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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

FEWER. MELTDOWNS.
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That's the reason for sensory design.
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NOBODY'S personality, character, or temperament is fixed. We are all a function of our circumstances, to some degree.
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When our surroundings contain a high number of irritants, it increases our *cognitive load.* Eventually, our brain reaches saturation point.
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When that happens, We. Melt. Down.
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In a child, this looks like a tantrum. It's not a wilful choice. It's a natural response to overload.
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In an adult, this can look like a rapid personality change-- from kind to snappish, from attentive to checked out, from enthusiastic to drained. Overload kills our productivity, strains our relationships, and damages our health.
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Knowing your sensory triggers isn't weak or 'self-indulgent.' It's good management. .
You do it for your child. Why not do it for you?
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. #highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #triggers #meltdowns #Philadelphia #liveauthentic #psychology #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #homedecor #homedesign #neurodiverse #interior4all #interior_and_living #healthylife #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #healthcare #autism #productivity #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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20 1

I GOT PERMISSION to photograph this house, of a new acquaintance in Belfast, though for some reason she thought it was 'messy.' Hello? I don't see any mess.
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What I do see is a really cool use of an old window as a display shelf, a really cool vaulted former-barn ceiling, and cozy, eclectic design which feels personal because it IS personal.
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As opposed to some of the houses we saw on tour, with tchotchkes obviously reverse-engineered by a designer for situational flair.
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I saw a house in the new Architectural Digest this month which made my skin hurt. It's by some 'starchitect,' with walls of cast concrete at acute/oblique angles. Staying there would feel like squatting in a design museum.
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High sensitivity is simply about being acutely human. Humans are creatures who need to be physically safe and physically comfortable.
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It would be nice if that were the baseline.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #amazingarchitecture #foodlover #liveauthentic #onthetable #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #homedecor #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #healthylife #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #psychology #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly
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7 3

IT WAS ONE OF THOSE TOURS where you pay to visit rich people's kitchens, on the Maine coast.
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I was all, yes! Research!
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Only no photos.
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Which is too bad, because I have SO MUCH TO SAY.
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Lots of it about the questionable ethics of building giant houses on the coast of Maine that sit empty, ten months of the year, because ain't nobody heating one of those things during a Maine winter.
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See, when I heard "kitchen tour," my imagination jumped to those renovations of old Maine farmhouses, done as labors of love by dedicated cooks, who grow their own herbs and slaughter their own chickens. My people.
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Not new construction of indecent square footage, painted in cool Benjamin Moore colors, done by a decorator for a family that doesn't live here.
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So. Anyway. This is the legally-photographed OUTSIDE of an old church which has been cleverly twice-renovated into a private home, with a huge-ass kitchen and entertainment deck built onto the side of it.
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The inside is neat. I wish you could see it.
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#greenlifestyle #highlysensitiveperson #HSP #wellnessjourney #environmentalactivism #socialjustice #househunters #buyingahome #realestate #homebuying #homedesign #interiorandhome #interiordesign #passionforinterior #myhomevibe #interiorwarrior #dream_interiors #homeinspiration #sustainable #bethechange #ecowarrior #acoustics #neurodiversity #adhd #autism #sensory #sensitivity #spectrum #sustainability #green
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7 3

CEREUS ALERT: We interrupt our regularly scheduled musings to report that there are THREE viable buds on the night-blooming cereus.
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This ungainly plant has been a low-level obsession of mine since I grew it from a cutting, obtained from a Brooklyn acquaintance in 2005. It first bloomed in 2008.
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The next blossom did not arrive until 2015, after two catastrophic upheavals and one divorce, with a lightless period (both literal and metaphorical) in between. The current set of plants are a couple of generations removed from the original, and continually battle one another and their surroundings for resources.
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People who live in places like Peru and Arizona post photos of their cereus plants on decks in hanging baskets, taking up as much cubic footage as what passes for one whole 'bedroom,' in Philadelphia real estate listings.
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So far, my scheme to create a greenhouse on my Philadelphia postage-stamp patio, solely for housing my cereus, has not come to fruition.
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But, when I jam it into a large western-facing windowsill, it blooms at roughly annual intervals.
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As its name indicates, the night-blooming cereus opens after sunset. The spectacular flowers exist, in their headily perfumed perfection, for less than eight hours. By dawn, they're gone.
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The other 99.9% of the time, the plant is--well, just look. It's not exactly decorative.
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But I love it 100% of the time.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #Philadelphia #weirdplant #horticulture #nightblooming #cereus #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #homedecor #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #healthylife #sustainable #neurodiverse #flowers #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #psychology #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly via @preview.app
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22 0

