While most of her focus is on the nurturing of oneself, life coach Cheryl Richardson includes a chapter on “Soul-Loving Space” in her new book, The Art of Extreme Self-Care (Hay House; $15.95). The idea is that, along with caring about the interior person, caring about surroundings is also important.
Here is a sample exercise from the book.
Richardson says, “The power of being in a space that feels fully aligned with our soul is sorely underrated… To understand what I mean, take a look around your home or office and consider the following:
*What do these surroundings say about you?
*Do they reflect the essence of who you are?
*If this space were to tell a story about your life, what story would it tell?
*How does the space make you feel?
*What have you been tolerating for too long?
*What areas make you feel good? What areas make you feel bad? Why?
*If you could sweep the whole room into the trash and start over, would you?”
Now that she has you thinking about your outer space, here’s her plan for how to “Create a Soul-Loving Space” in one month’s time.
1. Examine — consider how well this space measures up to a soul-nourishing environment. (With Richardson’s tips, you will decide what “soul-nourishing” translates to in your chosen room.)
2. Evaluate — determine what needs to change and how you need to change. (Richardson suggests setting aside an hour to do this part.)
3. Eliminate — get rid of anything you don’t absolutely love or need. (She suggests sorting into four piles — things to give to loved ones, things to give to strangers, things that can be recycled, things that simply need to be thrown away.)
4. Enhance — make this space your version of “extraordinary” so that it reflects the essence of you. (It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money in this step.)
Richardson’s book is full of these how-to lists and steps to take for self-care. In addition, each chapter has a resource list with targeted information. The chapter on “Soul-Loving Space,” for example, includes resources for interior design, space enhancement, and dealing with clutter.
Finish all of the exercises in the book and you’ll be ready to create your own “Extreme Self-Care Kit” — “a well-prepared plan of action put in place before you need to use it.” That’s the best advice you could get in these tough times.