What shapes our being? (If there is even a shape to be ascribed).

What shapes the mind and heart? What is the shape our future, our actions, words and silence?

Many things shape us, from our genes, parents, culture and the food we consume. And, many things take shape — from the space inside, or sometimes around us, as does the shape of the space between thoughts, actions, and even breaths.

What takes a shape follows our conversations — whether they are with another or just inside us (and what we think to be secret) Conversations heard and unheard, shape and form our next sentences and thoughts. The silence and space between our conversations can compose the shape of our next movement, next moment of curiosity or, of disappointment.

The questions we ask ourselves, whether answered or just formed, shape our next mistakes, delights, surprises and expectations. Questions are shaped by our past, just by being open to the future and/or as a response to some of the deepest pain in life. Our questions shape who we wish to be and can create a life of self reflection, honesty and contemplation.

I had a Tibetan teacher who used to say that in meditation, sometimes there were gaps between thoughts, and that those gaps would get longer and longer the more we practiced. The gaps in between thoughts are so important because they shape our next moment. Our next moments can be shaped by a pause (a gap, some silence) or conversely, there can be no space to take shape in between anything because the mind is contracted with the body reactively squeezing itself so tightly that nothing can be shaped, no new forms can emerge and everything becomes difficult.

Space can conform to a shape, but never stay wholly inside of it. Thoughts and feelings can take beautiful shape when born of silent space, which is open and permeable as is a tender pause and a couple of conscious breaths. Space can shape and can hold inspiration, creativity, a new perspective, a better attitude, skillful choices and kind intentions.

A beautifully shaped and open hearted life is born every single moment we are alive to have choice, and even when we cease to exist, the shape of our life lived leaves a space behind it, for others to fill, or pause in or improve upon or simply to remember.