At 33 weeks pregnant, I am frantically ‘nesting’… the rumours are true! Both pregnancies, I have just been so focused on sorting, tidying, throwing…creating space. Space for this new life that will enter my world. It is not something I have intentionally told myself to do, or planned; but rather an intuitive part of me has just taken over and I feel the need to create space for this baby that will meet me on the ‘other side’ in just a few weeks.
It makes me wonder how much space in our lives we create to allow the ‘new’ to enter…how much of the ‘old’ we can potentially cling to. As I dig through old paperwork, or go through the medicine cabinet, I see so many ‘expired’ items that I no longer need or desire. Our needs, our desires change. If we don’t ‘check-in’ once in a while, we may remain unchanged, stagnant and bury deeper in our set ways. I have often heard that a person’s mental state can be reflected in the state of their home or their work space. So a person who is tidy in their outward life is reflecting a ‘tidy’ or clear mind. Does this ring true for you or someone you know?
Yoga is about doing clean outs – ‘checking in’ is something we often do at the beginning and end of a yoga class. Checking in with the breath, body, state of the mind… and it is at the end of the yoga class, you notice a shift in these states. A much calmer and relaxed state is often the case. I see yoga as an incredible ‘clean out’ tool for the body and the mind. In fact, the first niyama (discipline or observance) in Ashtanga yoga is saucha (purity or cleanliness) where Patanjali (author of the Yoga Sutras) encourages the yogi to maintain a state of cleanliness in body and mind. Let’s use a yoga class as a simple but effective example. We can practice this cleanliness in the way we:
• Lay out our mat: is it aligned, clean, ready for class?
• Come to class: do we have strong body odours, a towel to wipe off sweat, keep any clutter away from us (like shoes) while we practice?
• Put our props away: do we stack them in an orderly manner, are we mindful of others while waiting our turn?
• Show awareness of our surroundings: do we step on other people’s mats, wear strong perfumes, assist the teacher in packing up after class?
These simple practices cultivate an awareness of self, others and surroundings. As we become more mindful, our behaviour changes. We start to notice the sacredness of things around us.
Sometimes I ‘forget’ that I carry a sacred life within me. It is easy to go about your daily life without ‘checking-in’. Little rituals can help us to remember these important, sacred things. In an effort to do this, I have made an effort during my pregnancies to rub some oil onto my belly each night before bed and whisper some words to my baby. I love this ‘check-in’ time even if it’s a simple “hi baby, mummy is here” because it reminds me that despite the ‘busy-ness’ of everyday life, there is a sacredness that is present. Right here, right now…one that I can so easily miss if I don’t open my eyes and heart to it.
So what can you do now to create some space in your life?
Can you make some space to ‘check-in’ to help create a space for change?