Part 2 of Creating Joy During a Pandemic: Holding Space for Yourself by Andréa Fekete
I was writing today (with my tea by my side) and feeling especially happy doing that. It made me want to express some ideas about respecting your creative self and the space that self needs to evolve, creatively and otherwise.
Do you hold space for yourself as a feeling being who needs time set aside for only you? How about space for your creative self? Are you making room to complete tasks, workout routines, meditation practices? Are you taking time to write, draw, train, rehearse (insert activity important to you here)?
Or are you letting others crowd you, smother you or manipulate you into neglecting the things that are most important to you?
Maybe they don’t think what you do is important or takes a lot of time. Maybe they think your interests and projects are just cute hobbies because you don’t make a living from that work. Or maybe you shove your interests to the wayside as soon as you get into a relationship, handing over the star role in your film to someone who should be a supporting character.
Are you letting someone else take up space in your life that should be devoted to your self-care or creative projects? That’s just a way to procrastinate. Sometimes we procrastinate when we‘re scared of failure.
Are you letting others slow or interrupt altogether your growth emotionally or creatively to avoid taking responsibility for your own energy and creative fulfillment? Yes, what we allow is our fault and in our control. You’re not a victim of other people’s selfish whims. People only respect boundaries if they see them clearly. People don’t “allow” you to have space. You have to hold space for yourself.
If you do not hold space or hold boundaries, neither will be respected. Take control of your creative life and emotional health by holding space and time for yourself. If someone cannot respect your need for space, you’re with a codependent, not a partner.
No matter what level you are performing athletically, what level you‘ve reached artistically, no matter where you are in your mental or emotional growth as a person, the lesson is the same for all of us. If you do not show others that you respect your body, your mind, your space, your artistic, domestic or athletic pursuits, and your time? No one else will respect any of those either.
I’m so grateful to enjoy the bliss of writing in solitude. I feel joy and wholeness while I do that. This here is my space! :)
I encourage you all to take the space you need, too. No one in your life needs an unhappy you. So make yourself happy and start by holding boundaries and taking up space.
Choose to hold space for yourself, and you’ll rise into the greatest, truest version of you that you can be, however that looks to you. It’s different for everybody, but the path is the same.
You can reach me, Andréa at email@example.com
Andréa Fekete's literary novel of the historical coal mine wars, Waters Run Wild, (2018) explores women's & immigrant life in the coal camps of West Virginia. She has one poetry chapbook, I Held a Morning (2012). Her poetry & fiction appear in many journals & anthologies such as Chiron Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, The Kentucky Review, The Montucky Review, The Smithville Journal, The Adirondack Review, ABZ, and in anthologies such as Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction & Poetry from West Virginia, among others.
She & Lara Lillibridge co-curated Feminine Rising: Voices of Power & Invisibility (2019) a collection of poetry & essays from 70 award-winning & emerging women writers in 12 nations & every corner of the US. This year, the book took the Silver in Foreword's Indie Book Award of the Year in Women's Studies.
An excerpt from her newest unpublished novel Native Trees was a finalist in Still: The Journal's 2019 Fiction contest. In 2016, she was awarded a Fellowship from the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for the Arts to take residency at the internationally renowned Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
She taught college English & writing for almost 15 years at multiple universities in West Virginia, Kentucky & Ohio where she was student-nominated for teaching excellence awards.
She is founder & CEO of Guest Room Press. In addition overseeing operations, she serves as manuscript consultant for adult commercial & literary fiction, offers private writing instruction, public speaking lessons, & creativity coaching.
Her newest chapbook, Dear Lovely will be released September, 2020.