Join the group. Many clients tell me that their home, however long they've lived there, does not feel like "home." This is so sad. Our homes are our only places of refuge in this big world. It should be a place where, when we pull into the driveway or cross the threshold, we say "ahhh."
I've found a book that will help you understand why your home may not be feeling right and some ideas on what you can do to make it right. It's called House as a Mirror of Self: Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home by Clare Cooper Marcus. Written in 1995, I have seen it come up many times on my Amazon suggestion list. And finally, I understand why.
Those of who've been to my Feng Shui lectures may recall that I talk about "house as a mirror of yourself." A therapist friend of mine who now practices Feng Shui told me that he wish he saw the homes of his patients years back. "It would have helped me understand what's going on in their psyche so much more quickly!"
We consciously and unconsciously, create our environments. "The colors we chose, the objects we select, the pictures and posters we put on the walls – all of these have aesthetic or functional meanings of which we are aware. Many of them also are projections, or messages from the unconscious, in just the same way that our dreams contain such messages. As with dreams, we can live our lives ignoring them. But if care about our personal and spiritual growth, becoming who we truly are, the messages implicit in the dwelling – its form, location, decoration, state of order – and our feelings about those messages can be rich sources of insight," says the author.
As a Feng Shui practitioner, I'm increasingly called to help clients identify and connect what is going on in their lives with the symbolism of their homes. One client has a stagnant career. And correspondingly, she lives in a home that has no pathway to her front door (in the Career area). Another client doesn't feel welcome in her own home. "It's not cozy," she says. On the consultation, I find out that her husband was the one that selected the house. The big floor plan with high ceilings fits his sense of home, but has never felt home to her.
We are in constant transition (or should be!) Our homes are a reflection of our changing self, which is why we need to move or make changes to our residences during the course of our adult lives.
This book contains several wonderful exercises to help you get in touch with your space and what home means to you. Here's a brief description of one of the exercises:
- Get paper and a box of crayons with many colors. Sit in a quiet space in your home without distractions. When you are calm and centered, start putting down symbols of what your home means to you. Don't censor yourself. It could be the use of color, symbols, objects, words, whatever comes to mind.
- When you are done with your drawing, prop it up 3-4 feet away from you. Imagine that the drawing is a friend and now start to tell it how you feel. See what happens! (You can record it for listening later). Then, when you are done, let the house respond. Surprising and amazing insights can come out if you let if flow.
As always, I welcome any comments and would love you to share your stories. Now I know why I kept my children's crayons all these years ; )