There so often seems to be a disconnect between the way we want to be in the various spheres of our lives and how we actually are. We want to be confident and assured in a board meeting, but actually appear domineering or dogmatic. We want to be calm and engaged when interacting with our children, but come across as impatient and frustrated. We would like to offer a space of care and understanding in our friendships but instead are seen to be distant and distracted.
The truth is that life gets in the way of our being the type of person we really are deep down. And this leads to increasing instances of stress, anxiety, broken relationships, disillusionment, and sometimes depression. So how do we change this? How can we begin really integrating the characteristics we would like to embody – which often reflect our core values – with how we are actually experienced? The reality is that getting this right has the potential to transform our lives in so many positive ways. But it’s a notoriously difficult thing to do.
A great part of the answer lies in taking space. Space which involves the time to think, reflect and observe without judgement. Space to start to understand ourselves, what we want, think, and truly believe. And to observe how we are engaging in our world. Out of this space, we can then start to make small, achievable changes that will gradually align who we want to be and who we are at our core, with how we show up in the world. Yet this space appears incredibly scarce in our modern lives. I say appears because in many ways this is a false perception that we have created to prevent ourselves from taking this space, as it is sometimes hard to engage in having a close look at ourselves… (We often substitute the word time for space - and we know how little of that there is going around!)
Finding this space is my biggest challenge at the moment. And yet it is also one of my deepest core beliefs that it is essential to my well-being and to empowering me to fulfill my purpose in life. So, why this disconnect? Well, I need to take the space to understand it…
This is a list of space-creating activities that I’m generating for myself to assist me to fulfill my purpose and live my best life. They may be helpful to you too:
This useful article from Harvard Business Review provides further tips to journaling.
An interesting article on retreats for leaders by Helen Attridge can be found on LinkedIn.
Some further ideas on the benefits of gratitude can be found here.
One of my favourite quotes is by Victor E. Frankl:
“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.”
May we all take the challenge to live in that space more often, in order that we can start living from our truth and bringing more hope, vitality and purpose into the world around us.
For a great opportunity for women to take some of this time and space, enquire about the next
'Embrace Your Promise' workshop for women held in Cape Town and Somerset West. Click here.
On a personal note...
I am curious, creative, determined, committed and (a bit too much of) a perfectionist.