Living In The Gap: Embracing Emotional Maturity

How does a person go from confusion to clarity? From restlessness and distraction to serenity? From conflict to peace? From noise to silence? From angst to joy? From entitlement to gratitude? From selfishness to service?

This transformation is the result of embracing learning and change.

I think that explaining the changes that happen when a person reaches emotional maturity is not as effective giving the person a means to obtain it.

 

Emotional maturity, for me, is what I term as living in The Gap (a state of inner space, not the store!). Viktor Frankl called it the space between stimulus and response.

The Gap is that split second between when something happens and our reaction to it.

 

  • Our senses to register it as having happened (stimulus)
  • They send signals to our brain
  • We sift through our mental database for a similar experience and choose the best possible reference. We remember what we did before, or what we have been taught, or what we saw someone else do in a similar situation (even someone on TV).
  • We to apply to this situation (response)

When we act from memory, when we remember a similar experience and act from it, we call this reacting.

Athletes work on their reaction time, repeating the same action until it becomes what we call Second Nature. Doctors and pilots and musicians and parents and factory workers and dancers, like Tom Cruise in the movie, Cocktail, practice their moves until they become so smooth, so easy, it is like they always knew how to do this thing.

But they didn’t. Even with natural ability, they still had to learn the moves. And it took years, even decades, to master this skill.

Living in The Gap gives us access to First Nature. This is who we are before we become domesticated, shaped, molded, and folded into a predictable version that is acceptable to mainstream society.

The original Big Sky country, First Nature is a space where the wildest, most courageous, curious, creative, and passionate hearts roam free. It is a space of calm, and quiet. Time becomes null in this void. It is Sanctuary.

It is where the most honorable and compassionate part of us, the part I call our Constant Traveler, awaits.

We must come to our Constant Traveler’s space. I learned that attempting to draw her “out here,” into the world, breaks the connection.

I spent decades catching only flashes of her…being with her just long enough to know it was possible but never being able to stay for more than an hour or two. I spent years yearning for the delight of this place that I knew existed but in which I couldn’t live…until Viktor Frankl taught me through his book, Man’s Search For Meaning, about the space between stimulus and response.

I began to extend the time in between when something happened and my reaction to it. It was hard. It hurt. I had to bite my tongue, as my Irish grandmother would have described it, and wrestle with my feelings over what I believed to be an injustice.

But I wanted it more than anything. I had to desire peace more than I desired defense.

I studied the work of psychologists Carl Rogers and William Glasser, and teachers like Jiddu Krishnamurti, Wayne Dyer, and Alan Watts, as well as other great thinkers and teachers. Gradually The Gap began to expand.

The Gap is the space where I learned how to shut my mouth and listen.

Emotionally mature people value The Gap above all else. They use time wisely. They take the time they need to consider an appropriate response and do not let the drama of a situation drag them from this sanctuary.

Essentially, it is where the subject learns to be the observer by positioning you, as A Course In Miracles describes it, above the battleground.

This is how life has changed for me. I am no nobody’s guru, but I do enjoy living in The Gap.

Try it on and see if it fits you.

Who’s Driving The Bus?

To be or not to be?   Why do we spend so much time searching for the reason for our existence?

We ask and the ego answers.

I consider the ego as psychologist Carl Jung described it – a mask, or persona, that we present to society. Things can get confusing when we take this persona too seriously.  We need our ego to negotiate the world, but things get tricky when we give it too much power.

The ego is always searching for a reason to exist. It needs constant confirmation that it is the most important part of a human being. If we accepted that we are living our ultimate purpose now – that we have come to life simply to live it and that life takes on the meaning we give it – we wouldn’t need our ego nearly as much.

Our fragile ego, defined and defended by our wounds and confusion, needs drama in order to survive. It is in our mask’s best interest to scream and defend itself.

This Art of War has been perfected by humans from the time that time began. Everyone we know has been trained in its tactics and strategies. Our lineage has taught us well.

Like with any other part of our human selves, offer your ego compassion. What a horrible way to live…always filled with dread, in the most basic, reptilian way. Your contempt makes it fight harder.

You see, it is perpetually terrified of one thing…its death. Keeping us freaked out about protecting it – for any reason other than the simple one – keeps us in fear mode – the only home the ego knows. It lives in fear.

I consider my identity in an artistic manner…it is mold-able and fluid, like clay. I invented myself, so I can reinvent myself. If I allow my mask to solidify that is when things get tricky. The key is to remain open and accepting of change, to go with the flow, and not take things too seriously.

