How to carve out Personal Space

Mirka's personal space

Mirka's personal space

Everywhere you look you see articles and books beginning with ‘How to’ do X, Y, Z thing, yet not everything can be turned into a recipe of success for everyone, especially for subjects related to the human psyche. Unlike food recipes or step-by-step guides on how to make or do something specific, things pertaining to anything to do with personality, personal preferences and feelings cannot be constricted to a ‘How To’ recipe.

The notion and concept of Space is already vague and abstract enough, defining just about anything that surrounds us. The idea of personal space can be even more complex and depends on the person’s perception, mental schema, values and beliefs together with their personal needs and goals.

Is it only a physical space?

Personal Space may be an actual physical place in someone’s home or the space they desire to keep between their person and the rest of the world or even a virtual space inside their mind. It may actually not even be a physical place but a block of time set aside for oneself. There are many ways to create personal space but no strict rules and guidelines and this at a practical level is good because it allows for alternative solutions and flexibility.

The notion of ‘space’ thus may be carved out in different dimensions, be that at a physical, time, or mental level. It can be a specific room or space within a room, it can be the time allocated to the person for use of that space or it can even be the inner space they make in their mind to stay with their thoughts. Any of these options can work better or worse for different people and at different times and some are more practical and feasible than others according to the circumstances.

The purpose of making Personal Space is usually to take personal time for ourselves, to spend it undisturbed, in the quiet or not, to sink into our thoughts or senses, connect with our inner self and engage in anything that offers us pleasure, peace, relaxation, contentment and a sense of wellbeing.

Why ‘carve out’ and not ‘make’ a personal space?

The visual symbolism of carving out a space is more dynamic and filled with stronger intent than mere ‘making a space’. It denotes a strong desire, will and intention. One driven by an important inner need seeking to be fulfilled. It allows for the possibility of creating personal space out of anything and under any circumstances, even when one may be in a jammed-pack underground train compartment.

Our computers, tablets, iPods or cellular phones are but one example of us spending time in virtual space, shutting the external physical world out at will, yet research has shown that this practice does not necessarily help us relax, focus, find pleasure or our peace. Whereas time spent in a mindful state of mind as during meditation but not only, has much more to offer to those who practice it.

Many of us live in smaller homes with family and do not have the luxury of extra room to create our own personal space in which we could escape the rest of the world even for a few moments. On the other hand those of us who are lucky enough to have that extra space, often end up not using it as often as or in the way we would like.

Intention is everything!

Perhaps the most important element of carving out our personal space is the intention to do so. Then comes the willingness to carry that intention out, to commit to its realization. Quite often we dream about it but get sidetracked by our daily routine and commitments. Too tired, too busy, too distracted and it never happens. The desired project gets on the back burner, postponed indefinitely or totally forgotten.

Creating a personal space for ourselves, physical or mental, can be turned into as simple or as complex of a task we decide to make it. It can be anything from a cozy little corner with a colorful rug with a few pillows and a collection of books, to our own little sanctuary room - altar and all -  to time we may take to meditate in our bedroom, to pampering ourselves to a luxurious foam bath, to a walk in the park or on the beach in the right frame of mind. It can be that simple and easy! What keeps us from doing it is the lack of strength of our intention to do so.

Is it the space or you?

The most important thing when we venture to carve out personal space for ourselves is the result rather than the actual physical space or environment itself. It is the effect it has on us or rather the effect we achieve with our own intention to begin with. It is the conscious decision to take a time-out from the hustle and bustle of our everyday life, the stress, the pressures. To slow down, turn inwards, reflect and meditate, appreciate what is, tune in to our body and enjoy the moment to the fullest.

It is not the actual candle’s scent that will help you relax, it is the intention to do so that will. There are no recipes to create the best personal space for you, you are your own recipe. No matter how perfect your little sanctuary may be, how gorgeous the colors, how sensuous the fabrics or materials, divine scents and warm lighting, if you are not in the right frame of mind when you walk in it, you will not benefit from it as much as you possibly could had you started with the right intention.

It takes two to tango!

I am not saying that our environment does not affect us, all am saying is that we have an interactive relationship with it. If our frame of mind is not the right one, there are limitations to what the interior design of our space can do for us or add to. This is especially the case for the creation of a personal ‘sanctuary’ in our home. Since personal space begins in our mind, it is our conscious intention that matters most.

It is the desire and intention to allow ourselves some time off, some sacred time for our own personal enjoyment, away from any distractions, duties or pressures. We are the ones who will decide to switch off our phone, lock the door to our room, switch off or lower the lighting, put on some music, light that candle, engage in a pleasurable activity, focus on our breathing, allow our body to stretch out in movement, relax in the water and so on.

It is all about and for you!

Carving out your own personal ‘space’ or time, is something you do because you value yourself enough to do so. Putting boundaries, ensuring that your wishes are heard and respected, are all under your control and if you feel you don’t have any, remember that we teach others how to treat us according to what we believe we deserve.

