White space

I colored a mandala again last week. As I looked at the artists outline I wasn’t sure which were the petals and which the leaves. I reminded myself there were no rules this was now my art—color whatever I wanted. It’s a detailed mandala and I realized my first instinct was to color it all, fill in every blank with color, even the background. Then I stepped back and looked with my inner eye. I opened my mind and stretched myself a bit. Yes, all this from coloring!

I realized it needed the ‘white space’ to help the color pop off the page. Interesting. What exactly is white space and does it apply to more than coloring?  I looked around at my walls and bookshelves. I discovered yes less is more—the empty space allows the painting or photograph to exist in balance with its surroundings. I have a tendency to put too many things on a shelf and so I tried a clearning experiment. I chose a bookshelf I’d already organized/decorated. I took away books and decorations that I was no longer deeply connected to and filled another donation box. The result was white space, or in this case empty space. Room to breath.

What about white space in my life? How does it apply to non-physical space? Space between tasks—breaking up client work and balancing it with self-care or home caring. Space between reading books—so I sit with the experience before diving into another story. Space between giving and receiving. Space for asking and gracefully accepting another’s offer of help. Acknowledging that accepting help is giving a gift. The white space represents balance, harmony, natural flow, and even stillness.

In my practice and life it feels as though I am at a standstill but I realize I am taking action by creating balance and discovering a new way to live and work. Weaving white space and balance into my daily living blends the line between who I am and what I do quite nicely.