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November 28, 2014

Post this in your Kitchen: 10 Tips for a Mindful Home.


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Post this in your Kitchen: 10 Tips for a Mindful Home.

10 gentle reminders of how to mindfully create a healthy home environment. Plus four bonus tips that have helped me distinguish my space not just as a house, but as home.

 “Elegance allows no resentment.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa

Last night I hosted a cozy, simple, elegant, eco-responsible Thanksgiving in my home.

Most of what worked was thanks to my guests, who are like a second family to me: they cooked amazing food, they invited conversation and toasts during the meal, the children helped us all to celebrate (and go play outside after dinner).

It was a night where my house became a home. I say home, not house, because though I’ve owned my house for eight years, it’s been a journey.

See also: 3 Steps to a Healthy Home

My home sweet home can be a source of coziness, upliftedness, and renewal when I’m down (I was just sick for 10 days). Or, as we all know, our home can be a degraded mirror, enabling our depression or speediness with clothes on the floor and dishes in the sink.

For many years my house has been fun, but messy and disorganized. Now, finally, it’s become its true self: eco-responsible, imaginative, a powerful net for my energies.

As Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa said, we can’t fix the world if we can’t even do our own dishes. We have to start at home, on a kitchen sink level.

Let’s create peace at home, then share that. Otherwise, we just share further aggression, even if we’re well-intentioned. He pointed out that clothes on the floor weaken our inner confidence, confirming a degraded state of mind. Creating an uplifted environment is simple, but hard—because slowing down is hard for the speedy mind.

So what’s the difference between a house and a home? Elegance. Not being “fancy,” but taking the time—the present moment—to clean up after oneself.

There’s a traditional Buddhist teaching that focuses on how to relate to our kitchen.

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We can maintain a simple, uplifted home that others will enjoy and that will provide strength for us when we need it most without much money.

Those who have wealth, after all, are often consumed with the same sort of discontent that those of us with less have.

Mindfulness is priceless, and joyful, and sad and sweet. Mindfulness is home.


4 (BONUS) Mindful Tips I’ve Learned to Create a Healthy Home Environment

Here’s a few tips that I’ve garnered over the years:

1. Find a place for everything to go (including the recycle bin). Buy less plastic, create less waste.

2. Buy quality things that uplift one’s environment instead of fun cheap things that clutter it.

3. Shop Craigslist: you can find quality everything on there, for cheap. Get folks to agree to drop it off, offer to pay cash if in great condition, no surprises and save time, not just money.

4. If you see something messy, stop and clean it up on the spot. This has been the hardest for me…I let things accumulate and before I know it a beautiful house has become a somewhat degraded echo upon my life.

And here are the 10 Tips for a Mindful Home.

Print this out and hang it up in your kitchen as a daily reminder of what’s really important.

Okay, from Karen:

mindful home

PS: this one’s huge: Take off your Shoes. Here’s why.


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