Flow is everything. It makes or breaks a space. "Pretty" spaces can have no flow and wear you down over time, while "plain" spaces can have excellent flow and continue to inspire and invigorate you for years. Flow is entirely objective and can be spoken about with any style. It is fundamental. It encompasses organization, cleaning, decorating and architecture.
My first understanding of the importance of flow was when I went to the chiropractor a few years after graduating from college. I was having back pains from sitting at work that had grown so severe I needed help.....
What I found in the chiropractor's office was a very simple and sensible explanation for my problems. The spine wants to move, it wants to be flexible, and when it doesn't move it begins to lock up and freeze itself, which causes pain. Chiropractor's generally work to restore movement to the spine, which if not addressed, can grow into bad posture, pinched nerves and fused discs as the muscles tighten their hold on their frozen posititions.
As I walked out the chiropractor's office half an hour later, with a whole new feeling in my upper body, and no pain, I was stunned to realize that movement is the secret of health.
Like children, we are naturally inclined to move, to run, to talk, to express, and as we do we keep our body limber and healthy in all its parts. This is natural flow. As we get older, there is more and more of a tendency to neglect this healthy movement and allow hardness to form. This freezing in place, this clotted condition appears in our bodies as back pain, hardened arteries and arthritis. In social groups it becomes stubbornness or dogmatism. In our home it becomes clutter and blocked spaces.
If you home is depressing you or stressing you out, it is causing you pain. Undoubtedly this pain is coming from poor movement, poor flow through your home. I find that after about four years, nearly every apartment begins to suffer from unhealthy flow. While you can wait this long to address the issue, it is far better to take care of your space in an ongoing fashion and never need emergency help.
Clean your apartment regularly, take out as much as you take in, splurge a bit to make it beautiful (as you would with clothes), and every fall and spring, open up your apartment's flow like a chiropractor cracking its back and restoring movement to its spine.
Flow is everything. (Photo: Jeff LaPlante) MGR