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The Art of Living

May 23, 2009

The Art of Living. I’ve seen this subject line over and over again. I never gave it much thought, usually placing this idea in the interior decorating category. I think I’ve been wrong all along.

These past six months I’ve been going through a lot of changes. Everything I’ve done, everything I’ve changed, everything I’ve continued to do I have given a lot of thought to. True to my nature, I’ve still been impulsive on many occasions and not though things out, however, for the most part, my actions have been the conclusion of careful thought to what the outcome may be. This is something slightly alien to me.

For most of my life, I have been what you might call a “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” kind of girl. Diving in headfirst regardless of the consequences, and when finding myself in poor circumstances, making a rash choice to try to make it right. I have learned that spontaneity is a good quality to have, however, impulsivity (spontaneity in excess?) is not. The consequences of my quick choices have not always been desirable. Thus, the premeditated change in the way I conduct major life decisions.

Which brings me back to The Art of Living. I’ve decided that this does not mean how you decorate your home with furniture and art. At least, not your tangible home. Rather, The Art of Living is how you decorate the home you make within yourself. (The solidification of this internal home idea provided by the author Elizabeth Berg.)

Good interior design, no matter what the theme, should be planned with grace, beauty, and truth upon a solid foundation. Any piece of furniture you buy should blend harmoniously with the rest of the pieces in order to create a pleasant place to live and entertain. Even those ‘impulse buys’ should be able to fit in well with the rest of the design of the house. Too many impulse buys and you end up with a cluttered, ‘early attic’ look.

Your internal house, the one in which ‘you’ live, should mirror this idea. Your life choices should be planned with grace, beauty, and truth upon a solid foundation of knowing yourself. Any decision you make should blend harmoniously with the rest of your life choices, making a graceful continuity of actions to move through. Your internal house should be built upon kindness, love, goals, thoughtfulness to others, and of course, success. There is room for spontaneity in your internal house, but this spontaneity should align with who you are so that you don’t end up with erratic, ugly decisions. Sometimes, sacrifice is required to keep your internal house a pleasant place to be. (Much like when you had to give up your white chair because you knew it wasn’t the best choice…)

Many of my conclusions about The Art of Living have come to me in observation of my mother and my grandmother (Happy 98th Birthday Nana!!!) Two wonderful women who have built their homes inside themselves to be beautiful places to be. In my opinion, The Art of Living can never be ‘mastered.’ Much like painting or drawing, you can never be too good. Each piece of art you create should be better than the last. In The Art of Living, each choice you make should be better than the last. The goal of The Art of Living is to live life with grace, beauty, and truth. (Note… the goal is to live life, not to float through life. More on this topic later.) In The Art of Living, the choices you make should bring harmony to your soul. If you go to bed at night feeling that you have lived that day to the best of your ability with grace, beauty, and truth… if you feel content and happy inside with what has been accomplished, then you have learned The Art of Living.

The internal house inside yourself… how is it decorated? Are you on your way toward The Art of Living?

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2 comments

  1. My internal house is in the midst of a major renovation. Gutting what was there hasn’t been pretty, but I think you’re right Victoria. I feel sure the result will be as close to art as anything these eyes have seen.


  2. I am not there yet.



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