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I approach therapy with a simple question: 

"What do you want out of life, and what is holding you back from that?" 

This question, and your answers, is where we begin the journey. I look forward to hearing from you.

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November 6, 2023

Renewal and Expansion

Sometimes you just need permission to cocoon and rest and heal. Then step into your autonomy, self-sovereignty, and self-care, to expand into your full self.

Steps 3: Deep Rest & Renewal Step 4: Expansion

I started this conversation a few posts ago. I'll go over the steps I've been covering (as well as the ones in today's post) and link to them so you can catch up if you missed them.

Step 1: Recognizing the boxes you're in and getting out

Step 2: Clarity & Compassion for why you got stuck

Step 3: The Journey Home to Yourself

Step 4: Deep Rest & Renewal

Step 5: Expansion

Once you are out of the tiny ways of living and being that you found yourself in, and have done some meaning-making and grieving, you have the chance to live somewhere else.

If you're not living in the box, where are you living? In your very own body of course! The one you came into this earth with, who is deeply part of you. The dualistic separation of mind and body has caused so much harm. The reclamation of our embodied existence is amazing. As well as the reconnection to our true self, rather than the masks we have been told to wear.

The journey home to yourself, all of yourself, is powerful and healing.

There is so much joy in reclaiming parts of you that got hidden in the basement of your life because they didn’t fit in the box (like the welcome of the prodigal son, anyone?). There is also some grieving for the time lost. And grieving that parts of you shoved you in these boxes and blamed you for not fitting perfectly. They were trying so hard to help you survive. As a part of renewal, they can find compassion for their complicity with the system in their effort to protect you. And they can find new places in your inner world that work for everyone.

Sometimes you just need permission at this point, to cocoon and rest and heal. To hibernate and let your body and soul get the deep rest and refreshment they need after being in a state of constant vigilance to survive.

As this work of renewal and reclamation continues, you will find yourself coming out of this place of deep rest and renewal, feeling more refreshed. And now the adventure begins. Of exploring the furthest galaxies of possibility, or the ones close at hand that speak to your soul. This is the space of expansion.

As you step into your autonomy, self-sovereignty, and self-care, you can expand to the fullness of your soul and your body. You can nourish yourself and feel filled up for the first time. You can go on great adventures that expand your awareness and kinship with the living world. You can appreciate and celebrate others’ fullness and the shapes of their existence. You can dance together to the beat of the internal rhythms that sing in harmony with the earth’s rhythms. You no longer have to prove yourself or your worth. You can celebrate it and live out of the fullness of it. Paraphrasing Tara Teng: your body, your life, and your existence, become a work of revolutionary change in the world. Just by existing and following your calling. As you become a part of the ground-swell of life, of growth, of the rhythms and seasons of change, you both belong to yourself and know you are deeply connected and nourished.

I have found so much of my expansion in honoring and learning from the wisdom and ways of First Peoples. Their understanding of human nature, and their ways of life and community that live by honoring human needs (rather than constricting them and judging you for not adhering to them) and honoring their connection to the earth. My other place of expansion and grounding has been Internal Family Systems, with its compassionate view of human nature and healing. You may find your grounding, centering, and expanding points here as well or elsewhere. This is part of the wonder of exploration. I’d love to hear about what helps you come alive, breathe a little deeper, and live more fully in your body.

To lean into this journey of coming home to yourself, and the renewal and expansion you find there, please check out my newly published book with meditations, poems, and declarations on these themes:

I AM: Poems for Renewal and Expansion.