How about a simple yet profound way to give yourself a happiness-boost, backed by empowerment, to start the new year off right? And, if you’re reading this in August – the time of year really doesn’t matter. How we feel is what matters…
How we feel impacts everything. Our environment impacts how we feel. Our feelings impact our energy. Our energy impacts what we draw to ourselves. Support your highest energy and highest good with simple tweaks to your home environment, and revel in the impacts!
Believe it or not, our inner and outer space have a pretty significant impact. This post highlights ways we can create even more support for ourselves by how we cultivate our outer space to support us and nurture our hearts & souls – (better known as the stuff on the ‘inside’.)
Funny little background story to get you wanting to read more… 😉
When I was a kid, my younger sister (who shared a room with me) would regularly entertain herself & her friends by moving the personal articles on my dresser within inches of where I’d had them originally placed. I’d come in. We’d be chatting… I’d immediately notice something was “off”. Almost without thinking, I’d intuitively move it back to where it was before. Where my soul liked it. This was always followed by laughter from sis and her friends. Ah, I see what’s going on here. Disclaimer – although I was a perfectionist as a child (some bs which I thankfully gave up YEARS ago!), this was never the motivator for my need to have things ‘in their place’. That always stemmed from something deeper, though when I was young I couldn’t pinpoint it. I believe now, it’s likely an intuitive sense of Feng Shui (or at least my version of it.) It’s about nurturing myself by making my space feel welcoming and meaningful. And back then, about the only space I had for myself was my bed and my dresser (usually – when others weren’t messing with them!)
It’s been said by many purveyors of success, that “our outer space reflects our inner space”. I’m thinking this is quite accurate…. For example, once upon a time I had let my cubicle ‘go’ in the way of cleanliness at an office job that was void of creativity – highlighted in this post about ‘getting dirty first’… At that time, it was definitely a case of my inner space being reflected externally. The more I grew to despise that job, the more dust-bunnies began living beneath my desk. I simply didn’t care enough about my purpose there to care for the space around me.
But I also know first-hand that our outer space can greatly INFLUENCE our inner space. [No doubt in my mind; reference funny background story above.] Some call it OCD. Some call it Feng Shui. Whatever you want to call it – I happen to simply believe in cultivating a sanctuary in which to thrive! I know for me, if there is clutter, and things are all hap-hazard around me, then my brain tends to be more scattered, I have trouble focusing, and my mind generally also feels ‘cluttered’.
But I wanna be crystal clear – this isn’t about living up to Martha Stewart or June Cleaver standards. There’s more to it than just getting organized – or even cleanliness. Yes – that’s a first step, but it goes much deeper than that. Clearing distractions and surrounding ourselves with only the things that hold great meaning for us, and remind us of our JOY, are proven to help us stay centered, calmer, provide clarity of thought, and help keep us connected to ourselves and our God – or an inner sense of peace & happiness.
Now I’m not a trained ‘expert’ in the field of Feng Shui, nor am I an interior decorator. (I’ve always thought it’d be fun, but determining how to best satisfy my own soul with my surrounds comes much more naturally to me than it would as applied to someone else.) Regardless, I have received many a compliment about our ever-evolving abode. I’ve had friends comment on how ‘put together’, ‘personalized’, and ‘welcoming’ it feels. I’ve even been asked for advice by others regarding painting or decorating their own homes, and have been told I’ve inspired others. [SIDE NOTE: We all have the capacity to inspire others – when we stay true to ourselves and bask in that authenticity. This is how we SHINE.]
Here I’m outlining my basic thought process on creating a sanctuary that fuels the soul. Hopefully, it will inspire you to come up with simple ways of making your space your own, in full support of who you are at your core:
- First, I considered who else may be sharing in this sacred space we call home. I immediately knew that the hubby and I both share deep love and appreciation for nature, specifically the north woods and its associated wildlife and activities. So – this was a no-brainer. We’ll surround ourselves with more nature!
- Next, I got organized. Every now and again – as life brings in more substance and physical items, re-organizing is necessary. Revisit this whenever something seems like it’s distracting you or pulling you out of your ‘zone’. Basically – in our house – everything has a home within the home. When not in use, it goes night-night in its rightful place. (When the hubby or kids leave something lying around under the premise of, “But I was going to use that again”, I’m quick to counter with, “Well, I was planning to use all the pots and pans again eventually – but I’m not going to decorate the house with them until I need them…” Bama – case closed!)