Yes, a comfy, cozy or even luxurious environment with soothing music, sensuous scents and low lighting will probably help anyone relax. Think Spa. Then again your own personal space may be your workshop, your sewing room, painting corner, your piano  or your garden. It may be your time hiking on the mountain, immersing yourself in the forest, the water.

The key is to create the kind that works for you best. The one that is in tune with your deepest emotional and physical needs. That makes your body and mind release all tension that allows you to focus, savor, enjoy your moment in time to the fullest.

What is your purpose?

The purpose of creating your own personal space is to help you relax, satisfy your spirit and your senses, enjoy the moment, rest, rejuvenate so that you can go back to your everyday routine refreshed with your energy levels restored, your mind clear and your heart at peace. You are the only one who knows what works best for you and what form or shape that may take. Set the intention and carry it through. Carve out your own precious personal space or time for you, for your wellbeing. Remember there is no try, just do it!

If you would like me to help you create your own beautiful personal space or sanctuary in your home or find out how you could carve out ‘personal space’ for yourself, do not hesitate to contact me at: info@innerdreamtoouterform.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invisible physical disabilities talk

How do you find the strength to get yourself up and going when suffering from a chronic, rare or genetic disease/disorder that is little known or has no cure? One that causes pain, weakness, exhaustion, depression, dislocations, nausea, dizziness, migraines, to name but a few?

Tell me my future

I want to know

Knowing what the future will bring is a wish as ancient as mankind. From the ancient oracle of Delphi, to the astrologers of Babylon and Egypt to Seers all over the world to today’s psychics and fortune tellers, people’s need to consult them remains as strong as ever.

Design your New Year using the learning of the last one.

It is that time of year again where we are hoping for a better future, pondering on our new resolutions, plans and dreams. The thing is experience has shown that more often than not, New Year resolutions don’t work. Either we don’t follow up on them, commit strongly enough or get out of steam pretty quick. So what if instead of looking eagerly to what the new year will bring, we took a good look behind us at the year that is heading out the door?

Last minute Christmas Decorations

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Christmas is nearly there and I haven’t come round to doing any decoration yet. I know…

In case you haven’t either, I will share with you one of my favorite Interior Design blogs: Belgian Pearls. Greet Lefevre is sharing her Christmas decoration with us here  It is simple, elegant, beautiful and easy.

You can downgrade or upgrade as you wish, the whole point is to create beauty and surround yourself, your home, your guests, with what you truly love and makes your smile.

A little touch here, a little there, love is in the details. It doesn’t need to be perfect, please everyone or need a lot of effort. It does need to be soulful, mindful and make you feel joyful and happy!

Whether you have a family or are on your own, take a little time to create beauty and honor love. Relax on the couch, cuddle in your favorite blankie, drink that hot chocolate, savor those biscuits, enjoy your loved ones, have lots of laughs, have fun, open your heart, share the love!

Merry Christmas!

“Am not happy with my home and I don’t know why. Can you help?”

Martha had a nice looking home in a great neighborhood but wasn’t quite happy with the interior of her house. Even though she was living there for the last four years, she could still not feel ‘at home’ in it. The house was quite large,  bright and airy but still looked like a great looking ‘staged’ home, neutral and devoid of character and personality. As if it’s purpose was still to appeal to as many people as possible but not designed for anyone in particular.

Upper cabinet free kitchen design - Can you feel the freedom?

The picture is from the wonderful Henrybuilt kitchen collection, a company with many international awards based out of Seattle WA, with over 4,000 completed projects in every state of the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. You can learn all about it HERE

The 'One wall storage' system - as I call it - is a kitchen design where all or most of the worktop areas are upper-cabinet-free and all the storage cabinetry is usually placed either on one or two adjacent walls from top to bottom. The appliances are usually built in either in the counter-top in the case of the elements, or the wall unit in the case of the oven and fridge.

We are but little animals

What mean little animals we can be at times! Ego puffed feathers and all. Being dismissive, arrogant and disrespectful of one another. For what? Because of fear? Feeling threatened? Or simply to enjoy moments of ego boosting satisfaction of having put someone down and stepping on their necks verbally with a smile?

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF FENG SHUI

Adapted version from my upcoming book: Your Life & Space Redesigned

-  Noooo! For goodness’ sake, don’t put the fish tank in your evil 2 corner, and especially in         your bedroom!

-  Huh!? What are you talking about? I love my fish! I relax looking at them before I go to sleep!

-  Fine! Do as you wish, but you have been warned.

-  …

Funny as it may seem, this is what Feng Shui conversations may sound like sometimes and the reason why so many of us in the West have come to consider Feng Shui as an incomprehensible, exotic, superstitious nonsense. A series of do and don’t rules to be followed blindly no matter how strange or absurd they may sound to the recipient of advice.

CANNOT FIND A PLACE TO SIT DOWN AND RELAX IN THE HOUSE?

