spread out your arms, they tell you. stretch your legs wide and let your limbs venture off the mat, they tell you. this is savasana. this is five-pointed star. this is your moment to take up some space. don’t be afraid to do it, they tell you.
for the past six years I’ve lived in a bedroom the size of a large closet. eighty-eight square feet once hated and despised, now adorned in prayer flags and twinkle lights and thrifted furniture, scented with patchouli incense and wide open windows. as soon as I learned to embrace it, it treated me well. it’s become my sanctuary, my breathing space, and it’s not uncommon for anyone to walk in and tell me it feels peaceful there, that from the road the windows into my bedroom exude warmth and belonging.
slowly it seems I’ve been growing out of it. slowly the walls feel as if they’re closing in and the floor space is disappearing and I can’t breathe as easily as I once could.
but as it turns out, the walls aren’t closing in. the floor isn’t disappearing. all eighty-eight square feet are still there, same as ever. it was me, creating that closing-in.
because now I found myself out of that bedroom…..and yet still in that small space. once those walls are built up…..well, they’re hard to break down. I find myself now outside of my bedroom, outside of my small town, outside of my home state. I find myself in a gorgeous, spacious loft, with high ceilings and high windows and lots and lots of open air. I find myself in a busy city, with people and streets and energy, more than I’ve ever known before. and yet, I can still feel my walls around me. wherever you go, there you are.
in the tiniest of moments, I break down the walls with a breath. not a small quiet breath to merely pass the air, but a large lung-expanding inhale and exhale. sometimes when it gets too quiet and I’m feeling too compressed, I take one of those large lung-expanding gulps of air and feel my self taking up space. my lungs fill and my chest grows big. it’s loud and the noise fills the silence. I let it all out and feel how the air has changed, the space around me feeling different. in that one breath, I take up space.
I wish for more of these breaths.
I wish for my eyes to be open wide.
I wish for my feet to take steps firmly and noisily.
I wish to speak loudly and unabashedly.
I wish to look around, hard, and really see.
I wish to move my body freely and without inhibition.
I wish to be as present as possible, in whatever space I find myself in.
not afraid to take up too much space. not afraid of the outcome.
me. wholly. fully.
taking up space.