4 January 2012
Don't be surprised if you experience a bit of identity wiggliness. For example, someone might comment on something about you specifically, and your reaction might feel like, "…who?" When we're contracted down to a pinpoint of identity, a lot of the structure comes from fear-based identifications. Now that these are losing their dominance, your very sense of who you are is undergoing massive transformation.
When we're expansive, even if we aren't aware of feeling over-the-moon joy, there is no clinging to identity or a sense of "this quality or defect or accomplishment is mine." If someone praises you, it may feel warm and connected and glorious, but there will be no sense of relief from a fear-based identity. You won't feel as attached to positive feedback, but you'll be fully capable of appreciating it and savoring a flowing connection with others.
The same goes for negative feedback. When you're in an expansive state, negativity coming from someone else will be received in a more attentive, compassionate, and alert way. This doesn't mean that you must make any attempt to receive criticism in a more "positive" way (unless you are inspired to do so). There is also good in feeling the contraction, the small, dense, fear-based response. There is value in experiencing this with the awareness that there is also expansion. It's part of the melting away of the old and the blossoming of the new. You can feel how each response affects you. You'll settle down where it feels best.
Part of feeling the expansion is also heightened awareness of its opposite–the contraction. The contracted state has been habitual for humans, and after having an expansive experience, the contracted "normal" will feel even denser and more awkward than it has in the past. You can visit, but you really can't live there anymore.