How to cultivate more white space

Becoming a mother has taught me a lot about what is truly important in life. Those things are family, finding joy and minimizing stress. In a world that is full of chaos, media and now politics, I have chosen to take a step back and find the white space in my life.

I have begun downsizing my possessions, making space in my calendar and finding peace within.

After watching Brene Brown’s talk on the Power of Vulnerability, I was touched something she calls “scarcity mentality”. She says “We spend inordinate amounts of time calculating how much we have, want and don’t have, and how much everyone else has, needs and wants”, says Brene Brown. “…we are often comparing our lives, our marriages, our families, and our communities to unattainable, media-driven versions of perfection, or we’re holding up our reality against our own fictional account of how great someone else has it.”

Does that sound like you? At least a little bit? I know I have fallen into this trap many times, but I have worked hard to change it recently. I want to share with you three areas I have created more white space in my life and let go of the scarcity mentality.

//White space in my home

I have been doing a lot of digging into why it is that we collect so much clutter. Once Brooks was born, I knew I needed to do something about our messy and overfilled 1 bedroom apartment in order to make room for him. I started watching YouTube videos on people organizing their homes, and especially got into using Dollar Tree storage solutions (they have legit storage containers for $1, not kidding!).

As I started making purchases for things to help me organize my home better, I learned something. I am buying more stuff to make all my other stuff look pretty. When I thought about it that way, it didn’t make sense. But that’s consumerism. Instead of trying to organize all my crap, I decided to downsize all my crap. I have always prided myself on being able to let go of things, but I have realized that it’s a psychological challenge to actually keep things OUT of your home. You can declutter and donate, but you have to get to the source of why you’re holding onto things in the first place.

As I began looking around, I saw all kinds of things that are no longer useful to me. Tons of makeup when I hardly wear any, books I have already read and will not have time to re-read any time soon, and DVDs that are just collecting dust because we stream everything now.

I want to challenge you to tackle one small area in your home and purge the things you don’t really need. Donate things to people who need them and will cherish them more than you. Once you have decluttered and area, use a 1 in 1 out strategy. If you want to bring something new into that space, you must be prepared to part with something else.

I will tell you, once you get going it’s hard to stop (but there are roadblocks which I will talk about in future posts). You may even look at a space you have already decluttered and find more things you can declutter…how about that? 🙂

//White space in my calendar

If you’re anything like me, you have a google calendar that may actually have multiple calendars to separate different types of activities by color. Please tell me I am not alone on this! Before becoming pregnant with Brooks, I felt like every hour of my time needed to be accounted for. This could be because when I left corporate American and began working for myself, I found it hard to stay motivated so scheduling really helped me stay focused.

My priorities have changed now. I have learned I lean towards being an introvert, so being around too many crowds or over-scheduling myself really just drains my energy. I find much more joy in peaceful moments. Writing this blog while Brooks naps, taking walks with him, and watching movies with my husband.

Try this. This weekend or on your next day off, don’t plan or schedule anything. See where the day takes you. Maybe you do absolutely nothing except binge watch something. Maybe it leaves you open to last minute plans with a friend you’ve been missing. Let yourself just be free and flow for one day this week. Comment below how it goes, I would love to hear your adventures or non-adventures. 🙂

//White space in my mind

Turn off the TV, your cell phone and stay away from the news first thing in the morning.

Take a walk, meditate, take your time making breakfast, linger over your coffee, take an extra long shower.

Did you know that a study from 2015 found that on average American’s check their phones 46 times a day? Most people look at their phones within 5 minutes of waking up! I am absolutely guilty of this, so I have set a goal for myself to wake up and spend time snuggling and cuddling my little guy before I go anywhere near my phone. In fact, I try not to check my phone until he goes down for his first nap of the day.

Create some white space in your mind by not starting your day being connected to the outside world. Instead, connect to yourself and your family first.

I want to talk about these topics in a bit more detail soon, but I am curious which area you are most interested in learning more about? Comment below. Until next time! 

About Stephanie

Stephanie Benton is a STOTT PILATES Certified instructor and recently became a mom! She holds a BA in Dance from California State University Long Beach, and has a passion for helping new moms reconnect with their physical and emotional selves after starting a family. Cohesive Fitness is a place to learn to simplify your life, health and family priorities.