UNWINDING TENSION

UNWINDING TENSION 

Physical, emotional & mental pain

We’ve all experienced tension.  Tension can live in our muscles, bones, ligaments, organs, glands, cells, or any tissue or part of our physical body.  Tension can also live in our subtler (visually unseen) bodies such as our emotional, mental or soul bodies. We can be either conscious or unconscious of our tension.  For example we might be aware of tension in our neck muscles, but unaware of tension say in our kidneys or bladder.  Or we might be aware of tension in our belly, but unaware of tension in our spine.  There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to where tension shows up and whether or not we are aware of it.

Why is tension created?  Tension is a mechanism created, ultimately by us, to protect us from feeling pain or other uncomfortable sensations, feelings or thoughts.  For example say you are in a car accident.  You will most likely create some physical muscle guarding (tension) in order to protect underlying organ structures and also to not feel such intensity of physical pain.  This is the most obvious of expressions and easiest to be conscious of.  The more awareness you develop of yourself the more you can tune into subtler and subtler levels of tension that exist in your less dense bodies such as your emotional and mental bodies. Say for example you are in a relationship and your partner does something that triggers you in some way.  If you slow yourself down you will be able to track the tension in your emotional body that may or may not have a physical manifestation or expression.  If you do this you will be able to notice what emotional pain you are attempting to avoid or lessen through creating tension.  Same is true if you have a particular thought or thought pattern that is out of alignment with the truth.  That thought will create tension in your mental body that again may or may not have an emotional or physical expression, but if you slow yourself down enough you will be able to track what mental pain you are attempting to decrease through creating tension.

When we create tension we essentially block or dampen part of our experience.  This can be helpful in extreme physical or emotional situations where we don’t have the resources or awareness to integrate and process the experience that is happening as it is happening.  What will often happen then is that we will develop a certain tension/holding pattern in our system that stays in place until we feel safe and/or ready to allow the experience to be felt.  Sometimes unwinding happens naturally and organically once we are out of the intense situation.  However other times it doesn’t happen naturally as we aren’t quite ready to feel or have the resources to process what occurred.  So we stay in a more bound or closed state, also known as a tension/holding pattern, which again we may or may not be aware of.   

TRANSCENDING LIMITATION

Walking towards pain

Let’s face it, having a human experience is intense.  Whether or not you’ve had some particularly intense experiences or you’ve lived more of a “normal” life, it is pretty much guaranteed that you have some degree of tension/holding patterns in your system just by the nature of having this human incarnation.  Tension is not bad or wrong, it’s simply an effect of not desiring to feel something that doesn’t feel good.  You could also term this resistance.  Resistance is often not intentional, nor is the avoidance of pain necessarily evident to most.  Many people are unaware of how much they avoid discomfort of any kind, in fact most create their lives specifically to avoid pain.  Again none of this is fundamentally bad or wrong, instead it simply points to why we have the experiences, life and awareness that we have, which are frequently sprinkled or riddled with a sense of disconnection, limitation or blockage.    

Tension creates an arbitrary sense of separation and inherent sense of limitation.  Whether that separation or limitation is experienced physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually depends on the individual and what lessons they gave themselves to learn.  You are of course unlimited, eternal beingness that has no edges, limits, or incapabilities, but telling that to someone who is having a human experience is kind of like telling a kid that play isn’t real.  It just simply doesn’t compute. So while we are here in these bodies we must learn the lessons of separation/limitation in order to transcend our current perspectives of it. One of the ways to learn the lessons of limitation is through increasing your awareness of your tension patterns in both your physical & subtle bodies and walking towards pain rather away from it.  What we avoid we can’t experience and therefore can’t unwind.  If we can’t unwind the tension that was created than we stay stuck in a particular holding pattern in our physical and/or subtler bodies.  This then gives us the perpetual experience of limitation or lack of full self-expression because how we hold ourselves relates to how we see the world and therefore the experiences that we have.  

Say for example you really desire to experience blissful, ecstatic oneness with the the divine, yet simultaneously you have mental tension patterns (thoughts & beliefs) that tell you how unworthy you are.  You can’t know yourself as infinite worth if you are constantly avoiding the thought/belief of unworthiness or if you don’t even know its there.  The thought/belief unworthiness will create a tension pattern in your mental body that will feel like it blocks you from knowing yourself as infinite worth.  That must be moved towards and unwound through feeling that which is untrue (i.e. unworthiness and the pain associated with that thought).  For another example say you really want to be full self-expressed, but feel emotionally triggered for a good part of your days.  Being emotionally triggered is another way of saying that you are avoiding feeling emotional pain, and you can’t be fully self-expressed if you are simultaneously avoiding a part of yourself and your experience.  That would be a contradiction. 

