How your Brain Impacts your Home

Have you ever read an article with quick tips for home decor or organization and thought, "those are great, but they would never work for me!" If so, you are not alone.
After all, no two brains are exactly alike. And that means that the way that we interact with our belongings and our homes is also very personal. Back in the late 1990's, Australian Sociologist, Judy Singer, coined the term "neurodiversity" to help us understand that everyone's brain develops differently. Each of our brains have their own unique operating system that makes some tasks effortless and others quite challenging, including those pesky tasks around our homes. Within this paradigm, some people have what are considered neurotypical brains and others have neurodivergent brains. Neurodivergence can include people with Dyslexia, ADHD, Autism, PTSD, chronic anxiety and/or depression. Long-time meditators and folks that work with hallucinogenic plants for personal healing and spiritual growth are also considered neurodivergent, because these practices change the brain.

Many of you are neurodivergent and don't even know it. Or maybe you know you have ADHD, or some other neurodivergence, but you don't know WHY that impacts your space.


Depending on your particular brain, you may struggle to keep your home tidy and organized. That's because ADHD, depression and other forms of neurodivergence impact our executive functioning. Executive functioning oversees things like our working memory, cognitive flexibility and self-control.

One of the things that is very necessary in keeping an organized and tidy space is the ability to prioritize information, track and stay focused on the task at hand, as well as our relationship to time and how long tasks take---all things that are greatly impacted by our executive functioning.


Specific ways it manifests:
  • It's hard to know what to keep and what to let go of.
  • It's difficult to know where to store things and how to find them again, so it becomes easier to leave things out, which creates clutter.
  • You get distracted easily when you attempt a certain task.
  • You perceive that something will take "no time at all" or "way too much time" and that impacts whether or not you get to the task or if you waaaay under or over estimated the task.
  • It's hard to make decorating decisions so your space stays really plain or incomplete.


These are just some examples. Sound familiar?

If so, the first step is to stop beating yourself up. Easy, right? You'll get right on that while you establish world peace and effortlessly make your first million. But, truly, when we are in “critic mode,” we are pretty ineffective. So, try to press pause for a bit and recognize that you are not a failure.Your brain just processes things differently, which means you need different parameters. There are ways to navigate this and they involve creating personalized systems that work for you. But most of us can't get past the self-judgment part.

So that's the invitation for now. I'm not offering you any quick tips because there aren't quick tips for this---only patience, experimentation and a mindset shift. If you are struggling, once you begin to understand that you are not failing, but simply processing the world around you, including your home, in a unique way, you are better equipped to experiment with the unique solutions that will work for you.

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Susan Shehata

Susan Shehata, also known as The Space Guru™, is a Mentor, Guide and Performing Artist, who specializes in helping people release hidden obstacles. She does that through Space Consultations, Holistic Wellness Services and through Music & Theatre. Though her offerings are varied, the goal of her work is the same: to clear the deep patterns of resistance in people's lives. Susan has been a professional performer for twenty years and a certified wellness professional, focusing on transformational healing and space work, for fifteen years. Her life’s mission is to use her voice as a performer, speaker, writer, healer and mentor to assist in global evolution.

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