Home Is Where the Heart Is.

I remember awhile back I wanted to make sukiyaki (one of my all-time favorite dishes).  I scoured the cabinets for what seemed like forever, trying to find my electric hot-pot.  Then, it finally dawned on me.  It was most likely the permanent addition to an ex's fabulous cooking pan collection.  This caused me to think back on all the other items that I had unknowingly 'lost' in multiple moves between college, graduate school, and thereafter- ceramic dishes, a George Foreman grill, Osterizer blender (believe me, I'm not dumb enough to leave my Vitamix behind!), furniture pieces, and household appliances.

I suppose at the end of the day, the most important thing is that I survived all of these moves.

The process of packing and unpacking causes you to re-evaluate what's really important, and what can be donated to Goodwill.  And, just like the heart, times like these cause you to examine what good memories to hold onto and what emotional baggage should be tossed and disposed of before making your transition.  There is always a need for this- deciding what to collect, cherish and hang onto, and what to gently discard since it no longer serves you. 

When I first moved into my apartment a few years ago, I had no couch, no bed, and quite honestly, no hope.  "It's only a temporary place until I figure out what to do next," was my reasoning.

And then one night, I was flipping through a Maya Angelou calendar and came across this:

It was then when I realized that no matter what my living situation or location was, I was home.  That same night was when I hung my first artpiece over the fireplace, balancing precariously on a stepstool bench (the dining room table set was still yet to come), and as the hammer hit the nail and pierced through the wall, I felt this tangible sense of finally making this place my 'home.'

The Holstee Manifesto- which I've adopted as my own...

Last week, as I gazed above my fireplace, it occurred to me how this first framed quote really did become my life's manifesto, both within my home and more importantly, in my heart.  And that made me smile.

Growing up, I always loved Jim Elliot's quote- "Wherever you are, be all there."  It applies to the work that we do, the friendships we maintain, the house we reside in, and most importantly, ourselves.  So often it's easy to show up for someone else, but how many people make a consistent effort to show up for themselves?  To schedule self-care days, to practice meditation, to be fully present with themselves without any distractions?

Taking in the beauty during this morning's sunrise...
For me, self-care is surrounding myself in nature...view from today's hike...
Because really, home is like your heart.  You can decide for yourself that you want to move, or you may be forced to move, to uproot and be transplanted elsewhere.  Even in times of uncertainty and impermanence, you must not forget, like Maya Angelou, that we are at home wherever we find ourselves.

So go ahead- paint the wall your favorite color, instead of leaving it white so you don't have to repaint it if/when you move.  Hang up your favorite painting.  Home is much more than where you lay your head down at night.  

Know that you hold the key to your own front door.  You can give copies of the key to a few choice people, and you have the authority to change the lock if you need to.  Ultimately, it's up to you to decide who you let in.  But regardless of all of this, remember to be true to yourself.  Because at the end of the day, that's the best feeling to always come home to.