May 6, 2019

Listen to Your Home and Body

On a scale from 1 to 10, how physically healthy is your body? Chances are, if your body is in poor health, your home’s health is probably unhealthy, too.

Many of us have been taught to listen to your body. But are you listening to your home?

My abode, sanctuary, womb (home’s BODY) in San Francisco

If you’re paying attention, and hear me out, you’ll learn that like your physical body, your home embodies a body, too. This is one of the interior design and life lessons I learned from one of my favorite design books, “Apartment Therapy,” by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan. Yes, this is the same Apartment Therapy media company/website many of us design geeks adore. I was deeply impacted both physically and spiritually after reading it.

Today’s “Style Your Spirit” takes a page out of the book.

Maxwell explains your home is like a living organism that grows stronger with proper care and weaker with neglect. So how do you rate your home’s body?
Are you listening to your body, heart and hearth? If not, why? Now you don’t have any excuses.

Take Action

The home is like your body, “Apartment Therapy” explains:

Bones — Wall, floor ceilings, windows and fixtures are your home’s skeletal bones.
Action: Fix leaky sinks, cracks on walls, loose kitchen tiles, burnt out light bulbs.

Breath — The way you arrange your home. Healthy flow is blocked by poor placement of furniture.
Action: Declutter bookshelves, get rid of junk mail, clear out and use stagnant areas/rooms.

Heart — Expressed emotionally through the style, texture, shapes and themes.
Action: If you have too many different styles, colors, shapes and textures, pare them down and your home will feel much more in the flow.

Head — Home’s function, purpose, why you use it, what you do there. It should support your activities and needs.
Action: Reorganize kitchen drawers, get better reading lights. If there’s not enough seating for guests, get poufs, chairs or floor cushions.

Now that you know more about your home’s body, what will you do to take care of its creaks and crevices?

Think about how you’re taking care of your bones, breath, heart and head. If you’re feeling weak, ill or not in the flow, what actions will you take to become stronger in your body and your home? Oprah says once you know, you can’t pretend you don’t. So take action, boo. Your home + body needs it.

Extra Extra

I was so inspired by Maxwell’s book, “Apartment Therapy,” I decluttered my apartment and got rid of a carful of stuff. Talk about physical and spiritual healing.

True story: As Oprah says, “Listen to the whispers.” A whisper literally told me to reach out to Maxwell while I was in New York. By default, I searched my LinkedIn to see if any of my connections were tied to an employee at Apartment Therapy. As I searched, a voice told me to email him directly. So glad I did!

Me & Max Gillingham-Ryan at Apartment Therapy HQ in New York

In my email, I told him I was inspired by his book to clear space in my home and make room to birth this “Style Your Spirit” series. He replied back to tell me he was inspired by my inspiration and graciously gave me a tour of the Apartment Therapy headquarters in SoHo, New York.

The conversation flowed and so many “ahas!” surfaced. I mentioned I read “Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui” by Karen Kingston before I read his book. He told me that same book inspired him to pen “Apartment Therapy”! Our conversation included our emotional attachment to our homes, feng shui and spirituality.


YES, it’s because of him and his book that I had the courage to launch this series, put aside my perfectionism and create. Hope this inspires you, too. If this series has inspired you, tell me in the comments below or hit me up on social. I wanna know. If you haven't heard of Apartment Therapy the book or website, check them out. Warning: get a pencil and paper ready. You'll have so many ideas that will delight you. Keep creating, my friends.

Onward,
Toan

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