A pause can be the perfect moment to do a gap analysis of your journey.
“What art is, in reality, is this missing link, not the links which exist.
It’s not what you see that is art; art is the gap.”
~ Marcel Duchamp
I stood on the platform at the Hendon tube station, reading the morning paper with one hand. I had mastered the sophisticated way Londoners folded their newspapers to facilitate reading via creating a tidy, black and white, origami rectangle.
The train pulled in and I made my way across the platform, head down in a story. A gentleman grabbed my arm at the elbow, and said, “Do mind the gap, ma’am!”
Minding the Gaps
I nodded and thanked him. Safely on the train, I chuckled to myself. My boyfriend and I had taken to yelling out in our flat, apropos of nothing, “MIND THE GAP!” in our best British accents, trying to imitate the warnings we heard over the loudspeakers in the London Underground multiple times a day.
The warning, of course, was to ensure you stepped over the gap between the platform and the train and kept feet and small children out of danger.
My boyfriend and I found it to be a wonderful clarion call to be awake…aware…in general. So, we would periodically yell out the phrase to each other and to ourselves, like a Tourette’s call to mindful prayer.
Gaps—the spaces between things and states of being and worlds—hold a special Magic. They offer us vital pauses between moments in time and moments of becoming.
Being mindful of the gaps between where we are and where we long to be is something I encourage in all of my entrepreneur clients. The contrast—the gaps—reveals the distance we need to travel in order to realize our dreams and goals.
I typically ask my clients to sketch out on paper a Gap Analysis of every aspect of their business and personal lives. Once we can see in rough images their Now versus their desired Future, we have a map and clarity on not only their desired direction, but importantly, what is currently missing…preventing them from achieving what they want.
Mapping Your Gap Analysis
From this gap analysis, or map of the gaps, we can set strategy, and they can begin their artful journey of becoming.
Oddly, we tend to want to get a running start and bound over the gap to the other side. Dust our hands off and just arrive already. We forget that being in the gap is where our Art takes flight, carrying us with it.
Being in a gap, while messy, and gloppy, and disorienting at times, is a most delicious state—if we let it be.
The gap requires stillness, quiet, focus, and no focus. It asks us to play. To remember. To let go and release old images and patterns and thoughts.
The gap requires time. Dissolving. Buoyancy in The Unknown. A way to breathe through great uncertainty.
The gap takes us through layers of surfacing—sloughing off old cells from the us we’ve outgrown.
The gap takes us to the back of our minds…away from the drill sergeant of our prefrontal cortex to the place of our imagination, vision, and creative rearranging of self.
There is a Divine Intelligence within each of us that stands at the ready to bring the Art of Us and the art of our hands and heart forward into the world. That intelligence is activated in the moments of our doing without doing.
The times when, to the outer world, we are standing still. But in our quiet solitude and listening, the drum beat sounding in the distance is now audible to us. Those notes comprise the raw material from which we fashion our bridge across the gap.