Riding Waves of Expansion & Contraction

Riding Waves of Expansion and Contraction

“Your grief for what you have lost holds a mirror up to where you have been bravely working” tells Rumi.

It takes courage to look at what our grief reflects back at us, because grief is not so much about what we have lost but about what that loss meant for us. It suddenly & clearly shows us our strongest attachments and needs. To people, places, ideals, wealth, roles, health or work.

Over time stuck grief can lead to a range of ailments, emotional & physical, I’ve seen too many to mention, but they all have in common a contraction of the chest area.

Here’s a reflection from a recent Ihsaas grief workshop.

Trace with one hand from the fingers of the other hand, up the arm and across through the area of the heart & lungs. Feel also any armouring through the chest, shoulders, arms and upper back. Now trace from the other side. Allow it to soften with your breath and any spontaneous stretching that emerges.

“Your hand opens & closes….” the poem continues to say. So we explored together with presence the small contractions and expansions of this area of the body.

There was nervous clenching of fists & gestures of opening. The rise and fall of breath catching in sighs. We moved on to a basic childhood reflex, the motions of reaching out & taking in, The last movement being the most telling. As an antidote to grief how open are we with emotions? How able to reach out to others and take in consolation and sympathy? Or are we stuck in gestures of being closed, trusting only ourselves. At times some arms showed a desire to control and at others they felt rigid. Warmth and upward seeking palms came spontaneously for some.

Our needs for nourishment include the opportunity for our griefs to be witnessed, not hidden and suppressed. Without this outlet many illnesses can manifest.

So ride this wave in yourself and if you can make space in your communities for others to safely ride this emotion, with all its natural and intense waves of bodily contraction & expansion .

Refresh Your Body & Spirit

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