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Spaces Between

Back in December, I spoke at the Hivery holiday party in their new San Francisco space. It was an honor and a pleasure to lead a room of one hundred people in a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors, before talking with them about my ideas around Aliveness. Everyone participated and laughed together and, in the end, I think my message came through crystal clear: when we take time to intentionally close the spaces between us, we spark connection and joy.

This idea of “Spaces Between” hasn’t gone away. In fact, it keeps tapping me on the shoulder: pick me! work with me! make me into something! And the more I think about it, this idea may become a solo show of mine; now or in the future...who’s to say? And while that stews in my subconsciousness a bit, I thought I’d use my newsletter platform to riff on it for a hot minute.

Space.

Spaces.

Spaces between.

Between you (the reader) and me (the writer). Between beats/phases/cycles of time. Physical space between me and the guy on the elevator or the woman next to me on the airport shuttle. Spaces between our teeth, our toes, our eyes and the ancestry and genetics that created them. The instinctual sense when we know someone is “in our space”. Between my day-to-day and my soul’s purpose; my hopes and dreams, actualized. Between me and my husband - in dispute or in intimacy. Guarded space. Welcoming space. Between our hearts and our brains. Emotionally protective space. Between this thought...and this one.

You get the point.

What’s curious is that, particularly during this time of divisiveness in our country, it seems we’d want to close the spaces between us; find synergy and union in the spaces between, no matter what. But I’m not sure that’s always true.

At Enlivened Studios, as much as I work to inspire connection between people, I’ll admit there are lots (and lots) of times space between is exactly what I/we need. It doesn’t always have to mean separation and “other”. We can still see one another, at arm’s length, and hold onto personal safety and identity at the same time, can’t we?

Or does that just further break down our collective aliveness?

Here’s a thought: space between on its own may inadvertently create boundaries and barriers. But space with Curiosity and the willingness to participate in life together, seems to be where the magic happens. Starting dialogue, storytelling, teaching, listening with unabashed intent. Noticing more and sharing what we see.

Asking questions. Lots and lots of them. With reckless abandon. With kindness.

Curiosity and willingness. Even (especially?) with that guy on the elevator; the woman next to you on the airport shuttle. Or...

with your new friend at the holiday party who just schooled you at Rock-Paper-Scissors.

 

©2017 BY SHANNON HUGHES, ENLIVENED STUDIOS