Photo by Tan Danh on Pexels.
This September, A Magical Year, starts for the very first time. This 11-month course will create a solid foundation into the self-actualization journey to help anyone live with more freedom and love in their lives and start to unfold their full potential.
Every month we cover a different topic, which gives us the opportunity to look at every part of our lives and to see how we can tweak it, to allow for more ease and joy.
The first thing that we will be looking at in September is how we can use our environment to support us in this transformation.
You will have an idea of how that transformation can take place, when rethinking your home, by the end of this post.
We will divide our environment into three layers.
The first layer that makes up our environment is our home, the second our neighbourhood, the third the whole world.
In A Magical Year we start with what we are most familiar with and what probably seems easiest to adjust: our home.
Rethinking your home
But how familiar are we with our homes, really? And how much of what surrounds us have we really chosen to be there and what just happens to be there?
Do you know what it is that you really like? And why?
I’m 41 now, and last year I started decorating (and renovating) a house by myself. It’s the first time that I did this consciously, and it’s the 13th place I moved into.
I’ve lived with my partner before, I lived in different shared housing situations, in Germany, in the US and in Ukraine. I also lived by myself once before. I always had an easy time making people feel at home at my place, no matter where I was.
I loved having people over and created my spaces so that I could host easily.
A lot in my life happened so that I could make other people feel comfortable. I thought a lot about what other people thought, about what I had got complimented on before, to get or do similar things and so on. I didn’t even know I was doing that.
Before living in my own places, as a child, I felt like I did not have access to things I really liked.
I read about architecture and design, I even did an internship at an architect’s office, where I learned some more.
But when it came to buying furniture or decorating my own room, as a child or teenager, I was limited to use what my parents offered.
There was never a question of what my heart desired, or what would make me truly happy, or what would support the growth of my soul.
My parents wanted the best for me, most parents do, but they were also limited to offering only what they knew. And I could also only think as far as I had seen or experienced things before.
It does not matter so much, how we were growing up, most of us did not have the chance to really decide how things looked around us.
Which led to the fact, that by the time we did have that choice, many of us had already forgotten how to ask ourselves what we really liked and more or less reproduced what we were accustomed to or what we thought we should have.
Are we really making free choices?
By the time I moved into my first little studio as a student I had overwritten many of my instincts and desires, and was much more concerned with what other people would say or how dateable my flat would make me, than to think about what I would really like to have.
Plus, most of my things in my home now were the things I brought from my home with my parents, or what my parents bought me or what I found on the streets somewhere.
The access to what really made me happy got even more blocked from there on because I also couldn’t afford many things, or didn’t feel like I was in a position to pick or choose.
So, while I knew how to decorate well, while I could quickly put a room together and make it look nice, welcoming, I also didn’t know how to rethink it in a way that would make it good for me. (Or even thought about asking that question.)
And then, to an extent, I also wanted to create a sense of safety at home, something that I didn’t feel in the world.
To create a sense of safety, well-being, a place to resource oneself is absolutely fine and what we are looking for, but only if it’s done intentionally for that and not to make up for other things.
One of the things that happen when we continuously swallow or override our feelings, is that we develop ticks, we can become obsessive.
So, I was definitely leaning in a direction where, especially when I felt mentally unstable, when the world seemed to be difficult and overwhelming, at least everything at home needed to be in order, in its place, clean, controlled.
I tried to use outside things to help with my feelings, something that I now know, does not work. We have to do the inner work, to resolve our inner conflicts.
So in-between adjusting my environment to people-please and to get some control over my life, I also thought that I had it all together and lived in a nice place.
In the past years before I moved here when I, not really knowingly, embarked on my self-actualizing journey, I started to tune back into what it actually was that I liked.
When I moved into my new home last year, I did not make everything perfect and presentable right away.
I waited to let things develop, I listened to myself, I decided consciously, I researched, I felt, I smelled, I paused and I continued only when it felt right.
This is my first home, where people come in and don’t just say, oh this is nice. But: I can really feel you here! Obviously, this is not about getting approval from other people. It’s the feeling part that counts. It’s how we start changing our world bit by bit.
If we want to live happier and freer lives, it is important to reconnect to and feel our feelings.
If we would like to feel energized, empowered, we need to release blockages. The ones we have built up over our lifetimes by not feeling our feelings.
Rethinking your home to learn more about yourself
We do that by asking ourselves the right questions and curiously embarking on a journey to find the answers.
For ourselves, by ourselves, to give us the love that we crave.
We need to do that in all areas of our lives, including our homes, our neighbourhoods and how we see ourselves in this world.
Because if there are things in any of these places, that subconsciously disturb us, that stir up past emotions and patterns, it adds a constant level of stress to our lives.
Each individual instance might not be much, but it adds up because there are stressors like this in all areas of our lives. Which is why we will look at them one by one in A Magical Year.
Are you curious to know how?
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.
For finding out what you really like when it comes to making your home a place that supports your well-being, one easy way to do that from home, is by simply by creating Pinterest boards or looking through magazines or books that you have.
But what I would recommend even more is to go to actual shops and take a look around. Go into a shopping area and see where your eyes or nose takes you.
(Please don’t go to a mall. Don’t go to a department store. Go to that street where they have hand made or one of a kind things. The places that are decorated with love, where the people in the shop can actually tell you something about the items they sell and why.)
When you are there, you can start to ask yourself: what here do I actually like?
And that’s not the same as: Is this what would get me acknowledgement from my Mum/Dad? Is this how I can provoke something or someone? Would this be the last thing my Mum/Dad would want me to have?
Would it get me appreciation from visitors? Is this what would make my partner happy? Is it easy to clean? Will it last a long time?
Ask yourself: What would make ME happy? Why would this make ME happy?
It made me incredibly uncomfortable to even ask myself these questions in the beginning. I had never allowed myself to take up that kind of space.
But do it anyway, even if you feel uncomfortable in the beginning. And notice what you feel. What does that object tell you about yourself? Why are you uncomfortable? When do you feel comfortable and why?
Slow down and listen to yourself. Usually, when you feel uncomfortable, it means that you are exactly in the right spot. Experience it. Grow with it, learn from it.
And I will ask you to not buy anything on that first trip. Just spend some time listening to yourself and take that experience back home. And repeat it in other places whenever you can.
You will learn a lot about yourself and your desires. And where this journey will take you might be quite different to how you’re living now. Or not. But you will understand yourself a lot better.
So, once you’ve started to get a better understanding of what it is, that actually warms your heart, that comforts your soul, that brings you a sense of calm, you can start looking through your home to see what doesn’t.
I hope you enjoy. And make sure to get one of the places in A Magical Year to continue growing and filling your year with more experiences like this.
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What does it look like to be of service to the world?
I wake up happy, I go to bed happy. I get so much more done in a day than I ever would have imagined.
I’ve solved a washing machine problem this morning, tended to my plants, had breakfast, planned for some future articles, checked my emails and danced a little in the kitchen.
In no way would this have been possible a year ago.
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