"This feels like home." We all probably use this phrase loosely in everyday conversation, along with much-loved sayings like "home is where the heart is." But do we ever pause to really consider what the true meaning of home is?
The easy interpretation would be to equate our home with the space we live in. But a true home has a broader, spiritual connotation. It embodies a magical, intangible feeling of cosiness and familiarity that goes far beyond the four walls of our apartment flats. It's why we often find ourselves saying that certain people or smells feel like home – like the smell of a perfume that might remind you of your partner; the taste of a hearty meal that brings to mind your grandmother's favourite dish; or even a deep conversation with a friend that puts you at ease and creates a special bond.
If home is more of a feeling than an inanimate object, it means that we can recreate it anywhere, no matter our physical location. If we are spending a lot of time on the road, it’s always possible to return home in spirit by going back to the smells, tastes and rituals that feel the most familiar to us. This means that by identifying what home really means to us we can avoid discomfort no matter our physical location.
The power of journaling
How do we go about uncovering our personal interpretation of home? It all starts with self-awareness––which requires slowing down and getting back in touch with our intuition and that inner knowing that often gets drowned out by the noise of everyday life and other people’s opinions. Journaling can help us quiet our minds and access our authentic selves.
So as you start your quest for your home, take a beautiful notebook, get creative, and start freewriting. Look back at your life, think of all the moments you felt at ease and your most comfortable, and start writing them down. It will only be a matter of time until you start to notice patterns. Perhaps you always feel your best or calmest when you’re by the sea? Or when you’re spending time alone? Others might sense this sense of ease and being at home with a specific person, given their positive energy and the values they stand for in life.
Discovering the people, places, and situations that create this homey feeling in our lives is the most crucial step in the quest for home. Ultimately, the ability to identify what makes you feel at home means you’re getting to know yourself better and gaining the skills to recreate a safe, cosy atmosphere no matter where you are. You might be travelling for work and needing to stay away from loved ones for long stretches of time, but by having that understanding that home goes beyond the physical space you inhabit, you’ll be able to turn any location into a homey, safe space for yourself.
It might mean lighting a candle, spraying your favourite perfume or essential oils across the hotel room you’re temporarily staying at, and treating yourself to your favourite ritual that reminds you of time spent back home. For others it might mean waking up early and going for a run to clear your mind and feel productive, or arranging a short video call with your partner or parents––to feel their love, see their smile, and hear some words of encouragement. It’s all about identifying and recreating those rituals from your day-to-day life that help you come back to the most conscious version of yourself.
Perhaps some of the most powerful rituals that can help anyone and everyone return to their spiritual homes almost instantly include journaling and meditation. Just a few minutes of breathing and meditation every day help you relax and get back in touch with your inner world––where our true homes lie. Similarly, spending a few minutes each morning and evening expressing gratitude in your Five Minute Journal will trigger the same sense of safety and reassurance––and as long as you are in touch with your inner, spiritual self, you will always feel at home.
While the feeling of being at home is indeed a more spiritual one, there’s also much to be said about the value of our physical homes, where we spend some of the most intimate moments of our day. That’s why it’s crucial to make an effort and ensure these spaces look and feel good, even if they are smaller than our liking or temporary.
Living in a tidy, aesthetically pleasing environment can help us wind down more easily and generally feel more positive. We can achieve this with small, daily habits such as making our beds everyday, washing up the dishes, and tidying up after ourselves. But it’s equally important to go the extra mile and add personal touches to our spaces: it can be anything from pictures of our loved ones, to some cushions in our favorite, mood-boosting shade, or a poster filled with positive affirmations. Our physical homes are crucial in making us feel safe and protected, so looking after those spaces is another sign of self-love and self-respect.
Ultimately, home can be interpreted in many ways: from the physical spaces we spend our private lives in, to an invincible spirit that inspires safety and familiarity. What truly counts is our willingness to stay curious, look deep inside, and discover what makes us feel truly at home. And the best part? There are no rules and no set formula: every single one of us is different and free to create their own ideal home, both physically and spiritually.
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