Are you feeling harried, with no time for yourself, and overwhelmed by too much stuff? Imagine what it would be like to enter a place of spaciousness where calmness, openness, and deep satisfaction prevailed. It’s not impossible. Let me explain.
At the beginning of the year I wrote about my intentions for 2013 in Goodbye Resolutions and Goals. Hello Intentions! One of my intentions was to create more spaciousness in my life.
Here’s what I’ve done so far. It’s still a work in progress but here are some thoughts on creating your own spaciousness.
Begin with the mind.
Creating spaciousness in the mind is a start.
I’ve been practicing Insight Meditation for the past 15 years. I realized that while my 30 minutes a day was better than nothing, it wasn’t sufficient to settle my “monkey mind”.
I’ve added a second 30 minute mediation session at the end of my work day before dinner. I’m finding that my mindfulness is better and I don’t feel as rushed. The simple act of carving out meditation time in my day has forced me to slow down. The mind feels more spacious.
Here’s my suggestion. Start a simple meditation practice. At first it can be just ten minute a day. The important thing is to get into the habit of doing it. Be patient. It takes time for habits to take hold. If you need some suggestions for meditation practice, check these out :
Learn to say “No”.
I’ve written about the power of “No” in an earlier post. It’s taken me time but I’m much better at protecting my space by using that one simple word. I’m also aware that as an introvert I need my downtime. Friends have come to respect the fact that I seldom do parties .
If you want to carve out some space for yourself, you need to be able to say “No” and not feel guilty about it.
No one is going to give you time. You’ve got to make it happen.
I discovered that unless I actually built free time into my daily and weekly schedule it too easily got used up with busyness. Now I’ve built a “fire wall” around my evenings and early mornings. And I’ve set aside several days in the week that are non-work, free space times to do as I wish.
I suggest you start by looking at where you can block out periods of time that are just for you. Schedule them into your day planner and be resolute about keeping those dates.
Get rid of “stuff”.
Stuff to me is anything that’s filling my space and that doesn’t have some decorative or practical purpose.
I’m not a “neat freak” and I can live with a certain amount of clutter. The problem I realize is that I’ve got too much stuff that has no purpose.
I’ve started a methodical process of sorting through my stuff. I’m removing titles from the bookshelves that I’m never going to read again. I’m donating magazine back-issues to the local library. I’ve got a box that I’m filling with “nick knacks” for the Hospice Thrift Boutique. There are dated and dead electronic devices that I’m sending to be recycled.
Look around you. What’s the stuff in your life? Start small by dedicating some time each week to eliminating items and opening up your work and living space.
What tips do you have for creating spaciousness in your life?
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Photo by Dimitri