One of the most effective things you can do to create a home that nourishes and inspires you is to live with things you love.
This may sound obvious, but when you take a close look around your home, you might be surprised to find that you’re living with things that bring your energy down rather than inspire and lift you up.
It’s amazing how easy it is to tune out to our surroundings and stop really seeing the stuff in our homes that get in our way, drain our energy, or in some way make us feel badly. Sometimes, it’s little things such as a half-broken toaster that frustrates and slows us down each morning, or the sharp edge of a table that we regularly bump against. Or it could be something more significant, like sleeping in a bed we bought with a former partner that continually brings up memories and keeps us stuck in the past. These things can nag at us, deplete our energy, and wear on our self-esteem. The one place we should always feel loved, inspired, peaceful, and “at home” is at home!
Most earth wisdoms, such as Feng Shui or Vastu, believe that everything is made up of energy. Even things that we may consider inanimate are made up of moving molecules and have a life force and vibration of their own. Objects also come “alive” because of how we relate to them (i.e. the memories and associations they trigger).
Earth wisdoms affirm that all of these objects and materials in our homes interact with our own unique energy—either positively or negatively. When you look at your home from this perspective, you can clearly imagine the importance of surrounding yourself with things that you love, whether they are useful, beautiful, have positive personal meaning, or just make you feel good.
Three Steps to Living with What You Love
1. Go through your home, room by room, and look at each object one at a time.
How do you feel? What thoughts come up? Did you notice any sensations in your body? Imagine the object has a voice. What would it be saying to you? Does the object trigger any memories? Your answers to these questions will give you a pretty good idea of how these things are affecting your energy.
2. If something is not serving you, let it go.
Give it away, throw it away, or sell it.
Generally, it is better to live with empty space knowing that something better will be coming your way than it is to live with something that brings you down.
An exception to this would be if the object is functional and necessary—for example, your only computer or your only sofa that you can’t afford to replace at the moment. In these cases, set an intention that you will easily find a replacement in a timely manner and keep your eyes open for an opportunity to replace that item.
3. If you discover that you are surrounded by many things you don’t love but, at the moment, can’t afford to replace them, make sure you move things around so you have at least one thing you love in every room.
Then make that thing the focal point of the room. The object you love will inspire you as you’re waiting to attract other things that will serve you.
Be on the look out for the following:
1. Possessions that have negative memories associated with them.
2. Things that look beautiful or are valuable but that you just don’t like.
3. Similarly, things you inherit and perhaps feel an obligation to keep but that you don’t like or are associated with a negative memory.
4. Things that don’t feel good but you aren’t sure why. Trust your intuition!
5. Disturbing art—even if on one level you can appreciate the image, sometimes our bodies will respond instantly and physically to a disturbing image. Your mind may then kick in with reason or logic or an association with the image that is more positive, but your body has already registered your first reaction.
6. Things that don’t work properly, are broken, get in your way, and/or lead to frustration in your daily routines.
7. Broken items that you have been planning to get fixed for a long time. Commit to fixing them the next month or get rid of them.
8. Items that are stained or dirty. Same as above, clean them if you can but commit to doing it in a timely manner. If they can’t be cleaned, consider a replacement.
9. Perceived dangers, meaning things that look threatening and elicit a fight or flight response in your body. For example, a very heavy chandelier or artwork hanging over a bed—we may know it is anchored to the ceiling or wall, but it can still make us feel uncomfortable. Similar to the disturbing artwork, your body will have already registered a response before your mind kicks in with logic to override your body’s reaction.
10. Things made with unhealthy or toxic materials. Replace with natural materials to connect you to nature, create more harmony, and support your health.
Our homes should be a supportive sanctuary. There are many things in the world that are less than loving, and often we feel we can’t control those things, but we can control our home environments by choosing to live with what we love. We need to insist that, at the very least, we feel good and can “win” in our own homes. The same qualities that we create in our homes—love, peace, joy, inspiration—will be the same qualities that we experience in our lives.
Sisters Laura and Alison Forbes are authors, speakers, bloggers, consultants, and co-founders of the home and lifestyle company Inspired Everyday Living. They write and speak about personal development through the home and believe that our homes are connected to all aspects of our well-being and influence all parts of our lives. Therefore, when you change your home, you change your life. They are the authors of The Peaceful Nursery: Preparing a Home for Your Baby and have recently developed three iPhone apps: Easy Feng Shui, Feng Shui for Love, and, as a companion to their book, The Peaceful Nursery App. To learn more about Laura and Alison, visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.