When we think of intimacy we often think of it as sexual, and it can be. But intimacy is also very personal and spiritual. It’s a heightened connection within ourselves which involves being present, of belonging to a moment and feeling a closeness within ourselves and with our surrounding. This connection can help create beautiful lasting memories.
It’s often when our senses are ignited. Like noticing and listening to the pleasant sounds of birds singing in the early hours, or breathing in the beautiful aroma of coffee brewing on the stove. Noticing the beauty of a plant thriving in a window of our home, or how delicious a bowl of risotto tastes and the comfort it provides. And noticing how a soft a blanket feels as we cuddle up on the couch.
Noticing and being aware are big parts of connection and intimacy. So too are appreciation and gratitude. It’s slowing ourselves down long enough to see the beauty right in front of us and feeling grateful for such an experience. When we do this it can help us feel happy. It’s a way of celebrating the everyday - the mundane and ordinary moments. Which in reality make up a large portion of our daily life.
“The true secret to happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”
– William Morris
We can feel a deep connection simply from sitting quietly and observing what already exists in our natural surrounding. Like the sound of a child laughing, the smell of fresh flowers blooming in the garden, or the look in our partner’s eyes as they are captivated by something. The natural world provides us with all we need to feel connected. And being mindful of it does wonders for our wellbeing.
Our physical home environment does also play an extra role in encouraging connection and intimacy. And since we do spend a great deal of our time in our home, it’s nice if it helps us feel connected and present. We can do this by developing an atmosphere which ignites our senses and by creating beautiful experiences within our physical surrounding.
In part, it does mean utilising some material items to help build connection and intimacy in our home. But it’s important to remember that material objects themselves won’t necessarily make us any happier. And we don’t need to accumulate more-upon-more to feel happy. But it’s not entirely terrible to treat ourselves from time-to-time. To choose a little item that we love and then create a beautiful daily ritual and experience around it. It encourages self-care. It’s a practice of slowing down and being mindful. And tuning into our senses and noticing how joyful the experience is.
Listening to something beautiful can be incredibly enjoyable. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin - they are all well-known composers of classical music who created beautiful melodies. Their music can transcend us, and lead us to feel certain emotions. In our home, it’s rather beautiful if we have items that produce pleasing sounds. Like ambient music playing softly as we enjoy dinner with our loved ones or a piano in our home inviting us to play a few tunes.
Like sound, pleasant aromas can comfort us and be incredibly enjoyable. Our sense of smell can tie us to certain memories. We can create lasting memories in our home by including pleasant scents. A pot of fragrant lavender growing at the entry of our home creates a beautiful welcoming. The aroma of something delicious baking in the oven will entice family members into the kitchen to await a taste. A perfume is an expression of what scents we find alluring and contributes to our unique style.
Beauty has been proven to contribute to our happiness. When we create visual beauty it can transform the ordinary into something rather special. The simple act of draping a dinner table in a natural linen tablecloth and lighting a candle can make an everyday dinner feel memorable. Having jars filled with natural bath salts can entice us into a bath to soak and tame our thoughts. Placing a basket of natural treasures in a child’s room allows them to explore the beauty of nature.
Taste is another sense that we can derive great pleasure from. Many of us know this all too well. Cooking is an art in itself and creating a meal that looks both beautiful and tastes amazing can form lasting memories. Quite often we tie a travel experience to a meal that we tasted. In our home, we can include ingredients that encourage us to create beautiful food. We can have a big bowl of seasonal fruit placed on our kitchen counter or earthy pots of fresh herbs growing on a windowsill.
Touch is essential to babies’ development. Beneficial physically, emotionally and socially. It’s important for all of us to experience touch throughout our lifetime. The hormone Oxytocin is a benefit of physical touch, which promotes feel-good sensations that foster a sense of wellbeing and happiness. While the most beneficial form of touch is human contact, physical objects can also promote a feel-good sensation. We can hang soft oversized towels in our bathroom ready to wrap ourselves in after a hot shower. Or place a luxurious body cream in our bedside drawer ready to rub into our skin as we climb into the bed at night.
It can perhaps seem a little hedonistic to have luxurious pieces in our home. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With the rise of stress and anxiety in our world today, self-care is really important. Slowing down and being mindful is important. Connection and intimacy are vital for our wellbeing. Especially when we are quite often distracted by all the digital noise that surrounds us.
When we create a home with a few elements that subtly ignite the senses it can help us connect within ourselves. It’s a gentle nudge and reminder to slow our movements and thoughts and be present in the moment for a little while. These little sensory delights can give a home a nurturing atmosphere and help to create lasting fond memories.
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This post was excerpted from my ebook, The art of creating home
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