Sometimes, there seems to be no time for de-stressing at home; you walk in from work, grocery shopping, being at the gym, etc. and all you want to do is crack open a beer (or, in my hubby's case; a can of Coke), sit down and watch whatever happens to be on (Family Guy, anyone?).
How fulfilling is this, really? Sure, we get to be lazy and watch entertaining shows, but could we possibly be spending our time to achieve greater things?
Thomas would say, "No" at this point, just to be funny.
Seriously, though; what can you do to create a motivating, comfortable, and capable space to help you become the best you?
Let me tell you how I am learning to do it (note I put LEARNING).
I keep a yoga mat on each floor of my house, except for the basement as it is unfinished, as the sight of the mat reminds me of the feeling I get when I'm practicing yoga and also motivates me to get down and do it! Having it readily available has become very valuable for me. As well, this also motivates me to meditate - meditation helps to clear my head, zen me out and really connect within myself and with my spirit guides. This promotes a healthy attitude and inner strength to strengthen my "outer", so, again, having the yoga mat within my sights is a good form of motivation.
We recently "built" a record wall. Like many people, both Tom and I take solace in music - especially the classic rock music - and we went ahead and hung shelves and put our old, classic records on the shelves. The shelves we bought are great, as they have a little crook on the end that keeps the records from falling off. Here's a terrible pictures of an awesome project (it really does look better in person)!
The step stool there has since been replaced with my acoustic guitar.
Looking at the music is quite inspiring, and having the guitar there has inspired Tom to play a bit more - he is a great guitar player, but since that darned X box thing came out, he doesnt play as much as he should.
It definitely brings a Zen- like feeling into our home, through the presence of music.
As I am a Buddhist, I keep Buddhist tokens and idols around my home - I have many Buddha busts, as well as statues of The Buddha meditating, ranging from small to large. I have quite a few Laughing Buddhas, including a small, beautiful, pure-jade Laughing Buddha that I hold very dear.
These inspire me to practice yoga and to meditate, as most of the Buddha statues I have depict the Enlightened One meditating, sitting in Lotus Pose.
Candles also help me to zen out, as well. A scent from a good candle is like medicine for a bad headache.
I also have been striving to keep the house clean - I'm glad our house is the size it is - any bigger and I don't know if I could keep myself motivated to clean it! I do take pride in cleaning, it is therapeutic, and after I'm finished, I usually go for a run or do yoga, or attempt meditation. Once I'm active, I'm active, and it takes an unusually large headache or a extreme bout of laziness to calm me back down after cleaning. Knowing how great my house can look after a good clean definitely keeps me motivated to continue to keep it clean, to clean when I have the chance, and to stay motivated to keep active, even after I've finished! Also, there's always the threat family members or friends may show up unannounced, and I do like to visit a clean house when I see my friends and family, so I strive to meet the expectations I assume they have.
Humour and love also help to keep us grounded; our cats help us achieve this, as well as our friends and family. But, every day, our cats (as they are indoor-only) make us laugh and shower us with love and affection.
We also are very fortunate to have a wonderful relationship filled with love and humour - Tom is actually a very funny guy and I can say that I do keep him laughing as well.
Those are a few things the keep this house Zen, well try to keep this house Zen.
There's always more work to do, and everything is a learning process. Let's be thankful that we have been given these lessons and grateful that we are able to live life with priveleges, love, laughter and the oppurtunity to learn.