Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Home is where the Heart Is

Just the other day, I was reading on Holistic Parenting from an Afrikan Perspective a blog entitled "Changing the environment in your home can change your child's attitude and temperament". Of course, I wholeheartedly agree.

I think one of the most significant benefits being a stay-at-home mother affords me is that I can create a home for my children that is inviting, warm and filled with love. It makes me happy to note that for my family, it is not a special event when the house is filled with the scent of freshly baked bread or muffins.

But aside from that, I realized a while ago that a neat, tidy, uncluttered house is actually a house where the house's youngest residents spirits and minds are generally neat, tidy and uncluttered. You see, children are very receptive. In fact, I think they have one foot in the concrete world that adults inhabit and one foot in the spirit world. They are open to everything and this is why it so important to guard their senses. [ Before I had children, I was staunchly anti-tv for kids and had it been up to me alone, I still would be. But for DH, t.v. was a cherished part of his childhood and so the compromise has been DVDs (i.e. no live t.v.). Even so, it's interesting at times to note how quickly kids pick things up. Z1 got a Diego DVD from the library and has been talking about humpback whales, jaguars and macaws and saying things in Spanish. All in all, I guess this is not a bad thing.] In Meditations to Heal Your Life, Louise Hay says that children's negative behavior is often in mimicry of adults' own negative beliefs--so we to have to extremely scrupulous about what we let in to our heavens. I avoid listening to or watching the news. I go to BBC.com to read about world events once a day and that is it. Read negative stories? Through reading blogs I get exposed to stories that make me sad. I immediately offer up a chant and prayer for those suffering. I really make an effort to avoid stories that offer no hope or redemption (although I slipped up with one of my recent Octavia Butler reads). Gossip? I try hard to keep my speaking honorable, differentiating when it is talking about someone to bring them down and when it is talking about someone only as it relates to me. Harbor negative thoughts? Well, it is a daily work. Stabilizing and organizing my own life and mind as a parent stabilizes and organizes my children's lives and minds.

My house is a simple and humble house. It is a work in slow progress. But I try very hard to keep it uncluttered and neat. I posted my housekeeping schedule a while back. I keep that schedule because, yes, it's nice to have a clean house but I just notice how much more relaxed and orderly everything and everyone feels when the house is put together. Even teaching Z1 goes more smoothly if he's put his puzzles back on the shelf and returned all toys to the toy bin. I encourage him to pick up his clothes and put them in the hamper. To put his winter clothes in the bins and on the hooks where they belong. Everything has a place and so I just really try to keep everything in it's place.

I notice how airing the house out and lighting incense and candles changes the atmosphere. How smudging the house with sage really does purify. How making the beds every morning and making sure to never leave a room without putting something in order just leads to an overall positive and warm energy. I chuckle because every time my sister visits, she immediately feels comfortable enough to fall asleep. I enjoy making my house a home.

I grew up in a house that was very cluttered and not the cleanest. My mother, a clean and meticulous person by nature, just couldn't keep up with the house, a job and her severe asthma. My father, messy and organized only in his own mind by nature, usually had papers strewn around everywhere in the house, stacks of books everywhere. To use the dining room table involved almost an hour of moving stuff from the table and stacking them on the floor. I can attest to how crazy living in the house made me feel. I definitely made up my mind that my household would be the opposite.

So there are things here in my house that I'm working on getting in order and every time I accomplish something, I feel the energy of the house lift. It is encouraging, yes, but also drives me to want to make the house better and better.

Because, after all it really is true, Home is Where the Heart Is. Doesn't the Heart deserve to be housed well?

2 comments:

DeStouet said...

Chi-Chi,

I made my comment into a post at my blog. Why don't cha take a minute to drop by my blog and check it out.

Just Me said...

What a wonderful post. I too try and keep a schedule and keep the home in some sort of order. I don't always succeed, but I always try. You inspire me!
Sabrina

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