I am sitting here on the couch, looking out of our large glass window at another grey and calm winter morning (quick snapshot below) – just the sound of a single bird highlighting the stillness and one of our dogs still sleepy in the corner. This is what I love about winter it is the perfect time to give myself space, not only physically but also mentally.
2018 was not really a good year but now that I finally found the leisure to reflect I realize that it has taught me a lot. Once I listened I began to understand how to include these learnings into my goals for 2019 but more of that in the coming days and weeks as I want to continue to keep my blog posts short (just long enough ;-)) and focussed.
This post is about my guiding word for 2019 which literally dawned on me this morning. Probably not surprisingly the word comes from Japanese philosophy and it looks like this.
Ma (間) is a Japanese word which can be roughly translated as “gap”, “space”, “pause” or “the space between two structural parts.” The spatial concept is experienced progressively through intervals of spatial designation. In Japanese, ma, the word for space, suggests interval. It is best described as a consciousness of place, not in the sense of an enclosed three-dimensional entity, but rather the simultaneous awareness of form and non-form deriving from an intensification of vision.(From Wikipedia)
Ma is not something that is created by compositional elements; it takes place in the imagination of the human who experiences these elements. Therefore, ma can be defined as experiential place understood with emphasis on interval.
Ma has also been described as “an emptiness full of possibilities, like a promise yet to be fulfilled”, and as “the silence between the notes which make the music”…
Ma brings the concepts of minimalism and lagom (Swedish for ‘just enough or just the right thing/amount’) which have accompanied me over the last years to a different level, changing the focus from reducing (mainly physical items) to providing – space and in addition time.
I read somewhere (but cannot find it for reference) an explanation that I translated for myself as “Ma is the time and space for life and creativity to grow – an emptiness that is filled with feelings and energy”.
So for me Ma means that I will give myself and my creativity – which includes a long list of creative explorations and experiments which I hope you are interested in reading about on this blog – space and time.
I will take a pause from Social Media and also from my business.
Unlike last year where I wrote down my New Year’s resolutions but then basically forgot about them until much later, in 2019 I want to give my goals more focus, following up on them in my newly started handwritten journal and on this blog. No resolutions but just goals for 2019 – and yes, for me there is a big difference. 😉
I like the Japanese kanji for ‘Ma’ as in addition to the written meaning it also has a visual impact – I feel there is a balance between the elements and the space between them. It is such a balance I seek, giving all the important aspects of my life adequate space and time, creating an environment for reflection and growth (personally and creatively).
‘Ma’ consists of the kanji symbols for door and light – a door of which I don’t know where it will lead me but that I will step through, a light that I hope will shine on all of us…
How about you? Do you have a guiding word for the year 2019?
Finally I am wishing all of you a wonderful start into a new year – full of promises and possibilities.
Give yourself time and space to be YOU!