Accepting that the ego is part of us, a poor driver that we allow to sit at the back of the bus, puts an end to war. It positions us above the battleground where we can understand the actual function of this part of us and not give it any more importance than is absolutely necessary.

Keep in mind that we have the choice of who drives the bus.

Always Arriving

In a recent interview, modern thought leader and author Brendon Burchard described a meeting with Oprah.  Before anything else was discussed, she asked, What is the intention of this meeting?  

As Brendon explains it, Oprah is always seeking clarity – clarity of purpose and of time expenditures.  Well aware that there are only 24 hrs (or 1440 minutes) available in each day, she demonstrates that she values her precious time by seeking clarity in every interaction.

As Brendon teaches, every high performer knows that if they take care of the pennies, the dollars will look after themselves.  By clarifying their Whys, they can clearly map their Hows.

Why then do so many of us get bogged down?  Why is the “devil in the details” more apt for some of us than it is for these high performers?  Why does attention to detail bog us down instead of freeing us to do our best work?

Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions?  Or perhaps we are afraid to ask any questions at all?

Question Everything – this can be an open-minded, freeing way to live, or it can also be the means to close us off from the very things we are seeking.  The nature of your questions matter more than you may be aware…

Why am I so dumb?
Why can’t I stop eating junk?
Why can’t I be like my brother?
Why are people so hateful to one another?
Why does everything have to happen to me?
Why can’t I overcome this?
Is there anyone out there who loves me?
What if I never feel like I’m enough???

Is this line of questioning coming from a place of abundant curiosity, or lack of hope?  Haven’t you already decided before you asked the question?

And what happens when we are so afraid to speak up or so afraid of not being able to handle the answers, that we never ask the questions?

Truly, there is a devil in the details here, and it is fear.  Question the source of the questions.

Another reason we are afraid to seek clarity is that in order to do so we must admit that we don’t know what it is.  If we are afraid to ask questions because we may look dumb or incompetent, we become that which we fear.  We cannot feel competent and confident in our ability because we have chosen to pretend that we are something we are not….something limited.

How can you discover that which has the potential to fill you if you pretend that you are already full? 

You have chosen from meager offerings (the limited options you see before you – the ones you have already lived) and out of fear of being exposed as a poser you have fortified your position with mute defense.

You can’t unfold a flower with your hands…

Inspiration is the result of surrender to the natural flow of events. Fear of being discovered as not knowing blocks knowing.

Open yourself to what is possible.  You always have that choice.  Learn from the examples of the highest performers among us.  No matter what their age, level of success or intelligence or station in life, they seek clarity in all things.

An elegant mind does not accept detours, because it is always arriving.  It does not attempt to make the road shorter, but travels in such a manner that every action leaves the land more fertile and the landscape more beautiful.

Seeking clarity is a lifetime pursuit because each situation is always new.  You and I have never lived this day…in this way…before.

With this in mind, we are always arriving.

In Defence of Comfort…

How far are you willing to go?
How much are you willing to know?
This is the question that nobody knows,
Just how deep that rabbit hole goes…

Last year, while vacationing in the Dominican Republic, I was faced with a dilemma.  We were at a small, out of the way park in which there was a really cool freshwater pool, called a cenote in Spanish, in which we were invited to swim.

A cenote is a freshwater pit or sinkhole, caused by the action of water, over time, eroding of the limestone and creating a natural pool.  These pools are exquisite – sparklingly clear, vibrantly blue-green in color, and refreshingly cool.  To the person who dislikes jumping into 25-26 deg. Celsius ( 77-78 deg. Fahrenheit) water the refreshment “shock” takes you out of your comfort zone.

Yeah.  I am one of those people.

I had no trouble walking into the pool, immersing myself a bit at a time, but when the tour leader guided us to the rock from which we could jump (about a 6 ft drop) into the deepest part of the cenote, I declined.  I watched my husband gleefully leap with the abandon of a child into the clear sapphire water.  He shot me a wicked grin that conveyed his pleasure to be here, in this place, and to be able to enjoy the experience of jumping into the pool.  An experience I did not share.

You know what?  That sucked.

It was a tattoo moment for me, one of those moments that gets tattooed on your memory.  It is a “snapshot” of time when I think of that cenote, I think of my husband’s wicked grin as he tried to encourage me to jump in with him.

