Monday, May 9, 2016

How To Support and Love the Autistics in Your Life, Mother's Day, and The Colour Psych of Brown.

Ha. My blog titles are long winded and kind of hilarious. I think my titles are the biggest indicator that I don't blog for money. Weirdly enough all the themes in my title are woven together for a fairly cohesive post. I think. It's all connected in my mind anyway.

I call Sam my aspie virtual twin. She writes what I wish I could or what I have written before, or thoughts that have been literally in my head in the same way they have been in hers. It's weird and awesome. Even though she is highly individual and I do not negate her own personal experiences, I see much of myself also in her writing. I know other aspies/autistics and of course we share commonalities but we are as diverse as 'normal' people. We are snowflakes. With Sam, however, I feel as though we have more common beliefs on life than most people I meet (dear Sam- I have never asked- are you an INFJ? Maybe that is it?) Regardless, Sam just wrote a post called 10 ways to assist your Autistic Loved One here: and I highly suggest, if you want to understand someone in your life who is Autistic, or you are yourself, it's worth a perusal. I am not going to repeat her information because she wrote it clearly and concisely and did justice to the ten points. I am, however, going to add a few thoughts I have had of late. 

(My other Aspie girl)

There are few places Autistics can truly be themselves in our current culture. See my previous posts on Ableism found in the Aspergers/ Autism label on the side. The importance of ONE place to belong is crucial. I am lucky in the fact that my home, my husband and my children are the place I can BELONG. Despite some challenges I would never 'get rid' of my autism. It's part of me. I am who I am with autism. Just like I am who I am with grey/ green/blue eyes. I have learned beauty and brutal from disabilities and abilities alike. I am a unique parcel of individuality. Those who love me for this are my team. I don't expect understanding elsewhere because I realize the world comes with cultural context. Our culture has not been coached on ableism nor have our civil rights come far on disability- even from the kindest of people. I don't even expect others with similar neurological wiring to feel the same because I remember the beginning of my journey. I remember some of my own ableist mindsets and even grief upon learning that I would never be 'normal' but now I embrace this with all of my being. But it took wonderful mentors, other aspie blogs and beginning to know myself to get to where I am today. 

Still, the world is not the safest place for someone with the levels of sensory overload and differing perpsectives I have. Since I was little I despised the movie and the book 'Alice in Wonderland'. It creeped me out. But as I mentioned before HERE  Lewis Carrol had wit, imagination and a penchant for crafting profound words. In the newer Tim Burton films I related to Alice. I realized it is because I often feel like Alice in our world. To me normalcy looks like Wonderland. I don't fit. I often feel a tad mad. Which is why, when one walks into our home- they come across this quote, "'Have I gone mad?' 'I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the Best people are.'"

I firmly believe in holding on to what makes you unique. I don't  want to lose my muchness. I also want to honour that in others. Let's pull out our collective and individual imaginations...the lovers, the bonkers, dreamers, bohemians, eccentrics, and all those with childlike wonder. 

Lately, I have realized  that I tend to pick chocolate browns for many themes in my home. I see connections and layers in everything. I realized that I needed to peel back the layers to discover why brown is a prominent factor in my life right now. I googled and found THIS article. Brown is the colour of security, protection and material physical wealth within balance. I am all about my home decor, my materials, and material beauty. However, I would not call myself materialistic. Yes, I see the dichotomy and I can honestly say it's my truth. I am the most self aware person I know- and I know many self aware people so that is saying a lot. I trust my process. I realized years ago that my 'stuff' is part of my security. As an autistic, 'stuff' represents something akin to music. Obviously, it will be different for each person with autism, but for myself, my stuff that I enjoy are part of the world I create for myself with sensory appeal. When I go out into the world I have to deal with everyone else's stuff. Their rules, their sensory preferences which often include painful traditions or acceptance of 'normality' that are like torture to me. Think bright fluorescent lights, abrasive birthday songs ect. (see THIS  and THIS post for more.) Thus it would make sense that brown is one of my new favourite colours. I am also equally drawn to tones of green, indigo, red and oranges, but brown is the main background I choose. The article on the colour brown basically mentioned everything I value, qualities I possess or choose to expand upon, and what I look for in my optimal home environment. Being Autistic in the world is only part of my story- but it's an important part.

