I like to travel: for work and for pleasure. I like living in different places. That’s the “gypsy” in me, but sometimes it can be unsettling. When nothing seems familiar, when your anchor escapes you, when you’re in transition – how do you find your rhythm? What makes you feel “at home” even if you don’t have a physical place to call home, or a special, life-buddy you love & trust (who loves & trusts you) as a constant in your journey?
Home is an interesting concept. It’s most commonly considered a physical place or dwelling, with a family or social unit. By definition it’s a place of origin & value, a native habitat, and a refuge. Home invokes feelings of familiarity and ease. “Hitting home” means to arrive at the center or heart of something.
You’ve heard it said, “To be lucky, you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time.” Well, I like to think we are always in the right place at the right time. Pretty charmed, huh? We are exactly where we are supposed to be (perhaps even where we want to be (think on that!)), and if in this moment life doesn’t make sense, it’s a step towards where we are going. We get to decide what to make of it today.
Whether we choose to learn and grow, get real and be authentic, take risks and change, rest our body and heal our mind, plan and prepare… or resolve to make something, be something, or accept that we are wonderfully, imperfectly perfect as is… Whatever it is/wherever you are, you’ll need a sense of stability as a constant in your journey.
Beware of relying on a person, place, job, or substance that can never satisfy, to give you that sense of completeness and wholeness you so crave. If you do, something is bound to feel amiss, and no person, place or job will ever fit the bill. I’m speaking from experience. I’ve naively anchored myself to, measured my worth by, and even distracted myself with these things way too many times. People are human, you can’t blame them – so are you! Places have pros and cons, jobs come and go, a good high has an equal crash, and you’ll inevitably come-to after a pleasurable or cloudy remedy. You’ve got to find your center – inside yourself.
What if “home” – our safe place, our refuge, the center and heart of life, our greatest feelings of ease & comfort… reside within us?
If that’s the case, how do we nurture that? How do we become “homemakers” in our ourselves regardless of relationship, location, and title? How do we clear the way to face our wounds, and our choices & experiences with truth and honesty to love what we are? How do we reconcile who we are and where we are, with who and where we want to be, even if our destination or next step is unclear? Finally, how do seek good help, and learn to trust & accept love?
First things first, I don’t have all the answers. If I did, I’d share them! If you have examples of things that work for you, please tell me in your comments – I’d like to know. For me, I am discovering the benefits of a routine. It’s a constant you can take with you anywhere! It’s all yours. The key: make a routine based on things that don’t require another person or a specific place. Build the structure of your routine with basic activities and principles that foster growth and self-care.
I’ve got an artist brain and I live a freelance lifestyle. My out-of-the-box nature has always had a thing against the norms. Why should we eat “lunch” at noon? Who says you have to work 9am-5pm, how about 8pm-2am? I’ll write when I feel “inspired to write”, not at a set-time. Who sets “times”?! Blah Blah, woof woof. Yeah, we get it… I’m no master at creating organization and sticking to it, but I’ve discovered I need a basic skeleton for my day. It provides a comforting and consistent rhythm.
Without structure and without commitment, time becomes elusive and purpose, evasive. My friends, I’ve been looooost without a routine. A word I used to think synonymous with “ew” is now a thing I respect. It simply starts with you, and commitments you make to yourself. Make sure the staple components are activities that nurture your “home within”.
Obviously life will happen and modifications will need to be made as you go. A routine will work for awhile and then a new one will evolve. It takes trial and error to see what works and when. Consider developing a daily routine and a weekly routine. Something that’s accessible regardless of place. Whether you’re in a relationship and have family commitments or not, this is important. Making your home inside you will give you a grounded sense of completeness and peace that no one else can run away with. Also, you will be far less likely to put pressure on your loved ones, job or living circumstances to fill the void. In effect, your “neediness” and confusion will be replaced with contentment and focus. You might even discover yourself feeling like a ‘whole’ person. Wowee!
Here’s a short-list of the basics I aim to keep in my daily routine…
9 IDEAS FOR MAKING A HOME WITHIN YOURSELF
- Read / Learn
Your facebook and twitter feeds don’t count; even if you follow the BBC Network! Reserve time in your day to read text that is inspirational, educational, enlightening or transformative. Yes, reading a good novel or script is delicious, too – but we owe it to ourselves to grow, no?
