Blossom Life With Dr. Rhea

Ignite, Serve, Grow, Thrive. Repeat.


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Responsible Service: A Love Bomb Guide

Dr. Rhea after a week of service in The Sacred Valley, Peru

Dr. Rhea after a week of service in The Sacred Valley, Peru

By Dr. Rhea Zimmerman Komarek

It was the middle of the night, I was exhausted, bent over the toilet bowl, sick, and wondering “did anything I just do make a difference?” After five days of working to provide free or low cost chiropractic care throughout the Sacred Valley, Peru I was finished, exhausted, and finally succumbing to the digestive visitor that had already taken down my entire team of volunteers.

It wasn’t the first time I wondered if my desire to be of difference in a developing country with my skill set was doing anything in the long run.

My first service trip was during the final months of my chiropractic education while I was still a clinic intern.  Student interns were paired with field doctors for an annual trip to provide care in El Salvador.  After graduation my innate drive to serve as a global citizen had led me to India to set up my own program.  India in her wisdom had humbled me and left me at the drawing board asking the questions:

What is the goal of the service?  If I can’t provide long term care is it ethical to do it in the short term?  Is my work empowering the people I am serving or disempowering them?  Do I really know enough clinically to be of service or should I go home and develop myself further?  

Dr. Rhea during her time setting up a short term service project in India

Dr. Rhea during her time setting up a short term service project in India

I have come to understand that this deep questioning really boils down to, “am I really giving anywhere near as much as I am receiving,” is a multi-faceted one.

After that first trip to Peru where our team left both emotionally transformed and physically drained, I had to ask myself whether or not I would return. I wanted to know that I was being more than just selfish by wanting to have the experience of serving.  It is so utterly transformational, such an avenue of fulfillment, and so amazing to lose one’s every day troubles into the surrender of service, that I had to know:  am I really doing anything?  Is offering chiropractic care one time a year going to truly help these people?

Before committing to trip number two, which ultimately is the commitment to taking steps towards committing to care long term for a community, I wrote to the clinic directors who hosted my group and posed the question:  given that we can only be there right now once a year, is our work really making an impact?  I trusted their perspective as people regularly engaged in the community and therefore those we would care for annually.  As Peace Corps veterans of 20+ years they knew what impact was as well as the issues that befall international service.  When they came back with the answer of “yes”, well, that was confirmation enough for me.

We returned, and, on year three, filmed the footage that would become the documentary film “Love Bomb.”  In filming follow up interviews I also learned of positively life changing, sustained physical healing results for some of the people we cared for, another testament for me to know that the effort is worth it.  For me the service results are definitely physical, and also, emotional.  It is the premise that when we all play our role of service to life, both at home and abroad, that together we create a positive shift in consciousness.  A helping hand is better than an oppressive hand, and is powerful when directed in well thought out ways.

Dr. Rhea with Paulina during the first Peru service trip.  Paulina returned several years later to share how much it had changed her life.

Dr. Rhea with Paulina during the first Peru service trip. Paulina returned several years later to share how much it had changed her life.

With the film I aim to inspire in people the transformational potential of service.  My hope is that people will walk out of the film and think to themselves:  how can I be of service in this moment, right here, right now?  The question of how can I serve, and how can I love, becoming synonymous.  I also know that there will be those who watch the film and think to themselves:  I want to go do something like that in another country!

For those people, I offer this Love Bomb guide to responsible service. Ultimately, service is an exchange built on a relationship of trust between the giver and the receiver.  These questions can help us to feel in to where we stand and what we will be offering. 

In the exchange of giving and receiving we will make an impact on the culture we are serving, and we need to ask ourselves what kind of an impact we want to make, as together we are building the model for what it looks like to become global citizens.  Together we can, responsibly, make a profound impact on humanity, at home and abroad.  The two are becoming inextricably one.

