On Living Lighter

light curtains pella hedeby

How can you add lightness?

How can you let the light into your homes, bodies and lives?

We’ve been exploring living lighter this week, so today I’m ruminating on light, lighting and lightness.

As I tend to live in my head, I’m currently playing with sharing visuals and simpler words.

Below are some of my answers. Perhaps they resonate with some of yours, too.

 

bathroom mirror via anna gillar se

round kitchen table light

copper pendant living room

dark interior great lighting

go to the beach water

neon lighting art

moonlight art

salad nicoisse

conservatory greenhouse

string lighting hammock

white scandinavian store

 

floating light wood stairs

magical table setting

sacred empty space

How can we add light and be lighter in our homes and lives?

Some possible answers in words:

  • lighter materials; see-through materials, lighter colours and textiles.
  • reflective surfaces: mirrors, high gloss paint, glass
  • lighting: different warmth light-bulbs, change out light fixtures. Use up lights, down lights, ceiling lights, pendant lights, floor lamps, side lamps, string lighting.
  • light candles; light a fire.
  • lighter furniture
  • empty spaces
  • meditation
  • taking breaks
  • open and add windows, knock through walls, add skylights, add a conservatory or greenhouse
  • eat food that make us feel good, make happy memories in our homes
  • invite happy people over or people who make us laugh
  • add objects or art that make us laugh
  • filling our homes, bodies and lives with people and things + empty spaces that let us breathe and shine

 

there's a crack in everything quote leonard cohen

 

Images:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5/ 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 1011 / 12 / 13 / 14

Feng what?! Let’s talk about flow…

Flow picImagine a river flow across your floors.  Where does it rush through, where does it get stuck and where does it nicely meander?

I sometimes get asked if I know about feng shui – not entirely sure why, though being part Chinese might have something to do with it.  Not to be at all negative about the feng shui movement but I’ve never really been able to get into it because, let’s face it, that’s a whole lotta rules to remember (it takes years to become a feng shui master) and it’s just not my forté BUT I do find myself adhering to some of feng shui’s most common sense principles without fail. This isn’t a post about feng shui however, it is actually a post about flow…but instead of talking about energy flows that most of us mere mortals find confusing, I’d like to use an analogy that I read about in Maxwell from Apartment Therapy’s book The eight-step home cure. What he compares it to is imagining a river flow – water spreading across your floors as it were.  Where does it rush through, where does it get stuck and where does it nicely meander? Fast rushing rivers in your home are dangerous (if you replace water with running kids!) and too curvy rivers end up with crud stuck in the bends (or the stuff in our homes we generally call clutter).

The happy house rule is for the flow in your home to meander like a healthy river bends – this encourages you and everyone else to take a journey through your home and hopefully to stop and appreciate each and every part of it along the way.

Now, how do you know if your home flows nicely?  You could just walk through and see how easy/hard it is to do, but if you find it hard to see this in your own home then I’d love to suggest Nat’s trick of watching a 5 year old for the first time try to navigate your house. It’ll become abundantly clear where they get stuck or where they run straight through!  (If you don’t have your own 5 year old then borrow one – I’m sure their parents would be happy to have them off their hands for an hour or two – win win!) A couple of pictures from Maxwell again to illustrate bad flow vs. good flow: good and bad flowI hope this helps your eyes not glaze over when someone starts talking about the energy flow in your space!

If if you are interested in understanding more about feng shui then I would recommend Karen Kingston‘s books as she’s one’s of my favourite authors on the subject…

but for now, off you go and find your 5 year old to help you create a happy healthy flow in your home.

The Psychology of Clutter & Letting Go

Many powerful emotions are lurking amid stuff we keep. Whether it’s piles of unread newspapers, clothes that don’t fit, outdated electronics…the things we accumulate reflect some of our deepest thoughts and feelings.

To come to grips with their clutter, clients need to understand [and confront] why they save what they save, or things will inevitably pile up again.”

– The Psychology of Clutter, by Melinda Beck, Wall Street Journal

 

On Monday Tip wrote a post on letting go, explaining how real letting go can only happen if we first understand our relationship with stuff.

…and like magic into our inbox popped this video and article on The Psychology of Clutter by Melinda Beck for the Wall Street Journal.

“There’s growing realization amongst professional organizers that the first step towards de-cluttering is when we have to take in our heads coming to grips with why we keep what we keep.”

Remember, stuff only becomes clutter when it goes beyond stuff and causes us to feel a host of unpleasant / negative emotions: stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, paralyzed…and not be able to deal with it.

“Difficulty letting go of your stuff can also go hand in hand with separation anxiety, compulsive shopping, perfectionism, procrastination and body-image issues. And the reluctance to cope can create a vicious cycle of avoidance, anxiety and guilt.”

Avoidance? Anxiety? Guilt?
Yup! Yup! Yup!

To come to grips with their clutter, clients need to understand [and confront] why they save what they save, or things will inevitably pile up again.”

Which brings us back to why we need to understand our relationship with stuff and those ‘piles’ of clutter lying around.

I had a client recently who literally said “I know all the tricks like start with a corner, but I always go between perfectionist tidy and then cluttered piles…how do I know I wont go back there, back to clutter?”…I explained, “that’s because you haven’t confronted and really looked at why you’re doing this in the first place. Let’s deal with that first, and then you’ll see…we’re not going back we’re only going forward to new habits and ways you want to live by. Then next time the first pile starts you have a different way to handle it. But first, let’s have an honest look…”

So we did. Over a Skype call.

Clutter Piles To Do List

The next day she cleaned two piles and found $750 (from rebates she found in one pile and sale of something in another pile) and had already changed the bedroom. Two weeks later all the piles of clutter (17 of them) were gone from her house and while there are still things to tackle – a whole storage room in fact – “it feels different now”… and what’s best is that every time she writes to me she says “I still feel amazing”.

This isn’t magic, although for my client and others like her who deal with why they’re keeping stuff it does feel like it.

At the heart of our process with our clients – one on one coaching or our courses – is first understanding why you keep things and your relationship with stuff…

So that when you remove things you are really letting go.

Not just of the things this time, but of the reasons too.

It really is the only way to create new habits and ways that are happier, healthier, less stressful and overwhelming and well, work for you!

Because really, I know you don’t want to feel overwhelmed and paralyzed by stuff.

So go, what are you waiting for? Read Tip’s latest blog post on why we keep stuff and confront why you keep stuff…

and if you are ready for a new way and want some gentle guidance to get you there, contact us and let’s schedule a time to work on it together, once and for all.

 

Putting together #apartmentdiet #before&afters from our last course. So inspired by the changes people make & feel privileged to facilitate! Xnat

Interested in our courses?www.apartmentdiet.com/course

Argh? How did so much stuff (mine :() fit in here?!
The good news it’s time to make space and give stuff away…

Some reality:
– It’s fun to start (though no doubt we avoid)
– it kinda sucks in the middle
– pretend it’s like a gym class … It’s over in less than 2hrs and …
– start with a corner

CLEVER solution to hiding wires and reducing clutter –  just a bit of nice fabric and a zipper. Love it! By typographer Erik Spiekermann and his wife, designer Susanna Dulkinys

You can see more of their house on dwell
there’s also a fab kitchen in the slideshow.

photos by pia ulin find tx to swiss miss

CLEVER solution to hiding wires and reducing clutter –  just a bit of nice fabric and a zipper. Love it! By typographer Erik Spiekermann and his wife, designer Susanna Dulkinys

You can see more of their house on dwell
there’s also a fab kitchen in the slideshow.

photos by pia ulin find tx to swiss miss