Its the waxing crescent in aquarius. During the waxing phase of the moon I tend to think about expansion. I suppose its a natural thought process, since the sun's light begins to expand across the surface of the moon until that luminescent light reflects back at you in all its brilliant glory. Its a good time to ponder, and very naturally, reflect (just like the sunlight), but to also gather energy as we move toward the full phase, where the moon is at its maximum (good for manifestation!) and all sorts of effects are felt in our watery biological vessels.
So, what holds back expansion? I know for myself, its fear. Fear comes in many forms: self-doubt, insecurity, and sometimes, visceral aversion. So, how can we overcome some of the fears we have in order to let ourselves truly expand? Good question. If you figure it out, let me know! Just kidding.
I find for myself, examining the fear--during a journaling session, while meditating, or just when I have a quiet moment, allows me to start peeling back the layers to get down to the root of the issue. And at that point sometimes its clear as the bright full moon light on a starless night, that the fear is coming from a very specific place for a very specific reason. I was thinking the other day about how fear, when it causes hesitation, usually is where we go off the rails and thus we do not expand in a way we might like to. Its that damn hesitation. It gets us all, right? If I hesitate on a guitar solo when my band plays, I most definitely screw it up. If I hesitate before I pop up while surfing, I usually miss the wave. In those activities, I'm mostly able to shut off the "citta vritti" (mind fluctuations) and go for it. But not always. I do find it VERY difficult to shut my own head up when it comes to personal relationships, at times. Connecting is hard! And that's ok--its part of the process and evolution. And I DEFINITELY find it difficult to shut the 'ole brain up during certain yoga poses. As teachers, we are perpetually students. For me, several arm balances and poses like handstands scare the shit out of me when I work on them. My teacher told me that poses we like least are the ones we should practice most.
So, why the hesitation? I mean, the worst thing that happens if I fall is probably a few bruises that I'll heal from. My theory is that its all about control, or the lack thereof. When you begin ANY new endeavor, there is an innate fear (yes, we are hardwired to fear--in some cases it keeps us alive. Biologist Chrissy at your service right now, hoping that the government doesn't shut down so I can still go to work on Monday! Hello, insecurity and fear!). When we are not in control, our brains and bodies go into the fight or flight mode: the sympathetic nervous system kicks into HIGH gear. Being out of control is not a great feeing, so how do we deal with it? Especially when we are looking to expand beyond our current boundaries?
Connection to the body and the breath is where I like to start. One breath at a time. And then OVER time, steps in the way of seeking guidance, of practice, or of questioning/reading/researching and most of all trusting, can be made. Trust is the biggest key to the puzzle of fear, hesitation, and lack of control as it relates to expansion. If we don't trust that we are on the right paths, that we are taking right action, and that what we seek will come to us, it makes it virtually impossible to expand. So get out there and give it a try!
I'd like to add too, that sometimes expansion occurs in ways that one doesn't expect. Sometimes we manifest without the expectation and its wonderful! Kriya Sakti! So instead of kicking ourselves for not hitting a particular pose, or getting that job we applied for, or catching that killer wave, maybe we can all try to remember that something else that suits us better, that perhaps will bring us WAY outside our boundaries, is on the horizon. Because even in the places where we've tried and did not succeed in the way we had envisioned, expansion of the self has actually occurred.