The other day I was doing yoga and at the end of the session, lying in shivasana, our teacher invited us to take up more space – to expand our arms and legs as far as we could, and to breathe deeply into the new-found space we had created.
It felt amazing and at the same time quite strange. The act of purposely taking up more space for myself was something I wasn’t used to doing. This got me thinking. In life we’re encouraged to do the opposite – to take up less space, because then you aren’t seen as being too much…
As a result, we shrink to fit in.
We convince ourselves that by taking up less space in certain situations, or around certain people, it’s easier. BUT the thing is, when we do it over and over again shrinking becomes the default, and we get so used to making space for others in our lives that we forget to make it for ourselves.
We stop speaking our mind, standing up for ourselves, and living life how we want to. This forced restriction of your mind and body is not sustainable, and just like a balloon filling up with air, if you restrict space to expand, you pop. Cue: difficulty managing emotions, weight change, restlessness, muscle tension…the list goes on.
As Marianne Williamson puts it, you discover that ‘your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking.’ SO, this is your invitation to start taking up the space you deserve, and stop shrinking.
Key questions you can reflect on, to help unpack this are:
- Where are you shrinking to fit in? and,
- How can you start to expand into the spaces you’ve been hiding from?