The beauty of spaciousness

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.

Ahhh! Relief.

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!

 

 

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Loving Presence- the foundation of Hakomi

"Nothing we could ever do or work on or accomplish or achieve in life is worth as much as making our relationships more loving and kind… no task is so demanding, so difficult, so significant, so valuable as the task of being loving with the people in our lives."  -Donna Martin, Hakomi trainer

In the Hakomi method there are several guiding principles that we use to navigate how we interact with clients and with ourselves. One of my favorite parts of the method is the idea of loving presence. It is a unique and incredibly helpful aspect of this method. The practitioner is always coming back to mindfulness and loving presence, which is also known as unconditional friendliness. In early Hakomi trainings we practice listening to others speak while holding in ourselves the intention of finding them inspirational and, let me tell you, it is so easy to do. Every human being is amazing in our ability to adapt and survive in so many different circumstances. Inside us all is the inner human knowing that we each have, at our core, a precious fragile glow; and we do all sorts of things to protect that part of ourselves. I find such beauty in that and I find such beauty in each of my clients as we sit and I am privileged to be with them as they explore the deeper parts of who they are and what they believe.

And it is amazing the kind of space that can grow when we feel free of judgement. As a Hakomi client I knew and trusted that my practitioners were genuinely attentive and unconditionally friendly to ALL THE PARTS OF ME! Even the parts I didn't like. When I felt that- really truly felt that- I was able to start learning about accepting those parts of myself and MADE SPACE for them and that was an amazing transformation.

"When someone maintains loving presence with another, it has a powerful effect. Possibly without even noticing it, the other feels safer, cared for and even understood. When this happens in a therapeutic relationship, healing has already begun."      - Ron Kurtz, Hakomi Founder

 

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