A Blueprint for Your Castle in the Clouds: Make the Inside of Your Head Your Favorite Place to Be

Overview

Longing for a retreat? A safe haven where you can disappear from the world for awhile? A Blueprint for Your Castle in the Clouds is an inspirational guide that will help you lighten up your life by showing you how to design twenty-five mind expanding rooms to uncloud your thinking and create new opportunities in your life. Every room in your Castle in the Clouds has a special meaning and offers new insights perspectives to look at yourself in a completely new and original way.

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A Blueprint for Your Castle in the Clouds: Make the Inside of Your Head Your Favorite Place to Be

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Overview

Longing for a retreat? A safe haven where you can disappear from the world for awhile? A Blueprint for Your Castle in the Clouds is an inspirational guide that will help you lighten up your life by showing you how to design twenty-five mind expanding rooms to uncloud your thinking and create new opportunities in your life. Every room in your Castle in the Clouds has a special meaning and offers new insights perspectives to look at yourself in a completely new and original way.

This beautiful book with the author's charming four-color illustrations includes blueprints for:

  • The Mental Spa: For inner cleansing of intrusive, bothersome thoughts.
  • The Royal Suite of Evil: Where your dark side will be so comfortable you'll always know where it is (and it will stop surprising you at inopportune times).
  • A Small Chapel for Your Soul: Where you can release your ego and let go of false ideas.
  • The Hall of Tears: Where you are allowed to cry as much as you want.
  • The Library: Where you learn to trust your intuition when facing a problem or dilemma.
  • The Kitchen: Helps digest information and things that have been said to you.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573245814
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
  • Publication date: 1/1/2013
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 766,801
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Barbara Tammes has worked as an award-winning creative director for major European advertising agencies in Amsterdam, London, Milan, and Cape Town.
She lives on a farm outside Amsterdam with her family.
Visit her at barbaratammes.com.
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Read an Excerpt

A BLUEPRINT FOR YOUR CASTLE IN THE CLOUDS

make the inside of your head your favorite place to be


By Barbara Sophia Tammes

Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC

Copyright © 2012 Barbara Sophia Tammes
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-57324-581-4



CHAPTER 1

just imagine


The inside of your head should be your favorite place in the world. Make it beautiful. Decorate it with illuminating ideas, clarifying insights, and loving thoughts. Just use your imagination.

Building Castles in the Clouds is one of those things that children do much better than those of us who have been living this life a bit longer. So the sooner you start, the better. You really can learn to use your imagination again, to think funny and beautiful thoughts—just for the fun of it! You can also use your imagination to serve a higher purpose. Step out of your everyday life, with all its rules and restrictions, and dream up new possibilities. Discover what your true desires would be if there were no limitations. Then have the courage to place those desires back in the reality of this life. Try it and see how much you can accomplish. The path to new realities runs through the imagination. If you can't even imagine and visualize the kind of future you want, how could you ever hope to make it happen?

As long as your thinking remains bounded by rules, laws, and restrictions, you'll never stretch reality. But if you can manage to express your true desires in words, experience them in images, sense them in scents, and feel them as emotions, then you'll be able to change paradigms and create a new reality. Call it a wish-fulfilling prophecy. It's similar to a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you're sure something isn't going to work, then you're probably right, and the opposite is equally true. By focusing on your desires rather than your fears, you improve your chances of steering reality in the right direction, and you set yourself up for success. Later in life, when you're supposed to be grown up, fantasies are considered a waste of time. Instead, everyone talks about how focus is what we need. The funny thing about focus, though, is that it's really nothing more than a stubborn, persistent fantasy. Focus is a fantasy that grips you by the throat and won't let go, no matter how hard you squirm.

The more you use your imagination, the better the odds that your fantasies will take root and turn into focus. And don't forget that having an idea is still the best motivation to get out of bed in the morning.

You picture yourself in the near future with hair blowing in the wind galloping a big jet-black stallion through beautiful valleys while you are actually going around in ever-repeating lame circles on an old horse called Muffin trying to grasp the basics of riding.

You picture yourself this evening at a beautifully set table surrounded by all your friends with radiant smiles on their faces, while at this very moment you're lugging your groceries and then trying to keep yourself from grabbing hold of the cashier to drag her over the conveyer belt because she is tossing everything into an egg-crushing heap past the cash register.