The key to sustainably unwinding the tension patterns in your system is through walking towards what’s been avoided, which is often uncomfortable and the last place we want to go.  However freedom is through and not around those experiences.  The other option is to know unequivocally that you are love and remove all self-doubt of this truth instantly.  This is entirely possible, however not as probable as doing the work to increase awareness of yourself, your tensions, your avoidances and resistances, and then navigate right into them.  Not to stay there for eternity, but to walk right on through them, fully experiencing what they have to offer, and coming out as free, open love on the other side. 

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

Connected Movement

Connected Movement

Motion guided by thought

Unless you are a dancer, athlete or have practiced a lot of body awareness you probably don’t really pay too much attention to how your body moves.  Rather than tuning into our body’s natural movements or allowing our bodies to be moved we tend to think or do our movements.  Thinking our movements comes from our thinker deciding it wants to do something and then our body following through on that thought with the necessary actions.  For example say you are sitting on your couch and you have the thought that you would like an apple from the kitchen.  Your body then gets up and walks to the kitchen in response to this thought.  This is the process or act of doing.  This motion is guided by the thoughts in your head and often not in connection with the larger rhythms of your consciousness.  

When motion is guided by thought alone it is mechanical in nature, meaning you have to do the motion and there isn’t a sense of aliveness inherent within the movement itself.  In this previous sentence you are the thinker (as that is what most people identify themselves as) and the thinker/you is guiding the motion.  The process of pure doing, or moving guided by thought, involves effort and there isn’t a synergistic flow to it or something that is energizing it; you have to put all the work into it.  Another way to say this is that the movement is not connected.  Disconnected movement is movement guided by thought that feels like you have to do the work to produce the action.  This is how most people move most of the time.  

When our thoughts are the primary motivator of our movements we are then thus limited in our movements by the thoughts we think.  Our thoughts decide what movements we take, where we go, where we don’t go, how we are and aren’t able to express ourselves through our movements (including the movement of voice/sound) and what we think we are physically capable of doing.  The effects of this are vast and include how the movement of a single joint in our body moves or doesn’t move, the way a muscle or group of muscles tense up, or the posturing we hold ourselves in and extends into the expression of our purpose and what we move towards and away from in life.  When our movements are guided by the mechanical nature of thought intelligence we experience the limitation of our thoughts through this physical body which intelligence moves within. 

Intelligently Guided Motion 

Beyond the thinker

You may be wondering what can move us besides our thoughts?  Believe it or not there is something more intelligent then your thoughts that can guide your movements.  We are largely conditioned to believe that we are the thoughts we think, or one step beyond that, that we are thinker of the thoughts we think, and that our identity stops there.  This creates a limited perspective on who/what we are and that limited perspective is what gets expressed through these bodily forms as movement.  

What is this intelligence that lives beyond our thinking minds which can inform our movements and how do you access it within your own consciousness and experience?  One of the first pieces I’ve found to be fundamental for people in discovering themselves beyond their thinking mind is the development of body awareness.  What this means is learning how to drop your awareness from your head/thoughts into your body and simply rest it there.  Through learning how to rest your awareness into different parts of your body you begin to notice yourself and your energy within your body rather than be focused in your thoughts.  This opens your awareness to the more subtle aspects of your being.  This is simple in application, but requires a consistent practice to discipline where you allow your attention to go as it will almost always want to immediately go back into your thoughts.  

Navigating your awareness into your body you begin to learn presence and how to simply be without doing.  It is then through the next step of turning your attention towards your beingness that you become aware of yourself at that level beyond thoughts.  It is also here that spontaneously organized movement can arise that is generated not through your thoughts but through your being.  Here movement is effortless and not limited, controlled or determined by your thoughts.  It is also not mechanical, but instead has it own coordination and defies what the thinking mind previously thought possible.  The mind cannot makes sense of it, nor is it necessarily supposed to be able too.  Here, you the person, must have also developed enough trust, faith and surrender or you will not be able to experience beyond your thinking mind.  Without trust, faith and surrender the mind is simply unwilling or not ready to let go.  It needs more time to keep its confined, limited and illusionary sense of safety a little longer before experiencing freedom.  

