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Between stimulus and response there is a space

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

Viktor Frankl was a psychotherapist and a holocaust survivor. He survived the Ghetto and he survived Auschwitz, and made it his life’s work to find meaning even in the most brutal of existences. He said of his experiences in the camps he realised, “The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which Man can aspire.” It is a pretty amazing statement to make, don’t you think considering the experiences he must have had in the camps?


He also wrote this: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

It feels like there’s not much of a space been taken between stimulus and response at the moment. Space feels lacking on a world scale and in our day to days. Advent is here, we are gathering seasonal obligations, I know my own children are tired, the days are short and it can all just feel like it is just a bit too much. The outer world is full on too; no matter your politics we are hearing everyone is feeling stressed and unsettled by the uncertainty just now. I know when this start happening for me, I can tend to feel as if I’m not doing enough or I‘m somehow lacking but this just isn’t really true. It’s just that it is busy and, and when it’s busy we get overwhelmed. When I start to get overwhelmed, the conversation in my head becomes less kind and my body becomes tense.

This is why I put on my classes on a Friday morning. The dancing we do is designed to help us quieten our busy, chattering minds and to allow us to just move off whatever is there. It is such a relief to have a couple of hours where I am free of my busy head and I can just dance to some really good music with my eyes closed, with no rules given on how to move, and to find that space between the stimulus and my response. I bring with me whatever I need help with; I ask 'what do I need to hear right now?', or I drop into any tense or painful areas in my body and ask what it needs, or one of any number of open questions around what is happening for me at the time.

I have been feeling at a bit of a loss on what I can do to even make a drop of difference to how things are at the moment. Realistically the drop I can offer is to remind you that there are places we can come to to help quieten down the chatter, notice our mental health, our habitual patterns, how we hold stress and tension in our bodies, and that there is opportunity to change it. Just come and see if it helps. We have lots of different classes at the studio. If the Moving Meditation doesn't call to you- find out what does and come along. Have a look at our new Events Calendar for classes and workshops- maybe something there will catch your eye? All we really can do sometimes is find that space between the stimulus and response, to make better choices by seeing our old patterns and to have an opportunity to make other choices. Those have space to practise this is the greatest service I can offer to all those I come into contact with; my children, family, friends, colleagues, students, strangers... in fact, all others I could ever have an effect on with my words or actions.

Coming back to here and now is powerful stuff. www.clearspacestudios.co.uk/classes

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