Category Archives: Home

Everybody does it

Providing feedback on a paid service should be the most natural thing in the world really shouldn’t it? You give a business some money to do a job and you need to make sure you are satisfied with said job before it’s conclusion, everybody does it, it’s no big deal…

Well no matter how lovely the business owners, how important the job, I can’t seem to woman up and be assertive (not aggressive or submissive, the “right” amount of assertive). I am always under-powered, seek to please, need to make sure everyone else is okay before I check in with me… sad. I know that this is unhelpful. I know where it comes from. I know it’s source expresses itself actively in my life in the present unchecked, because I lack the skills to tackle it.

How does one say “I’m sorry but I don’t like it” when historically that response has been ignored, railed against or used as an emotional flogging implement? I’m a grown woman and I struggled to let the jewelers who are making my engagement ring know that I didn’t like the ring they had made for me. I cried for 2 days at the sentimental loss and the knowledge that I would struggle to provide them with the feedback necessary to modify my ring.

I am driven to please and ensure everyone is okay. Your well-being before my own. On the occasions that I am assertive or voice my truth it is because for a moment I feel truly safe and like the repercussions, if any, will be repairable. I am not one to rock the boat. My sweet fiancee is the first person to have exposure to an uncensored Bel. He knows how I feel and I say what I mean. With him I am liberated and free, completely honest in all things. But god help me, I can’t seem to be able to translate that to all areas of my life.

I have a kind of motto that essentially goes like this “The day you stop learning is the day you take your final breath”. I don’t know if it is true in so far as for all I know learning continues beyond the grave. I also grant that I came across it somewhere and I am not the first to think and feel this sentiment. And so I try. I sometimes break down in unrelenting tears because I can’t muster the courage to do more than that. But I try.

With my ring, well the wonderful man that is my future husband came with me and we spoke to the jeweler together. Which was really me speaking and him standing by my side like my own personal rock of Gibraltar. The irony is that, as could be expected, the jeweler was lovely, completely understanding and wants to make certain that I leave with a ring that I love. I just needed to take a deep breath, and anchored in my strong sense of empathy, be honest.

As this difficulty expressing myself relates to the rest of my life, I’m going to try and apply exactly this premise- remain anchored in my empathy so that I come from a place of understanding love and be honest. I need to rock the boat when it is important. For my sanity and to sustain the love I have for the people that I need to be able to express myself honestly with. Everyone else seems to have the knack. I just have to practice.

To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves – there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.  ~Joan Didion

You mean “now” now?

My name is Bel and I am an addict.

Each day I open my tablet or computer and I find myself looking at them. Everyday, near enough that I notice what it keeps me from. But I can’t help it. I have to look. At their large kitchens, spacious yards, their high ceilings, if there are molded cornices… and the views. My god, the views!

I have a realestate problem. This is a 2 part problem for me. The first part of this problem is that it leeches so much of my time. I get into a zone where I can feel the zombie take over. With flat affect I flit from one property to another, maybe raising an eyebrow or a murmer if there is something very exceptional… And suddenly I have lost my afternoon!

The second part of this problem is that we are not in the market for a property right now. One day we will be. But right now we are not in a position to even be looking! And there are so many wonderful homes that I would love to call my own… Cue feeling sad and upset that my own home is so far beyond reach, with a woe is me and bitter reflection on having already used my first home owners grant in a relationship that didn’t make the distance. Then sprinkle on some rage about how much harder it is to get a loan and how high prices are. Some more ranting about how prices are so high because people want to make money off property instead of establishing the traditional family home thanks to tax breaks introduced by the government many years ago… SO this incessant and compulsive looking is starting to prove itself a problem.

Right. Ahem, Ok, so in moments of clarity (when I do not have my face in my computer screen) I look around and realise that now is the perfect time! To enjoy, to live, to put important steps in place for the future but to live now. We enjoy a comparatively low cost of living which means we can save and do things we enjoy- a huge luxury in this day and age. We live in a beautiful house and have security here. We have an easy care garden that is big enough for me to try some new things in, without being overwhelmed by it. We are close to many of our family and friends and we have space to accommodate over night those that need to travel a bit further.

