A Space of Her Own

Last week I went to see one of my all-time favorite bands, the Cowboy Junkies (for, oh, I'd say, the fifth time).

Without going into the gory details about how Margot Timmins' voice makes me melt into a puddle, I just want to call attention to a small detail I've come to expect about her appearance.

As if she wasn't lovely enough, her 'space' on stage is set up with a stool, a music stand holding song lyrics (they often break out brand new, as-of-yet unrecorded stuff), a cup of tea, and at least one or two large bouquets of roses.

So, when she's up there, her image is framed with this very feminine asthetic.

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Me being the sole female in a house of five guys, I could relate to her position in an otherwise all-male band. And how often my house is really a showcase for hot wheels, toy guns, game controllers, electric guitars and dirty socks.

To be fair, I've been blessed with a husband who not only likes (needs) a clean, uncluttered home, but actually does housework on a regular basis. And I've learned over the years to change my lowdown packrat ways, and have managed to let go of a lot of stuff **.

But it's come to my attention in recent years that there's been some degree of creative expression lost for me. Whether by choice or necessity, I'm not sure, but I do know that seeing Margot up there inspired me to get back in touch with whatever that was.

So, the next day, after clearing out the spider-webby corners around my desk, I decided actually to sit with my laptop upstairs in the kitchen where it was sunny. I cut some roses, lit my incense, and made my own little circle of magic for the day where I worked. It really affected how I felt, how I approached my tasks, and I do believe, enhanced the creative process.

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I would also have to tip my hat to Jennifer Hofmann, of Inspired Home Office, for elevating office space decluttering to a form of Zen gardening and spiritual practice. You may look forward to a guest blog from her soon so she can tell you herself what she does.

We can't always overhaul our lives, or remodel the house to really reflect our values when we feel overwhelmed.

Sometimes just keeping it all in some semblance of managed chaos is even beyond our capability. But I'm learning, from Margot, Jen, Goddess Leonie, and a certain crazy yoga practice I got myself into, that even just taking charge of the immediate space around you... intentionally creating a small but powerful periphery from which to operate, has an amazing and totally non-overwhelming effect on the larger world.

I'm still playing with this, and will keep you updated on how it progresses (and whether or not I figure out how to give my space "cone of silence" protection, so as to ward off small boy-shaped interruptions...)

 ** Making the obligatory shiatsu connection: packrat-itis can be the sign of Lung/Large Intestine imbalance. In TCM, Lung has to do with trust, and Large Intestine has to do with the ability to let go (as in, both literal and metaphorical constipation). With those of us who hang on to things, it could indicate an underlying lack of trust in the future's ability to sustain us...**

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