One day a client said to me, “Please don’t proceed with this room. It’s just too nice and I feel too pretentious. I feel that while I can afford it that others will perceive me to be showing off…”
Continued from Part I of Is Design a Spiritual Experience...
I felt myself get a little uneasy and then very calm. The following words came out of my heart and my mouth.
“Don’t you deserve nice and to be surrounded by beautiful things? You have worked hard for your money. Perhaps this is really about living graciously. Perhaps you worry about living pretentiously because you haven’t yet come to discern that you are meant to share your good fortune. If you make your decisions from a loving place within you then what difference does it make how others feel about your decision? Are you living your own true purpose? Are you sharing your own talents to help others in this world? Are you sharing your wealth by giving generously to others both emotionally and materialistically? And, most importantly, are you living graciously and with the spirit of how you can be a “vessel”? If so, then you deserve to be surrounded by all the beauty I can possibly muster. This is truly a form of love.”
These words hit me like a ton of bricks and yet, they had come out of my own mouth. Suddenly, it dawned on me, God loves beauty. After all, he created the world and “it is good”. God wants us to be surrounded by beauty and we can have it if we choose to. God always turns around and helps us even when we are in despair. God gives back and it his grace that fills us with beauty. God surrounds us with beauty at every turn. One look at nature and I am once again reassured of a spiritual existence.
God created beauty and inspires it every day. So how can beauty be anything other than a spiritual experience?
It was in these words that I also realized that many of the negative behaviors that I witness in my work have very little to do with living in beauty, but rather with other conflicts that many people that I work with are experiencing along their journey in life. It is hard to be happy with beautiful things when you aren’t yet happy in your heart. People in conflict cannot enjoy the beautiful nature that God provides. Instead they become so caught up in negativity that it becomes easy to just take beauty for granted.
There is a very thin line between filling your heart and home with material things and filling your heart with love and then, enjoying the beautiful things that surround you.
So finally, my answer is apparent. It is now very clear to me that my life’s work is not just about creating beauty, but inspiring it. My work is much deeper. My clients are searching, not only for a beautiful home, but for the real meaning that goes with it. The true gift and the true calling for me is to inspire people to find real meaning in the beauty that surrounds them and is theirs to enjoy. God wants us to have beauty which is why he created such a beautiful existence. The search and journey is really about finding inner peace so that beauty can be enjoyed. Who knew that this message could be sent in such a unique way?
So, Oprah, in case you ever ask me. The answer is YES. Design is a spiritual experience . God inspires us with beauty every single moment. God wants us to have beauty around us, just look at nature. But God, also want us to experience beauty for what it is, not to “ fill us up”. If we keep it in this very simple place, then we find the true beauty and the artistry of interior design that I believe God truly meant for us to enjoy.