5 ways to diminish the line between indoors and outdoors
Posted on 20 May 2017
Nature and its Influence on our Psyche
I recently returned from a trip to California where I was privileged to study with Dr Deepak Chopra. For those of you who don't know, Deepak is a licence physician, author, speaker and famous figure in the New Age Movement.
One of the key elements that stood out to me during the week long course was the direct connection we have with the Universe. Every human, tree, manmade object or animal are made from the same atomic compounds that are found in our universe. Therefore we share the same energy as our external and internal environments.
Have you ever wondered why we love going to the beach so much on a weekend? Why we enjoy long walks, or having picnics in the park? It is because when we become reunited with our source, that is nature, we instantly become grounded and we feel more calm and relaxed.
Grounding is very important when designing an interior space. Since we are constantly faced with chaos on a daily basis, as soon as we walk out the front door, we need to be able to return to a tranquil and peaceful environment that our psyche can reenergise itself in. If we don't have a place to release tension and stress then our bodies will be constantly faced with dis-ease and inflammation, which is the direct cause of illness and depression.
In order to bring peace and serenity into our internal environments, it is logical then, that we must transport nature into our living spaces so we can diminish the line between indoors and outdoors living.
This direct contact with nature is called Earthing
Our energy and health improves dramatically by connecting to the earth's natural power source. This is achieved by physically coming into contact with natural materials, fibres or living things.
It is as if our bodies become plugged into natures natural wall socket. How great does that sound?
I know some of you are probably wondering, "How can I make this happen if I live in an apartment and don't have a garden or access to one?" Well you don't need one.
There are 5 important elements you can implement in order to bring nature into your home. However, at this stage I want you to start implementing these tips to one room. That's right, Only 1 Room!
Baby steps are key or the whole process will become overwhelming and you will feel disheartened and give up. We definitely don't want that to happen. This is a cathartic and exciting process so take the time to enjoy it.
Ways to create a natural environment within you home
Fifty Shades of Nature
Who said a room had to be boring?! Be playful with your approach. In Zen design it is best to start with a natural palette so you have a blank canvas and base to work from but you can still add colour. The 2017 Pantone colour of the year is "Greenery." It is everything we have been discussing. Use shades of Green as natural accent, Blues to inspire the ocean or Reds and Yellows to represent the earth or the sun. Make sure your shades are slightly diluted as very primary tones could be overwhelming and overpowering. Use them in moderation.
When introducing finishes into your space make sure they are made from natural, breathable fibres and materials. For example flooring, counter tops, cabinetry, furniture upholstery, cushion covers, rugs and throws. Traces of energy remain on all items we come in contact with even prior to manufacture, so being connected to natural earth energies are more powerful and grounding than synthetic man made materials.
Let There Be Life
Life in a home is not only energetic but grounding. I don't just mean human life, I mean plants and animals. If you don't have a garden of your own, then why not bring plants into your home. Whether they be in pots on the floor or on your veranda or hanging from the ceiling or fixed to the wall. Plants are one of the most grounding and soothing elements you can introduce into your home which are not only affordable but also aesthetically pleasing. Pets are also a life force that can help you relax and stay centred. If you don't have the space for a dog or a cat, or strata doesn't permit it, then get a gold fish. You will not only feel like you have company but the upkeep is minimal yet the relaxing pleasure is priceless.
Let There Be Light
I don't just mean the artificial kind. Natural light is an important element to consider when designing your home. Light temperatures affect your mood and help you adjust to the earth's natural light source if implemented correctly. Cool light will not allow you to relax at night and warm lights could make you feel more sluggish during the day. Make sure you buy the right globes to suit your needs. Personally, I use minimal down lights when creating a space and utilise more indirect lighting to create a softer mood within a home. Remember you are Not in a Commercial Office Space. You can achieve this by using lamps and candles, to give your room a softer ambient glow.
Have you ever sat looking at the ocean, listening to the waves crash upon golden sands? How relaxed did you feel in that moment? Why should those sounds only be a rare privilege when you have free time to head to the beach? Well they shouldn't! Download some nature sounds on your phone and let your guard down. Allow yourself the pleasure to be transported to another place within the privacy of your own home. Go on...Download away...
I know that was a lot of information to absorb, so try and read through it a few times so it all sinks in. Remember to trust your intuition when creating a space and less is always more.
Before you get into making any changes and taking your credit card on a date, I want you to take Yourself on a date. Yes I did say, "Take yourself on a date" and no I am not crazy...maybe sometimes. :)
I want you to spend some time at a park, or head to the beach or to the mountains. Just sit in nature and take it all in and write down what makes you happy whilst in that environment and why. Once you have done that I want you to collect a few keep sake items. Maybe it is a pretty water pebble, or a loose branch or a shell.
Take it with you back home and incorporate it into your new space. Trigger objects stimulate memories which create personal lasting stories within your home.
I would love to hear how you are finding these exercises and how you are going in creating your Zen home. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts, please leave your comments below.