When we are out in public our Personal Space goes with us and it engages others. This combined area of Personal Space interaction is what I call Shared Space. We actually live most of our daily life in Shared Space which is why it is crucial that we create a supportive environment in our private Home Space so we can remain anchored as we engage the world.
The trick to managing yourself in the world of Shared Space is to remember what your kindergarten teacher taught you all those years ago…”take turns and share!” There is a behavior change required while in the Shared Space environment. When by yourself you can sing as you drive and no one will care, you can cook using smelly cheese, and no one will complain, and you can tap your pencil all you want in your private office, and no one will be annoyed. But in Shared Space you need to curtail some of your natural desires and tendencies all while remaining empowered. Sounds like a magic trick doesn’t it? Kind of impossible, you say. How can I be powerful if I am compromising and bending to the will of others?
It’s simple! The answer to this is the whole point of what Personal Space Coaching is all about. You see, it’s ultimately you yourself who will be your “coach” in this self-empowerment journey. Once you discover the energy boosting tips and tricks I have to show you, and implement the ones that make sense to you, you will find yourself so anchored and so centered in your true self that your personal power will remain in full strength no matter what environment you find yourself in. You will be like a deeply rooted willow tree; strong, and tall, yet able to bend with the wind and not snap in two.
A key ingredient to getting along well with others is my Shared Space Guideline.
To thine own self be true
Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you
I am sure you can tell where the Shared Space Guideline comes from; Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and The Golden Rule. You might think this is a little simplistic but there is a reason for that. It is simple but powerful; easy to remember and apply as you engage the world. However sometimes I still I get caught up in the human drama going on around me and when this happens this is what I do to return to center and find my balance…
1. Stop and Pause – take a break from what is going on
2. Apply the Shared Space Guideline to the situation and ask these questions:
Am I being true to myself and what I really need?
Am I staying in my business or am I “minding” someone else’s business?
Am I invading another’s space and stepping on anyone’s toes?
Have my rights been violated?
Is there a way for this to be a “Win-Win” for each of us?
Ask “What would it take” …(fill in the blank with your desired outcome)
Then listen to your inner wisdom and take the inspired action you receive
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and how it works for you. Leave me a comment.
“till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©
Today I’ll conclude my Starbucks observations by reviewing the behavior of everyone in the room, including the “silent” party; the staff at Starbucks.
If this were a full service restaurant you can bet that the staff would have been in charge of the table placement, and if a problem such as this one occurred it would have been handled by management. The lady by the window would have felt she had an intermediary to ask help from if she wanted to. Or the staff would have been monitoring the room and taking care of the guests.
However Starbucks is more of a self-serve establishment. They make your beverage, keep the place clean and will arrange the furniture each evening back to their default design plan but they don’t really get involved with the guests in the room; although if asked they will be happy to help. Even so, a self-empowered employee who valued their work might take it upon themselves to monitor the room, and step forward and resolved this situation. Since this rarely happens it is up to each person to maintain their space the way they need it to be.
If the lady by the window had felt fully empowered I believe she would have spoken up, asked for help from the staff at Starbucks. If she was self-empowered but didn’t want to deal with the hassle this caused, she might choose from a place of power to get on with her day and leave. Since she did leave I have no idea if it was a powerful choice or a victim choice. Her posture had the look of being imposed upon so I suspect she felt dis-empowered. Only she will ever know for sure.
If the two ladies at the table had felt fully empowered they would have looked around the room first then made their table choice more comfortable for all involved by moving the table or choosing the other two chairs (another couple came in later and did just that.)
You might say but they were powerful, they moved in on that window lady and didn’t budge. Nope. That’s not power. True power is polite, open, expansive and loving. Their decision to ignore the discomfort of the window lady, consciously or unconsciously was a selfish choice which is not empowered. Selfishness actually comes from feeling inferior and is similar to bully behavior which also comes from feeling inadequate. Neither of which are empowered even if they appear to be on the surface.
Well, I hope my Starbucks Personal Space observation has whetted your appetite to notice more of what goes on around you in your daily life and thereby become more empowered. Explore this website further for tips and tricks I have learned that will enhance the energy of your total Personal Space expression; your home, your soul, your body and your life.
Let me know what you think…
’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©
Let’s continue the topic of my last two blogs and today let’s look at the actions of the two women who sat at the large square table in the middle of the room.
From what I shared the original post “Coffee Space Invaded,” I bet most of you thought what they did was “rude” behavior; I know I did at first. What else could possibly have been going on for them that they were oblivious to the woman by the window? I say oblivious because I saw nothing in their attitude that suggested deliberately rude behavior. They were simply clueless to the options they could have taken to give the woman by the window space. Nonverbal communication can tell us more than verbal and I saw no smug expressions, no postures of superiority, and no deliberate stares to make the lady by the window uncomfortable. All I saw was a self-contained cocoon of oblivion to the rest of the room.
All of this suggests they came to the table already deeply involved in the topic of conversation they were having.
• Perhaps it was a life or death topic like an illness.
• Maybe they hadn’t seen each other is years and couldn’t wait to catch up.
• One of the women could have been hard of hearing in one ear so they had to sit in the position they choose to communicate.