- Big jolly TIP for not getting overwhelmed, relating back to organization: Go through one thing at a time. Let’s say, kitchen drawers. Make a keep pile (or leave ‘keepers’ in their homes if they are already there…) Have 1 box for “donate/ give away”, and another for “toss”. Next, go through clothes. Same categories. Next, toys. Next, books. Etc, etc, etc….. Or – go room-by-room.
- Having trouble figuring out if you should hold onto certain items? Here’s how I tend to determine “keeper-value”… Have I used it recently? Does it bring back a memory/ have sentiment attached to it that isn’t satisfied by another means (i.e. photos, etc.)? Do I really ENJOY it? Will I enjoy the open space it would provide for something more meaningful, more so than the space it currently takes up? Would I simply enjoy the open space? (There’s something to creating room for magic, yo!)
Next – What I personally choose to surround myself with:
- CANDLES! (OMG, candles. I couldn’t be without them.) Thankfully, I don’t have to be – courtesy of this amazing brand – which you can get directly through the supplier from these links here on Amazon. *[Note: Amazon likes to throw in other products on these pages…. Make sure it’s a ROOT candle! They are phenomenal – as highlighted in this post! PURE beeswax, (some soy as well), their own 100% cotton wicks, and all scented with pure essential oils! Clean air in my pursuit of serenity-laden ambiance. As you know I ONLY promote items that I’m fully behind. I ADORE this company for their dedication to purity and integrity!]
- Photos – chock full of our fondest memories and nearest & dearest loves… In photo frames that I cherish. And Photo Books. Books designed from scratch online by yours truly – then printed, bound, and shipped to our door. Little reminders of joy. Smile-makers.
- Elements of nature that inspire creativity and stir up the ultimate, most authentic feelings of “home”. Real antlers, twigs, rocks, driftwood (made into a frame… Get creative with this!), images of wildlife in some of the other elements – like frames, candle holders, and art. Think leaves, canoes, moose, slate tabletops, varieties of wooden furniture, dragonflies (symbolic of my soul in many ways expressed here, but also a sure sign of my late-Gram visiting me.)
- Mini-Altars around the home. *NOTE: I’m not actually ‘worshiping’ anything at these little orientations of beauty and symbolism. They reflect my desires, acting as reminders to tap into what’s really at my core, and what truly brings me joy. Reminders to regularly foster those inner desires. As far as my spirituality is concerned – I have a deep love for (my vision of) God (a Universal love energy, ever present, always ready to give, meeting us where we choose to meet that energy) + the masculine (Jesus – God’s Earthly Son, sent here to teach us), and Mother Earth – the feminine, and I totally dig the peaceful teachings and spirituality of Buddha as well… I have bits & pieces of all of these elements adorning my space. It’s more about spirituality, and less about organized religion… Ever heard the song “(Jesus) I Love You and Buddha Too”, by Mason Jennings? Yeah, it’s like that. Sort of.
- The kids’ art! I love putting reminders of my girls and their creativity and unique personalities around our home. Some are framed and hung on walls. Others are sculpted and placed in the hutch. Still more are compiled into portfolios – so we can look back and relish in their artistic evolution.
- My own art! Memories. Sparks of Creativity. My personal interpretations of life. Inspiration.
- Small trees & other living plants galore. (Mother Nature’s air purifier + real, living, life-giving nature. Serenity.)
Make your environment as supportive as it can be – and you will feel yourself shining brighter. Surround yourself with what is truly you – what lights you up! Discard what distracts. Open up space and see what might find its way in. The possibilities are endless. Clearing our space can also help clear our hearts and minds, and what better way to begin anew than with the clean slate of a new year?
My big-little space-adjustment this year: Making more use of my sanctuary (photographed at the top of the page.) [The ‘big’ part….] We are filled with gratitude everyday – living in this little splice of wilderness – (within just miles of big-city limits and some desired amenities – all with no commute.) I’ve come to realize that I spend way too many hours per day in our kitchen – which faces – the street… Bleh. We have woods, water, & wildlife galore out back, people! Who wants to look at the street? [And, ummmm…. This is also where the fireplace is located – if you didn’t catch that. A winter-must!] So – here is my newest update to align with what inspires me the most and gives me major creative mojo…. We’re integrating a lovely little stand-up desk on wheels [the ‘little’ part], to face the same window where my jaw dropped open during our first visit to this house – while drooling over the wilderness outside as I realized that this HAD to be my daily view. My home. My Sanctuary. I certainly don’t feel as though I ever take it for granted, but I can tell you this…. I will stand facing the three W’s (woods, water, wildlife) from now on, as I funnel my passion into my work – or play.
Now I want to hear from YOU!
In the comments below, briefly share something you have done or plan to do this year to help your environment foster your creativity and your highest good. Let’s get inspired!