Dear Lois, what does restoration mean to you?


Before restoring anything, it’s important to examine what can stay as-is and what needs to be repaired, replaced or given a good scrubbing. It’s also important to have a strong end-vision. It takes belief to bring something back to life. To build it up, to improve and strengthen it. If you can’t envision it, how can it come to fruition?

If we were to look at the physical structure of a home, and examine something problematic, the first thought might be, how can I repair this the best way possible? What needs to be done? How much can I do with the resources available? And what is the responsible thing to do?

It’s easy to parallel this with our lives within the home. What parts of ourselves and our homes can stay as-is, and what parts need healing?

Vision is key. It is easy to get swept up in the motions of everyday life, which can cause us to lose our creativity and drive. When we operate out of a place of domestic non-creativity there is a tendency to feel trapped by going through the motions. This causes us to become indifferent about things that could cause a problem in the future.

Indifference is usually what causes most problems around the house. For instance, what if I don’t want to pull everything out of my kitchen cupboards and address how messy they have become? If I take a good look at what’s inside I might find out that I am wasteful, sloppy and not as careful as I’d like to think I am. Why would I do that when indifference has been serving me?

I know what it’s like to push through being sulky or moody about doing proper maintenance on my home and myself. I know that instead of holding on to indifference I can envision beauty, balance and flow. I can put my heart and soul into something trivial—why not? If I can have a good attitude about my daily priorities wouldn’t my subconscious be affected by that?

When thriving and good health become part of the equation, our homes reflect it.

Illustration by Lois Volta.

Going through the motions is its own unique gift. We learn that good form and the right tools makes the ride a bit smoother. Being able to turn off our minds, relax and breathe while we wash the dishes gives us a different avenue to creativity. The trick is being able to get past whatever emotional hang ups we have about domesticity. Get past, or establish new outlooks that change what our everyday motions feel like. Whatever we call it, it does take effort to restore.

The major issues that I have seen in people’s homes have little to do with the actual structure of the building, and more with cultivating an environment worthy to be cared for, inside and out. This takes self respect, diligence and style.

My restoration style involves chocolate chip cookies, gardening and keeping the house feeling put-together. Maybe an epsom salt bath, too. Overall, I want the place where I rest to be one where there is plenty of love and care to go around.

There will always be a laundry list of things to do, but if you’ve got a little vision and put in the effort, you’ll be able to enjoy the restoration with peace in your heart.

Lois Volta is a home life consultant, artist and founder of The Volta Way. Send questions to info@thevoltaway.com.

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