I’ve been thinking a lot about “white space” lately. Specifically, how to create more of it in my life and the many benefits of “living life in the white space.”
Having grown up in a family of artists and graphic designers, I often heard reference to the term, “white space,” in discussions about creating “good design.” Simply put, in the context of art and design, “white space” is blank, empty space, devoid of any design elements (images and text).
White space provides a place for the eyes to rest, which our human eyes like. Often referred to as “negative space,” it is considered an important element of design. The proper use of white space brings our eyes and attention to the “positive space” — that of the images and text. The balance between the positive and negative space is the key to creating a harmonious, aesthetic design composition.
In college journalism courses, I learned the same basic principles. It is undesirable to clutter every inch of paper with images and text. In fact, it makes the text difficult to read. The human eye needs blank space. White space promotes better legibility, as well as mental comprehension.
And, as a website designer, I apply this same principle to the websites I design. White space is critical for good design online.
In the field of interior design, white space is also highly desirable. It is the blank space in our home, in our office, a store, a museum, any place that is free of clutter. In our physical environment, it is more than a space for our eyes to rest. It becomes a place for our bodies and minds to take rest and find respite, too.
Have you ever noticed how much more peaceful you feel when you are in a place with empty space, where not every inch of floor and wall space is cluttered with colors, textures, and “stuff”?
Minimalistic and Zen environments are physical spaces rich in empty, “white space.” Simple, minimalistic design promotes a sense of peace. Why? Because the white space gives our minds a place to rest.
So, how can we go about creating more white space in our lives for our hearts and minds to rest and retreat that is on a more internal dimension — not just in our physical environment?
The answer is simple. We schedule “white space time” into our lives. And, we make it a top-priority. For in it, our busy lives shift and become more whole. We have more to offer every other aspect of our lives. Our wheel of life becomes more balanced and our lives become more joyful and fulfilled.
As a society, we get caught up in the busyness of life and fall prey to all the distractions that surround us. The internet, a multitude of electronic devices, TV, fear, worry… The list goes on. It’s easy to fill up our calendars with clutter and mind-numbing distraction.
“Living in the white space” is about clearing the clutter in our daily lives and creating a distraction-free zone every single day. We simply commit to making it a priority. We learn to say, “No,” to time-zapping tasks and people. We nourish ourselves by scheduling quality “white space time” and by making ourselves our number one priority.
We simplify, minimize, and clear the clutter from our calendars. We commit to setting aside time each day to “just be.” To “just be” in the expansive, spaciousness of beautiful, blank, white space.
We practice mindful awareness in this space. We breathe… deeply. We surrender to the stillness, the emptiness, the deep peace. We begin to notice the gap between our thoughts — the sacred space within which the voice of the Divine can be heard.
We give our heart, mind and soul a place to rest, recharge, and be nourished by the Divine. We find a connection with our Higher power. We learn to listen deeply to hear our Highest Self speak.
Within this sacred space, our fears and worries fall away. We become consciously aware of the distractions of everyday life and no longer allow them to control our lives. We take back our power in the white space. We find clarity, balance and Truth.
And, just as with good design, when we create the optimum amount of “empty” white space in our lives to balance and accentuate the beauty of the “full” colorful space, we create a beautiful, whole, harmonious, joyful, balanced, life masterpiece.
© Copyright Valerie Rickel.
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Valerie Rickel is the founder, creator and soul of SoulfulLiving.com.