Adapt to Any Situation with Amber Hawken

Adapt to Any Situation with Amber Hawken

Table Of Contents

Amber’s Background

Mike: You do a lot of things around language, cognition. But also, somatic as well. You blend the two. You seem like the type of person that has achieved a level of mastery in therapy. And you've taken all these different things, and it's like it doesn't really matter. I'm not following a single thing. I've blended it together into this coaching expression. Is that accurate?

Amber: I guess so, yeah. My background at the very beginning, actually I was a personal trainer. Believe it or not. I used to manage gyms. When I was at university, when I was studying medical science. I ran gyms. I was a personal trainer, and an instructor. And I really miss teaching spin classes and aerobics. And all that jazz.

Then went medicine. And then dove into psychosomatic because I was in cancer therapy. And wanted to understand that connection. Then went into regression therapy timeline. I did NLP back in the day when it took two years to study. It was like these big, in-depth courses that you really had to learn the ins and outs of human beings. Then progressed into CBT and somatic healing. And energy work and meditation and mindfulness.

It's just obviously I just got deeper and deeper into probably the core of who we are as human beings. Rather than going from… And so my studies went like this… And yet, and now I just work with it intuitively for whatever. For whoever and whatever is in front of me.

Working with people

Mike: I imagine people come to you because they want to experience some type of freedom. People don't feel self-expressed. They don't feel seen. They're stuck. They're held back in some way, holding themselves back, self-sabotaging. All these things. When someone comes to you what do you… How's your first interaction with somebody?

Amber: I'll ask them what sense of idea of themselves feels stuck, you know. I really spend a lot of time understanding the people that I work with before I work with them. And I'm sure you get that. I guess I don't really want to bore you with the qualification of that in a sense. However, really Mike, we're all the same. No one has a new problem that I haven't seen.

Whether they've come to be because they're suppressed their trauma of sexual abuse from three years old that they can't remember but they know is there. Or they're going to the next million-dollar part of their business. But they just keep on that edge. And they're just afraid to destroy it or whatever it is. It's like I always bring people back to the simplicity of what's happening inside of them to be able to really…

Whoever it is, my work is to guide them in whatever way they need. Be able to guide them right back to themselves to understand how they have created it. Which is the same thing for everyone. It's like not just this person. Really understand how they've created their own resistance, their block, their disassociation from their being. Or their pain. Or their shadow. And work with that through integration. Work with that through presence. Work with that through somatics. Work with that through the right understandings.

Remembering who they are

Amber: It's like if I have a repeat client, I failed my job. My desire is always to go, you can do this. This is how. It may take years of mentorship or work or coaching to get them to that place of trust. And being-ness and grounded-ness in that. And I don't care as long as they fucking get there. So that they remember and that they understand how full and whole they are. And that they always had this.

So, it's just like a skill-building. It's a cultivation. It's a reintroduction to someone remembering who they are in their own power. And that's done through different methods and means. Whether that's one-on-one, which I don't do a lot of anymore because of my other businesses. Don't have enough space and time that I want to dedicate to that.

But in retreat is my favorite because it's like this container of just… They just see themselves and they just feel life again. And they go back in and they meet themselves. And they have to work through that. And they do it again, and again, and again. Same in the day workshops. I miss the input. I miss touching people.

That's my work. It's my love of that. Of helping people really integrate those dark and light aspects. And come back to their pure sense of being. And bring in the cognition of mind. I love helping people expand their business. It's like we don't go here until we've gone here. Because this will fuck you up, whereas this will ground you. And it's pure and you can create with so much more leverage, effortlessly. And then you can use this when you need to.

Amber’s Alchemy Retreat

Photographer: Priscilla Du Preez | Source: Unsplash

Mike: There's so many things I want to ask you. You did just mention control. Can you talk about that as a concept?

Amber: Generally, when people come to my retreat, they have no idea what's happening. They give me immense amount of trust. Which is my honour and pleasure. I literally don't tell them what's happening except moment to moment. And they half flip the fuck out about that. And then half love it. Because they've been so strong and had to have so much control forever that they're at the point where they're like, oh gosh. Please can someone lead? Can someone please… I want to… Because truly, Mike, we all want to be able to surrender into our heart. And go from there. We all do. Because we can't lead our lives when we're trying to control our lives. It's opposing.

We have a masculine and a feminine essence within us all. That's not male or female. However, you identify we all have a masculine energy, and a feminine energy. If you can image the masculine being the container. And the feminine whatever is within in the container. Masculine container. It holds. It always wants to be empty. That part of us, that energy, it wants to be an empty. It wants to be free. It wants to be nothing. And the feminine energy is whatever is within that energy. It wants to be full. It wants to create. It wants to feel. It wants to flow. It's just that that beauty.

