Day 142/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
My home, my haven. The comforts of home.
There's more to the comforts of home than the physical space to be sure, yet those spaces where you can curl up with a good book, spend time with family and feel at ease with life are invaluable refuges from the busyness of the world and its people.
Create a comfortable nest around you.
Quite a spontaneous activity for new mothers, this idea of nesting. Tidying up spaces, making comfort, preparing safety and cosiness for the new arrival keeps mothers busy in the days leading up to the birthday of they newborn.
Examining your habits around comfort, where you spend your time, what's there that feels comfortable for you, why not other spaces in your home, may raise your awareness to the adjustments that may bring more comfort to the spaces you have.
As I reflect on my life, a large part of my habits were formed around finding solitude for myself. So comfort at home was a high priority. However solitude also slipped into isolation as my habit of needing to find space for myself spilled into relationships where it didn't belong.
Okay, to be fair to you and me, it's more than a habit. My need for isolation persisted as long as I felt unloveable and unsupported. That's a life theme that permeated my very existence, around which all habits and self-expression arose.
We all have these life themes that limit our lived experiences. My ambition Towards Self-Mastery was to examine mine and adjust them to better fit my desires for my life. Living other people's idea of how life should look and feel wasn't enough for me. I wanted to find my own.
Isolation is no longer a huge need although solitude will remain important to me. I'm enjoying actively reshaping my life to welcome others, bring closeness and connection, create a warm and welcoming environment where I am able to share time with my family instead of feel the constant need to move away from them.
Along with so many other habits of culture and lifestyle, my earlier homes were anything but comfortable. Hard-as-nails beds, stiffly stuffed cushions, the right kinds of books instead of interesting ones that captured my imagination.
One of my most fond memories created when setting up my current home was buying my bed. With the help of one of my sisters, we shopped together making sure we tested each bed, together. Much like you see in those funny movies we snuggled on each bed ignoring the curious eyes of onlookers. For the very first time I chose a soft, comfortable mattress that my body sank deeply into, that seemed to release the tension in shoulders always armoured to fend off the world. My sister spontaneously cautioned me in line with our upbringing, with all sorts of justifications for buying the firmer mattress, and delightfully agreed when I explained that comfort over sacrifice was my intent.
There's still time to reflect on those areas that need more cosying up. My breakfast nook on my deck, drenched in the golden, morning sun needs a serious makeover. I've exploring cane chair options with big comfy cushions, or a day bed that could serve as an outdoor bed on hot summer nights.
There's a blank canvas behind my bed waiting for my very own artwork to be framed and hung, and yet to be crafted.
Creating a comfy home is about being surrounded by the things that settle your heart and soul. That bring you comfort, that capture your imagination away from your worries and direct it into interesting projects, inspiring books, and creative moments.
The one sure sign that I'm succeeding is the unexpected arrival of my family this weekend to spend time at home recharging.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.