There are many different kinds of space. The space of beautiful, heart-opening, inner expansion that you experience during meditation or listening to a gorgeous piece of music or spending time in nature. Or it may be a space of irritation and contraction when nothing feels like it’s going your way. Every mood and emotion you experience is a kind of space. Today, I’m thinking about the in-between space. The space where you are letting something go and don’t yet know what will come in it’s place. You may be leaving a job or moving to a new city or going through the end of a relationship and although you know something new is on the way, you have no idea what it is. You have officially entered the unknown.
Now, especially in Western cultures, we really don’t find much cultural support for the idea of being in-between and in a space of not knowing. There is generally a lot of praise for people who are considered decisive and fast moving. But, there is so much power in giving yourself space. Space to feel what you are letting go of, to contemplate what the blessings were in the experience, to notice what aspects of the experience were not in alignment with who you are. Space to look at your current values, how they may have shifted over time and what you want to create with the choices that you make next. When we give ourselves this kind of space we find that we can start to make truly conscious and empowered, thus powerful, choices in life.
But, before we get to these empowered choices we have to sit with the unknown. And, this can feel very uncomfortable. It’s not just society, our friends, our family that want to know what we are doing now and doing next – it’s our mind. The mind is a “need to know” kind of machine. It likes to label and categorize and file. This is good. This is bad. I like this. I don’t like that. It clicks along putting everything in it’s place so that we feel safe and like we are in a world we understand. There is a lot of very primal survival stuff happening in the mind. So, definitely give it a break for doing it’s job. Be compassionate with the mind’s driving desire to know. And, do yourself a favor, give your mind some training is spaciousness.
How do we train ourselves to sit in the space of the unknown? Relax the body, breathe deeply and slowly, focus your attention on the breath. Feel into this space of the unknown. Let your mind and body expand into this space and just feel everything that comes up. You may feel the beauty of being in possibility. You may feel your heart contract in the fear of what might or might not come next. Give yourself reminders that you are not in danger. And continue to let it all unfold in your Being as you continue to relax and breathe. Practice asking yourself if the decision you are making is in alignment with your values and your highest vision of yourself. You are an intelligent, loving, thoughtful human being and you are going to take good care of yourself.
The unknown is not avoidance of decision, it’s fertile ground for the seeds of new life to incubate and grow. Let your next steps come through this place of the unknown as you notice what will most support you next in life. And when you are ready let yourself jump forward into what is next. And continue sowing the seeds of spaciousness in your daily practice. Soon you might find you welcome the unknown along with the known. The dark, rich, soil is just as beautiful and nurturing as soaking up the sunlight and rain. It’s all good.
You are LOVE.