Many of us count the days until our next vacation. Some of us even fly up to 17 hours to experience peace! But what exactly shifts on these getaways? I believe our lives can get so hectic that we have to tear ourselves away to create balance.
Why not create paradise at home, for a daily dose of balance? Creating paradise and feeling balanced is a process that requires two parts to be complete. There is the “outer” work, which is active (i.e. cleaning your home) and the “inner” work, which brings you to your core. As you explore the next five steps, move forward gently and take time for both parts.
1. Get rid of everything you haven’t used in years.
When we’re in paradise, we feel free and unencumbered. To create this feeling at home, we need to get rid of everything we no longer use. This can be hard for some of us, so try starting one room (or area) at a time. Turn on music, breathe, cry, do whatever it takes to let stuff go! You know your limits, but a good rule to consider is to keep only items you’ve used in the past few years. Another tip is to allow yourself to store just one or two trunks of memorabilia, and no more.
2. Only keep things that make you happy.
Now take an even deeper look at what’s left in your home and who you truly are. Do certain photos, clothing or collectibles trigger unpleasant memories? Everything in your home should reflect who you are NOW or at least be a positive attachment. When we’re in paradise, we leave our “stories” behind and enjoy being present … A journal entry reviewing what you truly value and how you felt releasing negative mirrors is an excellent way to reclaim more of yourself.
3. Don’t think of it as cleaning. Think of it as transforming.
We rarely clean on vacation! Instead, we enjoy the care and attention someone else has taken for our stay. In your home, if you have resistance to cleaning, try a shift in focus … open every window, put on your rubber gloves and give your home a good scrub! I use sea salt mixed with lavender soap for the tubs. Perfection is not the goal here, transformation is. As the famous Buddhist Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “leave no drawers untouched, shed light everywhere.”
4. Establish rituals in your home that bring you peace.
You’ve worked hard, now it’s time for R&R … Establish a place in your home to feel peace: to meditate, breathe, stretch, or read spiritual wisdom. What brings you daily peace? Setting aside a bit of time each day to tune in can leave you feeling as blissful as you do on vacation (without the expense!). Remember, there is no right way to find peace … your journey will be life-long and very personal.
5. Tune in to what excites you.
What gets you fired up you when you’re on vacation in paradise? Is it the art, music, vivid colors, or exotic foods? What can you do to inspire yourself in this way at home? I like to create an oasis in my bathroom, complete with shells, sea potions, live plants, ocean colors, essential oils, and sponges. Although my grandfather was a physician for 50 years, at home he was a master Chinese chef. Grandpa’s kitchen was stocked with woks, tongs, chopsticks, cleavers, and Chinese cookbooks. When his busy week ended, he created intricate feasts for our Sunday visits. What about you? Do you have a secret creative passion?
Pay attention to your inner and outer needs and spend time regularly re-balancing yourself at home. Exploring yourself in this way can be such fun —I’d love to hear what you come up with!