When there’s not enough space for what’s seeking to come through you

When there’s not enough space for what’s seeking to come through you

In my last post, I explored a reason why pain persists despite applying all kinds of inner healing work to that part of your life.

I shared about the epiphany I received around “the gap that brings pain”: When there’s a dichotomy between what you’ve experienced in your inner places and what you observe in the external world, that’s prone to cause you to feel pain — until you’ve allowed it so thoroughly that your being permeates that space and is only in love there, in the middle of the gap.

A couple days after writing that email, I received an email with this quote from Elizabeth Gilbert: “Any talent, wisdom, or insight you have that you don’t share becomes pain.”

This, it feels, points to another reason why pain persists: so much is seeking to come through you, yet there’s not enough space to fully bring it.


Enter my bouts with depression. There’s a recognizable pattern that’s emerged:

  • I feel low, potentially from the pain of loneliness that got triggered by an instance of awareness of the gap between what could be and what is, but I’m not fully in love in the space of that gap.
  • There’s not enough energy to do my work.
  • I lie around all day and watch TV shows or read novels in an attempt to entertain myself, feeling more and more miserable.
  • The way to get out of feeling miserable is to watch more TV shows, because while I’m watching them, I move out of the pain and into temporary interest and curiosity.
  • The instant the shows are turned off, I feel far worse than when I started, totally depressed, and unable to do a single f’ing thing.

Thankfully for me, another aspect of my regular patterns is having renewed energy at the start of a new day. I normally wake up with a capacity to engage with life, so when I’ve gotten stuck in these depression patterns, I’ve found it to be critical to harvest that early-in-the-day energy to come back to my work. If I start the day back in entertainment, it leads to more of that downward spiral.

I’ve realized that a big driver of the increased misery and that sense of a depressive stupor is because I didn’t do my work. There’s so much continually seeking to come through me, yet for years I’ve captured that content, even organized it, but rarely shared it. When it’s not shared, and the cycle doesn’t complete, or when I don’t even invite and make space for what’s seeking me, that leads to great pain.

It’s also pain that comes from an experience of a gap: I’ve already experienced what it’s like to be with what wants to find me, to let heaven through my body and express out into dance, into writing, into an inner voice recording, or any other format. And when I’m not doing that for extended periods of time, I feel stunted, stifled.

When I don’t bring heaven through my human portal, I feel half-alive.


Last weekend my kids’ dad came for the labor day weekend, intending to tent-camp next to my RV. After years of working towards a healthy dynamic post-divorce, we’ve pretty much created a friendship around the context of raising our children. So having him around feels like a family visit these days, pretty neutral and sometimes fun.

But I didn’t give that much intention to how the visit was to be structured, or whether the 3-day plan would be quite suitable for me.

On Saturday, we had a lovely day with the kids at a lake — a pretty much perfect day, as family time goes. Sunday morning started fine with a great conversation. But Sunday afternoon it started to rain, and then downpour. The tent can withstand a lot of rain, but when one of the kids inadvertently emptied some of that puddled water inside the tent, things started looking a lot more bleak.

That external context seemed to express my internal feelings.

It was starting to be too much to have my ex-husband camping there. There was a need to get my space back. I felt anxiety racing up, and a panicked feeling emerged. The rain made an excuse to ask him to leave early. Yet requesting this, I knew, would only make matters worse, because it would activate his own triggers of feeling unwelcome, re-opening his old wounds from my decision to divorce.

Beyond that, it wasn’t logistically realistic or kind to ask him to all of a sudden pack up and leave, late in the day, with a 3 hour drive + ferry ride needed for him to get home, and the ferry must be booked in advance. So in that moment, it felt that there was no option.

I didn’t even have a full-fledged understanding of why I suddenly needed him gone. Sure the rain made the outdoor areas un-usable, and there’s my own old triggers of panic in not having enough space with him too close, for too long.

But there was more to it than that.

I also had an underlying awareness that there was a deep inner voice session and unpacking that I needed to have before my community call would be held on Tuesday. I knew that though he was planning to leave on Monday afternoon, the late-afternoon energy while recovering from family time wouldn’t suffice for doing deep inner work. I could sense that more time would be needed than the hour I’d have available Tuesday morning, before the call.

So the only possible time was Monday morning, but I could feel the family visit demanding that time from me.

I didn’t need another day of visiting. I wanted my daughter to have enough time with her dad (but didn’t have a clear definition what “enough” time would be), but what was far more true on my own inside, and where I could feel the alignment, is I needed to somehow make Monday morning my own sacred space for my own deep work with no kids nor ex-husband around, no one in my space making requests or demands or even doing their own thing in any proximity to me whatsoever.

I could feel Something seeking me, and that Something needed space. It needed uninterrupted time. It needed my dedicated, undistracted attention and ability to express verbally with no sense that any other human could possibly hear me speaking or interrupt my process.


