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Lately I've been re-upping my spiritual practice.
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Like walking away from a dead-end career or a toxic relationship, you can find yourself in conflict with a spiritual practice.
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It might be a set of tenets you no longer subscribe to. Or it might have been a method which wasn't resonating with your needs.
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In my case, I felt a strong need to be sure that I wasn't using my spiritual practice to enable tolerance of things I shouldn't be tolerating, otherwise known as 'spiritual bypassing.'
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That turned up a lot of worms, which needed to be examined.
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Reconnecting with spiritual practice now is helping me manage the new challenges I've taken on as a result of that work. It's giving me a deeper well of attention.
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And greater capacity for love.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #amazingarchitecture #Leadwithoutpermission #liveauthentic #Philadelphia #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #autism #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #neurodivergent #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #sustainability #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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21 1

THIS LOCKER ROOM MAY SEEM UNPREPOSSESSING, but three years ago it was far, far worse. Cracked concrete floors, industrial fixtures at least 30 years old, bare fluorescent bulbs, no private changing area. .
They upgraded a little at a time. First the flooring. Then, new benches. After that, they remodeled the pool, which took weeks but was SO worth it.
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When the curly silver salon table and oval mirrors arrived, it was like WHOA FANCY.
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Finally, the old industrial mirror/counter corner was remade as a curtained changing area, and the framed full-length mirror with row lights was added.
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It's a joy to change here now, rather than a necessary evil.
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And they did it at the pace their budget allowed.
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Renovation: not just for venture capitalist-funded juggernauts. You can upgrade your own space a little at a time.
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And it's even more fun that way.
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BTW, I give $50 off my Mini Intervention for members of the Kensington Community Food Co-op. Link in bio!
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#dream_interiors #homedesign #homeinspiration #homeinspo #homedecor #interior_and_living #interiorandhome #interior4all #interior4you #interiorblog #interiordesign #interiordecor #interiorideas #interiorwarrior #myhomevibe #passionforinterior #interiordetails #Philadelphia #sensitivity #sensory #neuro #autism #adhd #neurodiverse #brain #health #creativity #architecturedesign #creativearchitecture #unlimitedcities
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2 0

THE EMOTIONS OF OTHERS can be overwhelming.
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When you're sensitive, you pick up on things as soon as you walk into a room. You may not know the specifics, but when others are anxious, sad, angry or depressed, you FEEL IT.
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This contributes to cognitive overload. You have to make a conscious decision whether or not to address the tension; even if you are practiced at setting emotional boundaries, it takes energy to do so.
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We become stone so as not to drown.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #infj #leadwithoutpermission #empathy #Philadelphia #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #autism #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #neurodivergent #empath #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #boundaries #alternativehealth #sustainability #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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17 3

LATE AFTERNOON SUNLIGHT THROUGH CEREUS LEAVES makes some awesome shadows.
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Assessing and integrating natural light patterns is an important part of the design process. Direction, latitude, window height, ceiling height, and building shadows all determine how your wall colors will behave, what kind of window coverings you choose, and--my primary concern--what kinds of plants you can grow indoors.
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#greenlifestyle #healthmatters #naturalhealth #wellnessjourney #holistichealth #healthyhappylife #househunters #buyingahome #realestate #homebuying #homedesign #interiorandhome #interiordesign #passionforinterior #myhomevibe #interiorwarrior #dream_interiors #homeinspiration #creativehappylife #creativepreneur #wearethecreativeeconomy #acoustics #neurodiversity #adhd #autism #sensory #sensitivity #spectrum #sustainability #green
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22 1

WHAT DO YOU SEE FIRST? An orange lily? A black-and-white photo? A wooden frame?
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Or do you see an oval spotlight, reflected in the glass?
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The neurodiverse mind doesn't filter incoming data the same way a neurotypical does. There isn't necessarily an intuitive ranking by hierarchy. If a bit of sensory input is THERE, it will be perceived, at the same level of significance as every other input.
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That's why, to the neurodiverse mind, chaos is deadly. You can't enjoy the flowers when you're blinded by the spotlight.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #autistic #Leadwithoutpermission #liveauthentic #Philadelphia #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #autism #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #neurodivergent #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #sustainability #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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6 0

