The start of the new year is a good time for many to reflect on the past year and set intentions for the coming one. Swati Malik shares how to create space to give your inner and outer self room to breathe.

Sitting by my window one morning, the bulbuls with their bright red whiskers were perched on the sill orchestrating a beautiful symphony, the sun was spreading its golden yellow light and warm glow. As I pondered, the thought emerged: space gives wings to every relationship — personal and professional.

Many times I have heard people — and sometimes the voices in my own head — say “I need space.” While some of us are fortunate to have enough space in our lives to be empowered to make our decisions, evolve and grow, there still might be an inner voice gasping for a quiet space in the room, a quiet space in the mind.

While we often seek outer space believing it will give us the so-called calm or break we desire, we are ignorant of the fact that it is quite the contrary. What we actually need is to create a balance between inner space and outer space. SPACE stands for:

S – Silence/Solitude

P – Practice

A – Acceptance

C – Compassion/Connection

E – Empathy/Experience

One way we can get to that inner space is by practicing (P) mindfulness. Mindfulness helps provide us with silence (S) inside so we can make progress toward better connecting and experiencing the outer/manifested world through acceptance (A), compassion (C) and empathy (E).

SPACE is a powerful tool that helps us expand, adapt and embrace. It helps us create balance so that the outer space then becomes an automatic extension and reflection of the inner space we experience within ourselves. Together, inner and outer space help us to listen, respond, nurture, and grow inclusivity in our families, workplaces and communities. This inclusivity lends power to every individual to be their best self; it bonds and creates a purpose and makes a powerful impact.

Over the years, I have realized that inner space calls for constant practice and persistence. It calls for taking complete ownership and responsibility with ourselves. Following the path of least inner resistance calls for a very strong will and determination. The space we create in our inner journey gives wings to our outer sojourns in life! I invite you to find SPACE for your inner and outer self this year!