It wasn't until she invited me over for breakfast that I realized why Marian was able to be so carefree, vibrant, and willing to share her spirit of adventure. Her home was a tiny, somewhat minimalist sanctuary. Filled with plants, pillows, bright colors, succulents, simple pictures, and gentle scents, her space wasn't fancy, but it was designed with intention. She took time to set meaningful objects in common places where they would be seen and used, refreshed, or replaced for something new.
She clearly saw me marveling at her space, as she said, "My mother and father taught me that you have to create a physical spot for your mind and body to go to when you are under stress; this way, your mind knows stress is not an endless abyss." She further explained that her father was a neuroscientist, and he researched the idea that the mind prefers to be calm when given the chance, but it needs somewhere to start.
"My parents explained that images and feelings can be self-altered with awareness and then used as comfort to calm the body." So instead of being triggered by your environment with stacks of papers, piles of clothes, dirty dishes, and the like—we have the power to design it to induce a state of relaxation.