When I was asked to review a book I immediately thought, yes! I can actually have a reason for reading. I’m not the best reader, I’ve always struggled with the many distractions around me and find it very difficult to concentrate for long periods of time.
This is potentially very unsettling as I’m always finding other things that I think I should be doing, whether it’s work or sorting things in the home or mundane tasks such as laundry. (not so mundane now, which I reveal why later in this post)
I tend to flit from one thing to the next with no real regard for what I’m doing, like a lot of people I just want to get things done. Even on a recent holiday everyone was engrossed in their books, I had bought three books with me and didn’t get past the first chapter of even one book.
The Mindful Home is not a book about interior design as such, nor is it written by an interior designer. The front reads: “The secrets to making your home a place of harmony, beauty, wisdom and true happiness”.
To start the book Dr Craig and Deirdre Hassed explain their angle on the topic, “our home is not grand, and we have not learnt anything about interior design or spent significant amounts of money decorating it” They had me at “We have simply taken care to create a space we feel at home in and that we enjoy living in”.
They then move onto a contemplation exercise that you can do as you wander around your home. I found this extremely helpful as it requires you to write a list of what you see your ideal home embodying. Not in terms of colour, layout or style but more about what you would like your home to bring out in you and the people that visit. How do you want your home to make you feel?
My list was very long indeed, here it is just for you: happy, calm, stable, loved, fun, joyful, emotional, peaceful, knowledgeable, focussed, passionate, warm, comforting, nurturing, safe, relaxing, clean, fresh, organised, designed, natural, inspired, artistic, fragrant, creative and beautiful. I admit it did begin to sound rather like a dating profile.
The book then asks you to make a list of how your home actually feels, this is the “oh” point, where you realise that maybe your home isn’t giving you all that you want. It’s not disappointing, just enlightening and encourages you to begin making those changes.
“potentially a home is a place where we can be at peace or come to rest, where we can be ourselves, where we feel safe, where we belong, where we are free of constraints and demands of daily life.”
This overall philosophy has been a huge part of my thinking on interior design and the service that I provide. You may feel slightly bombarded with the term mindfulness at the moment, but it is such an important way of living.
Each task that you undertake in your home should be mindful, whether it’s washing up or doing your laundry, there is actually a way to take pleasure in these activities and create a sort of stillness in yourself. Mindfulness requires discipline and I have often found myself forgetting to be mindful and trying to do too many things at once; inevitably ending up on the sofa doing nothing.
The Mindful Home also talks about each sense and how you can either be affected by your surroundings, or choose to live in a way that works for your individual senses.
The choice is there for us to live in our homes in the exact way we want to. This book provides enlightening tools for your home, which will help you to engage with your environment in a way you may not have experienced before.
Get your copy here- The Mindful Home
All images can be found on my Pinterest