This last year I have chosen to focus on other pursuits besides forms of advocacy. It is what has been needed, but every now and then, I think it's an important reminder - to put out there- that autism makes individual people who deserve to be loved for WHOM they are and treated with respect. As I wrote HERE "Let's get this myth out of the way first...we actually do not wanted to be treated "normally". There is a difference between being treated with understanding and dignity and being treated like every other normally wired person. We are NOT wired normally so there are exceptions to our treatment. This is true in the medical world so it is going to also be true in the social world. We DO want to be treated with the SAME respect regarding our gifts and weaknesses that normal people do but this does not translate into being treated "normally." In my experience "normally" means  being forced into experiencing some sensory torture or having others be inconsiderate about the fact that eye contact feels painful."

Yesterday, on Mother's day, my husband experienced his first mother's day without his mom, which is why I felt guilt at first, when I realized it was the best mother's day I had ever experienced. When I searched my own guilt, I realized why my day was the best one. Because he lost his own mom, my husband really went all out this year for me as a mother. I received queen level treatment. Not only did he buy me the gifts pictured above including a vessel sink for upstairs I had my eye on but he kept telling my kids they only have one mother and "she's a very fantastic one. In fact kids I'd say the best in the world because she tries to understand you and helps you understand yourself, she gives you opportunities which many children do not get, perspectives and life at home. You get a mother which most only imagine and she deserves to be celebrated." This greatly touched me. He put aside his grief because of his gratitude and love for the mother of his own kids. To me, that moment, made me realize how much I am loved and accepted for who I am. Because I am my most real with my husband and children. I was sad about mom being gone but the pure love infused in my life made for some mixed emotions. I think she would want me to enjoy my children on mother's day. I know she always enjoyed hers and her grandchildren. She loved my husband despite that she held very different life perspectives from him. Her love of the gifts I gave her each Mother's day was always infused with excitement. In that, I felt additional joy in my gifts because I would always text her after with pictures of what I received and she would be genuinely in awe of my gifts. I know she would have loved this years giftings and in that I loved my alive beauty even more. If that makes sense?

A friend commentated on my Instagram that my husband's love for me is really remarkable and precious how he cares for me in so many ways. This is true. It is remarkable. I often feel like a princess with him. And some of it is because I am Autistic. At first, when we found out I had Asperger's syndrome he didn't know if he could live with someone who would have a lifelong condition. For him, he always thought some of my quirks would be grown out of. We had to find our way through that hurt and story. But now, some of his favourite aspects of me are aspie traits. It is very precious. I adore him. I always say I'm not worthy of it all and he makes sure I know I am. He thinks the world of me which can sometimes be so odd to me. Honestly, I have given it a lot of introspection in the past. My youngest showers love just like him and is also an ENFP- thus some is personality. My husband  has always been willing for me to teach him how to understand myself and himself which is a huge boon to a relationship and we both have grown together in everything with constant communication and humour. It's really weird to me because I don't have many people to whom I inspire such love and devotion. I tend to do the opposite- especially when I am real and true to all my paradoxes and myself. Yet, I show this to him and it inspires fierce protection and devotion  Especially the messy bits. It's like he was meant to be the only person in the world who adores my messy and thinks my crazy is beautiful. I feel very undeserving of it sometimes and other times I believe it's what everyone deserves. It's not perfect for sure but I think its a combination of working hard on our marriage daily and little considerations but also simply personality maybe? 

