As I child, my father and I would sit on the front porch in the late evenings and talk about anything and everything. He would tell me a story or a fable, then just stay quiet looking up at the night sky. I love remembering those times with him and just looking at the stars in silence with my random thoughts running in and out of my mind. I can remember thinking that there seem to be so many stars and still so much space…in all that space!
Fast forward, I’m reading and come across a Viktor Frankl quote, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” All those nights listening to my dad and watching him teach me to simply sit and think stuck with me. Reading the book "Man's Search for Meaning" really gave me a reason to think about my choices. I remembered thinking about space as a child and comparing that to Frankl’s “space.” Sometimes space can seem so small and passes us by so fast.
Years later, during my coach training, I learned so much about utilizing silence in conversations with others. I learned, through lots of needed practice, that in silence (space) huge revelations can occur. Sometimes for the client, sometimes for me as a coach, and hopefully for both of us! This space, this silence, allows for what Frankl was talking about. It allows us to choose how we respond to life’s situations or perceive them. And those responses/perceptions are where our growth and freedom [from old ways of thinking] can occur. Maybe the expanse or the duration of space are important and maybe they are not, what matters most is that we recognize the importance of that space.
I encourage you to have an intentional conversation this weekend with a loved one, your partner, your child, or maybe even yourself. Be sure to listen and relish in the space, that silence, you allow to happen knowing that growth is occurring…most likely for both of you!