Sunday, January 13, 2013

What's in that space between there and here?

Between there and here, between the past and now there is a choice, a space, a field of endless possibilities. 

The likes of Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” remind us so starkly and powerfully, that choices are available to us, even when we think there are none.  

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom”.

The more aware of that space, the potential that exists in it, the expansiveness that it offers, the more we can lean in to it and sit with the unknown, and the more we can respond mindfully instead of with our habitual automatic ways.

This, of course, is the exact opposite of what I did recently in a conversation with someone whom I care deeply for.

Unconsciously swirling around with fixed beliefs, past hurts, defensive strategies, defined expectations and strong emotions, I was so cloudy I didn't see the space.

Tara Brach, refers to a “sacred pause” where we release our control and take the opportunity to clearly see the wants and fears that are driving us.

Useful when we feel that stimulus provoke us in some way, we literally take a breather...

And come to the present...

Knowing we need to take that pause...

Taking it...

Breathing into it...

Following it back to its source...

Enabling us to respond with awareness.

Tomorrow I will be working with a group whose staff survey results have not been so positive...perhaps there will be some sacred pausing in their conversations.   

But for now, I leave you with Robert Doisneau capturing some sacred pausing in Paris of his own.


Viktor E. Frankl (2004) Man’s Search For Meaning: the classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust, Ebury Publishing.  (where I can't actually find the exact quote!)

© image from Robert Doisneau, whose fantastic exhibition “Paris en liberté currently on in Roma, has just been extended until 10 Feb 2013.

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