your own space to create, think, and just...be

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When you live amongst clutter and an abundance of stuff, especially if it’s someone else's stuff, it can feel like a sumo wrestler is sitting on your chest.

I grew up in a small family, but remember there always being someone home, someone in my space. Someone in the common area I was enjoying. When I got married and had kids that feeling crept in again. My space wasn't mine anymore. It was full of someone else's crap. Legos, toys, dolls, socks, and snotty tissues.

In the early days of having kids when I’d be home with them on maternity leave, I'd often lock myself in the bathroom for extended periods of time. Especially on the weekend when I just wanted some quiet—I wanted time to just be alone. To sit, to think, to just be still and quiet. Without someone talking to me. Without the demands of anyone on my time or my focus.

Time to just be alone with my thoughts. I needed my own space.

This is why I think we carve out our favorite spot on the couch and claim it as our own. I can sit and write comfortably if I'm on the left side of the sofa, but if I’m on the right, or in the big leather chair, I just don’t feel right.

I’ve put a stake in the ground and called it mine.

When I would work from home for my corporate job, I’d set up shop on the couch. Until I realized we had an entire office to use.

That was going to be my room. I added a ton of art to the walls, cleaned it, and claimed it as my room. My space.

When you have your own personal retreat in your home or even when you're traveling, that space is sacred. It's just for you.

When you can physically retreat from a common area to a little nook in the home that feels like yours you get more space to think.

The space to create stuff feels all the sudden more natural and more effortless.

Even better if that space has a door. Bonus points if your door has a lock on it. Right now, mine can only lock from the outside. So if I ever got locked in, I’d have all the space in the world—except I won't be able to eat or go to the bathroom. But I won't be able to do laundry or cook dinner either, so that's okay too.

It doesn't even matter what you do in your space. It might just be a place you go to be alone with your thoughts. To move your body, to swing some kettlebells around, or to just lay down, close your eyes, and think. Or sleep.

Maya Angelou said, “You only are free when you realize you belong no place—you belong every place—no place at all.”

This feels true in our homes too. We belong all over our house, and we also don’t feel like we belong there all the time. Especially when its overrun with people and stuff.

In our demanding world of people calling the shots for our time and energy. When we create space for ourselves its a massive act of self-care.

It's not just about the physical space either. Create space in your schedule for you to do the work, dream, and protect your time.

For me, this means I only talk to clients between the hours of 10 and 2 three days a week. The rest of the time is blocked off. No one can take that time from me—I hold onto that time like a three-year-old with a fuzzy security blanket.

When you don’t have the space to make stuff with your calendar. It gets filled up with things to do for everyone else.

Intentionally plot large chunks of time on your calendar throughout the week. I know, I know, this is hard to do. Reality is that those spots might get eaten up, but if you protect them, I promise you this is where the magic happens.

Blank space on your calendar, a little nook in your home. Even if you don’t have the space for an entire room that's yours—maybe it’s your closet or a dedicated spot on the couch that's just for you to feel good when you sit there.

Stock your space with things that bring a smile to your face. It doesn't need to be fancy. It can be a big stack of books, some pens, and blank paper to doodle on or write, a favorite smelling candle, an antique lamp. A yoga mat, an altar, a favorite photo. It doesn't matter what you put in there. It’s your space.

With the open space, whether with time or your physical environment, it can feel scary. Like starting with a blank page or an empty canvas. When you give yourself the opportunity to just show up and be you, it can feel wildly freeing.

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