On Sanctuary: Sparking Joy (Part 2)

Stone Barns Food & Agricultural Center, Pocantico Hills, NY. Photo taken July 2015. © blissandradiance.com
Stone Barns Food & Agricultural Center, Pocantico Hills, NY. Photo taken July 2015. © blissandradiance.com


The Move

Whilst preparing to move into my apartment last Summer, I thought a lot about how I wanted my new space to feel. I called upon my favorite feng shui practitioners, voraciously read materials by inspirational design writers, and even attended an art fair in a quest to have original art on my wall. I let my feelings guide me through this process, making sure to use those as a compass as I sought inspiration for my new space. I was lucky enough to meet some very knowledgeable design professionals along the way who patiently answered all my questions and help me turn my vision for a neutral-toned, natural-textured, beautifully furnished, and above all tranquil space which I love coming home to every day.

A Little Magic
Apart from the aesthetic qualities of my furniture and decor, I’ve been tapping into a complimentary aspect of my surroundings that has brought this vision of tranquility to life: to find joy in each and every ‘thing’ in my home.  Earlier this month I read the New York Times Best Seller “The Magical Art of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.  The author inspires readers to tap into the feeling of ‘joy’ as a barometer when decluttering their lives (from one’s physical environment such as clothes, books, papers, and what the author refers to as komono, Japanese for the miscellaneous things we have in our homes, before tackling sentimental items).  Now that I’ve covered each of those areas, I find myself applying the principles to other mental and virtual aspects of my life: I’ve taken to carrying a small notebook around with me to jot things down instead of trying (and many times failing) to remember…mental de-cluttering; and I’ve really been tackling that email inbox and other virtual ‘inboxes’ to make sure I only receive information that is meaningful to me right now.  All of this results in a feeling of spaciousness: in my home, in my mind, and therefore in my life.  I feel like I’m laser-focused on the important things. From all reports, using this perspective is having quite a magical impact around the world: bliss and radiance in action!

From Vision To Reality
By looking and touching those objects around me, and checking in with myself, I know  – instantly – whether an item (or a thought, or an email!) brings me feelings of joy…or not.  Surprisingly, after being very careful about what I moved in with, and acquiring my (carefully selected) new furniture, pieces of art, even dinnerware, silver ware, and linens after I moved in, there was still quite a bit that I brought along from my old space to my new space did not bring me a sense of joy.  Even more surprisingly is that now that I have removed those miscellaneous items of clothing, shoes, accessories, books, and other household items that no longer serve me or reflect who I am right now, I don’t feel a void.  At all.  Instead I let those things go via donation or consignment, sending them on their way with tonnes of gratitude (and zero guilt).  I’m content with knowing that what I have fills me with joy, and the feeling of spaciousness in my closets, cupboards and drawers contributes to my feeling of tranquility at home… out of sight, but most certainly not out of mind!

In Part One of this series, I explored the notion of  “Coming Home”.   The word home evokes the place that is safe, secure, beautiful, spacious, tranquil, and represents the essence of me.  In this installment of the series, I’ll delve into one of the most inspirational resources that has helped achieve the vision I formed for my home.  In Part 3, I’ll share the other resources I’ve used as inspiration to achieve my vision of a joy-filled life that brings me inner bliss and outer radiance.

How about you:  How do you spark that feeling of joy in your surroundings? What sights, smells, and sounds evoke a feeling of joy for you at home?