1.  What is my goal?

2.  Am I going to serve, or to practice?

3.  Will my actions create dependency?

4.  Am I going to be empowering the people I am serving?

5.  Am I respecting the cultural beliefs and customs I am stepping into, or trying to change them to my own beliefs?

6.  Am I hoping to be a savior instead of a server?

7.  Am I going as an equal or am I feeling superior to those I am serving?

8.  Am I doing something that the people have identified as a need, or am I putting my ideas of what they need on them?

If coordinating with an organization:

 1.  Do they have successful long-term projects that you will be making an impact with?

2.  Are they well respected in the community/communities where they serve?

3.  Are they motivated by service or by business profit?

4.  Will they provide for you contact information for past volunteers to speak with?

I personally feel that as global citizens we can create beautiful relationships built on responsible service, or, “voluntourism”, when we choose consciously.  We are building the future for humanity one responsible relationship at a time.  Lets do it together, with great care. 

Interesting Articles:

Does Voluntourism Do More Harm Than Good?, Dorinda Elliott

Seven Sins of Humanitarian Medicine, Welling, Ryan, Burris & Rich, World Journal of Surgery

 Does “Voluntourism” Do more harm than good?, Richard Stupart

 An Insider’s Thoughts On Voluntourism in Orphanages and Schools, Filipa Chatillon

Book:  Mountains Beyond Mountains, Dr. Paul Farmer

Resources for Choosing Organizations & Projects (I do not know these organizations personally, they were found through online research, please make sure to do your own work to verify that any of these are right for you, and that they fulfill the questions listed above):

http://www.volunteerinternational.org/

http://www.crossculturalsolutions.org/

http://earthwatch.org/

http://www.globalvolunteers.org/

http://www.gviusa.com/

 

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“Prove It”, Inspiration From The Road Working With Bontrager Livestrong

I am recently home from serving as chiropractor at the Pro Tour Challenge of Colorado 2012 (A Cycling Stage Race) working with the Bontrager Livestrong Cycling Team.  One of the things I love about serving on this development team is the team slogan of “prove it”- that it might be talent that got you on the team, but it is what you do with it that matters.

When serving I do my best to bring my gifts to the table to see how I can assist these riders, just like I do to the people I work with back home.  I ponder what it means for me to “prove it”.  Is it results?  Building of great relationships?  Bringing the most positive attitude I can to the intense environment?

Here is my top 10 list of ways to “Prove It” as a Chiropractor.  As the best chiropractor that I can be.  Clean and simple.

1.  Hold the line.  Don’t “treat” a condition- serve a whole person.  See the person as whole:  body, mind, spirit- not as a separate set of issues, symptoms, and parts.

2.  Determine what needs to be adjusted so that the person has the optimum conditions to thrive from the inside out with a clear nervous system- then get out of the way and let the healing and full life expression happen!

3.  Healing and life expression happens from the Inside Out.  Train to trust this, to allow for this.  Do what it takes to learn how to trust the healing power of the body- that is the only power that ever does the healing- interventions or no interventions.

4.  Get okay with “less is more.”  Most people are trained to feel value when there is “more” to be had- more time, more stuff, etc.  They will challenge you when you keep it simple.  Get okay with that.  Less is more when it comes to allowing the healing process and life expression process to occur, and, its empowering.

5.  Learn to listen and trust yourself.  Your own innate “crazy wisdom” knows what is best for you.  Let the successful people that you want to model yourself after or learn from rub off on you- learn from them and how they “did it”- and then find your way of doing it.  What “works’ for someone else might not “work” for you- and the times we live in are a changing fast.  The innate wisdom knows this- the outer educated mind might not have adapted yet.

6.  Develop the best possible skills possible at finding and releasing subluxations for this person.  Have gentle hands and effective adjustments.  Be fast, have finesse.  Listen to the body, don’t force things, listen, tune in, then deliver a highly skilled adjustment- with love.

7.  Serve.  Learn to embody the “Lasting Purpose” philosophy of chiropractic:  To Give, To Love, To Serve, Out of Abundance, With No Expectation Of Reward.

8.  Be positive.  Love what you do.  Allow it to speak for itself.  No need to cut others down along the way- just be the best possible you and let that speak for itself.