My kids also view me in a really rare lens. I am the weirdest mother. I don't make them meals and I show them all my flaws- they are my friends. I am very Lorelie ish (Gilmore Girls) and have been since they were young so I think it just makes them accept me. While I also make sure my gifts benefit them and someone else makes up for my lack IS remarkable and I love that my friend noticed. My favourite part of Mother's Day are the home made cards. This year I received these:

I love the witchy theme. These kids crack me up. I know my youngest has sincerely thought I was a Witch since babyhood. He's called me a 'good witch' since he could speak. The bottom pics are his and there is a girl riding on a broom. The middle left is my eldest son's... He says it's not me but a random witch and her cauldron. Ok😂. And my daughter's card is the top two pics "Mom you're fun, funny, loving, helpful, kind, adorkable, sweet, witch like, a great movie lover, great writer, a great infj, good with people, smart, cute, caring and so much more. Happy Mother's Day mom- you're the best mom a girl could ask for."

I have mixed emotions on most mother's days. I have had loss as a mother with miscarriage years ago and now the loss of my husband's mom which have shown the other side of the day. Yet, I have learned one fact of inner peace that a person like myself with deep empathy and sensory understanding needed to learn. I will have (and have HAD) horrid moments and my share of darkness. In those moments I embrace the pain and move through it. I have before and will again. But that doesn't mean that just because other's are in pain, when my beauty moments arrive, that I should ignore them. It means that when I have light I will also embrace the joy. I can still be empathetic and give my thoughts briefly to those who are without. I will be without one day again in differing ways. But part of life is also celebrating the beauty. I am a person who can literally feel other's pain and understand varied perspectives. I have had to learn how to celebrate joy. My son is also autistic but his INTJ persona is different than my INFJ and he has had to learn the opposite lesson. To be more empathetic and give more thought to other's processes. My writing reflects myself learning boundaries and implementing my aha moments and do not necessarily reflect the constant understanding of perspectives I actually have.

I found the above pin on Pinterest and it was like a shinning beacon. I felt in my mid twenties that I was outgrowing so much. My beliefs, the ones of faith, God, money, empathy, boundaries, self... so many began to be questioned. And in my thirties while there are deep struggles too, on most days I know deep down I am enough. That carries me through. I think survivors of tough situations go one of two ways (and all it takes is perusing my labels of depression to know I have had some tougher situations) and the ones who are able to be self reflective and grow and change to look inward with questions are enriched even in the dark. Perhaps we are even comfortable with our own darkness? We OWN our stories. But first comes self care and love and boundaries. I don't hide the magic but neither the darker parts. Maybe that is the key? To embrace the happy because the darkness will come and need to be embraced too. Simply moment by moment. Each phase is worth acknowledging- each manifestation deserves support, and verbal affirmation. I suppose I am more Yin Yang in my approach to life... But whatever stage you are in, darkness struggle or light joy, your BEING matters because you exist- your story is YOUR story. It will be unique and also similar but it matters in your own thread of legitimacy. You matter. Each emotion you have is important to acknowledge and accept to move onward in health. The dark and light. And this, is how I believe, the support to love yourself comes in to play and the support for other's in your life. Even if Autistics do have differing needs, the foundation of support comes down to acceptance and it starts in accepting self. Then you are ready to read the articles written from Autistics on how to approach our unique brain needs and wiring...the madness, the magic, the differences, the struggles and the beauty.

This is by Samantha and SO good for Aspergirls. I would highly recommend for any who wish to understand women and autism to listen while doing chores or watch during downtime:

Friday, May 6, 2016

We Found Love Right Where We Are- For my Husband and Evergreen Soul- A Marriage Post.

* I am experiencing technical difficulties with my fonts and colours- please bear with me**The Numbers in this piece co -ordinate with various songs I will leave as a list at the bottom of the post.*

To My Husband and My Ever Green Soul:

We are going on fifteen years. We made it passed the point the stats said we would. In fact we travelled thrice over.  The teenage marriage facts whispered behind our backs or said to our faces no longer hold validation. Not to say that we have been without our struggles. But baby- I am glad it's you I struggled with. I am sooo "lucky to be in love with my best friend. Lucky to have been where I have been. Lucky to be coming home again... Lucky, we're in love in every way." (1)

