• Lucia Joyce

The Space Before

There is a space that exists, before you react to the things and people and ideas around you.

Before you react to the rude person in front of you in line at the grocery store, the different comments on your latest Facebook post, the latest news headline, today's weather, the gas level in your car, the outfits and makeup of strangers, the latest meme, or any of your own lingering feelings... there is a space.

It is a space of observance: a space before the riptide of potential reactions based on who you are and what's important to you.

That observance can be quickened, ignored, or practically skipped. It can also be lengthened and held. This space between the observation and chosen reaction is the pure being before any doing takes place. It is an acknowledgement of a conscious observer, not tied to any expectations or reactions. It is a connection with your vast inner world, and a blissful little moment outside your own ego. It is a space before thought.

Why is this important? We're taught to live 'reactively', to find a way to survive the torrent of chaotic events outside of us and storm of emotions inside of us. But slowing down to observe from a more neutral perspective of 'being-ness' helps us live observantly, and accept the world in front and inside of us before our gut reactions swallow us up. Whether by a calming breath cycle before my next sentence, a devoted 20 minutes of quieting my mind each day, or a moment of reverence in the morning before I pick up my phone, finding ways to live more 'observantly' and less 'reactively' help me release the things I don't need. For me, personally, this idea has helped me release tension in my shoulders and jaw. It helps me release the need to be liked according to some arbitrary standard like a digital heart or thumbs up. It helps me accept and release the many mistakes and traumas of my past (and release the idea of this work ever being truly finished, because it never is). It helps me release judgment of strangers and old friends alike, and just see them in the now moment, in the light of their pure potential. It helps me release my endless need to perfect and endlessly 'accomplish', to feed an ego that will never be satisfied. It helps me release everything I don't need in order to enter the next moment (sometimes it's a lot more than you'd expect).

So, give yourself a little space before your reactions, and give the people you love the option to take that space too. That space can hold so much clarity, and oneness, and quiet joy, and lightness. That space can hold power and resilience, calm and wisdom. But it must, first, be given room to breathe.

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