SAY BYE-BYE TO WORRY

SAY BYE-BYE👋 TO WORRY 

Your most intimate friend

Most of us are familiar with worry.  In fact worry might be your most intimate friend.  We tend to spend more time with worry than we do our partner, family members, kids or friends.  Worry is often so intimate that it’s present inside of all of the activities that we do.  It’s there when we shower, while we exercise, as we’re working, and while we are getting groceries or pumping gas.  Subtly, or not so subtly, in the background is the thought, “will things work out” or “will things be ok”?  It’s like we are deathly afraid of how all the details of life will orchestrate themselves and we can’t seem to let it be.  Our best attempt to not feel totally helpless or powerless is to worry.  Somehow we think if we worry about whatever it is we are worried about then we can control how it all happens.  However because we know we can’t really control it, we stay in a perpetual state of worry, which you could also call stress or overwhelm.

In order to let go of worry we also have to let go of whatever outcome we are attempting to control.  Whatever thing we want to happen or not happen, the timing of something, and the flow of the details in between, we have to let it all have its own will.  We must give away our hope, agenda, insistence, and demand for the thing to happen in any particular way, or at all.  This is where it feels tricky to us because we perceive potential loss or lack.  If things don’t happen how we desire in our minds for them to happen, at the bare minimum we perceive inconvenience, and beyond that, that something might be lost.  That loss could be of anything.  A new possibility coming to birth, a relationship, how someone views or sees us, money, time or other resources, objects of our desire, a job, a project, our health, other’s health, and on and on.  We will do whatever we can not to experience loss of what we desire because loss feels like death, failure and can lead us into hopelessness, depression or despair.  So rather than facing the potential of all of that, instead we choose worry, because worry feels easier to feel compared to feeling the death of our dreams and desires.

The thing about worry though is that it hijacks the shit out of us.  We fall out of presence and into thinking about all of the things.  We are not available for what actually matters to us, who it is that we want to be and our chosen state of being.  We lose touch with the magic of life and ourselves.  On a physiologically level our body gets to experience the chemical cascade of worry, which looks like the inability to digest our food, sleep well, or feel energized, and we experience pain and tension in the body.  Then we get fixated on trying to fix all of these bodily expressions without addressing the core essence which creates their arising, which is worry.  While moving towards feeling loss, lack, or death of our dreams feels like a less desirable choice, you must ask yourself if it’s really worth the cost to keep avoiding your sense of feeling lack of control over all of the happenings of your life.   

THE OTHER SIDE OF WORRY 

Mystery revealing itself

We tend not to think too much about what is on the other side of worry.  Mostly we either wait in anxious anticipation, or we take massive action because we can’t sit still, and then we hope for the best.  The “best” being whatever our chosen preference is for the desired outcome.  The funny thing about being human is that we have such a small perspective on things, and despite our tiny viewpoint we think we know what’s best to happen.  It is a form of self-deceit that is mostly unconscious, because the majority of us have good intentions for what we desire.  However those good intentions, and our ideas of what those intentions look like when they are manifested at the physical level, interferes with our seeing.  It distorts and filters our perceptions.  We then create judgments or assumptions about what we are seeing rather than simply seeing it.  Those judgments and assumptions always feel bad because they are coming from our tiny little vantage point that thinks it knows what it’s looking at, all the while it’s missing 99.99% of the picture.  

Big picture here is that we have no idea what, the details or the timing of how things are supposed to occur.  We have ideas of how we would like it to all happen, but our knowledge of the actual reality of it stops there.  If we don’t recognize the limitation of our vantage point, of our filters and the distorted picture we have based on our preferences, then we will fall or push our way into control.  We will feel anxious.  We will experience overwhelm.  We will complain about being stressed.  All as avoidance to feel how much control we don’t have over things.  

Not having control over things does not mean that you are without power.  In fact it means the opposite.  Surrender is the ultimate power.  This is what you discover on the other side of worry.  When you stop avoiding feeling potential loss, a sense of powerlessness, or inconvenience you arrive into a state of presence and openness for life to reveal itself to you.  Presence in the ever present moment of revelation, meaning you come to know what it’s like to be in the unfolding rather than trying to managing the unfolding.  When you are no longer trying to control something it frees things up to respond and move, and what I really mean by that is that it frees you up to respond and move.  You become less rigid and fixated and more able to be a part of the unfolding.  This is also where the power of intention shines.  You can still intend for whatever it is you desire to intend, but rather than forcing the flow of it, you are in the flow with it.  It’s not two opposing forces, but one force moving and responding to itself.  You are not separate from what you desire, you are one with it, but as soon as you place what you desire out there onto a happening, object, event or person, you relate to it as separate from you and you have to figure out how to control or manipulate it in order for your preference to be experienced or expressed.  

