We’re thrilled to welcome blogger and newly published author Anne Sage to Glitter Guide today to share her candid thoughts on living an intentional lifestyle. Read on for her heartfelt insight and tips for bringing order and balance to your life every day! And don’t forget to share with us on Instagram your own styled photo of Anne’s new book, Sage Living, using the hashtag #sageliving.
When I was 30 years old, I walked away from my life as I knew it. Although the shift was a long time coming—I’d suspected for a while that I’d created some seriously unsustainable situations for myself—it still scared the heck out of me. Yet, after years choosing the devils I knew over the ones that I didn’t, I took a big leap into the unknown. I left the business I co-founded, my marriage and the city I’d called home for the past four years. With two suitcases and a few grocery bags packed into my little car, I hit the road to Los Angeles.
The following year was one of growth and discovery, lots of it painful as change tends to be! I took a close look at the mindset and the behaviors that had created my current situation, and I realized that in many ways I’d been downright selfish. Never maliciously, of course, but rather thoughtlessly. Carelessly, I raced through life on autopilot overdrive, focused solely on my own desires. Lost in self-absorption, I’d disregarded everything I professed to hold dear: my creative vision, my relationships, my heart.
It was a sobering realization. And much of it stemmed from the fact that for the better part of the year following my move, I had very little. My apartment consisted of four empty rooms and a mattress. Without the distraction of all my stuff, I had nowhere to look but inward. And even once I could afford to furnish my new space, I remained reluctant to do so. I wanted that blank slate just a little longer. I held up a mirror to my life and I didn’t like the reflection of the past, but I was still ironing out the details of how I wanted the future to look.
The experience of rebuilding from nothing brought me acutely in touch with how closely related our living environments are to our life paths—ultimately leading to the concept of my book: Sage Living. Decorating a home is more than just a chance to create something beautiful; it’s an opportunity to shape every aspect of your life. For me, that empty apartment was the threshold to a new way of being. It marked the beginning of a more intentional approach to my every day, and it laid the foundation for habits that I carry with me still.
For some, this means doing seated daily meditations, while for others it means interacting regularly with nature, and for others still, it’s as simple as turning off the TV during mealtimes. Anything that asks us to slow down and become present to all we have in the moment counts as mindfulness—and it cultivates everything from gratitude to peace. The book When Things Fall Apart is a great introduction to the tenets of mindfulness. I turned to it a lot during my year of introspection. I also recommend the Headspace app for developing a structured meditation practice.
Think like a stylist.
Stylists are hoarders by nature. After all, they’re in the business of acquiring beautiful objects! However, the nature of their work requires them to resist their packrat tendencies and continually say goodbye to treasures when they refresh their collections. Keep clutter and stress at bay by viewing décor items as a stylist would—as a special and lovely thing, but at the end of the day, just a thing. Hold on only to the ones that mean the most to you, and focus more on the people and emotions that created the meaning in the first place.
A house is just four walls, some windows and a door—until a guest walks in and turns it into a home. Hospitality can be as simple as two friends sharing coffee on the couch or as elaborate as a dinner party for 12, but whatever form it takes requires us to channel our generosity for the comforts and desires of another. So don’t worry too much about your space having to be perfect before you have people over. Just extend the invitation, relish each others’ company, then furnish your space with the memories of the time you spent together.
Written by Anne Sage
Photos via Instagram