Doing what we do

What makes your home a haven – where family values and a sense of belonging go hand-in-hand?

What makes your home a haven – where family values and a sense of belonging go hand-in-hand?

If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, protects the dreamer, allows one to dream in peaceGaston Bachelard, French philosopher of science and literary critic

I saw a beautiful mural in a home the other day. It represents everything the family ‘do’ in their house, such as ‘we do smiles, we do I’m sorry, we do family time and we do REAL’. This got me thinking about what I ‘do’ in my own house.

With a home full of teenagers, there is definitely a big percentage of ‘we do noise’! Despite work commitments and after-school activities, we make sure some evenings ‘we do dinner together’ and have great conversation and lots of laughs. And we most definitely ‘do singing’. There isn’t a day that goes by where someone isn’t breaking into song.

Then there are the activities that I choose to do – like cleaning the lounge windows so my view is unobstructed and making my bed each morning so that after a busy day I can climb into crisp white sheets and pull my oversized duvet up around my shoulders.

As a child, when I felt unwell, my mum would place a cotton sheet on the couch and I’d climb on so she could wrap me up. Sometimes on a Sunday when I have the house to myself, I grab a sheet, a good book or girly flick and indulge in those childhood sofa moments. It’s these rituals that make my house a home and a sanctuary where I love spending time.

The other day I went to see a client who wanted to create some much-needed balance in her life. Everything had become a little hectic. During our session she mentioned she didn’t like the home she lived in – and I had to smile at the timing, as I was halfway through writing this column.

We talked about what her ideal house looked like. I asked her to spend some time writing exactly what she wanted in a home, what it might look like, how she would feel when she moved in, and so on. Doing this simple exercise really changed the energy within our meeting.

When I asked her how she might enjoy her present house more, she identified decluttering as one activity she knew would make a huge difference. It’s liberating when you find things you can do here and now to make your situation better. We also touched on self-worth and how when we feel good about ourselves we are more likely to attract what we love. In the end, home is where the heart is – and that’s true whatever house you live in.

Tracy Manu is a mother in a blended household of five teenagers. She is a lifestyle coach who loves helping clients find balance in busyness, which they achieve their goals. For more, visit her website here

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