As an “armchair psychologist of the home” I believe that everything begins in the home – so much so that my design philosophy grew from this belief and so I approach each and every decorating job with this key premise. No matter what we do or where we go in life, I believe how we act, react and interact in the outside world takes root from how we live in our homes. To put it simply, how we live in our homes should “ground” us, giving us the foundation to make us emotionally and mentally stable to go out into the world. This means your homespace is vital to your essence.
I have always been a lover of Nature. Hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, horseback riding, spending time at the beach, boating, white water rafting or gardening – no matter what the venue, my most favorite times have been spent outdoors. For me being outdoors was a pleasurable experience. Only after some trauma-drama infiltrated my life several years ago did I understand the healing powers of Nature. Nature is flat-out the best tonic out there. Period. With this revelation I consciously decided to bring nature into my home in every way that I could knowing that if it worked for me outdoors by golly, it would work indoors, too.
This newfound revelation also became an integral component to my design philosophy and ever since, I have incorporated elements of Nature into all my jobs albeit often in really subtle ways that are only picked up on subconscious levels. This allows for “grounding” to occur. I also share with my clients’ ways to infuse Nature in their homes themselves (after I leave their nests) and on a larger scale to audiences such as the readers of my blog as in my post, Two Colors Every Homespace Needs.
Think of bringing Nature into your homespace as being part of getting back to the basics of what the earth has given us, literally. Call it “grass roots” decorating. Or call it simplifying your décor. Heck, you can even look at it as a version of what is called “earthing”, a fascinating concept of connecting with the earth in order to become more balanced. Ironically, just the other day Susan Weems Muehl, LIPH’s Nature Photographer emailed me a bevy of new nature images (thank you dear friend) and also mentioned that she was practicing the concepts of earthing. No doubt about it, Susan and I are birds of a feather flocking together! Both of us absolutely positively get the importance of nature and the earth’s connection to our bodies. (With all due respect, “earthing” is more about physically being grounded; I am merely relating it to your home and how to bring Nature into your space. To learn more about “earthing,” read the book, Earthing-The most important health discovery ever? Or go to www.earthing.com as well. ) Whatever you choose to call bringing Nature indoors, just do it. Here are some simple, sure fire ways:
- Decorate your home with found things in nature
- Open up the windows and let fresh air into your home
- Decorate with live plants, wildflowers and aromatic herbs
- Pay attention to the seasons and honor them in your décor
- When building, purchasing or moving into a new home, choose a home that offers you plenty of natural light (sunshine is healing)
Like many of us, I have times I’m in a real funk. I was in one recently for more days than I’d care to admit to. Focusing too much attention on issues I had no control over and magnifying issues tenfold in my mind had gotten the better of me and quite frankly, I didn’t even find myself good company. It’s a darn good thing my David had been traveling during this funk or he would have been rolling his eyes at me constantly, ignoring me or worst yet, pulling out his gorgeous silver hair over my attitude. While in my funk my niece, Marli called me to chat and just my tone of voice when I answered her call made her aware that something was amiss. I ended up telling her about my seemingly endless days of funk and she listened attentively. Then she disrupted my pity party by saying, “Aunt Jamie, do what you always say to do. Go to the woods. Go to Nature. Let it restore you.” Whoa, was she preaching to me what I always preach? Yep, she sure was. And guess what? I took her up on it. I got off the phone and headed to the woods. I simply needed an extra large dose of Nature’s medicine – more than my usual daily amount! I walked and I walked, breathing in all the wonderful smells of Nature as I viewed the changing fall scenery. So long funk. So long pity pot. Nature restoreth my soul and I returned home more in tune with the earth. I filled my lungs with the scent of fresh lavender on the counter. I enjoyed watering all my plants. I paid attention to the breeze coming through my opened windows and reveled in the sounds of nature I could hear coming into my home. Later, as I readied for bed, I felt free of much of my recent anxiety and internally thanked Marli for her advice.
I believe that we all must singly as well as collectively connect or reconnect with Nature in order to truly be balanced and healthy. Infusing elements of the natural world in your home helps to accomplish this and is the single best way to ground yourself. Remember to bring Nature indoors. It might seem simple but simple’s good right? And it might be a small step compared to the “barefoot steps” of earthing but by doing this you will give yourself gifts of healing that only Nature can provide.