Some people comfortably live among stacks of books, weeks of newspapers and old coffee cups. For me, the tidiness and aesthetics of my surroundings has a big impact on how I feel. Walking down an old road in Tuscany I feel open and calm. Drop me in a cramped, worn-out, motel in the boot heel of Missouri and I don’t feel quite so expansive or clear. I prefer to make my surroundings beautiful without too much stuff. I find it easier to appreciate lovely things when there aren’t so darned many of them. What’s going on here, are some of us more sensitive to our surroundings? If so, why? And perhaps more interestingly, where do you fit into this continuum? Let’s explore how you are impacted by your physical surrounding.
Take a moment to get settled in your chair and take a few deep, relaxed breaths.
Now, imagine a time when you felt completely comfortable and relaxed.
What were the physical characteristics of this place?
Describe the sights, sounds, smells and other sensory details.
Stay with the pleasantness for a few minutes and enjoy the feelings you experience.
You may have remembered a place that was akin to walking in the country or maybe closer to the boot heel motel, and either is perfect. I don’t think it is helpful to judge ourselves to be right or wrong...we are creatures continually in the process of changing our preferences and even habits. But it is good to be aware of the relationship between how we feel and the specifics of our surroundings.
Let me know what you think!