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Your Private Haven

The general idea behind enjoying your balcony "solo"

We know, we know: The fax has to be sent immediately, the project should have been finished yesterday, you have two back-to-back meetings downtown in an hour... When the pressures of city living threaten to unhinge you, stop! Take an hour, thirty minutes, or even fifteen -- to just sit in your balcony garden and be.

Go offline. Meditate. Blow bubbles. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Soak up the rays or drink in the moonlight. Breathe deeply. Relax. Take off the stress. Take off your shoes. Take the phone off the hook.

Keep your sanctuary restful yet stimulating with neutral furnishings, whimsical lamps and cool-colored flowers. Hang a wind chime outside to soothe your jangled nerves with silvery music. Let aromatherapy candles waft you away to a simpler time. Muffle the incessant noise of traffic with the happy gurgle of a miniature fountain or waterfall surrounded by greenery. Concoct your own garden-fresh herbal tea to sip as you contemplate the next opening bud.

Yes, that's right, we said "opening bud." Don't even think about checking your e-mail.