Even though you told me that the Boston song 'I'm Livin' for you' is word for word how you feel about me- I also live for you. (2) I love the way you kiss me good morning despite my zombie state. I love the way you take me the way I am. I love that, despite the fact that you are married to a woman who drowns oceans (click) and an INFJ (click), you savour the paradox and mystery. I love that you call my impulsive passions entertaining. I love that you often find me the most appealing without make up, wearing sweatpants and flaunting my post babies body. I feel that only you can love me that way. (3) I have never met anyone who has just understood. There is no one that comes close to you, who could ever take your place. As long as your mine I will make every last moment last. You have said phrases similar to what Fiyero crooned to Elphaba, "Maybe I'm brainless, maybe I'm wise but you've got me seeing through different eyes. Somehow I've fallen under your spell and somehow I'm feeling it's up that I fell. Every moment- as long as you're mine. I'll wake up my body and make up for lost time. They say there's no future for us as pair. I may know. I don't care. I will follow the moonlight until it is through and know I'll be here holding you... as long as your mine."  And I am your Elphaba begging, "Kiss me too fiercely, Hold me too tight, I need help believing you're with me tonight. My wildest dreamings could not foresee, lying beside you with you wanting me. Just for this moment. As long as your mine. I've lost all resistance and crossed some borderline. And if it turns out - it's over too fast. I'll make every last moment long as you're mine."(4)

You are my Thor. You even speak like him in your larger than life booming voice and your old skool vocabulary. You are the hot man of my dreams with the bulging biceps. Not only is your body the strong protecting type but your soul also protects all that we are. You took the dreams of my heart and made them a reality. Yet, you have never, not once, turned those muscles towards me in anger...nor even in teasing. You treat me with delicate tenderness. You are always careful of the way I easily bruise. Your physical strength is a quality I admire because I will never own it. You can have my emotional steel and I will borrow your arms to carve out our home. 

"I don't leave any room for doubt when it comes to you and me, you know all about, the way I feel inside. You know how hard I try but that don't mean that I can't love a little stronger, dig a little deeper. You tell me that your the lucky one, but I see things differently- I have just begun to show you that you mean everything to me. But I still feel the need to love a little stronger, dig a little deeper...anything to please you."(5)

 I love the way your voice deepens when you laugh. Or how you are able to make strangers feel welcome. You allow people to be seen as worthy. Your gift is your humour and ENFP (click) personality. You are my inspiration. The meaning in my life. (6) The lyric to every Chicago song. The tune to every epic romance. We may not have had much money, oh but honey we have had fun! (7) The world would be colourless without you. Every night I pray for one more day. (8) I know every curve and bend from your heart down to your soul and I want more time to love you better. I want to grow old with you. (Although I would rather grow old SLOWLY:) "Just you and me. You are my love and my life. Simple and free. Baby you're everything I've ever dreamed of. Give me your own special smile, promise you'll never leave me. Life is so easy when you're beside me."(9)

Inspired by the subtle steady heart of the one who loves is one of life's ultimate gifts. Under the spell of drizzled sentiments, humanity can take a deep breath and just be. From juicy young love to the fruitful old, there are many expressions of partnership. The dusk of love brings creativity. Sweet words, salty encouragement, smoky sentiments are the seasonings for the main course. With the meaty depth of love, or the steamy passion of first kisses also comes the invigorating fact that someone has decided to single the loved one out. It is in that positive couple hood that I am honouring, with you, my turtle duck, today. 

Brilliant lyricist Mark Heard once wrote about love in poetic terms; "Head full of this kaleidoscope brain freight- heart full of something simple and slow. Love is not the only thing, but it's the best thing. Love is never everything. It's the best thing. Too young to bear the burdens of the ages.Too old to keep an innocent pace...You see me like a prism sees a candle, I'm scattered into differing hues, Reality is happening at random. You're warming up the yellows and blues." (10) You warm up the yellows and blues.

Our love is a roller coaster. From the easygoing rhythm of our lover's laughter to the serious tones of just getting each other through life. The ride with it's twists and turns, shady groves, mirrored rooms, comedic screens, dancing cars, big beds, quiet waterfalls, self-improvement counselling, sun dappled moments and rainy storms, makes life interesting and worth it. 

