Space as a resource – Part 2

In the May 3, 2011 issue I discussed space as a resource. Part 1 explored space deprivation and space management. It also covered 1 and 2 from the following list. With what does Space provide us? Among other things:

1. Space provides us with movement.
2. Space provides us with growth.
3. Space provides us with potential.
4. Space provides us with freedom.
5. Space provides us with relationships.
6. Space provides us with self-discovery.
7. Space provides us with perspective.

Let’s probe  3 through 7.

3. Space provides us with potential
A blank canvas, an unmarked page, an open plot, a bolt of fabric or an empty music staff are all examples of potential waiting to be expressed or defined – realities to be created. They are specific areas of space as yet unfilled with words, images, designs, notes, or seeds. Add imagination, take the necessary actions, and voila! Something springs into being that was not there before. Had there already been a sketch, story, rose garden, three-piece suit, up-beat pop tune, even in the rudimentary stages, the opportunity for creation would have evaporated, leaving only improvement on what already existed.

Space invites creation, the exploration of potential. Our environment should provide us with enough unfilled space for us to glimpse potential and manifest it. If your workspace is crowded, or you can’t see your desk for the papers, no potential will be evident. Finish existing projects before starting new ones. Clear your work area every day. Organize your supplies in an orderly manner. Then you’ll invite Potential and it’s twin, Inspiration.

4. Space provides us with freedom
Consider the analogy of the prison cell in space deprivation. Incarceration means a drastic loss of freedom. Prisoners are restricted in movement, time and activity. All are externally dictated. But what happens when we are our own prison wardens? Every possession we have demands upkeep and care. How many hours a week can you realistically devote to dusting? Old and unused items take up space, time, and energy that might be employed with new activities or even left open for movement, circulation and spontaneity.

Begin by eliminating broken items, too costly to repair (effort and money). Next, sort in terms of passion. If you love it, it stays. If you are tepid, let it go. Do keep practical things used on a regular basis, even once a year, like a paper shredder to eliminate old documents. But please, lighten your load, and give yourself some freedom from your chattel.

5. Space provides us with relationships
How can your best friend come for lunch when your table is piled high with three years of tax receipts? Where will you make mad, passionate love if stacks of laundry cover the bed, stuff is all over the floor, and the bath is filled with kids’ toys?

Our relationships need space for interaction to take place. If your dining room seats eight comfortably, you can’t really have a family re-union sit-down dinner for 60. Rent a restaurant or banquet hall, or have a stand-up buffet throughout the house.  The amount of space determines the quantity and quality of interactions. A small group, seated together over several hours, can find intimacy and depth of conversation while the stand-up buffet offers pass-by encounters with lots of distractions. Too much crammed into a space deters relationship because we must contract our personal space for survival. That becomes our focus, not relating.

6. Space provides us with self-discovery.
‘Know thyself’ has been the message of the world’s masters, prophets and avatars.  ‘Knowing thyself’ was Socrates’ guiding principle.  When we know ourselves, we know the entire universe and thereby discover profound understandings about all creation. Unhappiness, fear, sadness, doubt, and all the negative emotions become meaningless. If we are engaged as ‘Human Havings’, equating who we are with what we have, and always pursuing further acquisition, we can’t experience ourselves as ‘Human Beings’.  Things are meant to assist our experience in life, not to become our raison d’être.

7. Space provides us with perspective
One of my favourite cottage-country activities is lying on the dock, watching the night sky. I experience such wonder at the vastness, the innumerable points of light, and the miraculous shooting stars. I also enjoy driving on the highway with a vista that extends to the horizon stretching before me. It‘s hard to gain this expansive panorama in a city, bound by skyscrapers, and forced into a vertical paradigm.
What about perspective in our living spaces? Do your exterior views allow you to gaze beyond the treetops? Can you see clearly down your hallway? Are doorways unobstructed to provide free access? What we see establishes our outlook. This was ever driven home when space travel allowed us to see our Blue Jewel Planet Domicile for the first time. That was certainly a lesson in perspective!

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