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How I Turned My Bedroom Into A Zen Oasis

Letter From The Editor

"Create positive space around you, even if it's in your mind. You must have an environment of good energy in order to give good energy."


Does the space you spend the most time in leave you drained, uninspired and unproductive?

Last week I shared with you that I used to wake up flustered and in a panic. I told you how I created a morning ritual that dramatically shifted my energy to start my day. However I also made another significant change in my life that helped improve my well being.

A couple of years ago, I started noticing a pattern that I was creating. Ever since my first real job in Corporate America, I never made my work space a home. I always treated my desk as a temporary dwelling, refusing to pin photos, put up quotes, and decorate the space as if someone actually worked there 8 hours a day. I figured why bother to personalize the space if I went into every job knowing it was a temporary situation for me –a means to pay bills and get by until another opportunity came knocking that would place me closer to my dreams.

This went on for over 10 years. Finally in 2014, after I moved to Arizona, and started really focusing on self-care, I took a look around and realized that my spaces were always filled with unproductive energy and were becoming a reflection of my life. For example, I was still treating the move to Scottsdale as a temporary situation so my bedroom only had a desk, no furniture except a mattress lying on the floor, and there were piles of books and clothes everywhere.

It was pretty messy.

And my messy space was a reflection of my messy life.
I didn't realize it at the time but my set up was sending "I'm Not Staying Here Long" energy, out into the universe and I was still living as though it was my old college days again—unsettled and unconcerned with creating a house that felt like a home.

Waking up to a cluttered space every day was definitely having a negative impact on my productivity and I constantly felt drained and uninspired. This was a huge problem since I was working from home a lot, and I knew I had to do something about it and fast!

So I started Operation: Create My Happy Space.

Over a period of a month, I went from this ….


To this…

Necole Bedroom 8

I can honestly say my room felt like a vacation home. When you walked in on any given day, you heard soothing music, smelled lavender and peppermint scents, and felt a gentle breeze flowing. Everyone who visited mentioned how soothing it felt and I even had a few people say, "I would never leave my room if I stayed here."


Here are a few changes I made to my room to restore peace and order in my life:

Necole Bedroom 5

PAINT

I painted the walls purple, after studying Feng Shui. I wanted to attract prosperity and in Feng Shui, the color purple attracts abundance. This color also brought a romantic, soothing energy to my bedroom. I loved it. (I also bought some purple curtains to match.)

Necole bedroom 2

Necole Bedroom 6

A LAMP

I bought a grey lamp to match the color scheme of my room. The lamp also changed the mood of the room in a good way. I used to have a ceiling fan with a harsh overhead light. Now the lamp casts beautiful shadows, lighting up the space gently without glare.

Fake flowers

A PLANT

Initially, I brought home a beautiful purple Orchid for my room. It fit so perfectly but unfortunately I couldn't keep the poor thing alive past three days. I replaced it temporarily with an artificial bouquet of white roses. Adding flowers or a plant to your workspace increases productivity and creativity.

Image-1 (1)

HIMALAYAN SALT CRYSTAL LAMP

I originally bought my Himalayan salt lamp while browsing Bed, Bath & Beyond because it looked cool and changed colors. When it's turned on, it creates a very relaxing atmosphere in my room. I had no idea it had health benefits. Some sites claim that they boost blood flow, improve sleep, increase levels of serotonin in the brain, and calm allergy or asthma symptoms. They also keep the air clean and help with respiratory problems.

bookshelves and books

BOOKSHELF

While decluttering, I needed a space for my piles of books. Although a floating shelf would have been the best fit in terms of clearing up space, I bought a corner bookshelf which made for a beautiful home for my books on self-help, wellness, productivity and love. Beginning and ending my day with an inspirational read is a must.

Crystals on the window

CRYSTALS

I never thought I'd be that girl with a windowsill full of crystals. I visited a photographer friend in LA a few months ago and we bonded over our love for crystals and oils and she sent me away with a Celestine wand as a parting gift. She too had crystals on her windowsill and I loved how calm and welcoming her home felt. I placed mine there to remind myself of the sort of energies I want to manifest in my life. My current favorites are Rose Quartz, which helps attract love, and Green Jade, which helps to attract prosperity and abundance.

Sage

SAGE

If my energy is all over the place or very negative on any given day, (for whatever reason) I burn sage. Burning sage is one of the oldest and purest methods of cleansing a group of people, space, or person.

Aroma diffuser

AROMA THERAPY DIFFUSER

Aromatherapy is the practice of using natural oils to enhance psychological and emotional well-being. I have an aromatherapy diffuser that I use to mist my room with the scent of lavender, peppermint and/or rosemary. Lavender oils are really good when you want to have a good night's sleep and I find Peppermint makes me really alert and happy.

Also candles give a really nice touch and make your room smell great.

Bedroom Necole 4My new zen-filled space definitely shifted my energy and overall productivity immediately.

If you are feeling uninspired by your space, definitely consider giving it a revamp. Inspirational pillows, shag rugs, floating shelves, lighting, candles, soothing music, and the right color paint are all things that will help spruce up your space and give you the boost you need to get things done.

What are some things you've added to your room to create a happy space? Let me know in the comments! What are some things you've added to your room to create a happy space?

*Originally published on Necole Kane

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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