How to Be At Home Wherever You Are

“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”
~ Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye

 

Did you read my post about the energies of October? Here’s a snippet of what I wrote:

“October is a month for nestling and cocooning. For finding and nurturing that sense of belonging. For doing the things that fill your heart with gladness, peace and contentment. It’s a month for working away on projects that have meaning for you, for quiet time and family time. It’s the perfect month for anything to do with heart and home.”

After the post went up I was flooded with emails and messages from people who are not living at home right now, or who travel a lot, or for whatever other reason are feeling displaced. The message below pretty much sums up the sentiment of all that correspondence:

Your October post brought tears to my eyes because I just moved to xxxxxx last week and feel anything but a sense of home and belonging. Physically I have a lovely house to live in but am struggling to feel settled and at peace with so much to adjust to. Am reaching out to try and make relationships and connections, I guess these things all take time! And I know that once I do start to feel like I belong here my PhD work will naturally flow out of that. If you have any special tips I would love love love to hear them xx

Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling. So, how do you create an energy so that you can feel at home wherever you are? I have a few tips for that.

  1. If you travel a lot make a small grab bag of a few significant items. I have an old medicine bag that a dear friend gave me back at university. No matter where I have gone within Australia or the wider world I take this bag. Inside it are my meditation shawl, my journal, a deck of oracle cards, my runes, and a crystal or two. This supports my daily spiritual habits. Each day I journal, pull a card, and meditate. I can wrap myself in the shawl for comfort, even if I am not meditating, and the things that are important to me are kept close. When I lay these things out I am at home, wherever I am. 2015-10-06 17.17.24
  2. Have a ritual that feels like home, and keep that ritual as part of your daily routine. It might be a simple yoga or tai chi practice on the floor beside your bed. It might be going jogging. It could be checking facebook over a cappuccino at a local cafe. Rituals anchor us and centre us, no matter what is going on around us.
  3. Make sure you feel safe where you are. If you can’t feel safe you can’t relax. If where you are staying doesn’t feel safe to you, then maybe it’s time to find somewhere else to call home. Set personal boundaries too, and get time on your own. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to close the door on the world every now and then.
  4. Make some playlists, and use music to bring you back to that place of inner peace.

    Image from vk.com

    Image from vk.com

  5. Create new relationships. When we travelled to Italy a few years ago we bought a coffee at the delicatessen on the corner near our apartment every morning. Within a week we were being greeted like locals. Take a chance and say hi to people. Connect where you can. Community gives us a sense of home and belonging as much as a personal space does.

  6. Take a hobby with you. It might be knitting, or writing, or sketching. Keep a small bag of items that support your hobby, and then spend time each day nurturing that interest.
  7. Food can also be a great anchor, especially when travelling or living in unfamiliar places. Many Australians I know go abroad with a jar of vegemite for their morning toast. My lovely writer friend travels with her favourite teapot and tea leaves, as well as whatever story she is working on.
  8. Decorate your room in your own taste. Maybe it’s a quilt you love, or a poster of your favourite band. When I travel I often pick flowers for my room, or make a small altar with leaves and found objects. Do you have a favourite mug? Take it with you. It’s okay to have an item that acts like a personal talisman of home. fnd-mug-shots_s4x3_lg
  9. Give yourself time to acclimatise to wherever you are. When something is unfamiliar of course it will feel strange or alienating. Go for a stroll. Take in the sights. Get your bearings.
  10. Scent can anchor you too. You might choose a brand of soap, or a body lotion, cologne or perfume that provokes feelings of nurture and comfort. Some people use essential oils or incense. A little lavender essential oil on my pillow at night helps me to get a good night’s sleep even if I am not in my own bed.

    Image from oprah.com

    Image from oprah.com

7 thoughts on “How to Be At Home Wherever You Are

  1. Dear Nicole, what wonderful tips! Am a triple Cancer sun, moon, and rising sign. Home is where the heart is. Xxx to you and yours.

  2. I needed to be reminded of this before I went on holidays 🙂 So for me, mindfulness would be important – reminding myself I can make enough time for a small meditation or journal each day. Since being home I have done a lot of grounding in the garden, and feel heaps better. Thank you xxx

  3. Hey dear Nicole, Getting used to a new place takes time, but you familiarize with your surroundings better day by day. Home is genuinely where all your loved ones are and for me, its scattered across the globe , been like this for as long as I can remember. Though I have many trusted friends I know I m comfortable in my own company. Finding new hobbies to indulge your time in , I guess that’s the biggest challenge in a new place. Still racking my brains over that. Let’s see,something ought to turn up. Thanks for your lovely post dear. Lots of love.

  4. Hi Nicole, your post really inspired me to write this morning. As you know I’ve spent 30 years travelling as I got older I understood I was searching for that place of belonging, a place to call home. I did many of the things you suggested to your readers and I came to learn home for me was what was inside of me. I was the bricks & motar on which to build. One of the things though that gave me great comfort and might help your readers is to remember why you are travelling moving in the first place and get excited about that and what you can create, learn, experience in that time. Trust in your resilience. 1 month ago I found my home and it’s everything I wanted thank you universe. 30 years seemed like a lifetime but looking back the experiences I had and the lessons learned are priceless. And it serves to remind the rest of us, not all people who are homeless live rough on the street.

  5. Pingback: Great Links for a Good Life {Autumn Edition}

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