A tattoo moment can serve as an excuse.  I am no different than anyone else, there are times when I argue for my limitations.  The water was too chilly – I don’t like jumping into “cold” water…the rock was “too” high – I don’t like heights…Why don’t I just do it?…because I can choose not to and I chose not to…

Cool.  There was nobody or nothing to stop me either way.  I missed out on that very cool experience because I was stuck in my comfort zone.

I will give myself some cred here…I have blasted my way out of many comfort zones in my life resulting in significant changes and personal growth, including addressing my fears around my personal death and dying in a profound manner.  I have written a book about that process called Saving Your Own Life:  Learning to Live Like You Are Dying, but comfort is a funny thing.  It creeps up on you when you aren’t looking and causes you to be less than you could be.  Less than your best.

Frig that.

I began exploring my comfort zone in more depth this year and discovered pockets of resistance. There are more but these seemed to be enough to begin to address at that time.

I found myself avoiding:

Unscripted public speaking.
Tightening up my diet.
Engaging in exercise even in cold, windy, winter weather.
Strenuous exercise.

Can you identify with any of these pockets of resistance?  Where do you most defend your comfort?

I addressed my discomfort with unscripted public speaking by joining two Toastmasters clubs last fall.  I threw myself into it by entering contests and speaking at every opportunity.  My comfort level with unscripted speaking (without a memorized, prepared speech) is much higher now.

The other three on my list, I discovered, revolved around my beliefs about aging.  As I have grown older and, I like to believe, wiser, I have realized the benefits of giving myself a break.  I was really hard on myself for most of my life and bullied myself into strict diet and exercise protocols that I could not maintain in the long run.  I felt I was too lean, and I exercised a lot of the time while injured.  I stopped attending Hapkido classes due to pain caused by what I believe to be a serratus anterior (sometimes called the boxer’s muscle) injury.  I kept injuring it over and over and had to leave the sport for a year in order to have it properly heal.

It was a reality check.  I was 50 yrs old at the time.  It stands to reason that I would not heal as fast as I did when I was 25.  We still cycled, hiked and ran, but I had to limit my upper body exercises, including kayaking, for a while.

During that time I also began to eat more bread and pasta.  I truly believe in the Mediterranean style of eating for optimum health and longevity, but at that time I began indulging more than was necessary for health and long life.  I have a very healthy appetite.  My abdomen expanded as I sat more working on my books, eating that second helping of pasta…indulging in more crusty bread and cheese than I had before.  I was not overweight by anyone’s standards, but I felt dumpy and sluggish.

Not one to deny the subject of age, I began to consider the idea that perhaps this slowing down was natural…that the best of my years may be behind me…and that perhaps…it was natural to decide to ski and snowshoe and walk on sunny, nice winter days that kept me comfortable?  Didn’t I deserve it?

Indulging in our just desserts…

How many times have you heard people complain about winter weather?  Does it sound like you?  Generally, we stay inside more in winter and steel ourselves from the biting winds and snow as we make a dive to the car and then into the nearest heated building.

However, life goes on.  Days go by.  And one morning you wake up, hating the snow and the below zero temperatures, even when the sun is shining…because it is -10 deg. Celsius…because it is too windy…because there is always tomorrow…

I decided this year to step up my game, and step into my discomfort.  How?  The solution was elegantly simple.  With the exception of a driving snowstorm or sleet that covered everything in a veil of ice, I piled on the clothes and went anyway.

Here is a really easy way to begin blasting yourself out of your comfort zone – take a cool shower every morning.  Work up to a cold morning shower.

Yeah.  A cold shower works wonders.  It certainly blasts you out of your comfort zone.  It also saves on hot water, by the way, and saves on your water bill because I can guarantee you won’t stay in there any longer than necessary to get the job done, especially at first.

I begin with a cooler shower and before I got out, I began to turn the water colder and colder.  I hold my head under it for at least 30 seconds and then spin around (for some reason it feels colder on your back!) a couple of times.  Yeah, I grimace, but WOW! is it energizing!

And it is way cooler than the temperature of a tropical cenote.

This morning I found that I have become acclimatized to cold weather and cold water in a manner that is very satisfying.  Cold water showers have many health benefits (see link below).

That, my friends, is truly cool.

I have addressed the items on my list and realized something interesting…it had nothing at all to do with getting older, but everything to do with mindset…I can choose to and I chose to…

Naturally, you can choose, too…

Consider your own list, your own tattoo moments…yes, a tattoo moment can serve as an excuse, but frig that… make it an invitation to jump!

