What is soul? A person’s sense of identity. Your essential self. (You, at the nitty gritty core.)
I've talked about living with soul a lot around here: why you should only do what feels right, making peace with your past mistakes, easing up (just a little!), and giving the universe space to work in your life.
But what about your environment? Your space should invite comfort, warmth, gratitude and introspection.
Here are a few ways to bring your soul home.
1. Make your bed.
Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project, explains that this three-minute task is one of the simplest habits you can adopt to positively impact your happiness. Yes, really! And don’t you feel smug and accomplished when you walk into your room and your bed looks all tidy?
2. Leave every room guest-ready.
It’s a proven fact: clutter causes stress; order creates a haven. This mood-boosting routine is simple: devote ten minutes to each room, removing things you don’t need or use any more. Expired medicine and makeup? Gone. Clothes you don’t love and that don’t fit? Buh-bye. Tchotkes that don’t hold meaning or sentimental value? Over ‘em.
3. Make it shine.
Candles are one of my favorite decorations. My father used to light candles at any time of the day and every time I strike a match, I think of him. Candles can represent a sense of reverence, peace and mindfulness. Their small but significant glow is enchanting and adds warmth to any room.
4. Create a sacred corner and spend 10 to 20 minutes a day there, connecting with something larger than yourself.
Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, studies show that connecting to a greater power is related with happiness. I am a student of A Course In Miracles and spend five minutes each day reading the material. I grab a cup of coffee and settle into my favorite chair overlooking the Hollywood hills.
Not spiritual? Sit down with a delicious new book and your favorite throw or maybe take a hot bath with scented bath salts. All of us could benefit from taking a few minutes before bed to reflect on a power higher than ourselves. Stepping back to appreciate that we’re part of an ginormous universe can add needed perspective on our frustration and help us calm the eff down about the tiny, petty things we all stew about.
5. Practice soulful eating
I am a huge fan of fresh humus, baby carrots, cucumbers and toasted sour dough baguettes ripped to pieces with your hands. I pack my fridge with an array of fruits, veggies, lean meats, and bags of roasted almonds. And of course “soulful eating” for me means that there’s a box of chocolate chip cookies and a bottle of Hess red wine available at all times!
Take a moment to appreciate your food. Be actively mindful of the energy used to produce and prepare it for you. Know that you are not just nourishing your body but your spirit. Of course, do your best to eat nutritious foods but make it fun and don’t forget a few naughty treats as well. Moderation in everything – including moderation.
6. If you don’t love it, get rid of it.
You know that tattered living room chair/couch/table you’ve been hauling around from one apartment to another? Get-rid-of-it. Maybe you can’t afford the one you spotted at Pottery Barn or maybe it’s just complacency. Either way, you’re tired of looking at it. You bought it with an ex, someone spilled a glass or two of red wine on it at last year’s New Years Eve party, and it’s chock full of old, stale energy. It’s who you were. Then. Not now. It served you well and now it’s time is up. Let it go, clear your space and trust that when you do, the next best thing will show up.
7. Make your home a gallery of positive memories and pastimes.
You’ve done amazing things this year! Traveled to great places, made fantastic memories with your friends and family, worked haaaard to bring in some extra cash. Commemorate these things in your space. Display your souvenirs, print out photos of your favorite people, hang up your half-marathon medal, splash out on something fancy with your work bonus.
You’ve got a great, soulful life. Your space should reflect and encourage that.