"IT FEELS LIKE WE'RE OUT IN THE COUNTRY." For two decades, I've evoked rural energy in the inner city, whether it's Brooklyn, San Francisco or Philadelphia.
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This wasn't always something I did on purpose. When restoring a Brooklyn storefront, I brought a San Francisco Victorian palette to the exterior (pale yellow and burgundy), amplified the natural light with off-white curtains and creamy walls, installed warm halogen fixtures and antiqued the furniture.
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This was less of a designed agenda than an intuitive obedience to what the building requested, through layers of unfortunate paint jobs and tenant abuse. (Think--blood red walls, orange floors and acid green exterior.)
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Without being able to define why, visitors felt like they were entering a spa in upstate New York. They said it felt like the city outside had vanished.
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I grow jungles on fire escapes and in my kitchen windows. I paint vines on bedroom walls. It seems like they ought to be there.
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. #greenlifestyle #healthmatters #naturalhealth #wellnessjourney #holistichealth #healthyhappylife #househunters #buyingahome #realestate #homebuying #homedesign #interiorandhome #interiordesign #passionforinterior #myhomevibe #interiorwarrior #dream_interiors #homeinspiration #creativehappylife #creativepreneur #wearethecreativeeconomy #acoustics #neurodiversity #adhd #autism #sensory #sensitivity #spectrum #sustainability #green
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16 0

SENSORY DESIGN IS A FOUR-DIMENSIONAL PUZZLE. It's all about how YOUR needs and sensitivities interact with the characteristics of your space.
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First, we get the outlines: WHO is living and working here, and WHAT do you want to accomplish? HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL?
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Then we get the outlines of your SPACE: how is it shaped? How high are the ceilings? What kind of natural light do you get? Are the proportions working, or are you fighting for room?
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We keep turning the pieces until everything fits.
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#sensory #sensoryoverload #sensoryprocessingdisorder #sensoryintegration #sensoryprocessing #sensoryroom #neurodiversity #neurodivergent #neurodiversityrocks #interiordesign #interiordecor #interior_and_living #homedesign #interiorwarrior #passionforinterior #interiorforall #Philadelphia #dream_interiors #architecturedesign #architecture #creativearchitecture #unlimitedcities #sustainableliving #sustainable #sustainabledesign #sustainablehome #greenlife #urbangardening #healthylife
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4 0

I FOUND THESE GRAFFITI PHOTOS in a high-end furniture store called Luxe Home. Frankly, I found the whole situation a bit confounding.
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Because graffiti is CREATED as a REBELLION against the EXISTENCE of luxury home furnishings. It's public, exterior, an illegal act of vandalism. By its nature, it challenges existing power hierarchies.
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Aesthetically, it's like a BLARING SIREN. It's meant to garner attention amid chaos.
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And someone has carefully documented this act of loud rebellion, brought it inside the citadel of hierarchy, and put a hefty price tag on it.
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Economically speaking, this act of appropriation was probably inevitable. Although it bothers me that the original artist is almost certainly not seeing a dime of profit on the sale of their work, it would take a complete structural shift of consciousness to make that happen.
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The work was placed into the world as an act of heedless exuberance. The artist didn't have access to systems of profit, but created anyway.
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Economically comfortable people could learn something from that.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #graffiti #socialjustice #Leadwithoutpermission #liveauthentic #Philadelphia #interiordesign #interiorforall #contemporaryart #autism #art #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #neurodivergent #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #economics #capitalism #sustainability #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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3 1

LETTING GO OF MY 'IDENTITY' AS AN 'ARTIST' FELT LIKE CATASTROPHIC FAILURE. 'Artist' was the standard by which I made my life choices. .
Underemployed? Artist. Childless? Artist. Unmarried? Artist. No retirement savings, health insurance, mortgage? Art was more important.
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Then I wasn't childless, and my priorities changed overnight. The artist was gone; the struggling entrepreneur replaced her.
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Only the art didn't leave.
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The 'art career' was an illusion--the galleries, exhibitions, portfolio, grant applications, reviews--I don't miss them. Those things were quite frankly a waste of my time, money and energy.
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The art is part of who I am. It overflows onto my walls, my garden, into my camera, my closet, my stairs. My clients hire me for it. It's in my soul.
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Nothing real can be destroyed.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #amazingarchitecture #Leadwithoutpermission #liveauthentic #Philadelphia #interiordesign #interiorforall #courseinmiracles #autism #homedesign #art #interior4all #interior_and_living #neurodivergent #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #sustainability #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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26 0

SOME DAYS, YOU DON'T WANT BALANCE. You want extravagant, heedless excess. You want miracles.
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Those are the days you spend the grocery budget on orchids, the electric bill on taking a friend for sushi. You paint a mural on your stairs, bike fifty miles, drink more than you can handle and crawl to bed.
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Seeking the sublime.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #amazingarchitecture #Leadwithoutpermission #liveauthentic #Philadelphia #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #autism #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #neurodivergent #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #sustainability #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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9 0

