Minding the gap can apply to our sense of space, the distance between things. There is a continuum of space through your internal body that extends past your body boundaries into the immediate space around you and even further beyond into your environment.
Space can be perceived and felt. For instance you can sense the gap, or the space, inside and across your body from shoulder to shoulder. You can also sense the spatial gap between the top of your head and the bottom of your feet. As you experience space in this way, you sense that you take up space and have volume—length, width and depth.
Although your skin creates a container for your body it can be useful to think of the skin as permeable—perhaps, a soft boundary between yourself and the environment. When you allow yourself to “be in your own skin” in this more fluid way, you may notice that there is not as much separation between you and your environment as you may have initially thought.
Allow yourself to experiment with sensing the space inside your skin. Then sense what it is like to focus on the space just outside your skin. Now let your focus expand to take in both of these spaces at once.
How far outside your body boundaries can you experience yourself while also sensing your inner space?
By focusing on the space and gaps between things you will discover and experience a three-dimensional, multi-sensory field. This increased awareness will allow you to perceive space differently – you may experience a gap – or an expanded perspective.
This new perspective on the world and perception of space creates an expanded/an increased field of awareness. As you are able to inhabit this field, you will notice that it presents new opportunities for relating to your environment. You will notice there seems to be more time to take in and respond to stimulus from the environment. You will find you have more time to absorb incoming information and more time to choose your outgoing response.
Even as you immerse yourself in this larger field of awareness, you will notice that you will still be able to focus in detail on your task at hand. For example, you can see an object locally AND experience the larger field at the same time. You will discover how an open and expanded field of awareness allows for more choices and creates a sense of possibility.
An expanded field of awareness also allows for an attitude of ease and openness in your whole mind-body. Watch how your experience of the space-time continuum changes!
Here are three exercises to explore the space in, through, and around your body.
I. Start by discovering the gap, a sense of space, within your body boundaries:
· Notice the distance between your ears.
· Sense your width from shoulder to shoulder.
· Notice your length between the top of your head and your sit bones.
· Sense the distance between your sternum and your spine.
· Explore the 3-dimensionality of your rib cage.
· Experience the distance between your hips and feet.
· Sense the entirety of your length between your head and your feet.
II. Now notice the gap between your body and your environment:
· Sense the distance from top of your head to the ceiling of the room you are in or to
the sky above you.
· Notice the space between your hands and the nearest objects in your environment.
· Notice the distance from your eyes to the screen or paper you are now reading.
· Sense the space between your feet and the floor (might not be much of a gap).
· Notice the distance between your back and the closest object behind you.
III. Now sense the space as it passes through your body and into the environment:
· Sense the distance from the ground through your body out the top of your head to
the ceiling above you.
· Notice the space from the wall in front of you through your body to the wall behind
· Sense the distance from the wall to your right through your body to the wall to your
· Sense the distance from your screen or page through your eyes to the back of your
As you practice sensing the space in, around and through you body, you will become aware of new sensations and perceptions. They may be unfamiliar. Make sure you allow yourself to entertain these new experiences with interest and curiosity. Sometimes we think new sensations are wrong or incorrect. Let yourself explore each new sensation as it arises without judgment.
Start expanding your sense of the space-time continuum slowly. Practice a little bit at a time. If you start to feel “spaced out” and by all the new sensations, slow down even more. Open up slowly and in small increments so you get used to the larger view. You are learning to “space in!”
Mind the Gap,Part III coming soon!