9.  Be okay with failing along the way.  Get up, dust off, try again.  Believe in yourself.  Your deepest truest self.

10.  Have fun!

Do you have ideas to add?  Go for it- share the ways that you “prove it” for yourself in the comments.  🙂


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Service, Relaxation & Wine at Casa Dumetz

At Casa Dumetz tasting room in Los Alamos the wine is as fresh and charming as the hostess herself.  Sonja greets every person who enters as if they are a long lost friend, and this beautiful example of what being a “hostess” is about was the scene I was invited into when I arrived on a Friday evening to be the speaker in her monthly speaker series.

The day was a tough one emotionally- everyone having just found out the news of the events in Aurora, Colorado.  What followed was an incredibly connected, and positive evening in the light and feel good setting of the tasting room.

I shared my own story of being on a mission of service fueled by my own shocking experience at 9/11 and how day by day after I was inspired to serve in a myriad of ways to assist life to the best of my ability.  I took them on a journey across country from New York, to Malibu, and then to El Salvador, India, Brazil, and Peru.  We stopped off briefly in Napa from time to time.

I also shared in brief the making and use of the Breathe Love CD sets and am still feeling thankful at the level of engagement of the people in the room and their desire to go home and put the CD’s to use for eliciting relaxation response and a positive emotional response.

Now I am inspired to do more of these types of events!  It was so lovely to relax on an evening in a connected setting sipping on great wines, keeping great company, and sharing about positive solution oriented living.

Big thanks to Sonja Magdevski for the invitation- and a big recommendation to all to stop in at her tasting room in Los Alamos!  (Open Friday-Sunday)


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“Its just in your mind.” Maintaining logic in the age of “The Secret”. By Dr. Rhea Zimmerman

“It’s just in your mind”.  The risks of naive application of “The Secret” and the benefits of a wider view on what Cause & Effect, or, the idea that we attract our experiences does to our lives.

Dr. Rhea at her Napa Studio with Some Images in the Background of her approach to Physical Healing

Before I begin I would like to define what I look for to determine if an idea is beneficial or not.  I do not hold on to beliefs or ideas unless they prove to have positive outcomes for me, or another person, both physically, mentally and in their lives in general.  Does it make them more open, loving, healthy, vital and a successful part of their lives in all ways:  their sense of purpose, their energy, their relationships, their careers, etc.

There is a very popular notion growing that we attract our realities.  The movie “The Secret” assisted this idea to gain popularity.  The problem with this idea is that at present it is creating an inner battle for many people.  There is a battle between:  “I think this belief is true, I think we create our realities with our ideas” and “why isn’t my reality (my body, my health, my relationships, etc.) changing as I change my ideas?”.

I previously wrote an article entitled “Fixing Thyself versus Knowing Thyself” to assist in orienting a bit to this idea.  I will discuss a few more elements to this inner “battle” here.

1.  It is not as simple, or “linear” as we think it should be.

2.  Once something has resulted in a physical dis-harmony or disease most of us are so deeply programmed to require physical treatment that, in general, we are irresponsible if we do not pursue such treatment in addition to our mind/body healing techniques.

3.  We do not just experience the result of our own, personal “causes.”  We experiences causes based on the contexts with which we engage:  social, cultural, country, familial, planetary, seasonal, etc.

4.  No matter what happens in life, we get to decide how we are going to respond.  Responding with the idea of “how can I learn from this, what good can I take from this?” is in general a positive way to move forward after a trauma.

5.  Using the attitude of “responsibility” in life versus “I am a victim” of life is in general a positive, yet, it is important to learn how to do this without creating self-condemnation, which is detrimental.

