Expanding and contracting. Two opposing energies that rely on each other. Without expansion there is no contraction and without contraction there is no expansion.
Sometimes we expand and sometimes we contract. And sometimes our expansion looks like contracting and vice versa. It's complicated business. And yet, we all do it every day, all day. We breath in, we breath out. We look to new opportunities and we pull back to re-group. It's a balancing act that goes on all our lives.
Often when taking a step, a big step, it is followed up with a contraction of sorts. When I look at this idea, a picture of a person bursting through a finish line, triumphant and proud, looking ecstatic and thrilled pops up. The next picture is the same person taking a nap, curled up, sleeping soundly with the ribbon or paper of the finish line wrapped around him/her.
Perhaps you have noticed similar experiences in your life: you get the new promotion at work, the one you have been working on for the entire year. Immediately following, all you want to do is be home with your family or friends. You took a huge step, you thought you would want to be out celebrating, and yet you find yourself wanting to be in your comfort zone surrounded by your "stuff."
Expansion followed by contraction, only to repeat itself again and again. We harness our energy to seize an opportunity and then follow it up with a period of rest in order to give our bodies and minds a chance to catch up to our success. It's a cycle, a rhythm, not to be forced. Much like breathing. When you force yourself to breath faster, expand and contract your breath faster than your normal rhythm, you hyperventilate.
Where are you in the cycle? Are you able to be gentle with yourself regardless of where you are, expanding or contracting? Can you step back and notice where you are and let it be okay - not force the expansion that you want nor give in to the desire to pull back out of fear or worry when it is still time to persevere?
Expand and contract: practice it, be mindful of it.
As we do.