Do you remember those bright neon Vacancy/No Vacancy signs that you might see at small town motels?
I remember these signs as a little girl traveling with my family from Houston to Hot Springs, Arkansas for the annual family reunion every August.
In the hotel industry, having no vacancies is the goal and the optimum situation.
When a hotel is full, all of the rooms have been rented out to customers, and the hotel has maximized its potential revenue.
The metaphor of vacancy/no vacancy is a way to think about your inner space and experience—where you place your attention and to whom you give your time and energy.
Like a hotel, you have inner spaces that belong to you, and they are valuable.
You have almost endless possibilities about how, when, where, and to whom you open your inner space, and how much of your internal resources of time and energy you give.
If there was a neon Vacancy/No Vacancy sign above your head that only you could see, what would it say?
Most of us have at least a few—or many—vacancies. This means there are places and spaces inside us that are empty, or vacant.
What should we be filled up with?
Self-love, positive self-regard, a sense of worthiness or enough-ness, peace, appreciation, and self-acknowledgment just to name a few. What would you add to the list?
In a perfect world, every woman would be a No Vacancy person, because she would be filled up with herself.
When you are a No Vacancy person you are the reference point for what you want to experience—the expert on what you need, desire, and dream for your life.
What are the clues that someone has an invisible Vacancy sign above her head? Here are a few:
- You over-focus on other people.
- You spend inordinate amounts of time trying to figure out what another person is feeling, thinking, or doing.
- You feel lost and disconnected from yourself, and persistently look outside to feel filled up.
- You become compulsive about communicating with someone.
- You are preoccupied with other people’s issues or problems.
- While doing any of the above, you neglect, ignore, or fall behind on your own projects, dreams, or desires because your time is being spent on outer instead of inner space.
When any of these are happening for you, you will be less filled up with yourself.
It’s as if we’ve simply given away one (or more) of our valuable inner rooms. And because we’ve given over our inner space to someone or something, we have less to give to ourselves.
If you’ve had many vacancies over a long period of time, you’ll discover that when you return to yourself, you will feel empty, as though there’s no one home.
You will feel lonely because your inner space hasn’t been filled with you. Your focus was elsewhere.
Real-life guest rooms are valuable. To secure one requires that guests jump through a few hoops.
If you want a guest room you have to present some identification like a driver’s license or passport. You’ll also need to prove that you have what it takes to temporarily take up residence there—which in hotel terms means you must prove that you can pay.
The higher bar required to get a hotel room means that we must take seriously who we are renting our rooms (inner space) to.
Ideally, your inner rooms are filled with you.
Being a No Vacancy person doesn’t mean that you are “full of yourself” in a narcissistic way. It means you are full of what makes you who you are—your thoughts, beliefs, values, wants, needs, and dreams.
Exploring where you are on the vacancy/no vacancy continuum gives you important information, and becoming a No Vacancy person will significantly improve the quality of your life.
Being a No Vacancy person means you have sovereignty over your inner space.
So how do you make the shift to becoming a No Vacancy person?
First, simply notice where you are on the continuum from Vacancy to No Vacancy.
Ask yourself how much of your time and energy is spent inhabiting—or not inhabiting—your own inner rooms.
Having this awareness is progress.
And when you get an answer to this question, see if there is a shift that needs to happen, and ask for direction from an inner guide or your Higher Power if you’re not sure.
One of the most effective ways to shift your focus back to you is to ask yourself these three questions in any given moment:
- What am I observing with my five senses, or what can I record with a video camera?
- What are my thoughts and feelings about what I am experiencing?
- What do I want to do about all of that, if anything?
These three questions will help you to begin to fully inhabit the valuable space inside you.
It’s so easy to get sidetracked with other people’s agendas, dramas, and issues, isn’t it?
If you resonate, it’s time to fill yourself up with you.
How do you fill yourself up?
If you’d like some ideas for how to fill yourself up with high quality self-care, read my article 30 Simple Self-Care Ideas
© Victoria Tidwell Palmer (2022)