While attempting to creatively cut my own hair today (miss you, Chrys!), I had the book, Margin, pop to mind. Author Dr. Richard Swenson, defines margin as:
“The amount available beyond what’s needed. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. It is the leeway between ourselves and our limits.”
We need margin. Those around us need margin. Without margin, without some extra space between our operating level and our maximum capacity, we are left with fatigue, overwhelm, and anxiety. We are left with less cognitive capacity and negatively tainted perceptions and mindsets.
When asked, and in the quiet that comes after the jokes about toilet paper and social distancing, most people know exactly what they need to create some personal margin. The constraint is often around permission. Permission from self, permission from others, and a false belief that permission is even needed.
Expanding and maintaining our margin is self-work. It is listening to the wise whisper of our inner sage instead of listening to others tell us what we need. It is knowing our truth about what repair and maintenance our being needs right now. It is stepping up to and in to our own life to unapologetically take good care. It is walking the balance of vulnerability and courage such that we deeply care for our self – without needing or seeking the approval of those who don’t walk in our shoes, live with our mind, and see the meta view of our life.
Amidst this time of very personal journeys, here are a few questions to advance your wisdoming in place:
~ What are you learning about yourself during this time in the world?
~ When you look back at now from 3 years from now, how do you want to remember yourself being?
~ What is your future asking for more of?
~ What is it time to say goodbye to so you can say yes to more margin?
~ In what ways do you create the space needed by your body, heart, soul?
~ What have you paused that might never need to restart?
~ What most quickly quiets your inner chatter and settles your restless body?
~ What might you do more (or less) of to create more margin for others?
~ What permission can you give yourself – right here, right now?
Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard Swenson, MD.