Everywhere you look you see articles and books beginning with ‘How to’ do X, Y, Z thing, yet not everything can be turned into a recipe of success for everyone, especially for subjects related to the human psyche. Unlike food recipes or step-by-step guides on how to make or do something specific, things pertaining to anything to do with personality, personal preferences and feelings cannot be constricted to a ‘How To’ recipe.
The notion and concept of Space is already vague and abstract enough, defining just about anything that surrounds us. The idea of personal space can be even more complex and depends on the person’s perception, mental schema, values and beliefs together with their personal needs and goals.
Is it only a physical space?
Personal Space may be an actual physical place in someone’s home or the space they desire to keep between their person and the rest of the world or even a virtual space inside their mind. It may actually not even be a physical place but a block of time set aside for oneself. There are many ways to create personal space but no strict rules and guidelines and this at a practical level is good because it allows for alternative solutions and flexibility.
The notion of ‘space’ thus may be carved out in different dimensions, be that at a physical, time, or mental level. It can be a specific room or space within a room, it can be the time allocated to the person for use of that space or it can even be the inner space they make in their mind to stay with their thoughts. Any of these options can work better or worse for different people and at different times and some are more practical and feasible than others according to the circumstances.
The purpose of making Personal Space is usually to take personal time for ourselves, to spend it undisturbed, in the quiet or not, to sink into our thoughts or senses, connect with our inner self and engage in anything that offers us pleasure, peace, relaxation, contentment and a sense of wellbeing.
Why ‘carve out’ and not ‘make’ a personal space?
The visual symbolism of carving out a space is more dynamic and filled with stronger intent than mere ‘making a space’. It denotes a strong desire, will and intention. One driven by an important inner need seeking to be fulfilled. It allows for the possibility of creating personal space out of anything and under any circumstances, even when one may be in a jammed-pack underground train compartment.
Our computers, tablets, iPods or cellular phones are but one example of us spending time in virtual space, shutting the external physical world out at will, yet research has shown that this practice does not necessarily help us relax, focus, find pleasure or our peace. Whereas time spent in a mindful state of mind as during meditation but not only, has much more to offer to those who practice it.
Many of us live in smaller homes with family and do not have the luxury of extra room to create our own personal space in which we could escape the rest of the world even for a few moments. On the other hand those of us who are lucky enough to have that extra space, often end up not using it as often as or in the way we would like.
Intention is everything!
Perhaps the most important element of carving out our personal space is the intention to do so. Then comes the willingness to carry that intention out, to commit to its realization. Quite often we dream about it but get sidetracked by our daily routine and commitments. Too tired, too busy, too distracted and it never happens. The desired project gets on the back burner, postponed indefinitely or totally forgotten.
Creating a personal space for ourselves, physical or mental, can be turned into as simple or as complex of a task we decide to make it. It can be anything from a cozy little corner with a colorful rug with a few pillows and a collection of books, to our own little sanctuary room - altar and all - to time we may take to meditate in our bedroom, to pampering ourselves to a luxurious foam bath, to a walk in the park or on the beach in the right frame of mind. It can be that simple and easy! What keeps us from doing it is the lack of strength of our intention to do so.
Is it the space or you?
The most important thing when we venture to carve out personal space for ourselves is the result rather than the actual physical space or environment itself. It is the effect it has on us or rather the effect we achieve with our own intention to begin with. It is the conscious decision to take a time-out from the hustle and bustle of our everyday life, the stress, the pressures. To slow down, turn inwards, reflect and meditate, appreciate what is, tune in to our body and enjoy the moment to the fullest.
It is not the actual candle’s scent that will help you relax, it is the intention to do so that will. There are no recipes to create the best personal space for you, you are your own recipe. No matter how perfect your little sanctuary may be, how gorgeous the colors, how sensuous the fabrics or materials, divine scents and warm lighting, if you are not in the right frame of mind when you walk in it, you will not benefit from it as much as you possibly could had you started with the right intention.
It takes two to tango!
I am not saying that our environment does not affect us, all am saying is that we have an interactive relationship with it. If our frame of mind is not the right one, there are limitations to what the interior design of our space can do for us or add to. This is especially the case for the creation of a personal ‘sanctuary’ in our home. Since personal space begins in our mind, it is our conscious intention that matters most.
It is the desire and intention to allow ourselves some time off, some sacred time for our own personal enjoyment, away from any distractions, duties or pressures. We are the ones who will decide to switch off our phone, lock the door to our room, switch off or lower the lighting, put on some music, light that candle, engage in a pleasurable activity, focus on our breathing, allow our body to stretch out in movement, relax in the water and so on.
It is all about and for you!
Carving out your own personal ‘space’ or time, is something you do because you value yourself enough to do so. Putting boundaries, ensuring that your wishes are heard and respected, are all under your control and if you feel you don’t have any, remember that we teach others how to treat us according to what we believe we deserve.
Yes, a comfy, cozy or even luxurious environment with soothing music, sensuous scents and low lighting will probably help anyone relax. Think Spa. Then again your own personal space may be your workshop, your sewing room, painting corner, your piano or your garden. It may be your time hiking on the mountain, immersing yourself in the forest, the water.
The key is to create the kind that works for you best. The one that is in tune with your deepest emotional and physical needs. That makes your body and mind release all tension that allows you to focus, savor, enjoy your moment in time to the fullest.
What is your purpose?
The purpose of creating your own personal space is to help you relax, satisfy your spirit and your senses, enjoy the moment, rest, rejuvenate so that you can go back to your everyday routine refreshed with your energy levels restored, your mind clear and your heart at peace. You are the only one who knows what works best for you and what form or shape that may take. Set the intention and carry it through. Carve out your own precious personal space or time for you, for your wellbeing. Remember there is no try, just do it!
If you would like me to help you create your own beautiful personal space or sanctuary in your home or find out how you could carve out ‘personal space’ for yourself, do not hesitate to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org