Though my mind was racing with panic, and I felt trapped, I also didn’t have it in me to give the family visit that Monday morning time.

So pretty awkwardly, I approached a conversation. When hinting around about the rain in the tent didn’t work, I finally came out and told him I need to work tomorrow.

As I knew it would, my saying that (from my place of fear) naturally led to his own trigger, and by the next morning, what I had dreaded had happened. It was clear that he was in pain body, feeling unwelcome, desperate to stop himself from taking up space that I’d said I needed.

I hated seeing him like that.

I’d known that if I spoke up, his pain would be the result.

But one of my core values is integrity, and one thing that means to me is bravery to state my truth and live according to my internal alignment, even in the face of internal fears or external pressures.

So on that Monday morning, even though I had to deal with the guilt that I’d caused someone pain, I knew I’d acted according to my own alignment, and that felt true, under the painful external circumstance.

And when he left with the kids that morning, I was able to let go of that guilt and begin to do my deep work.

One of the first things that emerged in that morning work session was an email that included the Elizabeth Gilbert quote I shared above: “Any talent, wisdom, or insight you have that you don’t share becomes pain.” It felt available to text him the quote and thereby give a more neutral explanation as to why I needed the space, and why it’s not something bad about him. And semi-magically, he seemed able to receive it, let go of his own pain, and have fun with the kids.

The inner voice session I came to during that Monday morning work session opened the way to my own next evolution. It was an invitation to step into the empowered coach that much more emphatically calls for you to create your own space, your own time, for your own deep work.

So that’s what I’m here to do.

An invitation to create your own dedicated space and time for inner work

I’ve noticed some frequent obstructions to making space and time for deep work:

  • Other people’s demands
  • An encroaching of shiny objects (aka distractions) whenever we don’t consciously reinstate and hold firmly our core choice to create this space
  • Not having a physical space and specific time where you feel private and can't be overheard
  • Our own rule-making minds that make that time feel effortful

That last one is a doozy. And it’s been a big reason for me that for years I didn’t have a dedicated time block for inner work, even though that work was the biggest and most important part of my life, and I engaged in it extremely frequently.

But in my Christian past, I was taught that one “should” get up early and spend at least an hour studying the Bible and praying. A mentor at a leadership training school I attended would even get up at 4 am, every day, and spend 2-4 hours in “devotional” time.

So the goal to be the “best” or even “good enough” at taking the time for your inner being can become its own blocker.

Because even though it’s critical to have space and time dedicated to what’s far beyond the mundane demands of daily life, and even though it’s true that if we don’t make the space, the magic that could happen won’t happen, it’s also apparent that the mind is going to make rules about it.

In fact, the more critical you believe it to be, the more likely the mind is going to try to make rules and set up a controlling system to force it to happen, and that control can feel extremely constricting, especially when it’s around the action that’s meant to make you feel more free, more expanded, more aligned and in tune with Source and your deepest core truth.

So when the system that’s meant to help you set aside deep-work time starts to feel like just another mind-means to control you, that drive to be free can outweigh the urge to maintain your routine, and you might decide to not set up a dedicated time, but to just allow it to happen when it can happen.

The tactic of allowing life to flow as it will, and for space and time for your deep work to emerge whenever it happens to be available, can be very needed, useful medicine, along the way.


But there may come a time when you feel ready to set up your life toward establishing a workable, habitual routine for making space for inner work, that’s not based in fear, nor mind-rules, but that is more just what you happen to do at that time.

It’s setting up time like a cupboard that’s where you choose to put those “pantry items”. Because those “items” are important to you, because they’re critical to the life you’re choosing to create, you keep them in your most accessible cupboard.

That’s how it’s feeling now to me. I know there’s this sweet spot after breakfast, especially when my daughter’s at school, when I’m most energized, fully awake, feeling creative. That’s the time of day that I’ve found to be ideal for the deep work. And when that deep work is coming to find me, I know I need to clear that mid-morning time and make it available to Source to speak to me, or to create through me.

These days, I still don’t force it to happen all the time. I don’t demand it, but I do make space for it. Rather than a rigid rule, it’s more like spiraling around coming closer to a sweet spot of a workable cupboard of time that generally happens and is super supportive of my inner journey.

How to make your own dedicated space and time for your inner being

To make this time happen regularly, it takes a core choice to create that space, and then it needs to be turned into a habit so that it becomes a normal part of your routine that is naturally triggered at that time of day.

Watch for the part of the day when it feels most natural to do that inner work. Let it sort of percolate through your day. Smell the whiff of when the energy is gathered for that, and then use it.

I’m going to give a suggested homework exercise here. If it’s useful and helpful and doesn’t feel too much like mind “shoulds”, find your own time for exploring around this topic, and be with these questions:

  • What is getting in the way of making regular time for your inner journey?
  • What times of day are most likely to work for your routine?
  • What is your core choice around making space for your being to bring wisdom to you?

If your answers don’t feel too private, please comment below and share — I’d love to hear.


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