I recently shared a realization that’s crystallised for me over the years…
… I have a genuine requirement for both internal and external space in order to remain conscious, aligned, present – and happy!
Yet it took many years for me to accept this fully and learn to value space as highly as I do now.
The Busy Norm
Like so many people in the Western world, I grew up believing that being constantly busy was the norm; I used to fill whatever space I had without even realizing I was doing it.
This unconscious pattern led me to feel regularly overwhelmed by a crowded schedule and a busy mind that was endlessly planning the projects my over-active imagination came up with.
There was simply no space for spontaneity in my life, and it wasn’t until years later that I realized just how much I missed it.
A Luxury You Can’t Afford?
Space is essential for spontaneity because when your days are scheduled from first to last, spontaneity is a luxury you can’t afford.
As soon as you’ve ticked one thing off your To Do list, it’s straight on to the next, with everything planned in advance and very little room for manoeuvre.
Yet being busy is a habit, and like all habits, it can be transformed; the process starts with a willingness to explore new ways of being beyond habitual norms.
I’m certainly in favour of being well-organized and crystal clear about your priorities, especially when you have a lot of projects and commitments that are important to you.
However, when it’s taken to an extreme with little or no breathing space you risk missing out on the joy of periodically having the freedom to follow your intuition and go with the flow.
And who knows what new insight, experience or opportunity lies just around that corner?
Unstructured Time to Play With
Spontaneity is all about being fully present in the moment and following your inner impulses in a way that feels dynamic, vibrant and completely alive.
It adds richness and colour to life through the pleasure of unplanned outings and the joy of simply having some unstructured time to play with.
There’s also a real magic about spontaneity in the way that it so often triggers an effervescent flow of ideas that might never have surfaced otherwise.
Create Space for Spontaneity
The irony is that unless you create space for spontaneity and schedule time in your diary when you can free yourself of other commitments, it’s unlikely to happen.
And that would be a real shame.
Some of the most powerful experiences in life are unplanned and well within your reach.
They just need a tiny bit of planning!
See also my previous blog on The Value of Space in the Creative Cycle