As we breathe during yoga, we focus on how we can create more space in the body. We breathe space into our belly, space into our rib cage, space into our necks and shoulders, and space around our hearts. We fill all of these discovered spaces with prana, life force, so that we may have a fuller experience of life.
I found myself wondering on the way to yoga – might I be able to use this same technique to create more space in my life?
Life moves quickly, and work piles high fast. In a blink of an eye, your “obligations” can take priority and you no longer have time for yourself. Truly, there are a finite number of hours in a day, so how can we make time and space for the things we need in life?
I’m proposing conscious effort with a little help from my new best friend, equanimity.
Each time I challenge myself to breathe deeper during class, I’m amazed by how much space I can find in my body. I’m equally amazed by how oblivious I had been to the tightness I’d been holding all over my body. These unconscious constrictions can be let go of consciously, and voila – wide open spaces. Room to make a big change (sorry, Dixie Chicks, the original lyrics just didn’t serve me here).
With conscious effort and big breath, I’ve found I actually can create more time in my life. By beginning from a state of equanimity, I can calmly recognize where in my life I’ve been hold on to something too tightly. Once I’ve found that constriction, it eases up a little, and my equanimitous mind (drink) can find a simple and expedient solution.
Even when I feel like I have to go through these steps a dozen times each hour in order to get through the mound of responsibilities that have bound up my time, if I just breathe big, I’m rewarded with all the time I need.
I was reading in Susan Albers book Eating Mindfully that monks who meditate regularly have actually created new neural pathways in their brain, effectively discovering shortcuts on how to process the influx of information in life. Upon reading this, the whole process of using equanimity to find more space and time in life slid into place. It can actually be done unconsciously if you’re willing to put a little conscious effort in at first. Your calm, balanced, and brightly aware mind can move swiftly and elegantly to organize your thoughts, leaving you with more time for the finer things in life.
What seemed yesterday like an insurmountable workload with no time to for me to breathe has now become spacious with the right amount of room for work, play, and peace.
I feel like a magician who just created time out of thin air.