Seeing Your Home As Your Spiritual Domain

What do religious people do when they want to feel close to their creator?  Pray, yes.  But where do they go?

To church, of course.

So where do non-religious people go?  

Well, uh, nowhere.  Why do we have to go places in order to feel spiritual?  Does spirituality only exist in places?

As a child, my family went to church only a handful of times.  I loved my church.  Although I could have cared less what the pastor was saying in front of us.  I just loved the church itself.  

The feeling of that magnificent place, with its color-stained windows and statues on crosses....the silence, the kneeling, the singing, the bowed heads (it's the prime body posture for God to hear your prayers, right?).  I had always cheated and looked around see the masses of people everywhere, silently praying.  It was quite humbling.

Then came summer bible camps, that I loved more than anything on Earth.  To this day I have no idea why I loved it so much (perhaps it was the cute high school boy who helped run the camp?).  I know partly it was because of the floppy records with bible songs we'd get every year that I'd take home and play until they wouldn't play anymore (I worked hard constantly to memorize all the songs).  I loved those friggin' records.

I was all about that Jesus, no devil!

Though I actually never really believed in either one.........

The truth was: I used church to fuel my own spiritual beliefs. 

I honestly don't remember one thing they ever taught me (besides the Apostle's Creed during confirmation), but I sure remember how it made me feel.  It felt like home.  

Eventually I realized that I got the same exact feeling (although a tad different, yet perhaps more) when I was in nature.  Growing up with a golf course as my front yard helped develop my taste for all things natural.  When I wanted to get away from my turbulent home life, I'd hide in the trees and gorgeous areas of the golf course's natural beauty.  It was safe to say, I fell in love with nature.
I used nature anywhere I could get it: on top of my clubhouse to just stare at the stars; hiding in the fallen trees after a storm had ripped them out; on my front porch as it stormed (the lightening and rain were electric!); just looking out my own window into the blue skies.  These were the places I found my connection.  Those were the places that felt like home.

I felt like I was a part of something larger than myself, even if it was just the clouds, the sky, the universe and Earth and all of the galaxy, rather than some sort of being out there making decisions for me.  I mean, I did talk to "god", but not then.  Then I was communing with nature.
And I always felt there was a difference between the two.  "God" (not normally capitalized) was someone I talked to when I didn't want to feel alone anymore.  He was who I talked to when I needed someone to tell me everything was going to be okay.  We were buddies.  He didn't rule me.  We walked together hand in hand and kept each other company.  I had my own spiritual leanings, not bound by any dogmatic religion (although some harmful parts of it did plague me for part of my childhood).

The point is, my spiritual domain, while strong in certain places I'd visit, were always just really inside of me.
And still is.  But yet, as a child, I never felt spiritual inside of my own home.  There was too much chaos, to much yelling, too much insanity.  Feeling spiritual was when I felt calm, connected, and happy.  And those were not things my house conveyed to me.  I had to find an "escape" in order to feel those things.  So as a child, I spent a majority of my life outdoors, in all forms of weather (as each season brought a new thing for me to commune with and be grateful for), just so I could feel that feeling of beauty, wonder, and enlightenment.

But now as an adult, I can choose to make anywhere I am at just as spiritual as I felt back then.  I am not at the whim of crazy people who were called "my parents" anymore.  I can make my home what I want and feel how I want.  And while I still will never feel more connected to life than out in nature, I have the opportunity to make my home feel safe, calm, and spiritual if I want to.  

We can use our homes to feel centered, rather than chaotic.  We can make our homes feel like a place to revere, rather than something to avoid.  Or even something as menial as "a chore" (like repairs and cleaning and pets and kids and chaos, etc.).  We can choose to value our homes as we do those sacred places we flee to when we need them.  Our homes can be our shrines.  Our havens.

Ask yourself these questions when thinking about how to make your home your spiritual domain:
  • What are your requirements for feeling "spiritual"?  I don't mean where you'd pray or honor deities (unless you want to), I mean where you feel connected to life.  Where you feel calm, serene, & free.
  • What are you carrying from your past as a child that is making your home not carry the feelings you wish you could have it embody?
  • How does the outside of your home look?  What about the inside?  Does it nurture you?  Or annoy you?
  • How does your home make you feel?  Inspired?  Frustrated?  Happy?  Sad?  Calm?  Angry?  
  • When you pull up into your driveway, do you dread going inside?  Or are you happy to be home because you know you can destress and feel calm?
  • What's stopping you from having the feeling you want in your home?  Clutter?  Broken furniture? Annoying paint color?  Dirt? 
  • List the ways you'd like your home to make you feel.  

Some people have a room they dedicate to spiritual doings.  I am asking you to turn your entire home into a spiritual doing.  To stop placing the emphasis on "where" you feel connected, and start feeling connected everywhere.  I don't mean to "god" or anything in particular.  I mean just....connected.  Serene.  Calm.  Happy.

Like, the real you.

You want to walk into your home and home.  Like I did when I went to church or sat under a tree.  

Spirituality: what does that word mean to you? Even if you're an athiest with spiritual leanings, you can get my gist.  You can smell what I am cooking here.  You can tune into my vibe.  You get it.  Spirituality is just as much about how you feel during this life as it can be what kinds of ideas you entertain.

So, what do you want to feel?  Figure this out, and come back to me next Sunday for the second installment in this series: Seeing Your Home As Your Spiritual Domain Pt. 2.

We'll talk about what actions you can take to turn your home into your spiritual domain.

So make your lists, answer the questions above, and we can figure what to do next.

See you next Sunday 😏

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