THIS WEEK I DID SOMETHING HARD. I asked for help. Help for a problem that made me feel ashamed and terrified.
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A miracle occurred.
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I got WAY more help than I asked for, in more areas than I thought possible.
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Shame and isolation keep us stuck.
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Connection moves mountains.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #amazingarchitecture #Philadelphia #liveauthentic #vulnerability #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #homedecor #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #healthylife #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #psychology #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly via @preview.app
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18 4

A MINI INTERVENTION with Practical Sanctuary is like having an artist, a personal organizer, a designer, a psychologist and a neuroscientist make over your life. In one afternoon.
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Here's what it's like.
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We get together in the place you want to transform. You tell me all your stories.
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The stories of the things that aren't working, and the things that are. The relationships. The frustrations. The problems you don't have time, or space, or money to solve. The problems that can't be solved, full stop.
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We break them down. At your own pace, we tackle them one by one. What's organizational, and what's structural? What's physical, and what's emotional? Where are the blocks? Where are the blind spots? What can we shift, right now? What are your dreams? What's possible?
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Once we understand your needs, we take action. We make immediate changes, and a plan for the longer term.
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By the end of our first visit, you have a comprehensive action plan that is tailored to your needs, resources and budget. Your space has been transformed, and your mind as well.
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Sign up at link.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #amazingarchitecture #foodlover #liveauthentic #onthetable #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #homedecor #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #healthylife #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #psychology #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly via @preview.app
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8 0

WHEN YOU'RE A KID, YOU'RE JUST YOU. You might play a role for fun--doctor, artist, parent, chef--but you aren't defined by it. Your role is your costume.
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Then, #adulting happens. And you're forced to pick a role and stick with it. Because ain't nobody got time for artist-doctor-parent-chef.
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But YOU'RE STILL YOU. And you contain multitudes.
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When you work with me, we bring ALL of you into the room. We give your whole self a place to play..
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AND, just as importantly, we don't try to make you into someone you're not.
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When you book a Mini Intervention, you bring the combined skills of an artist, an organizer, a psychologist, and a neuroscientist into your space. With all of those perspectives, transformation can be fast and profound.
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And as full of joy as finding a field full of fireflies.
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#sensory #sensoryoverload #sensoryprocessingdisorder #sensoryintegration #sensoryprocessing #sensoryroom #neurodiversity #neurodivergent #neurodiversityrocks #Philadelphia #interiordesign #interiordecor #interior_and_living #homedesign #interiorwarrior #passionforinterior #interiorforall #dream_interiors #architecturedesign #architecture #creativearchitecture #unlimitedcities #sustainableliving #sustainable #sustainabledesign #sustainablehome #greenlife #healthcare #healthylife via @preview.app
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9 0

πŸŒΉπŸŒΉπŸ’πŸŒΊ HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!πŸŒΈπŸ’πŸ΅πŸŒΉπŸŒΊ .
And someday my home will look like this!
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Seriously, if everyone's home looked like this, that would be unsustainable. So, we create beauty where we can, where we are.
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I've designed a place like that--here and now. It's launching tonight, Friday, September 6, 4-7PM. It's a pop-up garden for @closeathandinnovations, 2418 Martha St., between Martha Bar and Philadelphia Brewing Co.
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Come on out and enjoy the Right Now, without waiting for Someday.
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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 via @preview.app
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25 1

