Space – The Final Frontier of Aging
Space abounds in our lives. How we empower ourselves to choose to be with that space is a potent choice. It doesn’t really matter what you or I choose. Each of us are on our own human/spiritual journey and will make use of the space of our lives as we will. The intention for these podcasts is to perhaps inspire curiosity about yourself, your life, & the space of you being you!
As I’m sitting, preparing for this podcast – no title, no subject, no particular intention, I find myself in this space. Maybe there’s nothing to say, nothing to do. Maybe I’m done. And in this space I begin to conjure up all kinds of thoughts that have nothing to do with the intention of these podcasts. Thoughts of breakfast, walking Gracie, cleaning the pond filter, the weather outside, all flow out of some repository for mentalizations, and that space is no longer spacious.
I don’t know about you, but I make myself wrong if I’m not actively participating in life mentally, physically, or emotionally. The truth is, space is a very healthy thing to have in one’s life. We just have to train ourselves to appreciate it rather than be afraid of it and want to desperately fill it up!
Space, for What?
Nothing to do, nowhere to go – it’s not apathy, boredom, or depression. It’s just space! What an adventure.
Francis – 87 years old, says, "I’m scared. I find myself not caring about all the things I used to care about. What’s life about if I don’t care about anything?"
Marvin – 93 years old, says, "I’m alive, but I don’t know the point of living. I’ve got so much space in my life and nothing to fill it with."
That fact is, life is just space filled with whatever we choose to put into that space.
Mostly we fill it with thoughts – fantasies, imaginings, rationalizations, judgments…. We are always thinking stuff while we are doing whatever it is we are doing. As I’m writing this, my mind is spewing out thoughts of thoughts related to anything and everything. I have choose to focus on the task at hand and ignore 99% of the thoughts flying through my mind in order to get this podcast out!
The point is, sometimes there is just space – call it a pause, call it stillness, call it a moment of peace. Call it whatever you want. But notice that there isn’t anything wrong with you when there is this space. You are still here!
Some People Indulge This Space
So many people train themselves to allow this space in their lives. It’s called meditation practice. Others smoke marijuana to create that space. Others take medication to alleviate themselves from mental and emotional stress, and thus create some space. So here you are, having a moment of space without any catalysts.
As we age – especially when our bodies lose their capacity to be mobile, and we become more sedentary, we begin to fill the space of our lives with worry, which has the potential to turn into anxiousness, hopelessness, and depression. We experience the powerlessness of no longer being in control of our lives the way we once were. The whole experience of living life in these human forms become nonsensical. Again we arrive at the point of, "what’s the point?"
Aging like a guru allows us the perspective of allowing the space to be as it is – not filling it for the sake of avoiding the discomfort of space. Gurus know the space as it is, and, they choose to explore that space as it is. They’ve trained themselves to relax into the space, reveling in moments where the complexity of humanness falls away, and they are free to experience just being in space.
Being Who? Being What?
My personal experience with being in space is that at first I was terrified that I would disappear. If I stopped thinking for too long, then I’d lose myself and my identity. The question arose: "who am I without my thoughts?" That got me curious! A logical and intelligent question arose: "When I’m asleep, am I afraid I won’t return to myself? Of course not! So do I trust enough to explore this space consciously – not just through sleep?" And so my practice began – mindfully creating space where I habitually cluttered it with mindlessness.
I’m not a meditator. I don’t so much go seeking space as I do go allowing it to be when it arises. These days, I experience space more as a pause. I’ve come to appreciate the pause as a reminder: to remember who I am inside this human experience. The busy-ness in the world has little importance if it isn’t in service to experiencing fulfillment of our human-spirit, which for me includes moments of peace within the space of being.
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For more blogs, books and videos, or if you are interesting in coaching or training with Dr. Rosie, check out her website: www.theparadigmshifts.com