Making your home a private sanctuary

Picture provided by Claudia Bianca, Casa Luz del Alma

Originally published in The Taos News

When you leave your workplace (where you don’t often have control over the environment), you long for a soothing, relaxing ambiance. That’s what a home should be—a safe, invigorating haven; a quiet zone where stress isn’t allowed to step over the threshold.

How to enjoy a stress-free house

First, keep it clean and tidy. Consider de-cluttering the entrance so the first thing people (and yourself) see when they come in is not a table full of old mail and bills or an assembly of dirty shoes. Flowers and plants also help to create a welcome-home ambiance.

Work inside out                                   

“To have a stress-free home, you need to be stress-free yourself,” said Raquel Troyce, an Albuquerque-based life coach and writer. “Meditate, do deep breathing exercises, keep a positive attitude. If people aren’t in peace with themselves, they won’t be able to create, or even recognize, a peaceful environment.”

Taking a warm bath, going for walks, stretching and working in the garden are great ways to relieve stress, too. “Most importantly; keep negative and conflicting people away from your house,” said Troyce.

Energy tools

As a Master Rapid Eye Technician, Claudia Bianca has learned how to relieve stress and help it go away. She is the owner of beautiful Casa Luz Del Alma (House of the Light of the Soul), an oasis-like property in Lower Las Colonias.

Claudia has lived in Taosfor over ten years now. “Being a facilitator of energy work and Reiki Master for twenty-five years, I use some of my energy tools to keep Casa Luz Del Alma a calm and welcoming sanctuary,” she said about her home, where she also offers training in Rapid Eye Technology, a technique used to get relief from depression, anger, grief, anxiety and fears.

 Tips from Claudia

• Create a pleasant garden (even if it is just a pot of colorful flowers) to look at from the house.

• Hang wind chimes to keep the energy moving and help you relax when you hear them.

• Use the music of nature to ground you. Have birdbaths (a shallow bowl of water is fine, but up on a pedestal if you have cats) to invite the songsters in to play.

• Notice when nature visits you and in gratitude say a quiet “thank you.”

• Create spaces (that could just be a chair tucked in a nook) to “be” outside on different sides of the house. Mini sanctuaries are a great de-stressors and it is interesting to see which you are drawn to on a particular day.

• Use crystals and rocks to ground your home space. Simply pick something you are attracted to and place it in and around your home. Feel free to move them around when the mood strikes you.

• Use bells… nothing like a good bell ringing to clean a space’s energy and your thoughts.

Tap into yourself

Joan Duncan, ASID and owner of Creatrix LLC, offers suggestions based on her own experience as an architect and interior designer, and the times she has spent working with clients.

“Feel into what creates joy for you whenever your eyes light upon it; color, a treasured object, a plant, even a collection of tools might bring a sense of comfort,”Duncan said. “Choose a place that you see often during the day and use the object as a jumping off point for beginning to craft your space.”

Duncan stressed the importance of enjoying the process of creating that special space. “Have fun ‘playing’ with furniture placement, fabric, light and objects and allow yourself to register your response whether positive or negative. And listen to yourself!”

One doesn’t need top spend a lot of money in order to create the feeling of a sanctuary at home. “The ReStore, Pieces and yard sales are great places to look for things that help you feel good,” saidDuncan.

A useful book on the subject is The Stress-Free Home: Beautiful Interiors for Serenity and Harmonious Living (Quarry Books, 2005) by author and columnist Jackie Craven. It shows how to create “serenity zones” throughout the home, from the living room to the bathrooms, and helps identify emotional stressors. Each chapter contains practical exercises, sidebars and full-color pictures.

To contact Joan Duncan, ASID, visit

Or call Interior Architecture & Design
(575) 751-3030
(575) 770-4252

To contact Raquel Troyce, life coach, call (505) 264-3680.

To contact Claudia Bianca, MRET, visit

Or call  Casa Luz del Alma

(575) 751-4551



Picture provided by Claudia Bianca, Casa Luz del Alma