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.
Since we now know through neuroscience that our brain is flexible and can be manipulated, we may as well use that property to our advantage. Since we know our genes expression depends on so many different factors and is not definite, we can influence the way those genes are expressed by making the appropriate changes in our lifestyle, diet, thought patterns, social relationships and our environment.
Change and improvement requires work. Redesigning one’s life is just like redesigning one’s space. You got to remove things, add new ones or not, change the layout and connection of your thought patterns, be able to visualize the theme you want to create, the end result in your mind’s eye, all the while striving to create something which will make you feel good, comfortable, energized and at ease. Something which will be functional, make sense, be aesthetically sound, harmonious and in sync with your inner core. A life that will satisfy your wants and needs and make you feel happy and content.
Practically that may mean that you have to first know exactly what it is you do not like or want, what does not work in your life anymore and what you want to change it into. You need to know your WHYs. To know where you came from and where you are heading. You need to know where you came from, so you are fully aware of how you came about to become who you are today and why your life is the way it is right now. You need to know where you want to get, because without a concrete vision of the future you want to create for yourself there is no target to aim at. You may run around the house adding new furniture here and there and different accessories but they will not match up, they won’t coordinate, you won’t be able to create the atmosphere, the theme you want for your life, it will all be random. The same goes for your life.
You need to work with either the existing ‘frame’ of yourself, make small or bigger changes, ‘renovate’ it, or even ‘knock it down’ altogether and rebuild anew. Use what is ‘good and useful material’ and discard what is ‘rotten’, ‘broken’ or dysfunctional. Ensure that your ‘foundation’ is sound and solid, stable and robust. That your ‘main structure’ is ‘earthquake proof’, flexible enough to withstand any kind of shock and not ‘crumble’ under pressure. That you have enough ‘openings’ to see the world outside from every side of the ‘house’, so that you can look at the different perspectives. That you have a warm ‘hearth’ in the center of your ‘home’, where you can feel comfortable and at peace, an inner ‘sanctuary’ where you can restore your energy, relax or meditate.
A strong sense of self is like a strong and solid home structure, if you do not have that, no matter how much you try to patch up and/or embellish the ‘house’ it will get damaged or even crumble under the slightest storm. No matter how much you move the furniture around, you will always end up feeling it is not quite right and never be satisfied. No matter how much emphasis you may put on your garden outside, if the home is not stable and strong, people will never ‘buy’ it.
Finally if you do not take care of your ‘home’, nobody else will and it will gradually deteriorate, get mold, the window panes will become dirty, the rooms will get filled with spider webs, the doors will get stuck, the floors will swell from humidity and it will become an ‘abandoned house’. If you do not ensure it has appropriate heating, it is cleaned, maintained, restored when needed, it will eventually become inhabitable.
That may translate into proper nutrition, exercise, inspiring reading, positive relationships, creative activities and so on and so forth. Taking good care of yourself is much wider than the obvious physical aspect, it can be about nurturing and quality time with your loved ones, your friends, setting the appropriate boundaries to protect yourself against negative energies, thoughts and feelings. It can be about challenging yourself to try new things that will encourage your growth and development. Doing things that you enjoy and nourish your senses, your spirit. Doing things for your community that will offer you a sense of belonging and sharing.
Redesigning your space should not –ideally- be divorced from redesigning your life. It should take into account, encourage and promote what you want to change and achieve in your life. Your home should not only be your shelter but be your sanctuary, your base of operations, your resting space, your nourishment and your inspiration. It should reflect your personality, your values, your wants and needs. Serve your functions and activities as best as possible. It should be in tune with your ‘inner dream’, have the atmosphere that makes your soul sing.