Meena's Musings


Spaces That Inspire


The sofa chairs and the long light shades in the corners of the living room bothered me the most. The whole point of the big window is the stunning view of the city and the chairs came in the way especially if they are turned towards the living room instead of towards the window, which would make it look like you are turning away from those sitting on the couch. The light shades were unnecessary and almost an insult to the gazillion lights that lit up the entire city. Lying awake in the middle of the night, I was feeling crowed by my stuff.

This is the first time since I moved here that I truly missed my old home.  I looked up at the ceiling and realized how big my old bedroom was.  I missed the windows that I could open all the way (The bedroom window in the condo can only be opened ¼ way; must be a safety thing being on the 17th floor, I never knew) and missed the touch of the breeze on my cheeks as I slept. I missed all the empty spaces to do Yoga, dance or whatever else I wanted to do without having to ration the space.

I started to miss how I felt before the shipment had come in.  As much as I wanted all my things, I enjoyed the empty spaces immensely; to spend the mornings on my Yoga mat to soak in the morning sun, to sit on the folding chair with my feet on the window ledge and looking out into the world, sleeping on the floor with a cushion just the size of my body with the view of the full moon right outside the window, the feel of the empty space covered entirely in blue moonlight. Prior to moving to my condo, I used to remind myself to look up at the sky more often and now it felt that the entire sky had come to me and was looking at me. Interesting how our simple desires get manifested.

I didn’t have to put the chairs and lights there. Just because I have them does not mean I need them. I got up, tuned the lights on and started to rearrange the living room. I removed the lights from the corners as they had served their purpose, moved one chair into the den appropriately next to a book shelf, put one chair in the balcony and one chair in the corner of the living room next to a small table in the corner with a small light exactly in the place where my folding chair had been for over two weeks. I removed extra pillows from the sofa to make more space.  Why did I put so many pillows on the sofa to begin with?

Now my living room was starting to shape up.  I created ample open space to sit and enjoy the view while reading, relaxing or meditating, my yoga mat and the yoga accessories visibly placed in the corner, the couch fit perfectly in the indentations of the wall leaving even more space for my Yoga practice.

Now a week later, my condo is all set up. I put more stuff in storage and got rid of more things. I thoroughly enjoyed the process, arranging and rearranging and marveled at how everything that had meaning and purpose found a perfect place for its use and function as if this condo was built specifically to fit all those things.  How the long thin table fit in at the entrance where the wall was indented, how a small light fit in perfectly on the table in the corner, how I was able to create an alter in my kitchen corner with the beautiful mementos from friends and my dear yoga students hung on the wall above it. I am once again at home!

Home has always been important to me, true of those with cancer sun sign.  Home is our sanctuary, our temple that houses and nurtures our spirit, encourages our growth and evolution. To consciously create spaces in our homes is to pave the way for our upliftment and transformation and is an ever-changing process to meet our changing needs.

Last October, I feng shuied my home in Milford, not knowing the doors and pathways it will open; not knowing that it was in preparation for my move to Toronto the following year. Spaces created with intention and purpose bring changes for the better in our lives. The spaces we create tell a story of who we are, what’s important to us, what inspires us and how we spend our time. The love and the care we put into creating spaces says a lot about the love we feel towards ourselves, the care we take in creating our lives and reminds us to continuously cultivate and nurture those qualities.

I remember when my son was young, I had turned our entire home as a place of adventure and creativity for him. The old cushy couch was his jungle gym, the dining room was his art and music room, a bedroom upstairs was the train track room and books were placed everywhere. He became such an avid reader. At one point in time, there were no more books left in the library that we could borrow as he had read them all. I feel fortunate to have had the luxury of so much space that I could use as I wished as not all of us have that luxury. I still remember the saying that was so useful for me during that time, “we are raising kids, not homes”. That statement is equally meaningful now and for all the stages in our lives.  We are not about our homes, the homes are about us, about the people who inhabit them.  As we change, the spaces we inhabit need to change so we can continue to align out outer spaces with the inner spaces.

As we spend more time in our homes, it has become important to create spaces that inspire us to be more of who we are, more of who we aspire to be; spaces that inspire us to be our full potential beings, spaces that foster our growth and evolution. It’s not about having more, it’s about being more and having direct experiences of being alive and to create spaces in our homes that inspire us to do just that. As we declutter and create spaces, we stand at the cross roads of past and future; of where we have been and where we are headed. It’s about rearranging our minds and the stuff gets rearranged naturally.

The certificates, the medals and the trophies served their purpose and needed to go into storage. Things outlive people; we can only leave our imprints on them based on how we use them. We have been conditioned to “decorate” our homes rather than to consciously create spaces that we can inhabit. When things are placed out of sight, they also tend to go out of mind; like how we forget to meditate or do a self-massage. Placing these items in sight is a way for us to be reminded.

Just like it’s the pause or the silence in between the notes that makes the music, it’s the empty spaces that make the item of significance stand out and pull us towards it. The open windows expand us beyond the four walls of the room inviting the flow of air into our spaces and breathe life into them, the light ever so gently inspires us to move and become light ourselves. From my living room window facing east, not only do I see the entire city, I can see the walking trail below with an open invitation.  The view on the north window is of this long never-ending sidewalk teasing me to follow it.

My nephew and his family want to visit.  I thought I would have my nephew sit on the chair in the den, my niece on the chair in the living room and their kids on the balcony and would chalk it up to social distance socializing.  I had placed these sofa chairs so appropriately for these times and I didn’t even know it. I shared this with my niece and we laughed so hard.