Earlier this week the prompt of the day for #writeandrun31 was to respond to another blog post. I have a number of posts that I thought about responding to but I have settled on a post on blank spaces. I may actually include a few others that I think relate to this topic.
As I have mentioned in my recent blog posts, I have been clearing out unwanted things, things that no longer serve a purpose in my life, broken things, etc. I have also started to clear obligations that I no longer have the heart for and, yes, even clearing out people who are toxic. The last two are more difficult than clearing a closet or discarding a box of books. They take more thought and care. Several moments happened this week and have converged in the thoughts that are in this blog.
Wednesday morning two things occurred. I read the brief passage in the book “A Year of Living Your Yoga” by Judith Hanson Laster. The day’s thought was “be with what is” and the direction for the day was to look out the window right now to see what is there and then breathe it in. It was 5 am. When I looked out my window all I saw was darkness. Pitch black that could be seen as a void. But I saw possibility. It could have been scary as darkness can appear. But that morning, in that moment, I saw that there are things ahead that I don’t know and I am not afraid of what is to come. I breathed in the darkness and hope. It made me sit with a blank space (the second thing) for several minutes before I had to leave the house. I realized that I did not need to immediately go look for the next thing to fill the space left by the things I had gotten rid of or the obligations or people I had let go. I just needed to sit with it and see what comes. It was a wildly freeing moment.
The next day this blog appeared in my news feed on Facebook: The Possibility in Blank Spaces. Cheryl Moreau, the author, talks about how much trouble we have with blank spaces, how we struggle to fill an empty shelf, or a drawer, or fill a void in a relationship. I am going to link Moreau’s blog with a post by Hilary Phelps from this week. Hilary blogs at Genuine Joy. She posted about a social media detox earlier this week. I think this relates to being comfortable with the blank spaces. We are all attached to our phones, media, internet, computers. I am guilty of this and have been making an attempt to put the phone down or away and be more present. It is not easy but I am gradually letting go. I’ve thought about doing what Hilary did – letting go for a few days or longer of all social media. I have done it when I have traveled to areas that do not have good internet access, though that has made communication with people I was traveling with difficult. I haven’t gotten to the point of completely walking away, even for a few days, but I am trying to limit my use. One way is putting my phone in another room while I sleep. I found that I was texting late at night and reaching for the phone before I was out of bed. It was distracting my sleep even I love and care about the person I was texting with at 3 am. I have been sleeping better and finding other times of the day when we are both awake to text.
I am finding that many possibilities and much joy is entering my life now that I have allowed for blank spaces. There is freedom in emptiness, as Moreau explains. I have had some amazing conversations and moments this week. I think they are due, in part, to the blank spaces. No doubt these spaces will be filled in time but I will continue to clear what no longer makes sense in my life so there is always enough space for something unexpected.