Helena Clayton | How I’m accessing space to create more space
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How I’m accessing space to create more space

22 Apr 2016, Posted by Helena Clayton in Monthly Blog

I’ve written in a previous blog how the need for space feels so pressing for leaders. And that a common coaching goal is to help leaders find where that space might be created.

In some painful weeks of parallel process, I’ve been struggling with a similar issue. How can I protect time and space for the things that matter to me? How come I give away so much of my time to things that are not even urgent, let alone important?

And, of course, I came up against the same inner battles that I work on with my coaching clients. Finding the space is relatively easy. Less easy is feeling that what matters to me is not what matters. That if I’m not flat out all the time them I’m not really working. That what I want to focus on is an indulgence. That I probably wouldn’t be very good at it anyway. So I stay on that hamster wheel…

But three things are helping me with this:

-A line from The Artists’ Way is ‘we are willing to go to any lengths to remain blocked’. Ouch. That felt true for me. And so, drawing on the tradition of shadow work, I have included in my journaling a conversation with that part of me that wants to keep me stuck. The dialogue sounds a bit like two kids in a playground, but we’re getting to know each other better and it’s really interesting …

-I remembered the meditation and mindfulness training I’ve done over the years. Here, I learned (and then seemingly forgot) how meditation creates inner space, and a deeper connection with ‘the space between’. There may not be any more actual space but the feeling of spaciousness makes a huge difference. And so, in that spirit, I’m doing things more slowly. There isn’t a hippo after me. Nor is anything on fire. So slow down, Helena. And I’m really enjoying this one …

-And I picked up a book called Extreme Self Care. The author asks what are the small things that cumulatively add up to a whole load of ‘stuff’ that stops us looking after what really matters to us. From the many good things in that book, I have decided on one practice – to do one thing at a time. No more being on the phone while I’m also cooking. No more breaking off from hanging the washing to send a quick text. First one thing. And only then the next thing…

Am I noticing anything different? Yes, a bit. Things feel less tight. Life feels a tiny bit less pressing. Bit early to say how they’ll help me have actual space and time for that thing that’s increasingly starting to matter for me. But baby steps.

I’m not yet sure how these will show up in my coaching practice and what help they might be to others also thirsty for more space. But I think I might start talking less about creating more space and more about cultivating a feeling of spaciousness as a way to begin…

How might you begin?

 

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