What Sits on Your Shelf?

Changing our lives is a big deal. A key place a person can begin with change making is right in their own home. Our environment is key in supporting change. It is what makes design and décor so much fun and important in our daily living.

If you are ready to make some changes in your life, a place to start is taking a look at what sits on the shelves in your home. From books to gadgets and everything in between, shelves hold everything we can imagine. It is mostly for practical reasons like displaying our collections, memorabilia and photos. These things are important and are not to be discarded or made to seem invaluable; yet sometimes we need a different point of view. A shelf make-over can be a great place to start.


To style a shelf for the sake of styling is just fine. The sense of symmetry, balance, color coordination to create an aesthetic vibe is valuable to how a room makes one feel. I highly recommend taking time to do this. Yet we can go further into what is behind the design story and placement of any item on the shelf. 

Think of your home like your body. What you put in your body is either going to support you or deplete you, leaving you with potentially very different outcomes. You could feel healthy, strong and beautiful, or tired, weak and even ill.

If the shelves in your home are cluttered, dusty, and filled with items you rarely use or enjoy, this is a sign that their existence has run the course. Like old food in the refrigerator, they likely have expired. However, it's about more than just which items are expiring; it's about what is attached to each item. What do they really signify to you? It may be time to reframe each item's meaning and/or set them free.

Here is an example that can help you understand the impact of allowing expired items to stay on our shelves.   

Client A was having a lot of challenges with being their own person and living life following their own desires and joys. A lot of family interactions were plain interferences, filled with micro-managing behaviours, disappointment, guilt and frustration as family members had other expectations for Client A.  Even though Client A loved their family immensely, a sense of obligation overrode most family relations. On all levels Client A was struggling with their physical health, having difficulty making life choices that resonated with their personal wishes and the emotional/mental burden was becoming great. Many unfulfilling behaviours were masking true happiness.  

As we looked around their space, one of the biggest furniture items was filled with many family photos. Many. With the suggestion to remove them all for a short time so Client A could get a sense of autonomy, the photos were all picked up and placed in a storage tub for a temporary time.  When the last picture was placed in the tub, it was like the home itself took a deep breath. A feeling of lightness and spaciousness entered the home. It was palpable. Refreshing. Life giving. Client A was moved by the lightness and aliveness that replaced the weak and depleted area of their home and own body sensations.

The photos were expired feelings of worthlessness and lack of being appreciated and valued for who they were.  With this acknowledgment, different items were placed where the photos had been. Items that represented what Client A wanted to become, dreams ready to be nurtured and placed as significant, and images that represented the qualities required to make changes in their life. 

What was not allowed on the shelf prior to this Living Energy Alignment Process was a place for Client A’s own desires to create their personal happiness. With this major awareness came the next phase of the process: following through with the real life behaviours that aligned with how Client A wanted to live their life.  These were simple things like saying "no" - first to the demands from others that didn't serve either Client A and the family members, then to the old habits that were masking true happiness. 

What sits on your shelf?