What do you do to take care of yourself? Look around. Look around your home, your office, your car. What do your living spaces look like?
The spaces in which you spend your time are a reflection of your loving kindness. Are they beautiful to you? Do you enjoy being in them? Do they make you feel happy? Joyful? Light? Playful? Fun? If you love the spaces in which you spend your time, you prioritize loving kindness for yourself. You take the time to comfort yourself through the beauty of your environment.
Are you the person who has a plant or flower on your desk because you love the beauty of nature near you? Are you the person who fills your space with art that sings to your soul? Pictures of those you love all around? A candy dish everyone knows will always be stocked? Are you happy when you get home? Open the door and feel at ease and comfortable when you walk in? Arrive in your office, turn on the light, and feel excited? Enjoy driving your car?
Is a space you endure? Tolerate? Don’t feel comfortable in? Flat out don’t like? Avoid completely though you need to be in it? What would you like it to look like? How would you like to feel in this space? What would your dream makeover look like?
Dream big. After all, feeling comfortable and happy, supported in your space is key to treating yourself with loving kindness. Have fun brainstorming and planning. What you would love to create in this space? Write. Draw. Imagine. Talk. When you have all of your ideas down, ask yourself, what would it take to start me on the journey to a space in which I would love to be? Time? Energy? Money? Letting go of something? Changing a perception or a belief? What would it take? Are you worth it?
You are. You are worth it. Creating a space you love being in is one way to treat yourself with loving kindness.
Once you have a plan, begin. Maybe it’s clearing out and letting go of stuff that doesn’t serve you–that you don’t need. Maybe it’s moving furniture around. Maybe it’s cleaning up. Maybe it’s including something that makes you smile every time your eyes light on it. Maybe it’s the music you play. A new color. Starting from scratch.
About a year ago, I decided to move my desk, so I could see the light of day through the window in the office across the hall. When I moved my desk, all of the furniture would not fit. I had to let go of something. As I scratched my head, I thought, I can’t let go of all of my books—I love my books. I need all of these files. Then as I was looking at my colleague’s office, I noticed she didn’t have a filing cabinet. I asked her where she kept her files. She said she stored everything electronically. It’s so much easier, she said. I looked back at my office and asked myself, is there anything in here that can’t be stored electronically. There were a couple of things, but after poking around, I realized I could move those to one of my desk drawers. I decided to clear out the whole filing cabinet. At first, it was a little scary. What if I threw something out and needed it later? That was the chance I took. As I kept clearing out, I felt lighter and lighter, and the process got easier and easier. Letting go felt great. I realized that some of the files were 15 years old, and I had never opened them. Once the filing cabinet was gone, I felt lighter. Happier. I was motivated to give away some of my books—to let go of other things too. To change my perspective—see the sky—I changed my perception about what was important to me. As I let go, new possibilities opened up.
I love being able to look away from my computer screen and see what the weather is. Notice what color the sky is. Watch a bird fly by. A couple of times, someone asked me for a file that I let go, and I simply said, I don’t have a copy of that, looked out the window, and moved on.
I love being in my office. I love opening the door and turning on the light, illuminating what I created. I love sitting at my desk, looking up, and seeing light and sky. After the shift, many colleagues stopped by to admire my handiwork, and several others were inspired to change their offices around after they saw how happy I was. Everyone is happier, and there is often a happy buzz of energy in the hallway.
If you hesitate to transform a space, ask yourself, what is the belief or perception that keeps me from investing in a pleasing environment? What ties me to a space, an environment, that is not loving? Be honest with yourself. Do you believe you deserve a space you love? Do you believe you are worth a pleasing environment? Are you afraid of letting go of something? Are you overwhelmed by the seeming enormity of the task? Once you figure it out, thank the belief or perception. Love it. Release it. Whatever it is, it is a perception that limits you. Create a new perception and perspective. Share your plan. Ask for help. Start small. Enjoy the process. The joy you radiate from treating yourself with loving kindness could create a ripple effect. If you are happier in your work space, are you happier when you get home? Does riding in your clean car rejuvenate you? Are you more excited to read on that patio? Be in that garden? As you treat yourself with loving kindness, others may be motivated to treat themselves with loving kindness too. The possibilities are endless.
The spaces we create for ourselves reflect our ability to love ourselves. Spaces we love reflect to the universe and ourselves that we love ourselves enough to create something pleasing that looks good, feels good. I hope you want your environments to reflect the love you are and your intention to love yourself through loving kindness.