Creating Safe Space for Change

March 04, 2010

I spend much of my adult life looking for holes in my ever thickening atmosphere of comfort and safety, trying to figure out how to better insulate and support myself. I am the type of girl who needs serious continuity and stability. I need to know where my stuff is, how I’m going to get from point A to point B, and how to financially support myself. I yearn for relationships with people who are neither up nor down, but generally even keeled and constant in their love and support. For me, insecurity within my space or plans feels tantamount to physical pain.

It is important that when you are trying to grow, build, and learn as a person, you create the environment around you that best faciliates your process. For some, this means adventure and new faces and big city excitement, while for others this includes home cooked meals, family, and clean sheets. Whatever this means to you, creating that space for yourself will bring you endless comfort and personal security, and when these basic needs are taken care of you will have a much greater capacity for achievement.

Tips for creating safe personal spaces:

  1. Spend some time with yourself, think about what makes you happy and supported, and strive to obtain those things for yourself, even when it seems financially or physically impossible. Example: my apartment is expensive and I often think about the money that I could have in the bank if I lived somewhere cheaper, but when I come home from work and sit on my couch and look around, I almost always feel relieved and overjoyed that I am living in an apartment that is so spacious and quiet and feel inspired to work on other secret dreams I’ve been harboring.
  2. Be protective of your space. Do not allow others with negative energy and judgement in if all they are going to do is contaminate it with their bad mood. This applies broadly, however, it can be difficult to control on a wide scale, and truly, if you can keep one little aspect of your life (like your home) free of annoyance and petty drama, you will feel more stability throughout other aspects of your life as well.
  3. Be silly. Have you always wanted a chalkboard wall? A room painted red? A Kitchen Aid to stir up your favorite recipies? A lace table cloth? A fancy shower caddy? A king size bed? When I was a kid I was obsessed with scented laundry detergent, but my parents were kind of hippies and always leaned towards the unscented arm and hammer variety. When I moved out of their house one of the FIRST things that I did was buy deliciously scented laundry detergent. And fabric softener. And dryer sheets. Still now, I get a kick out of doing laundry, and it’s just a small little way that I make myself happy on a daily basis. I also love: super fancy sheets, nice computers, big beds, frivolous grocery store buys, trashy magazines, red couches, stove top espresso machines, and watching instant Netflix and megavideo in bed. Whatever small things you can do to relax and reward youself are so important. You work hard! You deserve little things that make you smile here and there.
  4. Clean. Now, one time a very wise woman told me that there was a little version of myself living inside that was stunted by the chaos and squalor that I was living in at a teenager. She told me that I that little girl could not grow or flourish if I surrounded myself with filth and disorganization. I thought she was insane. It wasn’t until many years later, when I started cleaning up after myself a little better, that I truly understood what she meant. I am so much happier when my house is clean. I can move around better, more easily find my important documents, get ready in the morning, and relax on my days off if the space that I’m living in is picked up and neat. The best part about this is also that cleaning can be really therapeutic AND that once you deeply clean a space it really only takes minor upkeep to keep it looking that way!

What about you? Do you think it’s important to create a stable, nice home for yourself? What kinds of tricks do you use to make your life easier?