Two of the most important words in our vocabulary. Space and time are what really matter in our lives.
The space I am writing about means space for ourselves or for our friends and family or for the things we really like to do like a walk in the woods, painting, reading, golf, running, playing tennis, watching television. You may say that these things actually take time rather than space, but the space I am talking about is not just a slot on a calendar but creating some inner space in ourselves, not only to timetable these enjoyments but also to fully experience them in the moment that we are engaging with them. When we have space to do this we lose ourselves in what we are doing and this takes us away from the everyday anxieties and pre-occupations that we all have regardless of our life situation.
Space is also about where we choose to be. This can be to live or to work or to spend our leisure time. Fresh air, being in nature, or being near water. Space can, and perhaps should, allow us to raise our energy and our mood and increase our sense of well-being.
For our health and well-being giving ourselves permission to have space to ourselves is a real gift. You can choose to spend this space with others or spend it with yourself alone. Many of us resist being alone in our busy world and after 18 months of on/off lockdowns aloneness has become a significant problem. Many of us are finding it hard to re-engage with the world and with others, yet we fear the aloneness too.
Time is the measure of our days, weeks, months, years. How we spend this counts down our lives from their start to their finish. When you are feeling pressured to carry out some task “just in time”, ask yourself how much would this task matter if I knew exactly how much time is left in my life, and, why am I doing it? or who am I doing it for? This may change your perception of how you spend your time. Using your time to impress others, or to please others may not be the best use of it for you. Time is a very precious commodity because it is limited.
So find some space and time for yourself. Try just being in space that is for you alone and set aside some time alone too. In that space and time do something you love. TV and computer games could be a part of the space and time but they distract the mind and interact with us in ways which are not always uplifting and positive. So maybe, if that is how you like to spend your space and time take a different approach and do something different. Walk on grass in bare feet, very slowly and really feel its texture and coolness. Stand in a woodland and listen to the rustling of the leaves. Sit by a flowing stream, or on the seashore, close your eyes and listen to the sound of moving water. Lie on your back and watch the clouds float across the sky. Use a timer, if you must, for 5 or 10 minutes, but otherwise try it out without and see how absorbed you become in those precious moments in your own space and time. Then checkout your body and mind to see how it makes you feel. There are no rights and wrongs here. Your thoughts and feelings about the experience are completely valid no matter what they may be.
If it feels good – remember it and do it again, often. If it doesn’t feel good, try something different until you find what is right for you. Remember also that something that once felt right may not now and that it ok too. Keep looking and do not stop until you find what makes you feel calmer, happier, and maybe what makes your heart sing. Then practice it,,,,, again and again and again, until it becomes a habit. Then that change will become permanent.