to be a host

how to share your home the right way

conoid studio

When we invite someone over, we’re saying ‘Hey, come experience home my way for a few. Come see what my perspective looks and feels like.’

We want to show our guests a good time. We want them to feel welcome and comfortable. We might offer up a drink or a blanket if it’s cold. But there’s some more subtle things to consider; some things that create a free flow of energy, thought, ideas and conversation.

Not everyone we bring into our home gets a grand tour and a peak into the the quieter more intimate rooms. Many guests sit with us in the front room, the living room, the kitchen, den or a combination of these areas. We should have a place to bring our guests. And in this place, we need:


Seating:
Company shouldn’t have to guess or hesitate when it’s time to sit. Make it so they know exactly where they can take a seat and make the seat comfortable. Aching muscles from uneasy chairs is no way to have a conversation.
Five is a safe enough number. At any moment, there should be seating for at least five people. Maybe you have a three person couch and a love seat. Or bar stools and a kitchen table. They might not automatically want the seat but they know the option is there.

Surface Space:
Even if someone is coming in for just a quick exchange, they might still have a phone or a bag they need to set down for a moment. There should be a clear surface in an obvious location. When someone is staying for a talk or to chill, and we do end up having a drink, they should have a place to put that drink without guessing.

Empty Trashcans:
They don’t need to be entirely empty but there should be plenty of room for more.

When someone stays overnight, here’s what you need:

Clean Sheets: Replace sheets, pillow cases and blankets where your guest is sleeping. No one wants to sleep in anyone else’s body dust. There’s some leniency with best friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, but even then a fresh set of sheets is courtesy.

Clean Bathroom:
Wash cloths, hand towels, bath towels, tub, toilet and trash. Clean it all. There should again be no guess work when it’s time for company to use the bathroom. And there should be no disgust either.
Surface space emphasis: Just like in the living room, there should be space in the bathroom for company to keep their personals.

Clean Kitchen:
There should be available dishes, wiped down surfaces and some easy snacks or drinks to choose from. And again, we can’t forget to empty the trash.

Curating this experience is not simply to leave an impression. It’s about creating a space where energy flows freely; where there’s no hangups or blockage; where both you and your guests are at ease and can focus on enjoying one another’s presence.

Next week learn what it means to be a guest.

seat of the week

This seat represents the times we feel like we’re caught under a rain cloud, getting poured on, beat down by the outside world or even by the inside self. It can be challenging to get through the store. We keep our heads down. Our clothes are wet so we feel heavy. We’re completely consumed by how cold and droopy and sloppy we feel. But a tree, a being who knows no protection from the rain, is excited about the storm and the growth it invites.

Sometimes, we can change our perception to change our experience. Other times, what we experience is a true tragedy that we cannot change. And that’s not something we should run from or fight. Tragedy and loss are natural parts of the human experience, and if we don’t allow ourselves to feel those lows, then we’re stopping up our human flow. We’re creating blockage.

Be reminded that the storm passes. Afterwards, we find a new freshness: the air calm and wet with earth’s breath; the trees extra green and floating in tranquility. We’ve dried off or changed clothes so we feel lighter. We feel a sense of perseverance and we remember that the water is nothing to be afraid of.


See others that have been featured here.

feeling homeless at home

Sometimes we find ourselves in living situations that don’t support our full expression and growth. Sometimes the only home we know is inside of us. Maybe we don’t know home at all and it sounds like some distant far off place. It could be due to a relationship outgrown, a poor decision of our own or conditions beyond our control.

How can we stay alive in spaces that drain or suppress us?

We know that as adults, we can choose what we want for our lives. We get to create the living conditions we need to grow. But often we believe ourselves to be stuck and it’s not as easy sounding as just leaving or starting new.

If you’re uncomfortable at home, carve out a space that’s yours alone. If it’s a room of your own, arrange it so that it feels right for you. Put things you like looking at on display. Rearrange the displays regularly to freshen the energy.

If the whole house is shared, is there a shelf or a drawer you can keep trinkets and pictures?

Maybe the space you make your own is in a notebook or a sketch book, a place you can be honest or a place to escape to.

As you created these private spaces, they’ll be programmed to carry the energy you infuse into them. Maybe you infuse comfort or calm or love. Maybe the assignment you give the space is to simply be a presence.

Visit your private space to adjust your own charge when needed. Reflect on how the space makes you feel and carry that with you. Tap into it when needed and remember no one can take it from you. That is what home feels like.

