How to Wisely Navigate Expansion and Contraction

Every corny thing that’s said about living with nature – being in harmony with the earth, feeling the cycle of the seasons – happens to be true.
Susan Orlean

Man in rainbow light and stars
I just love how the Universe works.

While coaching a colleague in the art of reinventing herself, we started talking about the natural phasing the Universe uses everywhere – from outer space to flowering plants.

This phasing is like our breath. We have to take it in before we expel it, and, conversely, we have to expel it before we can take it in. Expansion, contraction; in, out; energy outward, energy inward.

It is a rule of the Universe: before anything can expand, it needs the phase of contraction to gather in the energy. Once gathered in, it can build up enough energy to expand.

Despite the gorgeousness of this cycle, frustration can accompany each phase. But there are also gifts that emerge from that frustration.

Contraction In the contracting phase we often feel that things are stuck, that we want things to move more quickly, that we aren’t getting things accomplished.

This is when we need to look at the gifts that contraction brings. It gives us time to rest; to research; to read for pleasure; to enjoy time with family and friends; to nurture ourselves with massages, good homemade foods and activities that make us happy.

Expansion In the expansion phase we often feel exhilarated and excited because things are moving quickly, the flow is working, the time moves fast and so do we.

Frustration might arise because we can’t keep up with ourselves, we don’t have time for family and friends, we have trouble finding the time to nurture ourselves and our souls.

This is when we look to the gifts that expansion brings. It brings us that exhilaration, excitement and encouragement that fuels our creativity. It expands our work, our reach, our mission. It allows us to meet new people, learn new things, be exposed to a wider range of experiences.

Both phases have their rewards and challenges. One is not better than another, rather each calls out to be celebrated as its own unique gift to us.

Your Invitation
I invite you to determine which phase you are in and turn the frustrations into gifts so that you can enjoy and relish each phase for the rewards it brings.

We may as well make friends with these phases because they happen over and over again.