Spaciousness

I stood outside for a moment this morning before I hopped on the bike with the girl. I could feel the change in the quality of the air in my skin. A softness returned to it, which let me know that Spring is already in the air. In just a couple of a weeks, thought, we will start to see buds and flowers. It’s the miracle of the Bay Area, Spring in February instead of April or May—anybody from Chicago.

There were three seagulls making their sweet silhouette in the sky, performing a slow motion dance of ellipses. And in the neighbor’s overgrown Yellow Butterfly Tree, small little birds were enjoying a game and hoped from one trembling brach to another, chasing each other like kids playing tag.

And when I brought Leah to school we spoke about the difference in the air. She no longer needed her hood on she said. And the buds will make her dad sneeze when they go out on a hike together. It was a sweet time.

I could tell, as she was walking into school, not very excited about the day there, that she felt our connection. There was a sweet openness inside her and me where she felt me feeling her and vice versa.

I tell you about this morning because you were also on my mind.

Since I wrote about the parenting paradox, I have been thinking about ways in which we can create more spaciousness in our lives.

Spaciousness is what allows us to be present with our children without taking everything they show quite so personally.

Spaciousness in time.

Spaciousness in our minds.

I came to that word originally when I listened to a cassette tape from Sogyal Rinpoche about meditation. He is the author of the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. In that taped lecture, he talked the question what meditation actually is. And all I can remember is that he said over and again:

Meditation is spaciousness.

He said is at least 20 times, so it was easy to remember.

He also said that the 20 minute time frame is not necessary. He called that Standard Western Time.

And I no longer have that cassette tape. I don’t know what happened to it. Anyway, I no longer have a way to listen to it.

Spaciousness.

There is now also a class on spaciousness organized by the founder of Oakland’s treasure called The Sacred Well. (And yes, I love the Sacred Well. It’s a warm spacious place, in a small store.)

And I remember a conversation with my dear friend, the Honest Mom blogger. She put her finger on so many of our dilemma’s by naming our lives compressed. And that feeling of being compressed is the very opposite of spaciousness.

Whatever we can do to foster a sense of spaciousness is important. And today I’d like to suggest that you simply pause.

Just take a little moment …

… and pause.

Nothing else.

Just pause.

To prove that you can.

And see what you notice, even though I wouldn’t worry about noticing at all.

Just pause.

And I hope that someone notices you today.

Niels