Mindful Design


Many months into this pandemic, we seem to be taking an "it is what it is" attitude.  We have to.  We have no choice.  We have no control.  We are buckled up and in survival mode.  The chaos around us is so confusing!  If you're like me, you may have started out strong when we were told to stay home.  I was feeling like I was going to take this time to be productive, learn something new, relish the opportunity to relax.  There was nowhere to go, nowhere to rush, no one to see, so why not make the best of it?  I was working on my book full speed ahead.  That attitude did not last long! 

Five months in and a kind of lackadaisical haze had befallen me.  My structure had fallen by the wayside, my diet went to shit, and depression set in.  Seven months in and I summoned my resiliency muscle memory.  Too many challenges, too little control leaves one helpless and hopeless.  That's where mindfulness comes in.

What do we have control over when everything around us is falling apart?  We have our mind, we have our body, we have our spirit, and we have our living space. 

We have the present moment.

The practice of being more aware of the present moment is very powerful!  When you’re a witness to your actions, your awareness enables you to make decisions that are better for your wellbeing.  That is mindfulness.

The world is an exhausting place right now ~ Let's create more beauty within.  This is such a transformative time.  We will and are rising to the occasion.

Let's channel our energy into making mindful design choices that will foster a happy, healthy, calm environment even when, especially when, things around us feel chaotic.

1.  Find a sense of order in everything.  From your meals to your self care ritual to your housekeeping, order helps the mind and body remain calm.  You want to stress less!  The energy around you should be supporting that desire for inner peace and a sense of sanctuary.  It literally has the power to change your brainwaves.  Our work/home life lines have been blurred.  If you are multi tasking from home, order is essential!  Different zones for different activities at the very least.  Clean up or finish up one task and put it away before you begin another.  A sense of order is a self care ritual.

2.  Buddy up with a plant, or now that we can go out again, keep fresh flowers in the house.  Having something living in your space enriches your energy and the oxygen in the air.

3.  Get out in nature.  Go for a walk.  Go for a ride.  Change your scenery.  The smell in the air, the sun on your skin, the scent of the trees are incredibly restorative.  The quiet you derive from being in nature keeps you mindful of employing a "big picture" attitude.  Feeling present in that moment allows for an attitude of gratitude.

4.  Engage your senses with scent.  Smell is our most sensitive sense.  It triggers memory more than any other sense, so make sure it is a positive, pleasant memory that is evoked.  Candles, aromatherapy or essential oils can subtly change your experience in a space and alter your mood.  Make sure the scents you use are chemical free! 

5.  That is a natural segway into really attempting to eliminate the amount of chemicals you bring into your environment or put on or in your body.  Chemicals can have crazy toxic effects on each of us.  You may not notice much in any one instance, but the cumulative effect of toxins surrounding us is absolutely making us sick.  Balance of body = balance of home.

6.  Live by the light.  There is so much research about the benefits of  living in tune with our circadian rhythm.  Our biological clock works hand in hand with circadian rhythm to keep our wake/sleep cycle  balanced and our immune system healthy.  Ergo, when we are in balance.... all things are in balance.

7.  Self care is not a luxury!  Surround yourself with beauty and things that bring you joy; objects, people, music, anything!  Treat yourself like a queen.  Take a long bath, indulge in a bit of chocolate, carve out some alone time.  It could be anything that lifts your spirits and puts a smile on your face.  When you take care of yourself, you can show up as the best version of yourself for others.  

8.  Change your perspective and your world changes.  Whether it be the stories you tell yourself or the objects on your table, a fresh perspective begets fresh energy and with that wisdom abundance springs.

Your living space should enhance your happiness and wellbeing, and by living space I am referring to your body and mind as well as your environment.  Everything is connected and everything is energetically linked.

photos; 1. art by Mary Finlayson, bath by mama medicine, side table design by Alessandra Branca

Closet Confidential

                         Out of Clutter find Simplicity
                         From Discord find harmony
                         In the middle if difficulty lies opportunity
                                                                             ~Albert Einstein

Spring cleaning is taking on a new meaning.  Many are taking to their closets, drawers, bathrooms and playrooms. With all this isolation and uncertainty, we can find places within our home and within ourselves to find solace.

For many, closets seem to be nothing more than a place for our clothes to hang out in. But, it is so much more.  With fear and a sense of chaos palpable in the world right now, taking control of what we have control over helps us organize our thoughts and ease our mind.  We can take control of our closets can't we?

When our closet is organized, our mind feels organized.   The closet clean out allows for stagnant energy to become unblocked, thereby, opening space up for a more dynamic energy flow. From that comes opportunity and abundance.

I know when I walk into my closet and it is exactly the way I like it; color coordinated light to dark, neat and catagorized by style, it definately creates a sense of contentment and joy.  Sometimes it's the smallest things that can provide us with a reassuring sense of  serenity

BUT, the closet clean out can take a circuitous turn when we become aware of the thoughts and emotions that are living amongst our things that tell our story.  It's not enough to just organize our belongings, we have to dig a little deeper to excavate possible limiting beliefs that nmight be lurking.

When you attempt a closet clean out keep this in mind ~

When you can't let go off something, ask yourself why am I holding on to this?  What is the meaning of this shirt, jacket, sweater, etc.  Does it represent a time or place that holds some type of memory?  Does it cause you to link the article of clothing with another person or place?  Clothes can imprint memories on you.  Like a song that comes on the radio  (radio, who has a radio anymore, but streaming service didn't sound  as nostalgic) it can take you right back to a moment in time, clothes have that power too.  Sometimes that will derail us when we are trying to purge.  Purging a memory is harder than a piece of clothing.  You have to question the thoughts you are having.

How does this article of clothing make me feel?

Does this article of clothing represent something that makes me feel good or bad?

How well does it fit?

Is it a true reflection of  who I am?

Do I feel like I look my best in it?

Do I love myself in it?

When was the last time I wore it?

Do I attach a person, place or thing to it?

Does it represent my life in the now?

Can I step into this as my most authentic self in the future?

If any of these answers are more negative than positive - purge it.

We all know how to declutter, but sometimes we just don't, for a multitude of reasons.  Like we all know how to diet but out psych gets in our way.  I  am always interested in getting to the root of a behavior.  It can show you something about yourself.  Maybe an area in your life that you could work on.  Any area that is not serving your highest need is "food for thought."   Awareness leads to change and if living your best life is the goal, this is an easy way to question what is.

If our closet was, metaphorically , a vessel for our soul, what would we allow in???

Edit ruthlessly

1 thing in, 1 thing out

Keep catagories together

Take emotion out of it.
If a girlfriend was asking you if it should stay or go - what would you say?

Everything should make you feel like the best version of yourself, even in sweats!

It's a makeover for your closet and your spirit.  That's a win/win!

Go Green and DIY Clean

All this need for cleaning is disconcerting when you are trying to lower your toxic load.  
DIY cleansers not only do just that, we most likely have these ingredients in our home, it alleviates some stress of even trying to find cleaning products that may be sold out.

I always refer to the Environmental Working Group website  (EWG) for information about everything from foods to beauty to home health care.  It's a conversation for another day.

 This is a quick tip that I am going to concoct tonight.

Brought to you by Fiberseal.

Stay Well, stay safe, stay home!