Do you ever wonder where some people get the energy to do all the things they do?
Sometimes it seems like they are superhuman, don’t need the same things, the same amount of sleep, and seem impervious to the outside stressors that seem to impact your own wellbeing and ability to get through your days in a productive and efficient way.
Not everyone finds beauty in the same things. Trust yourself.
Comparison is the thief of joy. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
However in today’s media-fueled world, Instragam, HGTV, and all the social media-inspired pressure, we are even more challenges to avoid this trap of comparing ourselves to others. It is a tough balance to only look within, and I cannot say that I always succeed myself. Though it is one of my principles that I work towards in my daily meditation and have made huge strides over the last decade of my life in which I had to stop comparing myself to others around me, especially those that seemed to have it so much better, all a lot easier and even frankly a lot prettier. (see, I am human and am so very far from perfect!) So, I share my ideas in these blogs now not as a ‘know-it-all’ but as an imperfect human just striving to improve a little bit each day and I share with you some of my life-learned lessons as both a human being, but also as an Interior Designer, Feng Shui Specialist, and a Sustainable Living Advocate.
With the ending of summer, we will be forced to spend more time indoors again, simply due to the change of seasons, to the start of the school season and the re-focused attention on work and life again. Frankly, the summer was a great break from the tough, challenging, and honestly shocking experience we all went through globally and continue to deal with from the Pandemic with COVID-19.
Soon those sunny days of leisure will be fading and we will need to again start to re-focus ourselves on the reality of what the world is at this moment. No more days of hiding at the beach and basking in the sun, hoping to wake up to a brand new, healthier, safer world. Not to be a bringer of bad news, but the COVID-19 is here for the foreseeable future and the sooner we launch into stage 3 which is ACCEPTANCE, the easier we can move forward towards building a new life at this moment.
Every day is a chance to dream about tomorrow, yet it is more important to play every day.
Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. – Matsuo Basho
With this change of seasons, it is an opportunity to change your thoughts towards the interior of your world – your home. You may have noticed the things that did not work just right during the confinement last Spring and maybe you even made some advancements towards improving them at the time. But I am guessing as time went on, this sense of momentum has diminished and many of your projects were left unfinished, or perhaps not even truly begun.
Let me share with you WHY I know it is super essential, especially right now, that you refocus your attention on the creation of a safe, healthy and sacred space for you and your family immediately. Plus I will give you 3 TIPS on what you can do yourself right now to kick-start the process.
Many of you that are reading this blog and following me and others are probably already subtly aware that a good home is a good thing to have. Yet, I need to emphasize that it is much more than just a pretty space that impacts your overall quality of life.
Your perspective will change over time. Trust you know the important things to focus on that last the test of time.
It’s Not Just a Pretty Space.
WHY I know your SPACE IMPACTS YOUR HEALTH
For years it has been known that our homes are the biggest cause for the increase in Asthma and Allergic reactions increasing to a near-epidemic level in the last few decades. Here is a scientific paper is written in 2005 that proves this. That was 15 years ago! Read the Article from the Surgeon General on Indoor Quality impacts on Health.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a building standard that started in 1998 in which buildings are rated on their level of health standards. The criteria include indoor air quality and how it deeply impacts the quality of those in these spaces. This system has evolved a lot in the 22 years since it has been launched and is a good platform for the construction of new buildings. One of the evolutions was the release of the WELL Building Standard.
This new WELL standard has 7 concepts that need to be considered for spaces to positively impact your health and wellbeing. These include air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort, and mind. What I personally adore about this is that it follows very similar principals to the ancient concept of Feng Shui. From my own work as a Feng Shui Practioner, I use the Bagua’s 9 areas in your life to assess your home and redesign it to meet your best needs. These include career, education, family, money, reputation, relationships, creativity, travel, and health. Feng Shui is over 2,000 years old, so you see nothing is ever new again, we just learn to see again with different eyes. I have offered Feng Shui Consultations for many years now, helping to combine the interior design process with this healthy approach to creating a healthy space at the same time.
Recently I have read about another design TV show and though I have many issues with the reality of these shows causing a misunderstanding of the reality of the design process, what it does underscore for me is that there is an increase in the general awareness that our spaces impact how we feel deeply and we need to start paying a lot more attention to them going forward.
