Space: Maybe those nuns knew what they were talking about…

My life is full; full in the best ways possible. I am so grateful for work I love, a wonderful relationship and many wonderful friends. Everyday is bursting at the seams, and so many things do not get finished or started. Sometimes that means the dishes and laundry, but mostly that means my creative projects, such as this one.

I am reminded lately that, as my boyfriend, James, often says, I need “more room for the ‘Holy Spirit” in my life. The phrase comes from a story his mother told about her childhood attending Catholic schools. Where, during school dances, the nuns went around with rulers and created space between dancing couples’ bodies. Always saying, “Make room for the Holy Spirit.” James thought this was hilarious, and over time this phrase has twisted and become one of our life values.

Make space for the unplanned, unexpected, the wild. Take a breath. Pause. Do what inspires you in the moment. Rest. Wander without a destination. Do nothing.

To me the best things are possible when we make room in our lives to do “nothing.”Winnie the Pooh says it best, “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing everyday.”

A few weeks ago, I attended the WOW Stories Conference, where Ginny courageously spoke last year. As expected, it was an inspiring day, but it was the impromptu dinner afterwards that reminded me of the importance of spaciousness in life. We spontaneously decided to gather at the home of one of my Aunties. We ate amazing food and talked about the WOW Stories and told our own stories that the WOW women had provoked.

I was reminded again of the power of telling our own stories. There is a reason that the conference sells out every year before they can even get the posters up. Stories empower and connect us.

That is exactly why I started this Wildly Ordinary project. I needed that connection and a context for my own life questions. But the conversation that night also made me wonder, “ What does it take for people, both men and women, to be able to tell their stories? And by the end of the night it seemed to me that it takes a trigger, such as a good question or experience, a listening ear, or two, and the space and time to tell our stories.

There it is again, the space and time. To me, creating space seems like a vital yet mostly forgotten art; an art I want to remember.  I am an expert at filling up my space with daily tasks; the latest cute cat video on Facebook and plans with friends, and this week was no exception.

I spent almost every night this week with friends and yet inevitably the evening would end with the topic of feeling too busy and disconnected. So this weekend I decided to take a note and make space for the unexpected in my life. I cancelled all my plans and decided to let life just happen.

It was harder than I thought it would be. I found myself looking for something to do on my computer, but I had already looked at Facebook five times and there were no new updates or TV shows to watch. There were lots of projects I could do, should probably do, but I did not want to do them and I was making space, not filling my day with tasks.

Then my friend, Alex, came over to drop off some houseplants for me to look after while she is moving and I realized that I wanted more plants in my life.

So I went in search of a nursery, and found an amazing place near my house that has been there since 1924 but I had no idea. I bought some beautiful plants and spent the afternoon re-potting the few I had. Now the sun is shining through their leaves, the house feels more peaceful and alive, and I actually have the mental space to sit down and work on the next Wildly Ordinary story. And as soon as I did, I had to laugh because the whole message of her story is to pause, take space, and connect with something bigger than oneself. I can’t wait to share it with you soon!

Maybe those nuns knew what they were talking about…