It really doesn’t get much better than this. So what is with the extraordinary pull to even look? Am I so indoctrinated to want, accumulate, spend spend spend!? Sadly I think this must be so. When I reflect on it I am similarly inclined when it comes to new technology. When I get bored of my phone or my computer stops being super fast and responsive I start to look for the next big thing in a very single-minded way, whether I can afford to upgrade or not. I have much work to do to calm this beast.

I cannot be the only person who experiences this. In fact I know that I am not. If you are afflicted with this same obsession to upgrade your already perfectly excellent life, join me on a journey. Find a quiet moment to look around you, take in your environment. The people you share your home with. The furniture you rest on. The roof over your head**. Does it meet your needs? Can you smile about your day from here? Can you afford the things that are most important to you? I mean food of course, but also if you love nothing more than a weekly night at the movies, does living here afford you that? If you love having a night at a fancy pants restaurant once a month, does living here afford you that? If you are about to launch into starting your own business, does living here afford you the safety net you need to start? Now be grateful.

By finding gratitude it is easier to enjoy right now instead of trying to force change for changes sake. When I try to force change I lose time, a great deal of it, and I often end up where I began. I am not suggesting for a moment that you don’t plan for the future. Implementing plans for your future are essential to your organic growth. I am suggesting that when you are grateful, right now, in this moment and you are satisfied, then you have a more comfortable journey into your future. A future created by your hand with love, not fear. Enjoyed from a place of bliss rather than an angsty passing onto something ever bigger- not necessarily better.

Feet submerged

“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

** Important side note- there are increasing numbers of people who do not have roofs over their heads. Something many of us take for granted. If you do not have shelter I implore you to find one. Try family and friends until you can get something permanent arranged, ask them to help you organise it. It is easier to stay healthy when you have a roof over your head and a safe place to sleep. And while many services that provide shelter and food for people who are homeless are very patriarchal and seem expensive, they are safe, they will help you get back on your feet and have access to good healthcare. Without your health, what do you have?

 

Ch ch ch ch changes!

Ah the chaos and joy of a big move. When you pick up all of your worldly posessions and shift them, wholus bolus to an entirely new location… despite your plans to do a ruthless cull of the stuff that really serves no purpose except to occupy space. Space that could be used to improve the aesthetic, increase the energetic vibration of your home, allow for a clearer energy flow, to allow space for the inhalation of all things warm and wonderful and the exhalation of all that does not serve you…

So that didn’t happen. As I foreshadowed we ran out of time to do our spacious cleanse and just needed to do our best in the hours we had free outside of work and sleep, to move our worldly belongings. Despite this and the resultant chaos and clutter at the other end, our new abode has a warm loving glow to it. I arrive home after an extended commute and our fur babies seem calm and content, a smile blooms across my face and my heart opens.

One of the very first features that went up was a feature wall of us. This is the first time we will have our own home that is not shared with even the most wonderful of housemates. And prior to now we haven’t had a printed photo up. We realised this when my mum printed a photo she took of us at Christmas and put it on her fridge. Well, before we even moved in we amended this. There is now a brightly coloured, fun and indulgent couple wall that celebrates us. It is pretty cool. The smile the erupts on my face when I walk in the door broadens when I see it. And then when my love arrives home! Well truth be told we are still moving the last pieces and so we often arrive home together, tired and ready for sleep. But just this evening, over a snippet of “whose line is it anyway” the chuckles that rolled and rolled out of him were delicious. This is home. We are home. And it is wonderful.

Home the space you can be yourself
your cave to be at peace in
enclosed in love and life vibrant
the gifts of each breath so clear

Here you know why you move through each day
here is your reason
here is the expression of your hearts desires
here is where your dreams begin

The platform from which you reach into the world
your daily charging station
where your wacky silly or pouty child
are received with understanding

Where your candles bloom with fire scented
and gardens for your tending
the music that you float or bop with
resonating through your senses

Home most blessed and nurturing
of your grandest imaginations
dreams become reality shared with those your closest with
and life is a beautiful adventure

“Home is a place not only of strong affections, but of entire unreserve; it is life’s undress rehearsal, its backroom, its dressing room.”  ~Harriet Beecher Stowe