Create Space

This past fall I co-lead a women’s self-defense workshop with three of the most amazing women fighters I am privileged to know.  In this workshop we utilized striking and grappling techniques to hinder and escape an attacker.  It was a fantastic event; all the attendees walked away with applicable knowledge and enjoyed themselves in the process.

In fighting, for sport, controlling and using the space is essential to leading and ultimately winning the fight.  If you know your position in the ring and relative to your opponent and what tools you have available to you in that range you will be optimized for success.  Similarly, we were teaching women in a self-defense situation the more space they have (away from an attacked) the safer they are; and how to create and extend that space.

In self-defense space will save your life.

In life (career, family, social) space in your calendar will save your life.  AND give you the life of your dreams.

Without space to breathe, think, meditate and grow as an individual, the time in your calendar will be budgeted for less important tasks that could be delegated and/or are process oriented.

Today at my 9-5, I had a moment of uncertainty.  Yes they are rare, but they do happen.  I was finishing up a routine task and noticed I only had one more item on my calendar for the day.  In a billable hours job, this can be a cause for concern because these companies will generally fill more billable hours for you than you have hours in the day.

However, I noticed this space in my calendar; which is admittedly, absurdly over scheduled.  One of my objectives for this year is to add some space into my life.  This is a priority for me for several reasons.  Even at a 9-5 a little space is good so I:

  1. Feel less stressed to rush and can actually allocate the time to “do a good job” on projects. I can think through conclusions based on facts and data and spend my time reflecting on those conclusions, if they are logical and provide thorough and complete review before final project submittal.
  2. Can weave in activities that light up my soul.
  3. Can use the creative part of my brain to optimize work options and innovate better solutions or processes for existing systems.

My immediate instinct was to pool resources and pick-up some additional work to fill this void.  However on the second breath I realized this space was exactly what I had been working so hard for the past few months to achieve.  Any impulse to fill this with mindless drivel would be counterproductive to my goal.  Granted right now there is not much space on my calendar, and I don’t doubt craziness will ensue, but this glimpse has shown me space is possible.  How much space is in your calendar?  What activities consume the greater part of your day?  And who do those activities benefit?

In today’s crazy hectic world, with 24/7 social updates and email on your watch and phone, it is easy to be “busy”.  How many times have you asked a friend how they were doing and they responded with busy?  In most cases, busy means out of control or hiding; not usually productive.  For me really busy indicates I am usually avoiding that distasteful task I know I should be doing (taxes anyone).  Unfortunately, for many people and the more common reason to be “too busy” is life is out of control.  It is easy for people to forget what their primary objective was, and how they planned to get there.

The brain is an amazingly powerful tool.  We each have our own super-hero power locked away inside.  If you can’t create the space in your life to see the unique gifts you have, and gently unlock them; you will be unable to share these gifts with the world and they may remain hidden.  A challenge for you:  Please plan a 5-10 minute meditation for each morning.  Don’t skip because you think you are too busy.  If you don’t have 5-10 minutes starting out your day, it will cost you 2-3 hours on the back end.  Start the day right.  Calm your too busy and frazzled mind by sitting and letting your mind organize itself.  Sleep helps too.

Clutter is often a manifestation of the chaos many internalize that wreaks havoc on the body.  Spend a few minutes de-cluttering a small space: a desk or drawer, closet, dresser or cabinet.  My shoulders feel slightly less weight as I am able to reduce the clutter that surrounds me.  As the physical clutter is reduced, the mental clutter seems more manageable and that 5 minutes can become 10 or more as we grow and discover that sweet spot for our unique circumstance.

I know starting out that I am not fully comfortable being in that space; it is not instinctive, but I can work with that.  I am looking forward to the challenge and the new adventure.  Already so much learning and fulfillment has come from this one small event, I am excited and grateful.

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” Socrates

Are you “busy”?




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