Babe, you are just incredible. All easygoing charm and tender hearted adorableness. You think deeply, drinking in the knowledge of life with an open hand. Thank you for introducing me to Personality Hacker podcasts (click), Krista Tippet On Being podcasts (click) and Heritage Podcasts (click). I love gathering our children in the library and spending lazy afternoons colouring and dozing off as we listen to a complete liberal arts education together. I love that you laugh with gusto when you bring out the Eske anger in me. For some reason, it makes you laugh, and the sound of your soul bubbling up is the only plug for my seething rage. Suddenly, I melt. You bewitch this witch and my spells become love. The smile crinkles around your eyes make me think of this song,  "You got that healing that I want...woah there's loving in your eyes that pulls me closer. It's so subtle. I'm in trouble. But I love to be in trouble with you. Let's Marvin Gaye and get it on. Oh baby, you got that healing that I want. Just like they say it in the song. Until the dawn...You got to give it all to me. I'm saying mercy mercy please...I just want you for my own. I got to have you babe." (11) 

I love that your wrinkles will get craggier with time and that I get to witness the changing of life within you. While on one hand some of my freedom was taken away when I chose to marry, in another way a new door of freedom opened up for me to find love that take all my flaws and sees them as beauty. 

With your ADD I feel like I am waiting on you all. the. time. Which is why your ringtone for my phone is "At Last." (12) The song makes me smile and dissolves my irritation instantly. My heart is wrapped up in clover whenever I look at you. "I found a dream that I could speak to. A dream that I could can call my own. I found a thrill to press my cheek to- a thrill that I had never known. You smile, you smile, oh and then the spell was cast. And here we are in heaven. For you are mine at last."

The best in life I have in front of me. I don't need perfection. I don't need a stunningly asymmetric body or a outgoing, break through personality. I don't even need to shut the door to go the bathroom or excuse myself after a lusty burp. It's all there to share...with YOU and our three children...and it is strangely wonderful. The best things in life are not outside of myself. There is pleasure in the moment when I walk in the door and all three children yell, "mommy" and bulldoze me over. Or when you look at me sans make up, with a muffin top, a few zits, but a dazzling smile and you say, "Wow you are incredible!" And I know. I am the luckiest girl in the world. "...I've seen the Rolling Stones, Got real high on Rock N Roll, Seen a lot of dreams come true but ain't no moment like when I'm holding on to you. Baby, over the years, I've been moved to tears, by the wonders of this world. One of God's mysteries that never fails to get to me is the moment when I'm holding on to you. Ain't no moment like when I'm holding on to you. I've seen a new born child put stars in her mamma's eyes...but ain't no moment like when I'm holding on to you." (13)

I don't want fame or fortune, or even to be known for what I have done or whom I have changed. What I want most...I already have. It does not mean I will not be depressed or restless at times but it does mean that for 85% of my life I am extremely grateful. I am awed by what I have been asked to keep as my own- the husband, children, family, friends, bloggers- I have these people. This LIFE! This incredible responsibility to not squander.

When I fight with you, my husband, I feel the most at risk. I hide under my clothes in the closet, something I only do during desperate moments, and sob. You find me after the time you take to cool down, and you sigh, crawl into the tight space between clothes and pull me to your chest. And even though we may still exchange words you hold on. We have had a few years that were fraught with turmoil in our relationship and will have more. My philosophy during these tough times was to love you like I am going to lose you (14). And you adapted Brad Paisley's anthem, "Love her like she's leaving." (15) There are moments when I look at you or I look at myself and I KNOW without a doubt that we belong in this flawed moment, where beauty and desolation collide. I will have both and I want to write about both. I want heaven to be what I already have 85% of the time. I want it to be what it IS. The moments when we are sweetly connected in all our un-striving. When children adore us and exhaust us at the same time. Cherished moments when we plant our trees together and re pot the soil in our home gardens. BEING matters...just me and you and those we a moment of plain normal interaction. Like Anne says to Gilbert in Green Gables, "I don't want diamond sunbursts, or marble halls...I just want you." 

