The last Gap series ended with this paragraph:
The key is to direct yourself in such a way as to interrupt your habitual response to an activity. It can be fun to play with this and see how long you can elegantly slide your attention and awareness in between things, mostly unnoticed to other people yet so effective in your experience and the outcome of your actions.
Pause, wait, standby, suspend, interrupt, interfere with the habitual action. All of these are other ways to think about what to do when you notice a potential gap.
Your attitude, or how you approach entering the gap is important to how you proceed through the gap and what you gain from it. You might feel like you are approaching the unknown or going through a new door. When you keep an attitude of curiosity and inquisitiveness it will help to not dismiss or discount what you might discover and experience. This is also an attitude of play and exploration.
Find graceful words and ideas that work for you and allow for an entry that allows for a soft slide or landing into the pause rather than slamming on the brakes. This means keep the motor running rather than creating a hard stop that binds up the flow. No hitting the wall. The goal is to find more ease of movement and if the pause creates stiffness or rigidity, that in and of itself may become a habit that will eventually need to be addressed and undone.
In other words as you enter the pause and the gap, keep the movement going; keep the breath moving, keep your joints easy, sense the ground underneath you. Sense your full three-dimensionality and the space around you. Keep an open focus.
Walking and stopping
An easy gap to notice is when we stop our center of gravity moving through space, for instance, at the corner for a “don’t walk” signal. Do you brace and “stop” more than you need to?
Reaching a door:
Other good moments to observe are when you reach a door before you open it or the moment you join the end of a line at grocery store and then when you reach the checkout counter.
Become aware of these moments of ending your forward motion and:
Keep your knees easy
Stand on both feet evenly
Maintain your full stature
Stay aware of your surroundings
A helpful activity to monitor throughout this phase of the gap is your flow of air. Breathing is a good overall indicator of your ongoing movement and having a sense of direction. This can be done on the street or in your home. When you breathe well you will experience your body moving in response to the airflow. Be sure to avoid creating false resistance so you can “feel” your air moving.
Remember you are always in motion.
So even though you are not moving your body weight in any direction - i.e. stepping, sitting, or leaping about, you are still in motion. This is a critical concept. Your motor is still running.
Also notice during the beginning of the gap if you:
• Shorten in stature or shrink down
• Stiffen your neck
• Lock your jaw
• Hold your tongue
GUILTY! If you notice any of these actions in yourself, then practice finding your pause without doing them.
This means you have to notice before you even get to the gap!
Onward, into the gap!