People often ask me, what exactly IS this soul-style process of “design from the inside out?”
My answer usually begins with sharing what I believe.
— I believe that any square footage you claim as your own (whether you rent or own) is your sacred space — it’s your home.
— I believe that home is your foundation for an inspired life.
— I believe that home is your personal sanctum. It’s where you can disconnect from the office, church, grocery store, designer boutique, neighbors, dry cleaner, arts center or athletic fields … and reconnect with yourself. It’s meant to serve up soft landings, exuberant launches, and all the in-betweens.
— And I believe that beauty — true to the eye of the beholder — is essential.
Home can be a catalyst for how your life plays out. What you give to it, you reap. When you take it for granted, ignore its significance and capacity, deny it love and care and growth … you deny your own self worth and potential.
Connecting the dots between soul and style at home may seem like some kooky, new-agey whatever. It’s not. Soul styling your home is simply aligning who you are and aspire to be with the design of your spaces. When we work together, I facilitate a variety of interpretive steps that help you see yourself in relationship with your environment, discover your aesthetics and express them authentically.
Let’s say there’s something in your home you want to change. A room’s wall color bugs you for some reason. Maybe the room feels too spare or too crowded. Perhaps your furnishings, once intoxicatingly “perfect” as you chose them, now seem all wrong. Maybe the room has morphed into a chaotic, multi-use circus (so confusing that it’s not used at all). Could be you’re standing on the threshold of a new place and just baffled trying to decide whether to repeat what you’ve done before, create something totally different, or a blend of both. It seems terribly important that you get this “right.”
When I stood on the threshold of this bungalow two years ago after losing everything to the fire, everyday life made loud demands — there were a thousand and one practicalities to be addressed just to be able to function. But as I stared into the empty space and pondered how it might fill, what drove me forward was the desire to create a harmonious, beautiful, high functioning whole that would inspire who I would become on the other side of an unexpected and dramatic life change. It seemed terribly important that I get it right. :-)
Hopefully your challenges are less charged. But it’s pretty much a given that life resists stasis; it’s full of push and pull, change and resistance, unhappy surprises and glorious opportunities. You evolve, and guess what? Your home should, too.
When you stare into a space you’re not happy with or is new to you, it’s easy to think you simply have a design issue. And granted, sometimes that’s all it really is. But if you’re suddenly or obstinately fixated on this “problem,” there’s likely a connection to something else going on with you or your life.
So how do you know? You can start by doing an emotional and circumstantial check-in. (And this is where I start with my clients.) It might go something like this:
Why is this [particular issue] a concern now? What’s happening in my life? Has something changed, in my relationships/career/health/whatever? Do I want something to change? What do I need that I’m not getting? How do I feel about my answers? Surprised? Excited? Anxious? Embarrassed?
And most of all: How would changing this space impact my and/or my family’s well being? What if it didn’t?
Play with this and trust that the right questions will surface. Know that it doesn’t have to be a lying-on-the-couch, hours-long psychotherapy session with yourself or with me. It’s simply a mindful practice to cultivate as you create and recreate your home. Five minutes or five hours or five days — it’s up to you.
The quality of authentic design choices connects to the degree to which you engage the process of getting clear. When you take time to assess who you are or want to be, when you factor in the variety of life challenges, successes and disappointments — whatever bubbles up when you try this —you will begin to intuit what you need and want your space to be, feel and look like. How it can best serve you.
THEN YOU WILL select the right color, because you’ll understand what you’re seeking from it. You will know that letting go of something long kept out of obligation will open up space for something more important to you now: room to breathe, room to experiment, room to reflect your gorgeous, authentic self. You will be confident in changes you decide not to make.
Let me share with you a variety of a-ha’s that have cropped up when some of my clients struggle with simply selecting a color palette.
• It was more about a power struggle and “who’s right” or “who wins.”
• There was a fear of making a mistake and being ridiculed.
• The client was conflicted because what she desired didn’t follow the rules or latest trends.
• She’d been waiting for someone else to decide or give her permission.
• She felt unworthy; even judged herself as “superficial” for wanting something to be beautiful.
• She was convinced she had no creativity.
• She secretly worried that improving her home might alienate others. She didn’t want to appear “better than” someone else.
These are normal, everyday people, but they had to dig a little to find out what was holding them back from making a basic design decision!
The urge to create or re-create comes from life itself. The dots connect from space to soul, if only you care to look. When a space feels misaligned, it’s often because you’re evolving. This is a golden opportunity to make your home an ally in your growth.
And that’s what’s so great about soul-styling your home. It may seem silly to do a little self or situation analysis when all you want is the right color … or to not feel guilty for letting go of something you just don’t want anymore or indulging some opulence after years of settling for plain. But out of introspection comes a deeper, more authentic you — and a clearer shot at creating a soul space that both reflects and ignites your inspired life.
SOUL-STYLING YOUR HOME IS A PROCESS UNIQUE TO YOU — taking into consideration your circumstances, desires, aesthetics, wants, needs and more. As your design and creativity coach, I employ both quirky and common tools alike to jumpstart your journey.
How have you soul-styled at home? What challenges are you facing? Which have you conquered?! Share in the comments below! And please, share this post to spread some Soul Style love.
Ready for some help seeing and creating from the heart? Email me to schedule a free, fun, “let’s figure out where you want to go at home” chat.