Develop Your Own Space Program

Some of my work requires me to sit down and be my own taskmaster. Confirming my sessions with clients, editing my videos, proofreading; these parts of my weekly schedule require me to focus from the start. I need to tap into my organizing and detail-oriented skills.

However, much of my work is creative. For me, creativity doesn’t start with sitting down to work. It requires some time to “space out.” I need to empty the bowl in order to fill it. To paraphrase Max Strom: When somebody says ‘I need a minute to think,’ what they are really saying is ‘I need a minute to space out.’

Yoga and meditation can be these not-thinking times for me. I’m tuning in, of course, but I’m not thinking. This can also happen sitting on my front porch, watching what the birds and squirrels are doing. Space in my life is a necessary precondition for me to create.

It’s with this in mind I offer the perfect poem for this effortless effort. Enjoy, and have a good week, whether you’re thinking or spacing out.

“When the Shoe Fits” by Chuang Tzu

Ch’ui the draftsman
Could draw more perfect circles freehand
Than with a compass.

His fingers brought forth
Spontaneous forms from nowhere. His mind
Was meanwhile free and without concern
With what he was doing.

No application was needed
His mind was perfectly simple
And knew no obstacle.

So, when the shoe fits
The foot is forgotten,
When the belt fits
The belly is forgotten,
When the heart is right
“For” and “against” are forgotten.

No drives no compulsions,
No needs, no attractions:
Then your affairs
Are under control.
You are free.

Easy is right. Begin right
And you are easy.
Continue easy and you are right.
The right way to go easy
Is to forget the right way
And forget that the going is easy.