The first 4 steps to an elevated home (and life)
We strive to have an inviting home. One that feels like a breath of fresh air, to us and our beloveds. But the truth is that our homes are imperfect, messy places, just like ourselves.
Martha Beck, life coach and Harvard-educated sociologist, teaches that our homes mirror our inner lives. Being surrounded by beautiful art warms something inside of us. The flurry of a day’s mental activity shows up in the whirlwind of strewn toys, unwashed dishes, and an old Cheerio crunched between bare toes. A box of a loved one’s things packed away fast after their death holds the same ache we carry around in our heart.
Our home mirrors our inner life.
There’s something powerful in this observation. This strange but true parallel means that when something in your life feels off, you can begin to improve it by simply adjusting your environment.
When something in life feels off, adjust your environment.
The tangible nature of a physical home can be much easier to tackle than the wild unknown of your heart, your identity, your life. For example, an easy way to get clear about what you want from life is to wonder what you want from your home. This clarity will help you make changes that are truly meaningful to you.
Here’s one exercise to do just that.
1. Describe your most inviting home
To narrow in on your ideal vision, we’ll start with a look at your current home.
All of us have things we don’t love about our homes. What are some of yours? If you consider all areas, from the kitchen to garage, outdoor spaces and basements, what’s your least favorite spot?
Now, what is it exactly that you don’t like about this space? How does it feel? How would you describe it? Use a few adjectives to complete this prompt:
My least favorite spot at home is...
Perfect! Now for the uplifting part. Find an opposite of each of the words you just jotted down. Use these opposites to complete a more powerful prompt:
My ideal space is…
These are your magic words! These are the words that can guide you in elevating your space and, ultimately, your life.
2. Write a new affirmation
You can capture these magical words as part of a new affirmation:
My home is...
It may not feel this way all of the time, in every corner of your home. But if you try, you can find examples of each of these words, can’t you? Let your attention help you find gratitude, and the energy to elevate your space will follow.
You might write this affirmation on a sticky note or a piece of handmade paper and hang it where you’ll see it often. Let it be a daily reminder of what you want to create.
(Or maybe a Light, Community or Protection affirmation print would be a great reminder?)
3. Make one change at home
It can be frustrating to see the gap between your current living space and the more inviting home you’ve started to create in your mind.
Remember: all change happens one step at a time. And now that you know what you’re growing toward, you can choose which tiny seed you’d like to plant next.
Once you know what you’re growing toward, you can choose which tiny seed to plant next.
Recall your least favorite space from above. What’s one way you can change it right now to make it more like what you want?
Maybe there’s something in another room that you could bring into this space, or you could get rid of an item.
To help you brainstorm, here are some quick changes my clients made to their environments:
- Add two potted plants to the desk (making it feel more natural)
- Put a folded afghan across the back of the loveseat (cozy)
- Hang upholstered skateboard art from storage (interesting)
- Adopt a new habit of doing dishes every day (airy)
- Lay out a rug for yoga and dancing (dynamic)
Do think small. Choose a change you can complete in a matter of minutes, and something to which you feel no emotional resistance.
What will you change today to make your home more ideal?
Let this change happen bit by bit.
4. Let the magic extend beyond your home
So, you’ve envisioned your dream home, selecting a few adjectives to capture that vision. You’ve taken a step toward creating that reality for yourself, and you’ve enjoyed the result. Yay! Virtual high five!
Now, let this magic extend beyond your home.
Remember how our homes mirror our inner lives? Everything we’ve covered applies to your inner world, too.
What if you took those ooey-gooey adjectives you captured above to describe your ideal home, and noticed how they apply to your ideal life?
My ideal life is…
How does that statement feel? Surprising, or not so much? Satisfying, or do you want to tweak your words a bit? (If so, go for it!)
Just as you adjusted your least favorite space, I want you to consider the area in your life where you’re the least satisfied. Maybe it’s one of these?
- Career or money?
- Community contribution?
- Fun and leisure?
- Family or friends?
- Personal development?
Then, use your adjectives to explore easy ways to improve this life area. To help you brainstorm, here are some life changes my clients made using this technique:
- Gave a friend a Tarot card reading (focus on career + make it more dynamic)
- Went for a run outside (health + bright)
- Signed up for a painting class (leisure + interesting)
- Did yoga in the park (spirituality + natural)
- Had a difficult conversation with their boyfriend (romance + dynamic)
How could you easily change your least favorite life area to make it more ideal? Remember, change happens bit by bit, one easy step at a time .
The home you want is the life you want.
Considering the addition of artwork to your space to create the life you desire? Check out the Bright Future or Dreams affirmation prints for daily inspiration.
Since 2017, Mandy Kubicek has helped dozens of high-achieving women feel more fulfilled at work and beyond. Before creating her ideal work life, she spent twelve years in the software industry, having earned a BS in Computer Science and an MBA from Olin Business School.
Known for her insightful questions and giant salads, Mandy lives in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and boxer-coonhound.