Craving for feminine essence

Amber: We have been in a world where firstly, we've only focused, or lead… Not even lead from, lived from, the shadow side of the container. It wants to contract everything and hold it within its control. It doesn't become a container where anything can flow. It suddenly becomes this container where it has to feel empty all the time. And I can't touch anything.

Especially if it's uncomfortable, or especially if it's moving. And I can't explore it. And I don't know what it's going to do next. I don't want it. We have rejected our feminine essence. Because the feminine essence will dance, and it will do whatever. And it's spontaneous and it's wild. And this is all within it. And it's what nourishes us. And it what creates the most beautiful creativity.

We really are craving that. We're craving that. And what happens when we bleed through that shadow aspect of the masculine. Instead of being able to lead our own lives from a place. We try to control it. Right. Because it's still trying to get to the same goal of emptiness and feeling free. But it's trying to do that through toxic means. Because it hasn't integrated in to being able to relax into the other side ourself. Which is the feminine heart.

To answer the question, how do I answer the question when someone's like, I don't want to let go of control. I'm like, well you and both know that that's why you're here. And my role is to make them so deeply held in whatever the mess, or whatever that fears are that arise in letting go of that control. It truly can require that other person to say, okay I will let go. And I will feel safe. And that's why we're probably be drawn toward certain mentors and leaders. Because we feel safe and held to be able to release that. That's why we feel unsafe in relationships if our partner's trying to control us instead of leading, whatever that is in the relationship.

Controlling vs Leading in A Relationship

Mike: Can you give an example of controlling versus leading in a relationship?

Amber: I might just give a personal example. It might be the easiest because then people can live through that. The last relationship I was in it was beautiful, it was intense, and it was short lived as well. And it was so fantastic. And whenever we would hang out and do adventurous things that were really… That would bring us to the [inaudible 00:15:36]. Adventure to say like hiking, or surfing, or mushrooms. He was in his heart. Because he was in flow. He was there. And he would effortlessly be led. He would effortlessly lead. And I would effortlessly be lead. It was just beautiful.

There was a car coming one day. And we were holding hands. And instinctively I pulled him back from the car. And he kind of looked me and he was like, I lead. And I was like, that's not leading. That's controlling. And we would have this like battle.

Adapting To Any Situation

Painted eggs expressing a range of emotions from joy to depression.
Photographer: Tengyart | Source: Unsplash

Mike: One of the things that is happening for me in this social isolation and being still a lot more is everyday seems so exciting. Because I feel different everyday. I feel different from moment to moment. And other people were getting bored. I'm going I can't imagine being bored with all of these feelings. This is an incredible experience. I don't know what's going to happen next.

Amber: Welcome to our life.

Mike: And they're not present to the experience that's right there for them at all times. I think you'll know what I'm talking about. Something that's like arising. You had that feeling arising versus… And please help me more accurate in what I'm understand you say. Are you saying that something's either arising out of you? Something was arising out of you? Or what happens most of the time for most people is getting triggered from the outside. Which creates a story that then generates feelings. Can you talk about that?

Amber: I think what a lot of people when they're first starting to self-reflect, or have some sense of awareness of like mind and emotions. They're not fully sovereign. They're not fully self-empowered. We're not like alike. We're always working towards self-sovereignty which is that you are in control and in charge of your experience of life period. You're not governed by what's in your mind, what your emotions are doing, or the outside world. That's fully sovereignty.

People are always in reaction

Amber: They're living through the amygdala part of their brain which I call Amy. Like she is a two year old that you cannot reason with. And she likes to criticize, judge, etc. A two year old that you cannot rationalize with. She's always right. She's always the victim. So, most people are just automatically in that mode because they're in fight or flight. Because we're over stimulated. Because they're not present. So as a result of that they're so much drama and emotion swelling within because of that reaction mentally going on. That business.

Now when you start to become aware of that, and perhaps become present. Notice what you're feeling. These things that have been depressed… Often what I find that is that depression… Becomes there's a numbness. And then I think there's this sense of feeling very dark emotionally. And I believe that that's actually paying attention to what's coming up. And almost like a hold, a strong hold of wanting… Trying to push away has felt maybe suppressed. But also an intense focus on it at the same time. So it's a deep loneliness. And then it feels helpless. And that's when you go into suicide and that.

So the numbness and the suppression of emotion create a depression because it's focused on it. And that Amy gets attached to it. So that's like a self-created thing that can… And I want to be very mindful of that. Because I don't want to say you created your own depression. You are wrong. We have done what we have done in order to protect ourselves the best way. Period. You have done fantastic. There's just a different way if you want to. And that can take time.

The empowerment circle

Amber: So once, say you've done some work, and you've started to shift through that. And you're realizing, whoa, that is the that I'm looking at this that's creating my pain right now. I have this thing that I teach in the schools called the magical thinking circle. Because my other business we teach in schools. In organization we call the empowerment circle. Which is how I see the world, changes how I feel, changes how I act, changes my result which confirms how I see the world. So we change how I see the world. So once you kind got that set you no longer in reaction. And that's not what's happening in here. Good.

