Mind Your Space
We speak through our bodies, as non-verbal communication accounts for most messages we convey about ourselves. We also speak through our environments, especially the one closest to us and within our control to cultivate: our home. What does your personal environment say about you?
Choice’s past and present, what you think, how you behave, are reflected in the way in which you orchestrate your space. Do you hold on to books you have not read or have finished reading a long time ago? Has your space changed over time as you have?
We make subconscious and some deliberate plans about how we express ourselves through our maintenance (on not maintaining) our private and personal spaces. If you have a short amount of time to get to know someone, peek at their household, even their car.
Quickly you can sense priorities (pictures of family, symbols of travel), one’s goals (books to read, projects to tackle), values (neatness, organization), attitudes (always changing the environment, or rarely updating the space) through ways in which we showcase identity.
As you become more conscious of your choices, are they aligned with who you are? If you seek to host family and friends, you can express that through how you organize your common areas. Making relaxing spaces comfortable can reflect a priority on self-care just as neglecting them can mean a disregard for our well-being. The amount we project feelings onto objects is also seen in little mementos we collect and display, such as the emotional talismans around us if we want to recall a memory of a person or event. Keeping certain photos, trinkets or andenkens (German for souvenirs) serves a psychological purpose beyond simply decor.
If a kitchen is perpetually messy, clothing is organized by color, plants look healthy, or an unmade bed is typical, this can communicate our daily behavior and habits. How our environment changes through our lives indicates our current experiences. Certain times of chaos could produce more of a mess, and extensive focus inward may propel excessive organization. Your space can also showcase your aspirations; to be organized, well-traveled, or more fun. One way to shape the future is to condition your brain and space to the present; do you want to travel, be organized, or are you already? Start now. Getting your space in order is getting our mind in order. If you want to know how someone is feeling or what they are thinking, look around their environment. When you change your surroundings, you change your mind. If you are not mindful about your space, the environment controls you rather than you are directing the atmosphere you live in.
One way to assess is to step back from your space, maybe going away on a trip or just spending time outside of your home. Does it reflect who you are? Do you see things with new eyes or take things for granted? While you are shaping your space, be mindful of objects meant to spark nostalgia that may be draining your energy. Is your space cluttered and serving as an obstacle to accomplishment and potential? Think about what you are communicating and what you want through being mindful of how you craft your own oasis.