What comforts are you defending?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/health-news/12-benefits-of-taking-cold-showers-every-day/ar-BBUq4zD

Strategic Disruption – Chats With My Constant Traveller

The only two things you need to succeed in life are insight and drive. – Jay Samit

I love Jay Samit’s attitude!  He is a true divergent. He speaks of a time in the not-too-far future when the traditional job market will be revolutionized by AI technology. When this happens it will do no good to complain about losing your truck driving job, or your checkout job, or any other job that is already being replaced by technology, because it will already be gone.

In these times, we need our creativity more than ever. We have to break out of the comfortable groove into which we have settled and adapt. This can be scary and seem risky. However, the time is already here when it is riskier to stay in your groove than it is to venture out of it.

I get it. Like you, I was a product of my time…get education right out of high school, get a job and stick with it, work until I’m ready to retire…the big dream was winning the lottery, but I would settle for Freedom 55…

As it turns out, I didn’t do any of those things. And at times life has been scary. The options seemed limited…but now I understand that my options were limited because I talked myself out of many of the more interesting ones.

But this is now and that was then. Life begins after 50, it doesn’t end at 50. Which do you truly believe, in your heart of hearts? Tomorrow does not belong to the young unless you believe it. It belongs to nobody and everybody because it is simply a dream.

Dreams are ageless.  So is change.

Change happens now. Now is your opportunity, and mine. As an example, for just one day log the time you have spent surfing your news feeds or watching videos of cute kitties and puppies…this time could have been spent learning something new…perhaps about Epigenetics, or a new language, or about how the brain works, or how to make your diet better, or learning a new way to exercise, or watching a tutorial on how to use that new app or software, or reading a book that teaches you something…something that you may become so excited about that you feel it would be cheating others if you didn’t share it…

Or perhaps, if you choose, to learn something that makes you indispensable in your current job…if you really love that job, that is…

It’s all there, literally at your fingertips. Please, for the sake of us all, share your inspiration, not your complaints. Spark revolution and evolution and offer us a solution that incites a freaking dissolution of the calcification of our brains into to overflow with decrepit and sad and regret!

Stop the endless repetition of thoughts and events that leverage your past at the expense of your precious future. Only you can, but can you create that vision for yourself?

Each and every day that you have the privilege of waking up on this side of the grass, offer value for value.  How can we, as rational, compassionate human beings, offer anything less?

The world is depending on your answer.

Yay, Jay.

Still-Point Painting – Chats With My Constant Traveller

I do some of my best thinking when I am painting.  Not landscapes, or portraits, or abstracts, or still-lifes…I enjoy painting walls.

I consider it a contemplative, still-point exercise.  As I apply it, the act of painting itself stills me.  The focus and dedication and change and patience and breath and commitment to excellence with which I approach painting stills me.  Life, expressed through this action, stills my wild heart.

If you were to observe me as I am painting a wall which, I believe, would be a rather lackluster decision, you would be led to believe that there is nothing still about it.  Painting is all action.  But therein lies the paradox – the outward action that stimulates inner flow is achieved through a still-point state.  And deliciously, it sets up a flow that is best described in circular terms – state leads to action that leads to state that leads to action…

This is how flow creates endless moments.  We interpret these endless moments as still-points.

If this seems cryptic or out of reach for you…don’t worry.  Just paint. 

You have decided that it is time to paint a room.  Perhaps there are scuffs on the walls, or your partner wants to change the color.  Whatever the reason, you will be there with yourself for the duration of the task, why not create a space in which you enjoy it?

Any task that has been performed in the history of the Universe has begun as a gleam in the doer’s eye.  Offer it your non-resistance, give up yourself wholeheartedly to the exercise.  Observe your thoughts.

Observe when, where, why and how in the painting process that your resistance bubbles up:

When did you begin telling yourself that you don’t like to paint and dreading the day when you have to begin?

Does your resistance to the task make it easier to do the things you must do to prepare?

Do you feel you are not a good enough painter to do the job?

Perhaps you should call a professional painter?  Most likely they will be a much better painter than you are, but you don’t want to pay a professional to paint your room.  You don’t have their experience.  You may be right.  This may be a reason, but it doesn’t have to be an excuse.

Having trouble choosing the color of your paint?

What if the color you choose is too dark, or too light, or doesn’t turn out the way you planned?  What if you choose the wrong color and nobody likes it?  This is the perfect opportunity to ask yourself, Why do I care?  This is my home, not theirs.

Have you begun at the beginning?  Exercise the 5P’s – proper planning prevents poor performance.

