One of my favorite things about interior design, is the power of color and how it can be used in the home to boost our moods or enhance our awareness without us even knowing it.
A few months back I painted our bathroom green. Green, the color of nature, represents tranquility, calmness, growth and personal health. I had no idea, but this subconscious choice makes total sense now since I have been yearning for more peace, stability, energy and more meaningful connectivity in my life.
I took some time off from posting and made an effort these past months to reconnect with family, friends, my city and nature. Family vacations, weekend nature trips with my fiance (!!) and bigger life events like a new position at work and planning a wedding have forced me to disconnect from some things but have taught me to re-focus and prioritize my energies towards others.
I know we are living in a digital time where we feel more in touch than ever, but in my opinion, nothing will ever replace an in-person conversation, a new experience you share with someone or what you learn from others in your life just by being present and taking notice when with them.
As most of my deep thoughts and reflections happens while I'm totally disconnected in the shower or blow-drying my hair (anyone else agree?!), in my new calming green bathroom I began to think about 2017 and what I wanted to focus on as I enter a new year. And in my head, all of the people I love and admire most popped up. I knew I wanted to spend more time with them, but also learn from them.
So instead of creating a list of unrealistic resolutions I am sure to break, my idea is to create a list of the things I've learned or noticed through people in my life and learn to apply it to my own life while using them for help and inspiration along the way. Things that will help me grow, connect and be happy.
So here they are:
BE PRESENT - love the ones you're with, not the ones on your phone. Nothing worse than being at a dinner table with people all on their phones, drives me NUTS! But we must practice what we preach right? So no more phones when spending quality time with others. Focus on the conversation, focus on the food. This also goes for ourselves, I'm determined to lessen the time-sucking Instagram and Facebook scanning and do something - whether it's get outside, get to a museum or read a good article or book.
COOK MORE, EAT OUT LESS - the way to someone's heart is through their stomach right?! During time spent with a loved one preparing homemade chicken soup, I realized how therapeutic the cooking process can be, especially when doing it with someone else. No phones, no texting, just open conversation and teamwork. And the end product can be so tasty and rewarding!
- MAKE NEW FRIENDS (but keep the old) - It is true the older we get the harder it is to make new meaningful connections and new friends. But sometimes you meet someone you just connect with on a deeper level that brings a lot of greatness to your life. It only works when you're both willing to open up and put forth the effort. I'm feeling super grateful for a new friend in my life who seems to totally GET me. I call her my spiritual sister. Pretty cool how certain people come into your life just when you need them most. So I will always be open to new people, new conversations and new learnings.
- IF IT MAKES YOU HAPPY, MAKE TIME FOR IT - my same new friend text this to me and it has stuck with me ever since. After I complained about how I missed doing certain things (like writing, photography & reading) because I felt too busy or overwhelmed, her advice was take a few minutes each day to start, put some small goals on the calendar and hold yourself accountable. Baby steps, they add up.
- LESS WINE, MORE TEA - I'm still not giving up my morning coffee, but tea has become a big part of my morning and nightly ritual thanks to some big time tea lovers in my life. I started drinking lots of ginger & turmeric tea to help soothe a battle with arthritis in my hands but I'm noticing that by switching out my usual glass of red before bed for tea, I'm sleeping more soundly and waking up more energized. Rituals calm us down and help to connect to the exact moment, helping us to remain present. Now if I could just stick to that meditation routine I had started.
So what are your plans for 2017 or for right now? Is there something you'd like to connect more with or disconnect from? Are you searching for more calmness like me? Whatever it may be, take a little time to self-reflect and be still. I suggest creating a peaceful and happy place in your home, you may be surprised by what your surroundings can evoke.