March 22nd, 2013 by Jan

I am pondering the instructions “Let there be no gaps, interruptions or unevenness.”

I am just beginning to look at this principle from a new angle. I always thought gaps were to be avoided and filled in ASAP to smooth the uneven spots in my movement and mind. But if I only focused on the “let there be no”… part of this instruction, how can I know why a gap is there in the first place. Sometimes a gap is really important and an interruption is just what I need.

Working with addicts (and being one myself), this principle shines in the context of impulse control. There are time we need to be uncomfortable, and a gap in our thinking can jar us out of impulse, giving us the space and time to make a choice.

Addicts gets in trouble because we think or feel something and then MUST have it or act on it, NOW. For the active addict, there is no gap between a craving and using. The road to recovery is where we practice and nurture the need of a gap — an interruption between, what I think I right now and what is to my benefit in the long run.

More often than not, we need to take the time to sit with ourselves before giving into our actions. Waiting two-seconds, 10 minutes, even 24 hours before using is how progress is made and I can assure you even then, it’s a very uneven and bumpy path.

In martial arts we don’t want gaps in our movement or intention. In recovery they are super necessary.

When things get rocky, a mindful interruption can help. Sitting with a gap on the uneven road to recovery can feel like hell at first, but it can also lead to peace of mind instead of relapse.

I’m glad I have a practice where I am able to become aware of my many gaps and interruptions. Practice is my time and place to deconstruct my thoughts and actions; where light is provided to shine on my closed mind, old ideas, and body tensions.

A practice can bring freedom to explore and understand, that at times it is good to float without a solution — to wait and nurture a gap or embrace an interruption. Change comes and turn around points are revealed. Only then we can better understand how to fill the voids, get comfortable, and ride the unevenness of life.

I’m learning not to underestimate the desire and power to bolt or run, and not to fill a gap too quickly. I believe most of us are working towards the same goal of being comfortable in our own skin. Sometimes an interruption in the action can help enlighten us on this uneven and worthy endeavour.

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