Proper prep begins with moving furniture, taking down wall art and clearing the room of accessories as well as taking off light switch and thermostat covers, taping off areas on which you don’t want to get paint.  This can take a while, especially if you are taping off baseboard, crown molding and other trim.  Also, it is wise to purchase a drop sheet to collect any spray.

Once the prep work is complete painting is a much easier task.

Are you impatient to get on with other things?

Resistance to painting generally means painting as quickly as you can so you get the distasteful job done.  There are always more important things to do when a person decides that they dislike painting.

Do you work incrementally?

Exercise your options – paint one wall at a time or one room at a time.  Give yourself the gift of time.  Perhaps you have given yourself a deadline – now you only have a weekend to get this done.  Why did you decide that you had to finish it this weekend?  What is the source of your stress-pressure?

Do you get frustrated when you make a mistake and paint outside the lines?

Some painters have such a steady hand and can wield a paintbrush with such precision that they can cut (painters use this term when they are painting along trim and other boundaries) free-hand, but many of us cannot.   Perhaps you cannot hold your arm steady for an extended period of time or to apply the focus that is required.  Maybe you no longer have the eagle-eyed precision to clearly see the lines.  That is why they made painter’s tape, my friends.  I enjoy working with painter’s tape.  There is a bit of skill that is necessary to apply as well as remove the tape, but the time it takes to do so can lead to super results.

How good are you at settling into corrections and reapplication?

It takes at least two full coats (with a 24 hr drying time in between) to get optimum results.  The wise painter approaches the second coat with the same dedication to excellence as the first.  Decades ago, when I began painting I would go so fast and create so much spray that I was cleaning tiny paint drops off windows and floors for days afterward.  Spray still happens (we will always miss some), but maximum enjoyment equals minimum cleanup.

Unless you are painting with the same color paint as your trim, there will be times when you will need to touch up.  You don’t want to leave that Sky Blue smear on your crisp white trim.  By this time you can see the end of the painting task and really don’t want to spend any more time than absolutely necessary making corrections.  This is not the time to let impatience and frustration get the best of you.

Are you Slap-Happy?  Consider the importance of developing a personal Standard of Excellence…

My mother had a term for those who rushed through something in order to get it done (I believe she may have created that term for me!).  She described those folks as slap-happy.  They would give it a lick and a promise and then move on.  I have seen many rushed paint jobs in people’s homes (heaters smeared with paint, receptacles painted over, cupboards covered in paint where the wall met the wood…door knobs and window sills…) as well as in businesses where it was clear that the owner did not allocate funds to hire professional painters.

As a coach, I believe in establishing a unit of measurement for evaluating performance.  I advocate for the development of a personal standard of excellence.  Why?  Because your time is valuable, your energy is valuable, you are worthy of your best effort, and you are better than a substandard performance…or paint job.   Taking the time to clarify how you demonstrate excellence in what I describe as the Thoughtful, the Expressive, and the Active Domains enables you to see it, and be it, and act with integrity in every task you perform.

Are you prepared to deal with disaster?  Sometimes the painter moves really slow, and sometimes really quick…

I practice being methodical and Zen when I paint, however, there have been times when I have inadvertently tipped over a small container full of paint, stepped in my paint tray (I still have the socks to prove it somewhere…), sat on a paintbrush, and snapped myself in the chops with the roller handle.  I have had to wash kitty feet and tracks when one of my cats decided to jump in the paint tray.  However, the most intense mess was the time I was on a ladder and my paint container fell onto the floor below, splashing about a litre of paint all over the floor, the wood trim and a closed door.  I reacted as I normally do when something like that happens, I began focusing on my breathing as I climbed down…and tried to be all cool about it.  However, when I realized how rapidly the latex paint was drying into the porous pine door…and was hit with the realization that I may have to sand the door if I didn’t get that paint off faster than now…I did freak a little.  And I may have uttered a couple of 4-letter cuss words during that time.  Paint on, paint off, Paula-san…Mr. Miyagi would have had a chuckle…

Do you celebrate a job well done?

A goal achieved is a reason for celebration, but it is not the only one.  The ability to create a goal is also a reason for celebration.  Waking up on this side of the grass in order to paint is a reason for celebration.  To have your own walls to paint is a reason…to have the extra funds to afford paint is a reason…

Working hands and arms and feet and eyes are stellar reasons for celebration.  N’est pas?

