We’re back with another simple experiment for you this week, and it’s all about empty space.
Emptiness gets a pretty bad reputation. Seen as a negative trait, a lack of personality, a boring experience for a boring person. But I personally am a big fan of emptiness and this week Ben and I talk about the fact that there is something wonderful to be gained by embracing a little empty space in your home, your days, your head…
At the end of the episode we encourage you to live with one completely empty space in your home – one shelf, a drawer, one wall or your coffee table – for a week. But the reality is that you can choose to create a little emptiness in a lot more places than your physical environment.
Emptiness allows your eyes or mind somewhere quiet to rest, somewhere that isn’t completely overwhelmed by options and stimulus, and when we notice that emptiness and the feelings it brings up (maybe we’re a little unnerved or twitchy?) it actually encourages us to go a little deeper:
- Why do we feel that way?
- What stories are we telling ourself because of it?
- Are we holding on to things simply out of habit?
- What if we fought through that feeling of discomfort?
- What is on the other side?
This week isn’t about convincing you that emptiness is something you should like. In fact, you may discover that you really miss the photos, the books, the cushion or the vases that you pack away, which is great. Because what this very simple experiment is doing is asking you to pay attention, to be intentional, to tap back in to your reasons for having things, rather than operating on auto-pilot. So while it might look like an experiment about stuff or space, it’s actually a reminder to notice more.
Of course you may also realise (much like we did when we removed all the artwork from our walls) that you enjoy the emptiness, and that’s awesome too.
So this week, simply try living with one empty space. Pack up everything on the coffee table, the bedside table or the dining table for example, and just see how you feel about it over the coming days. See what you miss, see what you don’t miss. Notice what you do or don’t like about the emptiness and use that noticing to propel you towards a little more intention in your days.
Let us know which space you’ve chosen to empty and how you find the following week. What did you struggle with? What did you enjoy about it? What did you keep or let go of or forget about completely?