Decorating Your Inner Home

I believe I know the only cure, which is to make one’s center of life inside of one’s self, not selfishly or excludingly, but with a kind of unassailable serenity—to decorate one’s inner house so richly that one is content there, glad to welcome anyone who wants to come and stay, but happy all the same when one is inevitably alone.
— Edith Wharton
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I recently had a conversation with one of my brilliant girlfriends (a divine friendship for sure) and she explained a concept dear to her heart - decorating your inner home. I have heard this ‘self care’ or ‘nourishing your temple’ ideology before and felt its truth in my own life, though never found a particular analogy or depiction that resonated with the idea.

The concept stems from a quote by Edith Wharton, “I believe I know the only cure, which is to make one’s center of life inside of one’s self, not selfishly or excludingly, but with a kind of unassailable serenity—to decorate one’s inner house so richly that one is content there, glad to welcome anyone who wants to come and stay, but happy all the same when one is inevitably alone.”

Being a new home owner and desiring to welcome others into my space with warm hospitality, this analogy clicked. The idea of decorating, cleaning, and opening my home to others is very relevant in my life at the moment.

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Imagine that your soul, your inner space, is like a home. Make a list of the ways you can and like to decorate your space. My list looks like - going for an hour long walk, doing yoga or pilates, reading a book outside, lighting a candle and playing music while I shower, giving myself an at-home facial, meeting a friend for early morning coffee, taking a class that interests me, or booking a trip to travel and learn. These are your Turkish rugs, Moroccan pillows, woven light fixtures - they make your inner space feel lit up, full of beauty and intention.

Nobody likes walking into a house that is full of dirty laundry, muddy footprints, and trash piled up in every corner. In order to accept spontaneous visitors at any hour, you have to stay on top of the tidying, the sweeping, the dirt that accumulates. When it comes to your inner space, the trash can easily build up if you aren’t regularly checking in. Think about how your home gets if you have a busy week. You stop at home, quickly change your clothes, grab something to eat, leave the dishes in the sink and throw your bags on the couch instead of putting them away. The same is true with your inner home - when you are running around, things become a bit of a mess and we need to check back in to make sure the mess doesn’t build up to the point of closing our doors and keeping people at a distance. Dirt that builds up could be comparison, doubt, inferiority, worry, or stress. Some ways I like to clear out the dirt and clutter in my mind are meditation, prayer, writing, short periods of fasting, and talking to a mentor or counselor.  

As you do this inner work, you will find yourself organically opening up. When we are aware of our inner state and have worked hard to make it beautiful, we are more open to let others in.

Sometimes you won’t always feel like your inner home is amazingly decorated and ready for visitors. It takes a lot of intention and time to maintain this state and were all human, we get caught up in life, and we have emotions. Choosing to open wide, whether or not your space is looking exactly like as you wish it to, allows you to go deeper in relationships. This process requires grace and a lot of it. Everyday you have to decide to respect and care for your inner space, while letting go of your expectations of where you ‘should’ be and accepting where you truly are in your journey of self-love and healing. Moving forth with these intentions you will begin to create a space for soulful relationships and deep contentedness within yourself.

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