I have found that the environment in which children are afforded the opportunity to have direct influence in creating their own space can help them made a shift in their mindset and in their behavior.
“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”
— Alexander Den Heijer
I would like to share one of my many experiences over the years as a holistic Feng Shui Designer and life coach:
Raphe was the teenager of a client I had several years ago. He was according to his mother a bright creative child when he was young but as a teenager he started to take a dark turn. She was very concerned about him and he agreed to talk to me about decorating his room. He had recently become intrigued with the gothic look; everywhere in his room were gothic images, posters and personal items, mostly black in color. He loved the dark so much that that he placed black paper over his windows and had very little lighting in the room.
I begin our session together by sharing that is was my intention to help him discover his ideal environment and style that would unlock hidden potential. I shared with him that I believed that each of us are born with a higher aspiration and purpose and that the environment we created could help him or drag him down. He was very willing to find his ideal place. I followed with asking him only a few key questions and he began to share what was underneath his current style choice and provide clues for his idea place.
The key questions I asked him were aimed at finding clues as to the lines, shapes, lighting, images that are necessary for him to experience a feeling of heaven on earth. This is the line of questioning I used. “What place do you image when you close your eyes in the entire world past, present or future that is the most ideal space for you?” I asked him. “This place may be a space you have visited or only imagined but the one thing sure is that it makes your heart sing?”
I had him then do a fast drawing of that space and helped him to further identify this place. I began a brain storming exercise around how we could begin to implement those ideas within his room. He talked about his ideal place that had soft green grass and I suggested a rug near his bed that felt like grass to him that he could place his feet on first thing in the morning. We discovered that it was sunny in his ideal place and I asked him if his current room had the amount of light that would make his heart sing. After only a short time less than 30 minutes we had plotted and planned some changes for him.
A few months later ran into his mother who said her child was a totally different person. Together they bought a new bed painted the walls a green color and bought a blue and green rug near his bed. She said he stopped wearing all black and joined the theater group after discovering that the gothic design was only mirroring his desire to create and didn’t really reflect all of who and what he wanted to be.
Churchill stated “First we shape our buildings and then they shape us.” This alludes to not only the built-environment, but to the lifestyle. As an expert in human potential, Jean Housten says that we must prepare to live a fuller life that not only enhances us but our family, community, profession and our planet. I think decorating thriving environments for our children is one way to foster creativity can lead to a fuller life experience. I loved witnessing how Raphe simply by redecorating his room is now sharing his gifts and talents in the world making it a better place.
3 Hacks for Creating a Thriving Environment for your Child
- Does your child have a space to call their own? Having a sense of belonging and control is huge for everyone, including your children. Make sure even if they share a room with a sibling that they each have their own space. I would also suggest spaces outside a bedroom that each person can claim as their own. This may be a comfortable chair or an area for them to do their favorite activity.
- Does your child have a space that they got to choose their style and color? Color and style is very individualized and each person needs to have their personal colors and style in their private space. Ask them about their favorite colors and look at what favorite color their clothes are as a hint.
- Does your child have a bed with a headboard and a dust skirt that touches the floor? A comfortable bed, not a futon or sofa is necessary for sleeping well. Having a headboard gives a feeling of support for your children and the dust skirt brings stability and grounding into the equation. All great things to help your child to unlock their potential.