Defining your space.
As a creative , (which is a title i think everyone can adopt but I digress), I've found it important to have that space in which you exist at optimal level. The problem is, you can't always be at optimal level because there are too many distractions in the world, however it is important to have your space. This space exists in many realms and it's up to you to synchronise them all or just finesse one. It's something I've battled with for a long time and I've always dealt with in extremities.
For example, my room in my house wasn't 'mine' and my proposed solution? To move out.
Another example was a suffocating friendship. My proposed solution? To cut that b*tch off!!! Lemme give one more, social media and it's toxicity - my proposed solution? Delete all my accounts.
While these seem like normal reactions, I'm convinced they aren't entirely healthy responses. In all of these situations all I've done is run from the 'problem' there's been no addressing, no compromise, no attempt to soothe things. The reality of my life however means that some of these responses aren't feasible either emotionally, financially, mentally or however... so I had to sit down and think how do define my space. Here's how I've defined my space(s)...
My room has always been a challenge for me. In 2018 I took the left picture of my room and it's inhibitable state and posted on social media. It was daring, but I needed people to see how clogged up my reality was, hoping they'd understand my manifested mental clog. I decided I'd take control by moving everyone else's things out of my room, getting rid of unwanted stuff in my room and optimizing the space of my bedroom. I downsized my bed, cleared out my closet, repainted and basically did a whole make over and I can honestly say I am in-love with my space. It was quite a bit to do, so I took it slowly and with the aid of the pandemic and one of my best girls, it's become perfect! I had defined my space.
This spaces allows my creativity to flow and I love it. It's costly but worth it. For me it was my room, for you it could be your office, your workstation, a spare room - whatever.
Another element to physical space: your body. Clean up your body and clean up your space. Your body is a space that literally follows you everywhere. I'm not here to send you to the gym, but I will say take walks, stretch, sleep adequately, eat healthy every so often, dress good, wash well, spray perfume. Look good, feel good. Take care of your space.
I think this one is important for a lot of us that our lives require a lot of time online - especially on social media. I often find that many people complain of sites like twitter being toxic, or Instagram being fake or Facebook being - well being Facebook. I agree, these sites can be all these things... but they also don't have to be. You see, the thing with online spaces is that we create them. We choose who we follow, what content we consume, we control our interactions (to an extent). I made a thread on twitter earlier this year about this and the importance of curating your space to feed your interest and tastes. There's a whole debate about tunnel vision and how that means you don't see outside what you know and it being unhealthy.. which I agree with. HOWEVER you can choose those who challenge your thoughts. The problem with the internet is that it foster brevity through anonymity. People speak in ways they can't in person, people are over familiar, people are just brash in general. However once in a while you find there are people that have wholesome exchanges, people with the same ethos, values and beliefs as you, people who disagree without insults and. condescending tones. You'll find you don't see the negatives. Are certain people always mean to followers? Unfollow, even if they're your friend (which you should check btw), you are not obliged to follow your friends if they are rude.
This is a very tough one to speak about. Mental spaces vary across board due to sensitivity, temperament, trauma, stress, self esteem and many many other factors. So how do you manage your mental space? I think one healthy way is to declutter. Much similarly to a physical space it is very helpful to tidy up your mind. You can pour all thoughts, stresses, ideas, beliefs etc. into a journal and rearrange them in your mind, Fine-tuning things, expanding ideas, generally helping yourself to get a better understanding of things.
Similarly to online space, we have to be more conscious with what we consume. There are things that trigger us and set off our moods and we aren't even aware - we need to pay attention to that. We need to feed our mind with positivity - healthy conversation, empowering interactions, affirmations, words of faith... be deliberate about your positivity. From shows you watch, music you listen to, books you read, games you play - are your actions to your betterment? Is your day-to-day life promoting a healthy mental space?
You can argue that this is a facet of mental space, and I won't be the one to argue against that. However it is important to distinguish the two. I say this because although your emotions contribute heavily to your mental, they need to be safeguarded differently. Sometimes we forget to protect our emotions or we over protect them. A common example is grieving. I feel at times we don't allow ourself immerse in a healthy emotional environment to grieve sufficiently. Or we allow expectations of others interfere with our emotional capabilities. When we need to cry, out of sorrow and pain and very often, we lock up because theres no time. Another thing I've noticed about creating healthy emotional spaces is that we often times forgo our own emotions for those of others.Earlier I spoke about a suffocating friendship. In relationships, it's very easy for us to absorb other peoples emotions, especially when they bring their woes to us. It is important to know when to raise the barriers. Sometimes we aren't able to carry the burden of another's issues because ours are heavy at that point in time. This is nothing to feel bad or guilty about... it's life and it's protecting your space.
WHEW - If this isn't my favourite! I think this space went through a bigger renovation than my bedroom. It went from chaos and misdirection - to a place of simplicity.
Matthew 6:33 anyone?
That's ALL it's about for me. I'm having healthy conversations, discovering powerful music, watching beautiful sermons all to beautify this space and it's all leading to the Kingdom of God. My faith is super important to me and for my relationship with God to thrive, there has to be space in which it can be nurtured and grow, Ultimately this feeds into the other spaces and in turn, they fall into place.
There are probably more spaces, with many overlapping the aforementioned, and I don't have the answers on how to define them all. Heck, even the advice I've given above is solely drawn from personal experience, but it's what I have to offer and I hope you learn from it. For affirmations and in depth discussions on these things, or to even see the transformation of my room find me online - @toniverse.
I'd love to hear how you've redefined your spaces.