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Harmony Exploration #1: Space

We’re enjoying a family vacation and playing with my daughter and niece – oh and all the grown-ups – has just been way too much fun! We’ve had some hilarious rounds of Apples to Apples and Jenga, all played according to four-year old and eight-year old rules.

Vacations remind us of how fabulous space feels.  Sleeping in a bit more than usual, taking time to wander outside, sitting under the fan because it’s too hot to do anything else… does it get any better?  Not only does it feel good in our bodies it also allows for the connections we so long for.  Time to absorb our child’s wonder as she watches a bird build a nest, time to laugh until you cry, time to connect with those qualities that make our family precious to us.

Space is a necessary element for achieving harmony and order.  Artists use space in their compositions as a tool for directing our eye and to evoke a sensory response.  A picture that is crammed full of detail can quicken our breath and bring a feeling of anxiety because we don’t know where to focus. I don’t know about you but it’s really easy for my life to feel like that too, and I’m so not interested in staying in that picture.  Some of the things that keep our pictures over-full: complaining about our reality, the way we think about the never-ending tasks of keeping a household, not enough sleep, overeating food or bingeing on social media, and isolating ourselves.

I’d much rather be in a spacious landscape, clear on my focus with enough room to enjoy the present moment.

“The Stroll” 1875 Monet
image courtesy of artchive.com

How does this translate to a mama’s busy life?  In my blog post on harmony (here) I talked about the crucial difference between balance and harmony and how adding in more of what you need will help you eliminate what is no longer useful.  We can often get caught up in identifying what needs to be removed, what are the sources of stress that are driving us to our space cluttering behaviors.  That’s just it, however; it’s not the things in our lives that are making us feel claustrophobic.  Rather it is the way we think about and respond to those stressors.  I was talking with a couple of my mama friends that other day and despite all the brilliant things we are all doing with our children and families all we could talk about was how overwhelming laundry is.  I mean, seriously, this is what takes up so much of our brain space?  This is what we choose to spend our precious energy getting hung up on? Something that WILL NEVER BE DONE? Laundry, and our mindset about it, is a perfect example of how some simple shifts can have a powerful effect.  What if I added in any of the following to me laundry routine (or any other part of my day)…
  • taking a couple of minutes to breath deeply and slowly before I start
  • putting on music I love and taking a moment to let my body really absorb it
  • doing a couple sun salutations or other yoga poses
  • doing a complete load from start to finish without starting another one (or, for any task, doing only that task from start to finish)
  • stating an affirmation such as “I’m doing something important and loving for my family right now.”
  • beginning or ending a task with a couple of gratitude statements
  • light a candle or diffuse essential oil
  • look out the window, into the distance
  • close your eyes and fully take in the moment.
The element of space is what helps us focus our vision on what’s really important as well as creates a physical sense of well-being.  What are you longing to add to your life, that will bring focus and grounded well-being? Close you eyes for a moment and feel what comes to mind.  Space is a feeling so trust what your body is telling you.  If what comes to mind is too big or overwhelming, give yourself permission to break it down into something smaller.  Remember, if your life feels over-full it’s probably because the part of you that strives for wonderfulness has been misdirected into alternating perfectionism with zoning out.  This is your chance to start to shift this by choosing to add small, nourishing acts of love into your life.

How will you create space for the life you want? Share with the community, below and on Instagram.  Be well mamas!

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