Contraction and Expansion.
Our inner world contains a clear language of feeling.
In order to become familiar with this, our attention needs to be moved from the mind and thoughts to the inner world, which in this case speaks in the felt sense within the body.
Our experience of the moment can be brought down to two words, contraction or expansion.
When we are in contraction, simply put, we are resisting what is. We are usually experiencing some type of emotional response that is out of alignment with what is, like fear, hate, greed, jealousy, denial grief, resentment, anger, there is quite a list. This is quite a physical sensation.
When we are in expansion, we feel uplifted, lighter, love, peace, gratitude, open, acceptance and are in alignment with what is happening in the moment.
Recognising these two states is a very good tool to keep your attention away from the mind and its story about why you feel this. Our minds have stories about both the anger and the joy.
Instead of engaging in thoughts about being angry because eg, I didn't get the job I wanted, which leads to a whole other story about who, what, why, what should have been, what will happen now etc, you just notice whether you are in a contracted state or an expanded state.
For example, when you find yourself angry, you would notice that you were feeling contracted. This would tell you that you are out of alignment with what is actually happening. Your thoughts about the situation are causing you to believe a story that isn't true, causing resistance to what is. If we allow the moment to be as it is, we notice that our anger is more about resisting what is, because our minds want it to be different.
Something in us wants what is actually happening in this moment to be different.
We feel contracted because we are objecting to reality.
The reality is very different to the story. The wave of emotion and thought that accompanies that reality overtakes a simple statement. Be with the wave of emotion. Feel it. Allow it to be there without wanting it to be different. Breath into it.
This is where self inquiry of your inner world can play a part to help you understand your own system of contraction and expansion and how to move back into expansion when you feel contracted.
Self Inquiry can lead you to understand that your thoughts lead you to feel out of alignment with reality, leading to feel contracted and through this, you can move back into alignment, or expansion. When we move back into expansion/alignment with what is, we then become open to other possibilities that we could not access in our state of contraction.
So rather than engage your mind in stories about why you are feeling the way you are, become aware of the movement of the inner world.
Ask yourself, am I contracted or expanded?
Notice what it feels like.
Where can you feel it?
Where is it in your body?
What happens if I just pay attention to it.
Does it move, change place, become more contracted or start to expand?
Engage yourself in your inner world, start to pay attention to what is happening inside. If is far more interesting than what is going on in your mind.
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