“I’m curious about bits of space that are already present, already part of my reality and life, in and around everything, and between breaths. It’s the aloha.”
In a crazy culture of intensity, going, doing, and pushing, how do I create times or space for gratitude, peace, and connection?
We talk about “space” in many ways. The one, I’m most used
to, is “personal space”, that awareness of carving out time or creating a personal physical or energetic boundary. We teach kids about their personal space or their “bubbles”, and guide them to become aware when they or others need to take or communicate a need for personal space.
Although related, and it’s not what I’m talking about. There’s a sense of space that represents moments of calm, relief, possibility, presence, or hope. It’s a micro-moment of stopping the doing and thinking. Sometimes micro-moments of space can lead to feelings begging to be seen, a moment of laughter or tears, or getting to really know ourselves or another even more.
I first sense this space in the brief unintentional pause between the next inhale or exhale. I find it in appreciation of the gold color of an autumn leaf, or the moments of the exact right temperature as I sink into warm water.
I’m aware that I want to pause and deepen in these spaces. They are as important as my next breath. They tell me when I’m hungry, full, energetic, and tired. They are where the voice that says, “stop” and “I need” lives. When I find these moments, I feel, sense, be, rest, listen and comfort.
If I invite them, they can deepen. It’s a depth that inevitably is rich and fertile.
They give me the space to be human in today’s fast moving, chaotic, conflicted, and anxious world.
And, like most of us, I initially learned that the pushing, doing and going on to the next thing were more important than the being. I’ve spent much of the second half of my life learning to create these moments of stopping and feeling and connecting.
Yet, old habits and neuro-connections still can play out. Intentions of space for feeling, rest and connection don’t always happen. I can catch myself on doing streaks, and aware of missed moments of sharing and depth. Like the rest of us, I can find myself feeling assaulted, without knowing how to assimilate it, by the news. Like most of us, I move in and out of awareness.
As I write, I’m feeling a little sad. I understand the imperative. I don’t want to miss half of this precious life. I am reminded of tears at youtube videos about free hugs and movies about the courage of connections that defy common stereotypes. We have all heard about end-of-life wishes expressing the value of presence with another.
Sensing the urgency of finding these moments, I ask for a silver key that will unlock the door to even more moments, more balance.
It’s space. I read that 99.99999+ % of the human body and matter is space. That means there’s a lot energy in the space, in between the tiny, tiny solid pieces.
It’s worth getting curious about that 99.99999999-plus %. There are broad implications. What if we are curators of that 99 plus percent? Curation comes with great care and responsibility. It means I don’t have to be a victim of life, the perceived demands, the doing, or time. I can learn to take good care of the micro-moments.
Albert Einstein wrote, “And above all, watch with glittering eyes
the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” Perhaps he’s talking about the spaces between the doing, and the potential of the 99 plus %.
There is a paradox between what we see and know is in front of us, and the space of gratitude, joy, connection, play, beauty, and feeling.
As I look between the branches on the tree, and get curious about that 99.99999+ component of space and energy, I sense that I am easing old habits of cerebral wiring. I feel the ends of the neural receptors that create habits of incessantly going from one thing to the next loosening. I’m curious about bits of space that are already present, already part of my reality and life, in and around everything, and between breaths. It’s the aloha. It’s aways present and just waiting for me to remember.
part 2 to come – Finding spaces between the doing – our children