Oct 15, 2012 by

SoulSpace by Xorin Balbes was the kind of book that had me hooked by the cover. It shows a warm, inviting space. The subtitle is Tranform Your Home, Transform Your Life.

Doesn’t that sound delicious? It said it would help me “create a home that is free of clutter, full of beauty, and inspired by you.” Oh, yes, yes, yes! It sounded magical!

Lately I have been intentionally taking time in my day to do some soul quenching reading. I’ve been allowing myself to read the books that are calling to me, as opposed to the ones I “should” be reading. When I read what I enjoy its easier to make the time (duh). I am honoring my need for some soothing sanity. I have even been sitting by the fireplace in my teaching chair.

And I am loving it!

So, this book, SoulSpace. I devoured it in a few days. Cover to cover. I am the first to admit that I’m not great at finishing things. But this book offered a doable sense of hope page after page.

One of the main issues I had with my gambling (yep, this is still a gambling blog) was that I hated the spaces I “lived” in. My house reminded me of my failed marriage. Everywhere I turned was a reminder that my husband wasn’t with me any more. My apartment was dark, depressing, and, I bet you can imagine, filled with the same stuff from my house. I moved my misery from one place to another! Of course I didn’t want to be there!

Where would I go instead?

To a casino! I felt so much more comfortable and at home in a casino. My current instinct is to defend that statement. My gamblers understand though. They knew me there. I had “friends.” They brought me drinks. My slot hostess would come say hello and ask if she could bring me anything. The chairs were comfortable. The atmosphere was planned to perfection. Some of them even have air fresheners before you walk inside (the new Lone Butte in Chandler, AZ always smelled amazing. The old, less thought out one was a smelly dump…that I was quite comfy in).

I still have the instinct to “run away” from home. I usually feel more comfortable working in a McDonald’s or Starbucks. I’d rather be walking around stores shopping than sitting in the house alone. At least in my recovery I am blessed that I don’t feel the urge to drive to a casino! That’s one less thing to worry about.

There are eight SoulSpace stages: Assess, Release, Cleanse, Dream, Discover, Create, Elevate and Celebrate.

The first few stages were eye openers. Why yes, I am holding on to my old relationships with stuff buried in closets. Oh, I can see that would have an impact on my current relationship. I think I will get rid of some of it to clear space for something more fitting and fulfilling. Oh yes, I would feel better if I could keep up with the cleaning and clutter.

The Dream phase scared me. The typical excuses were popping up for me, especially the one about, oh yeah, I don’t have much money now. The author works with all income levels. At the end he even shared a story about an addict who couldn’t even afford thrift stores. He had a clever idea for that solution. Anyway, I figured I would go for it and at least crack the door to some dreaming.

I would love to have a beautiful writing area. My workspace is currently a cold, unfinished basement. I’ve spruced it up a little bit, but it still feels like I’m an unwanted tag along. Lets move her to the basement…maybe she’ll go away. I tried that tactic with my mother. It didn’t work.

I brought it up to my husband. We talked about the possibilities. I was thrilled. It was far easier than I thought to dream. We don’t have plans on it quite yet, but the idea is out there. He wants to have his space downstairs too. We could take care of both of us when we finish it!

SoulSpace talks about displaying your accomplishments and passions. Create your space to be a place that fills you up. I looked around the living room. Roger’s cameras are displayed (he loves photography). The pictures of his kids are framed and hanging. Two of his favorite photos are hanging. I have some clunky old chochkies and a few plants I transplanted. I love the plants.

Where is my book? Where are the gambling goodies? Where am I?

Talk about some clarity on why I wouldn’t want to stick around the house! As I walked through each room, the things displayed that were mine were only there because my husband insisted I put things out that were mine. I didn’t love the things. I had them, so I used them. They are from my past. Now, how happy was I in my past? Anyone, anyone?

My life sucked! Why in the hell do I keep dragging that crap along with me? To remind me that I was miserable? Looking at it makes me feel miserable!

You know how sometimes you just need a little flip? I swear to you this book has flipped me. By the way, nobody knows I’m even writing this post, so I’m certainly not being compensated to speak so highly of SoulSpace. It has genuinely touched my life and I feel compelled to share that with you.

Take Care,



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