An excerpt From Love Coming Home: Transform Your Environment, Transform Your Life
Have you ever stopped to think that you start and end each day in your home? Whether it’s owned, rented or shared, more than half of your life is spent at home. You might not have much control over the outside world from the moment you leave your home until the moment you return, but you can control your home environment, the space you occupy for so much of your life.
Your home has the power to help make every day a beautiful day — the power to be a sanctuary from whatever is going on “out there,” be it at work or at school, in a line of traffic or in line at the market. You can create a home that always welcomes you back. Isn’t that something to look forward to?
Stability and happiness
I had a client who was a pilot for a commercial airline. He would fly all the way home from the East Coast to Portland, Oregon, simply to have one night in his own bed before flying right back to the East Coast for another trip. He claimed it reset him and gave him more strength for the week ahead. Being home — even for one day — was worth it, bringing him stability and happiness.
One thing we all have in common, no matter our background or income level or where we live, is that our environments, exterior and interior, influence every aspect of our lives: our health, our happiness, and our relationships. Everything! The home environment you create and inhabit is more than what you see; it’s about what you smell or hear, the temperature around you, the light, the textures you touch, the ease of movement, the air quality, the cleanliness and elements of safety — or the lack thereof! It’s also about things you only sense — the vibe, the energy, or the ambiance. Even the people you invite into your home have an effect on your environment.
Through your five basic senses, your environment affects your entire being to your core, your gut, or what we also know as your sixth sense or intuition. Simply put, your home environment matters.
So, why put off turning the one environment you can control into an environment that soothes and inspires you, one you love coming home to each day, one that makes you smile the moment you open your eyes? It can be one that’s healthy for you and your family, one that springboards your vitality, productivity and positivity throughout the day, every day. And you can start creating it right now.
Even though our homes are important in our lives, many people don’t respect, value, and treat them in that way; they put off making changes, thinking, Someday, when I get into a better home, a better financial situation, or have the time, then I’ll get my home in order. Many anticipate or fear an eventual move or life change, so they just make do in their current environment. Many are paralyzed, not knowing where to start or feeling they don’t have the ability to pull it off, even if they tried.
Many truly believe that a beautiful home environment is only for the wealthy, or for someone who can afford a designer. These are all obstacles anyone can overcome. And this book will show you how. So why wait for someday when you can start today!
I had a client who had been living in their home for 10 years. This couple’s house had a gorgeous setting with an amazing view, yet they still had boxes to be unpacked, furniture in disrepair, and an overall cluttered environment. Someday they intended to tear their house down and rebuild, or maybe sell it outright — after a decade, they were still unsure. Meanwhile, they were raising their family in an unsettled environment. They would apologize to visitors for the way their home looked, explaining that they were “in transition.”
Finally, they realized how ridiculous this was! Once they acknowledged that putting off improving their current home was negatively affecting their lives, they stopped waiting for someday. They were then able to quickly and affordably make it a place they could enjoy now. Who knows…they still might tear down and rebuild, or even sell, but in the meantime they have created an environment they love coming home to, one in which their family can thrive.
Simple shifts in your habits at home will make a big impact on your entire life.
I am a big believer that simple shifts in your habits at home will make a big impact on your entire life. In preparation for making those small shifts, it’s worthwhile to reflect on some aspects of your current space that will shed light on what home means to you:
What do you love about your home?
What do you not love so much?
What in your home elevates you, inspires you?
What in your home annoys you, frustrates you?
What is holding you back from creating the home you want?
What favorite memory do you have about a home? (It can be your own or someone else’s home.) Why is this memory special to you?
What excites you when you see other homes (in person, in magazines, or on Pinterest, etc.)?
What qualities are important to you in a home? (For example: color, lighting, coziness, openness, simplicity, a relaxing mood, etc.)
Now, let’s take a few minutes to think through the start of your day: When you wake up in the morning, you feel textures against your skin. Are they smooth, soft, and luxurious — a delight? Or are they rough and scratchy? Or neutral, something in between?
You open your eyes and see walls, a ceiling, the room as a whole. Does your waking environment make you feel good?
When you step onto the floor, you feel a texture below your feet. Is it comfortable or slightly shocking? Warm and soft or cold and hard?
You breathe in air, and what do you smell? Is it the fresh-cut roses on your dresser or the dirty laundry piled on the floor? Or maybe the preset coffeemaker is going, and the aroma is stimulating your senses?
What do you hear? What sounds surround you? Do city noises jumpstart your thoughts and ideas? Or do nature sounds ease you into the day? Growing up in Gales Creek, Oregon, where we got a substantial amount of rain, the chirping of birds always symbolized sunshine and spring for me. Now when I hear birdsong in the morning, I wake up with a smile.