Running a business requires focus, creativity and an open mind.
Intentionally surrounding yourself with inspirational beauty is a magical self-care technique to help you re-ignite your creative flow.
Lately I’ve been having a difficult time getting excited about getting up in the morning. Although I have this great website that I am working on, I needed something a little more in my personal life to up my joy factor. My surroundings were bringing me down, the clutter, the colours, the lack of congruence. It just didn’t represent how I want to live … simply, intentionally and authentically. And then I added another blog post to my website and the idea came to me. My home office and work area are bringing me down. It feels crowded and cluttered. It feels heavy and dark.
Sometimes you need to bring more beauty and balance into your life to inspire you, enlighten you and improve your mood so you can be more focused and creative.
I’ve always been a big believer in having order, space and light in my life. I remember years ago, I was working for a start-up high tech company. They had created a lab for “us software designers” and there were boxes and wires everywhere from the new equipment. I felt so stressed and overwhelmed when I went into the lab that it was distracting me from my true potential. One morning I went in early to tidy the space up when the director came in and asked me what I was doing. I’m sure he wasn’t happy that he was paying a designer premium wage to clean up boxes (this is why I work for myself now). The simple act of beautifying the space was so enlightening that it allowed me to be more focused, creative and productive.
When your space is cluttered, your mind is cluttered.
This spring, I’ve been enjoying natural beauty from outside with my beautiful lilac bush and made a point of bringing in clippings so I could appreciate the beautiful fragrance and soothing hues of the lilacs.
Then I got inspired … I have furniture in other rooms that I can bring in to create the atmosphere I am looking for in my office. Although I love my front sitting room, I definitely spend more time in my office where creativity is my most important asset so it needs to be enlightening. I could transfer my white book case, all my books relating to homeopathy, healing, nutrition and soulful living. A little paint to finalize the look of my desk and my filing cabinet and chair. Truth be told, I have never been fully happy with the photo on my website homepage. I know exactly how I want my desk to look and my office to feel and I can’t find the photo that I want – so why not create it myself.
Surrounding yourself with beauty doesn’t need to be new and expensive – it needs to be beautiful in your eyes – that’s all that matters.
At first I was thinking this was a frivolous activity. It was not something I needed to do right now. I have other more pressing things that need to get done – like finish the family taxes, get my business finances in order, follow up on our insurance needs. And don’t get me wrong, these need to get addressed in a timely matter – but when you are feeling depleted, you just don’t have the energy and motivation to get these done – even if it is just a 5 minute phone call.
However, if you inject an inspiring activity, such as infusing more beauty into your life, this will give you the energy and creativity you need to focus on what’s important.
What I’ve realized is that surrounding yourself with beautiful things and creating a beautiful space that delights you is very similar to creating a beautiful brand. So I followed my brand design process.
How do you want this space to make you feel?
Do you want it to feel calm, relaxing and minimalistic. You may want something that is inspiring, fun and adventurous. You may want something that is classy and elegant. Modern, edgy and innovative. It doesn’t matter what other people think – this is your space. Think of these words as your brand words.
When I create a website, I spend a lot of time curating beautiful mesmerizing photos. And it’s not because photos are the main focus of the website, it’s because photos are an amazing tool to evoke emotions in your visitors. It can help them feel inspired, adventurous, or completely relaxed. People have said – I don’t care for the aesthetic of that website – my response is – great – you are not their ideal client.
I love the ocean – the crashing waves, the invigorating feeling of the sand between my toes, the freshness of the water splashing around my feet, the mesmerizing colours of the ocean.
Once you know how you want your space to feel, the fun part begins – it’s like shopping for beautiful things.
Get curious. Explore. Look for beauty and inspiration.
You may be thinking that you are not creative and that creating a beautiful space for yourself is beyond your skill level. We are not all created equally when it comes to creativity. So what’s a girl to do?
Allow yourself to dream.
