Welcome back to Part II of my ‘accidental’ Eat Pray Love Journey
For months I was feeling uninspired in my work. Connection with my Love Yourself Lean community was missing the depth that it once had. My relationship with my soul partner was broken and my desire to eat well and to exercise was non-existent.
It felt like I was swimming in a fish bowl. I was getting nowhere.
Have you ever felt like this? Like your spirit is tired, your motivation/drive is kaput, and you’re merely existing in day-to-day survival?
If so, then I hope today’s wisdom sharing will help you.
Pearl of Wisdom #2: Sacred Space. Cultivate it. Claim it. Protect it.
Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.” ~Joseph Campbell
Back in January of this year I realized that if kept doing things the way I was doing, I was going to be exhausted, resentful and unhappy.
I was feeling demotivated, deflated, defeated and disconnected from myself and my people, so I checked in my spiritual teacher and mentor Meranda Squires. You may have heard me talk about her before. She is the owner and founder of The Lotus Center here in St. John’s and for the past six years she has been my go to guide, mentor and friend who I seek for greater guidance and wisdom when I’m feeling stuck.
I shared with Meranda how I was feeling, and she was quick to tell me in her wise-woman way “Courtney, you need to create more space in your life. You’re in your head. You need to get out of there and into you soul space”. And she was right.
You see I was living from my ego not my soul!
Your ego is the image you have of yourself and your social mask, whereas your soul is who you truly are deep down below all the labels and titles.
When you learn to align more with your soul, life seems to flow more naturally, taking action is less of a struggle.
You feel a greater sense of freedom, joy, satisfaction, empowerment and inner peace, even when things aren’t going as you perfectly planned them.
Unfortunately, we’re not taught how to align with our soul and after years of being controlled by our ego’s fears, worries and constant chatter, it will take some practice and patience to find our way back home to the safety and strength that lies within us.
I thank Meranda everyday for teaching me the skill of declaring sacred space, for honoring its power, learning to claim it and most importantly how to protect it!
In today Part II of my Eat Pray Love Blog series I’m going to share with you a few simple ways that you can create more space in your everyday life. And if learning how to connect deeper with the truth of who you really are speaks to you, then get excited because I’m going to share with you a 3-Step Progress of how you can harness the power of sacred space to get out of your ego and align with your soul.
I’ll also share with you some personal stories of how I applied this exact process over the past few months to create a greater sense of freedom, joy, empowerment and inner peace.
Too often we are choosing to fill up every empty space in our day, leaving no space for ourselves to just be, with our self.
Like you, my days are full. I have two young children who keep me busy, a partner who’s primary love language is Quality Time, and I also work from home. So basically, when I am not wearing my mom or ‘wife’ hat, I’m wearing my CEO hat. Not to mention all the other hats I wear in order to run a home and a business.
While chatting with Meranda she challenged me to reflect on how I was spending my time. If you’ve never taken stock of how you spend your time I HIGHLY recommend that you do.
What I discovered shocked me…I found myself filling up every single mini pocket of time and not always with important stuff.
I found myself taking my cell phone into the bathroom.
Turning on music as soon as I got into the car.
I was saying “yes” too often because I was afraid of disappointing another by saying “no”.
I was checking my phone at red lights and scrolling social media while standing in the grocery store line-up.
Technology and the speed of information coming at us all the time has made us become uncomfortable with just “being.”
We’ve convinced ourselves that we “should” always be doing something and we feel anxious when we try to resist the urge to be productive.
What my journey from being overwhelm and overworked has taught me, is that you don’t need to fill up every moment of everyday.
Now, don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that you should toss out your day planner. Doing that would cause me major anxiety. My ADD brain thrives on routine and structure. But what I am suggesting here is that you can create more space in your everyday life. Blank spaces in your calendar are NOT meant for us to fill. They are there for us to be filled.
See the difference?
Creating space falls under the self-love branch of “Self-Care.”
We’re not meant to always be “on”, connected, or engaged in constant activity.
Our brain, heart, and soul need and crave quiet space everyday.
We need space to be still.
We need space to rest.
We need space to reflect.
I know how hard it can be to create space for yourself. But I believe with all my heart that creating space for yourself is one of the wisest, most self- loving acts we can take. Creating space for yourself can have a profound impact on your levels of success, happiness, and health.
I know myself well enough now that if I don’t create scared space for myself I start to go a little ‘crazy’ and my self-sabotaging habits start to show up. I emotionally start to lash out, negative self talk starts to show up, and I start eating so much sugar.
When you start proactively creating space for yourself you will start to reharmonize, you’ll start to feel more spacious, things that use to bother you don’t any more and you’ll start to take better care of yourself.
Creating more space in your life doesn’t been you have to book yourself into a spa for the day (although that would be amazing), nor does it mean that you have to fly half way around the world to attend a 7-Day yoga retreat (although I did almost do that). There are many simple and more practical ways for you to practice the power of creating more space in your life for all the things that really matter to your heart and soul.
Here are just a few ways that I’m inviting you to try to create more space in your life. And depending on your level of desire, you can choose ONE of these practices and implement it this week, and heck, the rest of the year!
It doesn’t matter how you start, what matters is that you START.
- PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN.
Resist the urge to pull out your phone when you’re in the line at Starbucks, when you’re at a red light, and for the love of everything holy, put your phone down when you’re with your children or your significant other. Choose instead to be fully present with your loved ones so you can be more emotionally in tune with them and with yourself.
- STOP MULTI-TASKING.
Tempted to answer emails while cooking supper? How about turning on the radio as soon and you jump into your car? Or scrolling through Facebook in the bathroom?
Give yourself space to just be fully present with the one thing you’re trying to do.
No kids in the car? Drive in silence. Trust me on this one, it feels like my own little slice of heaven, where I can breathe and recover from the craziness of my day.
- NOURISH INSTEAD OF NUMB OUT AT BEDTIME.
When you tuck the kids in bed for the night, choose to do something that will nourish your soul, instead of numbing out the stresses of the day binge watching “The Bachelor”, suffering through Netflix, scrolling through social media, or ‘comforting’ yourself with a bag of chips, chocolate, or on-line shopping.
Instead, read a book, take a long bath, enjoy an essential oil self-massage or a cup of tea with your partner.
Creating space to nurture yourself is NOT selfish – it’s essential to your survival and your well-being.
- SPEND TIME IN NATURE
Research is now telling us that we spend less time outside than ever before. On average, we’re in the car for more than 2 hours a day and plugged into some kind of digital devise for 11 hours a day.
As humans are meant to be in touch with the earth. Doing so is good for us mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Nothing serves your body, mind and soul more then a dose of natures medicine.
Deeply embracing the forest is so cleansing and inspiring. Some of my greatest moments of clarity have come during walks in the woods behind my house.
Grab your sneakers and hit the trails TODAY!
Connect with nature to connect with yourself!
- CREATE A PHYSICAL SACRED SPACE
Creating a physical scared space for you can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. It can also be as public or as secretive as you want. And it doesn’t have to be some big project; in fact, I highly recommend you start small and simple, you can always add on to it later. Don’t let the perfectionist in you procrastinate; get started today.
A sacred space is your sanctuary. A place where you can relax, read, meditate, practice yoga, dance, journal or sit quietly with a cup of tea and just check-in with yourself.
It’s a space where you can prepare yourself for the day. And a place for you to come home to, to recharge your body, mind and spirit at the end of your day.
I like to call it the space a “Woman Cave”. Heck if men can have a “man cave”, it’s only fair for us as women to have a “She Cave”, right?!
It can be in your home, your office or in your garden. Once you’ve created your scared space commit to spending time there everyday.
Now that you’re feeling inspired to create more space for yourself to just be,
I want to share with you a 3-Step Process of how you can use the art of creating scared space to rebalance, reharmonize and reset yourself.
I’ll briefly share an example of how I’ve used this process in my own life and lastly give you some additional things to consider, so that you can continue to use the art of creating sacred space to illuminate the path forward and make choices in your work, life, health, and relationships that are deeply centered in your truth.
3-STEP PROCESS TO CONNECTING TO YOUR TRUTH
Getting Started: Press pause on the outside world, close your eyes, take a few deep belly breathes and reflect back on your day, the past week, month, or even the past year. How far you go back will depend of where you are in the moment and the reasons for your inquiry.
INQUIRY QUESTION(s): What are you proud of? What have you done and accomplished in the following THREE main areas of your life?
- Personal Physical Foundation (i.e. your health, your home, your wealth)
Who have you become and how have you shown up for yourself, your family, friends, colleagues, employee’s if you have them?