Ava Chair by Lazar

seat of the week

ava chair part two

The Ava chair is for talking and tv. It might not strike you as a long term chair but could certainly last a whole movie; something light like a comedy. White in the room would bring the chair to the foreground. Wood surfaces would stabilize the orange and make for softer transitions. Either way, as the star of the show or as background support, the Ava chair holds its own.

See others that have been featured here.


spatial therapy

 


We can call the house a charging pod.  It’s the place we rest up for what’s next. It’s how we charge our energy.  The pod gets its charge from the energy we infuse into the objects we choose the ways we arrange them. The pod is committed to holding whatever charge it’s assigned. Sometimes it needs to be dusted off and wiped down, but for the most part, the house is good for holding the charge no matter what. This is why we come home and almost automatically exhale. It’s familiar. It’s home. Thus the charge begins the minute we walk in.

When we’re mindful about what we bring home and how it’s arranged, the charge of the house is potent. There’s a clear, crisp connection between our energy and that of the house. When we bring……whatever home and throw it……wherever, the energy of the house is blurred .. It’s not specifically formed to fit our needs. And again, the house agrees to hold that energy for you. We can travel with objects from home. They also carry that energy and can work with us in maintaining the charge while we’re away.

With practice, we learn to amplify and master this charge.  And as we navigate the world, that mindful energy is how we remain grounded and move consciously.

This is spatial therapy.

 

home as healer

ninth century meditations

shen_zhou_lofty_mt

“And now that I have come to be master of the house, I gaze up at the mountains, bend down to listen to the spring, look around at the trees and bamboos, the clouds and rocks, busy with them every minute from sunup to evening. Let one of them beckon and I follow it in spirit, happy with my surroundings, at peace within. One night here and my body is at rest, two nights and my mind is content, and after three nights I’m in a state of utter calm and forgetfulness.”

Po Chu-i | The Thatched Hall | 817


Pictured: Shen Zhou, Lofty Mount Lu, Ming Dynasty, 1467.

seat of the week

wirth chair

Wirth is a German word for head of family, master of household, provider. The Wirth Chair belongs in a quiet, light filled space – a foyer, piano room, gallery or perhaps even the patio. With its delicate curves and stone like look, the seat is a place for finding balance, a place for contemplation. When it’s time to retreat, as the family head or otherwise, the Wirth Chair is the only company you need.

See others that have been featured here.


When you see or hear about the chair,
allow it to take on the shape of any object you’re ready to start dialogue with.

I say ‘chair’ but I speak of every object in the room.
I speak of the table,
I speak of the bed
I speak of books
I speak of you.

a place to contemplate

“The general rule is that soul appears in the gaps and holes of experience…Power pours in when we sustain the feeling of emptiness and withstand temptation to fill it prematurely…the soul has no room in which to present itself if we continually fill all the gaps with bogus activities.”
Thomas Moore

I used to hate having empty walls. I always felt I had to fill them from top to bottom so they wouldn’t look boring. Eventually these busy walls wore me out, always offering up specific images for me to think about. There was no room for imagination. No place for contemplation. No space for my eyes to rest. I now find it necessary to leave room for emptiness not only in the house, but also in my head & of course in my schedule.

“Empty places – a vacuum where something once has been – draw the eye and obsess the imagination.”
In the Studio | Hale | 1957


Sound borrowed from Jitwam – somethingtochewon

seat of the week

seat of the week oct two
This throne of a seat looks like it was unpeeled to reveal singer/songwriter, Ari Lennox. She can’t be bought, regrettably, but two of these chairs in tour backyard amid bamboo, banana trees, palms and philodendron might mimic the getaway that is her voice. Fit for shiraz on Saturday night or chai on Sunday morning, this chair is for conversation, reflection, gratitude.

See others that have been featured here.


You often hear about the chair in this journal.
I say ‘chair’ but I speak of every object in the room.
I speak of the table,
I speak of the bed
I speak of books
I speak of you.

When you see or hear about the chair,
allow it to take on the shape of any object you’re ready to start dialogue with.

recalibration

This is recalibration. It’s the practice of rebalancing the living space so that it resonates with the head space. Changes like this happen weekly in my house. If I feel stuck, stagnant, overwhelmed by my mind or just simply need a release, recalibration is my medicine.


Sound borrowed from Tommy Guerrero – Heat in the Streets from Road to Knowhere