THE GIFT OF YOURSELF

THE GIFT OF YOURSELF 

You are the gift you give

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

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

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

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

BEING WORTH 

Self-gratitude

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SERIOUSLY PLAYING

SERIOUSLY PLAYING 

End of trying to get things done

Most people desire to enjoy life and have fun, yet most people are not enjoying life or having fun.  Yes perhaps people occasionally permission themselves to play on the weekends or to take a vacation, but few people play all day long.  Rather people are quite serious and methodical in their day to day operations and routines.  Where did we learn this methodically serious attitude about life?  Even more importantly how are you operating inside certain boxes, containers and ideas that keep you from enjoying your life fully?

The human mind is funny.  It thinks it wants certain things and so it gets you to work seriously hard in order to get or achieve those things.  When I say things I am not only talking about material things, but including all relational and spiritual aspirations as well.  There is often a general undercurrent in our psyche that runs the program that we must get things done or that we need to get something or get somewhere so that we can be happy, relax and enjoy ourselves.  This mindset keeps us somewhat constricted, limited and inside of a box of what we think we want our lives to look like in order for us to be really joyful.  There is also often some fear that if we enjoy ourselves now before we get the thing or arrive at the place that we desire that we won’t get the thing or arrive where we think we want too.  So we postpone the joy until we achieve or arrive.  This is incredibly common and I would bet most of you do this several times in any given day.  

The place where we learned that seriousness goes along with getting things done is an interesting place indeed.  We tend to think the more serious we take something means the more we care about it, and therefore the higher likelihood that we will achieve the outcome of our desire.  It probably rarely, if ever, crosses your mind to ask yourself the question, how could I play harder in order to achieve the outcome that I desire.  This question contradicts everything we have ever learned about accomplishment and achievement.  

The first thing to really understand is that its not ever ever ever the outcome that brings us the joy, happiness, rest or the resolution we think it will bring us. Instead it is us that brings the joy to the outcome.  So why not have the joy now, bring the joy now to what it is you are engaged in and with rather than waiting on the outcome to come into fruition.  It can be a long wait.  Sometimes you will wait your entire life.  Would you want to wait your entire life in order to experience the joy and happiness that you desire now?  Many people do because they don’t see any other choice.  They don’t see that than can create, permission and generate what they desire to feel right here, right now regardless of what is here inside of their experience.   

WHY PLAY? 

You radiate & serve in play

Some people rather enjoy being serious, which is perfect.  If there is enjoyment in the seriousness than there is play even if it looks serious.  However what I see more often than not is that seriousness is part of people’s personas and who they think they need to be rather than what they naturally desire to be or are.  Let’s take the one who is on a healing path or a spiritual seeker for example.  Often people are very serious about their healing journey and their path to self-realization or enlightenment.  They take all the courses, go to all the workshops, do all the programs and journeys, and see all of their practitioners and healers, yet they continue to month after month, year after year, not enjoy themselves or their life.  They feel like the have to keep working hard and that they are never going to arrive fully healed or self-realized.  They keep trying to get somewhere and keep coming up short.  They see failure and feel like the path has no end in sight so they get more serious about it, thinking that will be the ticket.

You might wonder, why isn’t that the ticket?  I mean doesn’t that mean I care and am committed because I keep showing up.  To some degree yes it does show desire and care, but the attitude or disposition from where you come from inside your seeking is of prime importance.  It makes all the difference in the world.  If your attitude is one of trying to get it over or figure it out than you’ve already lost.  There is no where to get and so you won’t ever arrive.  You can’t “arrive” until you realize that there is no where to get.  Get that.  The journey is the destination.  There isn’t an actual destination different from it.  Even if you get what you want, accomplish or achieve your goals, become healed or self-realized, get the relationship or thing that you want, that doesn’t mean you have arrived at any destination.  It simply means your mind has a check box that it can check off, that’s it.  

Why play then?  Play brings with it lightness, levity, and joy.  When you play, even if there is work and effort, its fun.  You are not attached when you play.  You create and dismantle without so much as a thought.  There is no thinking of when the moment will be over and done, instead you are present.  When you play you abundantly radiate and naturally overflow.  This abundant, radiating, overflowing yumminess is service.  You serve by being joyfully.  You can’t not help it.  It is a natural side effect.  You don’t have to figure out what to do, how to serve or what your purpose is because you are being your purpose.  

