RYAN ALTMAN

🎨 How To Create More Expansion In Your Life

When I was growing up I used to spend a lot of time with my dad in the garage or his studio making artwork.

He taught me from an early age the value of creativity and creative self-expression.

It’s been a guiding principle for me ever since.

Last week, my dad gifted me an app called Rebelle.

It’s the best painting app I’ve ever used.

Paired with a tablet and pen it offers extremely realistic renderings of watercolors, oil paints and other mediums.

I’ve been having a blast playing with it.

A mono color drawing experiment I did inside Rebelle.

Creativity and play are fundamental aspects of our life journey.

I often discuss spirituality through this newsletter, but creativity, play and purpose are just as important.

Spirituality and creativity make up two ends of the spectrum of human life.

The yin and yang, masculine and feminine dimensions of reality.

Spirituality is our inner connection, our soul, and inquiry into truth beyond the world.

Creativity is our outer expression of energy, our humanness, and creative manifestation into the world.

In his book The Holy Science, Sri Yukteshwar says we’re all born to have a full experience of the world by expressing ourselves freely in it.

The problem arises when we get attached to things, or suppress who we are.

We hold onto parts of ourselves and by withholding we literally become ‘heavy’ inside.

In Ancient Egyptian mythology, the fate of deceased people was determined by a judgement called the Weighting of the Souls.

The heart was seen as the seat of life-energy, and to judge the worthiness of a soul, the Heart was weighed against a feather.

Those beings with Hearts heavier than a feather were cast away to be eaten by the jackel-headed god Amitt, the Devourer of Souls.

In the Vedic tradition (and all Dharmic traditions including Buddhism), the denseness of our unfulfilled desires pulls us down to Earth to be reborn again and again in an endless cycle of births and deaths called samsara.

Similar forms of judgement and punishment are seen across almost all spiritual and religious traditions.

Whether we’re actually judged in the afterlife or not, we certainly feel like something’s judging us here on Earth when we don’t express ourselves.

This heaviness is more than metaphorical—it’s an energetic reality.

When we suppress the energy that should flow outward, we feel a literal heaviness in our Hearts—a sensation of contraction and disconnection.

A sort of deadness takes over our body.

The energy we don’t express dies within us.

It feels like Amitt is right here on Earth, devouring us.

Except instead of some jackal-headed god doing the eating, we’re doing it to ourselves.

Energy wants to flow through us, and when we stifle it through resistance, suppression, or attachment we feel it.

That feeling of contraction and heaviness is probably one of the worst feelings we know.

How to create more expansion in your life

How do we overcome feelings of contraction and expand in both directions of human life, towards more authentic creative expression and greater spiritual liberation?

The answer to both is the same: removing the mental conditioning that prevents us from being true to ourselves.

We don’t need to ‘add’ anything to be who we truly are.

We always are who we are.

It’s past conditioning, woundings, traumatic experiences, unmet expectations and programmed patterns of behavior that cover up who we truly are.

It’s the same tendencies that prevent us from expressing ourselves creatively in the world that keep us spiritually bound too.

When we’re truly expressing ourselves, we’re truly being ourselves.

The work to remove these self-limiting tendencies is the most difficult we can do.

It’s a fierce battle to be ourselves in this world.

Fortunately, numerous tools are available to remove mental conditioning and the dense energy it creates.

Meditation, Kriya yoga, Self-inquiry, study of scriptures, devotion, and guidance from teachers all help purify us.

Different healing modalities can help release stuck energy and blockages.

Psychotherapy can address psychological patterns and wounding that were created as we’ve developed and aged.

Movement is also a powerful practice. Whether it’s strength training, running, swimming, boxing or dancing.

Regardless of what we do, by addressing our mental conditioning and the dense energy it creates, our Hearts can expand and feel light once again.

The highest art

One of my dad’s essential principles of creative self-expression is that creativity isn’t limited to art.

Creativity means creating anything, and most importantly, it means creating the life we envision for ourselves.

When most people think of high art or fine art, they probably think of stuffy museum galleries with crowds of people mulling from room to room.

While many incredible works of art are found in museums, the greatest masterpieces aren’t found in any museum or gallery.

They’re found embodied in the lives of those who deeply inquired into and fearlessly expressed who they truly are.

The more we overcome our mental conditioning, the more liberated we are, and the more adeptly we craft the highest art of all:

the authentic self-expression of our soul into the world.

Are you working to create more expansion in your life? How do you process dense energy and contractions? Are you working consciously on the masterpiece of your life?

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