We all recognize that there is a natural flow of expansion and contraction in all life. The trees expand and contract; as do seasons, and each evening there is contraction into darkness in most places in the world; there is a contraction even in our breath on the exhale. I must admit, the contraction I am experiencing in my life currently does not feel good, but I can sit with the contraction, and get curious about it; I can even appreciate it; and I know that contraction is perfectly designed for my Spirit’s evolution, because after, there is expansion.
There is something in astrology that is called Uranus Opposition. My interpretation of what my astrologer Eric Meyer’s explained to me is that it is the time frame between the ages of roughly 42-44 and often considered a time when people experience a mid-life crisis. It is the incubation period between your first act of life and before you enter into your second act. It’s in that 2 to 3 year time frame that we begin to look at our lives and ask questions like, "What do I really want to put out in the world? What is my purpose? What do I really want to take a stand for as I enter this next phase of my life?’ Is the way I have operated up until this point of my life actually something I want to continue doing/being or are there things I want to change?” Or even, "How would I like to be remembered?" and “Is this all there is?”
Well, here I am, 42 years old, turning 43 this May and you can sure as shit say I am precisely in a liminal space where I feel as if I am straddling two worlds.
A few years ago, I became more and more aware of my overly excessive masculine energy. What I mean by that is the part of me that was constantly doing, in all areas of my life. Having been an entrepreneur for 22 years of my life, I had created a pattern to make my career my number one. This ultimately meant putting my career first before everyone and everything, including my intimate relationships. My career was a heavy focus where I was constantly launching something new, (sometimes 3-5 things at a time), over working, attached to my phone and email, where that driving and action-oriented mentality enveloped me. In my personal life, I followed suit. I would fill and fill my schedule with this activity, and that activity. And then even within either pursuing a relationship when single or in a relationship, I would frequently be filling that space, and not allowing room for them to expand towards me.
I knew that this way of being was costing me more than it was serving me, and what I decided to do was intentionally allow myself spaciousness to be in inquiry and practice a new way of being. The new way of being I was desiring was to invite in more feminine energy. To me, feminine energy is receptive, spacious, creative, the void, the no-thing-ness. It’s soft AND powerful. It’s nurturing. I would let some parts of me express this; however, my excessive masculine energy was driving the ship. That said, I LOVE my masculine energy. My masculine energy is beautiful; it gets shit done and there is so much power. However, living in such the extreme it costed me within intimate relationships, friendships, burnout in my career, as well as stillness and luidity. I began to notice it even costed me greater connection with my intuition, as intuition often comes through when there is space. Otherwise, we are living more in the head and trying to always figure life out.
Why? Why did I exist this way?
In the physical space I created-choosing to be single for 3 years, living on my own, moving to a smaller town, I had the opportunity to witness these parts of me and understand them more. It was a fight or flight, survival belief. A belief that if I don’t fill the void, if I don’t do 'it', no one will. If I don’t push, force, prove, how will anything ever happen? Who is going to have my back if I don’t? A mentality of lack, that I am alone and very fear based. As time passed, even more layers were peeled back and I saw another fear, ‘If I create space, what if no one wants to fill it, what if I am alone? Again, a distrust of life itself and that I am on my own out here. And then a deeper belief of, ‘If I do enough, if I put enough out, have enough ‘successes’, then and maybe finally then I will be good enough.’ Wow.
Okay yes, some of this stung to witness and reveal; however, I get it; I am human. I come from a childhood of scarcity, lack, a single mother scrambling to create a life for her two daughters, all of it made sense. This awareness had become fantastic knowledge for me and invited me into contraction to sit with and be with what is and learn a new way of being to step into the next act consciously.
In the past when in contraction, my old mode of operation was to just fill. I would take all of the lessons I was personally learning in my life and feel inspired to write about them, lead workshops on them, speak to them. I would feel a tremendous amount of creativity and utilize that energy to contribute. Being that contribution is one of my top values, I felt even more useful and of value. For some time now I feel as if I’ve got nothing. It’s as if I’m observing myself, fully connected with myself, feeling my painful and beautiful human feelings, exploring this new way of being and NOTHING is ‘working’. All of the things that I thought were important to me from my masculine perspective: putting out more, creating more, writing more, launching more, none of it really matters anymore, at least not like it used to.
My perception has been that something is wrong. I was speaking with a friend recently about my lack of inspiration and he expressed his perception. He said, ‘Inspiration never leaves. The word inspiration is derived from spirit. Inspired means In-Spirit. Spirit is always with you. It’s your core; it’s your light; it’s a big part of who you are. Maybe you're actually inspired in a spiritual way that you are looking for more than all you have created so far. It has served a purpose and it’s no longer serving a purpose or fulfillment in you. Maybe it’s Spirit saying there is something more for you.' And it helped me to remember the beauty in the contraction. To pause and go inside, for however long is necessary for my Spirit’s evolution and sit in curiosity, in the uncertainty. To find the peace, the beauty, the insights that come through constantly. Instead of just filling with what I already know or with parts of me that no longer serve me, I have the gift of sitting in this space with excitement and wonderment as I redirect my life.
We all go through periods of redirection and uncertainty, contraction and expansion, peace and confusion, whether in our Uranus Opposition or not. What’s exciting for us one day, may not be the next, and that’s okay. Life is meant to be a constant evolution, and I offered myself a permission slip of not knowing. "Valerie, You are not required to know. That isn’t a part of the human experience to always know, " I offered to myself.
What I do know is there is something more for me, bigger for me than I have been experiencing, which takes the feelings of stuck and lack and transforms them to excitement and wonderment. This miracle, this shift of perspective, reminds me that I have the gift of sitting in this space as I redirect my life.
Can you relate? If so, here is some ‘Home Play’ for you:
Questions to contemplate if you feel you are in contraction:
- If you find yourself striving ask yourself, ‘Who am I trying to impress?’
- What if there was something even greater for you being birthed that requires some spaciousness in order to take flight? How would you feel?
- What other beautiful life lessons and experiences are you having in this space that you perhaps wouldn’t have if you were unknowingly in a limited belief pattern?