Since this is what most people actually desire you must ask yourself the question as to what you are waiting for and be willing to stop waiting.  Realize that it is not in the arriving or getting that you experience the joy of being.  You are the source of joyful being.  You are the chooser of your state of being.  You choose joy or not joy.  You therefore choose to serve through sharing your natural radiating self or to not serve.  You get to decide if you want to feel good now or if you want to postpone it until you get something you think you want or check a box off of your to do list.  Joy can sometimes feel like worlds away, but its not.  Its right here.  You simply need to choose it.  

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

LIFE IS NOT ABOUT YOU

LIFE IS NOT ABOUT YOU

Serving others, serving life

One of the most sure fire ways to have a disappointing, unfulfilling and neutral/boring life experience is to make your life about you.  As soon as we develop awareness of self we begin to claim me, me, me.  It is all about our needs, wants and preferences and we have little awareness of others.  We see this in young children.  As part of our developmental journey we must learn to recognize and include others and see that life is not about getting what we want, however many people have been stunted along this developmental progression.  Many people, actually I’d venture to say most people, have as the focus of their life getting everything they want.  While not all have emotional outbursts about not getting what they want, the general aim of their life is about achieving their desires for themselves even if its masked underneath the appearance of serving others.  

As a caveat I will say that as adults it is fundamental that you have all your basic security, health and well-being needs met.  This is a baseline must.  Without this baseline stability in yourself of knowing your capacity to be well and take care or yourself, your survival mechanism will take precedence and your life will be about keeping this physical vehicle alive and well.  This baseline is likely a lot less extensive then you may initially think.  We really need very little in order to have all of our basic needs met.  Making sure this is in check for you is not making your life about you, but rather ensuring that you have the physical ability to make life not about you.  

One of the most important self-inquiry explorations you can do for yourself is to see where you are attempting to get something from others.  Whether its love, affection, attention, money, security, safety, approval, kindness, words of affirmation, someone “getting” you, being there for you or meeting you, its all about you.  Also notice where you might be giving to others in order to get these things.  That can be a sneaky way where it looks like we are serving, but really we are wanting to make sure we are safe, seen and supported.  Seeing these areas in yourself is the fertile ground for where you need to go to work on yourself.  As long as you are attempting to get anything from anyone you cannot be of service to them because you have agenda.  Even if your agenda feels innocent, justified or something you need because you are “human”, it is still agenda and distorts the purity of what is to be of true service, which is giving to life rather than taking from it.   

DEDICATING YOUR LIFE TO SERVING OTHERS 

Generating flow & energy

You may ask why you would want to dedicate your life to serving others and giving to life.  At some point, in this lifetime or one of your next ones, you will realize that there is nothing to gain in the getting.  It is a dead end.  The energy gets absorbed by you and stops.  There is a near constant replenishment that you must always be focused on in order to sustain you.  While there are temporary highs there is no sustainability in your presence, your energy or your state of being.  This is what its like for your life to be about you.  

In contrast when we give to life, when we serve life and others, we generate flow and energy.  Energy exchange is the name of the game of life.  You cannot develop past a certain point until you get this fundamental working of the universe.  Giving is receiving and receiving is giving, but not until you stop trying to get through either your giving or receiving.  What I find that most people truly desire is to simply be themselves.  When we are being just as we are without agenda, we radiate, we give naturally.  Sometimes people have the perception that to serve or give to life or others is exhausting and depleting.  That they have to go outside themselves to give “over there” endlessly.  This is not the case.  If you are depleting yourself in your giving you are out of balance, which indicates that there is still some agenda in your giving.  When your giving is pure it should be energizing for you.  

The reward if you will, of dedicating your life to serving, is the constant influx and flow of energy.  It’s not that serving others makes you a better person or that it is the right thing to do.  Please don’t “do it” for that reason.  Instead it is a way of honoring, energizing, including, evolving and giving to all of life.  Only choose service to others if you really want to and if it resonates for you.  Going back to our early development again, when we are just developing self-awareness our world is small with just ourselves and our few primary caretakers.  However the world is much larger than our nuclear family and the way to include more of it inside of our own developmental process is by serving others.  

Serving others stretches the boxes and containers of our zone of impact and increases the power that we have to create in and through love.  It opens our hearts into more as we begin to see beyond ourselves and our individual needs, wants and preferences.  We can let go of not getting what we want and instead focus on giving what we want.  We start to see one family rather than multiple, separate, individual families.  Other begins to seem more and more like self.  All of these realizations are aspects that wake you up more and more to the true unified nature.  

