Tending the space within

Belonging is an inside job.
— SN

Once upon a time I wanted to be the innkeeper of my own B&B. Actually, it wasn’t just once but three times that I yearned for and pursued that dream; until one day, I realized the dream had nothing to do with a business and everything to do with me.

Innkeeping appealed to my desire to serve others by creating a space where they would feel welcome and well cared for, and where they would feel both nourished and nurtured. The journey to being an innkeeper, though, was about so much more than the physical space. What I desired to give others, I yearned for myself. The journey, it turns out, was about being the innkeeper of my soul and tending the space within me.

Part of the journey has been about tending to my sense of belonging. At different times in my life, I have searched for where I belong, trying to find my place. It’s not that I hadn’t found my place and been exactly where I belonged many times in my life. The challenge always came when I forgot where that place was—always within me.

This remembering to remember me may seem like a no-brainer. I mean, who forgets to remember themselves? As an introverted, empathic, and highly sensitive woman, however, it was easy for me to abandon myself when I identified my sense of belonging as something outside of me—a job, a relationship, or a house, for example. I lost my sense of self when I put others’ needs, wants, and desires ahead of my own. This led to feelings of emptiness, discontent, loneliness, and dissatisfaction on a very deep level.

In fact, life in general with all its demands, obligations, and expectations was enough for me to steadily lose my sense of self over a 10-year period. What eventually woke me up was something completely unexpected—space. When my life slowed down, I found myself with space to connect with my true self. In this space, I remembered that I matter. That I was worthy of the life I wanted and deserved a life I loved.

What I have come to know is that creating and tending that inner space where your true self resides is essential to being the innkeeper of your soul. Without space, it’s all too easy to lose that sense of belonging to yourself and to forget who you are at the deepest level. Space allows you to remember that you matter. That you are worthy of what you want and that you deserve a life you love.

The road home to myself, of belonging to myself, hasn’t always been smooth or swift but tending to my internal space has made all the difference. From this place, I have learned to listen to the still, quiet voice inside me; to trust my desires; and to choose my own way of being. This has led to a life I love, which includes helping other introverted, empathic, and highly sensitive midlife women become the innkeepers of their souls.

You can read more about my story in the following blog posts: