January is just gone and I’ve already slipped into the bad habit of busy. Something broken inside of me feels the need to fill the open spaces of my life with more appointments, tasks and responsibilities. The margin that I was forced to recapture last year is very quickly being swallowed up again. This morning though I have a couple of hours space. I need this space for my brain to breathe. To catch up on my bible readings, to pause and to reflect. To be on my own. No conversation. No verbal processing. Just brain space.
It’s taken me longer than it could’ve to realise and accept my absolute need of this space. My mind cannot access its deeper thoughts, it’s creative room unless I give my brain this opportunity to slow down. Often it requires me to be in an ‘other’ place for my brain to breathe more deeply. I sadly struggle to experience this in my own home – this makes me deeply sad actually and I have fought this for years. I’ve tried desperately to create a place or corner in our home for my brain to breathe and in the search stress myself out about it.
It was accidently and through carefully noticing a reoccurring pattern in my life that I stumbled on my need for an ‘other’ place for my brain recovery. Almost each and every time I would go away for a holiday, on a short trip, for an overnight or even a day I began to notice this urge to write. Initially I thought it was as simply a time issue – I was away from home and the usual routine therefore I had more time. In reality time wasn’t the missing element, it was the opportunity to unchain myself from the everyday lists, the to-dos and the ‘should be doings’ that allowed my brain to breathe more. New surroundings and unfamiliar places awaken a deeper hidden place within me. Even on trips where the schedule was demanding I’d find myself staying up later than my tired body wanted so I could scribble furiously the 100’s of words that tumbled so hurriedly on the page I could barely keep up.
I have spent the past couple of years frustrated with myself for not being more disciplined in my writing. I’ve lost count of the prophetic and encouraging words spoken into my life prompting, urging and cheering me on to write more. The frustration in my head would grow and sometimes the accusing voice in my head would taunt me with doubts hinting at failure and laziness.
At last I’ve made the connection not with needing more time, but needing, and I mean I need to be in an ‘other’ place for my brain to breathe. My body and soul is replenished in our home – we have created a home well equipped for physical rest; comfy beds, sofas and an open fire. We nurtured a family space where my soul feels connected, deeply known and filled by the love of those I love most in the world. My kitchen is the centre of the home where our bodies are nourished and where the souls of those we love like family are fed and loved. So can you see why I’m so sad that I can’t find a place, or a corner in my beloved home to nourish and replenish my mind?
During a session of counselling last year I was challenged to describe how I was nurturing the introverted 48% of myself. That was a quick and easy reply – I wasn’t. I had long neglected or felt almost ashamed of my introverted self and instead leant more into the extroverted side. I’m saying that to say this, that session challenged me to observe and listen to the hidden parts of me as well as the more obvious. On this path I discovered that while time is not the problem, home is not the place, travel is not always possible, the need of another space is essential for my mind to thrive and my brain to breathe.
January was too full. I’m committing in February to prioritising the preservation of my space. Will you hold me accountable WisdomShouts friends?