Recently, I received a message from a dear friend of mine. She wrote to me: "I am now in an empty space. I trust and explore what wants to unfold." She had applied for a job that she was interested in after her practice had to close due to COVID-19. The job application was not positive and she felt okay with that. She stayed with it. She didn't go into despair and frustration. She took the time to go for long walks, to sit in stillness, to be creative and open the space to whatever wants to present itself.
Empty Space holds so much potential. As leaders we need to create such empty spaces especially during times of uncertainty and disruption as this will assist us to stay calm, present and be creative and innovative.
I would like to take you on an exploration around the creative potential of empty space using a piece of plain white paper as a simple example. At the beginning, it is completely empty. It's just a white piece of paper. There's nothing on it. But if you were to pick up crayons, colouring pencils, watercolours, different arts mediums, a pen, a pencil, whatever it is, you could start creating something. You could make a drawing or a painting. You could put your hand on the piece of paper and start tracing it. So when you lift your hand off the paper you would be looking at the outline of your hand and your fingers.
You could put dots on to the paper. You could just scribble around or even just draw one single line, one single dot. It is really up to you what you would like to create on that originally empty white piece of paper. Effortlessly you become an artist.
You could just take a pen and start writing, like writing a story, writing your thoughts down, writing a book or start writing the script for a movie. Suddenly you are a creative writer. It takes very little to do that.
Another option would be to make a collage or create a vision board.
You could be creative in a different way with that white piece of paper that's empty and plain. You could turn it into a hat. Just fold it into a paper hat. The paper hat could protect you from paint if you are painting the walls and suddenly it becomes practical and has another function. You could create a paper plane out of it and send it flying across the space. So you could even play with your creation. You could make origami from it and turn it into different figures and play with it or have a nice decoration.
Another possibility to be creative with that plain white piece of paper is to glue something on to it such as wool, matches, small colourful balls, other paper pieces, leaves, cones, anything really. The piece of paper could also have different sizes and shapes. It could be small or big, shiny or matt, square or rectangular.
Can you see the different possibilities that an empty space, a plain white piece of paper can hold? You start of with an empty space, an empty piece of paper, plain white paper and suddenly you turn into a creator.
Now there's something really fascinating to become aware of.
Once you have drawn something or painted something, made a paper hat, origami or a plane you can put it aside. You can leave it just sitting there. You can simply look at it or maybe even admire your creation and feel it’s completed. Or you can add something to it. Maybe you would like to add more colour to the piece of paper later again or add something to your drawing because it does not feel finished. You might decide that you would like to colour the paper hat or plane because you had left it plain white before.
Five or ten minutes later, an hour later, a day, a week, months later you can start with another empty space again, another piece of plain white paper or choose a different colour of paper. But let’s stay with the white paper. It's plain, it's empty, there's nothing on it. You can again create something new and you can repeat this cycle over and over again. You simply start with emptiness.
If you were to move that exploration and experience to your own life or maybe even business what would that look like?
What potential could unfold in our lives if we did that more often – create, sit and step into empty space, start with a new empty canvas as often as we want to. We could keep emptying our minds, clearing them, clearing the clutter that's distracting us, clearing everything around us. Removing everything that might be in the way from accessing our deepest states, our creative states and accessing this empty space that holds so much potential for creation but also for stillness for allowing to hear, see and feel what wants to unfold.
The magic happens outside the comfort zone and the unknown will never let you down! Dare to go into the empty space. Dare to be your true self. Dare to hear your calling. Dare to live your purpose. Dare to be a leader. Dare to be a creator! And take a piece of plain white paper, sit in front of it, look at its emptiness, close your eyes for a moment, breathe, connect to the empty space and when you open your eyes, allow to unfold whatever wants to unfold in the moment.
Pause here for a moment. Close your eyes, take a few deep breath and imagine you are in an empty space and you are walking into this empty space. Imagine that right now you are sitting, standing or lying down in an empty space. Maybe you are even floating or observing the empty space from above or from a distance. How does that feel? What does it look like? What would you experience in that empty space? What would you see in that empty space? How would you feel and who would you be in that empty space? And what could you create in that empty space? In this moment, there's nothingness. There is just emptiness. And for a moment we might feel scared, because it's empty. There's nothing there. But if we take a step back and simply observe, take the time to become the observer and become aware of the potential - it is incredible what could unfold. It is us who are the creators and can create anything in or with that empty space.
I hope you did take a moment to close your eyes and breath and sense into that empty space! How did it feel to be there?
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