The other side of worry is acceptance and peace.  It is a relinquishment of thinking that you know and a becoming present to what actually wants to happen, rather than what you think you want to happen.  You let things breathe, which ironically also means you breathe.  You experience life force returning to its unimpeded flow.  The intelligence that is life organizes itself with you included.  It still doesn’t mean that you will get what you want or that your desired preference will occur in the timing you desire, or even at all.  It does however mean that you breathe, you are at peace and in acceptance, your body receives easeful chemical cascades that allow it to function well and you get to be in the dance of the unfolding of the mystery revealing itself.

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

NEUROLOGICAL DEFENSE

NEUROLOGICAL DEFENSE 

Moving away from pain

Much of how we operate, move, behave, perceive, think, feel and sense is learned and habitual.  We develop strategies, patterns and ways of being through our experiences.  We learn to perceive and move about our world based on internal and external cues.  If we do the same thing over and over, or see something the same way over and over, we learn to create wiring or neurological patterning in our nervous system based on our perceptions or behaviors.  If we repeat the same thing enough times then the way we perceive something or how we move about becomes automatic or habitual.  This means that there is very little “registering” or conscious awareness that happens as we engage with life.  Life is simply a series of habits and reactions, that is unless we create novelty inside of our perceptions. 

If something hurts we instinctually move away from it and if it feels good we move towards it.  Hurt can be physical such as if we place our hand on a hot stove, or it can be emotional or mental such as feeling rejection or like we aren’t good enough.  Regardless of where the hurt hits us we learn early on how to protect ourselves from the pain of feeling it.  We might flee or run in order to move away from it.  We might fight back in order to push something away from us.  We also might freeze in place or go numb in attempt to avoid the hurt or pain.  On a neurological level there is a response to this avoidance of pain, which is commonly known as the stress response.  Most people are quite familiar with the terminology “stress response” yet most people don’t really get what it means for how they experience their life on a day to day basis.  

When we are in protection (i.e. avoidance) mode our nervous system wires and fires pathways that create various messages throughout the body.  These messages gear us up for fighting until we eventually burnout and the effect of this is what we call adrenal fatigue.  These messages also put us on alert, or in a hyper-vigilant state.  They get us to focus on what’s wrong or what might be out to harm us.  They create tension in the body so that we don’t feel the impact of harm or pain.  They effect our sleep cycles making it hard to feel rested or get good sleep.   They make it harder to digest our food, and they move energy out of self-healing and into self-protection.  This state of being is called neurological defense.  At any point in our life we can have experiences that don’t feel good to us and we activate these patterns of defense rather than feel the impact of pain or harm or potential pain/harm.  There is intelligence in these defensive patterns, however they greatly limit our experience of life.  We cannot move into healing and neurological openness unless we are willing to move towards that which we avoid feeling.   

NEUROLOGICAL OPENNESS   

Moving towards life

While there is intelligence to our defensive reactions and patterns in the body they also create great limitation in our experience of life.  They allow us to experience only a limited range of feelings, sensations, and thoughts.  They limit our behaviors, perceptions, and our relationships with self and others.  They cap the amount of energy we have access to receiving, giving and sharing.  They keep our bodies running in suboptimal energy conditions effecting our health and overall well-being.  They keep us from fully experiencing the range of our hearts and the hearts of others.  There is great cost to our avoidance of feeling pain.  

When we stop avoiding pain and allow ourselves to feel and be with it, some pretty amazing things happen.  First is that you can no longer be angry.  Feeling the pain we’ve experienced softens us.  Some people don’t even know just how angry they are because they’ve adopted other strategies of self-protection such as always being positive, people pleasing, or the more quiet version of anger which is self-hatred.  This can manifest very subtly as negative self-talk or simply not feeling yourself to be great.  If you don’t unequivocally know that you are fucking amazing then you probably have some work to do here.  Second is that your neurological, and thus physiological state, shifts.  All those messages that your nervous system sends out change in nature when you move towards life experiences.  Rather than messages gearing you up to fight, flight or freeze, it sends messages of relaxation and ease.  Food can then be digested, sleep happens naturally, and the self-healing mechanism occurs unimpeded.  Muscles relax, the posture becomes more upright and open, and your focus shifts onto what is here, what’s working, and on how life is supporting you.  Nothing is out to get you anymore.  You look for invitations and openings.  More opportunities seem to be available to you.  You feel more confident in yourself.  This is what I call neurological openness.

In neurological openness we participate more fully with life.  We perceive things that we didn’t perceive before, and we sense, feel and think differently because we are more open to life rather than in protection from it.  We become more awake or aware of our impact on life, others and ourselves.  We recognize more and more that we have choice.  This recognition of choice is the beginning place of novelty.  We start trying on new feelings, thoughts, behaviors and perceptions, which create and lay down new patterns in our neurology.  We become different and therefore experience life differently.  

The more we lay down the patterns of openness in our nervous system the more we move into the field of our heart.  The yummy bliss of yes.  Beyond participation with life we move into oneness with it.  We see that nothing in not us therefore there has never been anything to protect from.  This is the awakened stage of the healing journey.  From separation and self-protection into unification and love.  It is all available to you as you are ready for it.  

