5 Keys to Empowerment – #2 Expand to Receive

written by Sara Arey

I’ve been leading a series on Clearing Our Fundamental Fears and the results have been incredible.  One thing I’ve gotten out of it is a deep awareness of what fear feels like. 

When we’re fearful, our energy contracts.  We pull back into ourselves.  We shut down all or parts of ourselves.  We get smaller and we play smaller.

Take a minute now and notice how you’re feeling.  Close your eyes and just be with yourself for a few seconds.  How is your breathing?  If you picture your awareness or your energy or your spirit – whatever name you prefer – inside your body, how much of your body is it inhabiting right this minute?  Is it in your feet?  Does it extend past your skin, or does it stop short of it?

Now, think about something that is scary or stressful for you.  Close your eyes and notice how you feel when you’re afraid.  Where is your energy now?  Is it expanded or contracted?  Does it feel lighter or more dense?  What is your breathing like?

When we feel afraid or stressed, we hold everything more closely, more tightly. This includes our energy.  We have a tendency to hunch over and curl inward. We breathe more shallowly, keeping our ribs closed and close.

Now, think of a time when you felt really happy, when you were confident and secure.  What do you notice about your posture, your breathing and your energy?  How far does if feel like your energy extends?

Are you feeling more open now?

A lot happens when we contract in reaction to stress and fear, in addition to how it affects our breathing.  When we pull in, we’re closing down in many ways.  We’re less able to think clearly.  We’re less creative and less productive.  And, perhaps most importantly, we’re less able to take things in – even things we need.

When we contract, we don’t easily receive.

Think about that.  When you get stressed and scared about money, you close down to receiving help and being creative in your thinking.  You close down to receiving money.  Not very helpful.

Being closed down affects how we appear to others – including potential clients and collaborators.  Think about people you’ve seen at conferences or met at parties that you felt drawn to.  People that, when you saw them, you thought, “Hey, I’d like to know them!”  Those people were confident and were being themselves, weren’t they?  I’ll bet they felt really comfortable to be around and that their face looked light, maybe even radiant.  They were open and accepting.  They were the opposite of fearful and contracted.

When you release your fears, your energy expands.  It becomes more open, more receptive.  It becomes more attractive.  The flow between you and the outside world increases.  You’re taking more in and sharing more as well.  This flowing back and forth builds momentum and an energy all its own.  It nourishes you on many levels.  It takes you where you need to go and brings to you what you need to have.

So if you're feeling shut down and fearful, allow your energy to expand.  Allow yourself to receive what’s there for you.

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