Recently, I came across another point of view from around that world that can help each of us create a home for our souls. It is called Wabi-Sabi. The architect Tadao Ando says this about Wabi Sabi, “It is the Japanese view of life that embraces a simple aesthetic that grows stronger as inessentials are eliminated and trimmed away.”
Wabi Sabi is a perfect idea to embrace for our summer decorating as summertime allows us to pare down and take life a bit slower. This returning to what is essential allows us to re-connect with the beauty that naturally is contained in what is already around us. We can rediscover the meaning and beauty of natural things all around us such as the crescent shape of the moon on a dark lit night, a moss garden while strolling in the woods or the scuffed up teapot that your Grandmother left behind for you to enjoy.
Underplayed, modest, a kind of quiet reverence best describes this idea. Wabi means to be satisfied, free in one’s heart, not allowing objects and accumulation to fill one’s soul. Instead having reverence for having less so that you can enjoy more.
Here are a few suggestions to bring in a bit of Wabi Sabi’s attitude and reverence into your home for the soul.
- Clear your space. Open space means space for potential. Create open space by eliminating one out of every 4 objects you have in a room. Then choose carefully those that stay behind. Rotate and store those objects for another season or better yet, hold a garage sale or give them away.
- Encourage being quiet in your spaces by adding more absorbent materials such as drapes, rugs, book filled bookcases, upholstered furniture or adding white noise or nature sounds through opening a door, window or sound machines.
- Clean each space carefully. Cleanliness is a celebration of the freedom of shedding the weight of attachments and material concerns. Create a lens from which to see things more simply and from an open clear uncluttered heart.
- Take time out for self-reflection whether it is personal time for reading or meditation.
- Make and/or grow your own things whenever possible.
- Make the mindset shift from having more to being more.
- Decorate by using found-objects, or re-purpose your old items. I love using my Grandmothers old typing table as a plant stand.
Pare down to the essence, but don’t remove the poetry.”
― Leonard Koren,