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Healing From the Outside In: A Tangible Way To Rethink Lifestyle

 

 

According to Google analytics increasingly the number of clicks once directed to self-help are now being redirected to searches about “alternative lifestyles.”   

 

This makes perfect sense since what folks are really saying is,  “I’m suffering from enlightenment fatigue, enough already with the multi-level spiritual plains, the inner meditative dimensions…and the journaling.   I’ve Super Soul Sunday-ed myself into oblivion. Just give me something tangible that I can really use.”  

 

Well, that’s exactly why I originally went on TV lo those many years ago and why I continue to update the same message through my RightSIZE initiative.  While things continue to evolve the root message is always this: 

 

The mental interior always matches the physical interior.  

 

If you want to know emotionally where you are at the moment just look around you.  No psychiatrist required.  LOL

  

I’m not talking about personal taste.  I’m talking more about you making the concerted effort to really re-see what you actually own.  Then having the courage to ask yourself why it’s there and if it’s still serving a purpose in your life and if the space it takes up is worth the dollar value of the real estate you’re paying for it. 

 

However, here’s the profound part;  What we learned, witnessed and proved to millions of viewers every day is that if you thoughtfully begin to methodically change the physical interior, object by object, OMG, the mental interior changes TOO!    

 

It’s why I went on TV in the first place.  Not because (yawn) I cared about interior design at all.  That’s totally subjective.   It’s because I knew the enormous power of inherent personal creativity, once rekindled and given a focus, was absolutely transformative.  What better place to reengage creativity than in one’s own home? 

 

By the time I took the message to television, I had years of case studies (and even video footage) under my belt to prove to the Discovery Network that I wasn’t crazy.

Nope, I didn’t arrive on TV because I thought I had groovy subjective design ideas while making it up as I went along.  I had something far more concrete and objective to deliver:  That the physical interior and the mental interior always match.

 

You see, for decades I’d devoted myself to understanding the true origins of personal creativity, which, after years in the arts, I knew had nothing whatsoever to do with “talent.”   That in itself was huge news, because I knew most average folks thought that if they didn’t have talent that they weren’t creative.   

 

As a huge part of that research I’d been tromping through hundreds of people’s homes.  By the time I’d finished a house tour, I knew more about the homeowner than they often knew about themselves.  

 

I’d learned to train my self to see the signs and read the clues and cues encrypted in every single thing homeowners had collected.  It wasn’t any big revelation.  Frankly, I just saw what they’d stopped seeing long ago.  

 

Their stuff offered me an emotional road map revealing to me who they thought they were, who they pretended to be, what they secretly wished they really were or who they’d ultimately become.  Their possessions told me where they’d triumphed and where they’d just given up.  

 

While they thought I was there about interior design, it invariably turned out not to be the case. In fact, “design aesthetics” shouldn’t even come into play until a new lifestyle can be accurately articulated first.   Ah! There’s the rub!  Right? 

 

See, I was a fairly accomplished multi-media artist with roots in anthropology so I never considered myself an “interior designer”.  That’s a handle the American public would later pin on me.  Yet even under that moniker, I knew that the role of a GOOD residential designer was to never impose one’s own aesthetics. As I’d say on TV everyday, “ As long as it makes you happy and it (that thing) being there could be fully justified? (even if that means it's there just because you like it) Knock yourself out!”   Code for: It’s not about the stuff, stupid.  It was about your relationship WITH the stuff. 

 

For six years prior to television, then the ten years that followed on air, I got access to literally thousands of people’s homes.  I’d witnessed how easily they can become emotional graveyards littered with things that no longer serve the dweller’s lives.  It was so clear that over time, things that actually hamper, undermine, choke and intrude on valuable living space (and ultimately quality of life) even consciously, seem to become invisible.  Lalalalala

 

I can’t tell you how many times someone said to be “Oh, I didn’t even know I had that!” 

 

Sadly, even the, physical intrusion of digging through stuff one never uses, to get to stuff one needs everyday, just becomes part of the daily routine.  

 

Sure, part of it is about organization but WHAT to organize better, is really the million-dollar question. 

 

You see, everything we have consciously dragged in from the outside public world, beyond the thresholds of our private world, is motivated by a conscious choice.  Otherwise it wouldn’t be there.  Nothing gets into our homes by accident—well the choice my have been an accident, but no one’s perfect.  

 

Yep, getting the stuff “in” the house is super easy. It’s the hunt, the thrill of shopping therapy, the impulse buy.  It’s the  “this will change my life” mantra in the busy aisles of Target that becomes hypnotic and addictive.  Then of course, time runs out and we figure at worst it’s a cheap mistake and in the basket it goes. Oh, and retailers count on it!    

 

Yet once home it’s like the dang thing lied to us.  “Wait, what? This thing all by itself does nothing! I don’t feel better, I feel worse!”  Do we take it back? Noooooooo. We stash it.  Out of sight out of mind.  Which is why 70% of American garages have yet to house an actual automobile. For those with no stash space it sits out in plain view as another constant reminders of a bad life-choice made.   Soon these things collectively become ghosts of who we once were.  They haunt us about how we tried and failed and then ultimately gave up.  That is until we start making new conscious choices. 

 

So, it’s Spring. The world is a mess but that doesn’t mean our lives have to be too.  So over the course of the next blogs I’ll begin a series of how to rethink your home as I take you through The Seven Layers Of Purging

For a quick overview of the 

 

you can start here.

 

Let’s getter done! You can do it!

 

Christopher Lowell

 

   

 

 

 

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