Throughout the day, slight gaps exist between our moments where we can find just a sliver of peace, a pause, a nano-second of tranquility, mindfulness, even prayer. During these times, we can often re-center ourselves and regain our sense of balance and equanimity.
Lately the spaces between for me have looked something like this:
–After the alarm goes off in the morning, I sit on the edge of my bed and I breathe slowly and say a prayer. Only then do I reach for my phone.
–When I turn off the water at the end of my morning shower, I set my head against the shower wall and enjoy the feeling of the water cascading off of me (sorry for that image, if you were eating).
–When I get to work and turn off my car’s engine, I’ve learned to resist the temptation to bolt from my car and race to the office. Instead, I sit in the car and breathe, look at the trees, and watch the clouds. Or. . .
–When I step out of the car, I stand by my car, breathe deeply, and look at the nearby mountains. If I have time, I take a second and watch the tall trees swaying in the breeze.
–When the final bell rings at the end of the day, I often have to race to pick my daughters up at school. Nevertheless, I still try to sit in silence and stillness, if only for a second or two.
–After making dinner and sitting down to eat, I’m learning to resist the temptation to dive into the food, but instead, I try to pause and be in the moment and appreciate the meal I’m about to enjoy. I’m not so good at this yet. (And sometimes this one involves prayer as well).
–Before I go to bed at night, I’m learning to not just dive under the covers in a lump of stress and built-up anxiety, but to sit on the edge of my bed, and take some deep, cleansing breaths before getting under the covers. This mini-rest helps me relax, and might also include some prayer.
Look for those spaces between the “have-tos” in your life, those nano-seconds when you can just stop and be present. I promise you they exist. Each of these Spaces Between take only a very few seconds, but can sometimes mean the difference between feeling imbalanced, wound up, tense, or racing through life instead of taking the barest of moments to regroup.
You don’t have to do them all, every day. But I hope you’ll remember, at least periodically, to give yourself the gift of the space between. TZT
* With apologies to The Dave Matthews Band.