After a blissful month in Thailand, I’ve spent this past week nursing my jet lag and reacclimating to a windy Colorado winter.
My intention during my time in Asia was to fill my inner well. Rather than doing errands, working at my computer, or keeping up with communications (email, texts, phone calls, etc.), I relaxed into white space.
For me, that looked like meditating, practicing yoga, reading novels by the pool or at the beach, working out, napping, getting Thai massages, eating well, leading the SHE Yoga & Meditation Teacher Training, and going to sleep early.
These are some of the core activities that rekindle my inner sparkle.
Many of us (myself included) harbor deep, unconscious beliefs that we don’t deserve to take time off unless we’re sick. Even then, we feel guilty relaxing into so much empty space. Our sense of worth is so tightly bound to how much we do.
Changing this belief is counter-cultural, necessary, and entirely impossible.
Ancient healing sciences like India’s Ayurveda teach us to always leave one third of our stomachs empty when we’re eating a meal for optimum digestion. Any less than that leaves our bodies overwhelmed and unable to optimally extract the nutrients we need from food.
The same holds true for our inner worlds.
What would it take for you to leave one third of the space in your calendar free each day?
This white space, which I call your SHE space, is your time to clear the decks of your usual responsibilities. It’s a physical space and time dedicated to what feeds your soul.
It’s space where genius, inspiration, and healing can transpire. It’s being time.
When your SHE space dwindles and you spend all your time tending to other people’s needs in your “outer world,” exhaustion, self-doubt, disconnection, and overwhelm take over.
You’re the only one who can give yourself the permission to live from your wisdom, joy, and depths. And the only way to do this is to create the time and space for it.
On a single day, in your SHE space you could do your daily practice, write in your journal, take a bath, go to a dance class, make art, hike in nature, visit with friends, or sit on your deck and listen to the birds.
Each season you could go on weekend retreat, unplug for a couple of days, or do an at-home retreat. Each year, you could go on a week-long retreat and/or vacation to fill your inner wellspring.
This is your space to fiercely guard those passions and pursuits that make you truly come alive. You don’t need a reason to take time off, other than that you love yourself enough to do it.
For more inspiration on the power of white space, here are some great articles written by other women:
- “Why You Need White Space in Your Daily Routine, ” by Jocelyn K. Glei
- “To Get Your Power Back in Parenthood, Find Your White Space,” by Lori Mihalich-Levin
Lori wrote that article after spending a day working privately with me in a SHE Leadership Intensive in my home here in Colorado. Now also a member of this year’s SHE Leadership Circle, Lori and her cohorts are learning to trust the power of simplicity, spaciousness, and subtraction to bring their creations into the world more boldly and sustainably.
If you want to be part of a community of women that practices and embraces this way of living, it’s not too late to join this year’s SHE School (or to apply to it’s mastermind component, The SHE Leadership Circle).
Since we just got started last month, there’s still time to settle in with ease. After this week, we’ll seal the container for the rest of our 9-month journey; so this is your last chance to join us.
Here’s to the power of white space!
(This is an excerpt from my second book, The Book of SHE: Your Heroine’s Journey to the Heart of Feminine Power.)