Developing your relationship to your place of belonging.
Often, even in the most “picture perfect” environments people can feel alienated or disconnected in some way from the places where they live. Regularly, my clients will comment that “even though I have lived here for some time and have done lots of work to the building, I don’t feel like the house is mine” or “ I cant put my finger on it, but something just doesn’t work here”
Feng shui is a very popular method of exploring this connection, but often the language can be somewhat alien or sound a little too “out there” for many people. Even the words yin and yang can seem somewhat unrelate-able. We talk about colours being yin (calming) Vs yang (activating) etc
At its core really, Yin is receptive/allowing VS Yang is assertive/resisting, instinct (yin) Vs mental acuity (yang)
This needing to belong is instinctual and needs to be informed by allowing and being receptive to our own individual needs and sense of self; our connection to our feeling of what home is for us. It follows therefore, that becoming “a dedicated follower of fashion” in creating a home is always going to feel lacking in some way.
In her book “Belonging” Toko-pa Turner discusses Globalisation as a homogenising force; its ideas putting us under pressure to express and appear the same way to “fit in”. This, she says, leaves us feeling hollow and disconnected because it doesn’t ring true to our inner self.
This needing to “fit in” presents us with a problem. In her book, Rising Strong, Brene Brown, puts it very succinctly: “the number 1 barrier to belonging is fitting in…..in the absence of love and belonging there is always suffering”
Which is why, I would suggest, that people who have become disconnected emotionally from the place where they live, “suffer” this sense of loss, or loneliness, even when they are physically in their own living space. In my experience, this is at the heart of a lot of the suffering experienced in the case of dementia patients; the loss of connection they feel to their surroundings, and even to their own loved ones. In experiencing this, they have forever lost their sense of belonging.
When you scratch the surface we all have our own unique story and lineage our own unique expression waiting to be seen and heard. Where better than our own homes, provides such a safe space for this expression?
In the creation of a true home for ourselves to “belong” in, we need to explore how colour, shape, scent, material finishes and the “atmosphere” of a space all come together to provide a “personality” or outer skin with which we are in relationship. The goal is to connect deeply to that relationship and work with it to create a sense of finally “being at home”. Loving that space as a living, breathing being, and feeling it “love you back”.
Close your eyes and imagine what your ideal, “perfect home” would feel like, connect to the feeling first, before you imagine anything physical. Then ask yourself, how can I introduce more of this “feeling” into my current living space. What do I need to have less of? Clearing out is often the place to begin. Then ask yourself, what would I need to introduce? Is it a colour, a scent, a particular tactile finish or fabric? some artwork? You may surprise yourself with this exercise. Often the obvious material things are not the things which give us this “feeling-at-home-ness” Make a note of what comes to mind and work on having more of that.
Very often subtle changes can have a big impact.