So I’ve been thinking about space lately. I am not good having too much in my world. For most of my life I was dealing with deadlines. I cram packed as much of life into my days as I could. Downtime felt awkward and wasteful. I still does. If I have an open day on my calendar, my instinct is to fill it. I’m slowly learning to fight that instinct.
Not working a full-time job, you’d think I have an abundance. But I give it away…too easily sometimes.
When I find myself with a day free, I grab the to-do list. What I am SLOWLY learning to do, is schedule open space. It’s harder than you’d think, but it’s wonderful when I stick to it.
I used to think me-time was just space in my day with no concrete plans. Its more than that. It means putting the to-do list, the FOMO and the cell phone aside for awhile. If you have a cell phone attached to you in any way, you aren’t being by yourself. You’re giving your moments and minutes and hours in that day to the hundreds of friends you have in cyberspace. You are ignoring yourself and your surroundings. Most of all, you are not letting your brain-space to take a breather.
Our heads are so cluttered these days. It has taken a while for me to realize the value of boredom. I seriously have anxiety at times over this practice of sitting still, but I know it allows the cobwebs to clear a bit in my brain, and my creative, imaginative mind gets a chance to wander. I also find the tension in my back lessons, I have fewer knots in my stomach and I just feel physically better afterwards.
Who’s not stressed out these days? Maybe try a little one-on-one time with your spirit. Here’s a couple of easy exercises that can help you head in that direction.
- Take 5 (or preferably 10) and lie on your bed and just stare at the ceiling. Do not have your cell phone within reach or where you can hear it beep, buzz or vibrate. Notice the patterns of the plaster or materials above you. Count the holes. Observe the cobwebs. Feel your muscles relaxing against the bed.
- Leave the cell phone in the trunk of your car for short errands. You will be in and out and nothing that life-changing is going to happen in the time it takes you to pick up milk and eggs or get through the line at the coffee shop. Make eye contact with the barista or store clerk and ask them how their day is going. Engage with people standing right in front of you.
- Schedule free time. Book it and stick to it with as much conviction as you would a hair or doctor appointment. This too is self-care and you need it. If social get-togethers, fundraising events or even catch-up sessions with friends fill your calendar, decline a couple that don’t initiate a sense of peace or inspiration in you. Fight FOMO. (Fear of missing out.) Stick to a commitment to yourself for a change.
- Take a drive….the old school way. Turn the cell phone off. (I am assuming that’s how to you have to do it with blue-tooth in most newer cars.). Put on a mix of music that makes your heart happy and drive somewhere without an appointment or firm destination. Pick someplace within an hour radius, and go there. Have a cup of coffee, or a cold drink, or breakfast or lunch and come back. Driving can be so relaxing when you aren’t in a hurry and not stuck in traffic, so do plan accordingly to avoid the crowds.
Space is defined as as continue area of expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied. Does’t that sound like a wonderful thing to offer your spirit mind and days?