FIDDLEHEAD SCROLLS=moment of maximum potential.
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That tight curl is just at the point of bursting forth into a giant frond, which will take in exponentially more light and air, while creating shade and oxygen.
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I'm kind of a fanatic about scrolls. They're my shape. If there isn't a nautilus spiral in a design, it doesn't interest me.
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You find spirals everywhere in nature, because they are the physical manifestation of mathematical laws that govern the structure of the universe, from atoms to galaxies. When you design with them, you're resonating with patterns of non-linear growth. .
Starting small, and bursting forth at the pivotal moment.
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Practical Sanctuary is launching a popup garden for @closeathandinnovations this Friday, September 6, 4-7PM. 2418 Martha St., between Martha Bar and Philadelphia Brewing. .
Come visit, and let's talk about physics.
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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 via @preview.app
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10 0

GREAT DESIGN=TENSION+HARMONY. .
What enthralls me about Chanticleer are all the moments of tension, as the way the vertical retaining walls of this stream cut a sharp line through the lawn. The color and refractive index of the water make a strong contrast with the grass, so the whole effect is as though someone drew on the ground with a calligraphy pen. .
So many designs make the mistake of sameness--so much harmony that it merges into a featureless mush. It's especially easy to do this in a garden, because the patterns of nature are soft and subtle, rather than hard and clear. Plus, you know--it's all green. 😜
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When Practical Sanctuary designed a popup garden for @closeathandinnovations, we used these same properties of tension and harmony to define lines in a small urban space. Come to our launch, this Friday, September 6, 4-7PM, 2418 Martha (between Martha Bar @marthakensington and Philadelphia Brewing Co @philadelphiabrewing.)
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And it's my birthday, too.
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. #sensory #sensoryoverload #sensoryprocessingdisorder #sensoryintegration #sensoryprocessing #sensoryroom #neurodiversity #neurodivergent #neurodiversityrocks #sensoryscorecard #interiordesign #interiordecor #interior_and_living #homedesign #interiorwarrior #passionforinterior #interiorforall #homedecor #dream_interiors #architecturedesign #architecture #creativearchitecture #unlimitedcities #sustainableliving #sustainable #sustainabledesign #sustainablehome #greenlife #healthcare #healthylife via @preview.app
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14 1

We aren't separate from nature. As rainforests burn, so do our lungs. .
Connecting with nature in every moment allows us to heal our minds, and through this, our planet.
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Take a moment to care for a plant. Then let the plant care for you.
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Practical Sanctuary designed a popup garden for @closeathand.innovations this week. Launch: Friday September 6, 4-7PM, 2418 Martha (between Martha Bar @marthakensington and Philadelphia Brewing Co. @philadelphiabrewing)
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#sensory #sensoryoverload #sensoryprocessingdisorder #sensoryintegration #sensoryprocessing #amazon #neurodiversity #neurodivergent #neurodiversityrocks #sensoryscorecard #interiordesign #urbangardening #interior_and_living #rainforest #interiorwarrior #waterlily #interiorforall #homedecor #dream_interiors #architecturedesign #gardening #creativearchitecture #unlimitedcities #sustainableliving #sustainable #sustainabledesign #sustainablehome #greenlife #healthcare #healthylife via @preview.app
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15 1

ABOUT A YEAR AGO, I discovered Chanticleer. I had a similar reaction at Burning Man. "Wow. Somebody MANIFESTED that."
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Gardening done right is art of the deepest caliber. It's immersive, quirky, joyous, extravagant, baroque.
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The right garden can bring your soul into focus.
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I snapped so many photos at Chanticleer that I didn't know what to do with them. Neither one nor all could convey the experience--it was like walking through the mind of a wise and witty demigod, with infinite knowledge and no grudges.
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But now I'm working with an urban gardenscaper, @closeathandinnovations. And we are creating a popup garden around the corner. Soft opening tonight, 2418 Martha (next to Martha Bar, @marthakensington), 7PM.
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Come by and we'll talk.
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#sensory #sensoryoverload #sensoryprocessingdisorder #sensoryintegration #sensoryprocessing #sensoryroom #neurodiversity #neurodivergent #neurodiversityrocks #sensoryscorecard #interiordesign #interiordecor #interior_and_living #homedesign #interiorwarrior #passionforinterior #interiorforall #homedecor #dream_interiors #architecturedesign #architecture #creativearchitecture #unlimitedcities #sustainableliving #sustainable #sustainabledesign #sustainablehome #greenlife #healthcare #healthylife via @preview.app
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12 0

