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trisha hadley

Creating Space

I’ve said it a million times, but I’ll say it again. I’m cleaning out my life. And this time I mean it.

Ok, I really have said that countless times. But this time I really do mean it. Well, I guess we’ll see...

For someone that has moved as much as I have in the past 8 years -- ok, I’ll count... 18 times. Give or take a few, but yes, 18ish moves. 13 different homes. 6 cities. 3 countries. Actually 3 continents. You get the picture, I’m a nomad.

And I really do love my wandering ways. Meeting people, learning about life, love, self-care. Mmmm goodness. Let’s make that another post for another time though and focus for now. Stuff. I have a lot of it. Eeevery time I move I become more and more aware of it. The Stuff. (cue pseudo-scary dramatic sitcom sounds here)

So much stuff.

So what’s a girl to do? Well -- (is this obvious?) -- get rid of it. Donate to Goodwill. Donate to a friend. Have a garage sale. Recycle. Use as fire wood. Do anything, just make it go away. This is my new mantra.

Now clearly one has useful items in their life. I’m not suggesting to go über Buddhist and renounce all possessions, but take a good survey of all of the stuff that you have and be honest with yourself on what you actually use and what you should part with. If you aren’t utilizing it, someone else could, or you could benefit from the money you’d get from selling it or (spoiler alert) the space that you create.

How? I’m currently smack dab in the middle of “cleaning out my life” and I’ve posted a few helpful tips in a subsequent post that have made this time, the time, that the first statement in this post will be true.

While this is the place that my little journey began, you might be surprised that the best part about it is not the tidy dresser or clean shelves or even the $33.09 in Amazon credit from trading in old books (though that was pretty sweet). It’s the other space it creates and the realizations that have come along with that.

Physical space creates mental space. Mental space allows change, softness, growth. When our minds are cluttered we are often stressed (or the clutter is because of the stress). We forget to breathe. When we create space, we allow ourselves the opportunity to live a more mindful life by making a greater amount of our resources available in the present moment. This past summer I worked with a biofeedback device that measured heart rate variability. The more constricted your heart, the lower the variability, the less adaptable you were to change. Conversely, with greater variability -- or more space in the heart -- came greater adaptability, less stress.

Ridding your life of stuff is not the only way to create physical (and mental) space. During my yoga class this week I realized that this is one of its benefits. Moving the body as one does in yoga stretches muscles, loosens fascia, creates space. The detox that I’m planning for next week flushes toxins out of the system, helps rid the body of excess fat, creates space. Staying hydrated keeps all of your cells happy, creating space in the body’s cells for optimal efficiency. Creating space in life for an optimal state of being.

Optimal state of being. Seems like reason enough to succeed in the life-cleaning, space-making, more-room-to-breathe-and-live endeavor this time around.

Background image by Sebastian Glasl.