Clearing Space for More Good
I have no socks to wear!! And it’s cold outside!!
I don’t know how this is possible because my sock drawer is full. I dig around in there, shifting the colored blobs of fabric, looking for anything that will keep my feet warm in my snow boots. But nothing! I dump the drawer’s contents on my bed and move all the ankle socks to one side. What’s left? A pair of purple and orange-striped Halloween knee-highs, two pairs of thick fleece socks, and three unmatched athletic socks.
Sometimes we simply have too many things that aren’t useful. It’s good to get a clear picture of what we do have so we can determine what we need. This concept applies to more than just drawers and closets.
When our lives feel full or we get bogged down by too much responsibility and excessive demands, then we prevent more good from coming into our lives. We sit stuck and stagnant, mired in all we’ve accumulated. On top of that, we’re not able to see or appreciate the good we already have.
Everything in the natural world needs space to thrive.
A plant needs loose spacious soil so its roots can expand and support the continued growth of the plant. When it gets compacted, the roots become too tight; it suffocates and eventually dies.
Animals kept in small spaces become neurotic and fearful as opposed to animals that have room to roam and experience healthy normal lives.
Even computers run faster and are more productive when they have plenty of free space on the hard drive. We all know how frustrating it is to work on a slow computer!
You are no different. You’re an energetic being and you naturally feel better when you can “flow” with life.
If your everyday existence is overloaded with work and social commitments, it’s likely we’ll see that your physical space is equally cluttered, making matters worse. You may feel like you can’t think clearly. You likely tuck unwanted emotional issues away thinking there’s just not enough time to deal with what might be lurking on the tail end of your fear, anger, and frustration.
Humans need physical, mental, creative, and emotional space to flourish, to flow.
Unfortunately, we rarely have the space we need. We’re often living our lives in very cramped quarters and wondering why it doesn’t feel good. We accumulate out of habit because it somehow makes us feel safer, buffered from potential lack and loneliness. So clearing space is something we have to intentionally practice from time to time. All the good we want in our lives demands that we make room for it to enter.
Clearing clutter in the physical realm can have a big impact on our mental/emotional states. For example, when I clean up one small visible space like my bedroom dresser or bedside table, I immediately notice that I can see what I have. Clarity leads to an appreciation for the little things. A vase with a single rosebud. A crystal bowl for holding trinkets. A small writing journal my daughter made for me. Open space vs. clutter makes me feel spacious and acutely aware that there’s room for more. There’s potential in my life, in me. When we bring order to anything, we bring order to our lives and that can make us feel more confident, more comfortable, and more at ease. What small space could you clear in half an hour? How might it feel?
How often do you feel that your mind is running in high gear and getting nowhere? Our minds need a little bit of downtime every day. When we quiet our thinking, important questions have time to arise and possible answers can come to light. Sometimes when my brain is locked on overdrive, I simply take out a piece of paper and label it “All My Concerns,” and then I make a list. No matter how stupid, I write my worries down which gets them out of my head for a while. This practice never fails to slow down that steady stream of mindless chatter. We all need personal private headspace to get in touch with our thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs. Every day, schedule time for quiet reflection, meditation, or mental rest. Clear some space for your mind to relax and roam. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, as long as you take the time. Cooking, walking, swimming, running, knitting, and dancing all have a way of putting the mind at ease and clearing space for creative thought. When is the last time you took an intentional mental break?
Distraction kills creativity. I need chunks of time and space for creative expression. It’s hard for me to tap into my best work when I only have a small amount of time because I get caught in distractions. I’m not alone in this. Most people require an hour or so to enter “the flow” where their best creative work can be accomplished. If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t seem to get motivated to make anything of your own creative talents. Maybe it’s because you haven’t set aside enough time to unleash the creative genius inside of you. We all have the capacity to create, but few people ever devote enough time to build momentum. It’s like leaving enough room to taxi down the runway so we can get our great ideas off the ground. What’s still waiting to take off in your life?
We often fail to realize that emotions take time and we usually don’t want to give them the time and energy they are due. We want to hurry our emotions along as we do with children. Hush now. Don’t cry. Wipe those tears. It’ll be alright. As soon as they’ve begun, we’re ready for them to be done. But that’s not how emotions work. They don’t comply with constraints and we rarely allow ourselves time to get past the first few tears. But what if you did? What freedom might you bring to your heart if you cleared some space for your emotions to surface and be felt? Next time you feel the urge to cry, find a quiet spot and allow the tears to come uncensored. Next time you feel frustration or anger find a private space and unleash a full-on tantrum. When you clear space for your emotions to exist it’s amazing how great you feel afterward! There’s so much more to be said about this, but for today, I’m planting a seed. Let’s feel life fully.
Intentionally Clearing Space
Clearing space in all areas of our lives ensures us the optimal environment for our personal growth. We must be conscientious gardeners of our lives. We must continually weed out the things that are keeping us from thriving. It is a conscious choice and practice to be selective. Only spend time with people who support our best life. Limit time spent on activities that serve no real purpose like mindless scrolling or endless partying. Clean up the clutter that’s around you. Set time aside for your personal growth needs. All of these ways of clearing space reduce stress in our lives. They create a clean slate, a blank page onto which something new and good can begin.