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I gather clutter every year: paperclips, shoes that don’t fit, magazines, and leftovers in the fridge. I know a balanced life requires that I’m conscious of what I bring into my life—and that I let go of things in equal proportion. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Research shows that we overvalue things once we buy them, which is why we often live over-cluttered and complicated lives.
The holidays are careening toward us again, whether we’re ready or not. It’s time to take a look at how we plan to take care of ourselves during the chaos. Let’s start with a few of the demands placed upon us. Although the list can be endless—shopping, parties, where will the money come from, baking, cleaning, entertaining, will Uncle Joe get drunk and ruin dinner—you have to carve out extra time for these chores.
It’s been one week since I returned from my amazing three-week vacation in France. It was both everything I had hoped for and so much more than I could’ve ever expected. There are so many aspects of my trip that made it special—from being in a country I love, spending time with one of my best friends, to the endless lazy days spent on the beach drinking rosé. But the true gem of my trip was what all of these things offered me, and that was the gift of space.
Life is the living art of balance. Balance is a beautiful concept, rooted in the exquisite imagery of Yin and Yang. For most of us, the attempt at balance is more like a circus act of hither and thither, with multiple moving parts flying about our worlds in an unpredictable and mysterious way. As we all strive for our perfectly expressed version of “just the right amount,” it’s important to remember a few essential things to the practice of balance.
Recently I spoke in front of a hall full of pregnant women. What a joy to see all those round bellies, and even more of a pleasure — given that this was a meeting of the Holistic Moms Network — to know how well-intentioned this group is towards their families’ health and the environment.
I gave them all sorts of tips to detox their homes, hoping to ease their minds about how easy it is to accomplish the task. I also gave them my mainstay list for non-toxic cleaning, the five kitchen cupboard ingredients I believe will clean everything in the home, and I’d like to share it with you as well:
My home is undergoing a rebirth. It’s painful, long and decidedly unpredictable.
Most people might call it a renovation. But it’s more than that. It’s a new incarnation of what was formerly four walls and a roof into a home.
The rebirth is born of necessity — a leaky roof, drafty windows and stained broadloom carpet that harbored more than I wanted to consider within its fibers…
One of the things I miss most living in NYC is seeing the nighttime stars. I grew up camping and have many wonderful nocturnal memories counting shooting stars and guessing at constellations. City life detaches us from that primordial nighttime sky connection. As a designer of healthy home environments, light pollution is a growing concern for myself and for anyone who understands that our quality of life is directly connected to our natural environment.
Look down. Is your keyboard replacing what should be used to catch crumbs, like a plate, a napkin, or, in extreme cases, a bib? Are your keys lined with a dull grey or, even worse, the black residue of fingertip history?
One of the easiest things we can do to make our homes, and ourselves, healthier is to remove our shoes. This simple ‘step’ helps keep all that nasty stuff (dirt, pesticides, you name it) out of our indoor environments, helping to keep toxins and pollutants out of our homes.