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cozykitchenNot all of us feel at home in the structures we live in. What makes a home?

“Home [is]…whether in our hearts or reality, the place of security and nurturance necessary for our psyche. It remains the envelope into which we retreat for privacy and intimacy, which reflects who we are as individuals and as members of society; that is essential for our well-being.”
Clare Marcus Cooper, House as Mirror of Self: Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home

How can we nurture ourselves in the homes we make for ourselves?

It starts with mind-frame…..
* It’s hard to create something new until I am willing to be with what is.
*I won’t force myself to do better; I will love myself into gently capturing what my next step is.

Then start with….

•    Quiet time for reflection, contemplation and imagination.
•    Be aware of what brings peace to daily activities.
•    If we don’t have a spot or a room that feels our own in our homes, can we imagine a time and place we did feel at home? Visit those places in quiet time regularly.
•    Can you carve out a space at home and cultivate the qualities of “at hominess” – decorating with images, poetry, found objects. Start small.
•    Have a conversation with what’s troubling or what you love about your home. Really, talk out loud. Speak to the parts of your home you’re unhappy with, or that you love. Allow those parts to speak back to you. It’s a real relationship!

Another suggestion from Clare:

Write a letter to your Home – be specific about how you feel about it – what do you love most about it? What are you grateful for? What disappointments, frustrations, anger and dissatisfaction do you feel? What would you like instead? What changes would you make if you could? Get it all out – How you wish your home could be more like someone else’s home – describe that home and what it gives you. Now be honest – also tell your home how you feel you’ve cared for it, nurtured it, loved it – or how you have neglected it – how you may see your shortcomings in your care-taking of your home.

Clare’s book is an excellent resource for nurturing a troubled relationship, or enhancing a positive relationship to home.

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