A House Blessing – With Children

We’ve just moved house. Well, it has been almost a month now, but we still have unpacked boxes stacked up in the corners of a few rooms. Some of them were packed two houses (three years) ago and never unpacked! We just shift them from house to house. I thought I might open one of them soon and see which surprises lay inside.

This time, when we moved, we were not in hurry. We moved quickly, it was three days between finding out we were accepted for this rental home and moving in, but we’ve had a month to finish up at our other house, which is a luxury. After 20 years of renting, we are pretty good at picking up and moving on, although we now have a LOT more stuff than we used to, and we had LOTS of help from friends and family on the moving weekend (thank you again!).IMG_3226

I wanted to shift the energy of this move. This time, I wanted to have a moment with our new home and make it truly ours, not just another rental that we’ll be living in for a while, but a place where the heart of our family has moved in before our ‘stuff’ does. I also needed to do this so I could let go of our previous home, which I loved living in. Just after we collected the keys from the agent, and before the truck came along with our belongings, my daughters and I stepped in to our empty house and gave it a blessing of the likes it has probably never had before.

We crept in together, quietly unpacked the items we brought with us for the blessing – they were wrapped specially in a pretty scarf – then left them where they were and proceeded to make a LOT of noise!

We clapped loudly in every room, corner and cupboard of the house. We yelled and sang and shrieked and danced and did all we could to shake that stale energy out of the corners and the dark, forgotten bits of the house. We whirled around together and opened every door and window and let it all out of the house so that we could fill this space with our own energy.IMG_3228

There was a shift already – it felt great! It felt like the house had woken up a bit, stretched and was looking at us with interested eyes, one eyebrow lifted (‘Hello, what’s going on here?’). We came back to our package of goodies and lit the smudge stick. Again, and quieter this time, we travelled through each room, in all corners and inside every cupboard waving that smoke through the house with feathers, cleansing the space and releasing anything that might be stuck there.

After the smoke, we then picked up our spray bottles of space clearing essence made especially for us by our dear friend Melissa, turned on some music and misted the air with sweet smells, calling out our good wishes for our time in this home as we worked through the rooms. Well, I did the blessings, mostly the girls just sprayed each other, but their giggles was blessing enough. The oils and essences in the spray I am sure helped to neutralise the chemicals that were used to clean this place (I came to inspect the house while it was being professionally cleaned – is it really necessary to clean windows with bleach?) and the residue of those harsh substances was softened and healed.IMG_3231

Then, before I began the business of the mandatory entry report, we sat outside and enjoyed our new view – even the river was having a cleanse! After all the rain we’ve had this river was roaring past, singing to us as it went, taking bemused ducks for a ride on the current. I lit incense and planted the sticks by every entry point to the house, defining our boundaries, protecting our space and sending our love to our neighbours.

In the morning before we arrived, we wrote down our dreams/wishes/goals for the time we are in this house, and at this point I planted them in the earth by our front door. The moving truck arrived shortly after and we were ready for it. We have given the house some love and it has given us its blessing in return. We are going to like it here. 20130202_095956

A new home, a new adventure

Hello blog! I’ve missed you!

I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged for two weeks. That has to be a record 🙂

We’ve been moving house, cleaning house, unpacking house and nurturing our children as one by one they fall to chicken pox, even baby Linden (who has weathered it the best out of everyone). It has been quite an adventure and definitely all-consuming. I feel like we have passed through a threshold into a new phase of life. That is why major tests come up in our lives isn’t it? Just to see what we are capable of and to help us apply some new skills that we may have not had the opportunity to practice before.

I have to say this is the first time in a very long time that I have been ANGRY. It doesn’t happen very often and the feeling took me by surprise. It made my body hurt all over, especially my teeth and my neck. I can’t imagine living in that state all the time! It was really challenging to make myself let it go and find a better emotional place to be in.

So what happened? It doesn’t really matter in the end, if you look at it as a personal challenge. It was a bump in my peaceful and happy existence. Basically, amidst the upheaval of moving house (with sick kids!) I came across some people who clearly live a different life with different values and I am glad that it is rare that I come across such rudeness in my life. Moving house is an upheaval in many ways, not just physically. It is an emotional journey and there were many times I had to retreat into a quiet space and repeat a little ritual to keep focussed on feeling good.

One of the first things I did, after smudging our new house, was to set up my altar, so I had a place to sit and be quiet. The views from our bedroom window are just so beautiful. Bush everywhere. Green and fresh. Busy brush turkeys, sweet yellow wrens, playful king parrots and the most clever (and irritating!) butcher bird I have ever encountered. Sitting at my altar and watching all of this go on helped to keep me in the moment, to bring me back to the adventure we were having. I currently have three candles on my altar – one for our past house so that when I light it I think of all the wonderful things that happened there and all the opportunities that arose for me there. I think about the kind of person I became in that house and how I’ve grown so much through the experiences I had there.

The second candle is for our present house, so that when I light it I can count the blessings of living here too – right NOW. Being present.

The third candle is lit to help me focus on my intentions and goals for the next year – how I want to grow as a person, focussing on the things I need or want in my life and planning how I may achieve them. Just taking a 5 minute quiet break to light these candles would help to dissolve some (not all!) of the frustration I felt during the process of moving with an 8 week old baby, unwell children and dealing with some unpleasant experiences at the same time.

But I’ve left that experience behind me and am now turning my attention to our exciting new phase of life: communal family living! We have moved in with another family and together we total 4 adults and 6 children aged 6 and under. It is a busy household but we have found a beautiful big house in the bush to live in together and we are starting to settle into something that resembles a household rhythm.

It is challenging blending two families that are so used to their own ways of doing things and thinking about things but these challenges are inevitable and serve to make us look at what is really important. What we are so used to doing before worked before – and now that we live together we are finding new ways of moving through our days. We are all bringing our own gifts to the household and it is working out beautifully. It is exciting!

There are so many benefits that I have already begun to enjoy: shared shopping, shared cooking, shared cleaning, shared supervision, shared bedtimes routines … the potential to have a night out with your partner without having to book a baby sitter, being able to pop out for something without bringing all the children, and even being able to pop out for something and bringing a different child!

What I love the most at the moment is the washing up. As you know, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but I am not the only one. Everyone here loves to cook and I am sure that you can imagine how busy our kitchen is. I am not the neatest of cooks but I am trying. It certainly is easier to ‘clean as you go’ in a kitchen that is set out as well as ours is. It is a pleasure to clean our kitchen! With so many adults in the house one thing I have noticed is that when someone walks past the kitchen they put a few things away, or stack the dishwasher, or wipe the counter, or sweep the floor. We each have our favourite job 🙂 Between us it gets done and our kitchen does not remain in the state of madness it could easily descend into.

So I’ve moved through one threshold and into a new phase. I’m looking forward to seeing what unfolds here … and I”ll be glad when the chicken pox leaves our house … three kids down, three to go!