Step out of the go-go mode and take stock of what matters
I am sitting and writing this article from my home office in the living room of my NYC apartment. The fairy lights are on, and the aromatherapy candle is burning. I can feel qi or prana or energy flowing freely through my workspace. I feel relaxed, creative, and happy. Sipping on ginger tea, my hands are typing away at the keyboard. This room took labor and intention setting. Remember: The spaces we create in our environment can greatly impact our mood and physical health. Imagine what will happen when we create space in our day-to-today lives?
By the time the holiday season rolled in 2022, I felt weary. I was a little upset with myself because I sounded like a broken record — same story, different year. I’m more into setting intentions than resolutions for the New Year. So, in January of 2023, after feeling worn-out from being tired, I decided to act — to create more space in my life. Given January was my birthday month, I figured that would also be my gift to myself.
What do I mean by that? Be it emotional decluttering, purging of unhealthy habits, distancing myself from toxic relationships, setting up wholesome boundaries, donating clothes, giving away things I no longer use, paying attention to who/what is triggering, and adding layers of protection. I started to look closely at jobs that drained me, positions that burdened me, friendships that sucked my energy, relationships that had become one-sided and bullying, obligations that had me tied up, and roles that didn’t nourish me any longer. The wholesome 360-degree view of my life was humbling. But taking a closer look meant I had to pause, make room for introspection, and act on reflections.
When you survive in go-go mode, you likely do things without always thinking. I’d rather ignore my instincts or actual signs about a bad friend or a toxic relative or a draining work commitment because acceptance and confrontation take time, reflection, and action. My instincts would tell me something was untrustworthy about a person. But I would mute the voice. Not because I was always trying to be the bigger person. Honestly, robotic mode requires very little commitment. I don’t have the bandwidth and time for these evaluations and emotional upheavals.
Reestablishing the Flow
What I didn’t realize was that by cluttering my life with all the heaviness, I had stopped the flow of good qi or prana or energy. The sense of depletion was representative of stagnant energy. I’d given the universe a message that the blessings in the form of opportunities (meant for me) or peace or happiness should be passed on to others because I was too caught up with the “should obligations.” How can any good get in the door … if our life is filled with people, things, work, and emotions that don’t serve us and make us feel stuck?
If you want change in life or you want your life to change, you have to create space for it. Creating space doesn’t mean kicking everyone to the curb or quitting everything that’s familiar. It means being intentional and compassionate with your life.
No Time to Think
A client almost went into partnership with another businesswoman. In our sessions, she would share her reservations about her potential business partner and her questionable business ethics. But my client didn’t act on it. Remember: denial feels easier. A day or two before they were to sign all contracts, my client’s business partner created a ruckus and said that she no longer wanted to work together. As an outsider, you are probably thinking, good riddance! But imagine all the time, emotions, relationship building, meetings, hopeful thinking that my client had invested over the past few months, and they could have been avoided.
If she had the “space” in her calendar and life, she might have cut out ties with the potential business partner in week one. But like most of us, she didn’t create space in her life to stop and think about what matters most because she was too busy with everything on her to-do list. When we have “space,” we can reflect, grow, build boundaries, rest, show up, focus on what’s important, make time for what needs our attention without compromising on self-care. When we fail to say no, we’re saying yes by default, and living a life by fluke rather than design.
The Road Ahead
I invite you to create space in your life and see what happens. What can you let go? What isn’t serving you? And what feels like drudgery? If we want new and right things to find us, we must remember the importance of creating space. Maybe it’s the job that you desire or the trip you want to take or the book that you want to write or the romantic relationship you want to pursue or that friendship that you want to strengthen or the opportunities that inspire you…they will show up if they have the “space” in your life. If depleting and unfulfilling obligations keep you tied up, the universe will pass along the break to someone else.
These past 6-8 weeks have taught me so much about my own self and life at-large. It’s given me a deeper clarity around my priorities, values, and beliefs. It has offered me a new perspective on living a balanced life.
“When you make ‘making do’ your normal, you’re giving up precious space to something that isn’t precious to you.” ~ Danielle LaPorte