SENSORY DESIGN PHOTOGRAPHY IS TRICKY. The camera can only convey a tiny percent of what we FEEL. When we experience a flood of emotional information as well as sight, sound, smell and texture, every waking moment, how do you convey that without a total immersion?
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Sensitive people are often told we are Too Intense. Not good at small talk, too concerned about things like species collapse and social justice. We may be dismissed as 'needy' and 'weird,' and 'dramatic.' .
The truth is, the world needs us. We are the activists, the artists, the inventors. We care enough to take on the big problems.
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And when you see through our senses, the world becomes miraculous.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #amazingarchitecture #Leadwithoutpermission #liveauthentic #Philadelphia #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #autism #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #neurodivergent #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #sustainability #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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5 0

A GREAT SPOT TO PERFORM SURGERY. This is a 'healthy' lunch place in downtown Worcester, Mass. Ambiance: lacking.
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It's difficult for me to understand what motivates businesses to do this. I walk in and my nervous system goes AIIIEEEEEEEE!!!! Clearly, they don't want me to sit down for a leisurely lunch, and just as clearly they don't want their employees to enjoy their jobs.
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This paradigm--the Soulless Corporate Chrome Aesthetic--is killing our planet. When we are so out of tune with our surroundings, including our own bodies, that we construct places like this--TO FEED OURSELVES--our priorities are terminally f*****d.
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There must be a better way. Let's change this. Now.
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#sensoryscorecard = Are you @#$%&#! kidding me???
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#sensory #sensoryoverload #sensoryprocessingdisorder #sensoryintegration #sensoryprocessing #sensoryroom #neurodiversity #neurodivergent #neurodiversityrocks #interiordesign #interiordecor #interior_and_living #homedesign #interiorwarrior #passionforinterior #interiorforall #Philadelphia #dream_interiors #architecturedesign #architecture #creativearchitecture #unlimitedcities #sustainableliving #sustainable #sustainabledesign #sustainablehome #greenlife #urbangardening #healthylife
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13 3

I THINK THIS PLACE WAS IN ROCKLAND. OR POSSIBLY ROCKPORT. This is what comes of multi-tasking.
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Regardless of location, this renovated café illustrates the pros and cons of modern design trends, from a sensory perspective. Briefly: it looks good, and it's loud.
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Exposed brick: loud. Bare wood flooring: loud. Subway tile: loud. Can lights: eyewatering. White walls: cold.
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It's not fair for me to give this place a #sensoryscorecard when I can't even tag them. Let it be known that we can do better. All of us.
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. #highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #amazingarchitecture #Leadwithoutpermission #liveauthentic #Philadelphia #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #autism #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #neurodivergent #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #alternativehealth #sustainability #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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16 0

POPUP GARDEN THIS EVENING. Come visit the garden we designed for @closeathandinnovations, at 2418 Martha, 4-8PM. There will be a talk on the local Monarch Migration at 6:30, plants and containers for sale, and Martha Monday specials right next door.
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No better way to welcome the autumn weather!
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#sensory #sensoryoverload #sensoryprocessingdisorder #sensoryintegration #sensoryprocessing #sensoryroom #neurodiversity #neurodivergent #neurodiversityrocks #sensoryscorecard #interiordesign #interiordecor #interior_and_living #homedesign #interiorwarrior #passionforinterior #interiorforall #Philadelphia #dream_interiors #architecturedesign #architecture #creativearchitecture #unlimitedcities #sustainableliving #sustainable #sustainabledesign #sustainablehome #greenlife #urbangardening #healthylife
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12 1

SENSORY ACCESSIBILITY CAN BE SO DARN SIMPLE. The Hinge cafe has cozy lighting, padded benches, and sound-absorbing clutter on the walls. Sunday brunch is noisy because it's packed, but the design doesn't AMPLIFY the noise.
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When you are lucky enough to get the corner table by the lamp, it's a done deal. .
#sensoryscorecard: 7 out of 10.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #Leadwithoutpermission #liveauthentic #Philadelphia #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #autism #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #neurodivergent #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #sustainability #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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11 0

IF YOU MUST HAVE FLUORESCENTS, THESE ARE THE ONES. The fixtures are dropped down from the ceiling, and the light reflects up and off the ceiling tiles, diffusing rather than creating hot spots.
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Of course, they're still fluorescent.
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As Temple Grandin said in a recent lecture, some people's visual cortex cannot process the rapid flickering of fluorescent lighting. The room will appear to pulsate, and they will become nauseated, irritable, or anxious.
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A better choice for sensory accessibility might be a similar fixture with LED bulbs instead. We at Practical Sanctuary are working on that. 😉
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #amazingarchitecture #Leadwithoutpermission #liveauthentic #Philadelphia #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #autism #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #neurodivergent #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #sustainability #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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10 4

