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Yesterday morning I woke up and my skin felt like it wanted to fly off.

It was the day before the 2016 presidential elections and the collective energy in this country felt edgy and irritating, including me. Were you feeling this?

At 7:30am I slipped on my favorite Vibram 5-finger hiking shoes, wiggled my toes to make sure my feet were all the way in, and headed out the door for my daily walk.

I live in Sebastopol, California—one the sweetest towns on the Northern California coast, about one hour north of San Francisco.

This is my street:

(Photography by my hunky husband, Philip Morgan)

Today on my walk I decided to forego the headphones and instead I felt deeply into my surroundings, listening to the wind in the trees, and feeling the bright warmth of the sunshine kiss my face.

Within a few moments or so, my nervous system started to calm the F down and my mood lightened.

I felt better–more relaxed.

Today in my letter to you, instead of focusing on the cray cray energy of today’s intense world, I wanted to share two kindness anecdotes which, I’m hoping, will also give you some fun and inspiring design ideas to redesign, revamp or restyle your wellness or healthcare space.

How A Nature Print Of An Old Oak Tree Gave Peace And Comfort To An Old Woman With Cancer

I recently heard a story about an old woman who had cancer. She lived alone, didn’t have much family support and took regular trips by herself to the hospital for her chemotherapy treatments.

She started coming much earlier to her appointment and one day the nurse asked her why.

The old woman replied, “I come early to meditate with the big oak tree in the print there on the wall. It brings me peace and comfort during this frightening time and I feel like God is with me when I look at it.”

The nurse was struck by the impact a nature art print could have on a patient.

The piece showed golden sunlight shining onto a bench in front of a large oak tree.

Images with golden light in a natural setting have been shown in case studies to calm the brain. And the symbology of the ancient oak tree is strength and endurance–an important meaning for anyone going through a stressful time like this sweet old woman.

Sometimes a single design element (like artwork) can have the biggest impact.

When I Told An Angry Homeless Man I Loved Him

One day I was walking on bustling NW 23rd street in Portland, Oregon when an angry homeless man walked by me shouting obscenities to himself. He was pissed about something and was happy letting everyone in the neighborhood know about it.

After I passed him, something told me to stop. I was about three feet away when I turned around, looked straight into his eyes and said in a raised voice so he could hear me “I love you!” 

I’d never done anything like that before and since that time, I never have.

As soon as the words came out of my mouth, he stopped talking as if the world had suddenly come to a frozen halt, his facial expression moving into neutral like a gear on a car and just like that, his frown turned upside down. An instant glow came over his face and he replied back, “I love you too!”

We both felt spontaneously light hearted and happy, and I left the scene feeling like I just received a blessing from Mother Theresa.

That heartfelt exchange lingered in my soul long after the day ended.

You can say I love you in many ways in the design of your wellness space or healthcare practice. And just like a verbal I love you can immediately release the feel good hormone oxytocin, a beautiful and nurturing space where your clients or patients feel safe can do exactly the same.

Get started on transforming your wellness space—waiting room, clinic, or treatment room—into a oasis by selecting the perfect paint now. I show you how in my book, “The Color Cure”.

Get it here: