Lotus #5 – Space

She needs wide open spaces Room to make her big mistakes -Wide Open Spaces, The Dixie Chicks

Baby needs someone to believe in And a whole lot of space to breathe in -Hold on Loosely, 38 Special

Space, May 2021

Space is one of those words that has such a wide variety of meanings.  Measurement. Location. Home of the moon, stars, and other universes. Squares on a Scrabble board. Then there is always the saying, “Man, I need my space.” The definition and understanding of space is ever evolving.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, space is from Latin spatium – “expanse of ground, area, space occupied by something, expanse in which the universe is situated, intervening space, gap, interval, space available for a purpose, room.” It is also from the Old French spaze, variant of aspace, Old French, Middle French espace, espasse (French espace ) “period of time, duration, deferment, delay, respite.” What I love about these origins is that they speak to space available for a purpose and respite. That is exactly why this lotus is so important: nurturing purpose and respite.

Each lotus so far has focused on daily rituals, actions, and connections. Earth/Nature, Place/Land, Movement, Healthy-Happy all describe the tools that are important to supporting me each day. Tools I tap into daily. This lotus, Space, is about looking at what connects these tools. It is about looking at how location and my lived experiences in the present interact and connect to the abstract and intuitive knowing and grounding that comes from each lotus. For me, this is space.

Space is about renewal. It is about creating opportunity. Opportunity to  nurture moments and to give myself respite. This type of space is both geographic and personal. 

Geographic space. Geographic space is relational, based on location and then qualities, processes, and proportions. Sometimes I just need distance from people, from the city, from the every day. Room for myself. Quiet that let’s me hear my own thoughts without extraneous chatter. It’s about finding those locations in the world that fuel relaxation and reconnection. Its meaning comes from relating to other concepts, my 12 lotus. Space manifests in locations where I can freely implement the tools found in the other lotus. Sometimes it means going away from my home. 4am walks with our dog to tap into Earth/Nature. Swimming to tap into Movement. Trail walks to tap into Place/Land. Sometimes it means finding the space within and around my home, like my special space in our back garden – a lounge chair surrounded by hydrangeas with a small rock cairn to remind me to always follow my way. 

Personal space. Personal space is a combination of physical and mental space. It is a space that nourishes, sustains, protects, and is a refugee from all of the things that pull me away, distract me, and demand my time and attention. It is a sacred space. I work long days. I leave the house at 6:30 am and sometimes don’t return until 5pm. The physical taking of the first step through the threshold of the doorway can determine how my mental state unfolds once I am inside. When I walk in the front door to our home it is important to me that our home greet me and welcome me. As I move through the rooms, I want to feel an ambiance that helps me relax, rejuvenate, and renew. The way daily life in our home is performed is directly linked to how I perceive our home. Intentionally interacting with our home as sacred space provides room for creativity, room to practice the tools embodied in each lotus, and clears the clutter of what I have carried from my work day. The items we have chosen to display and use throughout our home are nourishing and supportive. Every decision we make in our home builds this personal space, just like each of the tools in other lotus support how I approach each day. 

When considering what to bring in to my personal space I ask myself these four questions: Is it beautiful? Is it useful? Is it sustainable? Does it support health and wellness? This is because all of the items in a room bring their own energy to the room and combined they create a unique energy for the room. Here are some examples:

Entrance:

  • Herbs and plants on the outside doorstep
  • Iron horseshoe above the front door with the open end facing upward
  • Lavender bundle by the door

Dining Room:

  • Long wooden dining table 
  • Earthenware dishes made by a local potter
  • Artwork by local artists
  • Cookbook collection

Living Room:

  • Seasonal nature table
  • Fireplace and Hearth – hearth oil to bless the hearth and iron tools
  • Art books and music albums
  • Succulents and herb plants
  • Artwork by local artists
  • Natural fiber blankets and beeswax candles
  • Wool area rugs

Kitchen:

  • Cast iron and copper pots and pans
  • Glass containers for storage
  • Wooden and copper utensils and stone mortar and pestle
  • Homemade hand soap from plant and mineral based ingredients, fragrance free, biodegradable
  • Cleaning supplies from plant and mineral based ingredients, fragrance free, biodegradable
  • Beeswax candle in northeast corner
  • Flower in bud vase
  • Fresh and organic ingredients
  • Spices and herbs
  • Kombucha brewing
  • Vinegar brewing in vinegar crock
  • Mung Beans sprouting
  • Herbs in a window box outside the kitchen window
  • Family cookbook on wooden stand

Bedroom:

  • Natural fiber bed linens and duvet
  • Sustainable furniture with beautiful and efficient design
  • Fresh flowers from our garden
  • Photos of and objects connected to ancestors
  • Agate, Carnelian, Jade, and Quartz crystals
  • Homemade linen spray
  • Artwork by local artists
  • Salt lamp
  • Technology free space
  • 60 books that impacted my life and books to be read

There is no “right” way to work with space. It is reflective, experiential, and personal. Understanding space has allowed me to relax into my daily rhythm knowing that purpose and respite are built into the day.

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