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Our environment effects our thoughts, and our thoughts affect our environment. Your surroundings (or Physical Environment) are composed of the tangible aspects of your life: your home, your car, your office, artwork, “toys”and nature. This environment presents observable clues of what’s going on in our lives. So if things are vibrant and going well, it’s likely your home and office reflect that.  When chaos reigns in our lives, it’s likely that clutter, damaged items, noise and chaos are reflected in our homes.

Everyone has different needs when it comes to their Physical Environment.  Some people need simplicity, some vibrant colors, and for some opulence and elegance are what they need.  Your Physical Environment can affect your creativity, your mood, motivation and even your energy.  The Chinese knew this and developed a complex system for creating an ideal environment in Feng Shui. However, you don’t need to hurry out and hire a Feng Shui consultant. Begin by figuring out what you need in your environment. What in yours is currently working for you? What’s not? Our environment  isn’t ideal when it lacks a quality we need, whether that’s nature, beauty, serenity, scented candles, or even sounds such as water or music.

And that’s not to say your environment needs to be picture perfect or ready for House Beautiful. Years ago, I was invited to someone’s home for lunch.  She had a few things she needed to complete for work, and led me into her living room to wait for her to finish.  The living room was a showpiece.    White plush carpeting, white sofas, white marble coffee table,  beautiful artwork on the walls.  All very expensive, all very sterile.  There was not an ounce of color.  The throw pillows were white, and the coffee table was bare…not a magazine or object in site.  I was almost afraid to move.  After a few minutes, I went looking for another spot to sit, and found the very cluttered den, complete with magazines, toys all over the floor and knick knacks everywhere.  I breathed a sigh of relief, and sat down.

You don’t need to do an immediate renovation, although sometimes rearranging the furniture can have an immediate impact.  Do however take some time each day to scan your physical environment.  Are there things out of place, out of date, or out of order?  Take care of them immediately.  A wise man once told the child me that “a truly lazy person will put things away immediately, because that means there will never be a huge amount of work to do all at once.”

Well designed environments can naturally increase performance, creativity and effectiveness.  They can inspire you and give you energy as well as calm you.As you walk through an area, look at your possessions and ask yourself three more questions:  Is it beautiful?  Is it useful?  Do I love it?  If you answer yes to any of those, that’s a keeper.  If you can’t answer yes, put it in a box and donate or trash it.

Now go ahead and ask yourself these questions:

Are my home, office and car clutter free?

Do my home, office and car express who I am?

Do my home and office inspire me?

Are all my possessions in good repair and up to date?

Does everything in my physical environment pass the “I love it” test?

Is there an area in my home where I feel more energized and inspired?

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