Editor’s note: This post is part of the “MyMiBoSo Meets” interview series where I introduce you to remarkable individuals who have touched me with their ability to create balance with their Mind, Body, and Soul.
Our guest this week is Frank Astran, a dear friend who just happens to be a ridiculously talented designer, designing not only beautiful interiors but also a balanced life. He is the man who has pulled together all of his creative energy to make our house a home, whether that meant searching high and low on Craig’s List for affordable mid-century furniture to actually sewing the pillows himself in order to get them just right. Every time I’m in his presence I smile, and he inspires me to always tap into my own creative energies in all that I do.
I believe his work and words will spark something in you as well, so drop a line in the comments and join in on the conversation!
1. As you know MyMiBoSo stands for My Mind, Body, and Soul, and bringing awareness to this balance is key in my own life and in my clients’ lives.
When working with my holistic life coaching clients, one of the tools I use to re-align the mind is the practice of gratitude. What three things are you grateful for that are present in your life right now?
First, I would have to say my sense of humor. No matter how much much money I have or how bad I feel, as long as I can laugh I know it will all be ok.
Second, without a doubt I’m grateful for my partner of 7 years. I know I drive him crazy and at times he drives me crazy, but at the end of the day there is love there. An undeniable great love that makes me smile day in and day out.
Last, but certainly not least, my friends (who have become my family) and of course my real family that is stuck with me whether they like it or not.
2. SUCH an important point – we tend to take life so seriously, and a sense of humor can be SO KEY in keeping the mind in balance!
I have found that creating balance in the body looks different to everyone from choosing to move the body more and eat clean foods to simply paying attention to what activities infuse energy versus drain energy. How do you consciously bring balance to your physical body on a regular basis?
For the past year and a half I have started juicing and I’ve never felt better physically. I remember hating vegetables not too long ago and now I can’t get enough of them.
When you start to get older you realize that this is the one body you get and you better start taking care of it. I remember a roommate of mine told me once that she read somewhere that you have to think of your face as a fine piece of silk. I have never forgotten that piece of advice.
3. Your roommate sounds wise beyond her years – as do you! Honoring our body as “the only one we’re getting” is such a great way to remind ourselves to take good care of it now so it can do its job!
Last but never least, listening to the soul and making sure it’s “healthy” is expressed in so many different ways. One of the things that inspires me the most about you is your ability to weave creativity into all that you do – especially your work in design. What is your definition of a healthy soul, how do you achieve that in your own life, and do you feel your creative expression feeds into that?
A healthy soul to me is one that is not neglected.
Not too long ago I worked in an area where I made more money, worked crazy hours, and would come home at the end of the day unfulfilled. That was when I remembered…I’m an artist and artists need to be inspired, not only by our surroundings, which is what I love about doing interior design work, but by your life and what you do.
I make fun of it, but it’s so true that you have to enrich your “artsy fartsy” side… go to a museum, see a show, dance, see a foreign flick. So much of what I do requires me to think differently and to see differently. Doing all those things inspires me and feeds my soul, which I think makes me a better artist. I feel like the key is to find out what inspires you and do it often.
4. I LOVE to embrace my artsy-fartsy side – it’s so true that I feel more inspired when surrounding myself with how others see and do things differently!
Frank, you are such an inspiration to me, as I’m sure you’ll be to our readers; would you mind sharing any last words of insight with us at MyMiBoSo to inspire living a balanced life?
I think sometimes living a balanced life means actually living. So often, we find ourselves not doing so, or simply taking up space. I think in order to maintain a healthy balance you just have to live it up sometimes.
Which I know sounds crazy, but here is one of my favorite quotes from Mel Brooks that sums it up for me.
Look, I don’t want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you’re alive you’ve got to flap your arms and legs, you’ve got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at very least think noisy and colorfully, or you’re not alive.
Frank Astran is an interior designer in the Los Angeles area. He lives in Sherman Oaks with his fabulous partner and a psychotic cat. When he is not busy designing custom interiors for his amazing clients, you can find him soaking up the lovely Los Angeles sun. Along with his studies at UCLA for Interior Design, Frank has also studied and earned a degree in Theatre Arts from Cal State University Fullerton.
Contact him at “frankastran at me dot com”