Last month my Alaskan cousins came to Atlanta for a short visit. It’s been a while since I’ve had house guests. As I welcomed them to my home, something made me say, “Hey, if you have any ideas for rearranging the living room, I’m open to suggestions.” I explained that while I liked all the objects in there, both large and small, it just wasn’t working as a room. Proof? Despite having a small house, I rarely choose to spend time in there.
A couple of days later, while I was at work and they were hanging out, my cousin sent this text, “Can we move some furniture? We’re inspired!” Without hesitation, I gave her the green light. Though I tried to keep my expectations low, I was abuzz with anticipation. I couldn’t wait to see what they would do.
And I wasn’t disappointed! When I came through the front door a few hours later, I was greeted by what felt like an entirely different room. The chairs and couch were no longer flush against the wall and window, but were now at gentle angles creating a social grouping. I could easily imagine family and friends occupying these seats and chatting comfortably with one another. Smaller things – an end table, floor lamp, candles, photos, baskets – now had slightly different homes. The TV had been moved to one end of the cabinet so it was no longer the focal point of the room. Instead, the two large canvas wall paintings now occupied center stage, as I had always intended but had never quite pulled off. Additionally, the new layout guided one’s vision beyond the room towards my home office where another large canvas painting hangs, drawing your eyes towards that spot as well. An abundance of riches!!!
What’s interesting is that the actual changes were not all that dramatic in and of themselves. A simple shift in orientation created the biggest impact. Suddenly the space worked; for the first time there was energy and flow and, well, life. Intuitively I had always sensed that while the room was wrong, it wouldn’t take much to make it right. I just didn’t know how to get there. At times, I feel the same way about myself – close but not quite there; stuck in habitual ways of thinking and feeling. Close to feeling freer, but not quite there yet.
Choosing to have a different perspective – changing the lens just a bit – can be powerful and liberating. Actually doing it, though, can be challenging. Sometimes, you need help.
To E. and J. – with love and gratitude.