Photo Courtesy of The Balance
Lifestyle 28 January 2018
As a female immigrant to this country, I had big dreams and even bigger obstacles to overcome. Looking at where I am now—running my own business, managing an all-female team of designers, and living out my passions to bring healing and positivity to the world—I wish I could tell my younger self to worry less and dream even bigger. I still wonder what was the strongest drive that kept me moving. Was it my motive to prove my worth as a woman entrepreneur? Or was it my desire to infuse greater meaning and mindfulness into the interior design industry?
Perhaps, it was both.
I am Mitra Pakdaman Silva, the founder of the Beverly Hills-based LA Healthcare Design Inc. I started my journey as an interior design student, made my way into the design industry by working with leading firms, and now, here I am, leading an all-female team of designers and architects in a joint mission to encourage greater healing through thoughtful, spiritually-minded, and eco-conscious interior design and architecture.
Photo Courtesy of addvantageusa
Over the last several years, popular design trends, such a minimalism and hygge, have shown just how significantly interior design can influence our mental attitudes. As someone who has placed my focus on the healthcare industry specifically, I would like to now familiarize the public with the concept of “healing design.” In taking a more mindful approach to the interior aesthetics and even the architecture of a space, I believe we can create environments that actually enhance our ability to heal. Furthermore, as a female interior designer thriving in the male dominated medical industry, I am hopeful my work will contribute to cultural healing between genders as well.
Mitra Silva. Photo Courtesy of lahealthcaredesign
Here are my top three design mantras:
“Heal the space and it will heal you.”
The word “healing” is a multi-perspective concept. It is both internal and external. Healing is an authentic place of being, and that which triggers recovery from within, but it is also energetically linked to our surroundings. For most people, a visit to the doctor’s office will trigger thoughts of a cramped, dark, and stressful waiting room along with a confusing maze of cold and intimidating examination rooms. This external experience impacts the patient’s internal wellbeing in a negative way, which is the entirely opposite point of visiting a doctor in the first place. These are places people go to feel better and yet, the design often connotes the antithesis of this. It is this lack of soul, energy, and life that inspired me to seek a more thoughtful solution to healthcare design. I believe that if you can heal the space, the space will in turn, heal you. Implementing mindful design elements that are both internally and externally aligned to the core purpose of the space will create a natural sense of harmony that will lend to greater peace, comfort, and wellbeing for everyone involved.
“Clutter invites chaos. Emptiness invites energy.”
This thought has altered my personal design perspective dramatically, as I move to create more authentic, appealing, and transformational medical spaces with a personal touch. As a spiritually minded individual, I have fused traditional healthcare interior design and architecture methods with my objective to create qualitative and quantitative healing spaces. Finding the balance of decluttering your environment while also ensuring no details are left out and everything is at a hand’s reach, is the basis to creating a healing space. When I look at a space, I draw a mental image of how I would want the space to look and feel if it were my own. I ask, “how can this contribute to recovery?” This is the starting point in finding the necessary precision that is required of a space that is both aesthetically-pleasing and functionally-efficient. I often meditate on the Yin-Yang, which indicates a balance of negative and positive energies. Healing design needs emptiness to breathe, but also a certain amount purposeful objects and elements to give it life.
“Design is neither masculine nor feminine. It is a powerful fusion of feminism with its masculine counterpart.”
I am a strong believer of Feminine Power and the potential of women in business. A majority of women entrepreneurs in the design industry dedicate themselves to residential design, and limit their scope to creating concept sketches, sourcing materials, and providing the complete design package. However, as a business woman in the modern era, I believe women have equal potential when it comes to contributing to the architecture and construction administration when compared to men. In a male-dominated industry, like Healthcare Design and Construction, I am wearing more than one hat – of an interior designer and another of a construction administrator. In a world where interior design delivers a gender-specific feel, my unique designs are a blend of masculine and feminine energy to create holistic balance, and of course, healing. We’ve always been the women who care, now it’s time to transform a generation of mothers, sisters and wives into ‘women who dare.”
3 min read
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist