As I’m writing this, I’m about to embark on a 400-mile road trip with my daughter. I spent most of last night and this morning packing clothes, diapers, shampoo, the favorite flowered shorts, the sound machine… a LOT of stuff for us two. When provisioning for a big trip, like this one, I typically feel anxious as I walk around the house with my packing list which I add to as I remember even more items to include (my very favorite pillow, her very favorite spoon with a handle shaped like a rabbit). My nervous momentum originates from a belief: I’m responsible for remembering every tiny item that we might possibly need.
But this time while packing, I felt peaceful. Why?
The reason is simple. My own internal landscape is changing through this study on internal space. I haven’t added any additional practices outside of my normal self-care and mental health regimen. It’s just that naming and noticing the whole internal-space-thing is somehow creating… more of it. By “more” I mean that I feel different and react differently, on the inside. Like packing for a trip that typically feels tight, stressful, burdensome and sweaty feels simple, curious, methodical, meditative. Calm.
What’s more is that I didn’t realize that packing was kind of a “thing” for me until now that it feels so much better. Which makes me wonder: where else might we find relief where we didn’t even realize we tolerated stress once we contemplate the internal space that’s already ours, to begin with? Maybe the transitions from home to work to bedtime are strained and you don’t even know it. Maybe the drive to pick up the kids could be the high point of your day instead of a mad dash. Or maybe what’s already a good marriage could be a fantastic marriage?
As I drive all day with my little girl, I travel miles and miles on the outside. At the risk of making the obvious point, I have to wonder: what might a similar trip look like on the inside? There are three routes I can take, about equal in length, to my destination. Do we have similar choices with our internal journeys? Can we take any of several routes to arrive at the destination of “satisfied with my marriage” or “motivated to take care of my body”? And where’s Siri when you need her to map that internal course for you?
Listen to more on Your Internal Space II Part 2 – Outer Space vs. Inner Space.
Happy Trails 😉