Last week we began our journey to create an authentic life by identifying what our authentic life would feel like and using that as the starting point. This week we are going to find out what an authentic life “looks like,” and there is no better place to begin than the place we call home.
I’ve always believed that the most profound words ever uttered in a move were the ones spoken by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz:
“There’s no place like home.”
Our home is our safe haven. It is our soft place to fall. It is the birthplace of our dreams and desires. It nourishes us. It sustains us. Most of all, it accepts us just as we are, wherever we are at any given moment.
How do you feel when you come home at the end of the day and open your door? Is it a feeling of welcome and love, or does it feel chaotic and unnerving? Is it uplifting or depressing? Is it open and light, or dark and cluttered? The energy in our homes has a direct connection to whether we are living an authentic life, or whether we are living just to maintain our homes. As the saying goes, do you own your stuff, or does your stuff own you?
I have done a great deal of downsizing over the last few years. I’ve written about this before, especially in book two of my Third Age Trilogy: “Second Chances: Lessons in Wisdom From A Life Well Lived.” (Available on Kindle through Amazon.com). I decided that I only wanted those things around me that I loved, that made me happy, that added to my well-being, or that were directly connected to creating meaningful experiences. Two sets of china didn’t do that, nor did over 300 books, dozens of movies and CD’s, clothes that lived in my closets but not on me, enough lighthouses to open a store … and I won’t even begin to talk about the teddy bear collection (you’ll have to read the book to find out what I did with that!). I did some research into the topic of downsizing, from reading books and blogs about minimalism, to watching videos and TV shows on tiny house living, to talking with other women over 60 who were ready to leave their old lives behind and create a new idea of what conscious aging looked like. While I haven’t succumbed to any extreme minimalist lifestyle, I now live in peaceful, blissful simplicity. It takes me very little time and effort to maintain my home and possessions. The time I save I can now use on creating experiences, creating work that I love, and spending more time with family and friends.
I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to downsize or become a minimalist, but your home should give you the same feeling that we discovered in our assignment for last week: Your home should feel as authentic as the authentic life you are creating. If it doesn’t feel that way, what can you do to begin creating your authentic home?You guessed it! This week’s assignment is going to ask you to do just that. Hopefully, by the time we’re done, the foundation for our authentic lives will have gotten even stronger, and with a strong foundation, we can build something that will last a lifetime!
I’ll see you over on the home page for this week’s writing assignment. In the meantime, as always, have fun with this.
Peace and blessings.