You ever have one of those days or weeks or months where you’ve got deadlines stacked one on top of the other, with no time to breathe between projects?
Since my trip to the Hudson Valley last December, I’ve been spinning with projects and productivity, conceiving and piloting new programs while meeting daily, weekly, and monthly commitments. I’ve ben completely lit up–until last Friday afternoon when I found myself slumped over my computer stuffing gluten free poppy seed cake into my mouth and chasing it with coffee that didn’t come close to reviving my energy.
After a month of writing about habit and working to create daily rituals — getting dressed, walking to a coffee shop, writing for #continuouspractice, and getting down to work — I’m shifting gears. Creating space and spaciousness seems the obvious place to go from here–for myself and for the sake of my readers.
I actually managed to find a day last week with no appointments other than acupuncture. My husband and daughter left the house at 7:30 a.m., and we didn’t have plans to reunite until after dinner. I had a few projects that needed attention, but I didn’t go crazy with them. Instead of pushing myself toward productivity, after #continuouspractice I went home and took a hot bath. Then I pulled out my yoga mat and my foam roller and tended to my body. After than, I sat Zazen, tending to the mind. I worked for a while, then took a walk before lunch. I did one thing, then the next, checking in with myself regularly to see what I needed, what was being called for in the moment.
Creating space and spaciousness in my day felt like the most luxurious form of self-care I could imagine.
Space and spaciousness might mean something completely different to you. Last Friday during our Creative Mix meet-up, I asked everyone what came to mind for them. Here are a few of the answers:
1) A big house.
2) The state of being curious.
4) New Mexico
Some of us need space in our lives to create. Others need time to step away from creative work, to give the mind a rest. I have to continually remind myself that taking a break from writing is a necessary, not to mention pleasant, part of the process. Silence, solitude, time to myself without agenda.
At the end of Friday’s meeting, I asked everyone to commit to one concrete step toward creating space in their lives. Here are a few of the commitments we made.
1) Call a cleaning service. A clean house makes way for a clear mind.
2) Make time to read correspondence that could be crucial to a writing project.
3) Watch a video about setting up a blog, making space for creative work that is calling.
4) Turn a guest room into a studio. Instead of making more space for relatives, make physical space for yourself.
I vowed to find another day in my calendar with no appointments and leave it empty for a personal retreat, with no plans or projects. It won’t be easy, but I’ve put it in writing, so you can hold me accountable.
How might you create space in the coming days and weeks? What could you do right now to make your life feel more spacious?