The basics of interior design teach us that our moods, sleep patterns, and ability to relax will be impacted by colours, lighting, design, furniture placement, materials, and more. But let’s imagine that the old aphorism As Within, So Without holds a Universal truth and that our home environment is also a reflection of our inner world. It is a short leap from there to consider how we express our inner world in our homes is actually rather important.
Here lies the deeper connection between home surroundings, wellbeing, happiness, optimism, and even life vision and creativity. If you’re not sure, glance around your living room, breathe deeply, and notice what sensations, feelings, memories, and emotions arise. Do you feel inspired, nostalgic, frustrated, constricted, or free? If you wait patiently information will come to you. This is powerful data – and often arises with immediate impulses as to what could move, change, or be let go.
Consider next whether these contemplations have contributed positively or negatively to your mood, happiness, and sense of peace. If not – it could be time to start a new design chapter! But where to start?
If like most of us, you would like to feel happier at home, choose one room where you spend a lot of time and start by trying this exercise. I work from home two or three days a week, so I’ll choose a home office for our example.
Close your eyes and just imagine your dream workspace for a moment. Think sunlight, lighting, plants, art, colours, ergonomics, and streamlined tech. Feel how it feels to be in that space and notice what your deepest desires are pointing to. Allow the vision to arise without expectation – let yourself be surprised by what you see.
Now look around your current workspace and with your budget in mind, think of three things you could easily change to take it closer to the dream. Maybe a signature lamp, some new foliage, a fresh coat of paint?
And – If it is the calm, spacious, presence of mind that you would like to feel more of at home, then think about how you can maximise natural light and perhaps bring in aromatherapy elements using natural candles and essential oils. Spend time also discovering what plant life would thrive in your space and select materials such as natural fabrics, wood, and stone to reflect your intentions and personality.
I have been building and running my business from home since I left my law practice in 2009. Imagine a crystal shop a meditation studio and the Apple store had a baby – that is what my home office looks like today! I absolutely love working there and it is completely reflective of my personality and preferences!
And – if you like the exercise repeat it, adapting it for any room in your home.
Next, comes the tricky conundrum of how to meditate at home…?
So many people have reported to me over the years how challenging mindfulness can be within the home environment because of the competing voices, activities, chores, and tasks to be done, but it is certainly not impossible.
If you would like to embed your mindfulness practice more successfully at home, then consider if you have room for a dedicated meditation corner. Mine is by the window in my office beside my bookcase. A mat and cushion look out towards the trees and houses of my local London suburb.
It is a sanctuary and a place of quiet practice – it is used most frequently in the mornings but it is available anytime I need it – and I quite often find myself back there when I need a steadying moment.
There is also a low window shelf in front of my mat, with meaningful objects, affirmations, crystals, and cards. Being beside them reminds me of who I am and the deeper streams of my life – my purpose, my goals, and my dedication.
If you are an experienced meditator, you could work up your morning practice with 15 minutes of silence and 5 minutes of gratitude journaling, then build your practice from there. If you are a beginner, I recommend starting with a short online course such as The Conscious Professional’s flagship programme, Zen in Ten to learn the basics of meditation before setting off solo.
And with that, I hope you enjoy bringing mindfulness home!
By Neil Seligman