Photo by Mourad Saadi on Unsplash
By Morella Devost, EdM, MA
I’ve always been a homebody. In fact, as a perfectly split introvert-extrovert, I have found that I can come dangerously close to becoming a hermit if I don’t schedule tea dates with colleagues, lunches with friends, and seek out social engagements. The convenience of working from home for the past five years has meant that I can easily find myself not leaving the house for an entire week if I’m not careful.
I love the coziness of home. I especially adore the inward journey towards which winter always beckons me. Blazing fires in the wood stove while sipping tea. Wearing fuzzy socks and reading a good novel on a plush couch. The smell of apple pie and the spices of chili emerging from the oven and slow-cooker. Embracing the change of seasons brings such delight to my heart. Perhaps it’s a result of having grown up in the tropics, where there are no seasons.
There’s an earthy, grounding, settling feeling I get from settling in. I’m also really good at it. Did I mention I love being at home?
But what about when life throws curveballs at us, challenging our desire to settle? How do you nest when no sooner have you thought things were becoming still, than you find yourself in fresh new change?
That’s what my life has been this past year. Constant flux. Relentless change. Every month seemingly bringing a new turn of events.
January saw my husband of three years and I agreeing to separate. Big grief and transition took possession of the rest of January and February. When March rolled around, he moved out. So then March and April were about releasing our relationship and opening to what would come next.
When May started, we agreed to file for divorce. It was spring outside, and I philosophized that I was seeing the spring of my new life on the inside. I was ready to create space for the single life. Though I wasn’t exactly excited to date, I was embracing the spaciousness of living by myself again. Alas, it was not to be so…
By mid-May, I was surprisingly and suddenly connecting with a man I had met two years ago. No sooner had he learned I was getting a divorce that he reached out. The connection was instant and deep. By mid-June, we were in a committed relationship; and by September 1st, I was fully moved in with him and his daughter. My new home in Lincoln, VT. I was ready to settle in for the fall and winter. But wait, there’s more…
Also in flux was my work and office space. In the middle of my divorce, I realized I could no longer do the health coaching portion of my business. I only had energy and passion to continue supporting my counseling and hypnosis clients. And my longtime office in my condo’s second bedroom became my mother’s room when she came to stay with me from late May through the end of July. When she arrived, I moved my office into my bedroom. By the end of the summer, my office was moving along with me to Lincoln.
Arriving in the beauty of Lincoln, surrounded by mountains, to live a small-town life with my partner and (step-)daughter was exciting. I was eager to nest, to focus on my business again, to prep for fall and winter. But nope, that was not to be…
By mid-October, we had sold the house! Forget nesting. We had to pack and move…onto a sailboat! Into a life of adventure and constant moving. No permanent zip code.
Yes, my life has been defined by change this past year. A lot of the change has been hard and painful. And still another large part of it has been joyful and promising. Yet amidst all of this change there will be no change of seasons for me. No vegetable canning. No fall baking, stew-making, or woodstove lighting. We’re sailing into the everlasting summer of the Caribbean.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not whining about living on a sailboat! It’s an extraordinary experience we’re elated to be able to do. And yet, the homebody in me, the one that thrives in coziness and grounded existence, is a little bit anxious.
As I write these lines, it is still early September…we have not yet moved onto the boat and I wonder, how will I create the sense of place that helps me thrive? How will I create my office-space on board? My friend Judith Tamarah, an excellent space and design consultant, gave me a huge pointer: “ground yourself and your work around items that can go with you anywhere.”
So far, I have identified three crystals that have been on my desk for years. My fist-sized rose quartz, my amethyst scone-like triangle, and my three-inch selenite bullet. Also my pocket pendulum, and my favorite pens. My lavender wool pashmina that can wrap me when I need to settle into writing, and remind me of the cozy places I’m leaving back in Vermont.
The key for me this fall and winter will be to create the nesting within. Of course I’ll have some nesting to do on the boat as well, as I help create a home for my family inside its fiberglass hull. I am a big believer in creating spaces that help us thrive, that bring out the best in us and our families. Perhaps that can be done anywhere; not just on land.
I will no doubt miss the coziness of a hot cup of Tulsi in my hands as I sit by the woodstove, reading a book…but I’m excited at the prospect of sipping my tea as I watch the sunrise, on a rocking sailboat, somewhere in the Caribbean. Nesting and coziness perhaps can be of our own creation.
Morella Devost facilitates profound transformation for people who want to thrive in health and life. She has master’s degrees in Counseling from Columbia University, and is also a Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP facilitator, and Holistic Health Coach. She is also the host of the Thrive With Morella show.