I came across a website for a company that manages luxury apartment rentals in Paris. The founder has a video on the home page where he talks about how much people liked visiting Paris, seeing the sites, drinking the wine, enjoying the food, but after a week or two, were very anxious to get home. That’s why he started his company.
And I think that’s the predominant reason I chose to rent an apartment for my stay last October rather than stay in a hotel. Aside from being a cheaper way to go, I also liked the idea that I could unpack, leave my things around where I wanted them, lie in bed until noon and not have to rush out so housekeeping could come in, and eat what I wanted, when I wanted from my own little kitchen. There is something about feeling “at home” even when we’re away that appeals to many of us.
But I want to take this a little deeper. Do you feel “at home” in your own life?
Do you feel like you can just be where you’re at right now and be who you are right now? Can you be “at home” in a foreign land of stress, anxiety, financial ruin or devastating illness? That’s actually a pretty tough one, isn’t it?
We are told that we must have dreams and goals and tasks to get from where we are to where we want to be. Of course I believe that. I coach people on how to do that! But there are going to be cycles of our lives when the dream/goal/task formula just isn’t working. Times when we need to accept that we are HERE and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I had a conversation with someone who felt devastated on the one year anniversary of her divorce not because she missed her ex-husband, but because she felt like she should be further along after one year. Where do we get the idea that our journey through this life will always be forward, forward, forward, or that it should proceed at a certain pace? We put a lot of tough expectations on ourselves, don’t we?
And since I am in one of those foreign places right now, I was really open to hearing a coach/mentor of mine on a group call talk with another woman about this. She needed to allow herself to just be in a space and time that didn’t feel as strong to her as she thought she should be, and to see it as a time of preparation for a growth spurt, or a shift and to stop fighting where she was at.
Now there’s a difference between feeling at home where you’re at on the journey and doing a lease-to-own option in Misery Town. I’m not talking about camping out in a bad spot forever or wallowing in self-pity for an extended stay.
This is about giving yourself a break for not being perfect.
Being at home wherever you are is about allowing yourself to feel what you’re feeling, acknowledge what you feel in your belly and in your heart, and then talk to it. Sounds a little woo-woo, but stay with me here for a moment.
When we feel frantic, frenetic, futility, fear or failure, we tend to want to turn away from it. We don’t like those feelings so we run from them or cover them up or numb ourselves to the pain with some obsession: shopping, kids activities, helping everyone but ourselves, excessive exercise or excessive food. I wrote about this a while back. You have to stand through the storm to get the rainbow. And standing through an emotional storm is the only way to release yourself from the grip of that emotion.
Being at home wherever you are is also about setting boundaries. When you know that you need some time alone to focus on one thing, be clear with your friends and family that you will still be there for them but you need three hours of radio silence now. When other people in your life seem to be dumping all their problems on your doorstep, pull in the welcome mat and make it clear that you are not open for business today. And stop feeling guilty for saying NO to every request from the school, the team, the church, the women’s club to be in charge or volunteer for one more thing. You might be the right person for the job, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept the job. Someone else is out there who can handle it, trust me!
Being at home wherever you are is also being able to say, I just feel blah today and I’m going to sit with it for a little while. It means that a slump in your business is not a time to doubt yourself, but a time to shift perceptions and experiences and get away from your business. It means that you don’t have to have achieved anything specific or be anywhere along the mapped out route after a divorce or a child graduating from high school or the loss of a parent.
But make no mistake, being at home wherever you are requires courage. The courage to let your inner wisdom speak to you and to listen to what it has to say. To listen to The Whisper and ask yourself, have I been following my true purpose? To reflect and reassess what that true purpose looks like at this place and time. Maybe you started your journey headed toward one destination but the experiences you’ve picked up along the way are tugging you to a new destination.
Bottom line: Being at home wherever you are is not for wimps. Just be and see what happens.
I’m here to talk with you if you want some support or help with being home, but not getting stuck in a rut. Go to www.talkwithkim.com and tell me more about it.