Home. What is home? I have asked myself that question a lot over the last few days. I just returned ‘home’ from my conference in DC. I love my home, the green house with blue trim and the big porch out front. I love the energy of my home filled with my animals, Mocha and Pooh. I love the ‘stuff’ and that it all has meaning and energy for me. I love how I feel in my house, safe. grounded. calm.But home is more than a nice house with four walls. Home is actually a feeling, it is an energy. In reality, I can feel at ‘home’ in a hotel room or sitting in front of the Lincoln Memorial, surrounded by people. At the same time, I can feel totally out of whack in my house. I can feel anxious or stressed out.
I can remember in my early twenties, I only felt that sense of peace when I was at my house. I would rush through my day just so I could achieve the escape of my physical house. I remember saying to myself ‘I want to feel at home wherever I go’. That is the goal isn’t it? To feel at peace, grounded, and connected wherever we are. Because in reality that sense of home comes from within.
So our house is where we can let down our guard (hopefully) where we can be ourselves and just be. The goal, I believe in living happier is to be able to take that sense of ourselves, that grounded courage out into the world. So whenever we get knocked down, or beat up we can come back to ‘home’, come back to that feeling of safety and security that we have in our houses.
Yesterday, I was coming home from DC, I was tired and depleted. I just wanted to get HOME. On the plane I had a challenging interaction with the guy in front of me about the overhead bins–I had cracked a joke and he didn’t think it was funny or misunderstood and gave me a snippy response back. I SO wanted to explain myself, that I was only joking, but we were on a crowded airplane and there was no time. Because I was feeling tired and overwhelmed I almost started to cry (my go to response when my bucket is empty). But I gathered myself–put my hands over my heart and said ‘you are tired sweetie, you are ok, you just need to get home’. I took a few deep breathes and I felt better. I was able to bring myself ‘home’ even though I was on the plane and feeling misunderstood (something I hate–I am an uber-clarifier).
In my early twenties when home was only my house I never had that feeling of grounded, that feeling of I can do this, that feeling of self love. I had the pleasure of hearing Tara Brach speak yesterday (I will post more about that later this week), she said that the primary suffering in the world is a sense of home-sickness of being separated from ourselves, our home. We get this homesickness by separating from ourselves, beating ourselves up and using the hammer. We can only be home when we are at peace with ourselves and grounded in our bodies. Yesterday I was able to bring myself back to home by holding my heart and giving myself a break.
The key is paying attention to where we feel at home, is it your physical house? A certain room? At the beach? In the mountains? Where do you get that feeling of security and warmth? How does that sense of calm feel for you? Then as you go into the world and you get knocked off balance, you get overwhelmed and depleted, remind yourself of your home base. Close your eyes and remind yourself of how it feels to go to your home to be safe, secure and at peace. Remind yourself home is inside and we can all go back home no matter where we are.
What is home to you? What makes your house a home?