In my windowsill I had this plant that, for a hot minute, was thriving. Moss green leaves grew from it's stems and it's vines were growing long enough to drape over the sides of the vase it occupied. But eventually, it stopped growing. It's leaves went from green to yellow and crumbly and the vines began to follow suit. At least this was until my kind mother-in-law took the plant under her wing and repotted it in a larger vase. With this extra space to stretch it's roots in, it came back to life and has been thriving ever since.
We humans are like plants, in that in order to expand into our full potential, we must have enough space for this expansion to take place. Creating space in our lives gives us the room necessary for us to grow and for new opportunities to meet us halfway. Here are a few changes that I have made in my own life to create more space for growth and goodness to flow in.
Do away with clutter
Clutter in this instance refers to anything that is taking up space in your physical, mental or emotional environment that isn't serving you. For me this has meant clearing out the closets and cupboards that were filled with a plethora of things I didn't know what to do with. Little by little, I began going through these cupboards and throwing out the stuff that I knew I would never use. In turn, I would neatly organize the items I had long forgotten about. Over time my home has become a space where much of the items in it serve a purpose.
This is also applicable for your mental environment. In the information age, it's easy to consume endless amounts of information without much thought. Just as we are what we eat, we gradually become the information we take in. That's why it's important to be mindful about the music we listen to, the TV shows we watch and the articles we read. And this doesn't mean that it's never okay to indulge in mindless media from time to time. The 80/20 ratio works here too, aim for 80% uplifting content and 20% entertainment. Think three engaging podcasts for every one Kardashian episode.
Say no to anything that isn't an automatic yes
Many of us feel obligated to say yes to anything that comes our way. There will always be external demands for our time whether it comes in the form of a boss seeing if we can take on another shift or a friend asking us to go out for drinks when we would rather have a night in. It is not our job to say yes to everyone. In fact, when we say yes to things that overburden us we end up resenting the people who asked us to do them. Really, our dissatisfaction lands on our shoulders because we had the option to say no.
So next time someone approaches you with something that you do not want to do, say no for the sake of your future self who will be glad that you did. And if you aren't sure whether it's a yes or a no, ask yourself, will this bring me joy? If the answer is yes, then it's a yes and if it's an eh, then it's a no.
Give yourself a you-day
This is a day that is dedicated to your joy. If you can't do a day, then do an afternoon, if an afternoon isn't plausible, then carve out an hour in the morning or at night to tend to yourself. Don't plan anything during this time so you're free to act on your own intuitive urges. Use this time to do whatever sounds good to you, to connect with that inner child in you that likes to play at things for the fun of it. It's during open spaces of time that ideas can freely flow to us, because there is room to for them to do so.
Each week I do my best to take a day and if not a day, an afternoon or even an hour, to just chill out and do what sounds good to me. I'll hit up a yoga class, make a smoothie, take an epsom salt bath in the middle of the day, just anything that calls out to me and brings me joy.