Paradise

Paradise 

Experiencing Heaven on Earth

Waterfalls in Plitvice National ParkImagine paradise.  The gentle wind breezing across the valley.  Sunlight streaming through sky.  Leaves dancing on trees.  Bliss abound.  All you feel is peace.  Everywhere you look all you see is love.  The true nature of nature revealing itself to you as you perceive it.  This is heaven on earth, the kingdom having come, truth experiencing itself.  How is it that paradise becomes your experienced reality rather than simply your imagined fantasy?  What bridges the gap between dreams and reality?  

What makes this seeming leap is simply the reference point from where you view and your recognition as the viewer of it all.  How do you shift your reference point?  Through taking off your armor which keeps you viewing life from a separate person-object perspective and opening into the subject, the seer, the knower of all that is.  Due to our conditioning and thus sense of being a separate person-object it can be hard for our minds to fathom anything but the perspective of being a separate person in a world doing things independently from other separate things.  However it is that very perspective that must be dismantled in order for us to know reality beyond our mind’s limited construction of it, which is often assimilated to be some version less than the blissful paradise we desire.  

From the perspective of separation there will always be doing, trying, getting somewhere, going somewhere, progress and work to do.  In paradise there is only the eternal now.  The present that is always present.  Completely perfect and still in its movement.  Metaphorically speaking many of us are wearing suits that are too tight, staying in perspectives that are so limited in their view, constricting us, making it hard to breath and move freely, and yet we don’t realize that our perspective is completely 100% in our hands.  That we are the ones creating the perspective that we see through and that we are the “Perspectiver.”  No one has told us this.  It like the hidden truth that is in plain sight for all to see if only the curiosity and hunger to look is cultivated.   

Living Armor-less 

Taking off your armor

warrior woman swordInherit in perceiving ourselves as a separate object-person there is a need for self-protection and thus armor.  Armoring can be physical in the way we hold tension in our muscles or body, it can be emotional in the way we allow or don’t allow certain feelings, and it can be mental in the ways we analyze, justify, rationalize and defend ourselves with words or ideas.  That self-protection appears (from the perspective of separation) to keep us alive and out of harms way from objects that are other than us that could potentially hurt us.  Objects could be other people, thoughts and emotions (ours or perceived others), sensations, and other seemingly solid or non-solid structures.  When we are choosing the perspective of separation there will always be perceived things that we need to protect ourselves from.

To be willing to take off our armor of self-protection we must begin to see ourselves beyond being a separate person.  We must be willing to give away our identity, our need for significance, validation, justification, being seen or heard, being right or liked, and also our fears.  We give our power over to what we fear more than anything else.  If we fear we will always perceive the need for self-protection and defense.  Fear is a lack of trust and insisting on separation when there isn’t any.  Love is knowing that no-one and no thing is to blame, that nothing is out of place, and that nothing could ever go wrong or be wrong no matter how detrimental or devastating our mind tries to make it.  

Moving beyond separation requires suspension of our inner judger, or our inner “righter/wronger”.  This little sucker is loud.  It is running the show most of the time and we are asleep to it.  We unconsciously allow it to determine what our experience of life is without even questioning it.  Thus we suffer and create suffering.  We experience wrongness where there is no wrongness.  We see hate where there is only ever love.  Our perspective is so out of sync with the true reality of paradise and we continue to allow it, and beyond that we continue to create it, and re-create it and re-create it, 100 million times a day.

The good new is that you are not and do not need to be a passive agent in the process of waking up any longer.  You truly have never been disempowered, you’ve only failed to recognize your power.  You are and have always been an active participant.  Your now conscious active participation is what is required to bring the perspective of heaven to earth.  It lies within you to do so.  In fact you are the only one who can.  

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

Inner work is Hard work: Why do I need to change or transform? Aren’t I already perfect?

Why do I need change or transform when I am already perfect? Can’t I just accept myself and be done with it? The answer is Yes! Of course you can. No one is forcing you to change or be different than you already are. By the nature of your essence you are divine, perfect, enlightened and free. No one is stopping you from accepting this perfection of youexcept for maybe yourself… hence the need for your inner work.

Inner Work can feel like hard work.  I sometimes hear people complain about how hard the process of change and transformation is; and it can feel like that for sure. We often create quite a bit of resistance between who we operate as on a daily basis and who we know our “bigger” self to be, and resistance is energy draining. The more we resist the amazing, beautiful, graceful, loving, kind, generous, perfect, divine being that we inherently are, the harder and more effortful our inner work will feel.

Some of our resistance comes from beliefs we have about ourselves that are “hard-wired” in our nervous system. These hard-wired pathways are so pervasive that even if we try and think differently we end up resorting to the same old resistances and patterns. This is called neural programming. It is easier and takes less energy to do the same thing over and over. This is why our nervous system habituates and creates dominant pathways, so that we don’t have to think about everything all of the time. This can be beneficial and also requires our attention to continual monitor what works for us and what doesn’t work for us at any given moment. This is where most of us drop the ball. We get lazy, we fall “asleep” or go unconscious and live on automatic pilot.

One of the best ways to come out of automatic pilot mode is through paying attention to your body. Your body is the storehouse of your unconscious. It is a gauge for what is happening in your mind and will tell you when something needs to change because it no longer fits for who you are. This can look like tension patterns, pain, and disease. These are simply indicators that something is out of alignment with the bigger parts of yourself. And what do most of us do when these things arise in our body? We try and get rid of these expressions instead of using the energy available in them to make change. So we feel tired and like inner work is a lot of work, because we are trying to create movement (change) without any fuel in the gas tank.

The most pervasive and outdated pattern I have found in my own life and in my work with others, which brings the most resistance with it, is that we are not worthy of the grandness of who we “hope” that we are. We feel shame for getting what we want because we think it means someone else won’t get something or that we are taking from someone else. We feel grandiose or arrogant if we feel amazing about ourselves, and for some reason label that as bad. We fear we might not be accepted, fit in with others or be desired, so we will be alone and no one will love us if we love us. These are just a few expressions of how unworthiness can manifest in your life.

All inner work as I see it, is to bridge the gap between who you really are (love, infinite worth, amazing, precious, rare) and who you believe yourself to be most of the time (undeserving, ordinary, no real gifts to contribute, un-valuable, can’t make a difference, small). So if you already live as infinite worth, and know your preciousness and value in every single moment, then yes you are done with your inner work. However, if there is still a gap for you, then there is even more that you can realize and embody about your true nature. This does not mean you are less than or imperfect now, because you are perfect, it simply means that you have yet to realize the fullness of your perfection and live as it.

One of the missing links I find with people is that they have done lots of inner work through their mind but haven’t addressed their body. You must work through both. When tension patterns shift in your body that energy becomes available to you.

How do tension patterns shift? Through your nervous system receiving new input that you can hold yourself differently in your body and through diving into your resistances. This is where the energy comes from to make change and where transformation becomes less effortful and more sustainable. Many approaches bypass or avoid the resistance, labelling it is as “negative” and uncomfortable, and come from the angle of “just think differently.” While this may work for some people, others will need more energy, momentum, and fuel to create the change they desire, especially when it has been a lifelong pattern.

The approach I use to support people is called Network care. It works with you through your body to reprogram the dominant neural patterns to ones that serve you better now and makes available the energy to create change so you can live as the perfection you are.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, MS, L.Ac