Our Homes Must Express Our True Essence

I know this to be true. Further, I believe that often our homespace does not match our true selves.

This happens for various reasons. Here are a few:

  • We are out of balance with who we really are.
  • We live and define our homespace by someone else’s standards.
  • We are insecure in our true selves and stifle our unique expression in our homespace décor.

How do I know this to be true?

I have experienced it myself. Let me explain…

A few weeks after my husband decided to separate and move out of our family home (shortly before my 40th birthday-ouch), I had landscapers come remove an enormous river birch that was overtaking and overshadowing the front of our house. We had planted it as a small tree several years earlier not realizing how quickly it would grow. Well, it soon came to resemble Jack’s beanstalk. Seriously, it was so tall that it reached for the clouds.

This tree had become an eye sore to me and I had complained about it to my husband for quite some time before our separation. This had always fallen on deaf ears SO, once my husband decided to leave, DOWN came the tree.

Empowerment feels wonderful.

It was like a Mary Tyler Moore moment for me when she looked skyward in the opening clip of her TV show years ago and threw off her hat. Empowerment at its finest for me! And, symbolically just as the tree came down to open up the beauty of my home, I began to open up and slowly become more authentically who I am.
Next came the new built-in bookcases in the living room to transform the space into a reading room…

I guess you can say that up until the river birch came down, I had never expressed my true essence in the décor of my home. Quite frankly, for years I had been guilty of succumbing to all the reasons I listed above in creating my homespace.

Not anymore. I was beginning to blossom.

Much more happened to me besides beginning to express my true self through the décor of my home.

Everything happens for a reason.

I believe there are no coincidences. I believe there are no accidents. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Out of every situation you can find a teachable moment.

My true path opened up for me after my divorce and several other devastating situations. I call these types of experiences “trauma-drama” because that is what they are: trauma because of the horrific feelings and fall-out that accompany these difficult situations, drama because of the fact that there is usually way too much of it in the situation.


What I came to discover is that each of these situations helped to teach me who I really am. In the worst experiences of my life I have learned the most. I have even built a career out of it and now live my passion.

All of us can do this. All of us can take these extremely difficult times and make them positive. Use your homespace as a means to help and support you in doing this.

Let your home be the outward manifestation of your true self.

When your homespace is not in balance with your true self there is always something that feels a little off. It is as if you are trying to be comfortable in a sweater that just doesn’t fit you right. It doesn’t work.

Take this moment to begin to look at your homespace. Ask yourself the question, “Is this really me?”

If not, consider reconstruction of your homespace- what I call “The Four R’s” of reconstruction:

  1. Redefine
  2. Redesign
  3. Renovate
  4. Refine

Look for later articles on “The Four R’s” and by the way, the same techniques can be applied to reconstructing your inner self as I explain in my upcoming book, “And so… The Shadow Woman Emerged”!

One thought…

Your homespace should be as unique as those who dwell within it.

Feel empowered…

Photo credit: Susan Muehl

Creating Balance Through Exercise

My first experience with exercise outside of elementary school play period was a show on TV called “The Arty Levin Show”.  I loved it and I loved the feeling of stretching my body.  Then,  exercise in my early adult life included walking, hiking, tennis and all sorts of indoor aerobic classes.  As a mother of young children, my kids and I exercised by dancing to Marlo Thomas’s album, “Free to be you and me”.  Little did my children know that in dancing for fun they were also exercising both their bodies and minds through the lyrics of this wonderful album.  If you have young kids yourself, check it out!

Also, I was a runner for years (in fact, quite obsessively so for the first few painful years of separation and divorce) and ran so many miles some days that I felt like Forrest Gump- my legs just needed to run and run and run.  For years come rain, sleet, hail or snow my running partner Susie (and my dearest friend) and I ran every morning.  It is amazing how many problems of the world and most importantly, your own that can be worked through with each step you take. 

Trauma-drama looks very different when viewed through the haze of exhaustion from exercise.

(If you know Susie ask her about her fall and subsequent trip to the hospital after completing a few more miles!!!)

So, I believe it was no coincidence that after pounding the pavement for more miles than my body shape could probably handle I succumbed to health issues.  Running, tennis and a few other choice activities became a thing of the past.

I first met Hector while embarking on a fitness-training program for myself in answer to these changes.

I needed a trainer to put me on the right path of combining exercise with weight training to give myself a healthier routine.

Hector and his fellow staff met my needs.  Today, he works with many people I know that have very specific needs as well. He knows how to tailor each of their programs to meet these needs.  But, over and above that- Hector is passionate about teaching everyone the joy of being physically fit.  He is passionate about bringing exercise into every home he can.

Remember, “Everything begins in the home”.

I am honored to have him join my Blog as an expert in his field.  I hope his words, pictures and videos will empower you.

I sat down with Hector to do a Q&A to introduce him to you readers.

Please read on…

A Conversation with Hector Benitez

What was life like in your home of origin?

Born and raised in sunny south Florida, I grew up spending afternoons and weekends at the beach.  My family life was full of birthdays, cousins and friends.  I also grew up watching and participating with my mother in exercising, drinking protein shakes and hanging out at fitness clubs watching her wrap a leather belt around her hips because the vibration was supposed to induce fat loss!

How has it impacted your career choice today?

The impact that my upbringing had on me towards my career choice is empowerment.  The career path that my adolescence carved out for me wasn’t fitness or training.  The choice for me involved the path that would allow the best way for me to help people realize how much control they truly have over their emotions, thoughts and physical well being.

Explain the importance of physical fitness as you view it.

The importance of physical fitness as I view it has to do with feeling balanced. Physical fitness like painting, drawing, music, writing, or Interior Design is another way for people to express themselves through physical exertion, emotional accomplishment and imagination.

Are there ways to incorporate physical fitness in the home on a daily basis?

Examples of how people can incorporate exercise into their homes are as easy as rearranging furniture using proper lifting techniques, jumping jacks in the living room, push-ups in the bedroom before bed and in the morning before starting your day, and stretching in the shower under warm water.

What is the message you would like to give readers?

The message I would like to pass on to readers is EAT, LOVE, STAY ACTIVE!!!!  Participate in your life and don’t watch it pass you by while sitting down.  Embrace it and hang on to it through healthier-balanced choices.

What future topics will you discuss?

I’ll be discussing the 2 goals of EVERY Physical Conditioning Program to fine-tune the beach body.  I’ll also be discussing the Phases that every exercise program should include and when to incorporate them safely.  These 2 examples will assure that all will be ready for Summer of 2012.  Other topics will include everyday exercises to use at home, family fun exercises and exercises for senior living.

Welcome Aboard Hector!

One thought:

A healthy body makes for a healthy mind.

Get up on those feet…

Jamie's New Cruiser

Jamie’s new wheels for decorator sleuthing. Photo credit: David Solganik