Befriend & awaken contractions – a simplified version

I thought I would make a brief note of a simplified befriending & awakening process I find helpful these days.

  1. Contraction
    I notice a contraction. Any reactivity, tension, stress, defensiveness, and so on.
    I notice the physical sensations – where they are etc. – and ground my attention there while also being aware of any stories and images connected with it. (Any contraction is a mind-body contractions, it has mind and body components.)
  2. Allow and thanks
    I allow it as it is. Notice it’s already allowed as it is. (By mind, space, life.)
    I thank it for protecting me. I keep thanking it for protecting me for a while. (All contractions are here to protect me, to protect this human self and this imagined separate self.)
  3. What does it need?
    I try out a few universals to see what it needs and lacks. (Contractions all have needs, wants, and come from a sense of lack.) This may be love, safety, being seen, support, and so on.
    When I find one that resonates, I stay with it. I allow the contraction to receive it here and now. (Sometimes, it’s a combination of two or three, and I may do it first in series and then combined.)
  4. What is its nature?
    I can ask it: What is your nature?
    I notice my own nature – as capacity for all my experiences and the world as it appears to me now. I notice that the world, as it appears to me, happens within and as what I am. (What a thought may label consciousness, awakeness, space, and so on.)
    I notice that the nature of the contraction is the same, it’s part of the field. I rest in this noticing.
    I invite the contraction to notice its own nature, and rest in that noticing.

Although this is the simplified version I am drawn to right now, there are a lot more possible wrinkles and variations to this process. I may have a brief dialog with the contraction. I may notice the stressful story within the contraction needs more examination. It may lead me to other contractions. I may go back to situations early in life where I first remember experiencing a similar contraction. And so on.

I often do this with contractions up and activated right now. And sometimes, I go back in time and remember a contraction, connect with it here and now, and explore it. (It won’t be as strong, but it’s here in my system, and connecting with it is enough for this process to work.)

These days, I tend to do this before falling asleep at night, if I wake up at night, and after waking up in the morning. I may also do a briefer version during the day, for instance just thanking a contraction for protecting me if it comes up in a situation.

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