Ah, June has been such a joy with all its summer-like wonder and warmth – what a treat! This month here at HLC we have been thinking about the concept of space; the creation of space, the process of holding space for another, the use of space. What a wonderful tool it is in so many aspects of life. Ready to dig in deeper with me?
‘a continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied.’
Space; to nurture your creativity, to truly take note and explore those thoughts which have been whirring around your head all day, to move your body, to stop, to BE.
Space; to sit comfortably in your own silence, to stop and listen, to tune in to the small signals and messages your mind/body are communicating to you.
So often we create space for others – friends, family, colleagues – and expend a multitude of energies daily on others. We part with this precious energy of ours to give that little extra at work, to turn up and be present for those we care for but let me ask you…how often do you turn up for yourself? How often do you create and hold that space purely for your own benefit? There seems to be a common misconception buzzing around which leaves individuals feeling selfish for claiming this space and time as their required nourishment. Selfishness, in this form, is necessary for a multitude of reasons; self-improvement, self-understanding, self-love, and moreover equally essential in allowing us to be present for those we care about in their endeavours.
In our society, it can be all too easy to get caught up in the buzz of everyday life. We are being constantly bombarded with an overload of information, with advertising, technology and screens encroaching on every inch of our lives. This is all the more reason we need to commit to creating this space for ourselves. A space of self-love, of creation, of movement and awareness.
The multitude of information we are able to easily access today is wonderful for so many reasons, but sometimes due to the ever-growing number of podcasts, documentaries, audiobooks and websites, it can be difficult to step away from all the forms of input and just be with our thoughts. All too often walks in nature are accompanied by a podcast or music, cooking accompanied by a TV show. Don’t get me wrong, multitasking is a fantastic way to maximise use of time but it doesn’t always serve us well when it comes to holding that space for ourselves. By this I mean maximising the amount of nourishment we receive from each singular activity – tuning in to our senses and using that time to process any lingering emotions or thoughts.
As the saying goes, we must first fill our own cup before looking to others. How do we go about doing this living in the modern day? Through a little tool called non-negotiables.
‘not open to discussion or modification.’
I heard this concept a while ago and LOVED it. Establish a few non-negotiables in your daily life. What nourishes you? What makes you feel good inside and out? What enables you to be more creative/energised/motivated?
Choose just one or a few and commit to them daily. For example...
These non-negotiables can be very simple and minimally time consuming but the point is that they remain constants in your daily life. No matter how much work you have to do or how tired you may be, these remain your constants which you can come back to time and time again. In doing so, you are shifting that outgoing energy back into nourishing yourself, so that you gradually fill up your own cup and in turn have more to give to others.
The above are only suggestions, it can be things as simple as sitting down to eat breakfast or taking a long daily shower – the latter saved my sister’s sanity after she had her little girl.
Non-negotiables may start as daily tools of self-nourishment and develop into monthly or yearly goals. Perhaps a few of the following:
Have a think – what leaves you feeling energised? What stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system leaving you calm? What simultaneously nourishes your soul and quietens your mind?
Can you find that expanse which is free, available and unoccupied? Maybe, for now, it is just a corner of your mind, a small portion of the cup, a tiny square in the wide expanse which is your mind. Nurture it, spread it and fill it up.
[Written by Ashley Roy - Friendly face at HLC and Naturopathic Nutrition student]
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