Updated: Feb 17, 2019
How do you re-source yourself?
Several years ago I had a conversation with my mother-in-law, Linda. We were talking about a meditative drawing workshop I was doing, and I described to her what my creative writing teacher introduced to me to in my 20s; the idea of a “homing thought” or a “homing feeling”. I asked the students in my meditative drawing class to think of something..an activity or a memory that made them feel like they were at home. Something they loved to do. No matter where they were. An activity that once engaged in, felt like it could last forever, and time would not matter.
This is what it is like when we are in a creative flow. We could be running, writing, doing yoga, listening to music, making art...anything, because for each of us, it could be something different. In my mother-in-law’s case, it was doing the laundry.
Laundry is what filled Linda up.
More specifically, it was hanging fresh laundry out to dry on the clothesline. She loved the smell of freshly cleaned linens. That is why she never bought a dryer. In the winter, when she couldn’t hang the clothes outside, she hung them in the basement. And why was that?
“The laundry reminds me of my mother” she told me. "It’s one memory that I have of her, watching her hang the clothes outside and so when I do it, I feel like she is there with me".
Linda’s mother died of ovarian cancer when she was 8 years old. The laundry connected her to her mom...and that connection to her mom is what brought her “home” to herself.
Just as the smell of fresh air dried laundry left a strong memory imprint for Linda, she, in turn, left a strong imprint on me and my family. She passed away over three years ago, and her birthday was a week ago today. To honor her, I bought a People magazine and a bag of Doritos on the night of her birthday...two things she loved..and felt like she was right there with me while I was reading and munching. I sensed that she was at home with me in that moment.
The thing is, the people and the things that fill us up never have to leave us. We may at sometimes feel disconnected from the things that we love or miss the things that we love to do, but we always have access to them. We can continually fill our cups in so many ways..and in ways that are unique to us..
On Friday we will be making mugs and talking about what replenishes us and ways we can balance our lives when we might feel like there is something missing. What brings us joy? What can we never get enough of? What are our resources? How do we re-source ourselves when we might be feeling burned out? Tired? Or stressed? Nourishing ourselves is the best way we can mother ourselves. We will be stamping what fills us up on the bottom of our mugs, so that with every sip, we can make our way to that replenishment, and we can make our way home.
If you are inspired, please register here :)