I invite you to start each and every day this week with the simple questions of asking yourself, who is it that I want to be today?  How do I want to show up?  How do I want to serve?  How do I want to give to others and life?  You don’t have to have the answers, just ask the questions and let it be revealed to you.  Allow the intention to guide your each and every thought and action.  

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

The universe doesn’t owe you anything

The universe doesn’t owe you anything 

Getting wrapped up in getting

3401bfa7-75eb-4f7f-8110-b3bb9c606dc2This may come as a shock, but the universe doesn’t owe you anything.  This means your partner, kids, parents, friends, the government, social groups, teachers, mentors, clients, employees, employers, waiters, the school system, doctors, lawyers, other drivers on the road, people walking down the street, the person that scans your groceries, etc., don’t owe you a thing.  How often do we go around thinking and behaving otherwise.  We frequently have a mental disposition (that we aren’t even aware that we have) that systems and people owe us stuff.  That we are entitled for people to either give us certain things or act in particular ways towards us, and when they don’t we feel violated, cheated, or not seen.  Some of us express this overtly and others covertly. 

Ask yourself how you would be today if you really expected absolutely nothing from anything or anyone.  Not even expecting things like your blowdryer to work, your iPhone to turn on or your car to start.  What if you really got that nothing is obligated to work and no one is required to act or do in any certain way.  That nothing owes you anything.  First can you imagine how much gratitude you would have for everything, and I mean everything.  Second can you imagine the freedom that everyone in the world would instantly feel as they no longer feel any obligation to be something other then their pure selves.  Lastly can you imagine how much stuff you would have to release and the amount of surrender to the universe (rather than get from the universe) would be required of you.  

Many people have an underlying and often hidden, sneaky thought structure that is always looking for what it will get out of the universe.  It can be something as simple as what you think you will get by taking a class or going to an event or program.  Or what you will get through a project you are creating.  More complex situations like what you will get by being in a particular relationship with someone or having a family, or what you might get from a new job, business or career.  It all seems innocent enough and yet it sets up an expectation, which is always about what some aspect of the universe is giving you.  What would it be like to simply do things without any expectation of any return in any way whatsoever?  What if our entire planet operated this way? 

Giving to the universe 

From get to give

holding galaxy.jpgIf we put no thought into what we might get from the universe we often fear that our basic and social needs won’t be met.  Yet most of us haven’t really experimented to see if that’s true or not.  We’ve been conditioned to believe that the only way we can have all of our needs met is if we get stuff from things or other people.  What if however there is a different way?  What if through changing our disposition to one of giving to the universe we are inherently supported?  What if this is actually how the universe works and is our ticket out of our survival, lack-based, holding onto stuff, trapped in our lives, mentality?

We’ve all at one time or another experienced that feeling of pure giving.   How amazing it feels.  Like we are just emanating ourselves and there isn’t a single thought or concern about anything else except what we are giving ourselves too.  Its like we step into a magical world and everything else disappears.  Its pure beauty and pure love.  I believe that this is the world that we are all made for and that we came here to co-create together.  We’ve simply lost sight of it and replaced it with all the things we are currently experiencing instead of it.  That magical world didn’t go anywhere, its always still here, but you must act in alignment with it in order for it to reveal itself to you.  Meaning you must put yourself in the mental configuration of giving without expectation for any specific return of any kind at all. This is how you embody the fact that the universe owes you nothing.

I’d put my vote on that the universe does indeed work this way, supporting us as we truly give to it.  I’m not talking about obligated giving (meaning “I have to do this to support myself)”, but a true giving of whatever is needed and showing up for that in whatever ways that we can.  I’d also bet that if we made this shift in mental configuration our lives would be a 100% fulfilling and purpose led life rather than a life full of getting things done.  Don’t take my word for it though, experiment.  I’ve always found that the best proof is through self-experimentation.  Replacing expectations with thoughts of “what can I give to this, how can I contribute, what do I have to share” would radically change your reality, pretty much guaranteed.  

That is what I believe it is to be in true service.  To give and simultaneously be rested in knowing that you are supported by this magical world that you are creating.  When you are here no doubts to this knowingness arise.  Support is freely given as you give.

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