Making Space for What You Want

Book open on polka dot background with neon text that reads in all caps: Wish for it, Hope for it, Dream of it, But by all means do it.

I learned long ago that the saying, “You can have it all!” was largely mythology. No one has it all. We all make choices and because our priorities are different, we can certainly have a lot (I definitely believe in abundance!) there’s a point at which we all must choose. Exactly WHAT do we want to manifest in our lives?

We manifest what we name and claim in life and life has taught me “You can have what you want!” I’ve also learned, you may not be able to have everything you seek all at once. Sometimes we manifest what matters to us sequentially. There’s an order to it all.

That said, there’s also the responsibility to “clean house” when you ask for something new or want to make a big change in your life – it is about making space for what you want – bounty cannot arrive if there’s no place to put it!

The honest truth is that in my life, I may need to part with one thing in order to receive another. For instance, I may need to:

  • Relocate my very-private yoga space to another, less-secluded area if I genuinely want to fill the hall bedroom with a queen-sized guest bed.
  • Cull through my hundreds of books (my shelves are full) if I want to continue to buy more reading materials (unless I am willing to just read digital versions, and generally, I’m not).
  • Turn down some exciting work possibilities if I want to keep my focus on the projects and commitments that are blossoming right in front of me.

Self-care is every conscious action you take that feeds your soul, nourishes your body, nurtures your spirit, or replenishes your relationship with yourself!

Having a choice is GOOD. But sometimes making the choice is HARD.

As caregivers, we often feel like we don’t have many choices. 

Life is already full of “should & oughts & musts” – the stuff that comes from our a priori (meaning beforehand, ahead of other things) choices to do what we’re already committed to. As a result, we may feel like we’re missing out, like we can’t actually ask for what we want because there are already too many constraints on our lives. I totally get that. . .because, as a caregiver:

  • I don’t have a corporate job, it won’t fit into the care needs of my husband anymore.
  • I don’t go away for the weekend, there’s no one to look after his needs while I’m gone.
  • I don’t leave the house for more than a few hours at a time, unless I have back-up (meaning, a sitter).

And, while all that can bum me out at times, I remember that my a priori commitment is to be my hubby’s caregiver – I did choose this path – and with it, comes some clear and certain constraints.

What would it mean to make space for new things in my life? 

For me, it involves searching for respite care (not a lot of long-term care facilities are making that available these days, since there’s a huge staffing shortage in Minnesota!!). But, if I don’t SEARCH for it, I probably won’t make any room in my life for the possibility of inviting the changes that I long for – like a vacation, an excursion, or even a business trip.

What would it mean to make space for new things in YOUR life? 

For you, perhaps:

  • Finding and hiring a housekeeper, so you could delegate some chores that keep you from what you desire,
  • Ordering pre-packaged meals, so that cooking isn’t what prevents you from pursuing other endeavors that would nourish you differently,
  • Clearing a space, where you can devote your attention to your art, your reading time or maybe your meditation practice.

It makes no sense to “ask for what we want” in life but then be unwilling to clear a space for it to be present in our lives. If you really want it, if you’re ready invite it, then you must prepare for its arrival. It is much like the way we would prepare a nursery if we were expecting a child – we must get ready to receive what we long for!

I wish you everything you long for. 

I also know you may struggle with Making Space for What You Want. Priorities are sometimes hard to sort out. Choices can be difficult to make. Clearing the space (in your home, in your heart, or even in your head) can be challenging. If you need a coach for that, let me know if I can help!

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About Paula

I help other caregivers – both professionals and family caregivers – acknowledge their pain and learn to practice the many small skills of self-care that can sustain them through the challenges of wholeheartedly caring for others.

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