Home Safe Home: Practical Pillars of Well-Being
Feb 12, 2014 05:51AM
● By CHRISTA O’LEARY
Done right, our home serves as an empowering foundation for well-being. Aligning with four key pillars of harmony will facilitate an inspired, healthy and vibrant home that supports body, mind and spirit.
Mainstays of a Home in Harmony
Creating an inspired and healthy home environment soothes the soul and recharges our proverbial batteries.
Making healthful choices in the products we use and consume helps ensure we retain a healthy body and vibrant living in an era when we are inundated with disease-producing toxins in our homes, food, air and water.
Applying simple solutions to slow down helps us maintain a calm mind amidst the frenetic pace of daily life. Periodically unplugging from the instant demands of technology is a good first step.
Tuning into our life purpose and sharing it with others allows us to shine. We naturally radiate our inner light in ever-expanding ways.
A study published by the International Academy for Design and Health shows that because our home influences us on many levels, the setting is continually either supporting or depleting its occupants. Consciously creating and sustaining a nurturing environment fortifies the roots from which family members evolve and grow.
Experience shows us how improving our immediate surroundings, ranging from our wardrobe to household furnishings, helps to manifest positive internal transformations. The activity likewise reflects our inner landscape, allowing us to take a step back and observe how we are changing and hope to change.
That’s why we periodically feel impelled to clear unsettling clutter from our private spaces. It’s an irritant that disrupts order and our sense of beauty; even when it’s stashed in drawers and closets, we still know it’s there. It competes for attention and distracts our focus.
A recently relocated design client felt that her new house was beautiful, but didn’t feel like a home. The woman explained that when she was there, she was short-tempered with her kids, a sharp contrast to her usual demeanor. She yearned to love her home, enjoy her kids and live vibrantly. A key part of the solution was tackling the home’s mudroom entrance that was cluttered with the kids’ detritus, a condition that irritated her the minute she walked through the door.
Many of the home products we buy contain disquieting, hidden elements. Understanding which ingredients are hazardous is imperative to maintaining a safe home environment. Key decisions range from the choice of carpets, couches and bedding to cleaning products, laundry solutions and air fresheners.
Knowing the products we use are healthful enhances peace of mind. As one homeowner said, “I am so relieved to have a better understanding of what products I shouldn’t bring home. I was so scared before that I just ignored the idea that chemicals could be harmful.”
Being informed and alert to the composition of the items we bring into our home—including food—is vital. More than 80,000 chemicals make up the ingredients in commonly available products that end up in the typical American home, and a large portion of them are toxic. Nearly 20 percent of the chemicals are not divulged, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The EPA also reports that the average person holds more than 700 toxic chemicals in their body. We inhale myriad chemical byproducts that fill the air both indoors and out, plus ingest numerous toxins in the foods and beverages we consume. Once absorbed, they remain in the body unless flushed out, throwing it out of balance and, as widespread research shows, causing a broad range of diseases.
WebMD.com reports that the psychological impacts of feeling stressed, helpless and overwhelmed by the fear of lurking poisons can directly influence our physical health. Making informed choices can alleviate such feelings. It only requires taking a series of small and manageable, progressive steps to create our own style of a healthy and harmonious home life.
On a spiritual level, we can rest assured that such caring for our inner temple and larger environment supports a greater good and fosters a deeper connection to life’s Source. We feel more physically, psychologically and spiritually vibrant. Our home becomes a vital wellspring that, cleaned and furnished with holistic awareness, continually refreshes us.
Christa O’Leary is founder and CEO of Home in Harmony, Inc., combining expertise in marriage and family therapy, interior design and green living. Her book, Home in Harmony Lifestyle: Designing an Inspired Life, will be released in November. Connect at ChristaOLeary.com/FreeKit.