Expansion and Contraction: The Ribcase
The planets are charged, poised and ready for take off during this next waxing cycle. Can you feel the expansion taking place within you and your life? In your relationships and desires? This is a perfect opportunity to work with the rib case and our experience of expansion and contraction.
Using this theme of expansion and contraction, we will work specifically with the ribcase in this Creative Ritual. The ribcase provides protection for the body’s vital organs—heart and lungs specifically.
Every breath we take is connected to opening and expansion as well as letting go, releasing and contracting.
The breath is the greatest metaphor for boundaries, and it’s no mistake that the lungs literally provide us with the ability to live and “take in life” as well. Our ribcase is the protective case that houses these sacred physical tools of the body that allow us to expand and contract our life. When we work with the ribcase, we can explore these themes more intentionally, while letting the body direct our experience.
Start standing or lying down. Begin by bringing your attention to your breath.
What is the quality of your breath on the inhale and exhale? Do you feel the breath staying in your chest or moving into your belly?
Don’t try to force this to change. We are just being a witness to “what is” right now.
Continue this focus for a few minutes, then add another body part to this open and close momentum that starts in your chest. As you expand on the inhale, let another body part become involved. As you exhale let the body relax and surrender to a neutral.
Rise and fall. Open and close. Expand contract.
Continue working with these expressions and notice what other body parts naturally join. Let the body move like a wave in harmony with the breath. Use a time frame of 20 minutes for this ribcase/breath exploration.
Then come to your drawing pad and do a 10 minute sketch of your experience. A “snap shot” of your embodiment process. What colors arrive? What textures? What types of lines and shape? Give a title to this piece then answer the harvesting questions below.
If my ribcase could speak, what would it say to me?
What am I opening to?
What am I closing to?
What am I expanding towards?
Where am I contracting?
Where am I letting in life force?
Where am I resisting life force?
What does my ribcase need?
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Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: courtesy of saraswati j miller