Create Space

This morning, over at David Kanigan’s blog, he shared a quote from Eckhart Tolle:

When you get into your car, shut the door and be there for just half a minute. Breathe, feel the energy inside your body, look around at the sky, the trees. The mind might tell you, ‘I don’t have time.’ But that’s the mind talking to you. Even the busiest person has time for 30 seconds of space.

– Eckhart Tolle, from Oprah Talks to Eckhart Tolle (

When I stepped into the role of Interim Exec. Dir. at the family emergency homeless shelter and housing provider where I work, I made a commitment to write a weekly intention and share it with staff. I’ve been doing it ever since.

Yesterday, I forgot.

Oh, I thought about it at one point but we’re in the middle of budgets for next fiscal year and thinking about it did not translate into creating and sharing my weekly intention.

This morning, I sent it out.

I thought about not doing it this week, of skipping it, but that would not be the right thing to do.

I made a commitment. It is very important for me that I keep my commitments.

For me, my listening for my daily intention is all about that ‘space’ Tolle writes about.

To hear my intention, I must take a few moments to slip into the silence, breathe into the quiet and let the words rise up as I feel the energy inside my body, the air on my skin, the darkness and the light that surrounds me.

In the beginning, when I first started sharing my weekly intention with staff, my head-chatter warned me, “Don’t do it!”  They’ll think you’re stupid. Crazy. They’ll laugh at you. Snicker behind your back.

Since the first time I shared my weekly intention, I have received many comments about how people appreciate my taking the time to do it. “You remind me to stop and breathe sometimes and not get all uptight about what’s going on in the shelter,” one staff member wrote.

My intention when I began sharing my weekly intention, was to create a space for transparency, openness, thought-full conversation. I wanted staff to know who I am beyond just the ‘title’. I wanted us to share a moment of space each week.

As Tolle suggests, what’s most important is that in setting and sharing an intention, an opportunity is created for each of us to step into a moment of ‘space’ where, amidst the busy-ness and chaos of a homeless shelter, everyone is invited to stop for a moment, breathe and remember that even in the busy-ness, there is always space to connect to the calm within and be present to all that is happening without worrying about all that is happening.



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