We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been — a place half-remembered and half-envisioned that we can only catch glimpses of from time to time — Starhawk
Remember a time when you found the house of your dreams and said,” This place speaks to my soul”?
Do you recall when you arrived at a new destination and something in you said, “I have been looking for this place all my life”?
What does it mean to “go home to some place we have never been”?
To understand more clearly what we mean by such statements we have to view place poetically and not literally.
For example, think about “place” as an environment where you can be creative or productive, energized or peaceful, safe or nurtured, a place where you are at one with yourself and with a community. With respect to the place that gives us shelter, we can think of it as the distinction between a “house” and a “home”.
So what happens when we sense the opposite and do not feel “at home?” I hear statements like,
“This community leaves me cold”
“I feel rootless and displaced here”
“This town has no green spaces that I can access by walking from my home”
A Case in Point
He was a young senior manager with a growing family living in the suburbs. But he always longed to live in the mountains because it was in that sort of environment where he found himself rejuvenated. It took him two years to convince his boss that he could telecommute as well from a mountaintop as he could from the city. And so he did. The place where he and his family now live contributes greatly to the quality of their lives and their wellbeing.
Finally, they feel “at home”.
Are you attuned to how your deeper needs are met by where you live?
To ferret out some of these needs ask yourself:
1. Do you have an inchoate longing to be somewhere else?
2. Why are some homes/towns warm and inviting and others leave one cold?
3. Why do some of us (introverts?) avoid crowds and prefer spaces and people that nurture solitude?
4. Why are people with diversity in their DNA attracted to living in different cultures?
5. Why do people from the country move to the redeveloping inner city and some from the city move to the country?
6. Why do some people report that they feel as though they are dying in their present location?
7. Why do people long for an immediate connection with nature in their community?
8. Why is it that many who are working 80 hours a week do not even think of the place where they live?
Did any of these questions cause you to reflect on your place related needs that are either being met or frustrated?
What possible actions could you take to realign and reshape your place and in so doing meet your needs?
1. In the first place, be aware what needs are being frustrated or fulfilled by where you live.
2. Try to remember actual places that fed your inner being. What was it about them that touched you that way?
3. If for practical reasons you cannot make a move to your “ideal” place, what small steps can you take right now to make your place more hospitable? (e.g. have a meditation room or plant a garden)
4. Have art and decoration in your home that invites contemplation and reflection. Listen to music that touches deep emotions.
5. Travel to some of your “bucket list” places to partially fulfill your need.
6. Let your job follow your place and not the other way around.
7. Depending on your family or work needs why not move to the place of your dreams?
We would love to hear the story of your journey towards a “place for you.” Please share it with us.
For our story see the blog posting Taking Risks – Realizing Dreams October 2012
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