Giving and receiving space is a relevant and poignant matter. If one gives space to themselves and others there is a sense of fluidity and flexibility. There are options, opportunities and a vastness.
If there isn’t space, there is narrowness and rigidity. Think about when you get knotted up inside about something. It’s because the lens of perspective is very narrow. So why isn’t it so easy to open up this lens?
My intention is always for openness and spaciousness, but my lens can narrow some of the time. How do we keep our lens’s open and uncluttered while acknowledging our natural and human thoughts and feelings and honour our experiences as they unfold?
I recently travelled to India focused on this theme and tried to notice the fleeting moments of when I felt I was ‘really seeing’. These are some of the momnents I noticed this experienced:
Seeing a lotus flower open
Seeing the flower market and local passers-by with vibrant colours
Seeing how Mumbai wakes up at dawn at the fishing dock where assemblies of people work in tandem to make the fishing industry go from the water to the consumer
Seeing children’s faces and willingness to connect
Seeing the natural patience of the drivers in a chaotic maze of navigation
Seeing my husband experience India’s authentic cuisine for the first time
One does not have to be in India to ‘see’ and yet going away from our usual surroundings can sometimes remind us and rekindle us to be aware of exactly where we are.
We are more often blinded by what is in front of us because we are living in the past or future.
Although I’ve had a lifetime of committing to staying 'present', my natural tendency, like most people is to be in the past or future.
I’ve changed my profession and lifestyle to be a student of yoga, a budding teacher and advocate of mental wellbeing. This ideal is meant to be an alternative to finding sole purpose in work, work, work but even my journey of yoga lead me to build a yoga business (of work!) which was satisfying but also taxing.
I love big ideas and mulling over them to see what can be developed and where it takes me as an evolving human being. My decision to sell the business after 7 years was one of the best decisions I have made because it was time for me to have a break and see where life takes me.
The business went to an equally capable person who has taken the business from strength to strength with her own flavour. I am proud of that. Yet now finding purpose and meaning in every day is challenging.
Finding purpose in our children and family is a noble one which many find easy. I feel so fortunate to have three sons and a supportive husband but domesticated life is not fulfilling enough for me in and of itself. Likewise, only working isn’t fulfilling enough. So I continue to strive for the elusive work-life balance that many do.
Recreation, rest and distraction is an imperative part. They are all pieces of a broader puzzle and solution.
As humans, we are evolutionarily programmed to think about the future (as originally what might be lurking around the corner to eat us) and the past (as what has come to pass that affects us so we may learn) and we need to be compassionate to ourselves in this natural process.
Talking about being present and mindfulness is very popular right now - it is a constant practice of noticing and observing while not getting caught up in the actual going’s on.
We can be immersed in it and present while not attaching oneself too much to whatever lay before us. That is part of life’s understanding and unfolding journey.
Having a mantra of acknowledging and being engaged in ‘what is’ while giving space to and for oneself and others is a continual voyage and a commitment to self care.