Friday, January 15, 2021

Ways to Welcome and Embrace White Space in the New Year



The start of a New Year is a great marker to review the past, and an opportunity to contemplate the improvements we want to make in our lives.


This is where embracing the design concept of “white space” comes in.

According to the Interaction Design Foundation "White space is the area between design elements. It is also the space within individual design elements, including the space between typography glyphs (readable characters).”


Editor’s note: This blog is a guest post by Catherine Agopcan


“White space” is NOT blank space. When we remove that stack of magazines or put away our unfinished art project supplies, our actions create an opening for those things, people, and activities that are meaningful to us.

As we work through any clean-up effort, we can tap into the comfort element of the color white.

In Christianity, white is a symbol of birth, beginnings, and communion.

In Western culture, brides wear white as a sign of purity. White signifies clean lines, clear energy, and spaciousness.

We need not fear “white space” as being empty. It clears and lightens the way as we check out the “white space” ideas below.

 

Keep the Calendar Empty

 

It’s easy to fill our days with to-do lists and commitments we aren’t excited about. Instead of saying yes to all invitations, consider blocking out time to do nothing. 

Our current mindset may tell us we need to be doing something or consuming something at all times. 

Pause to consider ways to use the peaceful energy of “white space” into each day.

The big thing is to put our phone down, turn off the TV, and just sit with our thoughts.

If we find it relaxing, we may use this free time to meditate, journal, walk around the block or do something with our hands. 

In a world where our attention is a commodity, reserving down time to reconnect is key to our sense of well-being.

 

Curate Our Home 


Our homes are not storage spaces. They are places to enjoy alone time and be with the people that matter. 

Many of us are on auto-pilot, buying more things to organize our home. If we look through what we already have and review what is or is not useful, we are ahead of the game.

A constant barrage of things to see, and lack of “white space” means our minds are processing information that is not relevant to our daily goals.

If our home environment doesn't make us feel serene, we can look around to see what can be downsized or eliminated and gain white space.

Sort out junk from kitchen or bathroom cabinets and donate excess. Put things that serve a purpose into white or clear containers with simple labels. 

In our gusto for streamlining, we may go overboard. We need to find balance, and deal mindfully with one thing at a time.

While our homes aren’t meant to be museums, we can be discerning. One way to do that is to save only those objects that look good together.

One simple, inexpensive way to freshen things up is to consider changing the wall paint color to a white for a quick transformational fix.




Embrace White Objects


Use a white cloth table covering and that meal will feel special.

Serve food on a white dinner plate and notice how delicious it looks.

Choose white hotel sheets and the bed will look inviting.

Put out the white towels to make our guests feel welcome.

Wear a crisp white shirt and colorful accessories to stand out and look distinctive. 

Our customary habit may be to forgo using white objects, because of the potential care they require.

Remember our things need to be handled mindfully, and we deserve beautiful things. By limiting our possessions to treasured items, we'll make those we keep shine against a white backdrop.


Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

Photo by Alexandra Gorn onUnsplash


Let’s visualize ourselves in the New Year, and imagine easily releasing excess possessions, habits, attitudes, and activities that no longer bring value to daily living.

Use the color white to help make bolder choices that will have deep impact throughout the year and beyond.


Catherine Agopcan is a financial educator and sustainability advocate educating others on how consumption affects their financial bottom line through the tenets of minimalism and sustainability. Find her at Sisters for FI, The Do Something Project and Instagram.

 

What changes or new ideas do you want to investigate in 2021? Please explain. 

Please share in the comment section provided below, with no links in your comment. It will not be published that way.

If you like what you see, please visit Catherine's links and leave a comment there too.

I so appreciate the great work Catherine is doing to educate, inform, and inspire us to be more thoughtful in our choices and improve the quality of our lives.

This post has been shared at A Themed Linkup 39 for Cleaning and Organizing and we are happy and honored it was picked as a feature and appears here.





Friday, January 1, 2021

Noteworthy Benefits of Being Mindful Each Day



Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing our attention on the present moment, and accepting what we discover without judgment. 

Research shows mindfulness is an excellent way to reduce stress and increase happiness. Mindfulness meditation changes our brain and biology in positive ways, improving mental and physical health.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, scientist, author, meditation teacher and father of the mindfulness movement, is known for bringing mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine and society.

Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”

Mindfulness helps us observe our body, mind, and spirit and our surroundings just as they are, moment to moment. 

Scientific studies indicate this life skill technique can induce a relaxation response and ease pain, both physical and emotional. Continue Reading to see


Noteworthy Benefits of 

Being Mindful Each Day



When we are mindful it

1. Allows us to get off to a fresh start each day, viewing experiences with open-mindedness. Mindfulness training helps us observe ourselves, others, and happenings in a more objective way.

2. Helps us check in with ourselves and act with intention. When we do, we have the option of detaching from dramas and knee-jerk reactions, and pause to respond in a calmer, clear-headed way. 

3. Alerts us to times we feel depleted or vulnerable and need to be kind to ourselves. Restorative self-care practices including taking a nap, doing physical exercise, writing in a journal, reciting affirmations, or eating a nourishing meal mindfully, helps us feel refreshed and better able to take on the rest of our day. 

See more about Self-care Activities to Encourage Optimal Health here.




4. E
nables us to notice whatever we’re feeling physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. A fun way to help us become more self-aware is to use a color visualization, Colors of the Chakras, to create greater balance and ease.


5. Supports long-term mindfulness meditators, as we experience and overcome setbacks. Mindfulness helps us cope with challenges and focus on those thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that will help us move forward. This is an effective element of flexibility and personal growth. 

Learn more about Staying Resilient during COVID and Beyond by looking at this free resiliency booklet from the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI). Click here.

6. Shows us how much time and energy we spend on distractions and observe how often we let our mind wander from our goals, priorities, and plans. Mindfulness also helps us have insights about our choices and observe how much time we reserve for people, places, and things that bring us pleasure, joy, and inspiration.

7. Empowers us to observe outmoded habits and work on replacing them with healthier ones. 

8. Can be practiced for free and as simply as taking 5 minutes to sit quietly and follow our breath. This economical self-care practice needs no special equipment or facility. Mindfulness activities are available in books, online, YOUTUBE or as apps for little or no charge. 

9. Helps us find compassion for ourselves and others. Studies show when we treat ourselves and others with lovingkindness, it increases our overall sense of wellbeing.

Perhaps by now you realize making a conscious effort to be more mindful has many benefits. They include the ability to sense the richness in life as it occurs, engage in activities wholeheartedly, have a greater capacity to recover from adversity, reduces stress, and enables us to fully awaken to ourselves.

Want to reap the benefits of adopting a mindfulness practice? It's as simple as setting the intention to take small steps each day to make mindful living a priority for 2021 and then following through. 💖

Before you go, please comment below. I'd love to know how many of these mindfulness benefits inspire you.

Do you already practice yoga, meditation, and/or use color visualizations to help you feel vitally alive? Please share about that too.

No links in your comments please, as they won't be published that way.

If you like what you see, please share and like on social media. For additional color energy resources and wellness information, please visit my Website

This post has been shared at Thursday Favorite Things

This post has been shared at unlimited-monthly-link-party-20