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The way we feel can sometimes seem like a bit of a mystery. For some days, or maybe a week or a month, we feel amazing. Then – often suddenly – we start feeling horrible for days, weeks or months.
Almost everything we do is in the pursuit of feeling good; feeling happy; feeling fulfilled. Sometimes we do feel happy. Sometimes we feel like we can do anything. In these periods the smile is never far away, and we are able to give more of our selves to others.
Other times we feel bad. We feel uncertain about life. Why do I feel like this? Why don’t I feel like all those happy people on Facebook? Why are things always going up and down for me? Usually it feels like it’s mostly down’s.
I’ve thought all these thoughts. I’ve felt all these feelings. I am like you. We’re all in the same boat.
What I’ve come to realize is that life is a series of expansions and contractions.
What Is An Expansion?
An expansion is when we are riding a wave of good feelings and amazing momentum. We like ourselves more. We like others more. Good things happen to us. We notice people looking at us and they’re smiling. We feel more love. It is easier to give. We feel free to give our gift to the world – to contribute and do amazing things. We are expanding.
What Is A Contraction?
A contraction is when it just doesn’t feel right. There is a distinct feeling of lack in life. It feels like life is working against us. We see frowns in the people around us. It feels like others judge us. It feels like things aren’t going the way they should. We feel like we need to protect ourselves. It is difficult to feel love. It is difficult to stay rooted in the present moment. We are contracting.
Realizing that Contractions and Expansions are Parts of Life
How you handle this endless series of contractions and expansions decides how your life is. The first and very important step is to realize that these contractions and expansions are inevitable. Even enlightened beings will experience contractions. They just handle it differently.
This is a tough pill to swallow for many. We feel so strongly that we should be able to live constantly happy lives. Why not?
What we call life is the 80-90 or so years where infinite awareness experiences itself through the filter of our individual nervous system. Our bodies take in stimuli through our five senses. These stimuli are then processed in our brains. We create thoughts, feelings and emotions, which we also experience. You feel happy, focused, euphoric, calm, stress, fear, anxiety, peace and excitement. These thoughts, feelings and emotions are electrical and chemical processes in the brain. They are uniquely tied to special chemicals in your brain. They are what make drugs what they are. These brain chemicals have names such as dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, cannabinoids and oxytocin. All these chemicals make you feel different things and behave in different ways. They are called neurotransmitters.
Curious about neurotransmitters and how to feel better? Click here and watch the video.
An expansion is when your brain has high levels of these neurotransmitters. A contraction is when you’re depleted and the stress hormones become prominent.
When your brain is releasing larger amounts of brain chemicals than usual, several things happen. You deplete your stores of these neurotransmitters. You have less to release until the stores have been rebuilt. You also “fry” your receptors. They’re not able to take up as many of these chemicals as before, until they’re rebuilt. It can also happen that you decrease the production of the neurotransmitters. All these mechanisms result in an inevitable contraction. You can prolong the expansion with drugs, but it only makes the contraction worse.
Knowing this – knowing that everyone experiences both contractions and expansions, makes it easier to accept the contractions. Contractions are part of life and they have a lot to teach you.
Awareness only sees. Awareness is everything. Life is awareness experiencing what is happening through the filter of your nervous system. Awareness experiences both contractions and expansions. Meanwhile, awareness is completely unaffected. In awareness there is peace.
How to Know You’re Expanding
Expansions are the best parts of your life. They are tied to how well life is going for you. When things go well, it is normal to feel good. Our brains are programmed by evolutions to respond to material and social gains by giving you rewards. Your DNA wants you to repeat behavior that makes it more likely for it to survive. Those rewards are neurochemicals. They are also what you get from drugs. Flying high on positive momentum is like being on a drug.
Several things happen automatically when you’re expanding:
Your body language becomes more positive and expansive. You take up more room. People see that you’re confident. You become trustworthy in their eyes. They want to follow you. They do what you want because they believe you. You look like someone who knows his or her stuff.
It’s easier to talk to people. You know that whatever you say is going to fall into fertile soil. With that feeling and belief you actually do say the best things. You’re not nervous for what they might think. You just want to give your gift to the world.
You’re able to focus on other people’s feelings because your feelings are handled. In expansion all your needs are met. This is especially the case when you’re high on serotonin. Serotonin is highly linked to the higher level needs. These needs can be self-fulfillment, creativity, respect, pride and status. These things tend to come your way when you’re in expansion. Serotonin gives you the feeling that your needs are, and will be, met.
You can see other people and give them what they want. You smile and acknowledge others. When you no longer focus on your own needs and wants, you get the psychological space needed to look outwards. You notice people’s faces and you’re tuned into their needs.
Life is effortless. Nothing is difficult because all your needs are met. You do it with a smile and effortless action.
In expansion you frequently come into flow. Flow is a brain state where your brain is filled to the brim with feel-good neurotransmitters. Time stands still and you feel amazing. It is all those times where you loved the thing you were doing, but you weren’t consciously thinking of it. Time flew by, but time was not important.
As you already know, life is beautiful in expansion. The first question is: How do you stay in expansion for longer?
