One thing I realized this morning is that a contraction is not the essence of the energetic body that contracts/resists. It is only a clue as to that body's presence. I can tune into it (thereby provisionally giving sway to the resistance), and the responsible body emerges more fully.
But in this space, the primary task, again, is not to end the resistance/contraction but to simply grant much-needed attention. Feeling into the contours of this body, allowing it to resist or not resist as much as it needs. Unconditionally embracing it with interest and patience and love.
The distinction between the contraction and the essence of the contracting body becomes clear when the contraction stops and the breathing begins. I've been able to stay concentrated such that the responsible body/entity/part-of-me does not disappear when it relaxes and allows breathing. Its essence is still here. I can presence it and feel it just as much when it's breathing and flowing. Its contours remain intact even without the contraction!
I had conflated the two, initially not recognizing anything but a contraction and the hard perimeters of its extent. But for it to breathe and not disappear—this is a new sort of blissful inner communion! What parts of me cannot be embraced with the power of such presence?
The practice suddenly feels so much more inclusive. Freely flowing energy is great and in some way still remains the ideal, but blockages and contractions are now no less exciting to be present to. The need for patience is transcended by an immediacy that is always present and available.
Yes, the empty, vague, blank or bored feelings or areas are still there. But now I have a greater faith that some part of me is actively working to keep things in the dark, faithfully doing what it knows how to do so well. And faith that it will be shown another even better option once the light finds its way into those corners and it learns that there's nothing to be afraid of.