Sometimes at Starbucks I hear people order their drink “with room”, meaning leave enough room for me to put milk in.
With room is a good idea for lots of things. If you have a strong opinion about something, a belief you have held for years, start to “leave room” for doubt or reconsideration. If you are experiencing a difficult life phase or specific crisis, “leave room” for others to help and “leave room” for yourself to feel compassion for yourself.
I once knew a very kind and wise yogi. When he ate, on his plate was one third vegetables, one third protein and one third space. He always left room on his plate.
I once new a very kind and wise mother in law. She always left room in her heart and home for her grown children to come back if needed.
I once new a very kind and wise teacher who always left room for an awkward and shy little schoolgirl to come to her after class with questions.
So, leave yourself some room. In your mind, in your heart, in your home and allow only good and positive things in there.
I knit. I knit lace. I knit holes and space. Lace is all about what’s not there and using that negative space to highlight what is there. I follow the pattern I am working on and I end up with something cool. I am almost done with a very complex and beautiful tablecloth that will look like this when it’s done:
It will be very impressive when it’s done, most certainly. But…..
It is not my own pattern. I just followed someone else’s pattern.
Is our life that way? Do we just follow someone else’s pattern? Even if they are awesome, is that the right thing to do? Maybe for a while. Maybe to learn and experience. Maybe to figure out what we like and don’t like… what works and what doesn’t work. But doesn’t there come a time when the pattern must be our own, even if it is sloppy and unfortunate?
I will celebrate the completion of this giant project with a few small items for my loved ones. But then it may be time for me to design my own patterns. There are modern designers with beautiful work so I know it is possible. And it may even be possible for me.
Jesus is understood to have been a carpenter. But what did he build exactly? He was a builder of worlds, he was. If I am a knitter, what do I knit? I knit space and beauty. Now, how do I find a way to create my own interpretation of that? How does the science of knitting turn into the art of space and beauty?
Time to design my own pattern. How about you?
I know, I know. “Petting” is an old fashioned term for fooling around with someone. But I’m talking about petting, like how you pet your dog or cat to soothe them.
It has occurred to me that we can use our breath to pet internal ourselves. I have always known that soft, gentle, smooth breathing calms the nervous system down. I was recently reading a description of ujjayi breathing at yinyoga.com, what they call Ocean Breathing.
As I very quietly and slowly drew in a breath, mouth open, and exhaled, mouth open, with that soft “haaaaaa” sound, I could feel the soothing “pet” of the breath slide through my nerves.
Try it for yourself. Slow, gentle mouth-open breathing with a soft sound. Do that until it is comfortable. Then maintain the sound but breathe with your mouth closed. Soft, smooth breath. It is very soothing.