How to Feel at Home Right Where You Are

Photo by Dennis J Coughlin

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In the book, Simply Tuesday, Emily P. Freeman recalls an incident that occurred during a rough patch in her life:

“It was in the midst of this struggle that a trusted mentor encouraged me with these strange words: “Celebrate your smallness.” I wanted to see the big picture of my life and instead he told me to be small—not only to be small, but also to celebrate it.”

Emily was taken aback by the comment. Celebrate your smallness? That was his answer?

Yet, over time, Emily came to understand and appreciate that advice.

Stop Building Cities

“If I could turn the lights out, all the world’s lights, how many stars would I see? One or two thousand? Five thousand on a moonless night? Would seeing them be enough to remind me I am small?”

We all tend to charge through our busy days with all the “lights turned on”. I know I do.

When I take on a new project or hobby, more often than not, it becomes an obsession. I go at it with all my energy, making a lot of noise along the way.

I take little projects and transform them into big complicated ones. I build cities in my life that are full of light and commotion.

What Emily is proposing is that we take a moment to turn off the lights so we can appreciate the night sky.

One of the reasons we fill our lives with so many lights and sounds is that it makes us feel safe. We drown out the silence because silence is awkward and unnerving.

On the rare occasion when I find myself in an empty house and the family is out for the day, I notice the silence. It appears beside me like a new presence in the house.

Sometimes I’ll turn on the TV in the living room even though I’m in the kitchen doing the dishes. Okay, I’m rarely in the kitchen doing the dishes and you’d be more likely to find me falling asleep in a chair, but you get the idea.

I bring back the noise because I’m not used to the quiet.

Turn Off the Constant Buzz

“You already know life is sacred. You know the moments count. You know that most of the tasks on your to-do lists aren’t all that important in the scheme of things. And yet. The constant buzzing inside your soul won’t seem to quit. That tight spot between your shoulders won’t smooth out.”

In Simply Tuesday, Emily tells a story about one night at home with her family when she was not able to concentrate on a TV show. She could not figure out why she was having such a hard time relaxing.

Then the dishwasher finished its job and turned itself off in the kitchen. It was then that she realised the background noise of the dishwater had been putting her mind on edge.

Life is like that. We don’t even realise how much noise is distracting us until it stops and we get the chance to sit in silence for a moment.

This constant racket is drowning out our thoughts. It is preventing us from stepping back and getting a chance to breathe.

Sitting in peace and quiet is never an easy task. You’ll have to fight for those moments.

Enjoy The Ordinary Days

“Instead of forgetting or running from my own smallness, what if I chose instead to look it in the face, to settle down into the place where I am, to notice what is happening around me on my ordinary days?”

Appreciating the small moments in life takes dedication and determination. You need to build up a daily habit, in the same way you would add the daily practice of gratitude into your life.

Finding those small, quiet moments is not something that I find easy. To succeed, I know I have to schedule it into my life along with all the other routine tasks. I have to set myself reminders so I see them first thing in the morning. I also have to make a list of everything I’m grateful for each day.

After reading Simply Tuesday, I think I should add another list to keep track of the “Small Moments” that occur each day. Moments like watching my daughter ride her bike at the front of the house or listening to my sons tell me a joke.

Those are the ordinary, yet brilliant moments that fill our lives. In this age of instant, on-demand content, we are entertained by constant feeds of information. We need to rewire our brains so we can slow down and appreciate these moments.

The small moments of the day can be the best.

Find Your Bench

“In my own soul, when I feel the need rise up in me for recognition, appreciation, and validation; when I feel my soul grasp and grope for worth, significance, a city to call my own, I want to look for the bench instead. How can I sit down on the inside? A city is big and bright, loud and fast, important. A bench is small, quiet, and still with only enough room for a few.”

Emily points out that we all need a quiet bench in our lives. A place where we go to recharge and reconnect with the important people and things in our lives. A place where we can invite our closest friends to take a seat beside us.

Brené Brown said:

“We need to share with those who have earned the right to hear it and people who are invested in the friendship. Social media has given us this idea that we should all have a posse of friends when in reality, if we have one or two really good friends, we are lucky.“

If we are lucky enough to have one or two people we can trust with our deepest thoughts, then we should share these small moments with them. Those are the people who will appreciate hearing about them.

Then, as you sit, you also have the chance to listen. To listen to their story and hear about the small moments in their day. You’ll connect as you discover the common threads in your lives.

Live in the Moment

“May we be people who see home right where we are, refusing to run into the future or pine over the past.”

This quote from Simply Tuesday sums it all up for me. We need to live in the now. Home is right where you are at this very moment in time.

Appreciate this small moment. Turn off some of those lights and look up.

~

I would love to hear your tips for enjoying the small moments in life. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.