The Expansion and Contraction of Independence

Photo credit Ahmer Kalam

“Speak your mind even when your voice shakes.”
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg
By Cameron Harrington

As our family returns from Costa Rica to the US this July 4th, I am conscious of our country’s founding ideals, namely, the idea of Independence.

The birth of our nation began with a document called the Declaration of Independence. US citizens aspire to live through our expression of and rituals for independence, sovereignty, and autonomy. Our definition of success is rooted in the highest levels of personal freedom.

On June 24, our nation witnessed a significant decision by the supreme court, the reversal of Roe vs. Wade. This decision explicitly limits the independent choice of people who give birth to children—who, as of 2022, represent 50.52% of US citizens.

As a woman who has born children, my sovereign and independent choices recite the poetry of generational toil. Our grandmothers and mothers have stood, spoken, marched, and walked with heads high into schools, businesses, and religious institutions where their independence was not welcome. The hard work of creating steps forward has not been comfortable. As a result, many of us have lost lives, reputations, and probably not a little bit of our sanity.

I believe this recent decision and those that may follow are the latest siren call trying to pull us apart and deepen the “Us and Them” narrative. It would be a grave mistake for us to take the bait.

As Patrick has taught the last few weeks during his Sunday class, now more than ever, we need to ignore the sirens seducing our collective ship toward the rocks. Instead, now is the time to approach our lives, how we support our loved ones, and the work we do from a deeply spiritual perspective.

NEW This Summer: In-Person Yoga in Denver!

Patrick will be leading his Sunday Morning Vinyasa Class at 10AM MT in-person on July 24 and 31, & Aug 7 at the former Kindness Hilltop Studio, 455 S Hudson Street, Denver, CO 80246! Let’s party like it’s 2002! These classes will sell out, reserve your spot now. There will be 8 spots in each class reserved for walk-ins. Register now!

Throughout history, we can see that women have made great strides towards our independence. In honor of our ancestors’ work on our behalf, we will not lose our cool.

This moment is not just about those who bear children. It is about the liberation of the feminine energy within each of us. Our inner caregiver, mother, and divine Goddess are needed now more than ever to patch together our humanity and our precious planet.

In yogic teachings, we refer to the natural process of life, the natural expansion and contraction. It’s called Spanda. It describes the expansion and contraction phases of growth. So just as one cannot only inhale, it is also not possible for there to be only forward movement.

Within our collective growth, predictably lie the seeds for our collective regression.

As our world expands and contracts, I find strength in remembering the practice of trust. I trust not leadership or rules but in the natural flux of life itself. So I can trust that “this too shall pass” and that there will be an expansion after a contraction.

While I practice trust, I focus on a future for my daughters where they thrive. As it was true before this recent Supreme Court decision, it continues to be true after; it begins with me looking at myself, acknowledging my limiting patterns, and shifting them one at a time.

#constantlywakingup

Below is a practice for the witness consciousness.

Cameron and Patrick help clients create powerful breakthroughs and embody their authentic selves with their combined 40 years of experience in business, wellness, and personal development.

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Practice for The Witness Consciousness

  • Choose a place to sit quietly.
  • Create awareness in an area where you are feeling concerned.
  • Take a deep breath and become aware of your physical body.
  • Now, imagine that you are floating above your body and looking down, watching yourself.
  • As you witness yourself generate a feeling of love and clarity, represented as a glowing light emanating from your center outward.
  • Imagine this warm, loving, clarifying light pulsing a little brighter and duller.
  • Allow this internal image to represent the expression of spanda, expansion, and contraction from deep within your center.
  • As you witness and participate in this feeling of spanda, recognize that your area of concern is also a part of this expansion and contraction.
  • All things expand and contract, there is a natural process at play that is bigger than all of us, and at the same time, we are a part of it.
  • Breathe deeply as you bring yourself back into your body as you continue to feel and generate the light growing and softening.
  • Return to your life with the ability to generate this timeless process within and around you.

Spanda, feel the pulse you carry deep inside you. It is yours.