Spaciousness is my favorite thing.
There is such a different quality to an experience when we invite some space into it.
We can get so contracted around things- physical or emotional pain, expectations, beliefs, pressures, and on and on. I do it all the time and I know I am not alone.
When we do that there isn’t any room for allowing that experience to move or show us anything, no room for reflection or contemplation. And also it feels worse. As I was reminded in a amazing presentation by Judson Brewer last week, suffering = pain+resistance. When we experience something uncomfortable and then contract around it- which is what most of us do- it makes it a more unpleasant experience. One of suffering.
I remember speaking about some issue with my kids that was I was really contracting around and experiencing suffering about. One of my teachers said, "Can you make bring some spaciousness into that?"
Wow. Yes. I could and I was able to realize that was a possibility. To make space-to allow things inside of me some room to breathe. And I felt so much better and more clear. I was able to get in touch with the bigger picture- gain some perspective about what matters most to me. That is the essence of mindful parenting; to stay aware of the big picture. It was still an issue that I didn’t know exactly how to deal with, but I wasn’t all tied up in knots about it anymore and somehow we found a way to be with that issue with more ease.
It’s sort of the difference between how you feel when you are 10 minutes late and still 5 miles away from an important appointment and how you might feel if you knew you have all day to do whatever you want with no time constraints.
When I was learning about Hakomi as a student and a client my favorite request was- and still is- can you make some space for that? For whatever experience that is arising. It might be one that feels good and expansive already or it might be something hard- sadness or fear or discomfort. It’s so important to turn toward those things and make space for them. They need that. We need to do that for ourselves.
Tonight or tomorrow just notice if you feel yourself contracting around something and see if you can make some space around it, or in it, or beside it. Just make a little space. And notice what happens.
I know this doesn’t come easy and lots of us have a lot of practice and conditioning around clamping down on things, so please be gentle with yourself if this doesn’t make any sense or is really hard for you to do at first.
I’m planning to share a guided meditation on this shortly- so look for that soon!