First Impressions

I am about to give birth - twice.

The first and most important birth is to my first baby, a daughter.  In about 2 weeks, give or take (hopefully take), the Non-Scotsman and I will welcome her into our arms and home and begin a relationship that I can not yet even imagine.

For her, every moment will be a first impression.  Maybe that's why we sit in her nursery and re-arrange toys and artwork, or why I spent about 2 hours picking out the perfect plant.  It's why we painted and scrubbed and chose a fresh peach and gold color palate:

peaches + golds

Perhaps that explains why I spent a fortune on a candle just to make sure the room smelled of nectarine blossom and honey.  Or why we debated over and over about the texture/fabric of her first outfit, or why I panicked when I found out
 Jamie Young's Lotus lamp was out of stock - only to be swept into thankful relief when a talented friend surprised us by making it for us:

We want her first moments to be absolutely, completely lovely.

And yet, the reality is we can not control much more than the aesthetics of the setting and our own hearts towards her.  She will experience the reality of the trauma of the birthing process.  She will not always be comfortable and every single first moment will be a shocking experience of newness and change.  

Her first impressions will be just that: HERS.  So, as much as I brand and design and re-arrange and plan for her first impressions of the world, at the real first moment of meeting I have to simply step back and observe how and what she takes in.  I create a space for her, yes, but in the end I must truly create space - space for her to be her and to experience life as she will.

Space for comfort
This brings me to my second birthing process: opening up my private practice as a psychotherapist.

Love the warmth and feminine charm of the mixture of creams/whites, etc
(No, this is not my real office .... yet)

Again, every client who walks through my door, or clicks on my website (coming soon), will be experiencing a thoughtfully planned first impression.  Each little detail has been fussed over:  colors and fonts, forms and fees, windows and textures.  I want to set a tone of comfort, compassion, and professionalism, and I am doing everything in my power to convey those values - including trying to emulate the SOFIA brand:
Sofia Brand Design 02«Anagrama — Sofia by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects» в потоке «Брендинг / Айдентика» — Посты на сайте Losko
Yet, just like with Baby Girl, I can do my best to set a tone through my brand - but the way they experience it is entirely their own.  And really, I am setting an atmosphere where they will be free to become uncomfortable and where change can happen.  

I am creating a space that invites them to take up their own space.  

Love the idea of arriving home to this view


Back to Spaciousness

For me, "spaciousness" looks like a steamy afternoon when you're lazing in your backyard with your friends - bottles of cool wine sweating like triathletes who only trained for 4 weeks - and someone says, "It's hot. Why don't we go buy a raft."  It's a statement, not a question.  No one argues, cause everyone is too hot to think.  And so you all manage to get up off your sticky lawn chairs, slide on flip-flops, and roll to the nearest store to buy a $20 raft and any other floating objects.  

Your skin is sticking to the person sitting next to you in the car, the windows are rolled down, and you soon find yourself at the lake.  Somehow the wine has found it's way there too.  Someone gathers enough energy to blow up the raft, and you all flop into the best $20 you ever spent.  No question, this is a spacious life.  A life that has room to move, to change, to get up and spontaneously play.

Spaciousness is what I started this whole blog about -  and certainly something that seems attainable on a hot, lazy day.  It's partially about space in my schedule, but more importantly, and certainly more sustainable, is space I find inside my mind and heart.   Life has been busy lately --- (about to have a baby, just graduated with a Masters, became a licensed mental health counselor, moved houses, and started my first garden.  I'm starting my private practice and trying to decorate a nursery: not sure which is harder)  --- and yet, I feel like I have room.  It's summer inside.

Spaciousness listens to myself.
Spaciousness listens to others.
Spaciousness is open, receptive and curious - not closed off or shut down.
Spaciousness feels connected to the people I love.

What is it that gives you real space in your life?  How do you find it?  In a culture of "go! gO! GO!" and where bigger and better and crazier schedules is a sign of "fulfillment," how do you, unknown friend, find the space to breathe?  To listen and feel?  To connect?  To play?  How do you do this when life is busy?  I'd love to know...