Space to me is a feeling. Spacious. It’s room inside that doesn’t feel empty, just open. It’s room to breathe. To be. Space is light, there are no hidden corners or dust monsters. Just pure and full. The ultimate oxymoron. When you have space (inside space, space inside) you are full. Whole. Holy.
Slowly my space has evolved and at a practical and physical level the space I have for work and writing and being is pretty special. Big windows, views all the way to the ocean, trees outside, the energy of the wind, soft underfoot, cool or warm when it needs to be, good smells, feels like home.
However, none of the physical and practical space benefits mean much when inside there’s no room. I started a ritual late last year to get centred and connected before I began ‘work’. Much of what I teach is about being supported, having space to create magic and getting clear on your intention from a place of connection – so you can do with knowing and not just get busy doing for doing’s sake. It made sense that if I was going to teach this, I had to find a way to do it, so once I had done the morning thing of getting the children off to school/activities and guy had gone to work and the house was “mine” I’d begin. I’d light candles and meditate and breathe and let go of the morning and focus on my intent and be for a while and then I’d begin. This worked (mostly) well for my work, for my clients and for my writing. Until it didn’t really work anymore.
See the problem was that I’d already begun – the moment (or the breathe just before the moment) I opened my eyes. And I was already being with him and them before I had enough space to breathe. And so my focus would be getting everything done so they could all go and then I could have space. And some days, it was taking WAY TO LONG to feel spacious enough to get creative and then it would be 3pm and they’d all be coming home again.
Making space (inside) is really another variation on the act of putting yourself first unselfishly. Selflessness so you can be all you are all (or most) of the time. Without space (or being full first) the energy you emit is actually one of pushing away. I wanted them all to go away so I could have space, and then I could begin. But I was already begun. And so the days seemed to be full of searching for the elusive space, and no real beginnings of anything happened at all.
My mum always got up at 4am. She had 4 children (all born within 6 years) and a farming husband who was seasonally very busy and always busy. From 4-6am each day she would do her Bible Study – reading, writing, underlining texts, drinking tea – and then she would come out and start her day as a wife and mother in the fairly standard patriarchal farming family set up of yesteryear (for some anyway, for others it still exists daily). She would be very quiet. She had a hidden corner space and a tiny lamp so as not to wake anyone else up (not for our sleeping pleasure, but because once awake we all expected her to be fully ours and on duty). If my Dad got up early she ignored him, until he worked out there was no point talking to her before this time. I’m not entirely sure how this changed once the children all left home, but I know morning walks to the river or the creek with my Dad are set on a tight agenda so if she wants time to herself before this she’d best be up.
I had a coach for many years who told me to get up before the kids, but mostly (at that stage) it was for getting things done (answering emails, sorting out paperwork, menu planning) to make the rest of the day less busy, not about creating a sense inside that all was OK and then beginning. I tried various times to get up before the kids, but my timing was always off and when they were younger they would wake easily and then be up and into it and I’d feel extra mad that my time and space was now full of kids and it wasn’t worth being up early and being tired and having to share that with the little people I was sharing the rest of the day with until the minute they went to sleep by which time I would be so exhausted I’d have to go to bed too.
But now, it seems 5.30am is not unreasonable. I’m doing it for space creation. Before I begin. Me first. Then him. Then them. Then the others. And each day – no matter how it all winds up by the end of the day – I’ll know there’s more tomorrow. So I am doing it.
This week, it’s been beautiful. I’m waking up, meditating for 10, free writing for 10, moving my body gently for 10 or so (yoga-ish stretches) and then there’s time to hang out with him, shower & get ready and then come out and be with them. And then they all leave. And I’ve already begun. It makes the morning conundrum much easier. It makes changes to the schedule or the day not so confronting. It makes me nicer.
Sometimes (quite often, if always) we forget to ask what we need to be OK first. So busy trying to get everything done first so we can be OK, when it’s actually the opposite thing that needs to happen. I always thought that when I did the morning routine (quick spritz) to make the house clean, that it was part of the necessity to have the space to create – when now I realise that when you feel spacious this is not as important because it happens anyway because there is more time and it naturally fits in with the flow of the morning. It’s not being done with the energy of “lets get this all done so I can begin”. Because I’ve already begun.
Today your job is just to sit with this question – what do I need to be OK first? It has to be something you are responsible for – not something anyone outside of yourself has to do for you so you can be OK. It’s likely a feeling first – what does OK feel like to you? – And then some actions you can take around that. The truth is if we can’t work out an unselfish way to get it, we’ll go the selfish road – which might get you what you want on the surface (in my case, an empty house) but ultimately feels unrewarding and sometimes downright shit. When it was done is a mean and selfish way (hurry up, get moving, move along now) I’d feel so downright shit there was no way I could actually use or appreciate the silence, the light, the smells or the space. So I’d spend all day lost in it, wondering why I didn’t feel spacious enough to write.
Today while I was in the shower after the ritual and the guy was at the gym, Miss 10 and Miss 8 left the house in their pyjamas and wondered off down the road to play in the “fairy garden” (I’m still suspicious that the use of “secret fairy garden” was a way to make themselves sound sweet and innocent. Not that I think they were up to anything much, but knowing both of them it was more likely some kick-ass adventure they were on). About 40 minutes later when we really couldn’t find them and were both starting to entertain ideas of finding their bodies in the bushes (down the end of the road where it’s a thoroughfare and near the highway and just straight out scary!) they came home. Even though we were both mad, I was way less mad and more focussed because I’d already begun. Otherwise it’s just a shock to the system that a 7.30am we have to even talking about “sneaking out” of home to an 8 year old and a 10 year old who both are expert eye-rollers. And let’s not even start projecting that into the future. Fairy garden my ass.
Ultimately, your job is just to find a pathway (any guide that resonates with you is OK) to being yourself. More and always. And you have to start at the beginning. Before you’ve begun. Whole and holy.
If what I write resonates with you and even though you might be a bit (or totally) scared about what you might (will) have to do we should talk. I have some really beautiful ways of bringing you back to yourself and letting go of all the stuff that doesn’t serve you. If the life you know you want feels different to the one you currently have you don’t have to KNOW how to change it just yet. But you will. And it will be magnificent.
Here’s the place to request a conversation with me. We should talk x