e/u: meditation. mindfulness. equanimity.


Posts tagged make space
A Lesson in Making Space


Today, I put the Patreon on hiatus. You can still go and have a peek at the current structure, patron levels, etc., but I don't plan to work with it more until at least the beginning of the year. I'd like to take some time to look at how better to serve people in a manner that is most beneficial.  In the meantime, you can check things out here on the blog, social media, etc. If you're interested in being notified of the Patreon coming back to life, stay tuned to those channels.


It took a lot of deliberation as to how to proceed with the Patreon. I knew I wasn't giving to it what I wanted to, therefore I wasn't seeing the response that I had hoped for.  One thing I think about a lot in my endeavors (e/u included) is how much space I have made around the project. Maybe I haven't left enough space for the Patreon to flourish.  


I know this can be true in a lot of other areas of my life. I wonder why something doesn't happen, but then I realize that there isn't any room. I pack my schedule pretty tightly, so adding something on can be hard. In relation to my acupuncture school studies, I see that I want to be doing better grade-wise, but I haven't built the time for it, haven't made the space. 


This isn't just time and schedule related, though. Sometimes we don't make space in our heart or our expectations. We cling to what we think something needs to look like instead of making the space for it to be whatever it is. It's way easier to have a specific vision of something than to let things flow as they will.  That's not to say you have no control over an outcome or shouldn't work toward something, just that not allowing for different possibilities can be limiting. 


I have seen this a lot in my own life over and over. It's one thing that draws me back to paying attention to the present. In the present moment, I can make space for so much possibility. We can just be here now, with what's happening now. It can be less about expectation and therefore less about the pain we might find in disappointment. Sure, when something doesn't work out how we'd like, it's normal to be disappointed or feel down about it, but we can recognize that each moment brings new possibility and that particular feelings (whatever they are) about the circumstances don't last forever.


The next time you find yourself stuck in some way or maybe clinging too hard to an outcome, make a little space and see what happens.

It's Not About You

The title of this post is a phrase that I think about a lot.  I think about it in traffic when someone cuts me off.  I think about it when I find something that a person does annoying or when someone is rude. I take a breath and remember: it's not about me.  


Because it probably isn't.  99% of the time, we take things personally when they don't have anything to do with us.  We get upset at someone in the movie theater using their phone as if it is a personal insult. We rage in traffic because someone won't let us merge. We get angry at our spouse because they forgot to pick up the bread. We get riled up about the opinions of strangers on the Internet. We take everything so personally when it isn’t meant to be.


So then what if it isn't about us?  Well, if we can see that, we can see the space between the action, the person acting, and ourselves. In that space, we have room to recognize and then let go of the anger or upset.  We can stretch out there and make the space for the reality of the situation.  Someone cuts you off? Maybe they didn't see you. It doesn't mean that they're a jerk whose sole purpose in life is to make you miserable. A store clerk doesn't help you? Maybe they're getting pulled in ten different directions by other customers, not making a judgment on you as a person. You never know the whole story of someone else or what their reality is like.  Why? Because it's not about you.   


Does this idea excuse someone's poor behavior? No.  It doesn't mean that you shouldn't confront someone who insults you or that you shouldn't say "hey, that really upset me.” It also doesn’t give you a free pass to treat others poorly. It just means that you don't have to take everything personally, so you don't have to carry the weight of it and pass that onto other people. Snapping at someone in traffic easily leads to snapping at people in your office or at home who had nothing to do with it.  It weighs heavily on your well-being to take these things on as personal affronts every single time.  


We've all had these encounters (both on the giving and receiving end) and our self-involved society has convinced us that everything is about us.  What if it's not? What if there can be that space where it isn't about you? What if we can just breathe and live in that space where compassion and understanding reside?