Friday, January 29, 2010

Zen In The Castle

I don't know what has come over me. Ever since the start of the new year I've been hellbent on rearranging everything in the castle; ever drawer, every corner, every bookshelf, every little bit of my life down to bobby pins and booby traps. Every dungeon needs a few of those.

I've thrown out or given away seven large garbage bags of junk! I'm not sure if it's the sense of transition I'm treading ever so loudly or the need for a fresh start all the way around. Who cares? It feels wonderful. I am on a mission to alter not just what my home looks like but how I live in it.
How I feel when I am in it.
Someone recently told me "You're Zen!"

I'm happy.
If that's Zen then I'm in.

Since my father died the last of October I've had some time to readjust the universe a bit - when a parent leaves, your world goes wonky for awhile. It changes the energy around you. Death of loved ones and death of relationships will transform you. I had both in spades last year. Funny. Death....gave me an entirely new perspective on life. Its brevity. Its wonder. Its tethered soul to my thoughts.

So I looked around and started changing things to suit me and only me. Taped to my refrigerator I now have a goal for each room. Not a look - an environment.
Some rooms are already in the desired state. I just had to change my mind about how to use them and rearrange a few things. I've finished the kitchen and living room thus far. I am taking my lovely time too.
(another part of my new Zen personality. No rush. No panic. No blood pressure. No heart attack.)

I love earth tones peppered with reds and rich hues for a nice mix of calm and vibrancy. I like lots and lots of large and small lamps. Thick rugs and hand painted boxes, dark wood and floral prints, antique pieces mixed with European lines. I hate overhead lighting unless it's a pretty chandelier. And I love to scale back the drapes in the summer and fall for nature's beauty through the windows. Window boxes outside filled with snow-proof pansies make it seem as though they're inside the room with me on a winter's day. I need continuity and a blending of nature's colors wherever I look. A home should foster inspiration and peace. Make sense?
So I've change my mind totally about how I want my sanctuary to function.

I renamed the main rooms into spaces.
Here are my goals:
Kitchen - A place of Sustenance and Nourishment
Boudoir - A place of Rest and Pleasure
Living Room - A place of Socializing and Entertainment
Den - A place of warmth
Music Room - A place of Creativity
Guest rooms - A place of Refuge
Exercise room - Life. Purpose. Discipline
Bathrooms - A place of Comfort. Convenience. Cleansing.
Reading and computer room (unfinished) - A place of knowledge, the smell of books....where I meet the muse
Hallways, stairs, in-between places of transition - Beauty. Life. Light. Happy images. Joy. Peace.
Closets - A place of order so that I don't lose my mind - and my Zen.
I would like to transform the attic into a writing nook but that might guarantee I'd lose my Zen.
Maybe later.

Meanwhile you can find me buried in the dungeon ala downstairs closets rearranging the racks and torture devices (smile)
There's a lot of Zen-ning to be done down there.
Maybe I'd better meditate first.

I hope I have enough garbage bags.


Dawn Drover said...

The room looks so warm and inviting!

I had my Zen moment before Christmas. I could probably use another one now :(

bobbybegood1 said...

Your idea astonishes me. Love, love, love it.!! I love the concept that a room should be thought of as an environment, not a look. I am going to incorporate that idea into my life immediately, and give rooms meaning just like you did.

Regarding death, my parents, both of whom are deceased, had eleven children. I've lost 6 siblings, but the one death that I'm having the most trying time with is my sister Sondra's. It just devasted me -- I'm still angry with God about that one. She was my eldest sister. She treated me like I was her child (most older sibling do)

Yes! Unclutter your life. I clear, get rid of, throw away often, so I don't feel as if my life is bogged down. I enjoy minimalist living.

Also, Winter is a lovely season -- my favorite. So throw back those curtains and enjoy the view (snowflakes). Remember, my name is Mimi, too.

Travis said...

I really like this idea. We'll be doing a bit of that kind of organizing as well, as soon as the construction is complete. We have to wait until the finish the interior repairs.

I think we're about three weeks away. We've already started planning. The planning has made it easier to live in the chaos for these last weeks.

And it's lovely to have access to the natural light again!

Betsy ( said...

Dear Mimi,
We're doing the same thing at our house! Uncluttering as we get ready to move to a new house from the house we've lived in for 13 years. We're finding so many wonderful memories as we pack up much trash, too!

I must ask, where is the chateau that you put at the end blog? We have an illustration of a chateau just like that and have been searching France to find it!


Svem said...

yes yes yes yes yes yes :)

Red Shoes said...

Hi there, Mimi.. yeah, death of our parents... of our marriages.. often defines us for the future... either in a positive manner... or a negative one... just the fact that we survive and emerge better, happier people... is what counts...

Sounds like you are in the middle of a zen-driven feng shui event... :oD


Bond said...

Maybe you should rename the one you gave the living room!


no fugly faces on this sidebar now!

The Gal Herself said...

What a terrific idea! And going from room to room is so wise. It gives you every chance for accomplishment and limits the likelihood that the task will overwhelm you. (No rush. No panic ...)

Happy 2010, Your Highness! You're off to a great start.

Jamie said...

We are in upheaval of construction around here. I'm trying to think of it as a creative explosion rather than dust and mayhem. May your zenzing of the palace be all that you want for the future.

Mimi Lenox said...

Dawn - This is looking out through the kitchen onto the deck. It was a rain stormy night when I took this shot.

Yes, you need a zen moment. Or two.

Mimi Lenox said...

Mimi - **feels strange to write that**..good luck with your rearranging and de-stressing.
It's workin' for me!

I am so sorry to hear about your losses. So tragic. How did you ever get over losing so many siblings? Hugs.

Mimi Lenox said...

Travis - I know you and Pam are thrilled with the results in your place. The window ordeal was something else! I'm enjoying taking my time and not putting so much pressure on myself - a trick I should have embraced long ago. There's another word I need to get rid of.


Where's that garbage bag?

Mimi Lenox said...

Betsy - I am finding so much trash as well! And emotionally, if it makes me feel "ugh" goes in the garbage. Bad vibes. Not good for health or sanity.

You mean the castle picture?
I bought it from fotolia dot com. If you go there and do a "castle" search, I'm sure you'll stumble across the picture. As I recall, there was a description of the place and town.

Mimi Lenox said...

Shoes - Transition.
Heavy transition.
On soooo many levels.

(P.S. It wasn't a divorce but a puzzling friendship upheaval. Sad and shocking to me. Live and learn. I learned a lot. That on top of the death of my dad around the same time coupled with a lot of personal physical illness last year made for a life-changing year.
Shook me. Changed me.)

So I'm zenning!! Driven by necessity.

Mimi Lenox said...

Svem - And yes!!!

Mimi Lenox said...

Bond - Thinking about that. Living room: Socializing and entertainment. Hmmmm.....what??!!

Okay....**looking up the word fugly**
Is it in the Urban Dictionary??!!

Mimi Lenox said...

Gal - I feel different.
Really different.

Mimi Lenox said...

Jamie - **Zenzing** ...much better.

"creative explosion" - YES!!
That is perfect.

bobbybegood1 said...

It's difficult at times. I read somewhere that when someone dies, your relationship with that person then begins anew on a different level -- a metaphysical level. I miss their human bodies, but I know they are angels/bodhisattvas watching me, protecting me, guiding me everyday. Thanks.

Felicitas said...

Zen is good... it's what I aspire to have one day after the kids move out! Happy decluttering, Mimi!

Mimi Lenox said...

Mimi ala Bobby - "begins anew"...yes, it does.

Mimi Lenox said...

Felicitas - LOL. Kids do make it difficult.

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