Creating Space For Myself
As a little girl I was told never toot my own horn. We were supposed to let others recognize us. This was hard, as I was the middle daughter of five girls. It wasn’t easy to be seen or heard. I did all kinds of things to get attention, some of which I am not proud of! Finding my place and having space was a challenge.
Creating space for ourselves is a struggle for many of us as women. In our very busy lives it is often difficult to give ourselves permission to have space in between all the “shoulds”. We need to take the word “should” out of our vocabulary. Judgment is always implied when we use the word “should”, whether toward ourselves or others.
Why is it so hard to give myself permission to take up space? Why don’t I feel I deserve to just “be” without “doing” something? My husband never has any problem taking time and space for himself. He enjoys sitting on the sofa for hours on Sunday morning reading and would never have any feelings that he “should” be doing anything else. The feeling of guilt that I have when I do this would almost never come up for him.
I used to have days when I wouldn’t have a chance to stop and breathe. As the mother of three, running from one activity or one meeting to another was the norm and it didn’t leave much space for conscious choice. Being busy is a habit that I have to constantly push back against. When I started to create space for myself to meditate or read a book, I often felt judged by other women for not being busy. When did being busy become the status symbol instead of leisure time?
Staying small and not taking up too much space seems to be part of our collective conditioning as women, however, making space feels like the way we will:
Reclaim our worth
Step into our full potential
Find our purpose as women
We can’t wait for someone to give us permission or for someone else to recognize us.
The magic and the mystery will be created in the space in between and it is up to us to create this space. If we always do what we always did then we will always get what we always got. Change will only happen when there is space for it.
I believe part of what it means to be a woman in the 21st century is creating space for myself…
Not being so busy or and creating healthy boundaries
Learning to say “no” instead of feeling like I “should” say “yes”. As women, we need to really support each other in this process. I know so many women who feel they need to apologize when they say “no”, as if they are letting someone down and feel guilty. I encourage them to recognize the gift they are giving themselves and everyone else when they know their own limits. Instead of saying “yes” and feeling resentful and depleted, they say “no” and prevent others from suffering the brunt of their choice to want to please without boundaries. Taking on too much doesn’t leave you any space. How easy is it for you to say “no”?
Creating a space for yourself
Having a professional career outside the home was one way that I always made space for myself. Being on a plane was always a special moment with no interruptions and space to read or do whatever I wanted. As a stay at home mom, it was harder to create space for just me. My car has often become my space to myself where I sing my affirmations every morning. I usually meditate and write in my journal in my bedroom. Where and how do you create space for yourself?
Noticing when you are using the word “should”
Having permission to create space is somehow a challenge for us as women. Notice when you are telling yourself that you “should” be doing something else. Whose voice is saying this? I also notice whenever I use “should” with someone else, including my children. Instead of telling them what they “should” do, I have tried to ask them what they need. Creating space is about knowing what you need and not listening to the voices that are telling you what you “should” do. How easy is it for you to know what you need?
Join the conversation and share your thoughts on creating space for yourself…