One of the great things about getting older is that I am getting good at predicting on Monday what my stress level will probably be like by Friday. Funny enough, my stress barometer is my color-coded weekly calendar. The more color on my spreadsheet, the more I need to stay mindful of keeping a sense of humor and staying patient. The less color and the more white space that exists, the more peace and joy I see in my near future. Needless to say, I live for white space.
I know some people that can go, go and then go some more. I am not one of those people. I have learned the hard way that I need some downtime everyday to answer emails, organize schedules, clear my desk or just do nothing! Simply put, I need to put myself into a timeout everyday. If I don’t, and instead allow my day to become “packed to the gills” my happiness meter goes awry.
So over the years, I have learned to become more balanced, and thus more content, by learning to say “no” more often. I often say no to lunch meetings and no to “let’s have a cup of coffee and catch up”. It’s not that I don’t want to socialize or perhaps discuss a business opportunity it is just that I’ve learned that in order to stay clear-minded and helpful to those at Verge Yoga and at home, I must create white space in my day.
As with most good things in my life, my yoga asana practice has helped me develop the skill to carefully discern when I need to say “no” and when I can add more color to my calendar. I don’t always get it right but have learned from my practice, especially the pauses in between my poses, of the grace-filled beauty and underlying necessity of white space.
Yes, there are days and sometimes weeks when the calendar is jam packed with colors. Life happens and stuff needs to get done but at least I know that white space awaits me somewhere in the future. Often that is enough to settle me down, remind me to breathe and allow me to move along my colorful calendar with humor and patience.