by Sandra Radja
Have you noticed when you are arguing with someone, the distance you keep with that person? Is it close or do you stand on either side of the room? When you’re in love, do you notice how others like to be close to you as the distance diminishes?
The space or ether element has been described as the force of communication, connection and self- expression. It is that which contains all the other elements. We have space in places like our nostrils and pelvic cavity and inside our mouths, to name a few. That makes sense for oxygen to come in and carbon dioxide to leave, menstruation to happen and babies to grow, and saliva to do their work breaking down food. So how can the space element help in communication with others and personal self- expression?
So if there isn’t the concept of time in Pure Awareness, then the past doesn’t exist. It is dead and should not feed into the present moment. It’s like putting fresh vegetables in with last night’s dinner. Leftover food or past memories add the qualities of dense and dull to your physiology and if you’re digestive system is weak, it will accumulate as ama or toxins.
The next idea is this. Prana represents the subtle movement of emotions. We know prana to be vitality or life force. So the more stagnant our emotions, the more stagnant become Prana. We want Prana to be able to move freely throughout the body. That’s why we do yoga or tai chi and pranayama. Since Prana contains mostly the space element it is directly related to our consciousness. Awareness is manifested as thought, feelings and emotions. If we cultivate the clear quality of Prana via our stable emotions, we enhance our Awareness.
When emotions become stagnant we see ourselves as separate from the emotions and try to suppress them. However, the harder we suppress the harder it will try and come out when we least expect it. That’s the moment it feels like we have no control and that’s when we look to others to blame or fight with. It’s like a last desperate attempt to feel heard; emotions need to express. That is why we create space. That is why Oprah does what she does and we love her for it. An emotion can change in an instant; it can HEAL in an instant when it is given the space (and love and freedom) to express itself.
Let’s bring it together. If we carry with us big lards of hard-to-digest past and mix it with repressed emotions that remain stuck we have a recipe for disaster. Love can’t do its magic of transformation in that mess. If our relationships are a mirror then we need it to be clear, so we can see ourselves; the truth of who we are. Being present and having the freedom to express emotions will reduce that distance you might feel when things go sour. So creating the space for this reflection to be pure requires some practice.
A tip, like anything that involves the Vata dosha, is to take small and regular time-outs for yourself. Otherwise the tension can build up to busting out and creating drama. Schedule in space and honour it and remember it doesn't need to be a lot, it just needs to be regular. It will avoid the waste of energy required in an argument down the track.