Happily, it's easy to make a haven right at home--regardless of the size of your house or apartment. "Creating special places to reflect, nourish, and connect with yourself and others is essential to living a life of purpose and true happiness," believes Dr. Kathleen Hall, an authority on stress management and work-life balance. In her new book, A LIFE IN BALANCE (AMACOM), Dr. Hall shares inviting ideas for three vital havens:
A Family Haven. Designate a public area of your home for sacred family space. It might be a table in the living room or a shelf in the entrance alcove. You may choose to display family pictures and other memorabilia that reflect the shared lives of your family. This space becomes a place where family members visit to commemorate special memories, including mementos of grandparents gone, children's basketball games, and family travels or holidays. This haven reinforces the power, values, and continuity of the family.
A Personal Haven. Your personal space contains and reinforces what is meaningful to your life. A personal haven may be in your bedroom, office, closet, or any other place that you can claim as yours. Your private space may be an altar, a shelf with inspirational books and meditation cards, a box filled with objects that evoke significant memories, or a journal. Each individual in the family needs to have an exclusive refuge for finding his or her own source of serenity and connection. Every individual's haven must be respected and not intruded upon by others.
A Nature Haven. Whether it's within your home or outdoors, a nature haven honors your profound connection with the natural world. It might be a single plant on the window sill in your kitchen, or a bonsai or simple flower in a vase near your family or personal haven. If you have the outdoor space, you may want to create a haven in a garden that evolves over time, adding different plants, flowers, and other creations each year. Your garden haven actually becomes a living journal and a history of your life.
Adapted from A Life in Balance: Nourishing the Four Roots of True Happiness by Dr. Kathleen Hall--AMACOM; $21.95 Hardcover; ISBN: 0-8144-7334-2. www.drkathleenhall.com/