Space for Stretching or How I KonMarie’d a Mindfulness Space for Myself
We moved into our house about 4 ½ years ago with an entire house’s worth of hand-me-downs from my childhood home. I was 8 ½ months pregnant with Jane (my first) when we moved, and Ruth came along 20 months later, so it feels like I am just getting my house together now that the kids are a little older.
All last year I was working towards the goal of having some sort of mindfulness space, like a meditation space, in my bedroom. I thought if I had that space I would sit down before bed for 15 minutes and meditate with a lit candle and really work on my mind. I use space between inside-out kids costumes and a minefield of LEGO bricks on the floor of my basement for virtual workouts, but I really wanted a space with no hand weights or cardio equipment, just things for calming my body and my mind. I gathered together my two most new age-y friends, told them my plans, took a picture of the awkward space in my bedroom I was hoping to put to use, and we went shopping. I had no plans for the space, I was just looking for things I liked. This was all very exciting for me as I have almost all hand-me-downs so shopping for furniture is something I don’t get to do often! I was searching for things that “sparked joy” to me. We went to giant antique malls, quaint artisan shops in Lowell, and ended at Home Goods. After some online shopping (approved by my girlfriends of course!), I had a plan for my nook. I needed plenty of open space, somewhere to sit and read, an altar for my knick knacks, a rug for the floor, and lots of crystals (easy since I have a crystal and rock collection from my childhood). Then, everything sat in a pile for a month or three because I have kids and it’s hard to prioritize myself and my own space!
I do virtual classes in my basement, I stretch in the TV room, I do classes at DanceFit, I workout at the gym with friends, and I run outside with the kids in a stroller. Some of these things bring me joy, some of them do not. I like working out in my basement because it is quiet and after my workout I’m always inspired to throw in a load of laundry and pick up some toys, but it is anything but calm. I hate stretching in the TV room: it’s hard to focus and it’s cold. I LOVE working out at DanceFit because it’s social, calm, and I love seeing and sweating with my friends. The gym is ok, again social, but they also have yoga and a sauna (yay). I love running outside, especially with the kids and friends. Once I organized my thinking about my spaces through the lens of Marie Kondo (Does this workout bring me joy? Does this space bring me joy?), it became super clear why I wasn’t meditating or stretching at home more often.
So, this month, I did it and prioritized my nook. My goals for the New Year included really really working on stretching and mindfulness, so I put my space together. I bought a diffuser for essential oils, I set up the altar, I put up some lights, and I put all the junk that had accumulated on the couch away, which was more than I care to admit (this phase actually took days, full of things like, “Does this old empty cardboard jewelry box spark joy? No. Thank you box for being in my life.”) Everything in that nook now makes me so happy, but most importantly, it has inspired me to have some time to myself right before bed. Realistically I do not meditate every night. It’s ok, it’s something I can work towards, but what I have been doing every night before bed is stretching. It’s awesome, I take a bath to warm up my muscles, I sit in my nook, I set up my iPad with trashy TV shows, I plug in my lights and essential oil diffuser, and I stretch to a TV show. Sometimes I go crazy and foam roll too (I know, insane right?). It is so amazing to me how important the space around us can really shape how we go through the day and get things done.
Mom of 3, wife, business owner, ballet teacher and fitness instructor. Trying hard to raise healthy, happy and grateful children while running the studio of my dreams. Trying to stay FIT, flexible, stylish and take care of myself in the process!