Holistic Wellness 6 – Spirituality

Woman sitting on beach, prayingHolistic Wellness 6 – the spiritual dimension

You can’t talk about holistic wellness without bringing in spirituality.

Don’t tune out here, this really has very little to do with religious practice, and everything to do with how we view ourselves and others and how we fit into and relate to the world and our environment. (a warning here: this is a very wordy post. I promise this is the last one like this and the only reason it’s so long is that the subject is intrinsic to the way I practice)

Our spiritual development actually begins at birth as we must learn to trust first our parents, then others and finally a wider, scarier world – will our cries be answered? Will our needs be met? Is there comfort to be found? Is there anyone out there who cares?

The most basic component of any relationship is trust. Trust in someone’s care; trust in someone’s love. It is trust that makes us feel safe and secure. It is trust that brings contentment. It is trust that gives us a sense of our own self-worth and allows us to value those around us as well as empathize with another’s plight.

It is that same sense of needing to trust that feeds all of humankind’s longing to know that a greater power “out there” is watching over us and caring about us, even though we are infinitesimally small creatures in this vast universe.

If we grow into adults feeling that sense of self-worth, and therefore caring about others, then hopefully we can integrate that sense into feeling responsibility about how we treat the wider world.

Do we care enough about the environment to do what we can to minimize our “footprint” – anything from recycling and composting, to saving energy, to reducing our consumption of petrochemicals, to reducing our consumption- period!

Do we care enough about living creatures around us that we do what we can to minimize the suffering of animals and plants – from buying responsibly sourced wood furniture that saves our rainforests, to spaying or neutering our pets, to speaking out about potential natural disasters caused by unfeeling energy companies, and even to what we eat in terms of animal protein – eating cage-free eggs and buying humanely raised and slaughtered meats.

Why do I care about the environment?

Why do I want to practice Holistic Interior Design?

Why do I care about how my clients “feel” in their spaces?

One of the answers to that, believe it or not, is because I have a spiritual practice. Which spiritual practice? Doesn’t matter. It could be any non-violent spiritual practice. It’s because of it that I feel this sense of responsibility – to myself (how I treat my body), to others, to living creatures, to the environment and indeed, the whole world.

In my own experience, those who are “me, me, me” types could care less about the environment, except where it might help or boost themselves or their business.

It’s the humble ones, who care deeply about everyone and everything, that are the catalysts for change on this earth. Those who care more about serving others, in general, tend not to be hyper-consumers, unless they just don’t know or are ignorant of how hyper-consumerism will affect the earth in the long run.

And that is, or will be, a trend going forward – we will be seeing a huge backlash against this hyper-consumerism, the big mansion type houses, the re-decorating every few years to stay trendy, the purchase of brand new clothing every single season, and the purchasing of scads of tschotschkes to put on every single surface in our homes.

Enough’s enough, don’t you think? For one thing, our economy and job situation can no longer sustain such rampant consumerism. And our poor, poor Earth can no longer tolerate all the masses of garbage and pollution this produces, either.

Does it sound like I’m putting myself out of business here? After all I am in the business of decorating and renovating, which means selling loads of new stuff to my clients, right?

Well, not really, no. I am actually in the business of helping my clients to discover what is really important and what makes them feel good and comfortable in their surroundings and to translate that into good, timeless design which should only have to change when the items in the design truly wear out and need to be replaced.

It’s all about re-using and re-purposing good quality items. It’s all about using zero-VOC paints to completely change how a space feels. It’s all about editing, editing, editing to reduce clutter and make a space both more comfortable and easier to maintain.

And, when necessary, it’s all about doing the research (which is where I come in) to purchase the very best quality product that will be both timeless and last a life-time, but that can easily be re-freshed twenty years down the road by re-covering, adding some new pillows, re-painting or re-finishing, etc.

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