When I forget how privileged I am and need to reconnect to my practice of gratitude, I remember a book that was very impactful for me: Man’s Search For Meaning.
"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
~ Viktor E. Frankl
If a man in a concentration camp under the Nazi regime can find contentment, meaning and inner freedom under the dire circumstances his physical body was subject to, surely, I can create space for contentment in my own comfortable life.
Essentially, contentment and freedom are an inner job.
It's not so much about changing your thoughts as it is to create space around your thoughts so you can observe them without being caught up in them, and witness your own reactive mechanisms.
When life is overwhelming, it is not actually life that is overwhelming, it is my mind's way of telling me I need to pause, observe and create more space.
When my kids jump on the couch screaming and I feel my insides bubbling up, can I pause before I yell at them? Can I create more space within to choose an assertive yet peaceful response?
When thinking of creating space, the first objection I hear is actually about time: "But I don't have time to create space!"
Have you ever noticed when you go on vacation, time seems to slow down? The reality is time is a human construct. Time expands and contracts with the state of your mind.
If you are constantly in a hurry, rushing to get things done, time contracts and your mind creates the reality that there is not enough time. There's no opportunity to create space.
On the other hand, if you choose to slow down and create space to reprioritize what is crucial, to strip down to the essential, to reconnect to your bigger vision, so much transformation and peace can make their way into your life.