"When your legs don't work like they used to before. And I can't sweep you off of your feet. Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love? Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks? Darling I will be loving you, till we're seventy. And baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23 (and did!) And I'm thinking about how people fall in love in mysterious ways, maybe just the touch of a hand. Well, me, I fall in love with you every single day. And I just want to tell you I am. So honey now, take me into your loving arms. Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars. Oh darling, place your head on my beating heart. I'm thinking out loud- baby we found love right where we are....cuz honey your soul could never grow old, it's evergreen. Baby, your smile's forever in my mind and memory...Baby we found love right where we are." (16)

Baby, we found love right where we are.  Love always and Yours;

I picked my top five songs to leave on the end of this post which was VERY tough to do! The rest of the Song list is here with Youtube links and I would highly recommend enjoying them all at some point- lovely works of art!:

1.) Lucky- Jason Mraz and Colbie Calliat 2.) Livin' for You- Boston 3.) Only You can Love Me This Way- Keith Urban  (I have no idea who the people are in the video- just enjoy the actual song) 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Home Making, Travel Mentalities, and the Beauty of Hearth and Home

"Homemaking is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, mines, cars, government, ect. exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes? ...The homemaker's job is one of which all other's exist."- C.S. Lewis.

If you are new to my blog, please know I am a feminist. The definition of 'feminist' means many things to many people. My definition is that men and women deserve equal chances at life, love and respect. Women get to contribute and write the history books now too. Little boys are just as important as little girls and both should be regarded with dignity. With that in mind, I don't believe home making is just for women. My husband gets a lot of satisfaction from making our home. He is a master carpenter whom has carved out a library out of two previously small rooms. He has renovated and designed. I am the master designer of our home because that is where my gifts lie but if I didn't have Dyspraxia (see side labels) and more strength I am sure our roles could be reversed. 

Our home is a place for us to gather in dark times, to find ourselves, and to BE. A house with love in it IS rich indeed. Anam Cara is a magical safe haven of hope. Mostly because of the creative souls that live inside. Our house used to be a standard box inside with taupe walls. Because of our infusion of creativity and handwork it has morphed into a colourful indoor garden and outside is shaping up to be full of life and plants too. It has taken time and stress but time and stress I would gladly sacrifice again because most of the process was a family event of time spent together. (See Anam Cara side label for more.)  I have lived in a house full of toxic mould and I do know that stepping into healthier places DOES matter, yet, even in that home we found ways to make it as beautiful as it could be. We are healthier now but it had moments and beauty that we still carry forth. A house, at it's core with love needs to reflect the personalities of the people involved. I know the ugliest house could eventually be made beautiful by us. It's about love. It's about perspective and the little souls inside. I love the life we have built. I don't need much and yet it is everything.

I know that many children do not get to experience safe, nurturing homes. First parents need to find home within themselves before they can provide a haven for children. There are many factors involved that sociologists have studied and personality and psych also come into play (see some book titles are in my library or discover some of these themes on your own:)  I am not going to cover that home can be a terrifying place. Instead, how we have made our home making part of our healing.

When I was a little girl I dreamed of having my own epic love story. I can honestly say that dream came true. Our love has been full of battles and gruelling journeys but it also had the elements of true love, falling back into the love, beautiful moments of celebration and adventurous excitement. It hasn't been easy but I think most epic love stories aren't too easy. There are delicious moments of ease mixed into the tiring steps of life. LIFE...What a word packed with paradox!

I have three children who spend almost all their time at home around me. A healthy way (I believe) to be. Of course they go out into the world at times but they flourish at home. Right now are the years I cherish. "So darling, though the years with all my love I'll pray, a house with love in it is where we'll stay."- Nat King Cole -A House With Love In It.

I have never been a personality that needs to find myself only through physical exploration or experience the world to be respectful of differences. Every place/country I had travelled, I felt like I had already "been there." I think I have in my imagination or through knowing other people and their stories. In the "Secret life of Walter Mitty" the cinematography was beautiful, the Himalayan line was well done and the ending (although expected) was beautiful but there was this underlying assumption that one has to travel to find meaning. Or that daydreaming needs to stop for one to "live their life." My guess is that the critics who enjoyed it immensely are the ones who have 9-5 jobs that do not suit their personalities, Type A's or Sensors. None of these are horrid things to be, but they do influence the story. To see the difference between a sensor and intuitive see the graph below:
See why most sensors need to travel more? There are certain types of intuitives that need adventure too and those are the ones with adventure in one of their main driving seats (like an INFP or ENFP) but most of them COULD have the adventure of the mind and still feel satisfied. I have two friends who loved 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.' Both are more imaginative and interesting people. They were so touched with the ending that they really enjoyed the film. I can understand that.

