“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.”
~Viktor E. Frankl
I recently went to visit my daughter for the weekend in Santa Cruz. The idea for the visit was to spend nurturing time together before her final exams. It was perfect timing for both of us as I had been in great need of a weekend away from all my responsibilities and very full schedule.
In planning our weekend our guiding question was what kind of space do we want in our days. Instead of planning what we wanted to do or accomplish, we planned for time and space to just be. And it was deeply nurturing!
Intentionally shifting out of our habit of over scheduling and packing our lives full of amazing experiences in a short time reminded me of how valuable having unscheduled time can be. This is a new area of growth for me as I usually super pack my life as a result of my intention to live life to the fullest. Even after deciding years ago to only say yes to activities that bring me joy and meaning, I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the number of responsibilities and commitments in my life.
I have been thinking a lot about space lately because in my rich and full life there is not much open unscheduled space. I have some new creative projects on the horizon including writing my dream book, The Art of Self-Nurturing, and as a result I have been exploring how to cultivate space in my thriving life to birth it into being.
I love this quote from Dee Hock, “Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.”
I know that to infuse the intention of self-nurturing into this book that I have been dreaming about writing for years, I need to create space for a nurturing process to write it. And when I reflect on how I want to live in general, I desire more space in my day and unscheduled time in my daily planner.
There are so many possibilities available to us when we have space in our lives. Just like when we declutter our house or office, we have more clarity, peace, joy, and gratitude for what we choose to keep. As Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy asks with such grace and simplicity, what sparks joy? If we apply this question to our schedules as well as our physical spaces, what would our lives look like?
What do you include in your life that sparks joy?
Besides using joy as a determining factor in deciding what we invite into our lives, recognizing that we need space to integrate and synthesize our experiences is essential to our growth. Just like at the end of a yoga class or between big work outs, we need to allow our minds, bodies and spirits time to synthesize the experience. When we rush from one experience to another without this intentional time to rest and reflect we lose the potential learning and growth.
So I commit to inviting more space into my life. I am in the process of clarifying responsibilities, creating more systems to bring ease and grace to my life, and saying yes to writing my book with designated sacred writing time in my schedule.
How would you like to invite more space into your life?
What could you let go of in your schedule that does not spark joy?
What possibility could you uncover if you had more time to just be?
I know that creating more space in my life and schedule is my growing edge and that I will need to be very intentional about what I say yes to, as well as becoming more comfortable saying no to things that bring me joy in order to safeguard open space in my day. I find declaring these things out loud helps me keep my self accountable as well as finding an accountability partner to support my process. I invite you to do the same.
As Joseph Campbell reminds us, “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.”
May you cultivate sacred space for a thriving life as you nurture peace in the world from the inside out!
Sending you so much peace, love and gratitude,
Kelley Grimes, M.S.W.
Counselor, Author & Speaker
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