It is easier to love. Serotonin especially gives you this space from which it is easy to give love. Like mentioned, it makes you feel fulfilled and safe from harm. You then want the same for others. It is much easier to give love when you feel safe and happy.
How to Prolong Expansions for Maximum Joy
The expansionary phases of life are what we all chase. When you enter an expansionary phase it is an art to keep it going. You want to ride and prolong the expansion. There are many ways to do this.
1 – Work on Your Mindsets
How well life is going for you is mostly your subjective opinion. The following are good mindsets to cultivate:
- I am responsible for what happens to me
- Everything that happens to me is what I need to learn and grow
- I can achieve anything
- I love working hard to achieve my dreams
- I can handle anything
2 – Practice Gratitude
A day without gratitude is a day where you’re not living up to your potential. It is quite possibly the best happiness hack out there and it is extremely simple. Gratitude is teaching you to notice all the fantastic things about life. The more you do it, the more you notice. When you’re in expansion you have even more to be grateful for. If you’re not grateful when things go well, you can imagine how grateful you’ll be in the inevitable contraction.
3 – Set Clear Goals
In expansion you have the mind state and psychological freedom to make goals and dreams come true. Goals are also powerful stimulators of dopamine. Dopamine increases your focus and enhances your expansion. The more excited a goal makes you feel, the better. This excitement IS dopamine. This is one of the reasons why Global Harmony Crew is advocating following your excitement and passion.
4 – Do Meditation
Meditation is a great way to get rid of stress hormones. One of the mechanisms for this is that concentration and/or focus triggers release of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide flushes stress hormones out of your body. Stress hormones are your biggest expansion blocks and can rapidly pull you down into contraction. Another benefit (there are so many) is that you tend to get more ideas when you take some time without thinking. You create room for creativity. Creative ideas are great triggers for neurotransmitters and push you further into expansion.
5 – Practice Visualization
Visualization is the tool of champions. It is extremely effective, but most people use it to visualize things they don’t want to happen. They construct images and scenes in their head of worst-case scenarios. You have to take control over your visualization. The best way to start taking control of your visions is to practice making them.
6 – Do a Morning Routine
Use this simple morning routine, every morning, to kick start your day. In 12 minutes you can implement the 4 principles above.
1 min: Find one thing about life that you’re thankful for
1 min: Find one thing about yourself that you’re thankful for
4 min: Meditate
1 min: Formulate a long-term goal for your life. The more excited it makes you, the better
2 min: Visualize yourself already having achieved that goal
1 min: Formulate a goal for today
2 min: Visualize yourself already having achieved that goal
Start with 1 minute on your timer and find at least one thing about life in general that you’re thankful for. Then do 1 minute where you find at least one thing about yourself that you’re thankful for. Next is 4 minutes of meditation. You can use your own technique. You can also meditate by focusing on the air in your diaphragm or on the air that rushes over your nostrils. Then take one minute and formulate a long-term goal – either an old goal or a new one. The next two minutes you spend visualizing already having achieved that goal. Include all the senses in your visualization. What do you hear? What do you feel? Then, use 1 minute and formulate a goal for today. Visualize yourself already having achieved that goal.
7 – Spend Time with People You Trust
Trust triggers oxytocin. Oxytocin is the warm fuzzy feeling of love. It is typically triggered when you discover that you share values and beliefs with others. It is also triggered by touch. The best part is that oxytocin is a social chemical. Everyone involved gets it. Massages also feel good for the one giving them.
Oxytocin can mask the uncomfortable feeling you get when you fall out of flow, and neurotransmitter levels drop. It can stop you from falling into a negative spiral, which ultimately takes you into contraction. This is what makes oxytocin so important. Spend time with wonderful people.
8 – Rotate Neurotransmitters
In expansion you are pumped up with neurotransmitters that feel good. They make your brain function at its best. It is inevitable that some of these will get depleted and will need to be replenished. I’ve already covered the dopamine boosting effect of setting goals and completing them. It’s important that you do things like exercise to increase your levels of endorphins. Serotonin is closely tied to feeling pride and getting respect from others – more on this in point 10. The most important pick-me-up is oxytocin, as covered in point 8.
9 – Treat Your Body Like a Temple
Your levels of neurotransmitters will fluctuate around some baseline. You can’t have sky-high levels of neurotransmitters forever. What you can affect, however, is where this baseline is. Your health, both physical and mental, greatly determines where this baseline is. Points 1-5 address some of the mental aspects. Exercise and nutrition address the physical parts of it.
Doing some exercise, preferably every day, is incredibly important. Through history we have moved on average several tens of kilometers each day. The last hundred years, we’ve stopped. Now we sit by our desks with hunched backs. Regular exercise, if you’re not already doing it, will revolutionize the way you feel.
Nutrition also greatly affects your baseline level of neurotransmitters. Sugar for example, gives you very short spikes of dopamine. It rewards the same parts of your brain as cocaine, just as you eat it. But the rest of the day your levels of dopamine are significantly lower. Sugar also affects a lot of other aspects of your health. You also need to eat whole, healthy foods to replenish your neurotransmitters. I won’t go deep into nutrition here.
