I have come across the term expansive here and there over the past few years in my unending quest for continued personal development. The most recent example I have is in the book Money, A Love Story by Kate Northrup.
There are several exercises in the book asking the reader to decide whether a certain purchase or money decision makes you feel expansive or contracted. For example, you might take out your credit card statement from last month and highlight in pink the purchases that make you feel expansive, and highlight in yellow those that make you feel contracted.
I got the concept: one feels good, the other, not so much. But I also wanted to get the physical sensation along with the logical thought process.
Expansion & The Law of Attraction
This past week I started reading Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks. This book also talks about expansive, but in a way I had never thought of before.
In Ask and It Is Given, I was introduced to the idea that we will always have more ideas and preferences that help shape what our next project will be. It is an obvious, logical concept, but reading this book has really helped me more fully get it.
Ask and It Is Given is based on the law of attraction. Whether you believe it or not, you are right. Ever since I first watched The Secret, I have seen no harm in directing my thoughts towards what I want and believing that is helping to bring me closer to my dreams. I have definitely fallen off track countless times since then, but it doesn’t make the concept any less true for me.
While reading Ask and It Is Given, I found myself more able to direct my feelings to feel as if everything in my life was already just as I wished. And that is when the feeling of expansion clicked for me.
We continually expand ourselves when we draw into our lives what we need to manifest our ideas in the world. We are constantly creating, expanding our experiences and propelling evolution forward through that process. Hence the term expansion!
Feeling As If
When I am feeling as if, I get a totally light, buzzy feeling under my skin. It feels amazing! I used to only feel this sensation while meditating, and not even every time. As I continued my meditation practice, I would notice how good I felt during those twenty minutes, especially after the first five to ten, when I run through in my mind what I am grateful for.
I have developed the practice of not only running through in my mind what I am grateful for that is already here, in my experience (I am grateful for our house, I am grateful for this day, etc.), I also run through in my mind what I am grateful for that isn’t already here…as if it is already here.
Just like the house that I am laying in, that very obviously physically exists, I allow myself to feel as if those things that don’t already exist are here just as concretely in my life (side note – I used to do this in the months before we found and moved into our house; I felt as if I was already laying on the floor of an amazing house rather than the actual apartment I was in).
I am so grateful I have written a successful eBook.
I am so grateful Awaken & Begin has 10,000 followers on Twitter.
I am so grateful our wedding is planned and paid for effortlessly.
To name a few. You can see how this is incredibly fun and feels amazing!
I am now working on feeling expansive not only while I am meditating, but throughout the rest of the day. There is a difference between simply running through affirmations and feeling as if, and that is in the feeling of expansion. We must not only think and act as if, but most importantly, feel as if.
The Difference Between Feeling Expansive and Contracted
While Kate Northrup was asking which credit card expenses made me feel expansive and which made me feel contracted, I had the feeling of contracted down pat. Because that is how I have spent far too many moments. Just this week I was going through my email and I am not joking when I say that I noticed the feeling of contraction about five times in fifteen minutes.
Having just read Ask and It Is Given and learned that how I feel in any given moment is the most important thing, I stepped away from the email inbox. I was so proud of myself for recognizing this feeling and how terrible it is for me and my whole life rather than allowing it to continue all day long; something I did for days on end for several years in a row.
I am happy to now say that I renounce that feeling! I no longer consent any snarky comment or email to make me feel contracted for an extended period of time. I know the feeling will still enter into my life from time to time, but I am making a conscious effort to remove myself from those types of situations as soon as I notice that feeling.
I used to have that throat closed up feeling due to stress and nerves on a regular basis. I knew it wasn’t good, but didn’t know how to make it go away. Sometimes I would go to yoga and notice that my throat had felt constricted all day until I was able to let it go via the yoga instructor’s permission to “let all that stuff from the day go.”
I am excited to now be reading Louise Hay’s latest book Loving Yourself to Great Health. It seems that it will flow nicely from just having read Ask and It Is Given, as it is about the importance of our thoughts, diet, and other lifestyle choices to our overall health. I have no doubt that feeling contracted is not only a surefire way to block good things from coming into our lives, but it also has detrimental health effects.
Today, I choose to feel expansive. How about you? What makes you feel expansive? Please share your thoughts!