Creating space for change

Dec 28, 2021 | Lifestyle

To catch new winds in your sails,

you must change course.

Falling into a rut is a sneaky process in which time seems to slip unnoticed from between our fingers. We may begin to feel hollow inside and like everything around us slowly loses all meaning.

To escape the echoing emptiness within, we resort to booze, comfort food, all-day snoozes, and other unhealthy coping mechanisms. We sway between experiencing an unfulfilling existence filled with resentment and searching for momentary highs of care-free joy.

We’re anchored to repeat these old cycles of behaviour over and over again until something shakes us, and we learn to release the things that have kept us stuck all these years – a breakthrough in disguise.

Whatever your circumstance may be; to catch new winds in your sails, you must change course. In other words, if you want a change, you must create space for it. That is why I like to do a full declutter of my life – both the physical and non-physical – before I begin to tackle the next stages in my annual Life Reset routine.

Let go & allow space for change

So how can we create more space in our life? To me the most obvious way to have more space is to manage our time. But I like to think space comes in various other dimensions, too. It can be in your environment. In your mind. And your digital spaces.

Create space with more time

Time is a scarce resource. Every minute we spend is a minute we will never get back. This is not to say you should carefully track every minute you spend at any given day.

More so to be wary about with who, where, and how you want to spend your time. It is okay to politely decline invitations that already leave you dreading the evening beforehand. Not too sure about all the hobbies you’re trying to balance? Let go of a few and see how you feel.

Freeing up time will let us have the space we need to take intentional pauses during the day and ground ourselves. More time on our hands let’s us be spontaneous – and that’s when our creative ideas flourish. The more we are present in the current moment, the slower time seems to tick by. When we are constantly on the go and anticipating the next place or ‘thing’ on our schedule, it may be more difficult to tune in fully as our minds would be already preparing for what’s to come.

Over to you. How do you like to spend your time? What activities do you find recharging? What do you enjoy? How can you include more of that into your schedule? And likewise, what is something you would like to let go of or do less?

Taking some time to think about these prompts can help you allocate your time in a way that fills your cup, so to speak.

Declutter your surroundings…

I don’t know about you, but I cannot start the day’s work before my surroundings are neat and tidy. Maybe it’s the countless distractions that easily persuade my mind to abandon adult responsibilities for play-time. Or, how some say, your physical space is a representation of your mind; an unorganized home = a distracted mind.

I’ve intentionally furnished my minimalist apartment with soft materials and neutral tones (not to mention far too many house plants), because it encourages my busy mind to slow down and tune into the moment. It feels so good when you are in a space that nourishes your mind with calmness, appreciation, and inspiration.

There’s something therapeutic and energising about decluttering. It almost feels like my mind and thoughts are getting organised at the same time as I declutter and deep clean my physical surroundings. That’s why it also feels like the natural first step before implementing change – you’re literally making space for yourself to live, to breathe, to think, and to be creative.

…and your mind

Sometimes our mind needs a little extra TLC than just a tidy environment. Our minds create a lot of noise and the majority of that noise is just random thoughts that are best left to pass through. But sometimes we cling onto these unproductive thoughts and give way too much power to them, which in turn takes up space in our mind and distracts us.

Take a piece of paper or your phone’s note app, and jot down all the things that are cluttering up your mind at this moment. There’s probably quite a few things stealing your focus. How do you feel after writing them down? A bit lighter? Often our worries and stressors seem less daunting on a piece of paper. This way we can begin to see them as things to be solved or let go of rather than ruminated over.

Daily journaling, regular exercise, meditation and even just taking a walk in nature can all help clear our mind so that we have more clarity over productive and unproductive thoughts, and where to guide our focus.

After all, where focus goes, energy flows, so think carefully what it is that you’re focusing on or ruminating over.

Time to detox your digital space?

In this day and age it’s rather impossible not to be affected in one way or another by the digital spaces we’re present in. Be it social media, the variety of news channels trying to capture our attention or even the TV series we watch. Everything feeds thousands of messages into our subconscious and not all of it is very nourishing for our minds.

Binge watching TV series was one coping mechanism I realised I used to numb my thoughts. TV is fine for entertainment purposes but, like with most things, there’s a healthy limit to it. When it begins to take over the majority of your waking hours, it’s worth questioning your why behind the binging.

The same goes with social media and who you follow on Instagram, for example. Ask yourself how are the accounts you follow nourishing you? What feelings do they stir in you? Would you feel more at peace unfollowing certain people or accounts? We can’t control everything we’re exposed to, but going through your following list and clearing out some accounts doesn’t do any harm.

Finally, setting aside some digital-free time in your day is a good way to keep your usage in check. My rule is no social media for the first hour in the mornings as well as for the last one before falling asleep. Try this for a week and you will most likely feel much better in the mornings. It doesn’t take much on IG that sets your mood off and makes you want to crawl back into bed. So consume with caution and a dash of critical thinking.

Change is not a linear path

Change is hardly ever a linear path that starts at the point of a breakthrough and ends with a happily ever after. It’s a messy and confusing journey full of ups and down, healing, and unlearning beliefs about ourselves that we have held to be true for far too long.

My own journey is scattered with points where I decided that this is it, this time round I will take responsibility for my well-being. Only to fall back to old habits after a couple of weeks.

Eventually, I would pick myself back up and try again.

And again.

Yet again.

Still to this day I am trying, although implementing change feels a lot lighter now. All the trial and error over the years has built my self-awareness so that I better understand what works and what doesn’t for me.

Now, you may understand why A Life Reset has become an annual ritual of mine. It is a way to pause, create space for change, and recalibrate so that I have more clarity on the direction I want to head in.

Like a compass, it guides me as I navigate through this voyage called life.

Towards where does your inner compass point?

A marketing professional in tech by day, Lilli finds a creative release in exploring and writing about her perfectly imperfect human experience on muija. With heart and soul, she is learning how to navigate this life, and in sharing her stories Lilli hopes to inspire others to follow their curiosity, too.


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