I will start with number 1.  The idea that we attract our reality is very attractive to most people.  It can feel like an empowering awakening.  The challenge is in realizing that just because we attract things does not mean we do not act on them as well.  If you are sitting at home and you are hungry and you decide to visualize food arriving at your home, you might actually attract someone who brings you a meal.  However, you also have a deeper set of ideas, or programming in your subconscious that has a stronger program, and that program is logical, and it says:  in order to get a meal I must go to the store or to the restaurant and purchase food.  I must also do something to make the money to have enough to plan to buy the food, etc.  We can use visualization to our benefit, but we also must act on things and go to work creating them in our realities.  Sometimes we attract them as if by “magic” but we also work at them, and the work should be acknowledged and also embraced as a part of life.

2.  I have had clients come to me who have serious physical maladies expressing in their bodies who have been told by others that “it is only in their mind.”  This idea is both naive and also irresponsible.  It can create more stress for the person who receives it as they are unable to change their physical malady with thoughts alone.  In my training I have been taught that yes, our mind relates deeply with our bodies, however, once something has become a physical problem:  it should be treated with physical means.  Just as when your car breaks down and you repair your car instead of “thinking” your car better, when things break down in the physical body they should be addressed physically.  Part of this is because we are so deeply programmed from age 0-7 with the idea that physical problems mean physical treatments.  It would be illogical to this programming not to provide a physical treatment.  ADDING the mental and visualization can greatly speed the healing process and can lead to eventually healing the root causes of mental or, more accurately, subconscious/neurological programming that caused the malady to occur.  The popular saying of “change your thoughts change your life/body” is true, however, it is also a more integrated process that should not ignore the physical.  Holistic healthcare is an incredible partner to the deeper healing changes that can occur with the mental/spiritual changes as they take time to manifest in deep change in the body.

3.  Our lives do operate by cause and effect.  What we do creates effects.  If we are lazy and do not move our bodies we will create the effects of this within our experience in our bodies.  This is true mentally and physically.  There is more to the story though.  We also experience the effects of “causes” that are being generated by bigger “bodies” than us:  these are the associations that we are a part of.  Maybe we are a part of a bigger “body” in the form of an organization, and if something happens to the organization, we will be affected.  It might be our family, it might be our country, and it might also be planetary.  When an astral body such as earth shifts on its axis there will be effects.  We as an individual might not have “caused” this effect.  We can see that for some reason we were a part of it, and then, we can move to step number 4 and say, what will I do now?  When I was a part of the experience of 9/11 and the World Trade Center was attacked I could not say that I, as an individual, was responsible for training terrorists.  I could say however that I was a part of a broader cause, of certain “effects” or actions, and then I could choose to respond to that in any number of ways.  I do not need to go into blame about it, simply, what are my courses of action now?   Cause and effect is often more complex than a simplistic view of “I did A” and “therefore B” happened.  We can still practice awareness however around what kinds of “causes” we set into motion and can create as much awareness as possible in our own lives around what we do.

4.  No matter what happens in life we get to decide how we want to respond.  It has been shown time and again that how we respond to life creates our own “heaven” or “hell.”  I continuously go back to the quote by holocaust survivor  Victor Frankl, MD in “Man’s Search For Meaning”:  “The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”  The choice that we make in any given set of circumstances can make all of the difference.  The ability to choose is part of what makes us uniquely human, it is our innate freedom, and it is one of our most powerful assets when used constructively.

5.  In general we can create a much more positive experience for ourselves by understanding that we are happening as a participant with life, that it is not happening to us.  Working with ourselves, with our unique personalities, our beliefs, our own preference for spirituality, science and religion are all important factors and our freedom in these areas is profound, important and awesome.  Every person has the freedom to choose what they want to belief and how they will respond to life.  I look for the ideas that assist people, in the most positive and broad way towards total person health, since that is my profession.  One of the most imperative ideas to adopt is that one is happening “with” life and that they have the power to change their health and their circumstances if they will take action and empower themselves to visualize what they want and to take the necessary steps to get there.  Harmonizing the ideas of the mind, the subconscious/neurological programming with the healing body can create a whole person approach to creating health and harmony in one’s life.  Maintaining logic and an open mind along the way are also important.

