Each Month, I Answer the Call to Speak from Someplace Deeper in Me,
To Someplace Deeper in You.
My question is: Where has the sweetness gone?
Life should feel sweet. When I was falling in love, it felt sweet. When I had a new baby, it felt sweet. And every once in awhile it still feels sweet. But sweetness these days mostly feels distant, rare and fleeting. Why is there not more sweetness in my life, and how can I get more of it?
— Alexandra B.
a response from someplace deeper
I used to think sweetness—that feeling of deep peace, connection, and easy joy—was a function of either working really hard to create it, or else the kind of blind luck that shows up unexpectedly from out of nowhere, and then retreats, as unexpectedly, soon after.
These days I don’t think it is either of those things.
Instead, I think of sweetness as something that rises up from out out of the SPACES in our lives. Which means, if there are lots of spaces, there is room for lots of sweetness. It follows, then, that when we are lacking in spaces, we are lacking in sweetness.
So what do I mean by SPACES?
I mean moments that are filled with the unknown. Moments that are not planned, scripted, expected, coaxed, or forced.
I’m willing to bet that part of falling in love, for you, was about stepping out of the normal everyday patterns you had built up in your life, and shifting into the unknown-ness of really taking in another human being, in all their fullness. I’m willing to bet that when your baby was brand new, you stopped the world a bit, and turned toward that little being with a sense—not of KNOWING, but of not knowing. Who is this? you might have found yourself wondering, as you gazed upon that little somebody.
SPACES are about relinquishing control, letting go of leading, directing, and “knowing,” and instead being present to the unfolding of the mystery.
I want to invite you, Alexandra—and any of you who are reading—to imagine what might happen to your typical day tomorrow if you kindly and purposefully inserted into it TEN WIDE OPEN SPACES.
What might happen if you decided you had the power to grab any moment—just about any moment at all, in your day—and insert a clean, wide-open space? A space for wonder…? A space for not knowing…? A space for silliness, or softness or emptiness in the most beautiful sense of the word…?
A space for looking all around you and allowing yourself to discover in a brand new way just what SPACE—breathing room, a wildly unscripted and untethered moment—can offer…?
This could mean walking out into your yard and just holding perfectly still for sixty seconds (who doesn’t have sixty to spare, really?) It could mean leaning into the mirror the next time you are in the bathroom and whispering, “The truth is, I really do care about you” to yourself and then just watching what happens from there. It could mean turning away from your screen in the living room and attuning to the sound of your kids downstairs, just taking in the cadence of their voices as they interact.
How powerful are we? I love to contemplate this question, and to lean into it.
Are we powerful enough to orchestrate more breathing room in our own lives, one soft, quiet moment at a time?
If we allowed ourselves to be the conductor of our own orchestra, might the symphony of the day we compose be sweeter if it had more rests, more stillness, more moments of closed eyes, deeper savoring when we bite into a dish someone prepared for us, a deeper attunement to the sounds and breezes and visual delights all around us?
And tomorrow, aren’t you really only ten well-inserted spaces away from finding out what more is possible?
After all, what is sweetness, really, but a moment when we dare to feel wide awake, curious, and receiving of more of what is all around us, waiting to get in—more of what is deep inside us, waiting for the breathing room to come out?
I invite you to let tomorrow be a day filled with ten more spaces than you would have otherwise thought to consciously insert. And in those brand new cracks that you create – in the soft, liquid, wide-open interruption of the “shoulds,” the “oughts,” the “probablies”—the duties, expectations and the indentured, entrenched habits–perhaps you will begin to find it, right where you stand–right where you are: the spacious, welcoming beauty of SWEETNESS.
— Anna Huckabee Tull
a song for you
For the past twenty years I have written songs for people all over the country—and, in fact all over the planet—who want to express something unique to their situation: a loss, a new awareness, marking a milestone moment in their growth, or celebrating a new feeling or insight. I close out today’s Blog with the song, “Imagine There Is” which is all about inserting space right into the center of your consciousness.
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