S P A C I O U S N E S S.
Longing for a sense of spaciousness and less pressure, I haven't written in awhile - not for myself; not for work, blood, love nor money.
Sometimes not writing is a marker of avoidance, of myself, of my inner world, of things that need attention. This time it was a signal of another process. Exploring my living space in a new way, the space of living in my body and my outer home. Unknowingly, my deeper need and pursuit of spaciousness has launched my personal reorganizing renovation, divesting, recycling campaign.
My soul went on strike. Demands were simple: a little more breathing space amidst the daily visual noise. It was much easier to turn off the radio or the computer, than the constant visual demands of paper piles, undone tasks, and groceries that needed transforming into edible dishes. Although the demands were simple, the tasks to fulfill this deceptively simple request, were not. Emotionally overwhelming and physically demanding, the pressure had actually been accumulating my entire life in the growing inertia of nostalgia.
In keeping with the rising zeitgeist toward minimalism and the magical life changing decluttering a la Marie Kondo*, these phenomenons highlight and sharply contrast the sheer consumer madness afoot. For many a post war decade now, consumerism and excess has been growing, hitting a fever pitch through the 80's up until, well,.....now. Western capitalism and entitlement has created a gluttony of junk accumulation, an economic crisis several times over, based in north American debt load, and the rising obesity and sloth of inactivity, purchase power(nee rather, ease) and technology. These realities, although well known by society, are sadly potently anaesthetizing the public into somnolent numbness and apathy. 'Potently' I say, because this is how many corporations and advertisers design it to be. The need for clearing space is directly linked to consumer culture. IT counters the panicked sensation of drowning. IF you are like me this bombardment creates tension within.
Back to, 'AH!' Exhale. The pursuit of spaciousness. Did you notice your shoulders soften with the conscious breath? Fortunately, we can always choose to wake up from this robotic, ceaseless onslaught.
Other good news is there is also a rise of more conscious, ethical business, with eco friendly and fair trade emphasis fuelling their vision. Probably even within reach of your very own neighborhood.
With the popularity of the aforementioned*, ' life changing magic of Tidying up' and the meteoric rise of the minimalists*, something else is emerging.
There is clearly a broader yearning afoot. A yearning for spaciousness. Room to breathe. Room to stretch. To let go. Release. Lighten the psychic burden.
My spirit was feeling cramped, and while I value yoga, I needed a deeper stretch and room to expand that I couldn't yet access. Perhaps even deeper, clearing space is a vehicle to heal ourselves and clear the past . Perhaps most importantly clearing helps heal the planet we have so callously and blindly used as a garbage receptacle. Being mindful of new purchases, recycling, upcycling, giving away, sharing resources.
In dance, reference to the sacredness of movement and its power and healing in our lives to ground us-- dovetails effortlessly with the joy of an empty space to do so! Whether your personal medicine is an afternoon espresso, a yoga warrior pose or a titillating book, consider that stillness, space and beauty calm our far too frequently vexed spirit . We are then able to release tension. E x-p-a-n--d--i---n----g.
My writing had been bottling up. I've missed it. Felt guilt, pressure, confusion, ache and even despair and pointlessness—but through all of these incarnations I held the internal space to witness, observe and not react. Clearing the story; the 'shoulds', the confusion, until a deeper truth emerged. This Parallels the eerie hovering of the wildfire smoke and haze this summer blanketing most of BC; we were forced to be in it, powerless to impact it, and yet learned to be with it, until it lifted; simply awaking one morning to a new, clearer landscape.
Breathing easier, once again.
Sometimes taking a break from something important to you is not in fact avoidance, but rather reverence. Reverence for the space we seek, the refuge we require, the value we wish to add. The fervour of committed play.
I have made this the year for massive give aways and clearing of my space. It continues. No coincidence I am sure, hitting my half century mark. A new identity wishes to emerge, chafing at the old constraints, limitations and programming. I regret, I still have a long way to go and recognize it is a process, an ongoing process. IT is also fun to see positive contagion spread though, as your shift draws your whole family to the quest.
Visual clutter it seems, is a stressor which I never fully understood. I rationalized it as representative of a full life, creativity, stimulating, an active mind, a busy life. Perhaps I am simply not willing to be so torn to pieces anymore filling too many responsibilities. A chaotic desk top now feels overwhelming instead of creative. Confusing.
Yes, in truth, the patina of living is messy and wrinkled and leaves its stains and scratches. Entropy happens. Laws of nature need to be understood to avoid self reproach. But the practice of clearing is becoming a deep-seated need toward a deeper calm and ease, saving both time and energy. I am already breathing easier. And when I maintain consistent movement toward
it is freeing. Emancipation by simply, lightening the load. By taking this action, The gifts are plentiful in return. One can breathe easier. Spaciousness graciously allows the yielding, the surrender more readily. Clearing allows Personal pain, heavy density and stuckness to transform to inner power.
S p a c i o u s n e s s allows the essential to e m e r g e.
1. *The life-changing magic of tidying up, Marie Kondo, c 2014. (see also Books blog 'a brief affair', jan 2016)
2. *IF you are unfamiliar with them, check them out at, the minimalists for their blog and podcast, netflix documentary and several books. http://www.theminimalists.com/ two average American young guys simply deeply committed to a principle of less is more. Their work elegantly demonstrates the power and beauty of clarity, simplicity and living intentionally.
3. * Nia dance, a holistic approach to movement and wellness in your body, see also my blog, the genius of movement, june-2016, and look for classes in your area it's worldwide! FInd your joy and an ability to maintain a ready, aware and waiting (RAW -a NIA priniciple) openness to daily life.