Ideal: Minding the Gap

February Forest Light

Spring tugged me through the door in my pajamas, out onto the back deck into an unexpectedly balmy February dawn.   The moment’s overflowing freshness, texture and luminosity poured into my eyes and rushed over my skin.  Its enveloping richness exceeded (once again) the mechanics of my camera.

You’re familiar with such spontaneous, Life-infusing instants.  The ones that evoke the all-encompassing, heart-expanding, multi-sensorial Wow!   Whose gifts are preserved far more vividly in cellular and spiritual memory than in megapixels.  It was one of those moments.

Most striking to me was the utter clarity of the trees.  Their bark, indeed their very presence, shone.  Beautifully!

In the midst of my awe and admiration, the phrase “Mind the Gap” zipped into my thoughts.  And I began to notice not just the trees’ brilliance but the light in between.

“Mind the Gap” springs from two sources in my life.  My late father and my mother loved hiking together in Great Britain in May and October.  Over the years they collected tales of soaking rains, lost trails, welcoming landscapes, generous hospitality, and the novelty of public transportation punctuated by the iconic reminder to Mind the Gap.

Brene Brown’s insightful book, Daring Greatly, provides my second point of gap minding reference.  In her encouraging work, she emphasizes the importance of being alert to actual behaviors vs our ideal values and aspirations.

Some days the gap between my current capacity and my ideals feels daunting.  Sometimes draining.  The morning light pulsing between the trees reminds me that connective substance already exists between here and there; between today’s ability and the ideal.  It exists simply because the ideal is sensed and perhaps even pursued.

I’m sure you can add to a list of that which comprises and vitalizes this luminous connection: clarity, caring, Self-embracing, and an intrepid willingness to learn, to change, to grow and to keep on trying.   To close the gap.





11 thoughts on “Ideal: Minding the Gap

  1. Mary Tang

    I find that if one’s goal is to take life one step at a time, then there need be no gaps. Mind, I adopted this philosophy because I don’t see any alternatives.

      1. aranislandgirl

        It was my pleasure. This post made me think of a meditation I listened to from Deepak, a beginner meditation where he discussed the gap between thoughts. It was a happy memory to be transported to. 😀

      2. Jan Schaper Post author

        Funny what stirs a memory. You inspired me to look on line, and I found this great Deepak quote — perhaps it’s what you encountered. “That silent gap between your thoughts is your window to the cosmic mind.” Love it!

    1. Jan Schaper Post author

      Very well said . . . I truly feel life is about closing that gap between soul and personality; higher self and temporal self — and expressing that blending and fusing in everyday life and relationships. Thanks for reading.

  2. Josh Gross | The Jaguar

    First if all, I love this photo. It reminds me if the many times I’ve grumbled about having to go to work early in the morning (I work at a park); only to be greeted by a peaceful, gently foggy wonderland.

    I’d also like to talk about the gap between our ideal selves and our actual behavior. This is a commonly talked about concept in psychology: our stated attitudes often don’t match our
    actual behaviors. Becoming aware of the contradiction between our beliefs and actions is the first (and possibly most effective) way to close this gap, so you’re headed in the right direction.

    1. Jan Schaper Post author

      Thank you for reading, Josh, and for sharing your helpful insights on closing the gap! I’m glad you like the photo. Nature offers us so much to appreciate. Wishing continued peaceful greetings in your park wonderland!


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