Better Living Through Expansion
The other night I sat down on my cushion for meditation before bed. It wasn't a very smooth experience. Thoughts darting every which way leaving me feeling scattered while my breath became shallow and jagged. Then I remembered something I had read earlier about relaxing at the center of the body so I brought my awareness to my abdominal muscles and softened there. In that moment, the tension in my face relaxed and my breath became smoother.
I also had a realization when this happened. When we soften at our center, we're better able to extend outward when our muscles aren't constricted. In other words, you're able to expand. But what's the big deal about "expanding?" I've been pondering that question myself and for me the experience is this: When our core is constricted, this tightens the space around us. It has a shrinking effect on us. Personally, I've always had a thing for shrinking. I would often (and still do sometimes) walk or stand with my head down and shoulders tightly wound up toward my ears and hunched forward - also shrinking the space around the heart and lungs in the process. Now I'm beginning to see what it really means to expand and be in more of the world - in more of your life. When we allow ourselves space, which we deserve, we allow ourselves an opportunity to bring more of us into the world. It's more than just being present. It's an experience that involves both the mind and body.
So I ask you. What could expansion mean for you and your life? Relax your core, and see what happens. Expand and unify with the space around you.