Remember The Rest Test by Claudia Hammond and Gemma Lewis with 18,000! participants from 134 countries? I typically feel safe using those findings to explain what rest truly is (vs the sleep that people assume it is).
A few of the most popular ways to rest around the world include being in a natural environment, being alone, listening to music, daydreaming, and doing nothing. (Told you I was just resting my eyes).
I'm QuianaRose, a Chicago Interior Designer who creates Interiors for The Internal. The Internal is a collective description for introverts, empaths, and highly sensitive people. The Internal are often overwhelmed by sensory perception and social pressure to change. My rest recipe for The Internal is to create PEACE: Privacy, Education, Acceptance, Comfort, and Expression.
And for The Internal person, the ideal resource to achieve PEACE is a meditation room or space.
The human body is a habitual machine. It is constantly focused on maintaining the status quo. If you can create a dedicated space or room to a restful practice, the room will become a Pavlovian trigger for you that brings you a sense of privacy and comfort whenever you dedicate time to the space.
Speaking of Sensory Perception. Here’s how to focus on the five senses in your meditation space.
1. Light. The ability to control every light source in the room is important. Light is one of the most commonly overloaded senses. If possible, you want to create a blackout shade or curtain option. Remember that blackout shades come in a variety of colors for ease of vision from the outside vs the inside. A dimmer switch is a great idea for the ambient lighting in the space. A warm task light in your altar area can be soothing and easily turned off. And of course, candlelight is the original soft and gentle approach.
2. Sound. This is incredibly important for a meditation space. This doesn't automatically mean you need complete soundproofing for complete silence. If choices such as music, singing bowls, or ASMR help to put you in a nice calm state, then you may want to make sure you have a good balance of sound bouncing surfaces as well as sound-absorbing surfaces. I have actually worked with quite a few musicians and sound Engineers since the year 2000, and have learned a great deal about sound quality as well as soundproofing a room to get the desired effect, whether that be audiobook narration or music production. You’ll want a small intimate space if clinking on a cup of tea is what soothes you. You’ll want some cavernous space if you like to hear the reverberation of cooing your favorite ballad.
3. Sight. This is all about you. This is your meditation space. You need to select materials, colors, views, etc... that give you the type of energy you need for your meditation practice. Recall that meditation is not only to help you get to sleep or calm down. Sometimes it's about visualizations for goals for the day. Sometimes you need focus for energy and healing. You want to avoid incredibly bright wall coverings. Use a neutral tone that can be muted or brightened when needed with things such as lighting. Ideally, Furniture choices should mimic nature themes either in color, pattern, or shape. Here's an example of a meditation corner designed by Quiana Rose of Design A Rose Interiors. Note that there is plenty of color. The room does not have to be dark or colorless. But choices like the dark blue rug and a dark top for the altar allow for bright options to be added like a fun poof and inspiring tools. Although the poof is brightly colored, it can easily be covered with a more neutral throw in sessions that need less vibrant energy.
4. Smell. Olfactory senses are the most powerful human perceptions. Smell can instantly transfer us into euphoric or triggered states. And once again, it's completely personal to you. Sometimes highly sensitive people can’t handle strong scents or even slight scents. This means you'll want to make sure that your meditation space is in a location that is easily ventilated and away from certain activities. Keep it well dusted and populated with indoor air cleaning plant life that does not irritate your allergies. Make sure you look outside of the box when it comes to a scent in your space. Don't just buy Incense because that's the thing to do in a meditation room. There's nothing stopping you from using a cookie scented candle made of soy or beeswax. Feel free to hang a new car smell in the room. Maybe sprinkling a little baby powder brings you a sense of comfort. You could practice your meditation when your significant other is making bacon for breakfast. Place your meditation corner somewhere near your daily coffee brew. Think about the scents that give you energy instantly, that make you want to get up and go get it. Consider the smells that help relax you and bring you to a place of peace. Make it personal.
5. Taste. I wonder if you were wondering if I was going to say taste. There are lots of ways to incorporate this, but I try to focus on mindful eating. Mindful eating is something that a lot of people have trouble implementing. If you have created a meditation space that is always dedicated to putting you in a state of focused energy, this is a great location to practice mindful eating. We all know what we're supposed to do: eat right and exercise. We've heard that you have to chew 100 times. Who has time for that? But, that's because we typically eat while watching entertainment, socializing with others, or anticipating the next thing. Eating releases endorphins. Food is a source of energy. It is actually extremely pleasant when we don’t beat ourselves up or it. Using your meditation space to practice small mindful eating practices is a perfect way to keep control over your mindset throughout the day and to relate common functions such as eating with joy and peace.
If you want a meditation room of your own that fits your version of restful peace, I would love to help you curate it. Reach out to me at Tinyurl.com/contactquianarose and we’ll talk about how to help you get the rest they promised we’d have for the past 3 months.
Design A Rose Interiors