I highly recommend that you write down your responses to these questions in a journal so you can come back and re-read what you wrote. Trust me, so much wisdom can come from just the simple practice of writing down your thoughts. It’s the practice I used to write this 3-part blog series.
What am I proud of?
Work: I’m proud of my 10+ years of success helping women transform their health, their bodies and their lives.
Relationships: I’m proud of the personal growth that both Mike and I have experienced over the past 8 years.
Personal Foundation (Health): I’m proud of myself for seeking the expertise of psychologists, life coaches and holistic health practitioners to help me accept, embrace and thrive as a woman with ADD.
INQUIRY QUESTION(S): Where are you feeling out of balance in these THREE main areas of your life? (Work, Relationships, Personal Physical Foundation)
Then ask yourself what is one action step that you can take to bring more harmony/balance into each one of these areas?
Sometimes it can be hard to look at these things, but your health and your happiness depend on it. So be patient, kind, non-judgemental and compassionate with yourself as you go through this process.
Where are you feeling out of balance in these THREE main areas of your life?
What is one action step that you can take to bring more harmony/balance into each one of these areas?
Work: Need help integrating the deeper spiritual wisdom I’ve gaining over the past few years into the programs and services I’ve offered in the past so that I can further evolve my business, reach more woman, transform more lives and make a greater impact. Action Step: Invest in a coach!
Relationships: I’m not receiving the support I need from Mike to help us better manage our finances, to work closer as a team in raising our children and running a household and more fully support me in better managing my ADD symptoms. Action Step: Continue to improve our communication and commit to weekly and monthly family meetings.
Personal Foundation (Health): Creating new systems and habits to better mange the my ADD symptoms. Action: Continue to seek the support and guidance of my team of experts.
Now it’s time to shine a light forward on what it is you need to do next.
What is it that I need?
What is most important to me right now?
What is it that you need to give your focus and attention to?
This step is so important, because the clearer you become on exactly where your time and energy needs to be invested, you’ll have a much easier time saying ‘NO’ to the things and the people that you are giving an abundant amount of unnecessary time and energy to.
Let’s focus for a moment on relationships.
What are the most important relationships you want to nurture, to grow?
Why are these relationships important to you?
What do you desire to GIVE and what you do you desire to RECIEVE?
Too often we focus on what we are giving in a relationship and neglect to focus on what it is we need to RECEIVE. That’s how we get out of balance in our relationships.
What is it that you want to give and receive so that you can feel loved, supported and connected?
Repeat the same process for your work and your physical foundational needs (health, wealth, home).
Write down your discoveries in your journal.
PERSONAL CHECK IN:
What is it that I need?
What is most important to me right now?
What is it that you need to give your focus and attention to?
Work: Trust that the path will be shown to me as long as I continue to show-up and share from my truth. There’s no rush! What’s most important to me right now is that I focus on reconnecting with my community and showing up for them more consistently.
Relationship: I need Mike to consistently participate in a weekly family meeting, such that we can discuss what needs to be done and who is going to do it. We also need to devote some of that meeting time to reviewing our finances. I need him to accept that meditation wouldn’t ‘fix’ me and that thriving with ADD requires a holistic plan that includes medication, lifestyle changes and a TON of support. Yep…in addition to being a highly emotionally expressive individual…having ADD also means that I can be impulsive, impatient, scattered, and really messy…lol
Personal Foundation: I need to make daily scripting a non-negotiable. The days that I script out my days are the days that I accomplish more in my business and in my personal life. My focus is better, I’m less anxious, more relaxed and happier.
Well, there you go!
That’s the art of creating more space for yourself.
If you’re feeling out of balance and want to create more peace and harmony in your life, this is a great place to start.
Your soul craves connection, it wants unfolding, it needs processing.
Give your soul what it’s been missing. SPACE.
Remember, creating space is not about disconnecting. Creating space is a tool to help us become more connected.
Today I give you PERMISSION to PAUSE, to slow down, check out of the madness that is your life so that you can check back in with yourself.
I’m more than happen to hold a scared space for you to share, so please feel free to hit reply and tell me what’s on your mind.
I look forward to creating more space with you over the coming months.
Sending you so much love from my scared work space!
~ Coach Courtney
P.S. Stay tuned for Part III, the last post of my ‘accidental’ Eat Pray Love Journey blog series.
PPS. If you have a girlfriend, sister, daughter or colleague who struggles with giving herself space, please share this blog post with them, so that together we can give each other permissions to disconnect and reconnect with ourselves.