At first some people experience this more organized, spontaneous movement as scary, strange or other worldly, but it is simply the waking up of your awareness to the beingness aspect of itself where thoughts don’t interfere and the intelligence beyond your thinking mind can get a moment to enter your body and organize it in a more efficient configuration.  Life is always evolving and moving towards greater organization, intelligence and knowledge of itself.  This is built into the blueprint of creation.  It is natural that we are waking up to this next aspect of ourselves where we tune to the more subtle aspects of our nature and our thinking minds get out of the drivers seat.  Here a more highly ordered and energized intelligence (that we are) can stream through and use the vehicle of the thinking of mind to express through rather than the thinking mind running the show.  Overtime and with more tastes we become more stable and rested at this level of our being and our identity shifts from thinker into illuminator or simply pure awareness.  

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

Unwinding the Subtle Body

Unwinding the Subtle Body 

Tension in our lighter bodies 

unwind subtle bodyMost of us are aware of tension in our physical body.  It is quite obvious when a part of our body feels constricted in its movement or a muscle feels tight. People however are less aware of tensions in their subtle body.  Your subtle body/bodies are those bodies that are less dense and therefore less physical.  For example your emotional body is a subtle body.  You can’t see your emotions (except as they express though your physical form) you can only feel them..  Your mental body is also a subtle body.  You can’t see your thoughts you can only think them.  Lastly your soul body is your most subtle body.  Again you can’t see your soul body you can only directly come to know it.  Each of these subtle bodies can hold tension or restriction. We are frequently less aware of our subtle bodies and even less aware of the ways in which we guard, protect, hold tight or resist within these aspects of ourselves.  

You can’t heal or change a holding pattern or a particular way that you are binding energy until you can see and feel what is going on.  Self-awareness is the number one primary ingredient as without that you are simply unconscious to yourself.  The second essential ingredient is your willingness to spontaneously and authentically feel your patterns once you can see them.  When you are authentically feeling there is an instantaneous opening of the heart.  This is what unbinds that pattern and your system.  Most people are really gifted in intellectualizing their awareness of themselves and also intellectualizing their feelings.  When we “intellectually” feel our feelings rather than authentically feel them we may feel a temporary release of energy but we will not feel a deeper connection and wholeness with self.

Probably the easiest way to increase your self-awareness is by slowing yourself down.  Sometimes this is a physical slowing down, but even beyond that is a slowing down of your emotional and mental bodies.  When our awareness is occupied with incessant mental chatter or is getting hijacked by emotional triggers it is very hard to notice our subtle bodies.  Even though we are thinking thoughts or having feelings we are often not really aware of what we are the thinker or feeler, we are instead merged with the feelings and thoughts.  Until you can recognize that you are thinking or that you are feeling you are simply fused with the thoughts or feelings and not really aware of yourself.   

Increasing your Openness & Receptivity 

Expanded states of being & knowing

Goddess eye and Color space background with stars.

Being aware of tension in your subtle bodies is important if you desire to increase your openness and receptivity to energy, information and life.  When we unconsciously bind energy in our subtle bodies we may think we are open and yet there are worlds of energy and information that we are not in direct communication with.  It may seem strange, paranormal or mystical when other people seem to be tapped into something that we are not aware of or can’t seem to track or access.  Again most people are not aware of how they are binding energy or holding tension in their more subtle bodies and thus keeping themselves separate from more expanded states of being and knowing.

Dismantling the tension bound in your more subtle bodies often comes with the experience of feeling exposed.  Exposed because you literally are dropping the energetic walls between you and seeming other so nothing is hidden.  When our minds still believe that there is “other” then we can feel a sense of risk or danger in dropping these more subtle resistances or defenses.  Also people can feel overwhelmed, violated, invaded or the like in becoming more all pervasive and less defended in their subtle bodies.  When this is the experience it simply means that there is some more fundamental work to do in regards to personal trust, safety and development of sense of self.  We must become a person before we can dismantle our personhood back into the one infinite source that we are.  This is the developmental progression and the evolution of it occurs in perfect timing.

Another aspect that often arises in dismantling the tension in our subtle bodies is our self-worth.  Due to the nature of the learning here on earth at this time many people have a fundamental belief that they are unworthy or unlovable.  This sense of unworthiness is in itself a resistance or tension in opening into the infinite intelligence and love that we are.  To feel unworthy of love makes it challenging to receive the love that we are and so we subtlety and unknowingly push it away.  Instead of opening more deeply towards it we keep it at bay as we feel undeserving of it.  This reinforces our experience of separation, otherness and limitation.

For many healing is what is required at this stage of the game.  Healing being a coming into wholeness and coherence.  Understand that healing does not mean that a part of us is different. Healing means that a part of us knows that it’s loved. Nothing changed, nothing given, nothing taken away, all forgiven.  It is when we arrive here that we can deepen more and more fully into letting go of even the most subtle threads of resistance and tension that keep us separate from our more expanded self.  In truth we are all love.  All resistance simply keeps us from this truth.  