HEARTBREAKING. This hanging planter, frying to death in a steel, stucco and concrete desert, is more of a nature talisman than the actual thing.
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"Once upon a time, my darling, there were such things as 'forests'..,
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We are creatures OF nature. When nature is all but absent from our homes, we shrivel up like dying cacti.
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Come out to 2418 Martha for pop-up urban garden happy hour on Sept 6, 4-7PM. And help us green the city.
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#greenlifestyle #healthmatters #naturalhealth #wellnessjourney #holistichealth #healthyhappylife #househunters #buyingahome #realestate #homebuying #homedesign #interiorandhome #interiordesign #urbangardening #myhomevibe #interiorwarrior #dream_interiors #homeinspiration #creativehappylife #creativepreneur #wearethecreativeeconomy #acoustics #neurodiversity #adhd #autism #sensory #sensitivity #spectrum #sustainability #green via @preview.app
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10 0

URBAN GARDENING: We must do better.
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This pathetic object sits before one of a Camazotz-like development of new Kensington townhouses,
each with its immovable concrete planter out front.
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Whoever designed these planters did not, apparently, include drainage holes. So the planters kill everything that's planted in them, except mold and mosquitoes.
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It doesn't have to be like this.
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Practical Sanctuary is currently elbow-deep in designing a popup urban garden shop for @closeathand.innovations, event to take place 4-7 PM Friday, September 6 (MY BIRTHDAY) through Monday, September 9 (Martha Monday Happy Hour.)
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There will be a perennial-planting demo, a rain barrel demo, planters, plants, garden furniture, and urban gardening experts on hand.
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We will be sharing more about this!
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#greenlifestyle #Philadelphia #naturalhealth #sustainablebusiness #holistichealth #Kensington #househunters #buyingahome #realestate #homebuying #homedesign #interiorandhome #interiordesign #passionforinterior #flowers #interiorwarrior #planters #gardening #urbangardening #creativepreneur #wearethecreativeeconomy #development #neurodiversity #adhd #autism #sensory #sensitivity #spectrum #sustainability #green via @preview.app
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12 0

DEEP SUMMER. It's time to just be.
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I had a dream that I handed a left-wing blogger access to my website, and she went way overboard, posting every half hour--videos of the inside of her office, all fluorescent bulbs and gray industrial carpet.
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Then she billed me for 30 hours of labor, when I was pretty sure I hadn't hired her in the first place.
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I'm driven by values, and the basis of values is love. Not self-righteousness, self-aggrandizement, or self-martyrdom.
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Love and beauty seem, to me, to be closely aligned. There's a reason that violence, exclusion, oppression, bigotry are termed 'ugly.' And that acts of generosity, redemption and kindness are 'beautiful.'
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Creating beauty is an act of love.
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And so is letting it in.
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#sensory #sensoryoverload #sensoryprocessingdisorder #sensoryintegration #sensoryprocessing #highlysensitiveperson #neurodiversity #neurodivergent #neurodiversityrocks #hsp #interiordesign #interiordecor #interior_and_living #homedesign #interiorwarrior #empath #interiorforall #homedecor #socialjustice #architecturedesign #architecture #creativearchitecture #unlimitedcities #sustainableliving #sustainable #sustainabledesign #sustainablehome #greenlife #healthcare #healthylife via @preview.app
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12 0

