How was your week? I hope well! Continuing with last week’s post, part 2 of Making Your Home a Sanctuary.
Next, it’s time to take a look at the physical aspects of your house. If the wall colors bother you or seem drab, can you paint them? If you can’t change the paint color because you rent, or can’t afford new paint, then what about changing out the artwork? There’s a lot of beautiful art out there and you can always find pictures in thrift stores. Or, go on a creative binge and create new art! One of the pictures that my husband loves the best that I painted, is really a print. I took rose leaves, brushed them with green paint, and then pressed them on canvas to leave the print of the leaf. Then I painted a minimalist branch, and flower, and framed it, and bingo: a beautiful, simple nature print. You can dry leaves and flowers, an glue them onto a canvas. Or get your children to help you make fun, vivid paintings. Whatever you love, you can turn into art.
As far as furniture goes, again, you don’t have to change the furniture in your house to update the way it looks and the way it makes you feel. You can change out accents like throw pillows, vases, throw blankets, and again — if you’re on a tight budget, you can find a number of lovely things at the thrift stores. Just remember, when you bring home used items, you might want to use some sage to smudge them with to clear any residue energy.
Is there a small corner of the house that you can put a chair and a simple end table, to use for meditation or simply to sit with a cup of tea or coffee and your journal? Boom—reading/contemplation nook.
But really, beyond the physical (and I never underrate how important it is to be happy with the way your home looks), the MOST important way to shift the energy in your home is by shifting the energy you put into it.
How often do you sit down in your home and count your blessings? Giving gratitude, whether it simply be acknowledging the blessings you have, or actually giving thanks to whichever deity you choose to worship, is one of the biggest steps toward increasing the joy and happiness in your life. And I’m not talking about just being grateful for your china or your new chair. I’m talking about being grateful in terms of acknowledging the friends who come over to fill your house with laughter and friendship. About your family whom you love. About the pets who make your life feel complete. I’m talking about acknowledging the fact that you are here, alive, living a life that nobody else can live. Your life is unique, you are unique, and it’s important to recognize that your own experiences are something nobody can ever take away.
As we rush through the days, rush to go to work, rush to come home, rush to make dinner, rush to jump on Facebook, too often we forget to just sit down and breathe. We forget to recognize that our existence makes a difference in not only our lives, but in the lives of others. When we create a home that feels loving and welcoming, we nurture ourselves and we nurture those we choose to include in our lives.
Making your home a sanctuary can be as simple as refusing to let someone in your door who is a troublemaker. It can be as simple as carving out a small space where you can sit and meditate daily. Making your home a sanctuary means committing to living intentionally, to no longer allowing others to fill your home with disharmony. Of course, there will always be times of trouble, there will always be tears in our lives. But we can create joy, and we can create harmony and goodwill if we choose to.
Remember: you cannot control others, but you can control your reactions. You are responsible for what you choose to add into this world. When someone makes you angry, you have the choice whether to interact, to rectify the situation, or to remove yourself from the situation. If someone continually berates you, you have the choice whether to disassociate yourself from them.
All of this goes in to making your home feel safe, secure, and welcoming. The most magnificent house on the block can feel cold and empty, while a two-room cottage in a tumbledown neighborhood can feel like the most welcoming home. Everything depends on the energy.
And with that, I challenge you to look around your house, and think of at least one way that you can make it more welcoming and joyful. Tell me what you figure out in the comments.