Finding Your Happy Space: What’s Your Steam Room?



As I think about space, I think about a blank canvas. I think about “uninterrupted.” I think about vast boundaries. I, quite literally, think about two or three full days on my calendar with one start and one end. Not eight meetings in four hours. Not dinner with friends, laundry, a dentist appointment, the gym, etc. 

One start. One end. 

And a whole empty space in the middle to noodle on a select few intentions.

I believe we all need space. That’s my personal philosophy, regardless of your Meyers Briggs profile. And I think space can show up in a myriad of ways, but I’ve found one of my favorite ways to “create space” is by being in one of my “happy places,” turning them into my “happy spaces.” See what I did there? Clever girl, I know.

For me, it’s water. 

One of my happy spaces is Warnimont County Golf Course in Cudahy, Wisconsin. But it’s not because I can pay nine bucks to golf nine holes (which is awesome, BTW). Or that it’s low pressure since it’s a beginner course. Or even that I can stroll along with my pushcart and cooler attachment and drink a tasty beverage while listening to an audiobook on a sunny summer day.

It’s the end of the nine holes. That’s my happy space. The course is along Lake Michigan.

After I’m done, I “treat myself” and always walk over to the edge of the cliff (safely of course) and take a moment to scan the vastness of the water. I love Lake Michigan. You can’t see through to the other side. At this point in the lake, you typically can’t see another person on the water. It’s varying shades of greenish blues and it fades off into the horizon. It’s uninterrupted. 

Another space that brings me great peace and introspection is the shower. Now, stop right there. Just picture me in a wetsuit in the shower before anything gets weird. But it’s the water, it’s always the water. I’ve come up with some of my best business ideas in the shower (and then had to hop out quickly to text/call my team to vet them). And the sound of the water drowns out all other distractions. It’s uninterrupted.

And my newest happy space I’ve discovered is the steam room at the Wauwatosa WAC (Wisconsin Athletic Club). It has become my dedicated meditation room, more or less. The other day, I walked into the steam room trying to figure out how to organize this jumble of ideas that had been bouncing around in my head for about six months. As I sat down on the tiles, with the hiss of the steam, the smell of eucalyptus, and the haze that took over the entire room, I just closed my eyes to think. To be quiet. To be still. I kid you not, within 10 minutes, my eyes flashed open and I had the entire diagram in my head. I almost ran out of the room to write it down so I didn’t forget it. It’s uninterrupted.

So I started to question what it is about this freaking steam room that is so magical to me. 

And then it all started to make sense.

  1. White noise. I am a horrible sleeper. I can never quiet my brain, so I sleep with white noise. (White noise AND ear plugs, very sexy.) But nonetheless, the moment my white noise ends, it signals my brain it’s time to be awake and alert again. The hiss of the steam entering the steam room sounds just like white noise. It creates the space for my brain to relax, slow down, and just be present. 
  2. Lack of stimulation. There’s nothing going on in this room. It’s tiles and steam. And most of the time, the steam is so significant it almost stings to keep your eyes open, so you sit in this hot room with your eyes closed and the only other stimulus is the hissing of the steam and the dripping of the water.
  3. Isolation. I’m almost always the only person there at any given time. And even if someone else is present, the hiss of the steam drowns out any of their breathing, etc. I’m alone. With my thoughts. No distractions. No interruptions.
  4. Water. There it is again. My magic ingredient. This room is a water room. A room of water. Literally from every single angle. Water drops from the ceiling, you sit in water, steam coats your entire body. Water is everywhere. I don’t know what it is, but it soothes me. It brings me peace. It’s my serenity.

So why am I sharing this? 

Because I encourage you to find “your space.” 

And when you find it, question why it’s so magical to you so you can find more spaces with those same ingredients. 

I believe we all need “space.” We need space to think and build and create. I’m confident that space looks WILDLY different for everyone, but I think it’s important to still identify what that means for you. How it shows up in your world. What becomes possible after you’ve spent time in “your space.” What opens up for you when you spend time in “your space.” 

We are all here to bring something unique to the world. We owe it to ourselves and to our communities to name that thing and then, hopefully, find the path forward to honor that thing.

What is your happy space? What’s your steam room?