Working with contractions: a puzzle where we find the shapes that fit

When we work more initmately with our contractions, it’s a kind of puzzle where we try out and find the right shapes.

I experience a contraction. I bring attention to the physical sensations of the contraction for grounding, while being aware of the images and stories connected with it.

From here, it’s really quite open. What holds the contraction in place, will be a little different for each contraction. And that means that the remedy, the puzzle piece that fits, will be a little different for each contraction.

At the same time, there are some universals, and it may be good to go through a set of universals to see what the contraction responds to and what’s needed.


When there is a contraction, there is usually a part of me not welcoming it. The remedy here is to intentionally welcome it. To help shift into this, I can say to the contraction: You are welcome here.

A variation of this is that parts of me likely don’t want to allow the contraction. So here, I can intentionally allow it. And I can also notice that the contraction is already allowed. It’s allowed by mind, space, life, and I can more consciously align with the allowing that’s already here.

Parts of me likely wish to contain the contraction. So I can allow the contraction to uncontain itself. I can say to it: Get as big as you want.

Parts of me may see the contraction as a problem and up to no good. The remedy here is to recognize that it’s here to protect me, to protect the imagined separate self. It’s innocent. It’s a bit confused. It comes from care and love. It’s confused love. (This step may require some additional exploration first, unless we are very familiar with this terrain and have explored a lot of other contractions before and regularly found this.) To help connect with this, I can say: Thank you for protecting me.

Similarly, several parts of me may not genuinely love the contraction. When I see it’s innocent, here to protect me, and comes from love, it’s easier to find genuine love for the contraction. Thank you for your love for me.

The contraction has an unexamined stressful story. It’s created and maintained by one or a set of stressful stories. It can be helpful to identify and examine these, either in the moment or more thoroughly through structured inquiry.

The contraction has needs and wants, and comes from a sense of lack. What are those needs and wants? What is the lack it comes from? Can I give it to the contraction here and now? If it needs and lacks love, how is it to give it love? If it wants and lacks a sense of safety, how is it to be a safe harbour for it? If it wants and lacks a sense of acknowledgment and being seen, how is it to see it here and now?

Typically, there is a part of me that resists contractions. This part wants it to go away in any way possible, through distraction, pushing it away, trying to fix it, pretend it’s not there, and so on. This resistance is innocent, comes from unexamined and unloved fear, and is another contraction. So it makes sense to explore this contraction in the ways described above, and to do this relatively early in the process.

In general, it makes sense to check if I come from a contraction when I explore a contraction, and explore this contraction first.

Even if there is a general or global kind of recognition of our nature, I may not recognize the nature of the contraction. So how is it to recognize its nature? What happens if I notice its nature? What happens when I notice the different aspects of its nature? That it happens within and as what I am? That it’s part of the seamless whole of the field? That it has no real substance? That it happens within and as what a thought may label consciousness? That it is stillness and silence taking that particular form? That it is love taking that particular form? How is it to rest with and as this noticing?

Similarly, the contraction may not notice its own nature. How is it to invite it to notice its nature? How is it to invite it to rest in and as that noticing? What are you really? Do you know your nature? Do you know what you are made of?


Trying these and more out is like trying out puzzle pieces. Which one fits in this spot? And usually, it’s a set of different pieces.

There are also some orientations that are helpful here. For instance, sincerity, respect, curiosity, receptivity, playfulness, and a sense of adventrue.

It may also be that what worked in the past, doesn’t seem to work anymore. Perhaps life is asking us to become even more intimate? To explore a bit more closely? To find another angle that’s a bit different from what we are used to?


Life wants me to keep exploring and find more nuances

Healing and awakening: a puzzle where we find the right shapes

It’s like a kind of puzzle now where most doesn’t do much, and I have to keep exploring until it clicks

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