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The traps of routine in self-care

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Creating space to create space


1. a continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied.

2. the dimensions of height, depth, and width within which all things exist and move.

3. an interval of time.

The list goes on. As we so often see in language, and in life; there’s a pattern. Here, an idea of breadth, bareness, blankness.

The concept of space has a place in every domain of life when we truly consider it - it is the place. The place for placement; stillness - and for movement; creation. On our desks, pages, canvasses, stages, in our homes, relationships, minds.

I have always been a design enthusiast - from the cushion selection in a blanket fort as a child to the cushion selection for my reading chair in recent days. One might argue that I have only had an interest in cushions this whole time, but in fact the soft furnishings are representative: Comfort, support, sanctuary. Space.

I write this from my own space. Wall and thought surrounded, emotion and idea filled, cushion decorated. Not until I’d wandered into and out of it, days in a row, piling laundry and to-do lists on top of one another, telling myself I’d deal with them later - did I stop on course to my yoga mat, staring at an untouched journal - and see that my room, like my thoughts, had become overcrowded. Rather than continue to the mat, I remained where I was.

Procrastination guilt began to creep in as I stared across the room at the rectangle I use to ground and breathe and strengthen. A voice - my own - played a memory. Loudly. “I’m FINE! I’M looking after myself! Iiii do yoga EVERY day!” In the space between its utterance to a compassionate mother, and my recollection of it now months later, I found humour and perspective. It’s a little telling something’s not fine when you’re yelling the word in someone’s face. So rather than make my robotic way to this one habit I had to create space for myself - literally and metaphorically ignoring every obstacle on my way, I began where I stood. At the door. I folded, stored, sorted, donated, threw out. I moved in this way across the room - opening curtains, replacing sheets, and hanging pictures I had been putting off retrieving the hammer for - until I was at my mat again.

“Procrastination guilt began to creep in as I stared across the room at the rectangle I use to ground and breathe and strengthen.”

On the mat, I felt the sunshine on my skin through the window. Breath was not something I had to find or force but an action my surroundings now inspired. My space reflected what I wanted to achieve in my mind and body.

I near floated to my next practice, at least what felt like it in contrast to the clunking of guilt and obligation I had carried to it before - waiting for it to bring me peace and then not having the space to carry it. Now the practice was for everything surrounding that moment on my mat. Time. People. Life. Not for some non-existent performance one day when I’d “perfected” it all.

And when I next entered the room, I found myself sitting with that carefully selected cushion propped behind me, writing for the first time in too long. Writing this. For you. Feeling inspired and wanting to share. So you too might be moved to create room to move. To create space, to create space, to create.

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