Stripped: Craving Space
I feel trapped. Stifled. Suffocated. I need space.
This is a theme for me. One that I have been consciously exploring in the last two years, and as of late, it feels like this need is only getting stronger and louder. It’s pretty obvious that no one person (other than myself) or object can give me this space. Perhaps a larger home would (I’m in 300 sq ft with another person and a dog). Perhaps. Yet this need for space has depth. So much depth. When I close my eyes I often see myself swimming with dolphins in the deep sea or walking in the open desert. My subconscious is taking me to vast, expansive places. Places that are unknown, elusive, and even otherworldly.
These visions help me to access the spaciousness within, while my physical world may not be as roomy at the moment. I spent nearly a year of my life in fight-or-flight mode, and while I’m so thankful to be out of that state, my body is still holding onto some of the trauma (which I’m actively working on releasing), and the areas in which I’m seeking expansion in my life are remaining stagnant (or seemingly so). For instance, we moved into the moldy place after identifying that we needed some more physical space than we had in our tiny Echo Park cottage - to have alone time, to create, to rest, etc. We eventually ended up in an even tinier all-one-room cottage. Thankfully, we now live in nature, amongst the trees. But you can probably gauge why the feeling of suffocation comes up regarding this situation - I left the tiny Echo Park cottage for more space, learned and grew so much in that insanely difficult time, and then ended up in the “same” situation I was trying to expand from in the first place. But I can create a bit of space simply by not attaching to that meaning. By knowing internally that I’m not in the same place I was a year and a half ago. That I’ve learned so much. That it might not all be crystal clear, but I’m listening. I’m tuning in.
It’s frustrating to do self work and to have incredible epiphanies and realizations and connections and to then watch your life stay stagnant. But this is where I get deterred from being in the unknown (which is actually a place of spaciousness, like the ocean) - by trying to “figure it out.” By trying to attach to some kind of understanding of the situation or the need. Yet truly, the only thing that works is to let it breathe. To allow it to be there without having to understand. To trust that everything will be revealed in due course. And if I’m not “getting something” it’s not because I’m not doing the work - because I am. I cannot force myself to accelerate faster. All I can do is show up for myself. And in that showing up, I’m being asked to go into the depths of feeling stuck and suffocated to learn and extract more from it than I can currently fathom.
Part of this process for me involved clearing out all most of my possessions. This allowed me to open up the space to even hear this voice. To heed to its calling. Because so much of my attachment to the “what if’s” relating to those items was released as soon as I let them go. And this letting go has allowed me to be where I am. To stay in the simplicity of each moment. To release my yearning and needing for things outside of myself. To detach from old stories and ways of being. The more physical space I cleared, the more metaphysical space became available for me to dive into. This may not be the case for everyone. This work is so individualistic (depending on the truth of your internal needs). But whatever the need, the physical and metaphysical are connected. When we are only exploring one realm, we are missing parts of the whole. If we go straight to the metaphysical without looking at the concrete, we lose connection from the earthliness of grounding in reality. If we only go into the physical, we lose the magic and the message of what’s trying to come through and help us to grow.
I’ve been connecting these two worlds by utilizing my objects to create space for myself, through rituals. Here are a couple of examples:
I listen to soothing music, heat up water or mylk, and then gather my spices and adaptogens. The process - of waiting for the kettle to steam, stirring everything together with the tiny wooden spoon, slowly sipping, and enjoying time with myself - is an intimate one. It allows me to slow down and stay present at the start of my day. You can read more of this here.
I ask my body what it needs. Does my body need ease and movement (something open and free like a linen jumpsuit) or structure (something more containing like denim)? This simple question opens me up to the truth of what my body needs, so that I can respond with receptiveness.
These tiny acts create space, because being in touch with the truth and in tune with my needs always does. When I go about life in autopilot - fight-or-flight, or going through the motions - where’s the room for me? It’s really about peeling the layers in order to have more compassion, not more understanding or knowing. To lay bare, to become more raw. It is in this rawness that I have no choice but to surrender. To let go. To need nothing but the space between myself and a universe I may never understand.
If you feel called to learn more and to dive into this work, explore booking a session. Feel free to email me with any questions.