What a wonderful weekend I had in Ocala, Florida! A big thank you to everyone who attended the Sunday morning service and/or the afternoon Family Constellations workshop at the Center for Spiritual Living.
What a treat to end the day with a phenomenally fun concert featuring the one-and-only Amy Steinberg! If you don’t know her music, I encourage you to check it out on YouTube or Spotify. Her lyrics and joyful energy will uplift you! My heart was full after spending the entire day in that loving, healing energy.
But the next day, I wasn’t feeling very well. I didn’t drink much water on Sunday, so in addition to being tired, I was probably dehydrated. Gratefully, I did not have any appointments on Monday, so I was able to rest and rehydrate.
My ego, however, was not happy that I didn’t get anything crossed off my To-Do list that day. Say what you will, ego. I have learned to be gentle with myself after expending lots of energy on a busy day or after a trip. I honor the natural cycle of expansion and contraction. Just like breathing.
When we take a deep breath, our lungs fill with air causing our rib cage to expand. As we release that air, our rib cage contracts. It’s a natural rhythm, and one we don’t question or judge. I don’t recall ever berating myself for exhaling!
So, why in other areas of our lives do we welcome the expansion, but curse the contraction? I think it’s because the contraction is often uncomfortable. (Mothers, please forgive me. I’m not talking about those contractions. I realize they are more than uncomfortable, and I have no business even talking about them. I’m grateful to my mom for experiencing those contractions so I could be here.)
In a less intense example, most of us have felt sad or even depressed after returning from a fabulous vacation. We plan for weeks or months, looking forward to a change of scenery and a break from our everyday routines. We experience new adventures and create special memories whether we are traveling solo or with friends and family.
While the vacation is happening, new choices and possibilities surround us. We feel expanded, joyful, and free. But once the trip is over, going back to our regular life can feel limiting and dull.
Here’s the good news. Just like the breath, when the contraction is over, the expansion starts again. We simply have to be patient. It’s a cycle, like the ebb and flow of the tides. There’s no need to panic when the ebb happens. The flow of the sea will return. But in the meantime, can we be present with the ebb and fully receive its gifts?
During the ebb, can we take time for self-reflection? What do we need? How do we want to move forward? Are we making choices aligned with our hearts’ desires or simply doing things the way we’ve always done them? The ebb is a perfect opportunity to ask these questions.
This week, I gave myself permission to rest and reflect. And I feel much better for it! Despite the ego’s ranting, all is well, and I’m already feeling the next expansion.
Are you experiencing an ebb or contraction right now? It would be my great honor to support you through it with a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both can give you a new perspective as well as tools to help navigate the ebb and flow of life. Please look around my website for more information or to book a session. I look forward to walking with you!
Until next time, I trust you will find ways to honor both the ebb and flow of life whenever they occur.
Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.
A Course in Miracles ~ T-18.V.1:6