When a house becomes a home
Day 143/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
What is the difference between a house and a home? That something in the ether that welcomes and nurtures, envelops you in warmth and familiarity, drains the tension out of your weary bones.
Because of the love with which Mr Clemens and his family tended their home, "it had a heart and a soul, and eyes to see with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us and we were in its confidence and lived in its grace and the peace of its benedictions. We never came home from an absence that its face did not light up and speak out in eloquent welcome and we could not enter it unmoved." To maintain this stately home, and to recover from near bankruptcy that was the toll for this expensive lavishing of care, Mr Clemens began to write as Mark Twain (Ban Breathnach, 1995). Such a lovely description, I just had to share it word for word.
And just to be a debbie downer I will acknowledge that not all, in fact I would guess that most do not reach anything like this level of connection with their home.
Is there anyone that doesn't want to come home to a place that offers comfort, caring and nurturing shelter from the storms of life?
There is a distinction between living a transactional lifestyle and a transformative one.
My own life has been largely transactional in the most part, with little awareness of the impact, or the fact that I was in fact living on the surface of life, the froth on the top of the beer, the crema on the coffee, and not really living the real deal. Not accessing the depths that are waiting to be explored for the secrets there.
We do what we learn until we learn something different, then as we look back and see the path that we've followed unconsciously the awareness comes into focus.
My houses have always been a practical and comfortable place to live, and it was with pride that I announced that I had no emotional attachment to them at all, wearing this unemotional stance as a badge of honour. These lovely houses came and went without leaving much of a mark until more recent years.
The journey through Sarah's Simple Abundance, is reminding me of the things that matter most. Care for my home and surrounding myself with beauty is important to me, just as much as caring for myself and for my family.
With my knowledge of how to engineer the energetics of my home and spaces you'd think that I would be consciously loving every corner. Yet we can only give what we have access to at the time. It's about presence. Being really present to my actions in any given moment, connecting with the value that they bring, honouring the service of those corners that care for me.
My new resolve. As I go about home-caring, I'll be making a point of being increasing more present to caring with love, appreciating the unwavering support that it provides, caressing it with care as I remove the cobwebs and refurbish the timber each spring, as I vacuum the rugs and mop the floors, as I bring the panes of glass back to crystal clear.
That deep feeling of stability and security, of deep rooted support that the love and life in a family home brings to a family is something quite new to me. It stirs places in my heart that have not been stirred before. It softens and warms me and provides the motivation to continue to restore, build, care for, garden and beautify this space that we call home.
Home. If you're lucky, it's where the heart is.
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.