You can not “fantasize” your way into perfect health.  Life is an experience, it is not something, in my opinion, to try to “perfect.”  Having ideas and physical habits that create joy, vitality and ease along the journey are more beneficial than the opposite.  To this end I work to create tools, teachings and techniques (both mental and physical) that assist people, and myself, to experience harmony and well being in life.  I hope that as these ideas of “positivity” and “attracting your reality” continue to gain momentum in popular culture that people will also learn how to integrate these ideas into the physical realities that they experience and work within their own experience and logic to create integrated systems for their own health and well-being that create inner harmony and healing instead of a little “battle” between “it’s in my head” versus “it is just my body.”  It is about coordination of mind and body into life, not one versus the other!

This is a small glimpse into a large field of study, both historically speaking in the form of ages of holistic practices that have been integrating these things for eons (systems like yoga, Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine have long taught the coordination of mind/body techniques).  As western ideas and scientific inquiry create discoveries that now allow us in western medical based cultures to integrate mind/body awareness into the fabric of our lives and experiences, I hope that we can learn to integrate them in deep and mature ways that assist us to enjoy our lives more fully and vitally and with greater levels of health and empowerment without denying any one aspect of what makes us awesomely human.


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Roller Coaster vs. Rhythm in Life AND Enjoying The Rhythmic Ride

Remembering that rhythm is a natural part of our experience in life can allow us to continue to focus on the broader picture of what we want to create rather than measuring ourselves by the consistent ups and downs that is the life process.

There is natural rhythm in our emotions, our bodies, our relationships, our life trajectories, etc.  These rhythms all serve a purpose to create inner strength and a deeper connection to the core of ourselves and our relationship with life.  It is in the “down turns” that we tend to seek deeper connection with others through receiving love and support.

During down turns we also have a unique opportunity to look within for our core/spiritual connection and to find an inner resource that can lift us with great momentum towards our next high, as well as towards our longer terms visions and goals of growth, success and transformation.

At core of this entire process we can always remember:  it is the relationship within and with those around us that we can measure our experience by.  We can use the peaks of our lives to decide to enjoy the entire life process, the entire ride of rhythmic momentum in the direction of our dreams.

There is no final “end” to it all.  Each peak or goal is met with a new one.  Cultivating the capacity for joy, connection, love and core happiness along the way is the key to enjoying the entire experience of living beyond the peak moments.

Enjoy!

Here is My Video Explaining “Roller Coaster” vs. Rhythm:


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Trek Livestrong U23: Redlands Classic 2011 & My First Experience as Team Chiropractor


Photo:  Dr. Rhea adjusting Dale Parker, Photo by Glenn Kasin.  Full Photo Story on Trek Livestrong Website

48 hours in and I am sitting in the passenger seat of the follow car next to director Axel Merckx.  I have just asked him an obvious question to anyone in cycling, “so, you probably have some kind of Olympic medal don’t you?”.  Humble and entirely un-offended by my lack of knowledge on his awesome history in the sport he smiles and says “yes, a bronze.”  I begin to ask him more about what it must have been like to experience the Olympics when suddenly the field of riders in front of us seems to land on the asphalt at once and then just as quickly emerges upright and onward revealing Trek Livestrong rider Dale Parker standing, injured, in the road while the rest of the convoy of follow cars zooms past and the medics jump out to respond.  My heart sinks as I see the swelling in his knee and wonder if this is it for the season for him or if it is a minor injury.  Two other riders are already out of the race and there will be a fourth to come.  Its several feet of road rash between them and something subtle has occurred within me as I realize, that’s it, I’m hooked, I am officially emotionally invested in the success of these young riders.  I am not alone:  every staff member feels the same way.  Each one of these young riders with their unique personality share a common dream on the bike, with a diverse set of inspirations and reasons for wanting to make it to every pro-cyclists dream:  The Tour de France.

