In my post, 5 steps to align with your body, mind and soul, step 3 is to create space in your life. Spring feels like the time to create space, purge, declutter, or spring clean, to allow room for new ways of being and getting more in line with who you truly are.
Alignment is that sense of ease and flow you get by making decisions and taking the steps that are for your highest good. They just feel right, light and freeing. It’s difficult to feel aligned with your body, mind and soul when we jam, rush, and completely fill every minute and every space – in our homes, offices, and calendars. We feel we don’t have the capacity in our lives to stop, take a breath and feel into what’s going on within. When you’re not attuned with yourself, you can lack resiliency, creativity, your immune system can become taxed and you may even find yourself burned out.
Physical space frees up mental space
What items in your life are taking up mental space? When you open your closet in the morning are you able to quickly find what you want, or do you waste time rummaging through items you haven’t worn in three years? Create energetic space by purging things, stuff, clothes, piles of papers, overfilled drawers, cupboards and closets. We are a consumer-driven culture that encourages us to accumulate more and more. And purging can feel daunting, but consider the pile of shoes you trip over when you come in the door. Or the amount of time it takes you to find something – like your car keys when you’re already late.
Do you think about what’s going to topple out of the pantry cupboard when you open it? You probably have three of everything because you couldn’t find the flour/sugar/ chocolate chips the last time you needed to bake muffins for school lunches.
Maybe these examples don’t resonate with you, but consider the things in your home or office that aggravate or annoy you. Those seemingly small things can add up to big annoyances that can drain you and take up too much mental energy. Start small and then move to bigger projects to declutter things weighing you down, and free up mental and emotional space in your life.
Take a look at your calendar. Are there events scheduled in there that you wish you hadn’t committed to doing? If you look at your calendar with dread and start to feel panicked, what needs to come out to make you feel excited about the things you’ve chosen to spend your time doing?
“It’s a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.”
Tolerations are things in your life that you put up with, and they take up energy and can drain you. We put up with, accept, take on, and are dragged down by people’s behaviour, situations, unmet needs, crossed boundaries, unfinished business, frustrations, problems, and even our own behaviour. They take up space in your brain and some might even drive you crazy.
Start to get these tolerations out of your head and create more space. Sign up to receive a free worksheet that you can do regularly to clear away the clutter. Write down all the tolerations currently bogging you down and then start addressing each one.
Quick tips for creating physical, mental and emotion space
- Before going to bed journal all the thoughts spinning in your head. Get them out of you and on to paper.
- Create a morning routine that allows you to ease into your day (e.g. 5-20 minute breath practice or meditation; half an hour of yoga or movement; sitting quietly sipping coffee or writing in a gratitude journal).
- Start by cleaning out one drawer.
- Go for a walk at lunch.
- Say no thank you to events that clutter your calendar, stress you out, or that cause you to rush.
- Work through the tolerations exercise and begin checking them off your list.
When we make space, we have more resiliency and more capacity. We’re more able to be creative, and to problem solve. We aren’t wasting mental energy that could be used elsewhere.