience validation of our beliefs of the stories it tells.  When it says “this is bad” we believe this is bad.  When it says “this is good” we believe this is good.  Hence the near constant state of polarization we live inside of.    The thing that many people don’t realize is that when the mind says “this is bad” you don’t have to believe it, or when they mind says “this is good”, again you don’t have to believe it.  See the bigger truth is that you, me, and everyone in between has no idea what is bad or what is good.  The best we can do is make assumptions about stuff and have preferences for things to be a certain way, but we have no freaking real idea what’s going on.  However because we think we know what is bad and what is good, we suffer and go into self-protection attempting to get things to be good again when we believe they are bad.  We appear to not suffer when things are good, but even when things are good we are often still suffering because our state of goodness is contingent upon things appearing/being a certain way that we deem as good.   

BEYOND STORY

Become the Creator

I have found that there is only one assumption free, agenda free, polarization free way to respond to the occurrences of life, which is to respond to everything with love.  It’s the only way to not personally suffer and to not create suffering through your insistence or perspective of bad or wrong.  Seeing things/self as bad, wrong or somehow lacking something, is the root of suffering.  To respond instead with love to everything that arises is to see it as complete, full, and perfect even if the mind views it as distorted or messed up.  Even distortion and mess is a perfect expression of the creator’s creation.  We somehow know this, yet refuse to believe it when it looks, feels or becomes personal to us, to our preferences, lifestyles and survival impulses.

Something we often forget, or perhaps don’t know, is that we are ultimately the story tellers.  It often seems too simple to us that we could just tell and believe a different story, yet we can.  In fact we are the only ones that can.  When we start the practice of responding to every single sensation, feeling, thought, world event, relational interaction and life experience with love, we open up the doorway inside the mind to write a different story or to end the stories all together.  You can write and believe whatever you so choose.  You can also stop writing and stop believing in anything at all.  There really are no rules here except the ones that you create.  For some this may seem or feel challenging.  One thing I hear people say is that they can’t get themselves to believe a different story.  For example if they feel bad, they just have to keep feeling bad and don’t see a way out if it.  They don’t see how by creating a different story they will feel better because they aren’t quite ready to let their current story go.  They want the appearance to change (their sensations, feelings, thoughts, some event, some experience) before they change their story.  However life works in the other direction.  We are the creators of what is.  What is does not inform us, we inform it.

We sometimes have strong attachments to the stories we believe about what things mean and how life works, and to our minds it may feel bad or wrong to turn our story around, even though the new story feels better.  Its’ a strange thing, but sometimes we want to hold onto grudges, wrong doings, or insisting that life, our body and everything else is not supporting us in some way.  This is a core story that runs deep throughout the human psyche.  You can transform it and you can thus forth have a different experience of life.  One that is free from insisting that the appearance of life look a certain way that you think means good.  One that is free from bad and good.  One where the only response is love, which is the response that always knows exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.  The more we respond with love the less “we” have to do.  The less life is up to us.  We rest more into trust and faith and the knowing that life is orchestrated in ways far beyond what our individual minds could ever fathom.  It is total possible to have this be your experience of life.  All that is required is that you stop insisting that you know anything.  You invite in whatever is present.  You respond to it with love.  You remain open to the magic and the mystery that reveals itself moment by moment.  You can’t know before you know.  You can only be present and know.  

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

GIVE, GIVE, GIVE

GIVE, GIVE, GIVE 

Stop withholding love

The most sustainably reliable way of being that produces fulfillment and happiness is giving.  Giving to others, giving to life, giving, giving, giving without any agenda or expectation of return.  Yet most of our energy and attention goes to what we will get from life.  We have been brainwashed into believing that getting is what brings us fulfillment, joy and happiness and that giving depletes our already scarce resources of time and energy.  Getting the relationship, the job, the family, the business, the vacation, the house, the attention, the perfect body, the healthy body, and on and on provides only the delusion of happiness in attainment   We even often only give in order to get, meaning we give ourselves to people or things in order get a result or something in return.

What does pure, without agenda or expectation giving, even look like?  To make it really simple it means that you would have to not want or need anything from anything or anyone.  This includes things like wanting love, attention, desire, recognition, acknowledgment, and praise, as well as survival needs such as financial or living support.  I get that that can seem like a really tall order and many people aren’t ready for that level selflessness. However until you arrive at that level of purity you will suffer and attempt to get things from life and others that seem to have the promise of joy and happiness inside of them, but which instead postpone true fulfillment.

