Finding the small spaces inside

It’s 11 a.m. and like most of us the morning has been busy — getting up, packing lunches, driving to work, and responding to all the demands that have come my way in the school library. But I am ready to burst. I need a minute to detach and find the small space inside of me, the breathing space. So, I sit down in my chair and decide to give myself a short break. But  just as I start to relax in walk three children and a teacher’s aide. The kids were returning their overdue books, and desperately wanted to get other books. I politely checked if it was possible for the students to come back later, but the rest of the day was busy for them. So I got up, checked in their library books, and helped them find some books.

After that, it was time for another class to come to the library. School life is busy. And most people’s jobs are busy, as well as their daily lives.  So what can we do when we start craving some breathing space in a busy day, some space to just be, to drift for a few minutes and reconnect to ourselves.

In some moments, all we can do is acknowledge our desire for the space. Recognize it. “Oh, I need some breathing room.” The value of recognizing our need is that something in us is listening to our deeper self, which will help us pay attention when the opportunity to respond actually presents itself. So rather than just get frustrated, or stay frustrated in the moment, we notice, pay attention, and value what we are seeking.

So later in the day, I was outside my husband’s office waiting for him in the car, and he was running late because he was preparing for a meeting the next morning. That was my moment. I sent him  a text that said, “Take your time. I am going to meditate.” And that’s what I did. I sat in the car, with my Zazen bell app, and closed my eyes. The gong went off, and I was able to touch the small space in me, the breathing space, and it was a relief and delight.