“What kind of title is that for a blog entry of a Realtor?”
A relevant one, I would say, in more ways than you might think. Here we are, a year later, and we’re still mired in the midst of this world pandemic. Overall, this past year is not one I would choose to repeat, for many reasons. However, I’m still here, and if you’re reading this, you are too. While things have gotten pretty dark – the light, I have found, still finds a way to peek through. I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the good that still exists, and some things that help me access that goodness, when I’m feeling low.
I love big ideas, and how they bind people – all kinds of people – together. Honestly, this commonality of people, and their need to find home, physically and metaphysically, is what drew me to build a career in Real Estate. To me, it’s all interconnected. So I drew on my past career as a professional musician, and my current passion for finding homes for people, and I started a blog about the convergent experience. I chose Harp & Home to be the title of this space I’ve created, which reflects so much of me, and what I consider to be the nexus of various crossroads in my life. I believe that the way people approach life is so clearly reflected in how they shape their careers, their homes, and everything with which they surround themselves. I love the richness of it all.
I’m not just a Realtor. It’s one of the most important hats I wear, but I have many roles in this life. Every aspect of my life as Wife, Mother, Creative, Informed citizen, etc., is all so relevant and important, and frankly, makes me better at what I do. All these interesting musings fill up my brain on the daily. Sometimes I get a little wrapped up in it, and forget that not everyone gets carried away like I do, but I love the ones who do, and am inspired by them.
Light Through the Dark
In the midst of these discouraging times, I have made extra efforts to find the light through the darkness. I’ve made a conscious decision to stay open to positivity, and to immerse myself in Good Things. It is possible I might die of COVID, or be crushed by the grief of those dying around me, but then again, I might not. I’ve experienced some profound loss in my life, and I’m still standing. I’m daring to bank on the fact that my life lies before me, and that hardship will not prevent me from loving my partner, raising my kids, building my career, and making the most out of every precious day I get on this planet. While the storms swirl around me, I believe I must stay in the flow of something bigger. I must surround myself with Good Things – for they are still here, even in the dark times. We must be the light that takes us into a better place, collectively. We must commit to living the most true and beautiful lives we can imagine. We must always do the next right thing, despite the many forces that are at work to make it nearly impossible for us to just be ok. Everyone deserves to wake up every day, feeling inspired, safe, and fulfilled by what they do.
So what does this look like? For me, it’s big, and it’s small.
F L O W
When I look back on the big shifts in my life, I can observe that they happened when I was least expecting them (becoming a professional harpist, meeting my husband, becoming a mom, and switching careers, to name a few). I would say that none of these events were ones I sought out with explicit intent, at least not to begin with. Rather, they were a result of honoring the FLOW, and my readiness to jump into the stream when the time was right. I’m so thankful the universe presented these opportunities to me, and that I had the courage to jump in, to each and every one of these vast and mysterious portals when they appeared before me.
These are the meta shifts I can observe about the path my life has taken, and had I not been open to them, I certainly would not be who I am today. But there are are daily flow opportunities too, and I try to remain open to them, always. It’s all about keeping my eyes, ears and heart open, so that when someone says to me, “Wanna join us Saturday morning for some boot camp training in our back yard barn?” I don’t automatically respond HELL NO I DON’T, even if that’s my initial gut reaction. Because it was, when I was asked. But then I thought better of it, thankfully. Allowing myself to float down that current led me to trying 30 days without all my favorite things (or so I thought) – gluten, sugar, soy, dairy, alcohol, and coffee. Whoa – that was a big leap of faith to think that THIS girl could paddle down that river, and remain in the flow of that crazy – but I did. Wow. Turns out what you DON’T put into your life and body can sometimes have a MUCH larger effect than what you do. The absence of these offenders has been life changing. I feel really good.
There are hundreds of other little opportunities, if you’re paying attention, that are certainly always there – you just have to keep your eyes, ears, and heart open to them – no matter how radically difficult they may seem.
Little Good Things delight me every day. They don’t have to be expensive, or far away, to be life altering. This is a surprising gift I have taken away from these simplified, stay-close-to-home COVID times. I have always maintained that I didn’t have time for certain activities that I considered to be indulgent. I am realizing this is absurd. We have time for so much more than we think we do! And we better TAKE the time to discover and embrace the things that fulfill us, because if we don’t, all the stupid unproductive busy-ness will eat up our days, and as far as I know, we never, ever get them back. What if we were to lose out on the spice, the magic, that makes life worth living? That would be terrible! So I’ve been attempting to quiet that voice that keeps me from enjoying “leisure” time, that allows me to reflect, regroup, and always replenishes me. I am seeking out simple things I can do to experience real joy. It’s not an indulgence – soaking up these experiences are essential to my becoming the person I am meant to be. Perhaps you are more evolved than I am, and already knew that taking care of yourself is really important. If so – that’s great! Me? I have to unlearn some past instruction and bad habits, and allow myself some fun. I have some new favorite things.
