April 24, 2019

Creating Space to Do What Brings You Joy

I believe the space around you directly affects the place inside you. If you have a cluttered home, chances are there are chaotic things swirling in your personal life, professional life — or both. Dust bunnies can make you more susceptible to allergies or breathing issues. You don’t have to be a feng shui expert to know there is stuck energy in and around those living situations.

Every day, I love to do something creative, otherwise I feel like I’m dying a little bit on the inside. I know it sounds dramatic, but I am a bit dramatic by nature :) Each place in my home serves a purpose.

I was delighted to read even the Obamas believe in creating a space conducive to bringing joy. In Michelle Obama’s book, “Becoming,” she shares intimate details about how, no matter where they live or vacation, Barack has a room or nook where he can write and concentrate. Dedicate an area to do what you enjoy, be it reading, writing or meditating. It’s important to carve out a sacred space for you to do you.

My living room, meditation space and tea room

When I visit clients’ and friends’ homes, I’ve noticed many of them have unused space. If you aren’t using an area, energy doesn’t move around and gets stuck. You’re also wasting valuable square footage. So how do you create a space that inspires you to do more of what brings you joy, and why is that important? Here are a few tips to get you in the habit of creating a place to do what excites you.
I enjoy entertaining and having friends over for tea and conversation. In my living room, the seating is positioned in a circle to inspire discussion. Space is limited in my San Francisco Victorian apartment, so the kitchen is also where my dining table sits. Not only is the dining table where conversations can flow, it also doubles as an area where I can arrange flowers and work on DIY projects. The important thing to note is that each place has an intention and function, which creates organization and flow.

If you pay close attention to schoolchildren and how they perform academically, you can often link good grades with students who have a designated play area and study area at home. If your kiddo is getting bad grades, chances are their room may have no place to focus on homework. Let’s zoom out now and ask yourself, do you have a place to relax, create and be productive? Answering this question may help you become more focused, productive and happy.

What space are you using to create?

Take action

I invite you to sit in each room of your home for just a few minutes and ask yourself one of the most important questions I ask my clients when working on decorating or decluttering their homes: How does your room make you feel?

My last blog was about this question and how to take action, which I believe is one of the most critical things to think about before donating, buying, adding or subtracting a single thing in your abode.

Just sit, breathe and be for a few minutes…. So, how do you feel?

Pay attention to what surfaces. Are you getting emotional? Feel suffocated by stuff? Feel cold from not having enough stuff? Has the corner of your room or the guest room become a dumping ground for clutter? There is a lot to be deconstructed by what emotions arise. Now, what will you do about it? There is no one-answer-fits-all. But being mindful is the first big step to creating change.

Extra Extra

If that spare room is collecting clutter and dust, clean it up, donate what you’re not using, then, if you feel like you need a space to focus on writing that book, make it an office or writing nook. If you like having guests over but shy away from having slumber parties because there is nowhere for them to sleep, you could make that room double as a guest room and creative space.

Onward,
Toan

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