th2I’m on a new kick. Well, it’s not a new idea. It’s something I used to do and forgot about. And it’s worth remembering.

I used to surround myself with fresh cut flowers, relaxing music and good scents. I prided myself on my apartment always smelling like Pier 1 Imports. You know that smell. I think it’s the eucalyptus. And the candles.

But somewhere along the way I stopped. I know when and why. It was the brain hemorrhage. When you’re focused on trying to re-learn walking, speaking and eating, home decor tends to take a back seat. And then learning to live independently, I let certain things go, assuming I couldn’t handle them given my new disability.

Well, I’ve decided that’s ridiculous. There are ways around everything. Adaptive sports have taught me that. And why shouldn’t I be enveloped in a space that feeds my spirit, my creativity?

It all started with a “vision board” we made on my writing retreat in the mountains. My fellow writers and I cut and pasted from magazines those pictures that spoke to us. It was an exercise in manifesting the kinds of lives we wanted for ourselves. Some people had beautiful photographs of the exotic places they wanted to visit. One person found images of ballerinas and remembered a long forgotten dream of being a dancer. I found myself ripping out pictures of flowers. Lots and lots of flowers.

Then a few weeks ago, my writing coach read to us from a book she’s been reading called Soul Space by Xorin Balbes. The author believes in creating your space both to refect who you are and to transform yourself. To create the kind of environment where you can flourish, not just exist.

The final nudge I needed came from watching Dr. Oz the other day. He was extolling the virtues of flooding the senses with calming sights and sounds rather than chaotic ones. In his experiment, volunteers watched videos with emergency lights and sirens, crying babies and breaking glass, and then more calming videos with scenes of yoga and sounds of peaceful music. Not too surprising, the more relaxing input lowered the blood pressure and pulse rates of all three participants. The good doctor then prescribed meditating every day for just ten minutes.

th4I was sold. I don’t mean on meditating (though I am, it will probably be a separate post). But I set about making my home like it used to be — bringing in fresh flowers and burning incense. My mom began buying me battery operated candles years ago. I guess the glow’s all right, but it’s not the same. I’m going to buy some real candles. I know she doesn’t want to read this, but since moving in with her I worry less about burning the house down. (I figured with two of us there, the chance is cut in half, when really, it’s probably doubled.)

So, when I went to Publix this week I bought a bouquet of mixed flowers. To my dismay, I learned their sunflowers are $4 a piece! And I was further dissappointed by my mother’s flower arranging skills. (But really, fellow perfectionists, can anyone do as good a job as us? If you want something done right …) I plan on searching for a pair of clippers that I can easily operate. I think I can do the arranging as long as someone else fills the vase up with water. And Dr. Oz would be happy to know that flower arranging is considered an art form with meditative qualities.

And look what a friend found for me!


How’s that for solving the expense problem? I’ll grow my own flowers to cut! I told you I was on a kick. Apparently, now that the book is done, I have creative energy to spare. What are you doing with yours?