• Perhaps they were not Americans and to sit that close was not an issue in their native culture.
The point I want to make today is that we just don’t know! But that doesn’t stop us from believing and acting as if we do know. We will believe what we want and not even (usually) question our thoughts. What we choose to believe about what we encounter happening around us can either make us happy or make us sad or not even cause a blip on our personal radar (aka be as oblivious as the two women) it’s our choice completely. I wonder if we are making that choice consciously and powerfully or are we on auto-pilot; quick to judge and cast blame instead of offering help and solutions?
For my part I was thrilled to be seeing my favorite subject in action. I love observing how people react in public. This was an example of what happens in what I call “Shared Space.” Personal Space still exists within Shared Space but the dynamics are different. When we are in Shared Space we are called upon to use the personal power we have amassed. If our personal power is insufficient to deal with the events of life, we will feel it as pain of some kind.
As an act of self-loving kindness, the next time you feel pain from an event you experienced, stop when you can take the time and review it. By doing this you will gain insight and clarity and quite possibly boost your own personal empowerment as a result. Consciousness is power.
Next time I’ll conclude my Eye Witness review by looking at the behavior of the Starbucks staff.
’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©
I was working on a project last week at my local Starbucks when I watched a personal space scenario unfold.
Two women came to sit at the large square table which is normally in the center of the room, but instead was extra close to the window tables. Instead of sitting opposite from each other, they sat diagonal to each other. And instead of sitting in the two locations farthest from the woman next to them at a smaller round table by the window, they sat in the two seats closest to her so that the second lady when she sat down was directly facing the window woman with barely 18″ of space between them. This became obvious to her as she lowered herself into her chair saying self-consciously “Oh, I’m in your space aren’t I?” But instead of changing to the chair on the opposite side of her friend (which would have given the window lady her space back), she just scooted her chair 6″ away, then began to engage her friend in an animate conversation.
I watched as the woman at the window (who had said nothing at all) stiffened, squirmed and shifted in her chair and within 10 minutes she got up and left.
Next, another woman sat at the window table. Starbucks was packed and no other spot was open. She picked the other chair across from the one the first window lady had been in, which was right next to the “space invading” lady. They were practically shoulder to shoulder for a moment when the square table lady sensed an invasion to her space and shifted her seat away a few inches.
Even though this new lady had a better space created for herself, she only lasted in that spot long enough to notice a different spot open up. She got up quickly with here drink and moved leaving that small table open. No one sat there again until the two talkative women left.
Later I looked up from my work only to find a whole new group of people arrive to sit down at the square table, and wouldn’t you know it, they shifted the square table away from the round window tables two feet to gain greater comfort for both themselves and the pair at the window.
I am always amazed when I watch how people take up space and I often wonder if they are even aware of what they are doing. I wonder if that first scenario put a damper on the woman’s day and she didn’t even know why? If she had been self-empowered she could have asked the two at the square table to please shift the table over. But seldom do I witness this. Usually we just move out instead of declaring what we need to strangers. Yet both groups would have been more comfortable with the bold clarification. The two chatty ladies hardly had any privacy for their conversation sitting so close.
Well, perhaps one day we will all get it that we have a right to take up space and get our needs met and we can be bold about it while still respecting the space of those around us. We do this in two ways… first by being aware and asking for what we need and second by being aware of and courteous to the needs of others.
So, what would you have done if you were the lady by the window who had her space invaded? It’s something to think about. If you have an “eye-witness” story to share I’d love to hear it.
’till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©
Have you ever taken a day off “just because?”
I call this a “personal space” day – that time and space you need and don’t necessarily know why and sure don’t feel like explaining it to anyone. The urge for a personal space day comes up from time to time for all of us. I don’t think we take enough of them. These are different from days off, vacation or sick days in that they come about for no good reason! In fact I suggest that you don’t try to justify a personal space day with a reason; just go with the flow. That decision alone is a vacation from what you usually do.
You might ask; “How will I know if I need a personal space day if I don’t have a reason?” You will know because of how you feel. This is a feeling from deep within; it’s not sad, it’s not angry but it is vaguely restless, sometimes moody and very often uncertain as to what you are feeling. Giving yourself space and time to just “chill” will usually bring up what you need to do to refresh and revive yourself. This is usually a day to yourself but sometimes it can include others who are feeling the same vibe and are in sync with you.
There is a quote from the movie [easyazon_link asin=”B003ASLJK4″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”persspaccoac-20″]The Bridges of Madison County[/easyazon_link]The Bridges of Madison County that I love and use often when taking a personal space day;
“We let the day take us where it wanted.”
That in a nutshell is a personal space day; the urge to just up and leave and let serendipity take over. It’s a rest from everything; action, decision, thoughts, beliefs and feelings. Just go with the flow of what comes up. Usually an inspiration is trying to surface but your busy life won’t let it in. Just wait and see what comes up. Keep your journal handy if you want.
When was the last time you took a day off and did “nothing?” How often do you allow yourself this kind of time? I’d love to hear your stories. If you have never taken a personal space day give it a try soon; you’ll be glad you did!
Drop me a line I’d love to hear your thoughts…
‘till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©