Our culture has a bit of an obsession with travel. An element of education can happen through travel but I know many people who have travelled who have dis -ease with their lives, unfulfilled love,  and lack of rooted being. There is beauty in travel. There is beauty in rootedness. There are benefits and downsides to everything. To celebrate one over another or to think one is more educated is simple snobbery.

I am an inituitive. I also have sensory overload and other limitations. Thus my travelling days are probably small in number. I don't believe rootedness is the only way to BE but rootedness has given me my best shot at life. Just like, I am sure, travel would for others. Even though I have been to many places  that DID shape me, I find I am most educated through my rich imagination, my books and the people I choose to love...along with loving myself. I am educated by being in nature and that does not mean having to travel to find certain nature scenes. The world is full of wondrous beauty but I don't need to own all of it or be in all of it- to feel it. All it takes for me is to sit outside on my deck and smell the wild roses, see the grasses sway, hear the bees buzz and the frogs in the marsh croak...and I KNOW I am connected to each creature in a beautiful way. The earth is often an equal partner in community as people are.
For my persona, I am the most delighted by the home fires. I used to feel so guilty for this. I am in the minority. But as we severed roots of conformity and began new roots of being and putting our blood into our very surroundings, I began to understand that it is just who I am (and we are right now.) As I have said before in other posts, your story SHOULD and WILL be different in many aspects. Find what works for you. Part of my story is influenced by a different brain wiring perspective, part of it is due to native and gypsy roots. (Ironic? Travelling in mind is similar to travelling in body. The spirit IS.) Many places have different energies/ sensory perceptions...and it is ok if I protect what is my space with energies I can handle.
In his early twenties my husband craved travel but then he discovered books, philosophy, gardening, carpentry, film and connecting with a variety of other people and beliefs through the internet. Now he is similar to me regarding travel. He prefers day trips and coming back to our beautiful home and yard.
One of my favourite books is "Eat Pray Love." In it the author went travelling to find herself. I understand that some people need a different place to push them out of boxes. Travelling pushes us out of our bodies and out of our time which triggers our brain waves into different thinking patterns. This is important but it's folly to have the expectation that only travel can achieve the same result. My brain does a similar process with one sensory trigger.
Like certain gifts, some people have the gift of being culturally transient. They need to use that. However, travel has been idealized in our movies as the only well informed education - probably a good tactic to boost economies and world trade. It's a myth that a well travelled person is a well balanced and sophisticated person. It  solely depends on the person. Travel can be a tonic but at the end of the day each person is still the sum of their choices and their's like a car getting a new coat of paint. It's still the same car. It still has the same engine but it is just shinier for a few years longer. Perhaps people may be more drawn to the car for awhile because people are awed by shiny things but in the end it's still the same vessel. All vessels crave or benefit from a needed rest or change. That is beauty. It is to be respected. Paint is pretty. If travel is your beauty or your need to propel you to greater possibilities of self- go for it. Beauty is integral to BEING. There are many ways to incorporate beauty and meaning into life. Travel can bring beauty but so can staying rooted.
I am basking in the comforts of my home and our own little slice of heaven. It's good to be home. Home is like the Anne of Green Gables theme song. I have been healed by many people, circumstances and environments in life. Our home has been the largest part of our healing. My husband and I pour ourselves and the very fabric of ourselves into the spaces we live in. By breathing our life out we bring life back into our soul.
Up on walking into our home for the first time the most common phrase I get is, "I have never seen anything like's like comfort and magic." I had one lady tell me, "I have been to sophisticated homes and places enriched with wealth and I did not feel a sense of home or welcome. I walk into your house and I feel safe. Like I can say anything vulnerable and still be ok." Strangers have opened up. Friends feel welcome. People sense our persona that we otherwise keep closely guarded out in the world. A Lord of the Rings fan told me my favourite compliment once, "Your home is Rivendell or Lothlorien. You are lady Galadriel - terrifying and mysterious to most but to those whom are welcomed in- a healing presence. A magical stop in a crazy, busy world. It's almost otherwordly- your views and the way you take a normal home and change it.” My hope is that everything slows down once inside and the beauty around is infused with grace. (And yea, I got choked up with that compliment.) To be seen so clearly is one of the most beautiful human interactions. Even for a moment.
Our soul friend - Anam Cara- is our home. By home making we find our meaning, our main job, and the beauty in our existence. When one is lost- the heart leads one home. Home can be a person too and a feeling. I take our home with us when I go out. A home's literal, physical importance is underestimated in the busyness of life when people only spend minimal hours of sleep between four white washed walls. That is not home. It is a place to rest between the daily grind, and while that is important, it's no wonder so many feel that something crucial is missing from their lives. We all don't need magical places or amazingly designed homes, but a place that has parts of our personalities and reflections of ourselves, care of the earth, care of what we own, and the cultivation of the living beauty of life- is an important element of life.
Playing pretend when I was little was one of my favourite past times. I would play many scenarios in which I found my man or that I rescued him or he rescued me. I spent hours making up magical places, creating in my playhouse and dressing up. I role played, talked to the stars in the night sky and creatures in the moss. Daydreaming, listening to music or watching my 1940's 'friends' on film were some of my favourite pastimes. I wasn't a typical child. I was basically Sara Crewe. At times my dad was concerned I was living too much in fantasy or through someone like Judy Garland whose voice I could mimic down to perfection. Something my best friend would consistently request me to do and my mom constantly got me in trouble for ("Stop singing through your nose!") I almost thought I was meant to be in that 1940's timeline. Now I see that I was just very intuitive, imaginative and used my mind to escape conformity around me. I didn't fit in even though I could easily pretend to be normal. I also had sensory assaults that felt like trauma. Now I don't pretend anymore but I do still imagine (although yes I do play at being normal in situations where it is a necessary way to cope or be able to come home quicker.) I learned my limits, how to cope with the sensory, and how to sever ties with conformity happily.

