Holding Home is about deep immersion into the space where you start and end your day—that space where we settle into what’s happening for us, what we are facing, what we need to look at.
For me, the more that my home feels sacred and cozy, the more that I can relax my nervous system so that it can be deeply nourished. My teacher Paramatma Siri Sadhana told me that my job is to keep my nervous system relaxed so that my heart can be open.
So much stuff in our modern life and ways can constrict that—the relaxing of the nervous system. If we aren’t careful, our nervous system can get easily fried on the day-to-day vibration of rushing, technology, and cars. I’m becoming more aware of this and as I increase my awareness, I can increase my ability to regulate it and protect myself.
How do we relax? This is so important. Rest is a vital nutrient in our lives and in our days. Rest isn’t just something we should do when we are exhausted, but something that we should do before we are at that point. I love to create my home and space so that it is restful by nature. So that it heals me. So that it helps me breathe, open expand.
Home can be so many things. There is the old adage, home is where the heart is. And for many people, home is wherever they are, with HOLDING HOME: PART 1 their backpack on their shoulders. For me now in my life, home is here, in my house with my family. It is where I live with them, eat with them, sleep with them, nourish them—and where they nourish me. Home is in the bed with my daughter asleep next to me; it is in the dark hours before dawn when I awaken by myself and go to the kitchen for my sadhana before anyone else awakens. It is in the tea that my husband brews for me in the glass kettle on the stove.
In these walls, I am home. And each day I strive to make this place a sanctuary not only for my guests and my family, but for myself so that I can truly be myself, and find my center.
For me, really making sure that my home is restful and that it feels nourishing to me is a really big priority. My kitchen table is really important to me. I started a tradition last night where I wrote questions on index cards and put them under everyone’s plates before dinner. Only 2 of my family members ended up getting into it, but it was still fun. On the cards I wrote things like What is your best memory? What is your best moment from summer? Even though not everyone loved it, I’m still going to keep it up for a while to contribute to dinner conversation (which gets more challenging as kids get older).
If you’re single or don’t have kids, you can still do this, or a version of it. You can still create questions or ideas and put them on cards under your plate! You could make a writing prompt, or even use oracle cards or tarot cards instead. Make up your own deck and then write every day in a time that is sacred … before breakfast, after dinner, whenever it is for you.
I want to encourage all of us to sit down for those meals, for that tea, with your journal and pen and look at it as a real opportunity to see what’s going on with you.
Let us embrace our eating spaces and our tables as holy, because they are. Let’s allow them to nourish us, because that’s what they do.