We all know of houses or have even experienced it in some of our own homes, where it seems impossible to find a place where we can sit down and relax. Somehow the living room feels too cold, too disjointed, there is no corner to fit furniture to create a cozy space, there seem to be circulation paths all across the room.

DESIGN FOR CALM, FOCUS AND ENJOYMENT

In order to design a calm enjoyable environment where one can focus and be creative, certain things like avoiding using very bright energizing colors may seem obvious. The truth however is far more complex and relative than we may think. Even though there are certain research findings which seem to help us by offering certain guidelines to create environments conducive to relaxation and concentration, the truth is highly subjective and relative.

For example, we know that that the color yellow is mind stimulating and thus would not be the ideal color for a bedroom or for the home of a hyperactive person. We also know that blue is calming and lowers the blood pressure. So what could be the ideal color for a study?

Sense of Self and Self esteem

Sense of Self and Self esteem

Sense of Self and Self Esteem are often used interchangeably yet are not exactly the same thing and one does not ensure or insinuate the other. You may have a strong sense of self but if it is not a positive and/or healthy one it does not necessarily guarantee a good sense of self-esteem. Knowing who you are and what you want may not necessarily mean you value yourself or believe you deserve to be, do or have what you could be, do or have. What dictates your belief about yourself and what you deserve or not in this world, is what shapes, maintains, grows or destroys your sense of self-esteem.

Redesigning your life and space

Very few things are black and white in life apart from the very moment we enter and exit this world. What happens before, in between and after are all open to possibility and/or the unknown. Personally, even though I may have some curiosity as to the before and after, I think both are rather irrelevant to our present life, or to put it better, not of much use. All the magic, wonder and thrill are in the present and the future we visualize and hope to create for ourselves.

The past even though gone and behind us, becomes part of who we are for good or for bad. In the first case it can transcend into nurturing and precious memories, lessons learned, experience gained, strengths and capabilities acquired. In the latter case it may become the chains that drag us down, our traumas, hang ups, limitations and unresolved baggage we keep carrying around in our present.

Internet miscommunications

Social media, texting and emailing, in general written fast communication, is the perfect recipe for disaster in human communication. Cold short sentences denuded of the tone of voice of verbal communication or the visual cues of body language, are subject to anything the recipient may perceive it as for whatever reason.

The dynamic of Harmony, Balance and the dead end of extremes

Anything taken to its extreme, good or bad, becomes absolute, totalitarian, dictatorial, oppressive and negative. Where there is no balance there can be no harmony, diversity, beauty, love, freedom, happiness. Where you can see no different shades of grey, there is only black and white.

Extremes by definition lay at the end of a spectrum and thus are rigid and inflexible, there is no space to go any further when you are at the end of a continuum. When at the edge of an extreme you are making contact with inevitable endings, death but also change and transformation.

A simpler, clutter free, meaningful life

What is clutter? The accumulation of things you bought at some point which no longer serve their original purpose and have now become a burden that fills up space in your home that you could find a better use for.

Clutter is the superfluous, the non essential, the surplus, the non useful. At best it can turn into the disposable, the garbage, at worst it can turn into a nightmare you cannot sort out.

How does that translate into more general terms in your reality? What could you define as ‘clutter’ in your emotional, social, personal or work life? What burdens you that you could do without? What weighs you down? What keeps you from moving forward? What gets in your way? What causes you confusion? 

The most asked question: What colours should I paint my home to feel happy?

The answer is, there is no straight answer. Colour is subjective and relative. Colour preferences are unique to the individual, their aesthetic history, their emotional experiences of colour, their personality, state of mind, values and beliefs. To make things even more complicated colour preferences are not static, they change over time, they grow, they mature, they evolve.

A better question to ask is “What kind of environment atmosphere do I need to feel happy?” 

What about our inner environment? Happy place or rabbit hole?

Are you living in your happy place or down into your rabbit hole? Wonderland or wasteland? What is your inner topography like? Do you live in light or darkness, or in endless shades of grey?

No matter how much you may work to redesign your external environment, if your inner one is challenging, blue, or outright flat and barren, your soul will be unable to appreciate what your eyes are looking at. Your senses will not function optimally, will deny you of pleasure and enjoyment.

Visible and invisible disabilities - May is Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes awareness month

Was watching a fitness inspiration video today and came to realize that these quotes, articles, courses and so on about fitness, are mainly addressed to able bodied, reasonably healthy people and therefore the language used is targeted towards that group. Understandable, it makes total sense.

The usual motivator used to inspire people into taking action, getting off their buts and exercise is that it is a ' Choice' and it is! For most healthy folks out there, they have a choice between feeling weak and out of shape or feeling strong and fit. This can apply even for physically challenged people as the Paraolympics have so wonderfully proven.

This unfortunately is not the case for people with chronic or congenital disorders that render them unable to engage in any form of exercise. Disorders that affect the muscles, nervous system and/or connective tissue, joints etc Things such as MS, Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes, Hypermobility Syndromes, Myalgic Encephalitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the list is long...