lately, i’ve been exploring the notion of SPACE. i’ve noticed that in the most challenging times in my life is when i feel the most “constricted”. constricted in my HEART, constricted in my MIND, constricted in my BODY. when life is difficult or we have a painful experience, we do whatever possible not to FEEL the pain connected to that experience. we close our hearts off to others in an attempt to protect ourselves from disappointment and heartache. we become close-minded, losing the ability to see beyond that moment or experience. we become constricted in our bodies, tensing, holding, protecting ourselves from facing uncomfortable emotions. uncomfortable emotions are difficult to face, so we constrict, we hold, we remain stuck in a place of numbness and fear. we convince ourselves that opening up will be too painful, too much to bear…so we remain frozen, afraid to move forward, afraid to open to the lessons.
what if opening to the pain allowed for the energy to flow out in order to make space for something new?
what if we thought of all life experience as energy. energy that we hold on to or energy that we allow to move freely through our hearts, our minds, our bodies. what if we allowed things to fall apart in our lives without “constricting” and resisting change? what if with that openness and willingness to let things go, space opened up for new thoughts, new relationships, healing and softening in our hearts and in our bodies?
“sometimes things need to fall apart in order to make space for better things to fall together”
i’ve been exploring this notion of space in my meditation and pranayama practice with an intention of moving through life with more expansion and openness. i notice when i practice these simple exercises, i feel more open and less constricted in my mind, my heart and my body.
space in the mind – sit in a quiet place. connect to the inhalation and exhalation of your breath. notice if your thoughts are constricted or repetitive. allow the thoughts to come but rather than grasping to them, acknowledge them, observe them and let them go with the breath, keeping in mind that letting go does not mean to get rid of – to let go means to “let be” with compassion. when we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own.
space in the heart – lie back on a bolster or pillow with a folded blanket under your head and feel the openness in your heart space. as you draw your breath in feel the expansion of your rib cage on the front, back and sides. if there is a sense of discomfort or a painful emotion that arises, acknowledge the sensation or emotion, allow the inhalation to create space in your heart center and with the exhalation let the energy or emotion flow out. imagine the ebb and flow of the ocean. offer the sadness, grief, anger, pain, fear to the tide as it pulls away from the shore with your exhalation.
space in the body – lie back on your mat or a blanket, arms and legs spread wide, palms face up. bring your breath into your body. envision the body space opening up with the inhalation. allow the body to soften on the exhalation. if you feel a gripping or tension in a certain area of the body, bring the breath into that space. with the inhalation create expansion, with the exhalation, soften.
my husband and i shot these photos during a trip to Oregon. i bought this lace dress at a vintage shop during our travels and we did a spontaneous shoot along the river when the sun was just beginning to descend and the light had a beautiful soft energy to it.
be open, soften, create more space, allow yourself to feel, let be
much love, Shawnee
Categories: health and wellness, nature, travel, yoga
loved the words, loved the pictures of you by Tim, loved the idea of being open to and facing pain, suffering, sadness – even JOY – rather than closing off and retreating behind steel doors that are prisons – dull, as usual, ruts of life. f.