When searching for a new home, I’ve always found it invaluable to begin by making a long list of every desirable feature. So when looking for a new house in England with Richard earlier this year we began by both writing our own lists, merging them together and arriving at a very clear idea of what we wanted.
It turned out that the most important thing for both of us was a meditation room. And for me, a writing room in which to write new books. So really we were looking for a meditation room and writing room with a house attached!
This wasn’t new to me, in actual fact. It’s exactly the same principle on which the house I built for myself eight years ago in Bali was designed. I placed my meditation room in the ‘Enlightenment’ area of the feng shui bagua (the room at the centre of the back of the house) and my writing room in the Wisdom/Knowledge area (the room in the front left area of the house). That’s the lovely thing about getting to design and build your own house. You can choose where to put things for best effect.
Interestingly, the way it has worked out in the house we’re renting here in England is exactly the opposite way around. My writing space is in the Enlightenment area and the meditation room is in the Wisdom/Knowledge area. This will certainly bring some different qualities to my writing. Better still, in Bali my writing space doubled as an office but in England I have a dedicated space because my husband takes care of the administrative side of things now.
Another big difference here is the view. I’ve noticed over the years that I do my best writing when I have a room with a view. In Bali I had a beautiful tropical garden but no long distance view. As I sit here typing in England, to my left is a huge lawn with a view that stretches for miles over pristine woods and meadows to a distant hill. This is land that has never been cultivated or built on, and is home to many forms of wildlife: deer, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, pheasants, white doves, partridges and many other smaller birds I’m still learning the names of. I’m told there are badgers out there in the woods too, although I haven’t seen one yet.
The thing is, there is always something happening out there. There is nearly always some kind of animal on the lawn (right now there’s a black and white cat and a pheasant – this could get interesting), and with half the horizon occupied by sky there is also the continuously changing cloudscape, allowing me to see whole weather fronts come, do their thing, and go (now there are two pheasants and the cat has gracefully withdrawn).
You’d think I’d write less with so many things to draw my attention outside but with most types of writing I find it doesn’t work this way at all (here come the rabbits). The view allows my consciousness to expand to fill bigger spaces. I am much more creative. It’s the same reason why penthouse suites are so sought after. Having a view doesn’t just give you a bigger picture in the literal sense. It also opens a bigger space of vision in the revelational sense.
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