Creating Space for Quiet: The Workshop
So, a group of us set out in workshop style to create space in our lives to add quiet. Why that is important, we can look at; but suspending disbelief that was our undertaking. Some of us had experience with yoga and meditation and some of us did not. We did not all know each other.
Here is a summary of what we examined to develop an approach to feeling spacious and available for the things we love.
Physical clearing: We live in physical space and sometimes the rooms we enter feel themselves already full. There can be floors and ceilings and furniture as expected but the constricted airspace is more about a sensation that the gravity is heavier and more demanding and the density of the air is not compatible with easy breathing. What is interesting is that it doesn’t take particular sensitivity to notice this and be bothered by it. It takes awareness to respond by wanting to adjust it and awareness in knowing that you can.
There are many techniques for clearing what we can call stagnant, negative or even oppressive energy. As a group we began by smudging ourselves and then setting the intention to clear the space by claiming it for our purposes that day. This seems superficial or cursory for spaces that feel deep and mired in heavy unproductive energy. Frankly, the power of intentionally washing the body in spirals of sage while setting the intention of quieting the noise of personal discontent is highly powerful. Add to it the revved up voltage of entering the space and claiming it with clear words of intent and we found the beginnings of a significant shift in the direction of our own mission.
Head Space: Even in vast wide open spaces that feel empty and endless we can be congested by our endless stream of chatter like a CNN news crawl. This describes the least common denominator of being human. There are at least two ways to consider this. First deal with the negative content so that what does get said in your head is helpful. Second, slow it down completely so there is less in there and it is not badgering you but observing a relaxed pace of interruption. We stood up, closed our eyes and contemplated the weight of each layer of our message track. We consider the weight of how we see our selves in our own self description, how we believe others see us, the sum total of our relationships, the full measure of our successes and then our failures. We put it all on at once and then gave ourselves a chance to remove one, some or all of these layers. Each person chose a different path of removal or retention and for different reasons but of critical significance is that whatever layer you retain, it is of your choosing. There is space and freedom in only carrying a burden you choose and choose mindfully. How this plays out in clearing chatter is that you must resolve your understanding of each subjective matter in order to make a decision about whether to continue with it. I can say many of us chose to leave it all behind because these constructs can be artifice. For example, the nomenclature of relationships is not necessary to operate in a loving way with someone you feel deeply connected to. If you choose to simply shed the requirements of the titular relation to another and just attend to them from a deep place of love, you can feel a great lightness where there once was obligation. That is one example of using this rubric to relax the noise in your head.
Heart Space: The elephant in any room of seekers is the clattering of broken dreams, hearts and expectations that repeat like bad kombucha on an empty stomach. Here to is our most powerful discovery. Being together even in silence; even without swapping tales of woe is extremely healing. If it is possible to consider that a heart doesn’t actually break apart, but instead breaks open then the soft interior is the best part. What is so true of Godiva truffles is also true of our hearts. There is a protective coating that can be penetrated by hurt but the good news is by sitting quietly in the presence of other soft centered humans you can access the good stuff. It is difficult without quieting the space and the head and without setting an intention. So, together we sat on a Saturday afternoon and quietly performed the hermaneutics to allow for being in the presence of other kindred strangers and be at peace. We flat out dismissed the standard obligatory social courtesy and just sat quietly, broke bread and when we each felt ready silently took our leave.