I don’t remember when, where or how this phrase came into my lexicon but it’s been a very important one recently and I almost feel like it’s become a mantra, a calling, maybe even a guide.
I mean who doesn’t want more space and grace in their life – right?
Here’s what it means to me – or how I think about “space and grace”.
SPACE [time, distance]
on my calendar, in my office, for myself, with others
GRACE [OK-ness, forgiveness, no judgement, blessing]
for myself, for others, in alignment with higher powers
They feel like they need to go together – don’t they?
Are there steps or ways to allow for more space or grace in one’s life? I’m not exactly sure but this is what it’s been looking like for me:
1) Listening and honoring what I feel, in my heart. Hopefully this is more for heart and inner wisdom and less direction from fear-based ego – that hasn’t figured everything out yet – wanting things to be different but not knowing how, not sure how.
Because of all that we have been through with the pandemic (and not being able to plan), I feel like I could make it to the ½ way point of this year but had to be OK that I couldn’t figure out what the rest of this year might look like.
2) I made the personal as important as the professional. This has been a real shift over the past several years. Not allowing and permitting myself enough time, energy and focus with “personal” stuff in my life was making me crazy. It still feels a bit weird and my inner gremlins love to scold me for not being more focused on “work” but I’m learning that my heart will hurt – and I will feel totally out of whack and unaligned if I don’t make room for “space and grace” here.
3) Looking at my life calendar and taking a big view. No matter what was going to happen with CoVid, some things were going to happen this year.
On a personal level, our oldest would graduate from college, our youngest would be home for the summer from college, my husband would celebrate a big birthday – and I have some fun events that have been rescheduled this year. With work there were several projects I had committed to doing that needed finishing. And I have started to get an “inkling” of wanting to do things new and different as we emerged from CoVid… but I also knew that I needed to give this its own “space and grace”.
Acknowledging all of this – that these things need my attention, planning, emotion and true perseverance…(giving myself grace) I blocked out space on my calendar around them.
I’d like to say it was organized space where I blocked out increments of time on how exactly I would use it – but I didn’t – I haven’t achieved that level of time management zen yet. However, it did look like blocked out times on my calendar where other people couldn’t book time, when I wasn’t taking new work because I didn’t want to create overwhelm or feel unaligned with where I might be headed.
Blocking out time allowed me to work on what was in front of me, it allowed for buffer space. It also kept me from over-committing, while focused on getting a strategic task completed. When I didn’t know what I needed to do or when I simply needed TO BE – – – either by myself or with others — there was “space and grace” for that to happen.
4) Making space and grace to explore, ponder, wonder (my word of the year), think, read and listen. While I don’t know what the second half of this year or beyond will look like, I know that I can’t expect July 1st to get here and suddenly know or have an “a-ha” epiphany and it will all be clear. So I’m listening to inner wisdom (call it God, spirits, guides – I’m in for whoever has something that I need to hear). I’m wondering ALOT. I’m journaling and I’m reading. Coincidentally, I just finished The Listening Path which is an updated, shorter, actionable version of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way which has been really helpful with being open, aware, listening and exploring. I’m also (re)visiting type tests like StrengthsFinder, SparkType and Enneagram.
5) Breaking things down into steps, manageable action items and to-dos. This is soooo not my strength – but I’m getting better (grace!) Yes, I use a project management system. Yes, I have a planner and a digital calendar. Yes, I have an assistant (yay Lizzy!). But that still does not mean my days go 100% according to plan. (I’m happy if I’m making it to 75%). The biggest part is getting better at planning out the personal (vs work); like celebrations or even personal things like exercise, journaling, seeing friends, etc.
6) I’ve gotten support to stay focused and on track. I could easily throw in the proverbial towel and say that I can’t do anything right now (and on some days I can’t) – or I can spin my wheels on things that aren’t important just to feel like I am doing something. But by owning my intuitions of what I value and what I want to see happen – or at least make space to see what happens – I have a desire to move forward with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. With my assistant, an accountability group (thanks Lisa Corrado) and some amazing collaborative work partners (I am looking at you Sound Advice Strategies and the Hayvn community team), I feel supported to make things happen as well as accountable to see them through and best of all, I don’t have to figure everything out by myself.
7) I’m looking to others for help where I don’t feel support – and making space and grace for that help. Whether it’s committing to a trainer to get in better shape or finding the right business coach to help with the next phase of my work, I am excited to find someone who can help me see the things that I can’t see, understand the things I don’t know, ask the questions I’m not asking and know how to help me get to where I want to be and headed next when I can’t see they way there.
8) Space and grace allows me to connect with people I feel need to be in my life. Whether personal or work, there are certain people I’m drawn to and feel that they are meant to be in my life for some reason. I try not to analyze it but instead honor it more than a passing fancy and make a commitment to see what will come in making these connections happen.
Literally, just thinking about what “space and grace” feels like, looks like and can become has truly been a stabilizer so far this year and I look forward to seeing where it will lead.
So what about you? What are you making “space and grace” for right now? I’d love to hear what’s working (or maybe not working) for you right now as we embark on the other half of this year! Head over to my calendar here and let’s schedule some time to chat!