In 2020, our political and professional lives have been entangled with our private space at home. This will very likely be the situation on and off in the coming years with the pandemic forcing us to stay in our home and expand its functionality. It’s shaping our personal lives in various positive and negative ways.
For the lucky few, who can work remotely and pursue tasks from home, our home is also our office. For the unlucky ones who got fired, forced into retirement or in isolation, their home might feel like a prison; a room of frustration, uncertainty and loneliness.
Our home is our special and safe space, that defines who we are and what we like to surround ourselves with. Some people care a lot about their home, devoting money and time to decorate it. Others see it as a storage and a place to sleep, shower and dress before heading out again. And then there are the millions of people who don't have a home. That topic is a blog post in itself.
"My home became defined by a postcard by Paul Klee pinned on the wall, a striped pillow and small clay sculpture"
For years and by choice, I've lived a nomadic lifestyle in many different places and countries. My home became defined by a Paul Klee postcard pinned on the wall, a striped pillow and small clay sculpture, that I would always bring with me. When these items were placed in a new location, then I would feel at home.
Now that I've lived in the same space for a while and have a family, my definition of home has changed. I'm attached to my apartment, its colours, materials and the marks on the walls from my daughter playing. Time passed and spent in the same space.
Our homes are both a frame and a source for personal change. Our homes reflect conscious or unconscious choices that we make in body, mind and consumption. Often when we wish to make a personal change, we focus on appearance, fashion, diets, physical training etc. But we should also look at our private space where our energy originates. We shape our home, and it shapes us!
But this isn't a piece on how to make homes trendy with interior design or that we all need to live in a specific minimalistic way. Just as meditation isn't about creating total silence in one's mind, but rather about being aware of all noises around us, we should all be aware of who we are, what belongings bring us joy and be conscious of our vision. Everything that doesn't bring us joy or help us reach our vision needs to leave our space.
"Being joyful in your surroundings is sustainable. If you take a stand on your belongings, you can settle for a little"
As the tidying up expert Marie Kondo writes: "Cleaning up your home is a dialogue with yourself. Your home and surroundings have a great impact on your body and psyche." Marie Kondo’s method is tidying up by asking yourself if things you possess bring you joy and help you or not. The process and questions will have a stunning consequence on your thinking and wellbeing. When the home is freed from the unnecessary, it will have a positive impact on all aspects of your life.
This is also the case with the workspace or office. By cleaning out and changing the workplace, clean and fresh productiveness and creativity emerge. Being joyful in your surroundings is sustainable. If you take a stand on your belongings, you can settle for a little. This is essential in a future where consumption must be reduced.
But as another great master in creating healthy spaces Karen Kingston says: "Change involves change! Clutter clearing is the process of sorting through the items in your home and letting go of everything that no longer fits with who you are or where you are headed. It’s a fast-track way to bring about change in your life because clearing out the old creates room for the new."
Kingston continues: "A major reason why many people stall when clutter clearing is not because of fear of failure but because of fear of success and how it will change their life. So yes, change involves change. But it’s only holding on to the past that makes change painful. The more you are willing to let go and move forward, the quicker and easier the changes can happen."
All change, in the world and in our lives, starts within us as a conscious choice to change. Our vision for world 2.0 starts in our personal space! And during Covid-19, where we spend so much time at home, it's a perfect time to reflect on what sparks joy for you, and what joy you want to spark back into the world.
Image: João Jesus