So give your imagination plenty of space. The older you get, the more you may tend to believe in the laws and rules and boundaries that people have made for one another. You may start to think that your boss can tell you how much you're worth by deciding whether or not to give you a raise. Or that love is measured by how much praise you're getting—or think you're getting. Or that being invited to that trendy party means you must be pretty fashionable yourself. Before you know it, you've given other people control over your reality.

This is why building your Castle in the Clouds helps you take control and be who you dream of being. You can now begin putting your energy not into fighting reality but instead into looking at it from a new perspective. The perspective from miles above, in the safest, most wonderful wish-fulfilled place you can imagine, is where you're free to be your highest self. View the perspective from your very own Castle in the Clouds; then look back down at your old reality. You see, sometimes you have to believe it before you can see it.

This handbook sparks your imagination with a catalogue of everything you might want inside your castle. It explains how to start building and what questions can reveal your true desires. It encourages you to make choices by giving you plenty of options. Think of it as the Sears reflex: if there's a page of vacuum cleaners in front of you, you automatically start to pick one out, even if you don't need one and hate vacuuming. When you have choices, it's only natural to choose.

This handbook helps raise your imagination to a new plane by providing design suggestions for a variety of mind-expanding rooms. Think about how different you feel the moment you walk into a church or a museum. Rooms can shape your mood.

So go ahead and indulge your boundless, endless, materialistic cravings: take, want, desire more. Give yourself everything you deserve, everything you've lacked, and more. Towers, ballrooms, waterfalls, private white sand beaches, and more. You don't have to worry about debts or about buying the wrong thing. You don't have to feel guilty, because this time you can only grow richer.

CHAPTER 2

tools


To start building, you have to create space in your head, be open to fantasizing, mentally stretch to erect an elaborate Castle in the Clouds. Time seems to be essential for creating space, but the intensity of your thoughts is far more vital. To give your full attention to your Castle in the Clouds, it is important to be relaxed. And don't make too much fuss out of being relaxed: if it doesn't seem to work, just pretend. Don't force yourself, fool yourself into relaxation.


relax

A walk in nature is relaxing. An endless massage is extremely relaxing. That is pretty obvious; I mean, if you have the time, everything can be relaxing, even frying an egg. But let's assume, just for the fun of it, that you don't have the extra time.

Relaxing can become difficult, especially when you are stressed. To tell someone to relax is just as ridiculous as advising someone who's afraid of dogs not to be afraid—or to make matters worse and tell them dogs can sense their fear. Must relax = stress = the opposite of relaxation. So don't. Just forget it.

Just pretend that you are completely relaxed. Visualize yourself in a complete state of serenity. Just imagine that you are. Start with your body, and the rest will follow. It's true! Eventually your head will buy into it.

Don't force yourself, just fool yourself. The physical signs of a relaxed body are calm breathing, soft muscles, and a controlled reaction.


breath

Start with your breath. It is very calm when you are relaxed. Pretend to have a calm breath. A calm breath is slower: slow inhalations and even slower exhalations. Start by pretending that you are exhaling very, very slowly. Your breathing not only quiets, it feels easier too. If you were relaxed, your breath would be low, from the belly. Pretend to breathe from the belly by expanding it on every inhalation and pulling it back in on every exhalation. Sit up straight as if there's a string attached to the crown of your head that's pulling you up.

Drop your shoulders down and give more space to your rib cage. Think slow inhalation and just a bit slower exhalation—and in between a moment of total nothingness.


muscles

Pretend as if your eyes are softening. If you were truly relaxed, your mouth and jaw would feel loose. Pretend by opening your mouth a tiny bit, letting your lips just be. Tickle the roof of your mouth with your tongue; it might make you yawn. Press your tongue lightly against the roof of your mouth so you can be sure you can't clench your jaws together.

Drop those shoulders, you don't need ear warmers. Imagine your hands feeling warm and soft. Everything hangs loose.

