Life transitions are normal and required processes for realizing our true desires, but that doesn’t mean they’re comfortable. In fact, some can feel so overwhelming that contraction is an understandable response.
My hike began with a hazy sun shining down on my cowgirl hat and an abundance of sumac bushes on either side of me. Their fall leaves had turned into such a striking, ruby red that their beauty prompted me to ask, “What do I desire? What do I want to bring into my life?”
The answer revealed a sense of anticipation for new experiences – experiences that may not last, yet keep me connected to the present moment and a continuous sense of enjoyment.
Something moved within the bushes. I stopped, but couldn’t see the creature responsible for all the commotion. Perhaps there were forces working behind the scenes to create something wonderful with/for me?
I continued on the path, turning onto a sun-exposed trail that led to a series of switchbacks. Along the gradual ascent, I passed horse tracks and signs of construction, and put my hand on one of the warm rocks full of dings.
As I reached the top, I looked out at the expansive view of the landscape below and realized, “This is what life transitions do – while I might be on my right path experiencing greater awareness, new journeys can leave me exposed and vulnerable to some dings.” In Penny Pierce’s book, Frequency – The Power of Your Personal Vibration, she refers to this increased sensitivity as a natural part of our personal growth:
There are some key things to understand now: 1) you are being affected by an evolutionary process that moves through specific stages, which is causing the energetic frequency of your body, emotions, and mind to accelerate, 2) because the rising frequency of your energy parallels your level of awareness, you are gradually becoming more aware, sensitive, visionary, empathic, and loving, and 3) the biggest challenge of the next few years will be working with your sensitivity, keeping your personal vibration clear, and learning to use ‘frequency principles’ to live successfully in the coming times (p.xvi)
Still, if I feel I’m in danger (whether true, or not), my first reaction is one of protection. This can involve isolating myself from other people – reverting to my Small Self so that I won’t be at risk for picking up on (and feeling my own) uncomfortable emotions.
How do you respond when you’ve embarked on a new journey and feel vulnerable? Do you get smaller, or perhaps your reaction is to get even bigger?
The trail turned toward the cover of pine trees. I felt more comfortable underneath their scent and shade, and experienced a sense of ease along the downhill slope.
When I contract, I default to the preferences within my comfort zone which can often lead to unconscious behaviors that don’t always serve me; however, if I can return to the present moment, this space gives me the breathing room to ask what I need to care for myself, what I want, and what would be fun (i.e. to be kind to myself – processing my own anger and creative energy so that I may remain neutral in the presence of others’ frustrations and question whether I really need to “fix” anything).
For a moment, I stopped to look across the valley at the switchbacks and acknowledged the accomplishments that led me to this point (no matter how small!), and expressed my gratitude.
I can’t stay small for long…
Within this more closed-in landscape, movement within the tall grasses put me on hyper-vigilant alert (exhausting!) prompting my mind to disconnect from my body and create stories about what might be lurking. From this contracted space, there was more to be fearful of than the unknown sounds coming from the sumac bushes at the start of my hike.
Sometimes contraction is necessary (like breathing, expansion can’t occur without contraction), but what if we allow the newly heightened sensitivity that we gain from new adventures to help us flow (contracting and expanding) in the direction of our life’s calling with more ease and joy?
I sat down on a large rock, underneath a tree whose branches provided extensive cover, and noticed the sage surrounding the perimeter. From this safe and comfortable space, I could feel the physical sensations of emotional energy and listened to my inner wisdom’s guidance for what needs to be cleared so that I may bring in the new experiences that I truly desire.
With more clarity, I hiked out of the cover and turned onto the open space to feel the sun on my skin.
And then I heard a growl.
The growl turned into sharp barking attacks as a man and his off-leash rottweiler-looking dog approached me from the other direction. I froze (my default response), but then I immediately felt myself drop into a deep sense of calm (two hours in nature will do that).
The dog stopped barking and walked up to me to lick my hand.
Through a continuous series of contractions and expansions, I’ve now come to experience my sensitivity as a gift. Not only am I able to use my expanded awareness of emotional energy to tune into my own inner guidance system, but I am honored to create and hold space for those who would like to feel more confident in their own responses, decision-making and communications. If you’d like to learn more about how you navigate change and stressful situations with more ease, click here for the next step in receiving a free 90-minute consultation.
I’d love to hear from you. What life transitions, or changes, are you going through? What have you found is works well in terms of how you’re responding to it/them? What areas are more challenging?