Now, is Jan speaking to you with this article? A couple of years ago I began what has become a 3 year sabbatical from my house and my stuff. Sitting in my close-to-empty house waiting for the last few pieces to be moved out felt HEAVENLY.! That expanse of floor and bare rooms made me feel so calm and serene.
Jan Lundy, WomenBloom's new Spirit and Self Editor, reminds us that our physical space has a huge impact on our inner space. And this ‘Vaatsu’...I want to learn more about that!
I’ve cleared the clutter from my desk. Relaxing music, the gentle flicker of a tea light, and the sweet scent of a pale, pink rose freshly cut from my garden all serve to soothe my senses and quiet my mind. It’s time to “work,” to write, and I can only do so if my thoughts are still, my heart wide open to hear the call of the Muse. These little gestures help.
This is how I live—truly! Silence and solitude are vital to my well-being. Time to be alone without the clamor of a noisy world or needy others is essential to me—to every woman’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. In fact, silence and solitude may be the foundation for living as our truest self. Our truest self is a woman who is naturally confident and radiant; peaceful and calm; openhearted and loving; generous and hospitable. Without periods of silence and solitude, it is difficult to connect with the essence of who we truly are.
Every woman deserves to have an oasis of calm in her day. However, experiencing life in this way (as I am this morning) requires positive intention paired with conscious effort. We must desire inner calm more than inner chaos. Only then can we create an environment and routine that allows us to access it on a regular basis. How do we do this?
Make Space for Clarity
We can begin with our home, that hallowed ground where we flee when the world feels “too much,” or work too wearying. Our home is our castle and when it does not feel manor-like, we pay the price. Musty, dusty, hovel mentality takes over and the peace we long for remains elusive. It becomes diffused with the presence of clutter, half-done projects, and objects that have outworn their welcome. Our home does not embrace us with arms of hospitality if it is burdened in this way.
A good first step is to begin clearing the clutter. We can eliminate piles, to me, the epitome of things being “piled up” inside of us. I recall speaking to a woman at a workshop who shared a similar experience. She hated to go home at night because there were piles around the edges of every room. Their presence made her feel as if she were in prison, “pile walls” closing in on her. She felt completely paralyzed and had no energy to sort through them. Her clutter was literally short-circuiting her well-being.
My wise friend, Mary, suggested years ago, when my own life (and house) felt quite overwhelming, “Clean out a drawer. Just one drawer.” I took her advice and, drawer by drawer, I began to clean out my mind. Day by day, peace set up housekeeping.
Create Beauty for Inner Calm
Clearing out our environment, then consciously creating a lovely, peace-filled space can be an act of spiritual self-care—and joy. Recently, I read an article about “Vaatsu,” the yoga-based science of house design that is “green” (environmentally friendly), one that supports the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of its occupants. Vaatsu stresses simple furnishings, with calming colors; open windows with no treatments to block out nature; objects that inspire and soothe, including greenery, candles, and art; comfy couches, beds, and pillows that encourage rest.
What caught my attention more than anything else was how the rooms felt: rich, yet simple; neat and clean; clutter-free; plenty of open space. Clean table surfaces. The rooms exuded softness, welcome, and a sense of solitude. I felt like I could breathe just by looking at them.
And then I looked around my own home, a place I truly love because it does exude peace and serenity, as many visitors remark when walking through the door. It’s small and simple; contains many of the elements portrayed in the magazine. My desire for myself in mid-life is to live more simply, more gently with myself and others. I invite you to the same.
If greater calm through silence and solitude is what your soul calls for, give it to yourself and begin at home—right where you are.
Janice Lynne Lundy is an inspirational speaker, interfaith Spiritual Director and mentor, syndicated magazine columnist, and the author of four self-help/spiritual growth books for women. Her newest book, Your Truest Self: Embracing the Woman You Are Meant to Be, was released in 2008 by Sorin Books. She is passionate about her spiritual life and supporting women as they navigate theirs. Visit her blogs: awakenedliving.com and awakeisgoodblogspot.com.
LIST OF COMMENTS
Written by Guest - Thursday, October 29 2009
I most likely need to be de-cluttering rather than be surfing blogs, but surfing is more fun!
Written by hearttoheart - Wednesday, November 04 2009
Me, too, but sometimes decluttering is necessary for my sanity! I do set aside a morning or afternoon to just surf and it makes it a lot more fun--and guilt free!
Written by hearttoheart - Wednesday, November 04 2009
Oops! Heartoheart is me, Jan, the author, your new Spirit and Self Editor. Ok, I will learn these new ropes yet. Patience certainly is a virtue, esp. patience for self!
Written by GayleO - Wednesday, November 11 2009
It's amazing how de-cluttering makes you feel, and sometimes I've put things on Freecycle that other people need...even more rewarding. My big stumbling block was getting rid of things that belonged to my grandmother, but enough time has passed that it's easier and it's true, it's the memories that have meaning and not the things.
Written by hearttoheart - Thursday, November 12 2009
Hi Gayle, decluttering does me feel extra good. I just can't create without it! Time does make getting rid of keepsakes a bit easier.
Written by Rose - Thursday, November 12 2009
My Sacred Space - that's what I call my home. You're so right about the importance of being in a space that is clear, nurturing, supports our highest well-being. In Feng Shui, a cluttered home can lead to congestion in the spirit and in the body, too. Letting go of the excess provides that "aaaaah" feeling of release. A wonderful quote: Hold loosely to that which is not eternal. This article is a wonderful reminder to honor our selves within our sacred spaces.
Written by weihanteng - Wednesday, December 14 2011
Written by Guest - Friday, May 25 2012
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