Try to imagine how every molecule in your body is carrying itself. Every molecule is in its own place and is strong enough to carry its own weight. It is exactly where it is meant to be. Not one single molecule leans on, pushes, or pulls another.


reaction

Forbid your body to react mindlessly. You haven't ceded control over your surroundings or whatever is happening or could happen, but from now on you're just pretending not to pass any impulsive signals on to your body. Oops, sorry, you just forgot.

So when your two kids in the backseat are trying to get at each other, you can hear it, you can see it in the rearview mirror, you could say something if you want, but you're just going to pretend that it is not registering in your body. No red spots in the neck, no short, high breaths, no urge to turn around to whack wildly in their direction. Just concentrate on your body. You're observing the reactions and guiding them from there. Slowly inhale, exhale just a little slower. So if a colleague at work takes credit for your efforts and tries to put you in a bad light (pretty clever by the way), you know this is unjust and will do whatever is within your power to get your own back, but your body does not participate; it does not get riled up, it continues to observe. Your head may go nuts, but you just pretend that your body hasn't noticed. You don't let it affect your breathing, and you don't move a muscle. Continue to breathe slowly, to open your mouth by pushing your tongue against the roof, to lower your shoulders. This will automatically create an emotional distance that will give you a wider perspective.

Guiding your reactions is usually the hardest part. It is advisable for starting DIYs to pick a quiet place and time. Once the foundation of your inner castle is solid, you will be able to visit even for a brief five minutes while the world around you continues at the same breakneck speed. Just take a moment in your (still to be imagined) golden primal spring bath.

If you don't succeed in relaxing, don't get stressed about it. Keep those shoulders cramped against your ears, let your eyes jump out of their sockets because you have to keep an eye on everything. Instead, just express your desire. So don't say: "It's not working, it's not working, I'm still stressed," but express in a heartfelt way (which doesn't have to be out loud, it can be somewhere in your head), "Oh how I would love to be relaxed." Sigh. Start again.

CHAPTER 3

the key

Here you go. This is the key to your Castle in the Clouds Please sign to show you've received it and that you agree to the terms To be really good at fantasizing, you need to let go of rational constraints You can do that by signing here.

Yes, I give myself permission to fantasize without a goal—uselessly, carelessly, without compromise, and endlessly childishly—about things that could have been, about things that will never happen but feel pretty and pleasant, about things the way I want them to be. Yes, I give myself permission to make the inside of my head my favorite place to be.

CHAPTER 4

pre-fab castles in the clouds


To start you off, here are three prefab turnkey Castles in the Clouds for you. You can stay in one of these while you are building your own Castle in the Clouds. Once your own castle is done, you could still use these as a holiday home—just because it can be nice that somebody else has imagined everything for you. Feel free to make any personal adjustments you like.


1. beach house

The beach house is a solitary house on a private piece of shoreline in a secluded bay. It is made from driftwood.

In front of the house is a table with an assortment of chairs found washed ashore at the beach. Next to this are bricks built up in the shape of a horseshoe where you can build a fire or barbecue. The front of the house has a porch, and every pillar is the trunk of a different tree. You made wind chimes out of shells, and they are hanging from what's left of the branches of those trees. On the left side of the porch is a faded orange hammock.

In the middle is the door frame with a fly curtain made from shells and little pieces of driftwood. Once inside there are two wicker chairs on the left. A Spanish guitar leans against the wall. There's a large wooden bowl on the table filled with perfectly sun-ripened fruits bursting with juice A small counter is built against the far wall. A refrigerator underneath is filled with transparent bottles with the finest pure springwater. On the right is an enormous bed made up in fresh, white linen sheets, large pillows, and a spacious mosquito net. Next to the bed is a little lamp made from an ostrich egg with pinholes in it. When the light is on, it creates little stars on the wall. Behind the bed, in the right-hand wall there is a large window with wooden shutters. In the corner is a large open shower with beautiful Moroccan tiles.

It is lovely and cool inside, with a sensual breeze moving through The wooden floor feels soft and warm and is worn smooth by all the bare feet walking through. It smells of sea, wind, salt, sun, and freshly burnt wood from outside.

