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Surround yourself with what you love: HOME

November 17, 2010

photo: courtesy of R. Clock

While we don’t have much control over the outside world, what’s under our roof is a different story. And speaking of “story” – your home {the “setting” of your story} plays one of the biggest supporting roles in the life you are writing. Your home should be your personal oasis:  one that nurtures, comforts, welcomes you {and your family} – and, simply put, makes you happy.

I could write a book {actually, several} on this topic alone, but for now, I’ll just share a few thoughts mixed in with some of my favorite “home” quotes, starting with my all-time favorite.  It beautifully sums up how our surroundings (our spaces both at home and work) impact us:

The power of being in a space that feels fully aligned with our soul is sorely underrated. In all my years of coaching (and in my own life), I’ve seen few ways to practice Extreme Self-Care that have a more dramatic, immediate effect on our quality of life than this one idea. I’m not just talking about clearing clutter or getting organized, although these are a huge part of the formula; I’m talking about recognizing the impact your home or office has on your emotional and physical health, your energy levels, your self-esteem, your relationship to yourself and others, and your spiritual well-being. It’s called “creating a soul-nourishing environment,” and I’ve seen this vital concept – the transformation of a person’s home or office – literally transform his or her life.”

Cheryl Richardson, The Art of Extreme Self-Care

A few {of the many} things I like to surround myself with at home:

  • light {This drives my husband a little crazy but I need my mood lighting! I counter with this eco-friendly tip: use “good for the environment” light bulbs in favorite lights.}
  • comfort {from favorite blankets to super-comfy-while-trying-to-keep stylish clothes}
  • music {quite the variety-all depending on my mood}
  • quiet {for when I’m in the mood for NO noise}
  • happy kids {and happy husband!}
  • delicious food {I very much dislike wasting a meal – or snack – on “filler stuff” as I call it. I’m working on adding in really good stuff that’s really good for me… another post}
  • good wine {we’re building quite the collection of corks}
  • systems {keeps the day-day stuff running smoothly}
  • nature: bringing the outdoors in {fresh air (open windows), water (my tiny indoor fountain), styling (from pine cones to cut greenery/flowers), fire (in fireplace or on top of candle only!}
  • books {I just love them} and, of course, my magazines
  • favorite photos of loved ones/friends {and even better – when they are here in person!}
  • order {There’s nothing like it – especially if you’re like me at aren’t (or should I say “weren’t”?) naturally organized! Learning how to make it work – priceless! And I’m not just saying that because it’s what I do now professionally!}
  • our animals {the few times they haven’t been there… it’s just not the same … even though all they do is sleep!}
  • inspiration of different sorts {from our kids’ favorite artwork to the inspiration board in my “studio” – another thing my husband “loves,” when I refer to the office as the “studio”}

As far as furniture + other decor, I try to stick with advice from my mom {who – along with my dad – are the true experts at creating a welcoming, beautiful, personal home}. Her advice:  If you don’t love it, don’t get it. {I must have heard that 1,000 times in response to my, “Look what I got – and it was only $____!!!”}  And she is right. Looking through my home and closet {with very few exceptions} the things I bought on impulse, often because they were “such good deals,” are things that end up in my Goodwill box.

Surrounding yourself {home, work, people, car, style} with what you love is about doing these two things:

  1. Designing a vision {knowing, keeping and adding what you DO love}, and
  2. Streamlining {taking away or changing what you DON’T}.

When we acknowledge the importance of home, we are taking note of ourselves.  Home is ultimately the place in our lives that is uniquely ours, a flexible space reflecting where we come from and how we got here.  The home becomes the canvas on which we express our own viewpoint and sense of style.  Once we arrive at that place, however, we often become overwhelmed with how much there is to do.  We have the desire to make the effort, but we are unsure how to start or where to begin.  We can change this feeling by adjusting our point of view so that we can enjoy the process of creating home, over time.

Louis Sagar, Zona Home: Essential Designs for Living

Making your home is a journey {not a destination} so, just as with life, HAVE FUN with it as you design it.


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