Discovering Spaciousness in the Midst of Your Daily Life
-by Mary O’Malley
Spaciousness is like a vitamin we need for good health. We know spaciousness inside of ourselves when the struggling voices in our heads take a vacation and we are filled with ease and joy. This spaciousness can arise, too, when we let go of the have-tos, deadlines, and expectations of our daily life. And while we try to cultivate it through getting back to nature or a weekend with nothing scheduled or even a vacation, a good question to ask is, “How can we discover spaciousness right in the middle of our busy lives?”
The key is to cultivate a shift of perception about life, and one of the most powerful ways I have discovered for doing this is to go sit on the moon in my imagination. I have an arm chair up there, and whenever I find myself getting tight about life, I go sit and look at myself and life from a broader perspective. So, let’s go sit on the moon together right now and really enjoy the view. There is Mars off to your left and Venus to your right. And you can even see Saturn and its rings in the distance. This is our neighborhood and these are our neighbors! And there, right in front of us, is our home, the beautiful blue green jewel of the Earth. As you look at her from our vantage point on the moon, see the beauty of this living river of creativity that is our planet. This tiny spaceship Earth is moving through vast oceans of space – so vast that it would take 4.5 million light years just to travel to the closest star. And that star is just one in this vast universe that contains more stars than we can count.
As you look back at the Earth, you see all the people who right now are walking, driving, working, dancing, swimming, birthing, and dying. Recognize that most of them are so lost in trying to do life that they are not really here for life. In my latest book, What’s In the Way IS the Way, I call it “the cloud bank of struggle” and most people walk around all day with this cloud bank surrounding their heads. They have lost the experience of spaciousness and the story of struggle in their heads cuts them off from the experience of being fully alive. Life is much bigger than what is going on in their heads.
You too have some version of that cloud bank that separates you from life – the cloud of the 65,000 thoughts a day that move through your head. If you were able to watch this stream of thought, you would see that its main pastime is trying to make yourself and your life different than what they are. But this web of thought that resides in your head is such a small part of who you really are. It may seem like your struggling self is as big as the universe, but I assure you, it is as tiny as a speck of dust. Yes, when you are lost in it, it can seem like it is limitless, especially when it moves out of the ordinary everyday low grade struggle mode to the mega struggles of fiery anger, heart pounding anxiety, or soul crushing despair. But whether you know it or not, that story of struggle in your head is always moving through a vast spaciousness that is with you right now.
To get a glimpse of this, imagine yourself standing on the Earth, experiencing its immensity. Now imagine yourself sitting on the moon, seeing how tiny the Earth is relative to the rest of the universe, and see that it is floating in space. The same is true for your struggling self. As you step back and begin to explore it – as you get space around it by being curious about what your struggling self is doing rather than being lost in it – you discover that this story of struggle in your head is such a small part of who you really are.
Whenever you find yourself struggling with life, I invite you to sit on the moon, take a deep breath, and bring compassion to the struggling self so it can let go and you can reconnect again with the joy and ease that comes from remembering the spaciousness that is always with you, right here, right now.
Meet the Author: Mary O’Malley is an author, counselor and awakening mentor in Kirkland, Washington. In the early 1970’s, a powerful awakening led Mary to begin changing her relationship with her challenges, freeing her from a lifelong struggle with darkness. Mary’s latest book, What’s In the Way IS the Way, provides a revolutionary approach for healing our fears, anxieties, shame, and confusion, so we can live from a place of ease and well-being. www.maryomalley.com
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