When you walk in, your body feels supple, strong, and healthy. Your warm bare feet feel free and pretty. Because there's no need here for tightly fitting shoes, your toes are slightly parted, and your nails are naturally white (or a prettily colored polish).You feel sensual and relaxed, attractive, sexy, full of life, slow (due to sea air) but not sluggish. You are grounded on both legs with your feet deep in the warm sand. This gives you a feeling of trust and internal safety Your skin seems to be your most important organ. You can feel the warmth of the sun, the wind that moves the little hairs on your arms, the softness of a T-shirt you wear at the end of the day, the sand between your toes.

Your body is in a state of complete relaxation, but strong. Your muscles feel powerful yet supple. You feel beautiful; your hair is glossy and your eyes are shiny.

Imagine standing underneath the shower while the fresh water beats down on you with a strong but pleasant force. You are eating a large nectarine. You bite into the skin—it's hard enough to offer a bit of resistance—and the juice runs over your chin but is instantly washed away by the running shower.

You moisturize your body from head to toe with a luscious, silky cream Try to imagine how you rub it into every little part of your body Try to get a good idea of how a healthy body feels. Feel the fluid power in your muscles. Feel the lightness of every molecule in your body that carries it's own weight, doesn't push against any others, and has its own unique place.

Think of who you would like to be with you. Fantasize about the things you could be doing.


2. tea pavilion

The pavilion is a well-preserved octagonal Victorian building, with windows all around. It was built in 1900. It's part of a large estate, with a mansion, a carriage house, and a boathouse. You can't see the other buildings through the trees, but sometimes, when the wind blows from a certain direction, you can hear the sound of people's laughter in the distance. These people could be your family, friends, friendly acquaintances, or friendly unknowns who have the potential to become your family or friends. Someday.

The pavilion is on an open sunny spot on a lightly slanting lawn. It smells of freshly cut grass, oxygen, spring air, and a subtle hint of roses.

You are walking on a path of smooth white pebbles, so big that they feel comfortable underneath bare feet The path winds through the green grass and ends at the entrance to the pavilion.

The front of the Tea Pavilion has a small porch with four steps leading up to it. The wooden handrail feels smooth because of the well-maintained paintwork

The wooden steps are a bit worn in the middle, so pay attention when you walk up the steps. The wooden doors with little panes of glass open easily, and you find yourself in a large stately room with light entering from all sides. The floor is a brightly polished oak. You can hear the sound of the birds, a soft breeze, and a solo cello playing beautiful classical music.

In the back of the room, farthest from the entrance, is a daybed. An old cast-iron bed with a thick, blue-and-white-striped mattress. On top of it, neatly folded, is a quilt that has been in your family for centuries but smells as if it just came out of the laundry. Left of the bed is a spacious, natural leather armchair, softened and deepened in color by time. Its back turned toward the room, it faces the window and the view. Next to it is a little bookcase with at least three books. Which books would you have here? On top of it is a decanter with the purest springwater and four stemmed crystal glasses.

On the right side of the bed is a little desk with a Montblanc fountain pen, ink, and a stack of twenty-four sheets of paper embossed with your initials.

In the front of the room, closest to the entrance, is a large round table with a huge bouquet of flowers like the ones you see in nineteenth-century paintings.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from A BLUEPRINT FOR YOUR CASTLE IN THE CLOUDS by Barbara Sophia Tammes. Copyright © 2012 Barbara Sophia Tammes. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction....................     11     

Just Imagine....................     12     

Tools....................     14     

The Key....................     16     

Prefab Castles in the Clouds....................     18     

Beach House....................     19     

Tea Pavilion....................     21     

Tree Hut....................     25     

True Interior Design....................     29     

Following Your Nose....................     30     

The Salon....................     32     

The Kitchen....................     36     

The Hall of Tears....................     42     

The Mental Spa....................     50     

The Head Office....................     60     

The Hall of Happiness....................     74     

The Suite of Shame....................     76     

The Playroom....................     82     

A Small Chapel for Your Soul....................     88     

The Inner Courtyard....................     98     

The Art Studio....................     102     

The Gallery....................     105     

The Ballroom....................     108     

Your Garden of Wishes....................     114     

The Library....................     122     

The Cloakroom....................     126     

The Royal Suite of Evil....................     132     

Cinema della Memoria....................     136     

The Royal Stables....................     142     

The Heart Chamber....................     148     

The Tower Room....................     152     

The Treasure Chamber....................     154     


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