Have you noticed yourself reflecting on your thoughts and feelings more during this quarantine? For many, the additional time and lack of things to do has led to a greater noticing of what’s going on inside. This week, I encourage you to really focus on this, by noticing whether you are contracted or expanded.
To put it simply, on some of level, all of our problems come down to choosing contraction over expansion. Feeling bad is all about contracting, rather than expanding. The expanded state is what you feel when you are safe and joyful.
Imagine a time when your heart felt open, when you felt expanded. It might have been looking into the eyes of your pet, appreciating the beauty of a sunset or the immensity of the stars, the birth of a child. Really feel into that expanded state. Notice what is happening in your body as you get into this feeling.. Do your shoulders want to move back? If so, allow them to. Does your chest feel open? Do you feel warm and relaxed? Or maybe you feel a huge surge of energy?
Notice if the way you are feeling now is different than the way you were feeling before thinking this way. Or to make the difference between expansion and contraction more obvious, think of how you feel in a situation where you are being judged negatively by another person. Notice feeling tense, fatigued or frightened. Notice if your shoulders roll forward. Now, again, think of a beautiful moment, when you felt so much love for, or from, another person or animal. Notice the feeling in your body and really breathe into it. Roll your shoulders back, consciously relax your muscles and feel energy flowing freely throughout your body. Go back and forth between these two states until you can create that expanded state, at will.
Each day, this week, take some time to do this exercise.
When you’re ready, notice when a negative situation puts you into a contracted state and use this practice to consciously expand.
If you’d like to know more about how you react to difficult situations and get a free recording and tips to empower you to shift the way you feel, take my Free Quiz
Have an expansive week!
Alicia Ruelaz Maher, M.D.