10 – Take Directed Action towards Your Dreams and Goals
Taking directed action makes you feel good. It always feels good to be moving forward. Feeling like you’re stagnating can rapidly take you into contraction.
Another good thing about taking directed action towards your goals and dreams is that you do amazing things. You feel pride. People are impressed by your results and show you respect. This stimulates serotonin.
11 – Take Time off and Learn about You
There are two main paths of development – the path of self-actualization and the path of self-realization. Self-actualization is about reaching your potential and doing amazing things in the world. It is a major part of being in expansion and staying there. It is extremely important however, to balance it with self-realization. Self-realization is to get to know the deepest parts of ones self. It is realizing that there is no separation. It is realizing that there is nothing to fear.
Check out our course Master Your Inner Peace to handle step 1, 2, 4 and 5.
How to Know You’re Contracting
Contractions are the bad times. They are also closely tied to how well life is going for you. They are characterized by the uncomfortable feeling of cortisol and other stress hormones. They are your body’s way of telling you that you need to do something or you’ll die. People will do anything to mask this feeling. Oftentimes they resort to unhealthy food, which gives a short spike of dopamine. Dopamine masks the feeling of stress. Others resort to drugs, which are more effective, but worsen the contraction. Stress hormones are like negative drugs. You might get attached to feeling bad and feel an odd sort of comfort that the world is against you. It means you don’t really have any responsibility.
Several things tend to happen when you’re contracting:
Your body language becomes closed off. Arms crossed. Your back is more hunched. There is no spring in your step.
It’s difficult to talk to people. You think through what you’re going to say before you say it. You’re unsure if people will like or respond well to what you have to say. You frequently hold your tongue.
You tend to focus on your own needs. In contraction you feel bad. Your needs are obviously not met, so you seek to fulfill your own needs. This can be tough for some people that deep down have a large need to help others.
Life is a struggle. It’s hard to start. It’s hard to keep going. And it’s hard to concentrate. When you’re in contraction you have high levels of stress hormones. You feel an intense need to indulge in bad habits.
You feed your own negativity by giving reasons why your life sucks. In contraction there is a tendency for bad things to happen. You will feel a strong need to make sense of it and relieve yourself of responsibility. This is when people start making excuses for why things are as they are.
How to Limit and Stop Contractions
First of all you need to accept that contractions are a natural part of life. You can limit their intensity and duration, however. Most of the things you should do in contraction are exactly the same as in expansion, and vice versa. It is very important that you take responsibility and start neutralizing negativity. Points 1-5 above are useful for this. Check out Master Your Inner Peace to go more in depth.
Step 7 is especially important when you’re deep in contraction. Spend time with people you trust – preferably positive people who want only the best for you.
Here are some extra steps you can take to get out of contraction:
12 – Open up Your Body Language
How we feel affects our body language. Our body language also affects the way we feel. Take on the body language of someone who feels amazing. Start taking up space. Smile. Uncross those arms. Start walking with a spring in your step, as if life is wonderful in this moment.
13 – Forgive
A life of blame is a life of large and deep contractions. Start forgiving. Forgiving is not about the people you forgive. It is about you letting go, so that you can live life to the fullest. Forgive your parents. Forgive those that bullied you. Forgive your friend who said some bad things. Forgive God (the universe, infinite consciousness, or whatever you call her). Forgive yourself.
14 – Use Good Words
Your words are the closest thing you get to magic powers. The things you say about yourself and others have a profound tendency to come true.
“I’m not good at math. I can’t quit my job. People are not nice to me. I can learn anything when I put in the effort. I am happy. Fantastic people surround me.“
Every time you catch yourself saying something negative, stop! Become conscious of it and immediately replace the words with something empowering. The best test of how good you are with your words is the simple question, “do you love yourself?” The more truthful your “yes” is, the better your words are.
Words also harm you when you say words that hurt others. “Judge not, lest ye be judged”. Always use words that help and empower others.
Make the most out of expansions because the contraction will come. If you’re able to ride and prolong the expansions as much as possible, while limiting the contractions, your life will be an upwards spiral of success and happiness.
Accept and love the contractions. Contractions are important teachers. They tell you clearer what you want and need in your life. They can also tell you what your fear and limiting beliefs are if you listen. The contraction is always right around the corner, if you’re not following your excitement and joy. Listen to the contractions and learn from them.
Global Harmony Crew in 2016
2016 will be about unity and happiness for GHC. We will be a counterweight to those who are still trapped in fear and separation. Together we will make a large positive dent in the world’s consciousness. The goal is to further raise the center of gravity for humanity’s consciousness so that it pulls people upwards. The shift is happening.
This is not about exposing conspiracies. It is not about aliens visiting us or not.
It’s about pulling humanity away from fear towards happiness and excitement. Pulling humanity away from separation towards unity and integration – towards love.
Let’s follow our excitement and joy together!
P.S. I like you!
P.P.S. Make sure you understand the importance of balance talked about in step 11.