It took me a while, and some serious stress, to uncover this gem that I refer to as “white space”. You will find it referred to in many contexts like business and organization but the secret is to apply it to every aspect of your life. Ha! not always that easy, but the more you make it a conscious decision the more it becomes an ingrained practice. It started during my busy “working mother” years when every moment of the day was scheduled with getting kids off to school, myself to work, then kids to various activities, cooking, cleaning, etc. In order for me to feel some sense of control in those crazy busy times I always used a planner of some sort where I would keep track of all the comings and goings and wonder where I was going to squeeze in some “me” time for at least a moment of quiet to hear myself think.
I started the practice of putting in white space without even knowing it by trying to avoid scheduling meetings or activities back to back. Just by adding 15-30 minutes in between I was giving myself time to at least shift gears and reduce the stress of being late. As I became more aware of myself and my limits to stress I began to pay more attention and intention to the white space in my life. About 5 years ago I became very aware of how important it was to me while creating a vision board with a group of co-workers. When doing vision boards in the past I was like most people, creating more of a collage of pictures/words that represented certain aspects of my life, like goals or aspirations. This particular time I felt an intention to allow the white space to be an obvious aspect of my board. Even the other participants commented on it. So, here is my unsolicited two cents – pay attention to the white space. And if it’s not there, start to find opportunities to schedule it into your day with a commitment to no more back-to-back meetings – just 15 minutes can make a difference.
I love the concept of white space, not only in terms of applying it in our lives (which is critical!), but also as part of my web designs. Pages with too much text and not enough white space tend to spin people out. I agree with you, Lani…”B.R.E.A.T.H.E”