I recently bought a new rug for my studio apartment. I moved some furniture around too and I put old art up in new places. My mom and I dragged a shelf across the room and I set my TV on it along with some plants and a raccoon skull that had been keeping on top of my refrigerator. It’s amazing what changing the space has done for my energy, my sense of pride in my little home, and how hard I work to keep it clean and tidy.

My physical space is not something I usually think too hard about. I’ve been know to let my recycling pile up into a complicated mountain, where only I know how to add new items without it tumbling down. I still have to reach under my bed to a power strip to charge my phone, something that is neither practical or necessary as it would be easy to reconfigure the cord to make this task more convenient. Fortunately at the Mothership, our partner Megan looks after our communal spaces and makes them both comfortable and beautiful to look at. I find I need this orderly, separate space to be able to do my work well.

What kind of space does your creative work have? Does it have it’s own physical space, and does it need it? Does it have enough of the intangible space (the space that time and energy creates)?

Use the following inventory to get a sense of your space:

When we twist around, hit up against hard boundaries, when we are afraid and when we are inward, then perhaps we have outgrown the space we are in.¬†For some of us, it’s difficult to take up space. Both in the physical sense as well as in other more liminal places: in conversations, in decisions, in processes, in consideration. We get too compact, too tight, and too tiny. The remedy is a physical expansion. It’s to stake a claim on desk, a room, an hour. Or to lay with our arms wide open and imagine ourselves so large that we are no longer afraid.

When we are confused, repetitive, shuffling things back and forth, moving without getting anywhere, spending time but getting nothing in return, perhaps we need a more orderly space. The remedy is to clean house. Remove clutter. Throw away ideas that aren’t propelling you forward. If you cannot focus, make yourself an organized container and see what happens.

When we are spread too thin, pulled in too many directions, when we are feeling exposed and vulnerable, perhaps we have gotten too big (for the time being). The remedy is privacy. It’s okay to withdraw, to curl up, and to hibernate. Find private space, quiet space. Close the door, close the blinds, spend a little time in low light. Do something tiny, but make it something that feels good. Move one gentle inch.