SELF CARE AND CREATING SPACE
When is the last time you created an empty, peaceful space for yourself whether physically or in your mind? As human beings living in a consumer society with an overload of media and activity, it is necessary for us to take a break from the action of the world. This break could be filed under self care.
I tend to read books and articles of many types. Spiritually, I enjoy reading books with meaning to me including materials of multiple religious and spiritual views. In this blog, I mention a book with a definite Christian slant. Some of you may scoff at the writing style because of this perspective. Others of you will lean towards it because of the religious view of Christianity. For me, although the author addresses her past of child abuse through the Christian lens, Bonnie Gray speaks to survivors’ hearts when she talks of dealing with her past. Her book, “finding spiritual whitespace: awakening your soul to rest” contains some concrete ideas on how to create space and a thought-provoking section on joy. Bonnie Gray did not face the abuse of her past until she was around 40 years old which is quite common. PTSD reared its head in her life.
A very simple definition of whitespace from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary is: “the areas of a page without print or pictures”. This morning as I walked, the clouds were beautiful. My eyes though were suddenly drawn to the light blue sky – the whitespace. The blue sky gave definition to the clouds. I witnessed nature’s whitespace. Whitespace is used in art, nature, music, theater, and possibly in our lives if we choose.
Although I seek time for solitude to pray, to meditate, to contemplate, to just “be” … I did not look at that solitary time as whitespace. As an introvert, I receive energy from being alone. I also need people contact for too much alone time can become isolating and self-defeating.
What do you need? Are you able to be alone? Do you fill your house and lives with noise whether it is music, TV, conversations, working, shopping, or unnecessary activity? Are you afraid to be in silence?
Recently I came across this article in the New York Times titled, “An Oasis of Tranquility, in Grand Central Station”. The article’s focus is on the Oyster Bar ramp hall in the Grand Central Terminal in New York. This hall has no advertising … just empty, clean space.
Whitespace, silence, less clutter in our physical spaces, less clutter in our minds …
As a life coach, I see the intense value of whitespace. The value of clearing one’s mind from the continual thoughts (usually loops of thoughts) in our daily lives and of each moment in time can transform us. I have much experience in creating whitespace for myself. My survival during decades of abuse and torture counted on it in more ways than I realized. Also, in order to thrive after surviving decades of abuse, I have learned to cherish silence and empty space especially within my mind. Now I seek it in a proactive way.
Resting in space … During my college years, the song, “Looking for Space”, by John Denver resonated deeply within me.
Every few years, this song still comes to my mind. I listened to it on YouTube as I wrote a portion of this post. The words are poignant. Even then I was trying to discover the space within myself where I was me. The song and lyrics are easily found on YouTube. Some of you will remember it. : )
“Then I look in the center and suddenly everything’s clear. I find myself in the sunshine and my dreams.”
– John Denver, “Looking for Space”
Do you allow yourself space?
What do you discover inside you?
What questions do you find?
Is there joy?
What happens if you never or hardly ever take the time to look within yourself? Life can be a merry-go-round … busy, busy, busy … What occurs if you are not aware of whitespace in nature? In yourself? In your daily existence? Time passes.
Breathe for a moment. Just breathe. How do you want your life to be? What desires are within you? What is holding you back?
Sometimes we need to sit and talk with a person – a friend, a life coach – in order to hear ourselves speak and to know we are being heard. Many times through that process, you suddenly realize what your desires truly are. Life is meant to be lived … to truly be lived. You do not have to do this without guidance and a supportive person on your team. Feel free to contact me.
In the meantime, I wish you whitespace! Notice it in art, nature, music, theater, your own life …..