Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Do You "Own Your Space?"

Last year, after returning home from his first year at college, my nephew seemed different. He had gone from boy to man, and from slightly cocky to truly confident. He looked me in the eye and gave me his full attention. He spoke with maturity and groundedness. "Wow," I said, "you really own your space." He smiled at Aunt Jill (who has a tendency to say things like that), and replied, "I take it that's a good thing?" Oh yes, that's a very good thing!

But what does it mean to own one's space? I think of it like this:
We each have a physical body and an energy field that extends a couple feet around our bodies in all directions. Even though energies overlap all the time, our unique energy field is our "space." Each of us is responsible, ultimately, for monitoring what comes in and what goes out of that space, and for what occurs within it (thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc). Unfortunately, many of us don't know how to monitor ourselves, so we end up getting into other people's business and trying to control them, or letting other people's energies into our business which can control us. (And don't even get me started about our rampant thoughts and feelings!)

"Owning" your space means that you have good boundaries and interact with the world in a healthy way. You know where you end and others begin. You have software that safeguards you from getting sucked into outside dramas and from sabataging yourself because of fear or low self-esteem. It's not that you never merge energies with others or get confused or controlling or controlled, but you know how to return to your center, because that's where you live. You own that real estate, and nobody else does.

I recently had an epiphany about food. I'd struggled with sugar addiction on and off since the Johnson Administration, and I was tired of letting sweets control me. Then the thought came in, "I own my own space. Sugar does not control me!" It was one of those empowering aha moments where you realize where you went wrong, and it changes you.

So, do you own your space? Chances are, in some areas you do and in others you don't. You can tell by how well your life is going. If you love your work, you own your space there. Likewise, if you have healthy, loving relationships with others, or you are physically healthy and have a good relationship with food, or you have plenty of money to thrive in this world, or you respect yourself and expect to be treated well, you own your space in that area.

On the other hand, you don't own your space in areas where there is excessive drama, addiction, compulsion, obsession, codependency, rage, depression, dependency, low self-esteem, poor health, poor boundaries, struggle, confusion, lack, etc. What to do?

Next week we'll continue the conversation and I'll share some tips on how to create balance and own your space, but for now I invite you to step back and take a quick personal inventory. In what areas of your life do you feel strong and in what areas do you feel challenged?

Take good care, and have an empowering week.