I don't know if it's the eclipse or just the end of summer but several days in a row last week I found myself feeling blocked creatively. I felt emotionally Meh. I started questioning life and how I was living it: What's the point? What am I doing all of this for?
What I know of myself is that I am a generally optimistic person with an open heart. So I was really uncomfortable to be in a state of contracted concealment. It is something I used to fight against heartily.
In this case though, I took it for what it was. Instead of going for a quick fix, or numbing out on screens, I took the opportunity to go deeper. First, I started in a place of acceptance. Yes, I felt contracted. Yes, contraction is a normal part of life. And, Yes, I felt uncomfortable with it and I would like it to change.
Then, it was time to track down a way out of the contraction. To do that, I had to stoke my own curiosity about what I was feeling just then. Questioning my experience would give me the information I needed each day. Was it something in my mind that was bringing me down? Or was I feeling a general physical malaise and needed rest? Could it be that I was lacking inspiration?
It was really interesting to follow myself because the concealment was different on different days. On the first day, all I needed was some rest and some inspiration which I found in videos on YouTube. On the second day, I also needed rest but I was way more contracted in my thinking, telling myself all sorts of lies. On that day I needed to coach myself to mental freedom.
Each time I looked deeper and gave myself what I needed, I ended up feeling way better than my usual baseline of feeling pretty good. I felt ecstatic, loving, and inspired to move forward. What a relief! In fact, I felt so good afterwards in contrast to how concealed I felt just a few hours earlier, I truly see those hours of concealment as a gift.
How concealment is a gift
Concealment/Contraction can often feel uncomfortable. It is precisely this discomfort that is useful. Without the discomfort, there would be no reason to change how you are living. It would be easy to be complacent with your life. But moments of painful, irritating contraction in your mind, heart, or life encourage you to become a seeker. You are encouraged to seek out a solution to the discomfort.
The curiosity about your concealment partnered with seeking out solutions is like a curriculum for your own awakening. It is fine tuned to how your mind gets stuck; fine tuned to your habitual ways of closing your heart. When you follow yourself, you get specific information about your unique habits and ways of disconnecting. The opening that comes after that is refined and deep. Seeking solutions pushes you further along your personal path of evolution and awakening.
The contraction also offers contrast. If you felt amazing all of the time, when you learned something new or remarkable about yourself, or about the workings of the Universe, it wouldn't have an awe inspiring power. It would fall flat. But when you are in a state of contraction and something comes along to hit your heart and opens you wide open, you FEEL it. The difference between that opening and the feeling of contraction is distinct and powerful. You will remember that mini-awakening and it will stick with you longer.
Yogic sages say that we can only know about 25% of all there is to know at any time. That means 75% of what is out there is hidden from view. It is concealed - contracted out of our knowing. Which is to say that contraction/concealment is how the universe works. And yet, so many of us fight it and think that we should always feel open, spacious, loving, and free.
A better approach would be to remember that the dance of concealment and revelation, opening and closing, are a part of who we are!
So take heart friends, you may feel uncomfortable, or really shitty in moments, remember that this feeling of contraction is there to help you seek ways to re-open yourself and to remember the opening.
Are you feeling contracted right now? Try this. Take a deep breath and do your best to accept the reality that you are contracted. (It may take several breaths - stick with it). Now, get curious. Where do you feel contraction in your body? Or is it more in your mind only? Go to the deepest part of your Heart and ask what it needs right now. Seriously, what do you need deep in your heart? Do your best to give yourself what you need. And if you need help getting there leave a comment below, shoot me an email, or schedule a coaching call to open things up.