A Little Soul Searching...

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Once Upon A Time there was a little girl named Goldilocks...

Do you remember her? 

What you remember about the story may be different that what I remember. Despite the adorable cottage in the woods, the three bears, the exceedingly hot porridge, I always reflect on the small, medium and large furniture (ooh, what choices!) and the darling little girl that had the hutzpah to seek and find the one that was just right.

Oh, we can learn so much from Goldilocks! (I mean, once you get past the whole breaking and entering thing...)

So what does it mean when something is "just right?"

Well, to me just right = soulful, or soul-filled--and living in a house that feels like this is a gift that brings beauty, balance, and joy to us every single day. 

However, it is a much more common thing that we settle for living in a house that is far from 'just-right.' This is not our fault, we just don't know how to create anything different--no one has ever shown us the simple steps that help us round that corner from drab and frustrating to soulful and satisfying.

And trust me, it has nothing to do with buying all new furniture. (After all, Goldilocks used what she had right there on hand!)

Sometimes it is easier to see what something IS by learning what it isn't. SO, let's talk about the opposite of soul-filled or just right--here's a few adjectives: 

  • impersonal
  • flat or drab
  • "in style" or "fashionable" (yes, just because something is the height of 'what's in,' doesn't mean it will speak to your soul.)

So, remember--be like Goldilocks. Have the hutzpah to claim your just-right soul space. It will add so much to your life and just feel like home.

If you are wanting to learn some simple steps to creating a soul-filled space of your own, I am offering a FREE class this coming Tuesday, OCT 24th. Check out all the details here! HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

Are you busy right now?

This Tuesday, I was so fortunate to be able to attend the Pennsylvania Conference for Women (wow--what a great day we had! Here is a picture of Jo Ann, Annette and me on the train into the city that morning... :) )

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One of the sessions that inspired me the most at the conference was called "Why Simple Wins" given by Lisa Bodell, business woman and author of a book by the same name.

Her talk focused on how as a culture we wear "Busy" as a badge, without really stopping to think about what it costs us.
We unconsciously make our lives complex (because it really seems it has to be this way, right?) and as a result, simple doesn't stand a chance.  

I wanted to remind you (AND ME) this week that it doesn't always have to be about the doing. 

Sometimes it should just be about the BE-ing.

This is a challenge when our lives are SO BUSY--including the life in our homes where there are always dishes to be washed, laundry to be done,  floors to be swept,  and papers to be sorted. 

Always.

And when you are all done with that (ha ha) there are a few windows that are rotting, a gutter that is clogged, and a roof that needs to be replaced. 

With all this busyness, will we will ever be able to sit down, rest and enjoy?
 Or will we just fall over in exhaustion?

So, if you are waiting for your check list to be done, your hamper to be empty, or your Better Homes and Gardens photo shoot to be scheduled so you can really sit and savor your home...

Please don't.

Embrace simplicity and just follow the lead of your dog or cat, if you happen to share your home with one....

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Be relaxed, be curious....

You know, just BE.

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The reason we own our homes (other than the fact we need to be warm and dry, of course) is to hopefully derive some pleasure and enjoyment out of them.

So, how do we get to the place where we can just be?  

How can we be sure we are taking time aside from our busyness to be still and enjoy?  

I believe it comes from the acceptance of  imperfection-- imperfection that will be there whether or not we rail against it, whether or not we acknowledge it, whether or not we work our fingers to the bone, whether or not we ever sit still.

Being able to sit down, sit still,  and JUST BE comes from a place of comfort with the idea that everything cannot be perfected, accomplished, experienced, cleaned, organized, nor mastered, and that does not diminish who we are or the beauty of where we live.

Alright, I have to close now because I have SO much to do this afternoon. (just kidding, just kidding...)

Old Churches & Old Windows--OH MY! (Before & After)

Last week was SO much fun--just about as much fun as a House Whisperer can have. :)

I was on the road again to the Church House--my clients' new home which used to be a house of worship.

With the "bones" in place from my last visit where we put furnishings in place to create rooms within the large sanctuary space (you can see that video here), we were now able to focus on what I call the "top layer"--decorative accessories--the things that really make a room feel like home. 

Here is a quick video tour of all that we accomplished...

And here are a couple of still photos of the space both BEFORE and AFTER: 

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The Top Layer is a thing that is often overlooked, ignored or avoided all together because life is busy, a room can function pretty well without it, and a lot of times we just aren't sure what to do to make a space really come together...so we don't even try. 

But, as you can see, taking the time to put these finishing touches on a space makes a world of difference to how the space feels--and living in a place that FEELS like home is what we all long for. 

If you aren't sure what steps to take to add the top layer to spaces in your home, did you hear that I am hosting a FREE CLASS next Tuesday?? Check out all of the details here, and make sure to click "GOING" to register yourself and save your seat. Hope to see you there!!

5 Signs You Are Ready To Run Away From Home...(COULD THIS BE YOU??... :)

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Do you remember when you were a kid, and you were so mad at your brother or fed up with your parents that you would dream of just packing your bags and running away?

 "After I'm gone awhile, they'll miss me & see that they were WRONG, and I was RIGHT...and they will be SORRY!"

In my line of work, I often have to help people see that they may be running away from home right now, as adults --and they may not even know it.

They haven't packed a suitcase or left a tear-stained note on the fridge--

but they aren't really LIVING at home either.  

Do you know what I mean? Maybe some of the characteristics of a runaway who never actually runs away sound familiar to you? Let's talk about some of the earmarks of such a person...

  1. That Sinking Feeling- It starts when the key goes in the lock upon returning home, or maybe even when she first pulls in the driveway--"ugh, this house...."
  2. General Discomfort--A real dis-ease when at home, because, after all, home doesn't feel "homey," but rather just disappointing and overwhelming--not enough space to store things, stuff not having a place where it belongs, rooms feeling stuck in time filled with things she isn't sure she really likes--but what else would she put in its place?? It is better just to....
  3. Avoid--For the runaway, most of the house becomes a glorified hallway --room after drab room that she has never really liked, and doesn't want to spend time in. She walks past these spaces and spends most of her time at home in rooms where she can...
  4. Distract--The only rooms that have time spent in them are the ones where she can focus on something else other than being overwhelmed or uncomfortable with her surroundings--sitting in front of a screen to work or veg, or escape by diving into a book. And the last tell-tale sign is....
  5. Perhaps choosing NOT to be at home much at all-- Meals out, activities that take her elsewhere--anywhere, really--are all preferable to spending time at home. The runaway rarely offers to host friends for get-togethers, since she isn't happy with or proud of the house she lives in, so sharing it with others is just not in the cards. 

Do you see any of the qualities of the runaway in yourself?

If so, ask yourself these questions:

  • What would it feel like to turn any corner in your house and feel your heart swell with pride?
  • What would it be like to love being at home because it feels so welcoming??
  • What would it be worth to you if your home added something amazing to the quality of your life, rather than feeling it was only a disappointing drain?
  • How will you feel one year from today if you have spent another year faithfully paying your mortgage month in and month out, only to have your heart continue to sink when you pull in the driveway? 

If you have spent years as a runaway, it is time to come back home! Your house is too big of an investment to waste any more time, money or energy not loving and living in every inch of it--and this is a great place to start.