No matter the reason why we may feel powerless, broken, weak, unable, disheartened or a failure, there is a way out. That way out is called responsibility for what we can change and acceptance for what we have no control over. Easy? Certainly not! Necessary? Absolutely!
Yes, the unthinkable happened! My beautiful, little, cozy nest of an upper suite in Oak Bay was put on the market for sale. Even though the owner’s representative did not tell me to leave, I chose to do so myself and be proactive. I didn’t want to find myself in the position to suddenly have to go house hunting in Victoria BC in the middle of winter, or even worse just before the Christmas holidays. So I started looking and was lucky enough to find a beautiful new place to rent within a week.
Have you ever had days where you felt that you have lost control over your home environment? Clutter all over the place, disorganization preventing you from functioning smoothly and efficiently, too much housework to be done?
That very moment when you feel overwhelmed do you also feel you have lost control over yourself, your thoughts and feelings? Do you get overtaken by stress and experience anxiety which sometimes leads you to a depressive state?
Times of loss and transition can be tough and overwhelming. The pain of grief together with the stress of uncertainty can feel unbearable and overwhelming. Our bodies, minds and souls may undergo tremendous amounts of hardship which can lead to exhaustion and feeling unwell. From broken heart to cognitive challenges, feelings of sadness, loneliness and depression may make it quite difficult to function.
There are those moments when we are facing particularly critical or difficult times that something shifts inside us, something gives way and we become at some level united with the world around us. Our hearts wide open, fully receptive in our complete vulnerability. Some might call it an altered state of consciousness, others may call it brief glimpses of enlightenment. Whatever it is, it feels blissful, sweet and tender. It warms our heart and makes us feel fully connected with all that is.
It made me laugh when I first saw it yet simultaneously triggered some thoughts. Are we always aware of what our ‘Beyond this point’ is and what that means for us? Do we see it when we reach it or do we realize it only once we are in the water? What does it take for us to reach that point? What makes us realize we are there?
Many of us go through a lot in our lives and for some of us the hardships even begin in early childhood. Be that with the divorce or death of one of our parents, sexual or mental abuse, bullying, frequent and unpleasant changes of environment, alienation, sickness, anxiety or depression.
There is great value in putting our thoughts down on paper. It helps us express our feelings, thoughts, state of mind. Get clarity on things, think, ponder, brainstorm, find solutions. However we usually tend to do so more when distressed, when undergoing difficult times but reduce our entries when feeling well and happy. The result is we end up with a lot of written material about our dark times and very little if any about our good times. That means that when we open that journal it is but a collection of gloom and doom and little if anything to lighten up our spirit.
These are the three words that you need to remove from your vocabulary! Why? Because if you ‘wish’ or ‘hope’ for something it means that you are not certain that you will make it happen. If you say you will ‘try’ to do something it means that you are not 1000% committed and determined to do it. As Yoda says:
There are times, or rather periods of time in our lives where lessons hit us left and right with dizzying speed! As if life, exasperated by our not ‘getting it’ is throwing at us a bunch of events, signs and symbols hoping it will eventually sink in…
When it doesn’t, we usually wake up one morning, feeling bad, stressed out of our minds or lingering in the depths of depression, wondering why we feel this way since we were ‘just fine’ the day before! We are shocked by our astonishing lack of self awareness and the mere realization causes us even more stress. “How on earth did I not see this coming?”
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.