kristen lessig schenerlein
“The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy, they come when the mind is still.” ~Leon Brown
As I sit here typing, the irony of it all is hitting me. Since January 1st I have had on my intentions list (formerly known as "to-do" list) that I wanted to write a blog on the importance of creating space. Space being my theme for the year ahead- a result of having reflected on 2021. The irony here is that I have actually moved this around on my calendar now for 22 days. Each and every week I sit and look at my "big rocks" on my schedule- meetings, group POD meetings, 1:1 client calls, personal responsibilities, etc. and then I work in blocks of time for projects I may be working on. I also ensure that space on my calendar is reserved for "me time" (that appointment with JOY I have talked about previously). The challenge that often comes up is that meetings run over, things pop up that need to be added to my priorities for any given day or I simply find that perhaps what I projected in time to say...write a blog...is not very realistic. And even still, I may also find that when the alert flashes that it is time to switch gears... I am simply too tired or do not feel as motivated as when I may have added it to my priorities for the day.
This to me is EXACTLY why we all need to consider this idea of creating more space. In our life to simply BE. Be with nature, be with ourselves, breathe, think, listen, do nothing and enjoy it! This space that we create for ourselves and what we experience in these moments is what allows us to show up to do "all the things"...it helps us to be more tuned in, present, grounded, calm, and have the clarity to make decisions. We are building up our mental fitness muscles in these moments so that we can handle the challenge that we are not even aware will hit us later on any given day. That challenge will require us to be the best version of ourselves so in the midst of chaos we can be fierce and fearless, confident, and ready for it!
So, how do you find and create this space? Well, for me, it is the simple realization that I am having in this moment. Th realization that I too am challenged (still) with creating space and then filling it. It takes discipline and consistency. Approaching each week and each day knowing that things WILL inevitably pop up. Be extremely conscious of the expectations you are setting for yourself. Ask yourself...does this have to happen today? How much time and attention do I truly need to invest in this? Can I engage others in the process? Can I level my expectations and accept "good enough" versus this false sense of perfection? Can I create space on my schedule, especially on the weekend's to "just be"?
Even if you are a person stimulated by others, or activities, and you see this as living life fully (Like the saying "I will sleep when I am dead!"). Consider the beauty you could experience simply sitting on the beach and watching the waves roll in or any other spot in nature where you can really be present to all that exists around you...the sounds, the smells... Is this not truly living? I consider from my yoga practice and in guiding others how I often speak about breathing into tight space within your body (hips, etc.) to create space...so that you can experience less tension and more fluid movement. This concept seems to be able to be carried off the mat as well. By creating space in your schedule and being fully present in that experience of non-doing, of just being, you are able to experience a lot less tension and stress overall (cramming things in, feeling anxiety of projects left unfinished), as well as create more fluidity and flow day to day.
Creating space in your life will improve your overall quality of life and funny enough give you more time to really consider what lights you up- doing more of that and less of what feels draining to you.
A few additional areas for creating space in your life:
Mental Space- get rid of toxic people and relationships (maybe this is as simple as a social media detox!). Create boundaries and let go of the desire or need to "people please", say NO. Declutter thoughts replacing positive with negative and by seeing challenges as opportunities.
Physical Space- not only in ways that relate to improving physical fitness but in decluttering. Feelings of overwhelm can also stem from closets that could use a good purge.
Financial Space- Simplify by paying off debt, no more credit cards, manage your finances month to month, or get creative in earning extra income.
For me, I will continue to move about each week with intention. Maybe I will trial a few strategies suggested from my coach years ago... block out 15% of my scheduled work time to simply think, to plan, to strategize, to be creative in my business. Or maybe I will just bump a meeting to the next week... (if that happens to be you, DO NOT take it personal), it simply means I am tuning into the energy that I would be bringing to that meeting and can promise you it will be worth your wait!
"In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you." ~Deepak Chopra