I can honestly say I have lived a full life already and all my dreams have come true but I would not have said that ten years ago. I could die tomorrow happy with what I have. Not that I want to  leave yet as I would love to continue to live what I have and be with my husband and children. I DO still imagine, travel in books and film, and soak up the world in daydream like states. I fly to worlds on a whim or become a different character for awhile. I was excited the other day when I came home from one of my favourite stores with some new treasures. My daughter took one look at my pile of stuff and laughed, "You are so cute mom- so influenced by what we watch. All this stuff is Japanese -like design - home decor similar to stuff in the 'Avatar' or 'Legend of Korra'." (We are currently enjoying an anime series that is asian in theme.) I didn't even see that my choices reflected that influence and I had a theme going but I love that I brought another piece of the world's beauty into our home reflection. My daughter was perceptive and once again the Rory to my Lorelei.

Heaven is waiting for me, my friend. Every moment of my life- it's waiting for me to take notice. Small moments of existence are heaven. Home surrounds with warmth, love, delight, peace, beauty, compassion and allowance of all expressions. I can be messy, crazy or any sort of negatively sanctioned action in our culture with acceptance in my home. I can weep, sing, dance and laugh. I can chant, pray or do whatever. I can lose myself and find myself. I can give the same gift to my children and husband. In small ways we also give that to those that are allowed to enter our haven. That freedom is a gift. It feels like home.

"Hold on to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble—it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Oo-oo-oo-oo [2x]
Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa [4x]

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home" Lyrics by Phillip Phillips Home. This song has a particularly special place in our family's hearts... a few stories for the future but for now- enjoy the listen! Louis Armstrong 's Home Fire is one of my favourites from childhood and it paints a beautiful picture. Dream describes my life in many ways:)