I have a paragraph of text to share with you today that just may change your outlook. But first, hello my friend, thank you for visiting me today on my blog. I found these words online, from American author Mari Andrew, and they instantly resonated with me but even more… I felt like I could finally begin to transform my emotional state of sadness and re-frame the helplessness that I feel lately over Russia’s unjustified and brutal war with the Ukraine. I find myself also feeling guilt when I have a happy moment, or enjoy a hot meal with my family, even something like taking a warm bath gives me a feeling of guilt and discomfort when I know so many are suffering and haven’t bathed in days or maybe a week or more. I have felt guilty talking about decor, beauty, art, design and the many topics that I love to share on decor8 because, well, how strange it feels to post a home tour or a how-to project when others have to flee their homes, and still others won’t have a home to come back to one day. I assume many of you feel similarly, which is why I’ve decided to show up and provide some comfort, tell you that I relate and understand, and to hopefully show you how to re-frame the current situation which will enable you to carry on with your daily life with a measure of joy – guilt-free.

Here are the words that helped me so much today…

I want to briefly explain a little about why I feel affected personally… I’m American but for over 12 years, I’ve lived in Hannover, Germany which means that if I get into my car and drive directly east, I’m in Poland in 4 hours or less. That’s like driving from Boston to (almost) New York City. Not that far. And if I keep driving, I’m in the Ukraine, just on the other side of Poland. I’m no longer feeling as protected as maybe I would be if I still lived in Boston. I’m in Europe and share the same fears as many Europeans do now. I’m sure my American friends are stressed and uncertain too, as are people living all over the world, from South American to Japan, but this is very close to me as a expat in Germany so naturally, I don’t feel so safe or secure in this moment of history.

What’s happening is horrible, it needs to stop. At this point, so much damage has been done that even ending the war won’t stop the pain overnight because 1.7 million refugees now have to face to pick up the pieces of their life and find their way back home (?) and those still left in the Ukraine will need to rebuild their country. It’s all a mess. It will be for years.

I think a lot – what can the rest of us do? In addition to donating money, supporting artists, etc. the key thing that I believe is needed is for us all to show support yet also to continue on in our business, our daily life, our work, to be there for our family, to not allow a selfish dictator to kill us all – our hope, our daily joy, the beauty we enjoy, our strength, our courage. What good are we if we’re all collectively depressed, broke, and emotionally drained?

We must stay STRONG and be a light in which people in need can turn to for HOPE and STRENGTH. This is not the time to play a role of VICTIM. We must fight – maybe not with guns but with strong minds and hearts, hopeful, and always battling a negative mindset. We simply must push forward and do so fearlessly, with faith, hope and courage.

“This too shall pass” because one day, maybe sooner (or later), we will wake up to news that the war has ended but until we do, we must calm our minds and hearts, push away “what if” scenarios, and mentally (and emotionally, spiritually and physically) stay fit. We can’t scroll on our phone all day and neglect those in our family because of this war. We can’t neglect our business, or stop posting and sharing our work because of this. How can we help others if we don’t first put the oxygen mask on our own face?

It’s okay to wash your face and live your life, and even to enjoy happy moments, play with your children, cook a good meal, stay positive… Because those who cannot rely on the strength of those who can, remember that. Nothing good can result if we are all in fear, paralyzed, negative – then the enemy has won.

Here is a little mood board of peaceful images for you… Stay calm, relax…

Photo: Annie Spratt

Photo: Priscilla Du Preez

Photo: Cloris Ying

Photo: freestocks

Photo: Kien Do

Photo: Daniel Mingook Kim

It’s okay to wash your face and live your life, and even to enjoy happy moments, play with your children, cook a good meal, stay positive… Because those who cannot rely on the strength of those who can, remember that.

Wishing your love and peace today, and every day.




Listen to my latest episode of Voice Letters…

decor8 · 08: Helpful Ways To Handle Stress