Thursday, November 02, 2006

On Change: Going Through The Opening

This was the Daily Om from a few days ago. It seems appropriate to where I am in my life right now.
Going Through The Opening
Contracting Before Expanding

Sometimes our lives contract before they expand. We may be working hard on ourselves spiritually, doing good in the world, following our dreams, and wondering why we are still facing constrictions of all kinds-financial, emotional, physical. Perhaps we even feel as if we've lost our spirituality and are stuck in a dark room with no windows. We may be confused and discouraged by what appears to be a lack of progress. But sometimes this is the way things work. Like a caterpillar that confines itself to a tiny cocoon before it grows wings and flies, we are experiencing the darkness before the dawn.

When things feel tight, it's easy to panic or want to act in some way to ease the feeling of constriction. We might also spin our wheels mentally, trying to understand why things are the way they are. However, there is nothing we need to do at this time other than to be patient and persevering. We can cling to the awareness that we are processing the shift from one stage to another, and the more we surrender to the experience, the more quickly we will move through the tightness into the opening on the other side. Just like a baby making its way down the birth canal, we may feel squeezed and pushed and very uncomfortable, but if we remember that we are on our way to being born into a new reality, we will find the strength to carry on.

Even as we endure the contractions, we can find peace within ourselves if we remember to trust the universe. We can look to the natural world for inspiration as we see that all beings surrender to the process of being born. In that surrender, and in the center of our own hearts, is a willingness to trust in the unknown as we make our way through the opening.
I had been gripped by transition and change even before my relationship ended, so that just added fuel to the fire. My natural tendency during change is to contract, withdraw, and let the process work itself out. I write more, watch more videos, and read more books.

I think it's important to honor the shifts that occur within us from time to time, and to give them the space they need to work themselves out. If we surrender to the process and give it some attention, it is often a profound time of growing awareness. We can begin to know ourselves more deeply and more fully. We also begin to see how transient any sense of a consistent self really is.

But there is also expansion. As I have withdrawn a bit from some parts of my life, other parts have expanded in amazing ways. I feel that there are more options than I had ever imagined. I am seeing more clearly than ever before that some people in my life are true friends.

We all go through these periods of change and transition. When we feel the need to contract and withdraw, it helps to know that at the same time, new possibilities are opening in new directions.

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