My passionate journey to re-cultivate this one thing (….and it’s not what you think it is)


Growing up in the Deep South, while we didn’t have much,

My parents gave me the precious gift of S P A C E.

Space to rock on the front porch and sip sweet tea.
Space to build tree houses in the woods.
Space to make mistakes and learn.
Space to draw and make things.
Space to dream and play.
Space to just be.

As I grew into adulthood and left the comfort of childhood, something strange happened.

I began filling up the space in my life – with things, obligations, a quest for more, more, more.

(from my experience, this happens to far too many of us.)

I am all for a woman a woman filling her life with more beauty, love and joy.

I stand for living an abundant life (emotionally and materially).


The problem comes when your quest for more is built on “not enough.”

I’m not enough.

There’s not enough.

Not enough.

Then, we rush around, stress ourselves out and fill our lives with excess and still feel a lack.

When your acquisition of things and pursuit of goals is built on not-enoughness, you’ll never feel fulfilled.

The moment you reach a goal, you’ll still feel a deep emptiness, and the chase will begin again.

No amount of doing or getting will be enough because it’s based in lack and scarcity.

By early adulthood, I began my attempt to build a beautiful life based on fear (not excitement and joy).

Before long, I felt suffocated.

But, instead of stopping and taking a deep breath, I did what most women do:  more.

Before I knew it, my life was so crammed with obligations, things, people (and God knows what else), I felt paralyzed.

That’s when I turned to food.

Food was how I avoided my own life.

It was how I hid from the truth.

Food was my excuse to not shine and be the woman I knew I could be before I started believing I wasn’t enough.

For me it was food, but for other woman it may be overworking, shopping, alcohol or any behavior that is an escape from our own feeling of not-enoughness.

Then, I went to Paris.

pinterest-space(cliché, I know)

On my last day, I was walking through the Luxembourg Gardens reflecting on what I had experienced over the week.

I saw the most beautiful scene:  people sitting by the fountain reading books, lovers kissing, mothers playing with their kids, old men playing bocce ball.

Then, it hit me.

I remembered what I had deeply enjoyed about my childhood —

The S P A C E to enjoy life.

Yes, I craved S P A C E.

Since then, I have been a deliberate and passionate journey to get back to S P A C E, to drop the constant hustle mentality and to disengage from the do more to be more culture that had squeezed out any room to simply enjoy life.

Creativity, love, joy, elegance, beauty all require S P A C E.  {Click to Tweet}

While I’m as ambitious as they come, love taking action and adore lovely things as much as any woman, I’ve been suffocated enough to know that nothing we seek is found if found by mindlessly stuffing our lives with more.

From countless conversations with burnt out, exhausted and overwhelmed people who deeply want nothing more than to live a beautiful life, I know I’m not alone.

I understand that you may be reading this and thinking (maybe even rolling your eyes):

Well, Tonya, that sounds all fine and dandy. And it’s easy for you to say, but…(insert all the excuses you have and I’ve had).

If that’s you, here’s what I want you to know:

Creating S P A C E requires courage.

My clients will tell you that I am all for taking inspired action in your life.

I am all for you blowing your own mind.

I don’t believe you can sit on your sofa chanting om hoping for your life to get better.

I deeply believe in living passionately and with joy.

You must show up in your own life.

However, if you you are taking action for the wrong reasons and you don’t have S P A C E,  life will feel like a chaotic race that doesn’t have a finish line.

So, let’s have a moment of honesty:

Are you tired?

Do you feel like you’re suffocating?

Do you desire more S P A C E?

While you’re being honest with yourself, think about your current life.

How much of you action is driven by your desire to prove that you’re enough?

My quest for S P A C E has paralleled the cultivating of the belief of “I am enough.”

Creating space in your life is about letting go of the things that no longer serve you.

If you’re ready to enjoy your life more, share one thing you’ll let go of this week.

Don’t forget: it’s an on-going practice!

Related Articles:

Be a Bon Vivant & spread the Joie de Vivre!
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10 Responses to My passionate journey to re-cultivate this one thing (….and it’s not what you think it is)

  1. this blog post made me thing of some of my best childhood memories.
    lying on the grass on a summer day and just watching the clouds drift over.
    wading through waist high grasses in the nearby fields
    riding my bike down cool country lanes.
    I have noticed that The more space I create, the happier I get. I have been looking for my ‘joie’ for years and I think it is on the porch in the space between! loved reading this article Tonya. So I am letting go of thinking, while on the porch, that ‘I had better get busy’.

  2. I am going to let go of the belief that I am unsuccessful because my paycheck is not enough and my job lacks prestige.

  3. Thank you for your thought provoking posts. I love reading all of them! I am a southern gal too and my favorite memories are catching fireflies in a mason jar, riding horses and spending time with my great grandparents. You have and still are inspiring me to look inward and loving what I see. I have a lot of work to do because I have always looked to others for happiness and of course always end up empty and disappointed.

    God bless you.

  4. I really needed this reminder today! Thank you!

    I was getting back into “hustle” mode but this post was a loving reminder that creating the life I desire is an ongoing practice of reflecting on those old patterns, questioning the source and doing a U-turn.

    This week I’m letting go of unnecessary tasks added to my weekend, purely out of fear and I am making space for rest and reflection <3

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