Updated on October 18th, 2018
What change are you contemplating to make in your life right now? Whether tiny or sweeping, it won’t happen unless you focus your energy, time and attention on bringing it about. And create the space for it to happen in.
Why this is your vital pre-requisite, your Step Zero, so to speak? Find out in my ultimate How-To-Guide 6 Steps to a Life You Love. And get ideas for creating space, going beyond simply making time in your diary…
So, tell me: What’s the change you want to make in your life?
Is it a small tweak?
You know: Ramping up your exercise routine. Going for regular walks out in nature. Spending more time with your partner, or the kids. Working more productively, so you can leave work earlier. Buying your food from the farmers market instead of the supermarket.
Or are you thinking about a more significant, sweeping, transformative or radical change?
Like: Changing job, or even career. Going travelling for a year. Selling your home, and moving to another city, another country, to the mountains, to the seaside. Or, starting or leaving a close relationship.
If you haven’t already done so, write down on a piece of paper, or in a journal:
What change are you currently contemplating?
Whatever it is: It won’t happen unless you focus your energy, time and attention on bringing it about.
It might take you a little while to gear up to making your change. That’s ok – no need to feel inadequate about it. (But if you do, this post will help.)
If you fancy finding out how ready you are for your change, why not take my fun little quiz?
And receive your very own Life Change Catalyst tool
to ease your change forward. Free.
Once you are ready and have decided to go for it, there is one vital element you’ll need first and foremost, if you want your change to really happen.
Without it, the change you’re envisaging might well remain a dream. You’ll remain a prisoner of your busy lifestyle, and of other things taking priority. And your change will have nowhere to fall into, nowhere to be and happen in your life.
This first and vital principle of change, your Step 0 in the 6 Steps to a Life You Love, is:
In fact, sometimes I think that:
“Creating space is the first principle of everything!”
The space you’re creating for your change is so vital, because, really, it is:
- Space to get clear on what you (really) want.
- Space to do nothing much –
to rest, to process what’s happened, or to let ideas and inspiration drop in.
- Space to experiment, take action, try things out, play.
- Space to think, reflect, and learn.
- Space to seek and receive feedback.
- Space to find your way to the right decision.
- Space to plan, review, or adjust course if you need to.
- Space to celebrate your successes.
- Space to mourn your losses.
- Space to heal. (Tough love health advice from my GP)
- Space to let go of what is not to be, and embrace what is.
It is absolutely necessary!
Where and how can you create space for your change?
The most obvious way is to manage your time. But space comes in other dimensions, too: In your mind. In your body. In your environment.
They all contribute to a feeling of spaciousness, and offer your change a place to drop into.
11 ideas and suggestions to create space
1. Put time in your diary: And block that time out, as an important date with yourself and your change. Perhaps you’ll decide to dedicate a full or half day a week to your change. Or you’ll go for little and often instead, and create regular slots in your week, where you’ll take care of things to do with your change.
2. Say no, stop or let go: Time is a finite resource – we all have 24 hours each day, and some of that time we need to spend sleeping and resting. When we’ve got no space in our life, it feels like a computer hard drive that’s full. In order to free up space, we need to delete stuff. So, decide how much time you want to create for your change. What can you say no to, stop or let go for the time being, in order to free up that time? Then say no to that, stop it or let it go.
Not sure what that is?
3. Set priorities: At any given time in our life, there is a multitude of things vying for our time and attention. It’s simply impossible to do them all – and we get very stressed if we try to! So decide: Which are the 3 most important things for you to do this week, or today? They’ll stay on your agenda. (Hopefully, your change is one of them!) Then which are the 3 least important things for you to do? In fact, which are time-wasters, unnecessary, and not helping you go where you want to go? Those are the ones you stop or let go of!
Want to make it more fun, and make sure you stick to the allocated time?
4. Find a change buddy, or a coach: In order to increase the likelihood that you’ll stick to your allocated change space, meet up regularly to share progress, support each other, and keep each other motivated and on track. A change buddy could be someone who is working on their change at the same time as you, or who is working on a similar change – for example, you might both be working on eating more healthily and losing weight. A coach will work with you on your change – help you be clear on what you want to do and how, motivate you, support you through challenges, and keep you on track. Both are a great way of going beyond your excuses, and getting on with it!
Body and Mind
A quiet, focused mind goes a long way to create space, even when our life and schedule is busy. So does a relaxed, spacious body. In fact, the two go hand in hand and are deeply interconnected.
