What Does It Mean To Take Up Space?
This week my boyfriend and I got back from a wonderful holiday in Greece. As I began to unpack my bags, I was struck with minor anxiety and feelings of displacement. You see, I don't have the typical life schedule, routine, or really a set home at all for that matter. My family is in the US, my boyfriend is in Germany, and my soul longs to explore the world. Splitting my time between different locations around the world, I find myself most often living out of bags and constantly figuring out where to put things when I unpack.
Since I don't have a place of my own, when I'm not traveling, I am staying either with family or with my partner. I want to be respectful of their space and not intrude (even though they are more than welcoming). As I was gently placing my toiletries on the bathroom shelf it struck me that, I am always worried about taking up too much space, in so many areas of my life. Then I began to wonder, how many other people do this too?
Space can be thought of in the physical sense, but it's more than that. Taking up space can be energetic, in the form of taking up time or mental energy. So, I ask you the question…are you afraid of taking up too much space, either physically or energetically?
>> Check your body language
The most obvious thing we think about when we talk about space is the physical plane, being somewhere and taking up physical space. As a 5'10" woman, I was also a tall adolescent, taller than most of my classmates. And, at that time of my life, all I wanted to do was blend in and be like everyone else. Because of this, I began to slump my shoulders and bend down in order to appear shorter. This led to bad posture later on. I've since fixed this problem, but poor posture throws off the body's natural alignment and can lead to a wide range of aches and pains.
Time to check in with yourself…how is your posture as you read this article now? Are your shoulders rounded? Head looking down? Most often the answer is yes because this is a position we assume so often in our daily lives that revolve around screens and computers.
Now, roll the shoulders up, down, and back. Feel the shoulder blades come together in the upper back. It might feel strange at first as if you're sticking your chest out too much, but this opens your chest and your heart space.
There is also an energetic factor at play here. Standing with a tall posture conveys confidence, both to others and to your own subconscious mind. Your body language sends energetic messages, make yours be ones of confidence and self-worth. Don't be afraid to take up space!
>> Occupy a space fully
Being in a space is not just about having your physical body there. Humans actually contain seven different bodies, ranging from the physical to the energetic and the spiritual.
When you go to work, or attend a dinner with friends, how much of you is actually showing up? In today's world, we are challenged because there are so many things competing for our attention. Because of this, I believe our attention is sacred and is the greatest gift we can give to someone. If we take the opportunity to fully show up and occupy a space with all of our being, then we open the door to deeper connections and richer experiences.
>> Hold space for others
Because we have these different bodies and nuanced pieces of our beings, the space we occupy is energetic in nature as well. If we are bringing our whole selves into a space, we fill that environment with our energy. In turn, it's important that we hold space for others. This can mean giving someone our full attention, as well as clearing our own energy to make space for theirs. However, it's important to be mindful though and set healthy boundaries. We are only able to give from a full tank, so be sure not to overgive and take on too much.
>> Know your worth
I'll confess that I am a recovering people pleaser. For me, one of the ways this manifested was not wanting to inconvenience anyone. But, I think this can also be looked at from the lens of space. Not communicating wants or needs translates to not wanting to take up too much energetic space. Looking back on this now, I can see that this comes from a lack of self-worth.
I believe that the desire to be always accommodating to others comes from the limiting belief that "I am not worthy." and that somehow you don't deserve to have your needs met. Eliminating this belief can be a constant struggle because (especially as women) we are told we are too fat, too thin, too loud, too quiet, all for the purpose of selling products or maintaining the status quo. We get these messages through advertisements and in everyday interactions, they can be blatant or subtle. Entangled with this message lies the insinuation that if we just do this one thing, or buy this one product, then we will be complete and worthy.
But here is the big secret that the advertisers don't want you to know…your worth is inherent, it is not something to be earned. It is automatically attached to your being. With this belief, you can freely take up space, be bold, and create the life you desire.