Home: a Mid-Year Review

succulent garden on the back step

succulent garden on the back step

In 2013, I traveled a lot, took many ecourses, went to retreats and workshops, funded multiple Kickstarter projects, gave money to various individuals and charities, gave gifts and wrote many thank yous. I was homesick for myself, needed to redirect, spend a little bit of time not giving so much away, to sink into myself, the moment, the place.

My word for 2014: Home. This is the way I explained my choice at the beginning of the year,

This next year, I long for a return home, to feel at home — in my body, my house, my work, my job, my relationships, my life. I long for the sense of comfort, safety, authority, belonging and ease that comes with “home.” I want to nest right where I am, to clear out room, make space, settle in. The process of clearing is related to what Rumi says, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” And it’s not just about me, solitary and alone, but as Ram Dass says, “we are all just walking each other home.”

2014 is now at the midpoint, half way done. Choosing “home” to guide me, as a reminder of how I want to experience my life, has been of great benefit to me. It has also surprised me. I knew it meant literally being home, a return to a simpler way of being, bringing all my resources to focus on this place, it’s physical form and the space inside of me, shelter and shape. What I forgot was that it would also mean confronting the monsters under my bed, the skeletons in my closet, the dirty dishes in the sink.

In 2014. I vowed to:

Inhabit, embody, live IN 2014, be present for my life, be in my body, awake in every moment I can be.

In 2014, I am going to do a lot, even though I always say I’m going to slow down, pace myself. And yet, my intention is to focus more on my experience, how I want to feel rather than what I accomplish, so maybe I could also say that in 2014, I am going to do less.

In 2014, I am going to feel free, more at ease, grounded and centered, loved, joyful and grateful, rested and energized, satisfied.

In 2014, I am not going to diet or weigh myself. I am not going to “should all over myself” or smash myself to bits. I won’t abandon myself, won’t apologize for myself, won’t give too much of myself away.

If I haven’t accomplished all these things, I’ve tried, lived in the intention. Some things that surprised me about choosing “home” as my guiding word:

  • Raising a puppy without help while Eric and I both worked full-time, and starting yoga teacher training, was so much harder than I expected.
  • Committing to no ecourses or workshops or Kickstarter projects, etc., was so much harder than I thought. I wanted to be there, to go and to help.
  • I didn’t realize how much “home” would need me, specifically Eric and Sam and Ringo, my tiny little family. Eric and I have been through some really hard things in the past five years (some that I don’t even talk about here), and our confidence has been shaken. We’ve faced directly that we aren’t in control, can’t fix everything, that really bad things happen all the time to us and the beings we love. We are trying to figure out how to be comfortable in that chaos, how to find joy and ease, a sense of peace when there is so much suffering. And then Sam was mysteriously sick for so long and Ringo has been so much more challenging than we expected. I had to give up a lot, stop doing things, spend way more time here, give more attention to this.
  • Being at home, comfortable in my body has been tough. After years of hating and pushing it, wishing it away, it’s hard to shift to acceptance and love. I’m rounder, softer, take up more space, and I feel judgement burning me as if the house next door were on fire. Old habits, ways of being are sticky and deep, difficult to shift.

All of this, the obstacles and unexpected difficulty, force me to be honest — about who I am, what I want, what I’m doing, what I value. It means saying “no” more often. It means lowering the bar. Letting go, surrender. Staying with the discomfort rather than freaking out and running away, staying awake rather than numbing out. Keeping my heart open.

8 thoughts on “Home: a Mid-Year Review

  1. tinakomi

    So much I want to say, but not a lot of time right now. I’m just feeling grateful to know you and that you share your heart with so much compassion, authenticity, and love. I always learn from you. You’re a light in my world, Jill. xo

    Reply
  2. Regina Kelly

    Jill, you are such a wonderful writer, have a great gift for communicating life and the beauty and the wreckage we all walk through.
    I wish I could introduce you to my son Sam Houghteling (a kid 28) and his dog Teddy. Sam has a job at the City of Ft. Collins, and just applied for a job at CSU. He loves it there. I will be coming for a visit soon as I end my status as laid-off librarian.
    Regina

    Reply
    1. jillsalahub Post author

      Thank you so much, Regina! I can’t remember, have YOU been here before? It’s so beautiful. I really do love it, but miss the ocean — which is why we are heading to Oregon for a bit. ♥

      Reply
  3. Rita Ott Ramstad

    So appreciate this post, for all kinds of reasons. It is nice to know I am not alone in wanting these things and failing to entirely achieve them. Struggling particularly with similar desires to feel at home in my body. It is changing in ways I’ve never experienced before, and reading your words, I realize that what is hardest for me is that I haven’t felt at home in my body. It’s a strange feeling.

    Reply
  4. Jen

    Jill, I always look forward to reading your blog… This post that you wrote especially moved me. I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. You share in such a beautiful and honest way … I can relate to some of your journey.
    Thank you for your transparency it is wonderful. 🙂

    Reply

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