I recently came across this article on Houzz.com (love that site!):
Okay, so are you curious about the question? Wait for it, wait for it…Designers often ask their clients:
How do you want your home to feel?
Many people spend a lot of money, time and effort on their home (this isn’t a good or bad thing, by the way). Does your home reflect you–and does it reflect the way you want to feel in your home–like comfortable, or does it honor your creativity? Do you value entertaining family and friends, or does your home convey your sense of a refuge from the world? Is it authentically you, your relationship, and/or your family?
Does this sound familiar? You’ve visited a home that’s beautifully decorated, but the adults are so obsessive about cleaning or keeping it neat, that they lose the joy in just living. Or, the house is decorated to perfection, with the hosts embodying these traits, but the inauthenticity of their home and their lives is palpable. I’ve been in beautiful homes where the couples who lived in them were in so much emotional pain that it became uncomfortable to watch how they interacted with one another. Homes may reflect how you want to feel, but if you aren’t authentic or in touch with yourself, your partner, or your family–it won’t reflect the authentic you. And, if you aren’t in touch with who you are, your life will reflect this as well.
The designer’s question is a great question to ask when thinking about your surroundings. But wait–why stop there!? You can ask that about your life too.
How do you want to feel?
How do you want to feel during your day? Do you easily get rocked by what others do or say? That will put you on an emotional roller coaster!
Do you find yourself eating a lot without being mindful of your eating, having one too many drinks in the evening or vegging out in front of the tv while you try to numb yourself from whatever pain might be creeping up on you? Again, this isn’t a “good,” “bad,” “right,” or “wrong,” thing–this has to do with how your choices affect your life. Do your emotions (or lack of emotions as you try to stuff them down) rule your choices?
Humans tend to gravitate toward pleasure and do anything to avoid pain–but avoiding pain only perpetuates it. Avoiding change only prolongs the inevitable. It’s better just to face it head on. In your time, in your way. Suppressing, repressing, depressing–this doesn’t work–well, it does if you want it to affect your well-being.
So here are a few questions of my own to help you think about the question:
How do you want to feel, day-in and day-out?
- Are you feeling disempowered or distracted by the challenges or drama in your life? How can you turn this around to feel more empowered? How can you become more solution-focused and start owning your power? How can you become less reactive?
- Are you feeling some of those disempowering feelings like loneliness, boredom, neediness, edginess, depression, anger, or resentfulness? These feelings can take over your life–or they can appear for a prolonged period of time, overshadowing your propensity towards happiness. If you want to stop feeling like your emotions have control over you, then you have to make a conscious effort to stop this pattern. I think one of the best ways is to begin to practice gratitude–eventually this becomes a habit. Gratitude is like seeing life through rose-colored glasses–it has you focusing on the positives in your life. Both exist–the negatives and positives–which is healthier and which creates a better life for yourself when you focus on them?
- Determine which things enhance your life, and which ones detract from it?
- How do you create the feelings of happiness, peace, joy, contentment, relaxation, play, fun, etc. in your life right now? What activities provide you with that? What habits distract you from that?
- What are your goals and values? Figure out what these are and list them somewhere where you can see them on a regular basis. Let your mind focus on these and the positive feelings that arise naturally as you align your life with your dreams and what your soul wants.
- Since your home is your sanctuary, how does it reflect you and your values? Does it provide a sense of pleasure for you? Make your physical surroundings a reflection of how you want to feel in life in general.
I know a lot of people who have been through a divorce. They’ll say, “I want this to end. I want to stop feeling so stressed out. I want to stop feeling so angry, resentful, and _______________ (fill in the blank).” At any time, you can choose to feel peaceful or happy or relaxed. Really! It comes down to your thoughts. If you’re feeling stressed, angry, etc., check in with your thoughts. Check in with you–because you’re not in the Now or present.
How do you want to feel? Is your answer congruent and in alignment with how you’re living your life?