Home. It's an interesting concept, and one I've been reflecting on not only now, as we transition through late summer (correlating to the earth element in TCM) but for a good chunk of my life. As a teenager I couldn't wait to put as much distance as possible between me and my home town and roots, but a decade on and I've finally made peace with it... and myself.
While some might label a place on the map as home, anyone who has had a strong connection with another place will tell you this doesn't always correlate to where you were born.
Some of my homes include Berlin, India, Australia, and my real, 'heart home' that speaks to me on a soul level will forever be the Austalian desert.
After visiting my first desert in Rajasthan, northern India, there was something about the landscape that infatuated me, an old soul contract I couldn't explain, a feeling I had been there before.
The sights, the smells, the textures, the ancient wisdom, I could feel it in my bones, and this led me to seek out deserts further on my travels, all the way to the Northern Territory (pictured above), in Australia, where I hope I find my way back to and spend the rest of my days, when the time is right.
Anywhere can be home, because it is a feeling. It is a feeling of belonging and familiarity and if we can learn to inhabit it in our bodies first, it becomes easier to do the same with our external landscape - as is micro so is macro.
We may become attached to external places, people and things but yoga teaches us our true nature, spirit, atman is never changing. If we can practice aparigraha or non grasping we can free ourselves of so much pain and suffering.
One of my favourite poets, Kahlil Gibran says it best in his speech 'On Houses' from the epic text 'The Prophet'. He says:
Your house may be your larger body, but your body is your first home, the earth the second.
Below are some affirmations useful for feeling safe and secure in your body, you can say them out loud, read them, write them, place them in places you'll see them regularly.
I am safe.
I am secure.
I am grounded.
My body is healthy and strong.
I am nourished and supported.
It is safe to be in my body.
Other useful ways to ground include walking barefoot, eating more root veggies, and implementing some sort of structure and routine. Most seated yoga poses are very grounding as are standing poses, concentrating on the connection of the feet with the earth.
What does home feel like to you? Internally and externally?
Internally it feels like spaciousness, like a glimpse of clarity, serenity and truth. Outwardly for me it is the feeling of sand beneath my feet, sun on my skin, warm cups of tea, the embrace of loved ones, my yoga mat, the elation I feel out running.
What does home feel like to you? I'd love to hear in the comments.