Do you have a soul loving space? A place that nourishes you, calms you and helps to soothe your soul? A space in which you feel creative? Or a space in which you feel connected with your family? During July, our monthly calendar looks at how to create a soul-soothing space.
In chapter 7 of The Art of Extreme Self-Care, Cheryl Richardson has you take a look at the spaces that you live in work in. She explores what a soul loving space means and how to achieve that feeling in your home and/or office.
A soul loving space is a place that fills you with joy, gives you energy, and inspires your creativity. To get there, though, you may have to rearrange, eliminate, and/or give away.
In the book, Cheryl talks about living in a small cottage while she and her husband were building their dream house. The cottage became “smaller and smaller” as it cluttered up with not only those things they moved in with, but also things they were getting for the new house.
As it became more cramped and cluttered, Cheryl started to feel constrained and her mind felt cluttered. This is a feeling that I know well. For the past two years, Chris and I have been downsizing and moving into ever smaller spaces. At one point, all of our belongings were either in two bedrooms at my mother’s house or in storage. I felt constrained and hemmed in.
We moved into a one bedroom apartment in Florida. It was so much larger than what we were used to for the last two years. At first, it felt freeing, and then as we lost steam unpacking, it started feeling cluttered. I felt closed in by all the boxes that were stacked in corners.
This past month, my husband and I decided it was time to tackle the clutter. Each weekend, we took a different room and emptied boxes, put things away, threw things out or moved things out of the way and into closets. The result is a more inviting home to be in. It makes me feel lighter and it removed my procrastination excuse, so I feel like I’m accomplishing a lot more.
For the month of July, the calendar will focus on achieving that goal for your spaces. You’ll be looking at your spaces to determine not only how this space makes you currently feel, but how you want it to make you feel. You will examine the rooms first and consider what the room means to you, the primary purpose, what you absolutely have to have in the room and what should not be there.
Then you’ll evaluate the room to determine how you would rate the room in its current state, what needs to be added in order to nurture you soul, and what could you easily remove? And you’ll also determine what you need in order to keep the room clutter free.
Once all the planning is done, start eliminating those things that no longer support or nurture your soul. While you might not be able to eliminate something from your house, maybe keeping it in the bedroom or your office isn’t the right space for it. Is there another room for it…or better yet, another person you could give it to?
It’s not just about eliminating items, but also about eliminating habits that are affecting the soul of your home. If clutter is a problem in the room, then ask yourself why? Does mail pile up on the dining room table because you don’t have someplace to put it? Do your keys get lost resulting in a frenzied search each morning? What can you put in place to eliminate these problems?
And finally, it’s time to enhance your area in order to make it the soul-soothing/soul loving space that you crave. Enhance doesn’t just mean bringing in more items or finding the most expensive catalogs in which to purchase shelves or tables.
Do you crave framed photos of your family and friends? Maybe it’s some natural elements. I used to decorate with rocks and candles. Easy to keep clean. If you need a new desk or a bookshelf, why not try a tag sale or flea market to see if you can find exactly what you need.
Remember, it’s about nourishing and soothing your soul. Don’t worry about what other people do. It’s time to create the space that your body, mind, and soul crave in order to feel energized, creative, and joyful.
The best way to use the calendar is to read all of the items first. Find out where you might need to make plans in advance like making appointments. Click on the links when you need to read or listen to something. Below is the calendar and here is a link to the July Soul-Soothing Calendar.