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How Are You Filling Your Space?


Space. Given the current popularity of concepts like feng shui and minimalist celebraties like Marie Kondo, you might think that I’m about to talk about how to organize your space. Let me lay waste to that belief right now; I’m not.  Instead, I want to re-share some thoughts with you based on an article I wrote several years back, which was based on a lesson I learned even before that.   

In 2008 I had the opportunity to participate in a life-changing leadership program. CTI’s program, simply called “Leadership” had been on my radar for a while. So when the stars aligned in such a way as to facilitate the opportunity for me to finally participate in the program, I jumped at the chance. Trust me when I say that it was one of the best decisions of my life, both professionally and personally. Not a day goes by – not a single one – in which I do not reference some aspect or another of that 10-month, 4-retreat program. The learnings were simple, meaningful and in some ways absolutely profound. Time, energy and resources well spent, for sure. 

One of the learning nuggets that comes up repeatedly, deals with how we choose to fill the space in our lives. At one point, one of my leaders stated words to the effect that as a society we have a tendency to interact with the junk in our lives, while making space for the divine when in actual fact what we need to be doing is the opposite: we need to more consciously interact with the divine, and make space for the junk.  

At first, this confused me; why on earth should I make space for junk? And then I realized that the second part of her instruction only makes sense when you understand the first part; our tendency is to interact with the junk and we need to reverse that, making the divine our priority and then, if necessary, finding space for the junk, the minutia of our busy world. 

What is the divine? The divine is the stuff that really matters, nothing more and nothing less. The divine is found in meaningful relationships, in times of solitude and meditation, in doing your soul’s work, all of that which you feel called to. The divine is reflected in the experiences which feed your soul. On the flipside, the “junk” is the paperwork, the scheduling, the commuting, the constant email exchanges. It’s not that these aren’t necessary; it is that these activities are comparatively energy-draining. The divine will raise you up; the junk will bring you down.  

Imagine, if you will, a world in which everything you do raises your energy, leaves you feeling fulfilled instead of depleted. This is what you can expect when you interact with the divine more often than not. Interacting with the divine doesn’t take any more of your energy; and it does take a conscious awareness on your part, at least for some time. Enough time for your brain to create a new default, a default in which the time-draining tasks are secondary to the actual, life-enhancing priorities.

 Bottom-line: you know you want to feel more energized, more often than not. The way to do this is to choose to align with and engage in the activities that actually reflect what matters to you.  Choose the divine over the junk. Interact with the divine, consciously, deliberately and feel yourself be liberated.