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

FROM SPIRITUAL SEEKING TO SPIRITUAL BEING

FROM SPIRITUAL SEEKING TO  SPIRITUAL BEING

Misidentification with the objects of our awareness

Conceptually most all of us know that we are spiritual beings.  We somehow recognize that there is something more to us than flesh, bones and the thoughts we think.  We theoretically understand this, but have difficultly coming from being.  Rather we come from mental concepts and physical sensations, using those as proof of our existence, without really investigating the source of our concepts and sensations.  If we did do a little bit of investigation we would come to see that we are what is aware of the thoughts and the body and everything in between.  We are the being, the awareness, that notices those things, therefore we can’t be them.  It’s kind of like looking at a table and identifying yourself as it.  However you know that you aren’t the table, but rather that you are aware of the table.  The same is true for everything that you are aware of, it’s simply that most of us have misidentified ourselves as the objects of our awareness rather than see ourselves as the being that knows the objects.  

This misidentification with the objects of our awareness is the reason that we spiritually seek.  We seek because we feel that there is something missing.  That something which feels like it’s missing only feels that way because we have placed our focus and sense of self onto things that are not our self.  This leaves a feeling of a void, an emptiness of sorts, or a longing for something that we know exists, but that we just can’t seem to figure out how to get, realize or know it.  We somehow feel separate from and that feeling of separateness comes from thinking that we are an object of our awareness.  So we seek to find and feel whole, because we have misidentified ourselves as a part.  This seeking for wholeness or oneness is the core of the healing or spiritual journey.  

It is not bad or wrong to seek.  In fact the seeking impulse can provide us with the experiences we need in order to remember what we are and the skills, knowledge, and awareness to realize what is already here.  When we realize what is already here spiritual seeking shifts into spiritual being.  There is however a bit of a dog chasing its tail scenario that can happen on the spiritual path if you are not clear in your intentions.  What I mean is that if you don’t have genuine desire to know yourself, you can get lost in all of the glitter and sparkle of the spiritual journey.  You can fall into chasing more objects of physical and metaphysical pleasure, rather than keeping your eye on the ball.  You get lost in the game and take detours on the path that bring you back to where you started rather than in the direction of spiritual being.  Purifying your desire to know yourself is the brightest light you can shine on your path.   

SILENCE IS YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND 

Just Be 

Somewhere some great master said that ‘silence is the greatest teacher.”   I couldn’t agree more.  To our busy mind with all of its thoughts this seems like a strange impossibility.  How could you ever learn anything from silence, after all there is nothing there?  Don’t you need content or information in order to learn?  This is how we are conditioned yes, but this conditioning has also brought us to the state of being we are currently experiencing as life.  One where we are constantly searching for more content, more answers, more reasons, which we think will provide us with the clarity of being we desire, but all they ever do is send us down more and more rabbit holes and leave us feeling overwhelmed.  Yet we continue to function in this way hoping that somewhere we will find the light at the end of hole.  

The light we are seeking lives in the silence of our own minds.  Getting ourselves to be innerly silent can be a mighty task, which we why we must have such a strong desire to know ourselves in the first place.  If we don’t then we will simply continue to allow ourselves to be distracted in and by thoughts, feelings, sensations and any other content we can find to latch our awareness onto.  The mind really, really loves content.  It is, its jam.  It’s bread and butter.  It’s life force.  Without content the mind feel useless, and because we are merged with the mind and its content as who we are, then we personally feel useless.  Other experiences that arise in silence are boredom, frustration or irritation, loneliness, restlessness, purposeless, and others.  

I have found that there are stages to the “getting innerly silent process.”  When you are first learning how to get silent by sitting or lying down and just beginning to let go of some of the content, taking a few breaths, you start feeling some sense of relaxation.  This typically feels good to us.  If however you go a bit deeper into the letting go process, sitting or lying longer, you will find lots of areas where you don’t want to let go.  You may notice this as tension in areas of the body, sensations getting louder, mental tension, thinking and being lost in the thoughts, scattered, restlessness, or feeling emotions.  Once you move through that stage, I often find the next stage to be an insightful stage.  This is where you still aren’t completely focused on being yet, but you are less fixated with the objects of your awareness.  There is now more space for you to see things from a larger perspective.  You might get insights, intuitions or be able to see your patterns or habits more clearly.  Once you move through that, I find the next stage to be simply noticing that you are, that you be.  There may still be thoughts, feelings or sensations, but you are no longer focused on them.  You are only focused on that you be.  This is often peaceful, restful and the tendency is to want to stay here, to be absorbed in simply being.  Sometimes this stage will come with feelings of bliss, energy or an increased alertness or wakefulness.  None of those things are required, but they can be present.  

The longer you allow yourself to be present to “that you be” the more you come to know yourself and less identified you are with the objects of your awareness.  I have this to be the most direct path to self-realization.  Try it out.  It takes desire, commitment and some discipline, but the rewards are epic.  It’s the end of spiritual seeking and the beginning of spiritual being.  

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