And imagine you've got joy coming out of you. Then naturally just through life or through a full moon or through a pandemic something will happen, and something will be poked that's been protected and it's already in here. And you go, and it starts to come up. Perhaps it's been there on a nervous system wiring, or on a cellular level. Or like it tracked energy that you've been present enough to, or something has poked enough to arise up. And then it's kind of coming out. And I'm giving this visual and this isn't perfect. And it's mine interpretation. So take it or leave it. But it comes up. And then that is when, if we can… And we work with that the exact same way we would work with the pain that we've created.

So whether or not we've created it we still do the same. Which is an observation, a compassionate curiosity, a loving kindness and presence with it. And this, the one that we've created through the way we're seeing something can usually dissolve very quickly. Because we can shift it and it's gone. But if it's something that's coming, say a grief or a sadness or a loneliness that you were like, whoa, I feel lonely. Or a fear. Whatever. If it's something quite deep that's coming up that needs to be seen. Probably not going to be, and I do not recommend trying to shift by changing the way you see something. Because you're shift by passing. So that's when it's time to somatically be with and compassionately feel. And allow it to rise up and come through. And that's when we use movement of the body, or singing, or breath, or meditation, or expression.

Thoughts Create Feelings

Taking self-portrait is a beautiful way to express your emotions and feelings.Keep doing what you love!
Photographer: Adrian Swancar | Source: Unsplash

Mike: This actually ties into something you were saying earlier. Like I use to be so good at and then I realized that I had built this really crazy maze in my mind that was just hard to get through because I had to… I can't go there. I got to go here before I go there. I have to go around these three things before I can get over there. But I got a lot of horsepower. I'm okay. But I didn't know that like that. It's one of those things like, I'll just take more neurotropic. And I can just plow through this. And then someone says, you know you could just like demo that whole maze. I'm like, cool. It requires to me feel. Got it. Okay, feel it. That's new.

It's been quite the adventure. And it did start with story work of like oh, I need to identify the story. What feeling am I associating with this story.So I have this feeling. What's the story? And so I started practicing… I figured this out. I was surfing one day. I'm sitting on my board and I'm out there. And I go, let's… I started the practicing of assuming. I like to try and beliefs. I'm going to believe this for two weeks. I put it down. For two weeks I'm going to believe this, and if my life gets better I'm going to take it on as it's the truth. So, I started believing that feelings created thoughts. Whereas the common, mainstream perception.

Is that the other way around. So I was like, I'm just going to do that. So I started doing that. And all of a sudden my mind got really calm. I was like, oh, interesting. I just always put my imagination, I just put my attention right there on the feeling. And then it dissipates. But I didn't really fix anything. I was able to calm things down in the moment. But I didn't really know how the let that energy flow. So that was a really cool step out of the mind and into the body. But not necessarily learning how to process the whole situation.

So I'll fast forward is I did a bunch of story work. And then I realized that's it not even… Sometimes it's helpful. Story work is helpful. But in regard to processing something I just got the point where I was like, I don't even want to hear the story. You just got to bed with whatever it is. Is that what you we're getting at?

Thoughts Create Feelings almost like at first we realize oh that story… I can change my story. And I can my feeling. This is also a form of control. And it's also not wrong. Right. If I change the that I see this, then I can change out how I feel, which changes… Cool. That's a cool thing. And, as long as it's not by passing the init la thing that needs to be healed. And as long as it's coming from a genuine place of alignment. Those are the two really important things to do.

What Transformation Means

2010 was a boon year for these butterflies in my garden. I had a dozen chrysalis in all manner of morphs at any one time. In this image you can see the new green chrysalis coloration, one that’s about ready to emerge (the clear one), and a butterfly that’s already come out. They will hang for hours and dry their wings and are, in fact, quite fragile.
Photographer: Suzanne D. Williams | Source: Unsplash

Mike: I think this is a really good thing to point out. I've been in personal development for a while. And there are… They're varying degrees. And I really appreciate all of the work because it got me to the point I am. And I believe that people need to take a path that may be… That may need to go do that thing first before they come do something else. I did. So, much more of a cognitive approach in the beginning for me. And I have friends that never left that. I actually don't spend as much time with them anymore. And what happens is they get attached to a single method, or a group, or something. And it is. I had some people… It happens a lot with people who do the NLP age regression work. It's like, yeah when I was eight… So now I'm like this. I'm like, yeah but that's not transformation.

Transformation means your life changed. We can check in with you six months later, a year later, three years later and there is a permanent change. Not that you had awareness. Awareness if just the first stage. There's like all these other steps. So, I think it's good for people to hear because I have a lot of people… They go I do personal development. I go cool. What programs have you done? Or whatever. Well there's these podcasts and these books I've read. And I'm going, oh.

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