FRIDAY HAPPY HOUR CALLS FOR A #SENSORYSCORECARD. This is the Peacock Room at Philadelphia Brewing Co.
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PBC is a neighborhood anchor. Seven or eight years ago, it was the ONLY place to get beer within a half mile radius. Many was the time I 'planned a party' by texting eight friends and picking up a case of PBC. Done.
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As Kensington gentrified, PBC opened an outdoor beer garden across the street, and turned their quiet foyer into the Peacock Room. Local bands play here from time to time, and you can grab a pint of whatever PBC is brewing this season.
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Colored lights like this are generally sensory friendly, because they're so filtered. It's the spots and the fluorescents which render us miserable. So, yay peacock.
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The rest of the bar is barlike. I.e. it has those high tables where your feet don't touch the floor, and hard benches where you can't get comfortable. Since it's a factory building, the ceilings are high and the acoustics are loud. And, you know, bands.
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So even though we love PBC, if you are a #highlysensitiveperson, avoid happy hour. 4 out of 10.
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#sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #happyhour #liveauthentic #beer #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #autism #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #healthylife #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #lighting #healthcare #alternativehealth #Philadelphia #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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5 0

RECYCLE OUR BUILDINGS.
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It's not a coincidence that climate activist Greta Thunberg is neurodiverse. This is her strength: sensitivity to the fact that our survival depends upon our surroundings, and the inability to look away from impending doom.
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Using finite resources to create disposable objects contributes to that doom.
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This old Philadelphia factory building is in the midst of being stabilized, restored and redeveloped. The neighbors are pleased that it isn't being bulldozed.
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Because we are all tired of seeing green spaces and community gardens replaced with shoddy new construction. It's affecting our health (shoddy contractors are NOT conscientious about lead-filled dust abatement), our cost of living, and the fabric of our communities.
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Change may be inevitable, but we can be aware of which direction we're headed.
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And some of us have the courage to grab the steering wheel.
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#sensory #sensoryoverload #sensoryprocessingdisorder #sensoryintegration #sensoryprocessing #sensoryroom #neurodiversity #neurodivergent #neurodiversityrocks #Philadelphia #interiordesign #interiordecor #interior_and_living #homedesign #interiorwarrior #passionforinterior #interiorforall #homedecor #dream_interiors #architecturedesign #architecture #creativearchitecture #unlimitedcities #sustainableliving #sustainable #sustainabledesign #sustainablehome #greenlife #healthcare #healthylife
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15 0

COME VISIT THIS EVENING. FREE PLANTS, COCKTAILS AND RAINWATER COLLECTION. @closeathandinnovations popup garden, designed by Practical Sanctuary, will be popping!
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Philadelphia Horticultural Society is teaming up with @marthakensington for a #MarthaMonday happy hour, 6-8PM. Close at Hand will be pitching in to talk about RainCheck rain barrels, PHS will be giving away plants, and Martha will have some scrumptious cocktails.
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What's not to love?
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#eatlocal #fromthegarden #urbangardening #garden #gardening #lovegardening #highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #interiordesign #interiorforall #homedecor #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #healthylife #sustainable #neurodiverse #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #psychology #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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14 0

SENSITIVITY GIVES SUPERPOWERS. The thing is, they're not always balanced.
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Last night, THIS happened: two simultaneous open blooms on the cereus plant.
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Size, intricacy, scent: EXTRAORDINARY.
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For a few hours in a year.
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Superpowers can be like that. Lopsided. Specific. Unpredictable.
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Circumstantial.
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Superpowers need nurturance, patience, and support to flower. They don't always feed themselves. They need the right lighting.
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Because 'extraordinary' doesn't mean 'superhuman in all areas.' Superpowers take their energy from somewhere else. Often times that somewhere else can collapse the system.
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#sensory #sensoryoverload #sensoryprocessingdisorder #sensoryintegration #sensoryprocessing #sensoryroom #neurodiversity #neurodivergent #neurodiversityrocks #highlysensitiveperson #interiordesign #superpowers #interior_and_living #horticulture #interiorwarrior #passionforinterior #interiorforall #nightbloomingcereus #HSP #architecturedesign #architecture #creativearchitecture #productivity #sustainableliving #sustainable #sustainabledesign #sustainablehome #greenlife #extraordinary #flower
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10 0