As far as the Elements of nature go, Space really doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Maybe that is because it is so subtle that we cannot hold it in our hands or see it, but Space provides, well, the space for everything else to take place in. In Ayurveda, Space or Ether Element is understood as holding all of the possibility and potential that the other elements bring forth because without Space, none of the other elements would have a stage to perform on.
In our lives, Space element is represented in our relationship with how much space we have, how we create space, and how we use our spaces. This means we must take a look at how our environment impacts how we feel and who we are becoming.
Research shows that our environment can support who we want to become or sabotage it. We may have the best of intentions, but if our environment is working against those intentions, our chances of changing or evolving is exceptionally low.
In so many ways, the habits of our current culture work against the natural rhythms in our bodies and set us up for living in stressed out and inflamed bodies and minds. We have developed patterns of being overworked, under-rested, overstimulated, and under-connected. This state of living is taking its toll on the health of our bodies, brains, and relationships, not to mention our dreams. It seems ironic that deep self-care must be taught as a rebellious act to counterbalance how we have been living, but it is a powerful and direct route to creating and living the life that we desire.
In working toward our goals in any realm- personal, professional, health, creative, relational, etc.- it is very helpful to create an environment that not only encourages our goal, but also makes it more difficult for us to not follow through in moving toward it. We can also set up the environment to provide us with consequences for not following through.
Our current behaviors are influenced by the environments that we live and work in and the people we surround ourselves with. Our habits can be constantly reinforced or vanquished by the spaces that we are spending time in. With this knowledge, we can set ourselves up to meet our goals more efficiently and more quickly rather than falling into the trap of not reaching our potential simply because our environment does not support our desired growth.
The environments we are currently working and living in are most likely supporting the old identity of who we have been up to this point. If we want to feel and behave differently than we have in the past, we must shift our environment to support that or it will work against all of our good intentions and keep things just as they are by reinforcing who we were in the past. Because our environments are often crafted from our past and the experiences we have had before, they will not propel us into change unless we design them to do so.
That means that we may need to assess our environments and begin to clean out the items that are keeping us tied to who we used to be. We must remember that everything in our universe is energy and our environment supports the vibration we are living in- or have been living in. We can make forward progress much easier by removing the things that are keeping us tied to the past. A great resource on the process of decluttering is Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. When we can let go of the items that are keeping us tied to who we used to be, the process of becoming is much easier as our environment supports and represents our next identity.
Next, we want to mindfully create an environment that will prompt the feelings and behaviors we desire, as well as encourage us to follow through on new habits. Our environment and the people we are spending time with may be triggering the desire to follow through on old behaviors. We can set up our environment up to trigger the behaviors of who we are becoming. As an example, if our goal is to walk the dogs first thing in the morning, we can set out the shoes, clothes, and leash next to the bed to increase our chances of following through with the walk.
Setting up an environment to support the goals that we have also means checking in with the systems and people who will support the goal. Accountability is key and when we have someone we can discuss our goals and progress with, or work toward those goals with, our chances of success skyrocket. The key to remember is that we do not have to have the new behavior in place or even have the old behaviors extinguished before we can reach out to others for support. And this is true for any behavior. We want to set up a system of support by aligning with the people who will increase our chances of success rather than relying on people who do not support or understand what we are working toward.
So, this week, I invite you to take inventory of your physical environment to see how it is supporting the next version of you and how it may be keeping you right where you are. Reach out to people who will support your evolution and create triggers for the habits that you want to automate.
I will be practicing right along with you.
Chat again soon,