Home(less)

First of all, we have found ourselves a new house and because we have this house in the that area, we have a school for the kids too! What a relief!

This month the whole subject of “Home” and being Homeless” has been in my mind a lot. This was not the first time being or feeling homeless. I have talked about it a lot. Feeling home is not the same as having a house. What is Home? What makes me feel at home. What does home look like to me. How does it sound, smell or even more, who, or what makes me feel home?

Thinking about this, several things came to my mind. Home to me is where my friends and family are. The feeling of being able or having at least the option to talk to them, or visit them ,if needed. Home is where they speak Dutch, where I can talk my native language when I’m feeling vulnerable, where I can walk or drive around just knowing the area. Home is where my dog is, sleeping on the floor, breathing deeply and calm. Home is where I listen to my radio, write, read or paint. Home is where I can be perfectly imperfect, just me with my ups and downs. Home to me, is where there is freedom, no rules but our own. Home is where we sleep, eat, drink, laugh, cry, have sex and relax. Home is where we (me, my husband and kids) grow.

In the mindfulness meditation there is the mantra “I have arrived (breathing in), I am Home (breathing out)”.

In one conversation with a friend, we talked about how alcohol or drug abuse is like not being home to yourself, about disconnecting to yourself. I love drinking my glass of wine, and it’s good to be aware of not drinking too much, to be home to myself and connected to my needs and feelings. So, my intention for me and my family in our new (temporary) home is, to be very aware of what makes a home to us.

Here is a lovely poem (by Jeff Rushton) I’d love to share:

  • Home is not a place or time
  • Home can be your friends, your hobbies, your past-times.
  • Home is where your life is at complete ease,
  • where you can go to receive comfort and relief.
  • Home is a feeling, a passion, an aid for your grief.
  • Home is the feeling you never want to leave.
  • Home can come and go depending on your need.
  • Home is the happiness that keeps us at peace. Home is always there as long as you believe.

So most of all,  just stay home to yourself! Connected to yourself and home will be, where you are!!

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Back to my roots

This last few months have been al about patience, and now I’m happy to say it al worked out the way I hoped it would! In 2 months we’ll be moving back to Amsterdam! I’m so happy, I feel like I’m in love, with all the same symptoms. I’m laughing all day and crying all of a sudden, sure about everything and insecure about the weirdest things. I’m looking good and the have energy to do everything! At the same time I feel it could be over soon, afraid of what might go wrong. We have no new home yet or a school for the kids, so I have no clear image of what the future looks like. 

All I know is that I will be riding my bike soon, in a very crowded city I love, close to friends and family, drinking alcohol in public areas and eating food I like much more, in an atmosphere I love with weird, funny and funky dressed, different people, with even more weird inappropriate behavior, just because in the Netherlands no one lives by the rules…..

The last 3 years have been one big awesome adventure for me and my family. I have made some very cool, nice friendships and feel sad about ending it and in the same time I feel grateful about having this experience and the fact that we are all in a great place going to a great place. 

And it is Spring! Finally. Great timing. Happy beginnings and happy endings! 

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The 20+ Transitioning Ritual

What if I could make up a perfect “Start your Quarter-life” ritual? Call me, and I will lead the Ritual!

It could be a ritual of at least 4 meetings.

1. The first meeting would be with the 20+ and her/his family (Parents, maybe Grandparents, Siblings and Aunts or Uncles)During this meeting they will talk/share about the following topics:

– What it means to start living on your own, finding a place to live, work, meeting new people, creating a new support system (internal and external), and nurturing yourself.

– First Grandma and Grandpa will share some experiences/feelings ( no direct advice), secondly the Mother will share, the Father, other family members who have been there (> age 35 ). This as in “story telling”. The others listen, don’t interrupt or respond right away.  The 20+ gets time to interview them. . She or he get’s a “special 20+ transitioning notebook” from her family, to make notes and write down anything learned.

2. The second meeting will be with the 20+ and her/his parents and maybe other adults close to the family.

During this meeting they will only talk about work and a career and financial planning and foundation. Again first the Mother, secondly the Father, and the other people can share their experiences. Again, no interrupting or responding, more like listening to the stories and learn from it. The 20+ can make notes in the “special 20+ transitioning notebook”

3. The third meeting will be with the 20+, her/his parents and siblings or friends. This meeting is all about sharing experiences/ feelings about the importance of relationships and finding a partner for life maybe having your own family one day. Again no responding to the stories, mostly listening and learning. The 20 + makes notes in her/his “special 20+ transitioning notebook”. There will also be talked about how times have changed, and everything is possible but how our bodies have not. Fertility facts, the costs and why planning a family is smart and how postponing this might be something you will regret later.

4. The fourth and last meeting is with the 20+ and her family and friends/peers. This meeting first the parents will share experiences/feelings about where to live, moving to new places, urban or suburban, what kind of house, neighborhood, commuting, where would you like your kids to grow up and everything related to this. Again the person talking will not be interrupted, no responding, just sharing and learning. The 20+ can make notes in her/his “special 20+ transitioning notebook”

All these meetings should take about 3 hours each and one meeting each month. The first meeting before leaving the house. The whole idea is to learn about taking charge and knowing that you are the making choices about your life. No one can do it for you, we all need to go through this and it’s scary and hard but most of all, the best time of your life were all major transitions happen.

Sounds perfect to me! I cannot wait till my girls graduate!