Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.  Viktor E. Frankl

I have been thinking about “space” lately, while replanting some shrubs and trees.  Having to consider how much space something like an apple tree will need when it is full grown is difficult while it is still shoulder height. After what feels like a busy year, it’s no wonder I’m drawn to the idea of space which most closely describes a certain quality I like to have in my life.

Space comes in many different forms:  physical space, mental space, time/space, conceptual or visual space and then there’s “the final frontier”.  Examples in painting are being aware of the placement of both the positive forms as well as the negative spaces in order to create a good composition.   But there’s also space and time in the painting process – I require lots of time to look at a work, even once it’s supposedly finished in order to see the changes I need to make.  Creativity eats up oodles of time and space.

Our bodies and joints benefit from the space we can find in yoga or movement and so do our minds.  I think space allows us to connect with our true inner selves (introverts understand).  I think in busyness we expand our skills but unless we give enough space between, we may never see the reason behind events or fully integrate meaningful changes into our being.

Space in my life means enough time to read, write in my journal, sketch, look at my paintings for a long time while working on them, be in nature, have enough sleep, be with my family (not necessarily doing anything), cook food I like to eat and to do these things without 100 things on my mind.

To me, space is the definition of total luxury, though I do understand that if I had too little happening in my life, I would not appreciate it in the same way.  There are periods in my life where enjoying space just isn’t an option (such as the Christmas season) – but that’s ok as long as it is something I remember and always get back to.

How do you create space in your life?

Reposted from November 2017

Image above: Croteau Lake (Strathcona Park) 2023