Another reason I enjoy painting is that painting is perfectly grounding.  It brings you up front and center.  When I follow my paintbrush strokes and consider every roller stroke… when I pay attention to how I load my brush or roller with paint…when I observe how my hands and knees and legs and shoulders and back feel…I realize that not just painting, but any task, can be utilized in this manner, transforming ordinary tasks into my version of extraordinary art.

With spring renovations right around the corner, I invite you to try still-point painting.  It’s all very Zen.

 

Mini-Vac Labyrinth – Chats with My Constant Traveller

Every day, without fail, I have deep and interesting chats with my Constant Traveller.

She is the one companion who never leaves me.  In good times we celebrate.  In blah times we conspire.  In crappy times we innovate.

My Constant Traveller celebrates every day we wake up on this side of the grass! She loves to mount an expedition and discover something colored beautiful in the days when I am feeling blah.  The crappy stuff is where we hunker down and dig in – because she knows that it is where I am uncomfortable that I experience the most growth.

And…her eyes light up and she laughs like a child every time she tells a good poop joke.   She advises me to be wary of those who don’t laugh at a good poop joke.

“You never know,” she says, “Constipation of the mind may be contagious…”

My Constant Traveller holds a PhD in Creativity, specializing in No Nonsense Philosophy and  Communication, from the prestigious School of What Is.  We have had many epic adventures together.

I live with three cats, Clawdia, Joey, and Jerry, who I know for a fact are furry-gurus.  Besides offering me consistent practice in litter-box detailing, 100 chances each day to practice my Greetings and Farewells by letting them in and out of the house, and instructing me in the elegant arts of paper chewing and desk-document rearrangement, their hairy contributions to our living spaces present me with a daily opportunity to perfect my vacuuming skills.

I have become a Master of the Mini-Vac on a Stick.  My trusty vac and I have gathered enough kitty-hair tumbleweeds to begin a thriving throw pillow business…if stuffing pillows with kitty-hair ever becomes a thing.  My Constant Traveller, ever the exemplary, instructs me to, “Use it, lose it, or it will use you.”

She offered me a something colored beautiful moment this morning as I was sucking up tumbleweeds.  We decided to call it the Mini-Vac Labyrinth Exercise.

My great room floor looks like planks.  The lines run in a satisfyingly straight motif from one side the room to the other, something that delights my husband and me to no end, because it means that the gents who laid the floor were dedicated to excellence.  We celebrate that.

I generally rise between 6:00 and 6:30 am.  Mornings are my most productive time for contemplation, reading, and writing.  By the time I am ready to begin the active part of my day the sun is generally high enough in the sky to reveal yesterdays’ kitty-hair tumbleweed accumulation.  Many times, watching them drift by is what gets me off my chair, warming up the ole Mini-Vac hand…

Use it, lose it…this thought kept swirling around in my head as I began to vacuum.  Use what?  Lose what?

Use this time, P (she calls me P), or it will be gone.  Do I have to spell it out for you?

Did I mention that my Constant Traveller is no-nonsense?

Yeah, we’ve had that conversation.  Every day I wake up on this side of the grass is a beautiful day.  Each moment is precious, don’t waste any of them.  There is something extraordinary, something colored beautiful, to be discovered in the ordinary moments…

So how could I use this moment, I ask?  Labyrinth…she whispered.  She grins the widest when she being cryptic…

Ah…

Turn off the television.  Turn off the radio.  Be silent.  Be deliberate in your movements.  Let your awareness slide along the pattern of the floor.  Feel how the vacuum glides…  Offer gratitude for the ease with which you can clean your home.  Consider this time like you would if you were walking a labyrinth…use this precious breath-time to increase your awareness of where you are, what you are doing, how you feel… 

Allow it to become an exercise in gentle acceptance…

This labyrinth is a sacred space.  You create it.  You use it or you lose it.  If you don’t use it, it will use you.  Will you let this opportunity blast by you with the speed of light, adding nothing to your day?  Or will you give yourself gently and fully to this moment, enriching it through your care and attention? 

Everything is sacred space, or nothing is sacred space.  You decide.  This is your life…

According to Wikipedia:

“One can think of labyrinths as symbolic of pilgrimage; people can walk the path, ascending toward salvation or enlightenment…These are often used for contemplation; walking among the turnings, one loses track of direction and of the outside world, and thus quiets the mind.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labyrinth

Use every instant of your precious time wisely.  Don’t lose yourself in the endless streams of distraction that can take your focus and strip your day of its enjoyment.  Use your creativity in ways that you may have never dreamed possible, until this moment.

Until next time…in the words of my Constant Traveller – Stay cool, eat yer roughage, and rock your wise.