This is a principle of growth I first learned about from Peter Levine and Trauma Healing.
He talks about how expansion is followed by contraction, and that this is the normal process of growth.
When I found out everyone who had been with me at the Peter Levine retreat had a week of contraction when we came back to real life, I started noticing this principle other places.
With chronic pain this principle can be called “symptom imperative” (Sarno) or “extinction bursts” (Alan Gordon). Basically when you start healing, there can be a flare up or a new symptom that shows up.
The Upper Limit Problem, as described by Gay Hendricks in “The Big Leap” is an example of how we may sabotage ourselves when we reach levels of success that are uncomfortable for us.
There is a way of stretching in Physical therapy, called contract-relax. And yin yoga is a restorative yoga.
There are many examples of expansion and contraction as a normal way of growing, so be compassionate with yourself along this journey when there are natural ups and downs!
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