Any time you suffer it’s because you don’t get, see or experience what you want or because what you give isn’t received by others in the way that you want it to be, which again is not experiencing what you want and hence your agenda in giving.  When we don’t freely give we withhold and distort love and it feels really, really bad.  What this typically manifests as is us feeling bad, being in a bad mood, feeling frustration or stuck-ness, not having clarity, being confused, and feeling powerless or not seeing choice in the matter at hand.  These feelings and experiences are life telling you that you are withholding love, which is also withholding yourself because love is what you are. When you try to hold onto something, get something, or keep something you think you want you will distort the love that you are.  The result is impure motives, drives and lack of any true lasting fulfillment. 

LOVING IS GIVING 

Opening the heart

Loving is giving and giving is loving. They are the same.  It is not hard to give.  In fact giving is more natural than anything because it is your nature.  You don’t have to have some special skill set or come up with some fancy thing to give to others or life.  Your being is giving, and when you have purity and agenda-less-ness, giving is the natural result.  For a moment think about the times when you thought about saying something nice to someone or doing a kind act that you felt naturally inclined to do, but then you didn’t do it.  Maybe you weren’t sure how they would take it, or you didn’t want to seem like too much, or you doubted yourself and made your giving silly or stupid.  In this example what happened is that you become more concerned with yourself than you did about giving.  You made it about you, as you cared more how it was received and how you would be seen.  This withholding seems innocent enough and yet its laden with self-centeredness.  

Keep in mind is that giving is organic. Sometimes people will over-give in order to feel right, worthy, or validated.  This too is a distortion of love as they seek for ok-ness, approval, value and worth.  There will be energy expenditure and energy transfer that may create feelings of tiredness to your physical, emotional or mental bodies, but there should not be depletion of your being.  If you are feeling depleted it is an indication that you are out of balance and need to reassess what really serves.  Are you doing too much because you are focused or attached to an outcome and are therefore over-extending yourself?  Are you doing too little, withholding, not giving to others and therefore not bringing energy into your system through giving and thus feeling depleted?  You having a fuel tank of gas and taking care of your self-care is absolutely essential if you are going to be of service in giving to others.  The intention remains though that taking care of you is to give to others, not an end in of itself.  

In order to naturally give, to be giving in and of yourself, your heart must be open and available.  Giving is a lot of work, draining and effortful if your heart is not online.  Opening your heart is both the first and last step.  When tension or resistance is suspended or resolved you radiate, emanate and overflow.  The easiest and quickest path to resolution is forgiveness.  For-give-ness.  For in forgiveness you give again, you choose to open your heart, you choose to let go of what you think you want or need, how you were done wrong or did wrong, and all agenda for getting or being received in any particular way.  Energy can now freely exchange in and out of your system.  You hold onto nothing and hold back nothing.  There is nothing to lose and only the gift of being and sharing remains.  

The gift is the giving of your being just as you are.  When your heart is open it includes all inside of it, all beings, all others.  Care is inherent.  As you increase your dial on what you can give to others all of your needs, wants and desires will be taken care of.  That which is in alignment with you will be your experience.  There is no lack when we give, but rather natural overflowing abundance of giving and being.  

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

GIVING YOUR LIFE OVER TO WHY YOU EXIST

GIVING YOUR LIFE OVER TO WHY YOU EXIST 

Focused on the things of life

As human beings with faculties of mind and memory we create images, stories and ideas about our life. What it should look like, how it should feel, what should occur and not occur, and the like. We are nearly constantly investing our energy and attention into the things of life. This is so natural and second nature to us that we don’t question or entertain that any other way of being/doing would be possible. This investment of our resources (i.e. our energy and awareness) into the things of life creates a dynamic where our well-being is contingent upon those things. With this we become fused, merged and attached to the things of life, including our stories and ideas about them, and we lose touch with the essence of our nature and why we exist at all. This creates an inner experience of simply trying to get through life as if there is some destination to arrive at and we miss out on the experience of what it is to be living.