I had arrived the afternoon before the start of the Redlands Classic after having spent the flight reviewing the details of the riders I would be working with.  I had printouts of each ones photographs, list of past race achievements and Q&A’s from their Trek Livestrong profiles.  Highlighter in hand I’d begun to get to know their unique drives and in so doing hope to provide them with fine tuned care while I was there.  I worked on each rider night one and learned about them while the others glanced at my paperwork and started joking right away about the “goals” I was asking them to set for their work with me:  physically, mentally, for the race and in life.  I wasn’t messing around.

By mid-race I was both invested in these guy’s lives as well as invested in the idea of continuing to work with them.  The team and staff were all awesome in embracing what I was there to offer and at the same time great about showing me the ropes as the obvious novice to cycling.  At one point while trying to recover from the abdominal workout that is laughter induced from comedian/head soigneur Reed McCalvin I managed to actually deliver one water bottle in the “feed zone” to one of the riders without causing a feed zone melt down/accident or leaving a rider high and dry.  I can fully admit that I feel far more confident in handling the delicate balance around the rider’s spinal chords than trying to make sure they are hydrated and fed safely during a race.  I had to chuckle at one point as I was putting one of the riders into a position to adjust them while trying to avoid road rash along the entire side of his body:  oh, the things they don’t teach you in school.  Luckily, with international service, I have seen a lot to prepare me for this.  In fact, before jumping in the follow car I voiced that I was wondering what would be crazier:  a follow car in a race or a car in India.  So far India wins, but we will see as the season progresses when I jump in one of the cars on a longer and more intense tour.

My race novice might have been illustrated best when over dinner I asked rider Joe Lewis if the crit that day was his first one.  He looked at me sympathetically with a kind of “what are we going to do with you?” glance.  I have my work cut out for me to learn more and more of the cycling world ins and outs, as well as the Australian & Kiwi lingo that much of this team slings about.  I am also glad I could add a little bit of my own brand of fun into the mix.  New to things means I arrive fresh “out of the box” with what I bring to the game, and I am glad to be offering my variety of chiropractic/whole person care to the team.  I definitely enjoyed seeing the victories of progress that each one of the riders made in mind game and physical strength as the race progressed and they continuously put what they learned each day into the next getting stronger by the day.  I also love that the tone of this team is in development and that the celebration is as much in how they do in races, as it is in how they grow as riders and as people.

At the final team dinner I was asked by one of the host families why I want to do this.  My own mission is to assist people to connect to their health, vitality, gifts, purpose and passion.  To work with a group that is already so well on their way at such a young age to the depth of that connection, and to find some small part of the puzzle that can assist them even deeper, is a joy and my own challenge of growth and mastery within my own personal purpose and passion. I love that these young riders are already leaders in their fields, set up to be inspiring and positively influential to thousands of people.  In fact, as I began writing this, the team was spending their final day in Redlands making a visit to a children’s hospital as a part of the Livestrong aspect of what they stand for.  I can also say that as much as I went down to give, I received enormously from their energy, determination, incredible riding, will to get up dust off move on and keep going,……and great laughs.

By the final day the injured riders of the bunch were already well on their way in healing and jumping back on their bikes.  One was already out on a training ride.  In fact, within it all, I was just as much hoping to create miraculous healing results comparable to those I had achieved in 2010 working with Andrew Talansky following his fall (covered in a previous blog entry) as the guys were hoping to be “this year’s Talansky” in terms of “coming out of nowhere” results that blow everyone away and lead to a great next level contract.  It would seem we are all in this together in terms of desires to excel at the top of our game aka pull a “Talansky.”

All in all it seems that director Axel Merckx has a knack for choosing a similar quality in his staff and riders:  people who excel at their jobs and have a good time while doing it.  I am happy to celebrate my own job well done by counting myself a part of the Trek Livestrong U23 team culture since being asked me if I’d take part in some of the tougher tours later in the season.

When Joe Lewis got finished laughing at my novice crit questions he declared in his classic Australian confident style that “you are going to miss us aren’t you.”  Yes Joe, I will definitely miss you guys and look forward to when we meet up again as the stakes of the game get higher further in to the season.  I am hooked, I’ll be there.

