As the summer season was approaching this year, I found myself unsuccessfully attempting to manage a schedule that was far too full. I had committed to an unreasonable amount of appointments and items on my “to-do” list. Having allowed myself and others to develop unrealistic expectations of what I was capable of accomplishing, I felt as though I had no room to breathe or move and I was miserable. During a particularly Claustrophobic Moment, I thought of Dave Matthew’s Song “The Space Between” and I smiled.
“Love is all we need here
The Space Between
What’s wrong and right
Is where you’ll find me hiding, waiting for you
The Space Between
Your heart and mine
Is the space we’ll fill with time
The Space Between… ” ~ Dave Matthews
I was clearly craving more time and more space between all of the items on my agenda. I set an intention to consciously schedule “spaces” that were open and recognize that open spaces didn’t necessarily “need” to be filled.
I challenged my students to do the same. I assigned them homework that involved scheduling “space”, wide-open space, and then filling it with absolutely nothing except for permission to “just be”. I have taught this theme frequently over the last few weeks. We have worked on attempting to find a comfortable pause at the end of our exhalations before taking the next inhalation. We talked about bringing that awareness to our practice and discovering the delightful spaces between the poses. Developing a natural rhythm in our practice and then taking that off the mat and into our lives. Creating a rhythm that allows us to slow down and savor our families, our friends, and even our plans.
Just like anything else, this takes practice. Whether we come to our Yoga Mats or to our Agenda, we are stepping into an opportunity to better our experience. Each time we do this, our practice and our lives are a beautiful blank canvas. Color them sparingly, carefully, and leave space for unexpected spontaneity, creativity, and beauty.
Around this same time, I read that the spaces between our thoughts are, ultimately, our entire reality.
“It is the space between the notes that makes the music. Without that emptiness, that silence in between, there is no music, only a noise. You too are silent empty space at your center, surrounded by form. To break through that form and discover your very creative nature that is in the center, you must take the time to become silent each day, and enter that rapturous space between your thoughts.” Blaise Pascal
Wow! I am working on that now too.