Gratitude Confession #3: Diving into White Space
One of the great joys of my summer is giving myself large swaths of time and space to get quiet, to pull away from the pace of modern life, and to do the hard work of watching my mind as it attempts to adjust to non-doing. This, I fully recognize, is a great luxury, and I do not take it for granted. So this week’s gratitude confession is for white space: I look at my calendar and see large blocks of whiteness. Nothing to do!! Nowhere to go!! No pressures weighing on me. Pretty lucky, I know. This is not the kind of life I can lead for long. I am kind of a social creature, but I’ve learned that my body and my soul desperately need regular respites from the full and sometimes zany life I lead most of the time. So here’s to emptiness. Here’s to silence. Here’s to a mind not interested in the getting and spending of the world.
Here is a recent entry in my gratitude journal that gives the flavor of my current state.
While the world is frenetic, angry, and seemingly insane, I pull in to silence. I sit meditation. I relax into Spirit. I take refuge in the dharma. I am calm and at ease, knowing that all is well. I am surrounded by beauty. I am secured to Open Intelligence. I am OK in every breath, each inhale giving everything I need and each exhale fulfilling my purpose in this moment. I breathe in. I breathe out, knowing that all is well.
I’ll step back into life soon. I’ll take up my work. I’ll take action on behalf of goodness. I’ll buy new clothes. I’ll catch up on movies. I’ll make an apple tart. In other words, I’ll be a busy householder. But I know as I do that, I’ll also carry with me a large piece of white space. It’s always there, always accessible, always sustaining me. And I am so grateful for that.
I urge you, as you tend to your own gratitude practice, to take some time to think about a state of mind that you really enjoy inhabiting. How often to you get into that state? Being aware of what pleases us, what nourishes us, what helps us know ourselves better is a big part of the gratitude process. Even if you don’t experience as much as you want of that state, in your practice, be grateful for the bits of it that you do allow yourself to experience. Over time, those bits will surely begin to expand. That’s the way gratitude works: what you are grateful for starts getting bigger and bigger.
So what do you want more of today? Write it in your TIA Journal!