Thank You to Glenn Kasin & Maeve Sloane for posting the photo story on the Trek Livestrong U23 website of my work with the guys, and thanks to Axel for putting up with my questions and propensity to nickname everyone in sight.

http://www.treklivestrongu23.com/category/news/


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The Alchemy of Forgiveness

By Dr. Rhea Zimmerman

I have recently fallen in love with the art and intricacy of forgiveness.  While the journey in to this discovery began from the standpoint of forgiving the “big things” like feelings of betrayal and violation, it led to an ever energizing realization which is the application of daily forgiveness on the “small things” like saying the “wrong thing”, heading headlong into negative or worry mental states about any given subject, or simply stepping into the day, or moments of the day with assumptions about how it was going to go based on the past or even on a “wrong side of the bed” start.

Forgiveness is alchemical because it is like dropping an energetic magic pill into the otherwise stagnant vibration of the moment and allowing the freshness of the energy to permeate everything.  It can instantaneously and without words or phone calls shift relationships, moments of opportunity, and the feeling of a sweeter inhale as breath and energy permeates deeper into the body and being allowing for new.

Forgiveness, which I now see as aliveness, begins in every moment.  I like to think of it as a “refresh” button that can be pressed in any given set of circumstances.  From the standpoint of fresh aliveness this forgiveness is like laying claim to the realization that it is never too late, there is no moment (as long as you are alive) when new is not possible, and life is ever changing, dynamic and responsive to the vibration that we are putting out.

Not only does this idea have great power to transform the experience of our outer lives, it has great power to transform the state of health in the inner life.  Hanging on to resentments, self-judgements and blame creates inner toxicity.  It gunks up the organs, it causes the wheels of the mind to stagnate, and lowers the energy.  Reversing this tendency to create inner freedom and aliveness releases energy and allows for the organs and body to renew itself.

I recently read about an experiment called the “Dollar Auction” and have been experimenting with the idea that it proposes which I feel is closely linked with this idea of moment to moment “refresh” button.  In the dollar auction there is an auctioneer and two players.  The players are bidding for the dollar, yet as they bid for the dollar every bid must be paid out no matter who is the highest bidder.  This means that as the two bidders approach a 1 dollar bid they are now paying one dollar in order to either get, or lose, a dollar.  The average game continues to escalate until the winner pays somewhere between 3-5 dollars for one dollar.  Everyone logically knows this is a very bad win, yet, the game works due to the fact that once invested in something, no one wants to let go of that investment and take a “lose” if they perceive they can still win, even once it is determined that the “success” is still an overall loss.

If you are still with me, and I hope you are, then you can possibly take the leap with me as to what this game implies.  We have a tendency to stay invested, far too long, in that which is obviously not serving us.  This is one of the ways in which I see the beauty of the forgiveness or “refresh” button.  We have choice.  We have choice in every single moment.  No moment is “too late” to begin a new choice, or a new agreement with oneself or anyone else.  Also, there is a great possibility, that by “cutting our losses” on a bad investment now could pay off in far greater dividends when freed up to “invest” in a better way of thinking, fresh possibility, new relationships, new takes on relationships, etc. as the “new” investment grows from a fresh kind of alive energy.

I proposed this idea in my last class on “forgiveness” and have been told already that it reaped great results for those in the class who realized areas of their lives that they were overly invested in.  For some the investment is in being a victim of some kind of situation or violation.  For some it is in a relationship that they have “come this far in”.  For some it is a career.  I recall the painful realizations for some classmates in the third year of chiropractic college who, faced with the reality of seeing clients and adjusting them rather than taking and excelling in paper tests realized that they did not actually enjoy nor want to be chiropractors.  By that point, nearly 100,000 dollars in to the commitment, many continued on as if they had no other choice.  Even though it is an exchange of future time, which is life, as well as more financial investment.

The capacity to cut losses, let go, erase old stories, old patterns, bad directions, and all other “investments” in identity that are no longer serving us is such an awesome power.  It unleashes creativity and incredible energy.  I believe it is actually the wellspring of Joy.

It starts right now.  Refresh.