Creating Space to Expand

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

It’s been a while (again) since I last published a blog post, and it feels good to be sitting down and writing to you. First off, I want to wish any fellow moms, moms-to-be, aspiring moms, or moms who have suffered a loss a Happy Mother’s Day. Being a mom is one of the greatest gifts and also biggest challenges I’ve faced, but I know that it’s also been the most meaningful role in my lifetime.

Motherhood has allowed me to learn lots of lessons from my son and to begin healing my own childhood traumas and wounds so that I can embrace both motherhood and my humanity. It’s definitely not an easy job, and I love and admire all the mamas out there doing the best job they can. If that’s you, I see you and I'm cheering you on!

As the seasons transitioned and we headed into Spring I’d been feeling called to pull waaaay back in so many areas of my life. I began a period of evaluation and assessment taking stock of everything, including identifying what I felt was missing. I was questioning “What is it that I’m really wanting to do and create? And why?” I got really curious about the answers that surfaced while working to let go of my judgment around them.

As I’ve been allowing this journey to unfold (sidenote: my word of the year this year is ALLOW) I started to realize how much I was missing and deeply craving  s p a c e. With working a full-time job and running a business on the side I wasn’t giving myself room to enjoy downtime or play, and it was taking a massive toll on my nervous system.

In working through what was coming up for me in meditation and with my therapist, I decided to take a step back and see what would happen if I began allowing myself to be and do whatever it is that I wanted and needed, day by day. For so long I was under the misconception that in order to create more supportive habits and routines they had to be the same 24/7, but instead I gave myself permission to tap into what I was yearning for each day. The act of creating space and fulfilling my current desires was the ritual and practice that I needed.

I grounded myself into these rituals and practices as I continued to heal from my world being turned upside down last fall by the loss of my sister. (More on that here if you’re new to these love notes.) I started to infuse more playfulness and lightness into each day, and get really curious when I resisted it. No more “all work, no play” because play is just as important, if not more so, than getting things done. Society and current culture may tell you otherwise, but you know what’s really important; whether you’re giving yourself permission to do it is another thing.

While allowing these shifts in my life, I began connecting with other women and friends who are going through a similar evolution — dealing with the push/pull of wanting to disconnect, yet also feeling a burning desire to create and share ourselves and the fire within us with the world.

The common theme I was noticing was that a lot of the people I was drawn to were also drawn to nature and really connecting with our Mother Earth. We’re feeling her pain in not being cared for and wanting to take action to protect and honor all that she provides for us. When we had two huge wind storms this winter I witnessed the significant destruction of my of my front yard in the loss of about 15 trees, and it was a huge wake-up call for me in how I wasn’t paying attention to heeding this call.

I grew weary of making excuses for not starting a garden ("I don't have time"), or even simply getting outside to enjoy my family and the beauty that surrounds me ("there are more important things to do"). When we’re in nature we’re in our element and can easily connect with the true Divine essence of who we are and why we’re here.

Nature has SO many valuable lessons to teach us if we allow ourselves to slow down and take notice. Listen and watch and you’ll see the most magical scenes play out in front of your eyes. The trees and flowers here have been blooming seemingly overnight, but really they’ve been doing the deep work of alchemizing what they need from Mother Earth all winter until just the right moment when they can no longer stay constrained in their branches and buds; they, too, crave space.

We’ve begun to clean up our yard and flower beds and a few days ago I noticed our lilies of the valley springing up and beginning to blossom. In taking a closer look, I also noticed that they’ve become overgrown in their area. My first instinct was to pull up the overgrown plants and discard them so that our flower bed looked neat and tidy, and then I began thinking that maybe there was another option to honor their expansion beyond the flower bed wall. Instead of pulling out the excess flowers and leaves, I could expand their container so that they had more space and room to grow.

As I continued to mull this over on my way to work, I realized that this is also exactly what’s been going on in my life these last several months. First, there was a contraction back into myself and shedding of old beliefs, thoughts, and habits that were no longer serving me. I allowed myself to honor what I needed (more time and space for joy and play) and let things fall away that were irritating me (including the coveted “busyness” many of us have grown to attune ourselves to).

Often after this sort of contraction, we’re ready to more fully expand into ourselves and our lives. We need to take that time to go inwards so that we know what we’re expanding and aspiring to and to create the room to make that happen. I was taking time to create the container for what was to come. For what I was calling in.

The synchronicity of this was also a little wild for me to recognize because I just started participating in a program called Sacred Expansion as part of a coaching program I’m enrolled in. I realized that everything truly was happening as it should, and felt deep gratitude of myself for listening to the call I felt to pull back so that I would feel ready to expand outward once the time was right.

Where are you feeling called to expand in your life? What’s causing you to resist doing the work you need to do to get there (fear, uncertainty, lack of motivation, perceived lack of time)? How would it feel to allow yourself to take just one step to create more space in your life so that you can tap into that energy of expansion?

May you honor yourself right where you are in this moment and have faith that you already know what the next step is that you need to take, you just need to be willing to put one foot in front of the other to make it happen. Until next time.


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Kendalyn BanksComment