Expansion and Contraction

John: To continue a bit from where we left off last time (see Earth, Air, Fire, Hamburgers), we were talking about a dream that showed me trying to rebalance an emotional aspect, but getting disconnected in the process.

That brought us to a discussion of the elements of earth, air, fire, and water, and I thought it was worth going a little further.

So again, very briefly, the emotions can be associated with water, a liquid, constantly changing state. To balance that, I need to ground myself in my earth aspect. Of course earth as an aspect can become too dense and slow, so then the air aspect of expansiveness can balance that. And the expansiveness of the air can feed my fire aspect (energy and passion).

Imagine that in grounding (earth) my emotions (water) I get too dense, meaning too caught up in the physical realities of life, then I turn to my expansiveness (air), which is like a soothing emptiness that I reach for.

Air and fire work together. The expansiveness opens me up to new things and fans the fire, my energy. The fire draws the air to feed it. Air and fire are the more speeded up parts of me, and when out of balance, can spin out of control by way of too-rapid expansion.

Earth and water are forces of contraction, where my energies are more rooted and fluid. The earth and water work together at slower speeds than air or fire.

So in the past two dreams (here and here), the scenarios require me to shift back and forth in a dexterous, agile way to maintain my balance. I’m trying to not be overwhelmed with the emotional, or too dense and unnoticing in the physical. That requires bringing together the expanding and the contracting forces in life.

An emphasis upon the closeness (emotional), and for me, ecstatic side, is disconcerting. It’s wonderful, but to my overall beingness, it’s a contraction that causes the expansiveness to be sacrificed.

That dynamic puts me at an extreme in the contractive side. Having balance means the expansion (air, fire), and contraction (earth, water), work together seamlessly to maintain equilibrium. And when I’m in an extreme state, which ends up sending me off on a tangent, I end up with hamburgers instead of a proper solution, or I build 10 piles of wood to shore up the first pile.

Of course we always are switching back and forth. The air and fire side of my nature is more like an over body that reaches into the depths of the universe; the earth and water aspects bond me more to the physical, the planet. If I can hear and see with the air quality, guided by the fire within, honed and tempered by the earth and water, I can pull the expansive and the contractive sides into a balance.

If I can’t pull them into balance, I will always be disturbed by the curveballs that life throws me. I will always get knocked off balance and then have to regroup. We can see this interplay in our lives every day. When our reactions to things are too heavily in any one element, say too much fire (passion), or too much water (emotional), we find ourselves swept away from the core of who we are. Regaining that center can be quick or difficult depending on the situation.

All such disturbances, such detours from balance, veil us from our connection to the heart.

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