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Spaciousness

Blog

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Spaciousness

Jenna Starkey

Earlier this year I left a very stable job. A job I was proud of, my family was proud of, and which afforded me comfort in obvious ways.

Since I was a little girl, I always knew there was something spectacular about life. I knew there was possibility busting through the cracks of my bedroom door that I didn't feel like most people were taking advantage of. I felt awe inspiring wonder pulsing from beyond every wall, especially my classrooms. This energy was always present and waiting for me I knew; it was as obvious and alluring to me as the sun rising each day. 

During the summer I turned 16, I remember feeling my first real swell of freedom wash over as I grabbed the keys to my great grandmother's Honda accord and drove ecstatically through the open roads of Lake Tahoe, blasting music and cruising through a sanctuary of pine trees. This sacred place in my heart and visceral feeling of spaciousness remains a source of ignition for me. This place is where I come alive, and where my best self lies. 

I wanted to write this post to clarify for myself what it is that feels so right, even in midst of the terrifying unknown and daily potential of more failure and less money.  I feel freakishly alive since pressing the restart button. It's like I'm letting the awe inspiring twinkles of light come busting back into my life, by "putting myself in the way of beauty."

What I've learned:

1. Getting closer to life with less, makes living deliberate and rich.

2. People want to help. Let them.

3. Step inside your indulgent perspective to shake off what doesn't serve you.

4. Melt the significance of your negative persistent story lines. Or suffer. 

At this point, I ask myself how do I maintain this feeling once I move forward from wherever I am? Surely it can't last forever. Or could it? So with all the personal development work I have been up to lately, I figured I could at least get to the bottom of this.

I'm happy because:

  • I'm sleeping A LOT more.
  • I'm networking my ass off, for fun.
  • I have the freedom to change my physical environment whenever I feel restless. 
  • I'm cooking quality meals for myself almost every day. 
  • I'm taking SERIOUS social media breaks. 
  • My schedule is peppered with fun workout dates.
  • I'm learning way more about the things that I'm really passionate about. 

In order to move forward with the ups and downs of life's pressures, below are the rules I have henceforth given myself based on these learnings. Feel free to borrow any that you wish.

Rule #1: Protect the quality of your sleep like it depends on the safety of your infant child.

Rule #2: Connect with people, friends, and friends of friends who interest you, and who you want to learn from. Networking is King. But, FUN networking is even more powerful. 

Rule #3: Demand a playful environment (wherever working happens), where you can take more walks, work from coffee shops every once in awhile, sit on a couch, sit on the floor, or simply in a different room if that's all that's allowed.

Rule #4: Be real about making meals. Prep food, get up a wee bit earlier to make your famous avocado toast, or have a field day at the flea market after your stressful end-of-day meeting. Whatever it is, make eating an enlivening experience other than opening wrappers or standing in line. 

Rule #5: DELETE social media apps on your phone when you sense yourself neurologically addicted to your alerts. You will re-wire your brain to stop checking snapchat every 5 minutes when you realize it's deleted off your phone. I know you know how to re-download it, but that will annoy you enough not to do it unless you really need to. Trust me, THIS WORKS MIRACLES.

Rule #6: Plan friend "workout" dates. Whether it be to a dance class, yoga class, Soulcycle class, bike ride or simple walk to the water. Like actually put that shit in your calendar - PLAN IT. You will have something to look forward to all week and you won't get accustomed to skipping it. 

Rule #7: Just say no to filler activities and suggested crap. And say YES to the books and articles and movies and workshops that you really love and want to engage in. You will be so much less resentful if you do this and become a natural expert and more authentic, engaging human to be around. 

In summary: I have grown a lot over the past so many months of spaciousness. Not all blue skies and butterflies, but definitely a Buddha belly joy of realignment in who I am. Spaciousness has made me so very mindful, and so so very grateful. I recommend to anyone who is stuck and mercifully feeling imprisoned at work or in a relationship to try to find a way towards more spaciousness. If I have learned anything during this time of great transition, I have learned that this way of being makes me a healthier, more alive version of me.