Connecting the Dots

Creating Space in my home and my heart

I’ve been struggling with how to "connect the dots" this week.  To try and put into words how the experience of simplifying my life and the “stuff” in our home, and adding only things that I love or that have meaning, has helped to create a truly different experience for me and my family.  In other words, how does having a home that contains those things that I find beautiful, equate to a feeling of peace and joy.  Then I realized that is only one piece of the puzzle.

In the last few weeks I’ve been super busy with this new business venture and while I have been incredibly excited, jumping out of bed early and staying up far too late with tons of ideas and possibilities racing through my head, I have also allowed myself to slip back into old habits and haven’t felt particularly “at peace” in my home or my heart.

I’ve been in this place many times before when work or life got too busy, and my solution was always to move faster and focus harder in order to get through whatever was on my list for the day. The problem I found with this strategy was that it often left no time or space for enjoying life, being truly present with my family or just taking a breath. Days turned to weeks which turned into months and years. The feeling that time was flying by was ever present, and I was helpless to slow it down.

Winston "guarding" my office door!

Winston "guarding" my office door!

This sense of time racing past, led to a significant shift several years ago for our entire family.  We simplified EVERYTHING. We not only cleaned out the unnecessary “stuff” from our home, we also focused on spending our free time doing the things that ultimately brought a sense of peace and happiness to our lives.  This took consistent and conscious effort given the world we live in today.  

So you’re probably wondering what the heck this has to do with home décor! 

You see, when I finally did stop to figure out where I had gone wrong in the last couple weeks, I realized that a disorder had crept back into my home and by extension into my head and heart.  In particular my home office looked like a tornado had hit because I had stopped taking a moment each day to clear my workspace and make room for creative energy to flow. (Don’t worry! I will spare you that picture!) Basically, I was moving too fast again.

The ONLY space in my office that did not look like a tornado had hit

So, I went back to what I had done when I was originally creating our sanctuary.  I slowed down, took a breath and cleared space in my home in order to clear space in my head and heart.  

It took just a couple of hours one morning to reorganize my workspace.  I sorted through papers and organized them into file folders.  I put new products into crates and stacked them next to my desk and sorted through my overflowing shelves and made them look “pretty” again.  This simple act completely changed how I felt in my office.  It not only helped me to function better but to FEEL better. 

Do not underestimate the importance of making a space not only functional but also beautiful.

Organized and pretty...an important piece of the sanctuary puzzle

Perhaps the most important thing I did that morning was to rewrite my “to do” list.  Instead of being completely filled with all of my work "have to's", I added the things that I valued most to my list.  I did not want yoga, hiking, horseback riding with my husband or watching a movie with my kids to be an afterthought or something that was not as high a priority as the laundry or my work obligations. It wasn't always possible to get everything done, but it was important to make my sure my intentions were clear. 

Notes, ideas and to-do's...Somehow using a beautiful notebook rather than a piece of scratch paper makes them feel more important.

I realized as I struggled through this week, that having a beautiful space is just one element in creating a happy peaceful home for my family.  The other pieces are often harder to grasp and I am still fine tuning and correcting my course, sometimes daily.  What I do know for certain, is that it is worth striving for, because when it all comes together, I feel a sense of contentment and happiness. Time slows down, and I have not been able to achieve that feeling in any other way.