- Write / Journal
It’s always important to record your thoughts. Sometimes it’s the best way to make sense of the juxtaposition of your inner and outer worlds. Songs and stories count, general brain drain does too. As do questions, meanderings, and notes you want to remember. Maybe try using pen and paper instead of typing?! Oo, how old fashioned!
- Meditate / Pray
Meditation has many forms. It isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it can be life-changing. Simple breathing and focusing can reduce anxiety, among other perks. You may also start to feel more in-tune with the workings of life, and a higher, accessible and loving energy or being. You can express feelings of thankfulness, and ask for guidance. The exchange requires a certain amount of giving on your part, and an active state of just being present, listening, and accepting.
- Exercise / Move Your Body
We used to be hunters & gatherers, then farmers & harvesters. The royals and peasants would dance! Now we sit in chairs and work on computers. Best get your blood flowing to your brain, and make use of your muscle and bones. Athletes get to do this for a living, that’s super sweet, but even that changes for them after a while. We all have to figure out ways to use our bodies in healthy forms. If the thought of a “workout” and the gym seems stifling, learn a martial art, study dance, or get involved with outdoor work that has a purpose and raises your heart-rate.
- Make Food / Eat Food!
Yes, this is on my list. I have a thing that makes me hungry all the time, yet quick-fix food isn’t an option because of my allergies and this stupid thing called Celiac disease. I’ll write about that later, but I have a problem making food just for myself. I get distracted, and I’m more motivated when I can share the experience of a meal as a way to show my love for others. This goes on my list because even if I’m hungry, food falls by the wayside way too often. Then I get skinny, cranky, and tired, and I’m REAL fun to be around. (Yes, I’m being sarcastic.) You wanna be my friend? Seriously though, make food. Reduce eating out of restaurants, boxes, cans & frozen bags if you can. Eat stuff you put energy into. Know where your food is coming from. 🙂
- Work / Earn / Provide
Unfortunately we all have to do this, BUT! Working does more than pay the bills and put food on the table (food again)… it gives us a healthy sense of worth. It feels good to be relied on and trusted with a task. Being valued for your skills, talents, expertise, and effort is wonderful. Plus, being able to take care of yourself and others is SUCH a relief and a blessing. If you have a job, be thankful!
- Refine Your Skills / Do Your “Thing”
Whether your work is your passion or not, there are always things we want to be better at. If music is your work, becoming a better musician might be your thing. Or if it has nothing to do with work and you’re into building the next DIY, scrap-metal and reclaimed wooden table, make time for that! Or if it’s surfing or candle-making or cartooning; do your thing. Every day, even if it’s 5-10 minutes. You deserve to progress with the things you enjoy.
- Serve Others / Get Outside Yourself
It doesn’t always have to be a huge cause or charitably organized effort. By small and simple means, great things come to pass. Even if it’s telling the cashier at the grocery store her nails are rockin’ or her pink hair is cotton-candy perfection. Try to make the day better for someone else. We can get so caught-up in our own lives (whether everything feels like it’s falling into place, or the opposite – like our world is falling apart), we forget that the rest of the animal kingdom is here, with us, at the same crazy carnival.
- Socialize (Have Fun!)
Live a little, love a little (or a lot!), talk on the phone with friends, grab dinner together, stop to chat with your neighbor or the homeless guy on your street, ask the pink-haired cashier with star-studded nails what her perfect day looks like. …CONNECT. Touch, see, share. Laugh, discuss, debate, view it from their side, give your opinion, joke around… have fun!!!
If we aim to do these things as part of a consistent routine, I dare say we might feel at home wherever we are. Perhaps even happy and complete all on our own. It’s a great and wonderful gift we can give ourselves. Not even the Wizard of Oz himself could grant such a transformation – especially not until he, too, found his home within. Guess Dorothy wasn’t the only one searching. 😉
When you’re centered, not only will you feel more consistently fulfilled, the special people in your life will too: your partner, friends, family members, co-workers, boss, and all those you come into contact with in this carnival of life. Hopefully they are building and nurturing their inner refuge as well. If not, don’t take the hurtful things they may say or do personally. Send them light and love, and remain true to your core.
May you be well. May you be “at home” within yourself, and may you be whole.
There’s no place like home.