CAN YOU TELL HOW BAD THE ACOUSTICS ARE just by looking at this picture?
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Le Pain Quotidien has a special, reservable conference area, just opposite the counter as you walk in. It looks great. Smooth farmhouse table, high ceilings, natural light, pale earth tones.
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The din is earsplitting. After an hour of 'speed networking,' the sensitive people in the group--at least half of us--were done for the day.
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It's draining to filter out ambient chaos while trying to focus on what the person next to you is saying. Any place that is designed FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMMUNICATING should take this into account.
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How would we fix it?
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Add sound buffering: textiles, acoustic panels, cushions, rugs. Irregular surfaces, such as pressed tin ceiling panels, diffuse noise. High-tech sound mitigation includes white and pink noise generators, strategically placed and tuned to cancel out ambient sound.
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Any problem can be solved--as long as you decide it's worth solving.
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#sensoryscorecard: 4 out of 10.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #amazingarchitecture #liveauthentic #bosslady #interiordesign #interiorforall #dream_interiors #homedecor #homedesign #homeinspiration #interior4all #interior_and_living #healthylife #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #psychology #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly via @preview.app
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18 0

INDIVIDUALISM=TOXIC MYTH. Nobody ever achieved anything without a whole lot of help--direct, indirect, historical, and systemic.
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Thus when anyone waves the flag of 'individual responsibility' when disavowing the need to help and support others, it's usually because those are the others they are standing on.
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The opposite of individualism is inclusion. When a space is inclusive, it's *physically, functionally and socially accessible* to everyone.
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Sensory design focuses on *functional accessibility.* Because when a person's nervous system is wired so that they cannot filter ambient noise in order to track a conversation, *they can't function* in a chaotic space.
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And that deprives us all of the synergy that comes with connection.
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#highlysensitiveperson #sensitive #HSP #highlysensitive #sensory #design #creativearchitecture #amazingarchitecture #sjw #feminism #socialjustice #interiordesign #interiorforall #mythofindividualism #ADA #homedesign #accessibility #interior4all #interior_and_living #healthylife #sustainable #neurodiverse #bethechange #mindfulness #healthcare #alternativehealth #psychology #urbandesign #greenliving #ecofriendly via @preview.app
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15 0

SPACE, POWER, AND STRESS: A mini-rant on neurological inequality.
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This is the Hart Senate Office Building. You have to go through security to get in. A guard checks your ID--are you a citizen? What are you here for? Your belongings are X-rayed.
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Then you enter this atrium.
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Note the lack of chaos: no crowds, no blaring noises, no flickering lights or terrible smells. Natural light streams through high windows, blocking views of the street.
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It looks a bit like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
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This is where wealthy, secure, well-connected humans make decisions affecting the lives of people who are none of those things.
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Those secure people in a peaceful environment get to decide whether or not to extend a hand to the desperate, the impoverished, the sick and the dying. They make judgments about how those desperate people ought to behave--where they can go, what they do with their bodies, whether they are treated with minimum human decency.
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The distance between the judges and judged is stratospheric.
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Research indicates that gross inequality erodes empathy in those with the greatest leverage. People with too much money and power cease to see those with none as human.
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Fear, poverty, pain, and the attendant sensory chaos create an enormous *cognitive load* in the human brain. So much bandwidth is consumed by sheer survival that there is little left over for creative responses to crises, and long-term planning. It makes little sense to plan when you don't know if you'll live till tomorrow.
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People who live and work in safe, beautiful gardens need to understand that. And do something to balance the scales.
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Or these towers shall not stand.
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#power #socialjustice #sjw #neuroscience #feminism #senate #fucktrump #hsp #empathy #neurodiverse #abortionrights #healthcareforall #medicareforall #closetheconcentrationcamps #sheiswithus #highlysensitiveperson #inequality #wealth #architecturedesign #architecture #creativearchitecture #unlimitedcities #sustainableliving #sustainable #sustainabledesign #sustainablehome #greenlife #healthcare #healthylife #ipreview via @preview.app
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15 1