Clutter has become a mainstream topic and now I am sure you are well aware of the Marie Kondo method about decluttering your space. Hopefully, you have started to take this on board and even have had it start to impact your choices when it comes to shopping and buying more stuff (like asking the question, do I really need this?). Yet, are you aware there are scientifically proven statistics that share that a cluttered space is in fact proven to decrease your longevity, your mental state of being, and can lead to poorer lifestyle habits causing things like diabetes and heart disease? For more information, download this FREE article Proof that Your Clutter is HARMING YOU (and HOW You Can Stop it NOW!)
So, I think you can see there is a lot of proof that your space is indeed impactful on the quality of your life, your ability to deal with life stressors, and your physical & mental health. Between the ancient practice of Feng Shui is one of the first practices that understood how to manipulate your environment to optimize your wellbeing, to the Architectural & Construction Industry’s standards of LEED and WELL being now a globalized standard for going forward, to the scientific proof plus the never-ending TV shows and Instagram stars. Now it is up to you to decide what to do with this information in regards to YOUR SPACE & YOUR LIFE. Are you willing to make some changes to your space to make your life healthier, happier, less stressful, more peaceful and god-forbid, there is another enforced confinement due to a pandemic, that this effort of making your house into a safe haven will then allow you to be more RESILIENT and to thrive during a crisis, versus just survive and wait until it is over.
3 TIPS ON THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW
You have a CHOICE: give yourself options but always make a plan
SET YOUR INTENTION
Your space is only as resilient as you make it. So the first advice I give to all my clients when they are thinking of any sort of home improvement, decor change, or even a renovation is a REALITY CHECK and a soul-search on why you want to do these changes. When you know your WHY, it is going to give you the strength to push to the end of the project, climb over obstacles, make clearer decisions and understand the framework in which the project is started from. If you do not take this #1 first step to understand your intention, to outline your vision and create a realistic scope of work, preliminary budget and ideal schedule, then you will end up somewhere else.
The place you cook and eat needs to be central to all your life. Make the kitchen the heart of your home.
MAKE YOUR KITCHEN FUNCTION FIRST
Make your KITCHEN a healthy space right now. The kitchen is the symbolic heart of your home and since it is the space that feeds us, it needs to be the cleanest and easiest space to keep clean. As a specialist in SMALL spaces, this is not something to only consider if you have a large kitchen. Small kitchens can and should be designed with care on every level as well. Make sure all appliances work. Clean, repair or replace any that do not serve you. Buy Energy Star appliances and do not go for the cheapest as they will just break and leave you in a bad situation when you least expect it plus it will go into landfill quicker and this is something we all need to avoid. Organize and clean your pantry and refrigerator so you know what you have, and you can easily use the oldest first and strive to never throw away food. American embarrassingly toss about 40% of their food every month. Personally I feel this is due to the speed we are living plus the too large scale of our refrigerators. If you do not see it, it is easy to forget about it. Make sure you design your kitchen so you SEE what you have and then use it. Create a space you enjoy COOKING in. Our food is the nourishment of our bodies and our bodies deeply impact our moods. Make this connection more solid and your life will immediately improve. Need ideas? Check this ebook out: Feng Shui Tips: Kitchen Renovations
A wall mirror can transform a tiny entry into a spacious one.
WELCOME YOURSELF HOME
Make your entrance into a happy space that allows you to transition from the outside world into the interior world of your home with grace. Even in the smallest of entry halls, you can add a few wall hooks, a welcome mat, a stool, umbrella stand, mirror, and a good light fixture to allow you to unburden yourself before entering your sacred space. I highly advise if you do not have a NO SHOE POLICY in your home that you start one immediately. With the increase in dangers from viruses and bacterias, we all need to be aware of this and start to make a distinction between our outdoor lives and our indoor ones. Indoor spaces need to be kept clean and one way to help this process is to simply not invite in anything you do not need to. For some foyer inspiration to design, check out these: Lee’s Design Photos
If you feel connected with this approach and want to make your home or office space into a more mindfully designed space, you can reach out. I offer a free 20-minute call to see if we jive, or if you are certain you are wishing to make this jump towards creating your home to be more RESILIENT for you, you can book a consultation here.