When our focus is on the things of life we create agendas and expect outcomes. No matter how agenda-less and detached from outcome you think you are, the truth is you probably aren’t. Most people still want things and perceive they need things and therefore subtly, or not so subtly, attempt to get those needs and wants met through their thoughts and actions. This is agenda. As long as you perceive lack, meaning you perceive that you don’t have something you need or want, you will attempt in whatever ways you can to get it. This is a survival strategy based in the perspective that something is missing right now and that somehow what is is not complete. This is the most pervasive perspective on planet Earth right now, however it’s pervasiveness does not make it accurate.

It is important to get that you are the creator of your experience.  What you think or believe to be true will generate the image that you see reality to be.  What you put your energy and awareness into will dominate your life.  This is not just a fancy new age concept.  This is how creation works.  Perception is creation.  What you perceive, meaning how you see, will dictate what you see.  Giving your life (ie. your energy and attention) over to things, images, ideas and stories about life generates a very physical experience of life where you believe that you are the physicality.  You suffer when the image doesn’t reflect what you desire because you think you are the image and don’t recognize that you are the creator of the image.  You feel powerless to the image that you have created because you don’t realize you created it.  In this way we are victims to our own selves, yet don’t see ourselves and therefore don’t realize how we victimize ourselves to ourselves.  If that confusing its because it is confusing.  We have confused ourselves to be things (which we are not) and therefore experience limitation, frustration, powerless and lack.   

THE ILLUSION OF SACRIFICE 

A soul-driven life

So if we don’t give our life over to our ideas, then what do we give it over too? If we stop focusing on getting the money, relationships, family, house, car, health, our next business idea, our next save the world idea, social status, validation, approval, and the like then what else is there? See all that is the stuff of life and none of it is why you exist. Sure you will use certain of those expressions to carry out the why of why you exist, but none of the things of life are why you exist. This is incredibly important to understand. Without this awareness you will live disconnected from why you are, from why your soul took on a body in the first place. I can guarantee you that it did not do so just to smell the flowers and get absorbed in the stuff of living on planet earth. There is a mission, a calling, a purpose for your being here in a body, and from what I have discovered it is the only worthwhile focal point for this incarnative experience. All else is just distractions.

To the you that you think you are, living in such a singularly focused way where your sole purpose is the only determiner for all of the stuff that you do through this body, will feel like a sacrifice. The one you think you are (i.e. your name, personality, profession and all the ways you identify yourself) will feel let down, discouraged, at times aimless, confused and destabilized by this shift in focus. Again no matter how agenda-less you think you are, you probably aren’t. Are you willing to let everything, and I mean everything go, and shift to your sole purpose or calling being the only determiner for you? I can promise you that if you are willing you will never feel purposeless again. You will never wonder if you are doing what you came here to do, you will stop experiencing self-doubt, and you won’t regret your life when you are on your death bed. However I can also promise you that your life may not look like or feel like you want it too. Your life will no longer be “your” own, meaning your body-mind-personality ideas of what your life is. The paradox however is that it will also be the first time your life is in alignment because you will be in full connection with yourself.

From the perspective of the person this will be a colossal and complete sacrifice in complete uncertainty.  From the perspective of the soul it will be a coming home.  The one constant is free will.  You get to decide how you participate with all of this.  If you decide to make the transition from a person-centered life to soul-centered life a tremendous amount of faith will be required of you.  Your person will not know.  It will perpetually feel like it doesn’t know.  This is just part of the territory.  This is an act of faith that you will take several times a day.  You can’t get the soul to fit inside of the personality and therefore the personality will not understand.  It has to surrender itself.  There is no other way.  

Giving your life over to why you exist instead of the stuff of life liberates and aligns you with you. It frees you to actually be of service to life in every single moment. To give to life rather than get from life. There is not a single moment where your purpose, your calling, cannot be executed. Until you arrive here and become agenda-less you cannot be of true service because there will always be some underlying sneaky agenda running the show. You being you, knowing you, sharing you is the service. You generate this world of your purpose by aligning yourself with it over and over and over again. You come to see the illusion of sacrifice is just that, an illusion, because there is nothing else worth living for. You detach from being the stuff and rest into your calling, into your soul, and experience inner stability despite the ever changing appearances of life.

