Lately, I’ve been interested in learning how to create an indoor zen space in my home. This idea came about as a way to find comfort while grieving.
So this past weekend I worked on a project I want to share with you today.
Finding Comfort While Grieving:
Losing Gracie less than a year after losing Charlie has been very difficult for me emotionally.
I began wondering if there was anything I could do to help me with these emotions.
And I thought of a garden I had in Texas where I had containers of plants in remembrance of loved ones I’d lost.
I read up on the meanings of various herbs and flowers. For instance, rosemary is a sign of love and remembrance, etc.
Then I chose and planted herbs and flowers signifying my feelings.
And it helped. I could sit in a chair outside and be near those containers of plants filled with meaning for me, and I’d feel calmer.
People find comfort after losing loved ones in all kinds of ways.
Here I don’t have a private place outdoors. Not for something as private as I wanted this to be.
Creating An Indoor Zen Space:
So I began to consider creating the same sort of thing indoors where I could be alone and let those feelings of sadness flow. To cry and not worry about anyone seeing my emotions.
I came up with something called a “zen space” after doing some research and perusing Pinterest. It can mean whatever you want it to.
In the dictionary, one of the meanings for zen is a state of calm attentiveness in which one’s actions are guided by intuition rather than by conscious effort.
For me, “zen-like” is probably the proper word, I suppose. And to me, that means relaxation and serenity.
The word “zen” can be used in the traditions of Buddhism. But that is not how I’m framing it.
So please don’t be too concrete with this phrasing I’m using to signify my attempt to find a sense of peace. This has nothing to do with religion.
I know that my emotions are all over the place. And that I need to find a sense of balance. Because grief is like a roller coaster.
Honoring Lost Loved Ones:
For me, this space I’ve created simply means a place to honor my loved ones. A place where I can feel closer to them. In an attempt to deal with grief and ultimately find peace.
That is what I feel I need right now. A place to sit and let my grief flow in a place where I feel comforted and safe.
Just by choosing to create this particular space, you are in essence telling yourself that it will be beneficial to you. And this thought alone will guide you.
Think of it as an affirmation. I have used affirmations in the past to guide myself to a better place.
What Are Affirmations:
Affirmations are designed to encourage an optimistic mindset. Optimism itself is a powerful thing.
Affirmations have been shown to help you with the tendency to be stuck by negative experiences. By thinking about something over and over, I’ve found that it becomes more possible somehow.
It becomes a mindset.
It helped me to relax and feel more in control of my emotions.
Here are the 5 steps I utilized in creating my zen space:
1. Choosing The Right Place
I wanted this space to be where I spend the most time. So I chose the wall where the patio doors are in my living room.
I thought of what Marie Kondo wrote: “Discard anything that doesn’t spark joy.”
She felt that by decluttering the external elements of your environment, you were at the same time decluttering your internal environment.
2. Deciding What Sparks Joy
Was there anything that would bring me comfort to get through this time of sorrow, I kept asking myself. So I started playing around with ideas.
I exchanged the chair I had in the living room with the wicker chair in my office. Surmising that wicker would be a better material for this space. More earthy and natural.
3. The Water Feature
I had ordered a water feature from Wayfair for my patio. It arrived on Friday and sat in the box until yesterday.
I knew that water would be important in my zen space because of my love of waterfalls and garden ponds.
“Limitless and immortal, the waters are the beginning and end of all things on earth.” – Heinrich Zimmer
Though my initial plan was to use the water feature on my patio, I decided it would provide more comfort for me being indoors.
4. Deciding On The Lighting
I knew I wanted soft light as well as natural light. That is why I chose this space next to the patio doors.
There is also a built-in LED light attached to the water feature.
Soft lighting is important to my frame of mind.
5. Promoting Calmness With Plants
Plants purify the air; thus purifying the space.
I brought the ponytail palm in from outdoors. It is so pretty with its long wavy leaves. The shape of these leaves is even calming to me because they remind me of waves in the ocean.
It just so happened that the water feature I ordered from Wayfair had a space to add plants. So I was very glad I chose this one.
Do You Need A Space Like This In Your Life:
I did a lot of reading before I began to create my space.
The entire point of creating a zen-like space is to enable relaxation. To provide clarity and promote serenity.
What’s important in this space is that it is comforting. Like a warm blanket that you wrap around yourself.
I usually say to people who’ve experienced a great loss: “Be good to yourself.”
But how exactly do you do that? How can you be good to yourself in a time of mourning and sadness?
For one thing, by creating comforting spaces.
Bring nature inside to enjoy. Let water be your music.
And every time you visit this zen-like space, you will be promoting a sense of calmness and tranquility.
Possible Elements For A Zen Space:
- water feature
- purifying plants
- natural light
- serene color palette
- meditative music
The plants I used were ones I already had.
Plants I Used With My Water Feature:
- Pineapple sage
- Spider plant
- Lemon balm
- Golden pennies
- Prayer plant
First I cleaned all the dirt off the plants till the roots were bare. Then I burrowed them down in the plant medium provided with the water feature.
I made sure that all of the plants were non-toxic to pets. Ivy doesn’t bother my house plants. But it seemed important to me just the same.
I wanted the entire space to be non-toxic by nature. For there to be nothing toxic whatsoever in this environment.
The water feature is the perfect sound I need right now. I feel myself relax just sitting in the living room.
I’m so enjoying this comforting space I’ve created for myself.
“Serenity is the tranquil balance of heart and mind.” — Harold W. Becker