I got home and while putting things away decided to keep the door open, although I knew it meant flies could enter, whose tone I find irritating. A noisy fly entered and bounced its buzz all around and I got up to close the door. Immediately I felt a calm. “Now I’m contained.” And that’s when I realized: a house is a womb.
What About Wombs?
I don’t think I liked being in my mother’s womb.
I didn’t feel at home growing up with my family or my culture.
I remember when I was unhappily married how I kept myself away from home, not wanting to return. And how when I moved into a house where I felt happy with my life, the location, architecture, trees and weeds growing around – when I would return home I felt glad to be there. This was a new experience and a good sign.
Now I live in an unfinished inside-outside house surrounded by fields, cows, corn, horses, campesinos and good neighbors, and I am so grateful.
I used to begrudge this house’s cement floors which are ugly and impossible to keep clean. I used to whine about having to walk so far to get up to town for water, food or transportation. I don’t know why, but I’m happy here now. I love my life, what I see and hear when I’m at home: roosters, birds, workers, insects, tree frogs.
I thought to be happy I needed more physical comfort. Perhaps what accounts for my current ease is this:
Being with what is without judgement allows for a comfort which radiates from inside.
I struggled for years to be approved of. I gave others (my culture, my father in particular) power to set me free or not. I had my eyes outside of me, looking towards my life with projected judgement.
When I was preparing to travel in Guatemala for five months I knew it would be challenging for me not having a home, a place to come back to, where I had a sacred space set up. I told myself that the only way this would work is with the attitude, “Whereever I am, is home."
What's Between You and Your Dream?
I have followed a path of conscious simple living for over twenty years.
Many times my decisions have felt easy and free of doubt – like riding a bike to work and bringing my lunch from home in recyclable containers. Then there are other situations, like creating my life and a livlihood from scratch in a rural mountain village in México, that are at times frought with fear and doubt. I see this as a spiritual malady on my part, and also as a result of messages from my culture about wealth, money, security and success.
People have told me I’m brave.
They’ve admired me and proclaimed, “I could never do what you did.” My response is always, “My life was not so different from yours. It’s a choice. If you want to do it, you can do it, too.”
9 Questions to Ask if You're Not Living in Your Dream Home
1. How much of what keeps you from doing what you really want in your life stems from the opinions and judgements of those outside yourself?
2. What messages have you picked up from your family and culture?
3. What power do you continue to give away to people and groups outside yourself?
4. Does that serve you?
5. What would it feel like to view your life from the inside?
6. What’s at risk if you do?
7. What’s at risk if you don’t?
8. What would it be like to put your hands over your heart, close your eyes, and feel your life from the inside of you, for just a minute?
9. What small action can you take right now to nurture seeing and claiming your life from the inside, the heart of your homb?
After childhood, noone has the right or power to decide how we live.
The View is Better From In Here
Living so on the edge, choosing a life so consciously uncertain, I have often felt the terror of no home base, nothing to call home. The fundamental issue is feeling safe in the universe. Safe with the free fall of complete and constant mystery and change.
Where is the security? That is what I have sought for these years and that is why I dedicated myself to the training and practice of Shambhala meditation: to find home and safety in a place which is unmoving and unchanging, in the core of my being where I belong.
It took years, but I can now say that most days I am no longer bound by the opinions and judgements of others. (More, I am plagued by my own self-criticisms, but that’s another piece of my work!)
I am learning to see my life from inside. And when I am there, I feel how being inside my life is coming homb.
If you are seeking your ideal life, where you feel at home within it and with how you are living, I invite you to read my memoir: Calling Myself Home: Living Simply, Following Your Heart and What Happens When You Jump. It tells the story of how I went from feeling a foreigner in my family, culture and lifestyle, to choosing and following a heartled path that led me home to myself. You deserve this too. It's an inspiring and encouraging read, and I wrote it for YOU!
Robin Rainbow Gate
I help people midlife and beyond to find their inner power, health and well being through slow, conscious living
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