One of them is listening to podcasts. Amazing. Simple, right? And to get more bang for my time dollar, I try to pair up activities, and compound my productivity. Here’s a good one – walk the dog / listen to smart and creative people saying out loud and discussing what I think and feel in my heart all the time. Boom. Excericise / happy dog / intellect and heart fed, all in one hour. Who knew?! Well, probably like millions of people, but I’m glad to be showing up to the party now. Better late than never. It is transcendental to hear authors, artists, scientists, and experts of just about anything talk about life, and how to live it. The human struggle is real. No one escapes it. Our time in history, like many others, is full of hardship, pain and ugliness. But listening to stories of brave and creative people who dare to push past it – depsite the mud that must be trudged through – elevates my spirit to a higher plane. I can commune with these thoughts and efforts, and bring them into my own life and outlook. Good Things – right into my ears and heart. Lately, it’s my life blood.
Looking for more Good Things? Dorothy nailed it. There is NO place like home. My family, like everyone else on the planet right now, is spending an enormous amount of time at home. I have become acutely aware of how my immediate surroundings can brighten, or destroy my mood and outlook. That couch that’s been in the wrong place for six years???? MOVE IT!!!!!! That pile of junk in the basement that I walk past every day? It’s slowly crushing me to the point that the resentment builds up inside me, and before I know it I’m yelling at my poor kid the minute he walks in the door. For what??? For nothing!!!! The silent resentment of unresolved projects festers, and needs an outlet. Sorry kid, Mom hasn’t channeled her inner Marie Kondo enough lately, and you’re in the line of fire. That mess is powerful. Pay attention.
Takeaway? I recommend cleaning out the energy clogs in your home. Put the darn furniture where you like it. Paint the walls a color that makes you serene and joyful. Don’t like the way your yard or house looks when you come home? Plant a garden, put up new lanterns – do something to make it yours. It’s your home – there’s nothing more important these days. Hopefully soon, we’ll be able to venture out, and leave the eternal always-ness of our homes. I can’t wait to see the energy that will flow forth from that transition! In the meantime, get yourself ready, and get your home solid – to be your base of strength and comfort from which to spring. We are all incubating for a new chapter! Cultivate your home, so that it gives you the peace and fortitude to venture forth when the world is ready for us. There are many changes coming, and we need to be the ones to bring it. We need a safe place to rest and regroup. That’s what home needs to be.
Flow, harmony, feng shui, it’s all for real. It’s simply integral to living our best lives. Maybe you’ve made all the tweaks and hacks that are possible, and it’s times to look for another solution. It’s possible there is another space, a new canvas, for creating that new chapter, to house and protect the thoughts and dreams you’ve been creating, during this time of stillness. I love helping people land where they need to be, whatever chapter of life they find themselves in. The luxury of living in a space that allows you find your flow? Priceless. We all deserve it. I’m honored to help people with the meaningful and important process of acheiving it.
These are just a few examples I’ve been enjoying, that help make these days better. There are countless others, for sure. I encourage you to find your Good Things, and commit to building them into your life. In some ways, we’ve been given a marvelous opportunity to get back to basics, during COVID. Through the most basic of acts – monitoring how we treat our body and get it moving, feeding our brain with good conversation, music and thoughts, reading transformative books – we can put into practice that which is vital to our humanity and our souls. Even better yet – we can do these things safely and easily, right in our own home.
We’re Going to Be OK
Listen. I encourage you to embrace the fact that it’s OK to be OK, even while nothing seems to be OK out there. Do everything in your power to be OK. I also think it’s possible we should re-evaluate what it means to be OK. I know it’s not easy, but who ever promised us it would be? We’re on the precipice of a new era. Take it one effort at a time, and start with little steps, if you need to. Sometimes it’s the tiniest and easiest things that can be the most transformative. Start with finding some of your favorite Good Things, and see where the stream takes you. Jump in, be well, and enjoy the ride!
And one more thing. THE HILL WE CLIMB. Damn.