By Alice Inoue
During these unprecedented times of great personal and collective change, one thing that everyone needs in his or her home is personal space. Whether a private sanctuary or a mini area you can call “yours,” having somewhere in your home where you can retreat and collect your thoughts is essential to your wellbeing.
With no private space of your own, living in your home will be difficult no matter how beautiful or spacious, or how aligned your feng shui is, and you may not even realize why. Without a private space, staying connected to yourself and your needs is more difficult. You may overextend your energy by giving in to what others want before considering yourself, resulting in overwhelm, burnout, a build-up of resentment, and even depression.
Recently a client called me, feeling out of sorts and disconnected from her new four-bedroom home, even though it had “everything they needed in a house.” She worked full-time, had two children and a husband who ran his business out of a room in the house. She told me that their home was perfect in every way – great location, wonderful neighbors, and lots of space, yet for some reason, her love for it was waning, while her family’s was growing.
During my visit, the first thing I noticed was that she had no private space, or a room to call her own. Each of the children had his or her own room, and her husband had his office, which doubled as his private space, where he could go to spend time with himself. When I asked my client where her “private space” was, she realized she didn’t really have one. Until I brought it up, she never noticed that she had not even a corner of a room to call hers.
Men need their space too
Generally, but not always, the person who is home the most takes up the most space. Often, family members spread out, and the man of the house is left with nothing more than his side of the bed. I’ve been in many homes where the male partner had no place to call his own, other than a shelf in the garage where he stored “his stuff.” In some cases, he used the bathroom as his refuge. Sound familiar?
Every person living in the home should have a space to call his or her own. It helps one feel a part of the life of the house. Without that private refuge, the individual tends to stay out more and is more short-tempered and irritable when home. While having one’s own private space is not always feasible for each person in the household, even a small clutter-free, clean, and comfortable “area” or corner will work.
Include some or all of the following physical features when creating private space:
1. If possible, find an area removed from the main flow of traffic in the home.
2. Preferably find a space with a door that locks or at least a partition of some sort.
3. Have a comfortable chair or lounger.
4. Use your favorite colors or choose colors that you can find in nature – greens, yellows, earth tones, and blues.
5. Place inspirational items in your space such as books, a personal journal, photos or objects that represent happiness.
The private space ideally will make you feel:
Set an intent for the space
Plan to use this space as a getaway, to be still, meditate, breathe, read, journal, celebrate successes, and reassess your life. Do this for yourself and watch the love for your home grow.