In the Gap

It is not exaggeration that for almost 60 years I have been a woman who lived outside of herself, meaning whatever I could not “fix” I suppressed, as if a reckoning would never come but, of course, it did.  Fiscally, physically, and spiritually bankrupt, life as I had known it ended, which really was a good thing.

It did mean I had to “go wild into my life” but as freeing as that is, it is not without its pitfalls. The discovery of my story revealed a raw power but knowing my story is only freeing if I am not attached to its outcome. If I am, I am doomed to repeat my own history. I am not without my moments of reliving past behavior but they are fewer.

Two weeks ago, I began accessing what Deepak Chopra calls the “gap between our thoughts” through meditation. Chopra says that in meditation, we access our baseline state of consciousness, in essence where we began. For years, I have touted meditation while my actual practice of it was not an actuality. When the Chopra Center offered a free, 21 day meditation challenge, I was not without my skepticism yet I knew I was ready to begin meditation.

No doubt that makes a difference but I am amazed at what meditation has provided me over these past two weeks. They have not been easy weeks for my lupus has been quite active but meditation has provided me another way to be with lupus. In accessing the gap between my thoughts, I am in the stillness, where my physical body connects with my consciousness.

“In the gap” is a tempting place to stay but the pull of physical existence is stronger. For me, meditation is not a ‘60s “trip” nor am I in some sort of trance. I am, however, in a place where my physical presence is lighter. Upon my return–and this happens every time–there is a physiological change in me, a release of tension that pervades my life more and more. Whatever physical discomfort I have been feeling, it is less.

Here’s what I think is happening: my pain is less because more and more I accept it as a part of my physical presence. I do not know that I have ever accepted lupus or any of the other names my dis-ease has accumulated. While it is taking me some time to realize fully that acceptance, the coincidence of reading Cheryl Strayed’s book as I began meditating with the Chopra Center is not lost on me. Both are tools for releasing the past and accepting what is by choosing to be present in each moment. When I am, there is a physiological change in me.

After 35 years of chronic illness, I am surprised but I also know that when I went knocking on the doors of the ancient traditions this time, I surrendered. That is an admission I never thought I would make much less post on the Internet but in accepting all of my story, lupus included, I surrendered to all I have been and all I have done, freeing me from the responses I have always made.

When I am present, the physiology of my body responds differently. I am not pulling from the past or tugging from the future for a response. My moment is not attached to any past baggage or any future “what ifs.” Situations are not free but my response to any of them, including lupus, is.

Being present is to reside in the unknown, “where the wild things are,” where creativity connects with consciousness. It takes practice, requires patience, its paths are many yet the moment is all we ever have, and it is enough.

Len Huber image

21 thoughts on “In the Gap

  1. I have a mental image (my metphors all come with pictures) of allowing my arms to drop to my sides, and facing life as it comes without trying to defend myself. A non-adversarial stance seems to work best. I can never resist the immense force of life, I can only flow with it.

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  2. Today has been a day lived in reaction rather than a day lived in positive action. I think the reason for this is the quiet time didn’t happen first. However, I’m hopeful that a step back, some quiet time, some deep breaths, and some communion with God will put the day back on track.

    I believe we can do almost anything for fifteen minutes, given the determination to see it through. Lovely article.

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    1. “…the quiet time didn’t happen….” I am much the same way, without my time in the gap. Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughtful words. Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Karen

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  3. Meditation is a difficult one for me; I have a hard time sitting still. My meditations end up being more like mantras, toning, and/or trance dancing. It isn’t that I can’t sit for long periods of time, I can. It is just my body wants to move even if it is only a slight rocking. I have been thinking more about meditation lately and will probably try to do it again and see how it goes. Thanks for chatting about it and reminding me of the benefits.

    Peace to you,
    Morgan

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  4. This is a powerful nudge for me to get back into a regular practice of meditation myself. Thank you for providing the push. I am always amazed at the power of acceptance of what is happening in our lives – whether it’s something we enjoy or not. It is such a radical concept in so many ways since that is not what we are used to doing, but it brings such transformative results. I’m delighted to hear that it is bringing you such benefits in your relationship with Lupus.

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    1. Acceptance is such a force in our lives–taking some getting used to–but as you point out, the results are life-changing. Thanks for leaving such thoughtful comments; they are so appreciated.

      Karen

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    1. I thoroughly enjoyed your thoughtful review of Strayed’s book. As you say, there is a wilderness within us as well as within nature. Thanks for leaving your link.

      Karen

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  5. Being a student of the practice, I find often not only small benefits that are more immediate, but long term benefits as well. Glad it is helping.

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  6. It still amazes me that what we seek and ask support with comes to us. I often recommmend meditation to others but have not been good at keeping it up myself. Lately I have been reading about it again and again and I think it may be time to take my own advice. Thank you for reminding me about this, great post.

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    1. Hi, Tina!

      Glad you liked the post. You are so correct in that we often recommend to others what would probably benefit us as well. Thanks for stopping by.

      Karen

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  7. “That is an admission I never thought I would make much less post on the Internet…”

    I think not allowing anything to demand silence is freeing. You go, KM Huber. You go.
    🙂

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  8. Bravo! This is beautiful, brilliant writing at its best, Karen. You have captured the essence of what it means to genuinely meditate (I think). May your practice continue to bring you peace and refreshment in body, mind and spirit.
    Much love,
    Lura

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    1. Hello, Lura!

      I have missed what few conversations we did have but I do think of you. Someday, I hope we can discuss your course in the mystics but until then, know that you are thought of with great fondness quite often and always with your highest good as my intention. Your thoughtful words touch my heart.

      Love,
      Karen

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  9. Fantastic that you’re meditating again. I know I need to as well…I use the excuse that I’m too busy, but, of course, it is those who are too busy who MUST meditate. Inspiring blog!

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    1. Ain’t it the truth, Lizzie? Just a couple days ago I didn’t think I felt well enough to meditate. Then, I told myself that fifteen minutes was doable, which it was, of course. Not surprising, I felt better and may have had a more productive day because I took fifteen minutes. It’s impossible to know but for me the effects of meditation do pervade. It is quite refreshing. Thanks for the kind words about my blog.

      Karen

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