Category: Zen Living Written by Leo Babauta
I’ve worked with a number of people who want more spaciousness in their lives — more time for rest, play, reading, reflecting, self-care, hanging with friends and other loved ones.
The challenge isn’t that it’s hard to create more time (for some people, it is actually very hard) … the challenge is that no matter how much time we have, we are not likely to experience it as spacious, restful, joyful, playful.
We can create all the time in the world … but the truth is that we’ll probably have a very similar experience in that spacious time that we have already. If you take a sabbatical, you’ll probably experience some spaciousness for a little bit, but then restlessness and fears will start to take over, and you’ll create a lot of things for yourself to do, and a feeling that you need to be productive (for example).
Whatever you experience already … is likely to be what you’ll experience no matter how you arrange your life.
The real spaciousness you crave isn’t in rearranging your life (though that can be helpful) … it’s in changing how you experience life.
Let’s take a look at how you can do that.
A Spacious Experience of Life
No matter what we’re doing, we can experience it as rushed and stressful … or we can experience it as spacious and peaceful. Or really we can have any kind of experience of the activity.
For example … if you’re out for a walk, you can be on your phone checking messages and feeling the anxiousness of all the things you still need to do. Or you can experience the spacioiusness of the walk, feeling expansive wonder about all the nature around you, feeling the freedom of being outdoors and being alive.
In any moment, we can experience spaciousness. Whether you’re responding to messages and emails, writing, washing a dish, talking to someone, sitting in on a meeting, doing something courageous and inspired … you can experience it as spacious.
The thing to recognize is that it’s a choice. You can choose to feel anxious and rushed in any moment, or to feel expansive and spacious and at peace. You get to choose your experience of any moment.
As you practice moment to moment, you can expand how spacious your life feels as a whole. You go from feeling constantly rushed and behind … to feeling life as abundant, free and much more peaceful.
How to Practice
So how do you practice this miraculous way to create spaciousness in your life? It’s all yours for the low price of $500 … kidding!
Try to practice right now, as you read this …
- Take a moment to sit still and allow your awareness to expand outward, so that you feel more expansive.
- Allow your breath to be deeper and wider, so you feel a spacious nourishing breath.
- Allow yourself to feel as wide as the sky, so that all of life feels expansive and spacious.
- Allow yourself to slow down for a moment, so that life feels more spread out and delicious.
This is the kind of practice you can do in any moment, with any activity. You don’t have to do all 4 of these steps, but you can try whatever helps you to feel spaciousness, peace, freedom and expansiveness in each moment.
Try moving a little slower, so you aren’t so rushed.
Try savoring each moment.
Try imagining that you can do anything within a wide open fresh expanse of the universe.
What would it be like if your life could be experienced with greater spaciousness?
Zen Habits is about finding simplicity and mindfulness in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness. My name is Leo Babauta. I live in Davis, California with my wife and six kids, where I eat vegan food, write, run, and read. Source
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