I like to think I’m actually quite easy to please. (Yes, I appreciate this might not seem 100% true 100% of the time but…)
Take my latest source of deep and divine (yes really) pleasure…
Yes, it’s a sofa. But it’s not just ANY sofa. THIS sofa is in what I like to call my new ‘snug’.
I really wish I’d taken a before AND after photo now, but to be quite honest with you, BEFORE made me deeply unhappy. I’d even go as far as to say despondent, hopeless and despairing. And why would I want to take a photo of something that had such an effect on me?! Well quite.
So, all I have is the after photo. It may not seem like much to anyone other than me, but what it represents brings words like calm, serenity, quiet creativity, order, beauty, and MINE to mind.
This is a space I’ve carved out for myself in amongst the piles of stuff and things to do and general chaos and mess that I feel takes up most of the rest of our house most of the time. And I have decreed this ‘snug’ a whinging/complaining/arguing/shouting and above all mess-free zone.
Kids (and farmers actually) make unbelievable mess! I am still amazed, after 9 years of parenting, at just how much of a mess they can make. I’d like to say I’m totally zen with it all, that it washes over me like a Himalayan waterfall of enlightened non-attachment. However… I do struggle with mess when it is EVERYWHERE, and in a farmhouse with 1 farmer, 1 basketmaker, 2 home-educated kids, 1 dog, 2 cats (one of whom brings in a semi-consumed dead offering at least twice a day) I feel like there is mess everywhere all of the time.
So, this little niche is a place for me to escape to when I need to remember what it is like to feel clutter-free. Somewhere I can go to to escape the chaos of everywhere else. Somewhere to meditate. Somewhere to dream. Somewhere to turn soul-pleasing things like this…
…into things like this… (more on the delight of mandalas soon…)
I believe everyone needs space like this. Whether it’s a whole room or a corner of a room, a window sill or a special place outside somewhere. One friend disappears into a caravan when he seeks reconnection. For some people it’s their car. Or their bed. For others, it’s a particular cafe that they go to for escape and to connect into the part of them that they know is buried deep beneath all that chaos. And for others it’s not even a place, but a time in the day or week where they can carve out that space and give back to themselves the love and nurturing that we all, on one level or another, really, really need.
I know that the stillness and centring I seek when I spend time in my snug can be found within my very self. I know that through yoga, meditation, mindfulness and conscious practice I can tap into this part of myself more and more easily. And yet I’m not sure even the Buddha himself could have attained enlightenment if he’d been surrounded by hungry, demanding children, a throwing-up dog and a god-forsaken mess to tidy up first.