Calm Down

Art, scents, and environment can affect your mood.

I’ve been thinking of the things that calm me and how I need to incorporate them into my daily routine.   By nature, I am a quiet person and prefer my stimuli to be around the same range.   Certain forms of art, aromas, and even furnishings cause negative or positive reactions, recognizing and eliminating the negative ones and concentrating on the positive ones is my new mantra.

Feng Shui explores the yin (feminine) and yang (masculine) of interior elements.  Yin preferring upholstered furniture and soft surfaces while yang prefers wood, stone, and iron.  Being comfortable in your home doesn’t just refer to how your furniture sits, it’s about how you feel in the space.   Working with an interior designer can aid greatly in finding your comfort zone.  Clients always appreciate when their interior designer can tap into their needs, especially when they can’t fully articulate what those needs are.  I would classify myself as ying, somewhere in between, and have furnished my home accordingly.  There is no place I would rather be than at home.

Aside from my home, calm triggers for me are…

Oil paintings by Dutch artists, notably Johannes Vermeer, put me into a trance-like state. Their ability to depict light and create mood with paint leaves me in awe.

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Vermeer, “The Concert”, 1665-6  Oil on canvas

“The Concert” was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston on March 18, 1990 along with 10 other works of art.  It has not been recovered.  The estimated value is $200,000,000.   If you find yourself in Boston definitely get to the Gardner Museum.   The photo at top is of the museum courtyard.

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As if she’s sitting in sunshine.  So marvelous.  Vermeer, “Mistress and Maid”  1667-8  Oil on Canvas   The Frick Collection, New York

Museum visits are the best and even better if said museum has a cool cafe.

On a recent visit to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, I was mesmerized by a black and white film on exhibit called Dwelling by Hiraki Sawa .  Airplanes fly around a London apartment, take off from beds and land on tables – click here.  It’s really wonderful and transportive.

Gardens… really nice ones.

Lavender is incredibly calming.  I have a sachet in my car.  No road rage incidents to report.  I recommend giving sachets as gifts to the impatient drivers in your life.

Yoga stretches – for complete beginners – I’ve been excelling at the beginner level for some time now and think I’ll stay there, when you find your niche.  Namaste

What calms you?