Expand, Contract, Repeat...
Recently, the Universe has gifted me with more than a few opportunities to witness the natural ebb and flow of life.
Decoded: life has been full of ups and downs!
So many of my positive experiences have been sandwiched with not so pleasant ones.
My first local retreat: the same weekend that Kenneth Lamont Scott was shot by police. While I sat in my room in Boone - CNN was showing footage from Charlotte and protests.
My first international retreat: coincided with a period of homelessness, or as I liked to call it “in between homes” period.
My first YTT: in the midst of a major friend/business partner breakup and yep, was co-leading with this person.
And slightly less dramatic: I returned from a beautiful weekend at Floyd Yoga Jam to find that my laptop battery had gone kaput!
While some of these incidents may have been more personal, or harmful, than others I found that each one of these high moments was eclipsed by something else.
Each time I was met with a choice: be taken out or go with the flow.
Sometimes I took the easy pill, and other times the complex one. Each time I learned something.
These expansions and contractions are a natural order of life. Don’t believe me? Watch your breath…there’s a natural flow of inhale and exhale, full to empty.
Even if we try to hold our breaths in - keeping that moment of fullness for a bit longer - our bodies will naturally exhale when it’s time.
We trust in this natural cycle of breath so much that we often aren’t even aware of it. We trust that our physiology will continue this natural and necessary rhythm even in our sleep.
So what IF…you trusted the cycles of your life in the same manner?
Instead of getting down in the muck when it’s a time of contraction curl up and drop in to this temporary moment.
Perhaps you have trouble in moments of expansion, well buckle up because this roller coaster also goes back down.
Remember: stars are created from explosions.
And sometimes, too much expansion can be harmful - hello overwhelm!
One of my favorite practices recently has been a beautiful Yoga Nidra recorded by Tracee Stanley - I joined her monthly membership program The Radiance Subscription and LOVE the rest-full content.
This particular one I've been listening to describes itself as a practice as one of surrender and dissolution. We start by dissolving completely, one breath at time, and then call ourselves back and reassemble our pieces in a way that magnetizes us towards what we are creating in our waking lives.
In a sense, we are contracting first and then allowing space for expansion.
Hmm...that's wayyyy different than what I've been doing.
Expanding til I contract and then being upset...
I also do this practice when I feel myself grasping or attaching to outcome.
So yeah - been a WHOLE lot of practice lately. :)