Pinterest is your friend. Simply enter your brand words into Pinterest’s search engine and you will have hundreds of ideas. Some people may consider copying other people’s ideas as boring and not creative. You are simply finding inspiration. Choose the elements you like in each post so you can start creating a vision board of your own ideas. You may like a candle from one post and imagine the scent, the glow, the contrast against other elements. You may see a beautiful flower arrangement in another post that you would like to pull into your space. You may see a garden arrangement that you know will bring you pure bliss as you enjoy the colours, the wispiness of the flowers flowing in the wind, the butterflies and the hummingbirds sharing in harmony. The fresh clean breeze blowing through the window breathing life into your body. Beauty can be as simple as introducing a throw carpet, a beautiful book, a lamp, art work, a stool, a mirror, changing your view, a new vase, an essential oil, a shelf, a chair. It doesn’t need to be expensive, or it can be – as long as it brings more light into your life.
Your idea of beauty is unique to you so follow your instincts.
As Marie Kondo suggests, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, ask yourself “Does this bring me joy?” This was life changing for me and truly changed my practice of how I bring beauty into my life, with intention.
Explore inspirational beauty
One of my favourite things to do is to go to Ikea for inspiration. It is like self-care for my soul. They have hundreds of ideas for every room in your house and your outdoor space. Some days, when I just feel stuck with my creativity and focus, I take a mini-excursion to the local Ikea and literally float through the winding journey of inspiration taking mental notes of elements that light me up and add them to my arsenal of ideas. This simple excursion, although I often feel I don’t have time for it, is a natural mood enhancer and creates expansion in my heart, soul and mind. When I get home, I feel energized and totally delighted and ready to tackle my next creative project. It is just that simple.
Take a few minutes to create beauty in your life
Now that you have some inspiration, it’s time to start bringing in some of those beautiful elements into your space. It’s not something that has to cost a lot of money nor does it have to be done all at once.
When I started my business, I had to watch my spending. This was difficult because I knew the look and feel I wanted for my house and of course wanted to switch it over all at once. Instead, I decided to bring bursts of inspiration in at a time even though not everything was consistent. A simple lantern (which I traded down from some expensive lanterns I had purchased a few years back) , a beautiful fruit bowl, inspiring storage boxes. I knew doing it a little a time would bring me great joy and inspiration and bring my vision to life. Now when I sit in my living room – which is still in transition …
I focus on what is rather than scarcity. I focus on the abundance I’ve created and the peace and joy I experience. And this lights up my heart and soul.
Just being in a space that brings you joy raises your vibrational energy and expands your ability to allow more creativity in your life. It is just the best feeling.
Take time to bask in your beauty
Now that you have created your oasis, it is time to appreciate it. Stop what you are doing and take a few minutes to enjoy it.
Be mindful of your surroundings. Take it all in . Breathe it all in. Notice the scents. Appreciate every little detail.
As I sit at my desk writing this, I am delightfully aware of all the beauty around me. My window is open and I can smell and feel the fresh crisp morning air in my nostrils. Two little birds are dancing playfully outside my window. The neighbourhood kids are gleeful of their summer freedom as they laugh and bike from house to house. My flowers are full of little buds that are ready to burst with their magnificent colours and fragrances. My desk is clean and uncluttered and open to new creative activities and projects. Behind me is my beachy white bookcase with all my favourite books that help me and my family stay healthy, happy and inspired. A simple canvas of the ocean takes me away to the sensations of being on the beach with the wind blowing on my face, the sand and water swishing against my toes, the long walks on the beach with some of my favourite people.
What a delightful escape, even if it is for just a few moments.
Couple that with a few deep breaths and you have just raised your energy by several notches, expanded your mind to new levels and allowed new inspiration to enter your life. Now, you can move forward with renewed energy, more inspiration and more focus.
This simple experience is part of holistic living. Appreciating the beauty around you. Really feeling the sensations, taking it all in. For a small moment, you escape your world of “to dos” and obligations and indulge in an experience that opens up your body, mind and soul. Who knows what possibilities this may open up for you?