The Making Space for Yourself Podcast


 Making Space for Yourself (MSY) has expanded from its origins as a one day workshop offered as part of the 2018 Witching Hour Festival in Iowa City. He was inspired (indirectly) by a friend to develop this workshop into the form of a podcast. Daniel thus spent January through March of 2019 thinking through, researching, writing, and editing the script for MSY before recording it with Benjamin Schmidt of Rescued Rabbit. He had met Benjamin while working with the Awful Purdies on their song “45,” and realized that Nicole Upchurch’s banjo line would serve as the perfect bumper music for the podcast—fortunately, she was willing to allow its use.

The initial MSY project investigates ten different “spaces,” or ways of making space for yourself. Starting with an “introduction,” the series moves through three different kinds of space—absence, presence, and potentiality—and provides an arc that lets listeners move beyond the appearances of the everyday world. Doing so makes space for you to become reacquainted with the foundational strength of your true self, which is confident, calm, and capable of enjoying the depths of delight. After realizing that the project had taken on a life of its own, Daniel decided to invest more deeply in the project and expand its possibilities.

Podcast Installments (Fall 2019)


Daniel spent March-June of 2019 working on a series of short (two minute) meditations that broke each of the spaces into an arc encompassing five movements: attention, awareness, attunement, appropriation, and actualization. These were paired with a gesture intended to anchor a navigation through that space in an embodied form. The goal of these installments is to learn how making the space feels internally—in an embodied, psychological way. Following the meditations, Daniel worked with composer and musician John Rapson. Rapson’s compositions—the soundtrack to Making Space for Yourself—were performed by Rapson, Daniel Gaglione, and Ryan Smith.

Digital Spaces (Anticipated early 2020)

Throughout the summer, Daniel was also working with graphic designer Bree Glenn on ways of seeing the spaces using the iconic simplicity of tarot cards as a reference. The result is a beautiful set of striking, simple images that anchor and expand the experience of exploring each space. This phase of expansion takes the form of a series of webpages anchored in Glenn’s artwork. It will hold the initial 25 minute description of the space, the five installments released this fall, and will add a .pdf of a journal that you can download. The journal contains questions to guide you through how you make the space as a form of self-exploration. Finally, these digital spaces would offer a five part set of instructions that would guide you through what it might mean to make spaces in the external world.

Printed Books (Anticipated autumn 2020)

There’s a value to hearing an author’s intonation of words and to be transported through the sound of a voice, but there’s also a value to reading things at your own pace, making notes that work for you, finding familiar places that you want to revisit. One of Daniel’s initial goals for Making Space for Yourself was to procure a publisher who would print an expanded version of the podcast, including content that he had to edit out due to time constraints and a supplemental essay about some of the foundational beliefs and assumptions that anchor the MSY project. This would also include a bibliography that will allow you to research how to make space for yourself by yourself.

A second book, which has been planned from the beginning, is the Making Space for Yourself Workbook. This document integrates some of the journal, some of the instructions for how to externalize space, and would add materials that will allow you to integrate the skills of making space for yourself at a holistic level. It will add, also, a series of experiments that you can use to track your progress and growth. Rather than replace the journals, the workbook will augment their possibilities.

MSY: the app (Anticipated by early 2021)

The full realization of the MSY process will emerge by converting the images, music, words, and questions into a digital format that those with smartphones and other digital technologies can access easily. Daniel hopes to allow this iteration of MSY to involve ways of identifying others who enjoy thinking through the work of making space and who have prioritized finding and engaging with their true selves. A final feature that Daniel hopes to integrate is a way of tracking and mapping real time moments where space was made, allowing you to reflect and share your success at making space for yourself.

Beyond Making Space for Yourself:

In early 2019, Daniel was already thinking of MSY as the first part of a larger series, which he hopes to release in similar expansions over the next ten years. The full series will involve:

1: Making Space for Yourself (50% complete)

2: Leaving Space for Others (10% complete)

3: Creating Space for Art (5% complete)

4: Expanding Time

5: Opening Communities