The Art is the Space Between

    Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto, Japan

    “Right now, and in every now-moment, you are either closing or opening. You are either stressfully waiting for something–more money, security, affection–or you are living from your deep heart, opening as the entire moment, and giving what you most deeply desire to give, without waiting.” –David Deida, author and teacher.

    Last month I was busy doing a lot of goal-setting for 2013. Call me crazy, but I believe October is a great month to start planning out next year’s goals. I have big dreams for 2013, in all areas of my life, and when I think about all I want to accomplish I get really excited—and then bam. I come back to reality and instantly begin to feel really uncomfortable. Has this ever happened to you before–you think about the future and get incredibly excited about all that is coming, and then fall back to a place of extreme discomfort and pain?

    When I was in Japan a few years ago, I went to the Ryoanji temple in Kyoto, which is considered to be one of the finest examples of a rock, or Zen, garden.  The temple is an enigmatic arrangement of 15 rocks clustered in a way that one can see no more than 14 from any single angle. Being the naïve American I was, I had a hard time understanding how this rock garden was considered a temple and why so many people came to see it. I mean, it was just rocks and sand. What was so beautiful about it?  It wasn’t until a few months ago, when I visited the botanical gardens in Denver and saw another Japanese rock garden similar to the one in Kyoto, that I finally understood the beauty of it. While there are many interpretations of the Japanese rock gardens, for me, the art is the space between the rocks.  I think the rocks represent major events or growth stages in our lives, and the sand is the space in between those times.  The space needed to grow, change and evolve so we can move to the next rock formation. The space is the art. How beautiful is that?

    Often we get so caught up in wanting more and more that we forget that space is needed for us to grow and evolve as people in order to reach our next goal. Being the type-A personality that I am, I definitely get caught up in planning out my goals and am always very uncomfortable in the space between my current situation and the things I want for the future. I get all stressed out because I want it all now. I get very impatient waiting. But I’ve also come to learn that the space is necessary for me to grow into the person I need to be in order to reach my new goals. And even though I want to skip over to the next rock, I have to find comfort with where I’m at in the sand. Business coach James Ray calls this the “involution stage”—the stage in the creative process where we need to grow or learn something new in order to start to manifest the new goals or desires we have.

    So what does this mean for your financial life? Well, now is the time to begin working on your personal and financial goals for 2013. Maybe in 2013 you want to pay off your debts, build $10,000 in your savings account or save $5,000 into your Roth IRA. Or maybe it’s the year you’ll finally ask for that big promotion at work or open the business you’ve always dreamed of. Whatever your big financial goals are for 2013, you need to start visualize and define them.

    Once you have your list of goals, you can use the next few months to allow yourself the time and space you need to grow as a person in order to realize them. Maybe that means reading the personal finance book you ordered on Amazon five months ago. Maybe it means hiring a life coach or business coach to help you change your mindset and achieve your goals. Or maybe it means hiring a financial planner to help you create a road map in order to reach your financial goals. Whatever your goals are, it’s important to reach out and ask for help. Otherwise you may become stuck in the space and feel lost and overwhelmed by all that needs to change or happen in order for your dreams to come true. And I know exactly how uncomfortable that is.

    Finally, remember to find beauty in this period of your growth cycle. I’m right there with you. The space is the art, and we need to take time to acknowledge that and remember how beautiful having this time to grow really is. Your financial goals and life goals for 2013 are doable, and you will achieve them when you clarify them, set your mind to them, and continue to take action toward them daily. That action starts from within. Trust in the journey, trust in yourself and take the next step to make what you want happen.

     

     

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