I’m in Buddhist, Yogic and Bodywork territory here, speaking to you as a practitioner, not as an expert! Here are a few body-mind practices that help me create space when I feel full, too busy or overwhelmed:
5. Empty your thoughts into a journal: Write them all down in one continuous text. Don’t think, don’t analyse, don’t censor, don’t try to make perfect sentences, don’t correct anything. Just pour it all onto the page, and don’t stop until it’s all out. If it’s something you want to let go or release, and you like the idea of a ritual to help you do that, you could even write it on lose pages, then burn them (in a safe place!) and scatter the ashes in your garden.
6. Pour your thoughts into the earth: This is from a yoga class. You lie down on the floor, perhaps on a mat or a blanket. Relax, imagining you’re lying on sand, and the weight of your body is making an imprint on it. Become aware of the back surface of your body where it meets the ground: The back of your head, shoulders, pelvis, calves, heels. Then focus again on the back of your head, and imagine all the busy thoughts are draining out of there, and pouring into the earth beneath you. Let them flow out until there’s none left, then notice how your mind feels (and your body!)
7. Learn a stilling and centering practice: This is all to do with relaxing, focusing on one thing, and breathing. It could be meditation. It could be yoga. It could be systematically relaxing your body. It could be deep breathing. Relaxing the body will still the mind. Stilling the mind will relax the body. Practices often combine working on both. All you need to do to create space is find a practice that suits you, learn it, and practice regularly: In the morning, before you start your day. In the evening, after work, or before bed. Even briefly throughout your day. It doesn’t matter when, or even how long you practice for – just practice.
8. Stop and step back: This is the only thing that will help when we are running to stand still, and feeling so frazzled we can’t think straight anymore. Take a break. And step back from the thick of it – literally and metaphorically put space between you and the constant busy-ness. Get away on a holiday, or a short break. Engage with your family or friends. Sleep on it. Or simply imagine looking at your busy life from further and further away, until you’re looking down at it from a mountain top, or from space. What does it look like from there? If you can’t get away at all, just simply looking up at the sky for a few minutes, or taking a brisk walk around the block, will create a tiny oasis of space.
9. Lengthen and stretch: When I was doing my dance training, we would lie on the floor, breathe and relax our bodies – limb by limb. Then we would gently wiggle our entire body, and let it lengthen and stretch as it wanted to. One teacher would even tell us to imagine our breath going into each of our joints, and creating lots of space and freedom of movement in there. We spent time focusing on the sensations in our body in this way – and the difference in how we felt and moved, when we eventually got up again was incredible! Try it for yourself. Or find your own conscious movement class and be guided.
10. Declutter: Clutter in our physical environment literally takes up space. If your home or workplace is cluttered, it will add to your busy-ness with ‘visual noise’ and distraction. And it will contribute to making you feel stuck. (How to get unstuck.) So keep as much space as possible free and clear, at least in the surroundings you’re spending a lot of time in. It will help you feel more spacious, too. You can declutter in bursts, if you don’t like doing it continuously, and use the new year or spring energy to help you get it done. You might be surprised at how much easier you’ll find making your change then!
11. (Spring) clean and clear: Sometimes it can be the energy of a particular environment, and not so much what’s in it and how it’s arranged, that can make us feel cramped and busy. Giving a place a good clean, or clear it from hindering energies (if that’s something you’d like to explore) can really lift its energy, making it easier for you to move your change forward. You’ll have to experiment for yourself!
Any other ideas? Over to you!
Perhaps you have a different idea altogether, that works better for you? And what are your experiences with creating space for your change? Please share it in the comments box below – thank you!!
Whatever you choose to do: The important thing is that, in the flood of tasks, activities, responsibilities, and ‘life stuff’ that comes at us, as your first step, you create a space in which your change can actually happen.
So you’ve created the space your change needs… and now what?
Hop over to my next post in this series – 6 Steps to a Life You Love, My Ultimate How To Guide to Changing Your Life – Step 1: Look back before moving forward
Why not get my structured, intuitive and empathetic coaching help?
And get your change underway.
I specialise in working with people who are at crossroads and don’t know what they want to do next in their life. You don’t have to know what you want, in order to work with me.
Indeed, I can help you explore and find out what that is, and then make the changes you need, in order to move into a life you want and love. All with more ease than if you were to do it on your own. I will guide you through my 6 Steps to a Life You Love process – tailored to you. Giving you the space for your change.
So you can stress less and move forward in your life – at your own pace!