Surround yourself with loveliness
Day 127/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
Self-Mastery. It's about living simply and authentically. That means living without being surrounded by a load of crapola that you don't even like.
Seriously, the first thing that comes to mind is a tea set that my mother bought me when I first set up home. That was back in the late seventies. She gave me this delightful dog's breakfast of a set of 6 teacups and teapot that was the colour of baby poop yellow, with red china hibiscus in relief stuck to the sides of the cups and teapot. It was the best description of dog barf that you can conjure and to be honest I have no idea what was on her mind when she chose that gift. It certainly wasn't my style or even about something that I would use. Drinking tea wasn't even a thing at 20 years of age. Come to think of it, I wonder if it was a gift passed on!
How long it stayed in my company I can't remember but not too long. Yet I remember that thing as if I received it yesterday, now 40 years ago! Of course getting rid of it wasn't that easy, Mum expected to see it whenever she visited which wasn't often but still, it was duly noted that it wasn't visible nor available when she asked.
Your home is about you. It speaks of you loud and clear. If you are inclined to people pleasing you will probably have a number of items just like that tea set gracing your home and holding you in an uncomfortable vibe each time you glance its way.
Live with what you love, leave the rest.
Sarah suggests that you take this week to walk around your home and examine every nook and cranny.
Check out where things accumulate, where there are items that don't fit your style well.
Anything that's been on your mind that you don't really like, that maybe someone who was being nice gave to you.
After that tea set, I don't think I've ever tolerated an item that I simply cannot love. If I don't love it, or I don't use it, it's got to go to a new home.
Surround yourself with things that shout out who you are, how you live, what life is like in your home.
When people come to your home they should be able to get the vibe of the life of you and your family. You want that vibe to be the best representation of you so that your friends really know you well.
I love it when my friends visit because here is where I can truly be me. My surroundings speak volumes about me, whether it's the prickly succulents on my deck, the rescued candelabra on the dutch dresser, my faded leather couch, the worn rug that's full of memories or the kitchen table marked by the many meals shared there. It's intimate and friendly and special and me.
The things I love the most are the practical items that I use everyday that are also pieces of artwork. My chopping board is crafted by a local wood artist. It's lovely to work on and looks special as well.
This week I'm commissioning him to make me a bath caddy out of a slab of timber that will look divine when polished and waterproofed, and will be simply awe inspiring when holding my candles and bath salts and glass of bubbles as I soak in a long, luxurious bath.
My kitchen table has a large fruit bowl that I discovered in an art gallery in Denmark, and is graced by potted succulents brought in from outside, just for fun.
The oils and lotions and books and pens on my bedside table are contained by pieces of pottery captured from various galleries on my travels.
Surround yourself with things that you love, that reflect your style, your authentic self. You'll live more fully in your spaces and feel more at home.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.