Are you looking to create a more peaceful home? I invite you to try creating a “quiet space” to communicate in your home and you may find that your marriage improves as well as your family’s communication.
Seven years ago, my (future) husband and I were having difficulty communicating. At that time, I looked around at some of my friends who have excellent models for partnership, and I asked them how and where they find it best to communicate? Of course, they gave me some wonderful suggestions about how to change my own behavior, body language, etc. But I noticed something unique about their relationships, that they all had a space in their homes where they could talk without distractions. One set of friends had what they lovingly called “The Pondering Room,” where, as a couple they would ponder about their dreams and goals. Another set of friends had a library. In both cases, the rooms were very simple: Two comfy chairs and an ottoman. No TV, no tablets or other electronics. The primary function of the space was to be together, in a quiet way, and facilitate conversation. I looked around my home and noticed that I did not have any space like that. We had the dining room table, which often felt too formal to have "the hard" conversations. We also had the couch, which faced the TV. So that space did not create good conversations either. I purposed the idea to my husband that perhaps we could get two chairs and ottoman and create a space for conversation. He of course said, “how are we going to afford to buy new furniture?” And my response was perhaps the Universe can provide a solution. A few days later, FedEx destroyed a large shipment of inventory for my business and they paid the full retail value of the goods. So not only did I have the funds to replace the inventory, now I could also buy the chairs!
After a few months of using our new space my husband noticed that the way that we were talking in that space became "quieter." We were less aggressive and argumentative. He jokingly named the space, “Quiet Space.” Over the years, quiet space has taken many forms based on its location in our past apartments and now in our home. The location of our original quiet space was in a separate section of our living room, when we lived in our apartment. Now that we own a home, quiet space in located in the eat-in kitchen. So instead of having a kitchen table, we have our chairs and ottoman. It’s a lovely space for drinking morning coffee, reading, meditating, and having wonderful family discussions. It is a place that makes everyone feel comfortable and we often find that it the space that every visitor in our home gravitates towards. People often say that the kitchen is the heart of the home and in our case, the kitchen is the heart of our home, but it also includes a voice box called quiet space for expressing what’s in our heart.
How can you create quiet space?
All you need is 2 lounge chairs and an ottoman or coffee table. I suggest that you put the chairs at right angles. I have found that when you face two chairs directly opposite one another, it makes the conversation a little bit more “in your face.” But putting the chairs on angle makes that conversation flow a little bit more naturally. It gives each person some space to think before they speak. I think that space to think before one speaks is very important because then we can speak our truth in a way that does not harm the other person. That space gives us time to choose our words before they are spoken. It’s amazing to think that the placement of a chair can affect how we speak, but I invite you try it, and you may see that your communication improves as well.
A few final things to consider when creating your own quiet space: Creating the space in your own home doesn’t have to cost you anything! You may find that you have everything that you need already in your home. But if you don’t have want you need to create your own quiet space, remember that it doesn’t have to cost you a bundle. Maybe you can get the chairs at the thrift store, estate sale, furniture store closing sales, or even from your parents formal living room that they never use. Quiet space is about facilitating "quiet" conversations, not about how perfect it looks or how much you spent on the chairs. If you hold firmly that the purpose of the space is to create connection, I know that the Universe will give you what you need to create the space. Lastly, don’t fall into the trap that the space needs to look perfect. Speaking from experience, the best solution is to have each chair reflect the person who uses it. The chairs in our quiet space are all different. My husband’s chair is a large club chair with rolled arms so that there is room for my husband, our toddler, and our 70lb lap dog. My chair is a traditional wing back with a paisley pattern. And then when my mother moved into our home, she added her own chair. She has a firmer chair that is easier for her to get in and out of it. All in all, each chair reflects the person and that is what makes it uniquely soulful.
How have you created a space in your home that facilitates communication?
If you have completed a fabulous space that has improved your family’s communication, please share your story below. When we share our success stories it makes the world a whole lot brighter and sweeter for the rest of us. I hope that by watching “The Soulful Designer,” I will inspire you and you will use some tip or trick to make your home a little bit more soulful and a lot more “you.”
I’ll be back soon with a brand-new episode! Till then, be good to yourself. You’re a precious and extraordinary soul.