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Mary O’Malley Cultivating Spaciousness

by Mary O’Malley: “Spaciousness.” Just let what that word evokes in you fill your whole being. Perhaps say it out loud or to yourself in a long, drawn out way…



It is how you feel when you have just fallen in love and your loved one can’t do anything wrong, even if he or she squeezes the toothpaste from the center. Nothing seems to bother you. Why? Because your heart is open and you have allowed spaciousness to enter your body. Six months into the new relationship, it drives you crazy that the toothpaste is not squeezed from the bottom. This is because the separate conditioned self takes back over again with tightness/reaction co-opting spaciousness.

When you were very young, you lived in spaciousness. Life just danced through you. Then, slowly and surely, as you reacted to the challenges in your life, you got tighter and smaller until you ended up in a bubble of struggle. This is where most people live, and it cuts us off from Life. I love the quote by the Zen philosopher, Alan Watts, “No matter how many times you say the word water, it will never be wet.”  When you were really little, you experienced the wetness of Life. As you got older, spaciousness became a thing of the past….most of the time.

We all long for spaciousness, for it is our natural state. Life loves spaciousness. To see how much spaciousness permeates Life, take a moment to open to the vast spaciousness all around you. There are one hundred billion stars in just our galaxy alone and the amazing thing is that the star that is the closest to us is twenty-five trillion miles away!  Now go within. You are made up of seventy million intelligent beings called cells and each one is made up of between fifty to one hundred million atoms. We perceive everything as solid within us and around us, but Science has shown us that it is all energy and every single atom is filled with space.

Space is all around us and within us, yet we don’t see it because this storyteller in our head is afraid of it. Is that bad or wrong?  No, that is just where we are in evolution. The Universe is constantly evolving and human beings are a relatively new species. Right now in evolution, we are caught in the frontal lobe, believing everything the storyteller tells us. As more and more human beings awaken, Life is asking us to bring more space to the storyteller mind so we don’t have to think our way through our lives. Instead, we can just be in this moment and reconnect with spaciousness.

So, ask yourself this question: How do I cultivate spaciousness? One of the ways I have discovered is through curiosity. Begin by being curious about what is going on in your body, and eventually you will become curious as to what is going on in your mind. You can also cultivate spaciousness through your breath. You probably hold your breath much of the time throughout your day. Don’t try to take deep breaths, for that creates tension. Rather, open to long slow out-breaths, what I call ‘letting-go breaths’ and you may even want to give a long sigh, “Ahhhhh” as you breathe out. Another way to cultivate spaciousness is to step outside of yourself when you are feeling scared (or whatever feeling is coming up for you) and rather than saying, “I am afraid,” try saying, “Oh, fear is here” or “I see you fear.”  This brings space to the fear rather than identifying with it and getting caught up in its world.

Sometimes you can’t do any of these things because the old system of fear is so strong that everything just tightens down. I have found that the best thing to do in that situation is to turn it over to Life. You might say, “Life, make it clear to me what you are showing me” or “Life, help me to see what is for my highest good” or “Life, what am I ready to see here?” At the same time that you are turning it over, go outside and take a walk or just move your body. This will also allow the bound-up energy to move through you.

And know that right now, as you are reading, spaciousness is always here. So open your arms wide and raise them to the sky, and allow yourself to truly connect with Life. You may be so used to being lost in struggle that you aren’t even aware of it, but right outside of your bubble of struggle is vast, nourishing, healing spaciousness.

Source: AWAKEN


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