My recent camping trip to the North West of Western Australia, took us inland then across to the coast, revealing many hidden treasures.
Upon returning home, I felt a strong need to take time to reflect on the trip. I didn’t want to fall back into the same old routines and habits. I wanted to keep something of this time with me for longer, but I wasn’t sure what that was. All I knew was I had come back changed.
I sorted the photos from my home office so they didn’t get lost with all the other photos on my phone. It was in this process I realised I had returned with a sense of inner spaciousness, and it was vast. Like looking at the above photos and letting your eyes go to the horizon and beyond, encompassing the endless sky. I had soaked up on space and it felt good!
As I probed more into this feeling I realised that in my everyday life, before the trip, I had become squashed into my spaces. Sometimes we don’t realise until we make a change what is missing from our life. For me it was that sense of being contained. Not venturing far from my office, studio and local environment, whilst all being nice spaces, didn’t give me that sense of getting out.
Having let space in I found that it permeated into other layers of my being. My mind was spacious and creativity was flowing as I got back into my weaving and painting, wanting to capture the colours, textures and feel of the trip into my creations.
The other reflection was how change affects your brain. I have been away before for two weeks, going to a familiar place and staying there to enjoy downtime and nature. This trip was different and it took me a while to realise why. We moved around a lot and the most we stayed in one place was the five nights in Karijini. We overnighted in Mt Magnet and Newman and spent three nights each in Coral Bay, Kalbarri and Sandy Point just north of Jurien Bay. It was the constant moving and change in environments and experiences that broke the habitual patterns in my brain. Whilst I might have said I would prefer to stay longer in one place, I have to admit that the constant change was actually good for my brain!
Why am I sharing this? Because sometimes we need to be taken out of our comfort zones and shaken up to break up old patterns of behaviour for long enough to create changes in our physiology that carry through to changes in our everyday life.
Some questions to ponder:
Are the routines in my life serving me now? If not, how can I change them?
Am I feeling stuck; has stagnation crept into my days?
What one thing could I change right now that would bring me more joy?
Do I listen to my inner voice of wisdom?
What small act of kindness could I perform that would bring joy to someone else?
The immersion into nature was powerfully transformative for me. But I wonder: if I hadn’t taken the time to reflect and probe into how I was feeling, would I have gained so much insight? Reflection is a powerful tool to digest our experiences before we move onto the next calling, whatever that might be. It is vital that we pause and give thanks for what we have as that opens up space for more to enter.
The element of space has never featured in my awareness as much as now. I value it as I do earth and grounding; together they create more balance. Spacing is now something I practice as much as grounding. Getting my bare feet on the earth whilst being acutely aware of the space around me and letting it in brings me back to my wide open spaces. Remember to look up and take in the sky and all it contains. We are multidimensional beings that need space as much as earth.
I filled up on the other elements too. Water was everywhere! Fire from the sun, which was perfect, not too hot. The fresh air and the beautiful earth. Nourishing on all levels. An immersion in nature was so good for the soul.
Plenty of time for yoga along the way and the creation of some new poses! Lots of walking, climbing and sight seeing, and I haven’t told you about the dingo who took my boot! At Dales camping ground in Karijini, the dingoes did the rounds a few times a day to see what was available. My hiking boots were obviously appealing. A dingo boldly picked one up whilst I was watching and began to trot off, so I went after it and, lucky for me, the cheeky dingo dropped it, and I got it back! A missed photo opportunity for sure.
As I have said before, it is up to us to make meaning of our experiences and let those experiences be embodied as we live life fully and meaningfully. Be bold and embrace change, let it open the door to more space.
If you would like to hear Kelly and I discuss this experience of space and spacing, check out our recent podcast here. Meanwhile take care and stay tuned for more news in a couple of weeks’ time.