The signs of spring are everywhere here in Payson. In nature, the budding redbuds, beautiful white flowering pears, birds building nests in trees and bushes, and the mountains in the distance losing their snow cover can bring us enjoyment with their simplicity and order.

In thinking about our personal environment, it might do us well to take a minute or two and look around where we live or work. What is it like? Is it clean and orderly? Or do you find piles of laundry that need to be put away, lots of clutter on the counters, overgrown yards, closets that are spilling out, stacks of paper or piles of old magazines?

It is interesting that studies show that visual clutter and disorganization have a negative effect on us. They sap our energy and strength, and tend to reduce our sense of peace. When the space around us is clutter free and organized we have clearer minds, a calmer spirit, and an inner calmness.

Our homes can be the kind of place that nurtures our spirit and awakens good memories. Take some time to think of what you can surround yourself with that fills you with comfort, joy, peace, and uplifts your soul.

The famous painter Henri Matisse was bedridden the last months of his life with cancer. His family moved his bed to look out the window of their countryside home and from this vantage point Matisse continued to paint. To continually inspire him, the family also changed the articles on the windowsill. It is said that some of his most famous paintings were done during this last phase of his life.

Spicing up our life visually can be helpful for us too. Changing the photos in the picture frames, moving them to different locations, or even moving around plants can help encourage us to be more creative as we develop aesthetically pleasing spaces.

Inspiring environments can be created with sunlight too. Open the shades, draw back the curtains, throw wide the shutters and let the natural sunlight pour in. Sunlight benefits us in creating cheer as it brightens our personal space.

In the book “Health Power: Health by Choice Not By Chance,” Aileen Ludington and Hans Diehl suggest that sunlight has many health benefits. In the proper amount, sunlight can enhance the immune system, alleviate pain in swollen arthritic joints, and relieve certain premenstrual symptoms, lower blood pressure, and lower blood cholesterol levels. Sunlight also lifts one’s spirit, improves sleep, and increases energy.

In your personal environment, pay attention to the visuals around you. Clear away the clutter and move toward simplicity. This will result in not loss but gain for you.

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