Who are the visible and invisible people who share your space when you work? The ghosts and the living that sit down with you at your desk when you begin to write, to create, to work with a client?
Sitting down now to write this newsletter I’m surrounded by people. Part of this is because the fire is downstairs, and this is the last day my son is home before he goes back to college tomorrow. So we’ve got family, girlfriends, and dogs all in the living room, playing board games, doing puzzles, and working on business. Cozy, chaotic and distracting.
(I’ve put in earplugs, and this seems to help. But notice...I’m not going upstairs to my office.)
I’ve also got beside me: You, my audience, and my thoughts and beliefs of what you’d like to read. And the voices of colleagues and mentors. And a bunch of indistinct shoulds about how one should or should not write.
The card Freedom is about how we move through the environments we share with others. These can be flesh and blood folks -- family, co-workers, clients. And unembodied presences, such as the internalized voices of our parents, beliefs of our ancestors, and actions of people from our past.
These ghosts that sit next to us take up space as much as the co-worker or family member. Everything takes up space. Whether we are conscious of them or not, they are part of our landscape. We move around them and our choices are influenced by their presence.
When we don’t feel free it is often because we are confused about how to navigate through this landscape of people. How do I move forward and get what I want without razing the desires and choices of everyone else to the ground?
Our ‘Will’ -- the drive to get what we want -- seems to inherently have a direct arrow kind of feeling to it. That may just be its nature. But we do not actually live in a direct arrow kind of world.
Freedom has a looseness about it. It’s not about getting our way. It's about a multiplicity of options and our freedom to check them out. It’s a motion of openness and exploration, moving into the rivulets of opportunity and other people’s worlds. Moving in other peoples worlds, though often ambiguous and not straightforward, expands our opportunities and our sense of being able to move freely about the world.
The fire downstairs is warm, and the company, however distracting, is close to my heart. This newsletter, written in the shared space of the people I love, is different than it would have been if I had closed myself up in my office.
Choosing to be downstairs is freedom.
Moving openly in a space that is not solely of my own making is freedom.
We tend to think that when others share our space, it means less space for us. But sharing space results in more space. It allows us to move in an environment that does not have our habits and perspectives patterned all over it. It is a gift from others that opens up possibilities that otherwise we do not see.
Freedom: How to create a workspace that holds You.
Freedom reminds us that people, visible or invisible, work alongside us and show up in the objects we surround ourselves with. One of the powers of having your own office is that you make decisions about who you invite in. Surround yourself with the voices of those who support and enliven you. Release, transform or eliminate from your workspace echoes of 'shoulds' or voices that make you feel small and constricted. It is your office, and your creative work, and you deserve the boundaries and safety required to thrive.
You are invited to a Fresh Look
If your office or workspace feels funky -- and not in the good way -- you can invite Judith to take a fresh look at your space and get insights on how to bring your office into greater alignment with Who You Really Are. Just ask.
Judith helps you figure out where your desk should go, what color to paint your walls, and all of the little details so you feel more at ease, totally at home, and completely held by your office.
She holds a Masters Degree in Interior Architecture at the University of Oregon and is certified in Design Psychology.
How does this deck work anyway?
I created a deck of cards that ‘reads’ our environments. It's still a little mysterious to me. How, I ask, can the cards 'read' the environment if they can't even 'see" it? However, they have proven again and again to be amazingly helpful in both creating designs for my clients and helping all sorts of people understand their relationship with their workspaces and home spaces in order to feel more spacious, free and alive.
In each newsletter I draw a card for all of us, to help us navigate the month ahead, understand what our collective environment is presenting to us, and suggest small changes we can make to our personal physical space that will support us in the coming month. Would love to hear from you if this card was helpful!
Make your work space as brilliant as you are.
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