There’s an idea that has taken over the home lifestyle space in the last decade. I see it in books, on websites, all over Instagram, wherever I go:
“Your home is your sanctuary.”
The meaning of course, is clear. When you are at home, you get to shut out the world outside, to retreat into a set of rooms that you get to design to function in the way that churches might have worked in centuries past. Here, you are safe, calm, collected. Here, you cannot be touched by the evils of society and by movements or shifts that don’t align with your own understanding.
I think we are telling ourselves a big lie.
I think that we are delusional if we think that we can have an active, engaged life — a life of purpose — while also retreating from the public space.
When we call our homes a sanctuary, or a retreat, we are telling ourselves a story that our home life is separate from the life outside its four walls. We are moving beyond the original idea of sanctuary — think Quasimodo yelling into the rafters at Notre Dame — to a life where we don’t have to address or think about the world outside and how it needs us.
I believe fully that we need places where we are safe, where calm reigns, where we don’t have to be constantly working, where our nervous systems can recover from the stresses of modern life.
But I don’t believe my home is my sanctuary. To me, my home is the greatest collaborator in my life. This is the reason for Oracle House, the project I am launching to change to conversation about what our homes can do for us.
I’m a magazine editor. I spend a lot of time in the world of shiny objects. I love gorgeous spreads, curated flat lays, perfect vignettes, meaningful color palettes, inspiring floor plans, and above all, I love houses, from the oldest Celtic Hobbit hole to the modern traditional fixer upper.
But homes are places lived in five senses, and the past couple of years, I’ve experienced a paradigm shift in how I view the purpose of the home.
The first shift occurred through my studies of Feng Shui and environmental design, which is the theory of how spaces affect human behavior. I first started exploring how you can work with a space to change peoples’ experience of life with our family small business. I wanted to find design solutions that would allow our patients to feel calm and serene in our waiting room. The result? We actually have patients who hang out in our waiting room AFTER getting their teeth cleaned.
What followed was a five-year deep dive into Feng Shui and my eventual certification as a Feng Shui consultant. Over these years, I experimented with both the logical and the magical components of this ancient practice to develop my own form of spatial consulting, which combines classic tenets of Feng Shui with modern brand storytelling and scientifically-backed design principles.
Along the way, I have done much experimenting with how thoughtful design and visual storytelling can have transformational effect on mood, happiness, success, a feeling of belonging, and an overall sense of wellbeing. My home saves me, again and again, but it’s not a sanctuary. It’s a living, breathing thing.
So what’s next?
Well, I’m out to change the world. I’ve started taking on clients for personal consultations, but I’m not stopping there. I’m putting my ideas out there to help people understand that their homes can be a place that works WITH them to help them get what they want in life.
There’s a greater reason behind all of this, by the way. I am convinced that if your needs are met, you help others’ needs. When you have a great home life, you have more bandwidth to help others. To me, the true nightmare of modern society is to have people snuggled up watching Netflix in their “sanctuaries” while the world around them burns.
Walls can talk.
Your home is the place where you are telling your own story to yourself.
Where are you blocked?
What is inspiring you to be the person you were put here to be?
We tend to create spaces around us that reflect the person we are now. I’m on a mission: To teach people how to change the story they are telling themselves in their four walls to reflect the person they are becoming.
This is the purpose of the Oracle House.