Friday, 21 February 2014

On 21:36 by Victoria Stanham in ,    No comments
Creating Space is an act of self-definition… it’s how you get to know the vastness of you. It’s what Creation looked like really. This is what it looked like for God (Genesis 1). 

You see, apparently God was creating space between stuff, so that we could distinguish one thing from another and give each bit it’s proper use.

Let’s see what it would look like for you. We’ll create space in your armpit.

Now, for most people, the armpit is this politically-incorrect stretch of skin that is prone to produce unsightly stuff (sweat, hair, odor) no matter how much Dove tells us they will make them pretty if we use their products. 

What most people don’t remember is that the armpit, is a pit (i.e. a hole), and as such has “walls” enclosing a space. And that space is vital for your shoulder joint to work correctly

So let’s create your pit again for you, shall we?

    1.   Now take your right hand and grab the front wall of your left armpit (for anatomy geeks, that’s your pectoralis major… for the rest, that’s the front wall. Period). Allow the left arm to rest easy by your side and imagine that front wall releasing, relaxing, softening (I like using the image of warm water running along the area and massaging it loose… but use whatever image or word or quality of touch that achieves the same effect for you).

    2.   Now grab the back wall of your left armpit (latissimus dorsi, teres major) and allow that to release.

    3.   Now softly touch the inside of your upper arm, way up in the pit, that’s the outside wall of your pit (coracobrachialis, biceps, triceps) and ask that area to release too.

    4.   And finally touch the inside wall (serratus anterior), way up there in the pit, it’s a hard surface cause there’s ribs and ask that area to release too.
Now take a moment to notice the difference between the left armpit and the right armpit.

If all went well, you should have a clearer sensory picture of the left armpit now, compared to the right one (if all went really really well, you might even have released some tension in your neck, shoulders and/or upper back). 

The clearer picture comes from having differentiated one bit from another bit, that is, from creating space between bits.

This principle of creating space in order to tell what’s what, applies to everything in Life.

When you are immersed in a habitual reaction (be it a habit of body, mind or emotion), you are not aware of what’s going on, you’re acting out the script, completely identified with your cast character. The only way to realize you’re playing a role is to take a step back from the play and see it - and everything in it - for what it is.

With space, your previously amorphous armpit became this fabulous joint composed of different parts that interact with each other in a space.

The same idea applies to your emotional life. (I’ve written about this before, if you’re interested you may want to check out this post about how I dealt with anxious thoughts, or this post and this post about stopping and seeing things in context).

Creating space is not about separating yourself from something in order to cut it out from you. Rather, it’s about getting to know the different pieces of you a little better. They’re all still you, but you know what you’re made up of.

It’s the difference between knowing you have $500 in your wallet and knowing that you have $500 in 3 $100 bills, 2 $50 bills, and 5 $20 bills. It’s all still $500, but in the second case you know you have change that you can use to pay the bus fare.

Creating space gives you more options, more freedom to choose how to use your resources.

Images credits:

"World Nature" by Danilo Rizzuti/

"Sensual Young Female Model, Closeup Shot" by stockimages /

Armpit illustration by Barbara D. Cummings, found on

"Bus Stop" by anankkml/


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