Moving the Beauty Inside and the Decor Outside: Introspection and Sukkah Decorating

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Now that Fashion Week is virtually over, it's time to shift the focus from materialism to spirituality, as Yom Kippur and then Sukkos are just days away. Yom Kippur is our holiest day of the year; a day that is completely devoted to cleaning up our acts, wiping away the misdeeds of the previous year, and starting over fresh. Although it's not a fun day, we're truly lucky we get a day like this every year.

Over the past few days it was all about the gorgeous fashion we put on the outside of our bodies, but now is the time for some introspection...a time to focus on beautifying our inside selves. So I'd like to share some of my personal thoughts on a few things I've worked on over the years that have vastly improved my life, relationships and spirituality:

On Relationships

Choose kindness over being right. There really is no point in winning when it comes to love. Ask to be heard, agree to disagree, have mutual respect, and mostly listen* to what the other person has to say. His or her feelings are valid even if you don't agree with them. Empathizing doesn't mean you're wrong or you've lost, it just means you care. 

On Jealousy

We all experience it. Feeling jealous doesn't make you a bad person, it's what you do with it that determines your character. When you feel jealous go out of your way to counter intuitively tell that person how happy you are for them. Wish them the best. And mean it. You will stop feeling jealous because you will know that you have risen above, and all that positive energy you put out there is sure to come back to you and bring you success.

On Fashion

Simply said, wear clothes that are a reflection of who you are on the inside.

On Parenting

This too shall pass. I mean it. What feels tragic today will eventually pass and is part of the child's growing experience. Whether it's a toddler that won't toilet train or teenager who's giving you grief, each child has his or her own journey to travel on and we cannot and should not protect them from every little upset or disappointment. Gently guide with unconditional love, don't take everything personally, and the light at the end of the tunnel will come.

On Judging

When you find yourself judging others, stop and look honestly at yourself to find out what's really bothering you. 

On Money

Be grateful for what you have because what you have is exactly what you need. If you feel you need more, go out there and do the hard work you need to get it. Still don't have it? It wasn't meant for you. Be grateful...(this continues in a loop).

On Time

There never seems to be enough of it. But here are five things you should make a little time for every day: Helping others, reflection/prayer, resting, taking care of your self, exercise. Some of these can be combined to save time.

These are the ideas I try to practice every day of my life (although I am surely not always successful), and will try to work on in the coming year.

And now, as promised, here are some fabulous decorating ideas for your Sukkah...or any outdoor party or tablescape. 

This year I'm thinking amethyst and gold with a trellis of greenery. The idea was inspired by this photo that I found on pinterest and posted on my instagram and Facebook page:

This combination of rich hues is very regal. Hang inexpensive sheets on the wall and bring some of your indoor items outside to transform your Sukkah into an elegant room.

Create a terrarium for your table by placing flowers into wet floral foam inside the vase instead of out. 

Ooh..I love this, I may just drape floral fabric all over my Sukkah!
The potential for creative combining using these two colors is endless. Go beyond flowers and add fruits and berries to your centerpieces.

Hanging flowers in glass jars and vases is always gorgeous.

Create a sleek centerpiece by forming a grid of purple cabbages.

Replace your shop lights with inexpensive chandeliers, they will automatically dress up your space.

Hang your flowers on metal wreaths (usually available at Michael's)

I'm not sure how my Sukkah will come out using these ideas until I actually start working on it, but  I will be sure to share the results with you. 

For more Sukkah idea posts click below:

Wishing all of you who will be fasting an easy one. May this year bring only health, happiness and success to us all!

Until next time,

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  1. I think it would be wonderful if we all took a day {or two} every year to clean up our act.

  2. Wonderful post! Love your insights!!!
    I totally agree with each and every one.
    Thanks for sharing such wise words :)

  3. I love learning new things about Judaism from you and you present it beautifully! x

  4. I love learning about Judaism from you Sharon! x

  5. Great advice Sharon, there is a lot of wisdom in this post (not to mention great decorating ideas!)

  6. Beautiful thoughts to embrace every day, Sharon. These are indeed gorgeous colors; I will look forward to seeing your Sukkah decor.

    Art by Karena

  7. I am in love, love, love with that color combination! Be sure to share photos!


  8. we were both at fashion week and didn't see eachother...DARN!
    Hope you are well and enjoy your holiday...
    can you believe about Seaside boardwalk..SO SAD!

  9. great post! You've got a beautiful blog! would you love to follow each other? :) let me know on my blog! xoxo Cecilia

  10. Fantastic post Sharon!!!!!
    Very uplifting!!!!
    The photos are beautiful; I love the table decor!!!!
    Hope you had a great weekend!!!!!