“And just as music is the space between notes, just as the stars are beautiful because of the space between them, just as the sun strikes raindrops at a certain angle and throws a prism of color across the sky – so the space where I exist, and I want to keep existing, and to be quite frank I hope I die in, is exactly this middle distance: where despair struck pure otherness and created something sublime.”
― Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
7 weeks have passed now living on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. From wrapping up the delivery of Her Center, my first online mindfulness and breathwork course, to ecstatic dances, full moon ceremonies and exploring the cacao forests in the Mountains of Suchitepequez, a certain theme seems to be surfacing. This theme presents itself as a magical but often mis understood word.
Cacao Forest in Suchitepequez Mountains Guatemala:
I’m really digging this word, I mean it.
Space is something a lot of us aren’t used to taking or creating in our lives. Many of us have an immense amount of resistance to it. Creating space means creating time, as we take space, we take time.
The beautiful thing about space is that it’s always here, like literally always. It is something we can always count on. But the trouble with space is that we rarely choose to take it, to intentionally create it, or embrace it when it appears, perhaps out of fear of what we may lose in the process.
You don’t have to walk through a cacao forest in the mountains of Guatemala to notice how much space and time nature takes up. For example, growing a cacao tree, the plant who’s pods turn into the chocolate you eat, takes about 3-5 years to go from a seed to a fruiting tree. Each tree only produces a limited number of seeds and then the process begins again. It takes a great amount of patience and time for nature to take its course in order to acquire this delicacy the world is so obsessed with especially ethically sourced cacao.
So, why do we feel we are so different then all that blooms all around us, that there is this lack of space available when it comes to our own growth and expansion, to produce our own fruits?
I often catch myself trying to fill these precious gifts of space, whether it’s physical space, energetic space, emotional space, or mental space… it’s as if space opens up for a moment and I immediately seize the opportunity to fill it with something.
Creating space can be rather uncomfortable too. For example, when we take space from certain people, places, things, ideas, thoughts it can feel extremely bizarre, it may feel as if there is a gap, like something inside of us is missing. Or, in my experience it’s almost as if I feel something needs to be fixed. The gap feels wrong at first, like it must be filled because surely we must filled, connected and busy with the things we love all the time right?
Maybe, but feeling connected to the things we love often requires space from those very things too.
When we take space and time from certain things, we create energy and potential for new things to arise or new appreciation to surface for those things.
What I’m getting at is this, that embracing space, creating it with intention, can be awkward and uncomfortable. You will probably definitely offend someone in doing so, or feel offended when others take it from you. It can also feel quite strange to refrain from filling the space in a conversation, or sitting in a still space between projects, to do’s, and it can be extra challenging to create space for the stuff inside of us we’d rather not be feeling.
But but but, here’s the thing I am discovering about space. There is an INFINITE amount of it available within me and you for all that is asking to breathe, even the stuff we feel like shutting out.
Things I’ve found myself opening up space for recently… singing, dancing, awkwardness, uncertainty, insecurity, aloneness, stillness, resistance, doubt, confusion, sadness, joy, disappointment, love, imperfection. I could go on, and guess what… there is in fact room for all of it and more, as long as I make it.
“You have to create space;
you have to remove something;
you have to break something down in your life,
in order to bring in the new.”
And yes it even feels quite liberating to make space for the not so desirable things of life, to let those things breathe too. It all has its value, its place and its space.
Where are these magical spaces between you ask?
These spaces can be found in between words, the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and the world around us, between passion projects, the labels we tend to identify with, our work, relationships, travels, night and morning, between inhale and exhale, between almost anything if you choose notice enough.
Why do we rush to fill these spaces in our belly, in our heart, in our mind? Fear of feeling empty? Who knows.
However if we are willing to go there this IS in fact where the magic of life is BORN, in these very spaces, where something new and fresh has the opportunity to rise, to begin again.
What needs space in your life right now and how are you making it or choosing to embrace it versus fill it?
What becomes available to you when this space is created?
What has room to breathe now, to come forward in and through you, to rise into being, to begin anew?
Notice these precious opportunities for space. They are often served up to us by life as an absolute shit of a situation. Almost every time I felt life was handing me a shit sandwich, only after carefully, often stubbornly unwrapping it, did the gift of precious space appear and transform to pure gold.
Your space is waiting…
*Photography Credit & blog inspiration to: Aliko Weste
*Learn more about Cacao and support small-scale organic guatemalan farmers and women’s collectives in their path towards sustainability through Cacao Source.