Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Art of Yohaku

Do you ever feel that you wake up in the morning, start running and not stop until you collapse in bed at the end of the day? Is there a constant feeling that you run from one thing to the next to the next without any breathing time? Why do we book double meetings and we tend to leave no space for ourselves? The Japanese word Yohaku means white space and it is the white space is left for people to enter. It is left deliberately with the intention to allow people to have a space to go within and reach the core. It does not mean spend time watching TV but it means find time to enjoy time with yourself and with the people you love. When I came across this concept, I couldn't help but think of all those times when I had push myself to the limit trying to do fifty million things at the same time and not leaving any breathing room for myself. How my relationships suffered because I was not present since I had no spare time for anybody or when I had a minute, I was too tired to be able to be present. Many times, we run and live our lives like it is a marathon without realizing that there are certain things nobody but ourselves can do for us. Working out, dedicating time to our spirituality and spending time with our love ones are three things that nobody but ourselves can do. As I have said many times in the past, our bodies are our temples and they carry us around so dedicating some time to exercise and eat well is essential if we are to live our lives in full. Sometimes, when we are on the run, we turn to fast food and we forget that this type of food is like putting cheap gasoline on a very expensive car, it will do the job but it will not be good in the long run. The question is why we always put other people or things first before us? Some people put their work first, some people put their children first, but we don't realize that putting other people first or things first will deplete us and make us empty for others.

In relationships, many times we take people for granted; we assume they will be there forever no matter how little time we dedicate to them or how little we spend together. It's like we believe we bought the lifetime guarantee that things will remain the same forever no matter how much people change. The Art of Yohaku is also about making that time to spend with our significant others and loved ones. Dedicate a full hour to walk in the park and chat, get to see what is going on in that person's life and release the need to be the center or to do other things while spending that time. That's why it is nice to take a walk in the park or go for a cup of coffee, leave your phone and laptop at home and just focus on each other. That time will provide you with what you need to help that relationship grow and become stronger and your soul will be filled since you spent time with the people you loved.

Having time between running errands or dedicating time to ourselves may feel weird in the beginning, but with time and practice, I can assure you it will become part of who you are and it will make you a more harmonious person. I remember many years ago when I started working for the company I work today, I would work 9 to 10 hours straight, no breaks. I would eat at my desk and never step away for a second until I started working with my counselor and she suggested I would take 15 minutes to begin with every day. Today, I am known as the employee who takes her hour lunch every day with no exception. My time is very important to me. It allows me to recover some energy, to break away from the stress, and to be more productive. This is just one example of how creating Yohaku in your life can help you simplify and be in harmony.

Nobody can live our lives for us, nobody can make the decisions for us. It is up to us to create Yohaku, it is up to us to set up boundaries so we are able to live a life in happiness and harmony. We don't have to run from one place to the other. Life is to be enjoyed. You have the power to decide and it is up to you whether you want to live your life running or take the time to know yourself and spend time with your loved ones. In the end of days, it is not the material things that remain but the memories of those special moments we enjoy in our lives.

Blessings )0(

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