I Am Safe In The Nothing Space


Kelsi Cronkright

date published

Feb. 16, 2022, noon



Good morning, friends

Yesterday, while waiting for my teapot to whistle, I caught myself thinking, “I need to sweep the floor and clean the stove. I need to do some laundry and schedule my first dentist appointment in ten years. I need to take my dog out for a walk before dark and get him groomed next Tuesday. I need to vacuum the carpet and clear off the coffee table, and then I can relax.” 

Making tea is my favorite simple daily pleasure. It’s like a hug in a mug. But what happens when this time for myself gets bombarded with thoughts of a never-ending to-do list? Do I ever stop thinking about my to-do list? Is it possible for me to relax without cleaning up first? Do I even feel safe in the nothing space? 

I think I developed this need for hyper-productivity as a way to both prove my worth and avoid my awkwardness - which creates a false sense of control. I am much more comfortable working than I am making small talk, so I never stop moving. I think twenty steps ahead and work efficiently. I will work harder than everyone in the building, even at the cost of my mental, physical, and emotional health. No one can talk shit about a hard worker. 

But, when I live in this constant state of doing, I completely lose myself. I never allow for relaxation or fun or growth. I find it challenging to slow down because that means there is space for vulnerability.

So, how do I begin slowing down and create space for nothing? What if I prioritize, maybe even schedule in my color-coded planner, time for rest and creativity and extreme introvertness? What if, in moments where I catch myself obsessing, I take a deep breath instead? What if the path to healing lives in the nothing space?

What if the next time I find myself heading down the to-do list spiral of doom I switch up the dialogue? What if I tell myself, “I see what you are trying to do here, Kelsi. I know this pattern well. I give you permission to temporarily put the to-do list down. It is safe. I am safe. I know it’s challenging, but there is beauty to be found in stillness.” 

I am safe in the nothing space.




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