Going Where The Energy Is: Expansion or Contraction?

Do you notice which things give you a feeling of lightness and expansion, and which give you feelings of limitation and contraction? And perhaps more importantly, do you pay attention to it?

I can feel these differences acutely in my body if I'm tuned in enough to listen to them. Certain thoughts (about situations, people, places, tasks...) will create a tightness in my stomach, which for me usually indicates fear and resistance, and others will feel like a more positive, dynamic energy of expansion and opportunity.

I've recently heard people use this 'listening to the body' as a way to make decisions and clarify issues where they're feeling stuck. Have you ever tried it, and how well does it work for you?

One way to practice this way of intuitive knowing is through embodied breathwork. I try and start by becoming aware of my breathing, concentrating on my inhales and exhales rather than my mind chatter. With my eyes closed, I literally picture my focus as a light dropping from my head to my heart, and I try to listen closely to my heartbeat. This took lots of practice, as at first I found it really hard to hear. With perseverance I've found it easier to find.

Once I feel calm and connected, I can start to consciously bring in the ideas and topics I'm searching for clarity on. If the thought of a certain person or project makes me recoil and put up my defences (as I said, usually a tight feeling in my tummy or chest), this is telling me something important. Equally, if the thought of something spreads a smile, or perhaps feels like an exhale or relaxation, this is what I'd like to cultivate and create more of.

You might have to try a few times before you start to notice the subtle cues and changes in your body's instinctive reaction, but now I've learned to do this it feels like a really powerful tool to have. Let me know how you get on in the linked Instagram post, or message me directly.

Emily x