Expansion

grassy scene

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As I was sitting having my coffee the other morning, I looked up and saw my vision board.  I chuckled to myself as I noticed the carefully thought out plan for the year.  I saw it in pictures and words.  My central idea focused around the word EXPANSION.  As I drifted back to creating this board only a few months ago, expansion meant travels and trainings, releasing a new book, dating, creating and connecting. 

Now, as I sit gratefully in the comfort of my home, expansion is looking a bit different in the Spring of 2020.  The energy I thought I was calling in is still there; I feel a new invitation to sit with.  Its pulse is more viable in the stillness.  I can hear expansion calling to me in a new way.

The sun is finally throwing off its rays in Ohio.  Birds are waking up the morning.  Trees are blossoming.  And life, life is vastly different.  I’m starting to know people who are sick, really sick.  And in that space, I can feel the energy of expansion wanting to show up with me as my heart grieves and feels.  As my heart bursts with love and gratitude.  Some mornings I wake up full of anxiety.  Other mornings I wake up determined to create, feeling so connected to love.  From the personal work I’ve been doing over the past five years, I am so aware that black and white thinking will not help at a time like this.  I remember the words of Rumi in his famous poem, The Guest House:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

I hang on the last line of this poem.  Treating my emotions as honorable guests.  I’m a consummate lover of life, and I am so curious about what can be uncovered.  In many ways I feel a depth being added to the list of my life credentials.  No longer can I mindlessly ask for something at the ‘surface level,’ without inquiring about a deeper meaning.  I called in the energy of Expansion as my word for 2020, not knowing that it would expand me within the walls of my home more than I could ever have expanded out in the world. Expansion didn’t come with the disclaimer in December of 2019; warning this year is gonna be a doozy.  It might break your heart.  It might mean you lose people you love. It might throw you into a panic.  It might reveal hidden fears.  It might ask you to reinvent yourself. It might help you to connect to your passion and create something of great benefit in the world

Today, it feels as if the energy of expansion is asking me to magnify my vantage point, to excavate well below the surface of my emotions, and as Rumi said, ‘welcome and entertain them all.’

So now, I am using my curiosity in new expansive ways; I am noticing the delight that each visitor is bringing.  I notice the mornings when anxiety sits on my chest like an oversized elephant.  When I want to cry, but I feel so angry that I can only stomp my feet in disbelief.  On these mornings I feel that I have somehow disconnected from my heart.  I feel that I am living in my primitive survival mind.  If I expand my awareness, if I consciously invite in mindful breath, I can feel that my anxiety is requesting my presence.  I can feel that anger makes way for grief.  Grief that I will probably know people who will die in the midst of this pandemic.

These visitors are asking for reconnection. Reconnecting to myself.  Reaching out to connect in new ways with others.  These visitors are asking for movement.  How can I reconnect to my heart in this moment?  How can I get back into the NOW moment and out of the future?  This inquiry allows me to be more expansive rather than to shut down and close off. 

I have also been experiencing an overwhelming sense of gratitude and joy.  When I touch these two old friends it feels like my heart might open as wide as the sky.  I hold close the treasured pictures of my niece and nephews, and I touch our moments of togetherness in my heart.  This presence of love clears me out to experience more love.  It becomes the life raft I cling to in the waters of expansion. 

The other day I went outside and just laid in the grass.  I felt Mother Earth supporting me.  I saw the sliver of the moon ripening in the limitless blue sky.  The wind whipped through my hair.  The fresh air filled my lungs.  In all honesty, I wish this visitor would’ve stayed a bit longer, but I anchored these feelings in my body, in my heart. 

I feel the invitation to go deep.  I am finding more compassion to entertain all the visitors that are knocking on the door of my heart.  I trust now more than ever that they are clearing me out for some new delight.  That in my expansion to greet them, they will teach me much more than I could’ve ever know possible. 

So much gratitude for you, CCP community.  I am grateful for each one of you.  I send you love.  I send you peace.  I send you health.  May we all be free from suffering.  May we find kind ways to expand our love out into the world, now more than ever. 

In Fierce Love- Sarah 

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