I was cleaning out some files last week and came across a flyer for a workshop I had given a few years back. I had forgotten about offering this powerful afternoon gathering, but more important, the reason I put it together came rushing back to me. Over the course of a 7 day period, I had 3 individuals reach out to me, wildly stressed, asking if I would finally teach them how to meditate. Each person wondered if there was any way I could also help them create some kind of “space” in their home to support a practice of this kind.
It’s my belief that each of us needs a certain kind of “space” for ourselves, one that our heart and soul responds to. These spaces are not just for meditation, rather places that simply allow us to deeply relax and let go. Over the years, when I’ve worked with friends and clients, they seem to fall into 3 categories:
Sacred space ~ Sanity space ~ Safe space
The 39 yr old woman who called me had her own health coaching business, a small child and was in the throes of a divorce.
My male client was a lawyer with a great practice, but had never mastered the art of saying “no” to anything or anyone, so every day was filled with chaos and over scheduling.
A 20 yr old college student contacted me because she knew she was in the wrong program at school and was scared to death to tell her parents. She was drinking more, losing self-esteem fast and walked from class to class with a constant knot in her stomach.
In addition to desperately needing a mindfulness practice to begin releasing all the tension and get clarity, they each were craving a different kind of “space” for themselves.
Can you relate to this kind of stress and anxiety in your life?
One of the reasons that I have committed to a daily spiritual practice myself is simply because I spent so much time only dabbling with one and then kept hitting emotional overload! A strong, regular “mindfulness” practice can truly be life changing, so here are some thoughts on what you might consider if you’ve been toying with the idea of adding some grounding into your life:
- Commit to a daily morning practice of sitting quietly for 5 minutes. You’ll notice I didn’t say “meditation” practice. If you have one already and know the benefits, great. Meditate. If you want to explore a bit more about what that means and would look like, go for it. But tomorrow, begin by simply sitting with your eyes closed, following your breath in and out and spend a few minutes detaching from your crazy, racing monkey mind!
- Grab your journal or a notepad and sit this week with the question; “What kind of space can I feel myself quietly longing for?” More than likely, the answer will fall under the heading of one of the three I mentioned.
- Sacred space – a space where you can relax, let go, meditate and maybe pray. A space that fills you with a sense of your connection to all things – The Divine, humanity, the oneness of us all, this big beautiful world. A space like this can be both peaceful and inspiring in a spiritually nourishing way.
Sanity space – this kind of space can be created from the strong need to simply STOP. Stop all the doing, the thinking, the judging, the problem solving and the resulting tension and stress that go along with a busy life. Having a separate area that is uncluttered, quiet and maybe offers some soothing music along with a place to recline can be rejuvenating.
Safe space – many times, we’re going through some kind of turmoil or anxiety that begins to make us feel like we are not safe anymore, whether that’s actually true or not. A breakup can rock us to the core, losing a job can kick up great financially fears and in general, there are times where we just feel like it’s all going to “hell in a handbasket.” Find a space in your home that has a door that can be closed and is cozy either in size or by the way it’s decorated. Bring things into this room that are exceptionally comforting, like soft pillows, photos and graphics that are encouraging and make sure the lighting is soft. Keep a journal, kleenex and any touchstones that are soothing to your heart here and allow yourself to let go, cry when needed and release emotions onto the pages of your journal.
I deeply believe that we are all in process of“waking up” and that anything we can do to support ourselves on this journey is important to keep figuring out. Engaging in mindfulness practices and hanging out in spaces that nurture, relax and inspire us is key.
We give our best to others when we are in touch with the best of ourselves. Here’s to revolutionizing the way we love & live!
Big love to you all ~ Barb