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

Everything is energy

Everything is energy 

Beyond perceiving meaning

Sacred geometry symbols and elements background. Alchemy, religiEverything is energy.  We have all heard this, but what exactly does that mean and how do you perceive it?  Well the truth is you are already perceiving energy everywhere.  Even though things may seem solid, physical and real to you as you look at and feel them, the truth is that you are really just looking at and feeling energy.  Its simply that you have been taught labels and given things meaning so what you perceive is those labels and meanings rather than what is actually there.  If you suspended all of your labels and meanings all you would see is light (aka energy) because that is what everything is.

Due to the fact that we have all been conditioned to death with meaning since the moment we were born, and most of us seek more meaning because that’s what we been taught to do, we are constantly creating separation where there is none.  Any time that you create meaning you create distinction and thus separation.  Separation equals suffering.  Ultimately nothing is inherently separate, you just keep creating that illusion in your own mind through your incessant meaning making, and thus create suffering for yourself.

Many times when people get interested in energy, healing or subtle energetics, they try to see something other than what is.  Like some other magical thing is supposed to appear to them.  Typically, at least in my experience, this strategy is not helpful.  You are not trying to see something other than what is there, you are just seeing what is there by forgetting what you’ve learned to see.  This may seem like semantics to you, but I assure that it is not.  When we believe appearances we are lost to seeing what actually is, as appearances are simply things we’ve labelled as something in particular.  

I have found frequently that as people go through this awakening of sorts of beginning to perceive what they label as “energy”, that they make it another object.  Essentially what they have done is given some meaning to the “energy” they are now sensing/perceiving and this births a whole set of ideas of good/bad energy or trying to avoid, move, or manipulate energy somehow.  They’ve taken that same meaning based strategy and pasted it onto the more formless aspect of being that is coming into their awareness.  So even though they may be learning how to perceive beyond certain meanings that they have given to things, their stage of developmental consciousness progression has not yet shifted beyond separation.  What I’m saying here is that being able to perceive “energy” in a more formless state does not make you more evolved than some other person who does not yet think that they perceive energy.   What really matters is making the shift in your awareness from perceiving separation into perceiving inseparable unity.    

Your energy bodies

Unwinding and unbinding

Outer space. Meditation.This brings us to your energy body.  We all have multiple layers to our energy body.   The first layer, if you will, is the physical body (which we are most identify as), then a subtle body (which is associated with our emotional body), beyond that a mental/wisdom body, beyond that a soul/bliss body, and beyond that the one body/being or pure awareness.  All of these bodies are accessible and perceivable to anyone, each one begin more expansive and formless then the one previous to it.  The degree of relevance for your journey at this time, and your desire to perceive the various level of your bodies, will determine your experience of them.

The subtle body, which again is related with the emotional body, is often what is waking up into awareness when people talk about being able to perceive energy as if its another object out there.  People often report seeing colors or visions, feeling vibrations or densities, hearing things and the like.  Essentially we might put all of this into the category of extrasensory perception.  It is also not uncommon that as people’s systems unwind tension that they begin to perceive in this way.  The more that we perceive and create meanings and labels, the more our spinal cords and nervous systems respond to those perceptions, and develop spinal distortion/tension/twisting patterns through which then experience the world through.  Those patterns become the filters through which we perceive everything.  We often simply experience this as tension, pain or the inability to fully relax and we really don’t know what else is going on underneath it all.  

Tension patterns keep us more bound, and thus perceiving only the physical appearance/label of things.  As we unwind and unbind, things begin to lose some that seeming solidity that we once thought that they had.  The less that we can create the tendency to label things the more our awareness will be able to progress further into our more expansive bodies.  Its important to remember that no awareness of self or of your various bodies is necessarily better or worse, its all inclusive of the previous layers.  It is however helpful to cultivate a desire inside yourself to experience yourself beyond and beyond and beyond if that so resonates with you, as it is through that desire that the path of further awakening will reveal itself to you.  

So I invite you to explore meaninglessness.  See what it is like to not know what it is you are looking at or touching.  Begin to empty yourself out of all your learned content about what is, who you are, and appearances.  Expect nothing, and that which is already, always there will be seen.  Remember energy/light is all there is, but don’t hold onto that as a concept, simply remember it and let it go.  Recognize that distinctions are illusionary and separation has never existed and you will begin to directly experience and know that world of inseparable aliveness of which you are.    

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, Network Chiropractor Boulder Colorado