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

Authentic Caring

Caring Disguised as Agenda 

How do we care without agenda?

man manipulated by cunning woman to make a proposalWhether we want to admit it or not most of us have an agenda to the things that we do and the ways we behave, particularly when it comes to other people.  Agenda can be tricky for us to see in ourselves.  Often it is disguised as caring, but when we dissect it out further we frequently find that our caring isn’t pure.  We discover that we really want something in return for the things we do or the ways that we behave, even if its simply to be talked to, treated or touched a certain way, or to have others love us or show up in a way that we are more comfortable with or desire to be around.  

Anytime we want anything in return for the way that we show up, the things we say or ways we behave, our caring is tainted with agenda.  Though wanting something in return may seem very normal or innocent to us, or even like we are entitled to it, it creates immense underlying and unnecessary suffering for us which we are often not really aware of.  It also creates a situation where we not truly being ourselves.  It pulls us out of our authentic self and we become some semblance of “ourselves” that we’ve learned to be and which we think gets us what we want from others.  Often these ways of being that we’ve learned are so engrained in us that we actually think we are them, when in truth they are just strategies and ways we’ve learned to navigate this world to feel internally safe and comfortable.

There is also often this inherent thing that happens when we care.  Its as though caring activates something inside of us that makes us want to control or manipulate the outcome or circumstances of our caring.  This can be seen in anything from a project you are working on, a business venture, the creation of a family, a book you’re writing, a relationship that you are in, etc.  As soon as we “care” there is this gripping that comes along with our caring.  We unconsciously hold our breath, tense up, and can’t stop thinking about how it will turn out, as if any of those actions will help our caring or the outcome.  This is where our initial excitement or care for something turns into manipulation, control and ultimately agenda.   

Authentic Caring 

Service vs. Slave

little girl bubbleBeing of service is true caring and that doesn’t arrive until you are completely without personal agendas.  This is how you can see/know exactly what will support life rather than trying to “figure it all out”.  Whenever there is a personal agenda you will find yourself feeling like a slave rather than feeling like you are being in service.  Service is simply being yourself completely and participating with life from the fullness of being yourself; sharing/expressing whatever excitement or thing naturally arises.  Service feels effortless and organic even though there is still work and activity involved.  Where being a slave is feeling like you have to do something, make something in particular happen, or showing up in ways that are not authentic to you.  Slavery feels effortful, disempowering and like something that you have to do or else you won’t be taken care of or things won’t work out for you or others.  

Rather than the focus being on what you care about, try shifting your focus onto simply being yourself.  For example say you are starting a project or a new relationship and you feel excitement being engaged within it.  The excitement is evident, but then the idea of the “future” comes in.  What will happen in the future?  What will be the future of this project or relationship?  We often get so ahead of where we are at that we lose contact with the present moment.  We begin to live in a future “idea” rather than where we are now.  Most people are living this way.  This makes us feel heavy, like things are effortful or hard, when really the effort or hardness is just our own manipulation or control of what is.  Things aren’t hard or heavy in and of themselves, its simply our relationship with what is that makes it seem so. We say to ourselves that our caring is motivating us, but really what is motivating us is a particular, hopeful outcome that we have for the project or relationship.  With this we begin to feel like a victim to our own desires and like we aren’t in control, which is why we attempt to control and manipulate everything.  Our focus is not on being ourselves, but instead on what we think we “care” about.  We’ve actually lost touch with caring because we’ve lost touch with ourselves.  

This is also where we drop out of being in service and into being a slave.  We are really being a slave to ourselves yet we think its to our circumstances and situations.  A slave to our own ideas, hopes, dreams and perceived needs to be comfortable and have the illusion of external safety,  security and love.  We give away being our true selves in exchange for our ideas and with this deep down we feel that we are out of touch with true caring.  We may become aloof or feel that its hard to connect with our heart.  We see that most of our “caring” is really an attempt to manage and control life.  We can even give the illusion that we are “on purpose” because we are doing all the right things yet we feel exhausted and unfulfilled.  We are only fooling ourselves. 

True caring is being connected to our hearts.  This is also how we are most authentically ourselves.  With that we no longer need to behave in ways that have underlying self-protective or self-assuring agendas because we know we (and all) are already taken care of and there is no thing we need to manipulate or control, even that which we seem to care about the most.  Trust arrives.  We can then be truly self-less (which is loving self) and truly without agenda (which is loving other) and experience true caring.  

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