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The Expansiveness Audit
Shift your reality and seize the unreasonable
There is a universal concept that presents itself everywhere. It’s highly pervasive, yet almost invisible to us because it’s so common. It is the notion of expansion and contraction.
You view reality from the perspective you choose.
What type of reality are you choosing to see? Is it one of contraction or expansion?
Contraction is a narrowing, restricted state of how we perceive any given situation. It makes you feel small, drained, and in your head. Your body experiences muscular tension, often in the shoulders, chest, neck, or jaw. In this state, we often think we have no choice or are left with limited options. We feel helpless, stuck, frustrated.
Expansion is broader, looser, and energizing. It’s an unrestricted state of being that allows you to widen your opportunities. When you’re in an expanded state, your body experiences a relaxation of muscles and a general releasing of tension. This enables you to gain perspective.
Gaining perspective helps us reframe and move through situations in powerful, profound ways. When we widen our perspective, we can find new solutions or find that the problem was never even a problem at all.
Your perspective can be expansive or contracting. Perspective is what shapes your reality. What would it look like to replace your perspective to be a more open, unrestricted one?
Image by Still Life
I have seen the power of high performing leaders who’ve adopted a more expansive way of being. These leaders shifted from believing in only the probable (contracted) to barreling after and achieving the improbable (expansive). You, too, have the power to accomplish the impossible by putting yourself in an expansive state. Your life can expand and go in directions you never deemed possible. You have that superpower.
How could you employ this superpower right now?
Record your daily activities, minute by minute for 1-2 weeks. For each activity, pay attention to what comes up in your body. Do you feel tightness in your shoulders, chest, or face? Are you clenching your jaw? Do you have a headache? Maybe your eyes hurt or feel tired. Log activities that make you feel tense as ‘contracting’.
Likewise, note activities where you feel energized. Have you lost track of time or self-consciousness? Are you in a creative, capable place? Are you feeling more confident? Carefree? Do you feel open, vast, and free of tension? For states like this, log the activity as ‘expansive’.
Do this for everything. Take a whole life perspective. Try to observe the smallest level possible, and not just work-related activities. For example: walking the dog, making breakfast, listening to music, sewing some jeans, talking to a family member, watching a cooking show, etc.
Do this for a week or two and reflect on what patterns you see.
Ask yourself what it’d look like to spend more time engaged with expansive activities, and to likewise let go of what you find contracting. What would it look like if you followed the clues your body is giving you? What needs to happen to make these changes in your life? If there’s a voice in your head that says you can’t let go of what’s contracting you, challenge it. Dream bigger. Dream unreasonably. Have the courage to expand your life. You may surprise yourself.
Terence McKenna once said, “Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick”.
How to know if it’s working?
In shaping your day to day to be more expansive you’ll find you have the capacity to accomplish things you previously thought were impossible. You’ll find that the box you play in is much wider than you had imagined. You’ll find that you are in a more pervasively energized state. That you are more open, calm, and capable. These are all signals that you’re channeling the natural current of expansiveness in profound ways.
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