“From the moment we are born, we seem compelled to travel homeward…Despite this primal craving for home, our dwelling places often fail to receive us with care and artfulness. We want our houses and apartments to be warm, nurturing, and beautiful, but they are sometimes areas of chaos and territories of conflict, isolation, and confusion. The very places that hold the promise of harmony and revitalization can, instead, be the abodes of disorder, friction and loneliness.”
A Home for the Soul
Since moving to Sedona, I’ve had the opportunity to settle down and settle in, in a way I haven’t done in ages. It’s the first time in many years that I’ve consciously designed an environment to support the way I live in the present. Before, I “decorated” with someone else in mind, and adapted to their preferences. I didn’t understand how important it was to live in spaces that nurtured my being.
Compromising is OK – up to a point. But most people need to see themselves reflected in their surroundings. Can you imagine looking in a mirror and seeing someone else? That would be disorienting, to say the least. But when our lives are crowded and moving at warp speed, designing for ourselves doesn’t seem to be a priority.
Until we realize the cost.
A client of mine wrote the following thank-you to me. It’s a powerful description of just how out-of-touch we can become with familiar surroundings:
“My office was a certifiable disaster area. It wasn’t just the tangle of wires and semi-working equipment driving me mad, but something I couldn’t put my finger on. You picked it up instantly. You pointed out that “I” wasn’t present in the room. Its anonymous office furniture and empty walls didn’t reflect me at all. My office was critical to my earning yet I’d created chaos amid blandness – not exactly a space conducive to financial success. I’m also a creative worker, so it was downright strange that I’d sunk so little of my energy into the space. You intuitively realized that this reflected an inner conflict about succeeding. How right you were! Not only did you completely physically rearrange the space so that I felt incredibly light and mentally uncluttered and worked 100% better, you encouraged me to add special things that mattered to me like art, photographs, inspiring quotes. You recommended appealing to my senses through candles, music, and flowers to further support creativity. Even the color of the room turned out to be important – you wanted me to paint it a color that really appealed to my soul. I was in tears when we finished because for the first time my drab “work” space was suddenly my soul space – the two were one for the first time. I knew then that nothing was going to stop me.”
Sometimes you just have to give yourself permission to go where you need to go.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does the inside of my studio / office / house match the inside of my soul?
- Do the colors and décor fit who I am today?
- Are my treasures and mementoes making me feel calm or cluttered?
- Do I feel at peace in my home?
- Is anything missing?
The answers will point you in the right direction, but you might not feel that you have control over the space you’d like to manage. Lack of space or conflicts with the desires of others may be frustrating, but I believe that there is always something you can do for yourself.
Can you find a chair that fits you? A little table? A shelf of your own or maybe a drawer? How about a floor pillow in a corner somewhere? Proclaim territory and bring things there that help you to feel strong, inspired and grateful. Group some pictures and a favorite mug. A journal and a pen. Books you’re reading. Earphones, music and some incense if you like that. Groupings are potent.
Use your space as a place to re-connect with yourself when you feel overwhelmed.
It can be that simple to start, but we all require our personal soul spaces in order to reclaim ourselves. And the more custom-tailored your space, the faster you will see your own reflection come alive.