Hestia” says to me: ” I am one who has built a fire in your heart. I am here, waiting for you to come home where there is warmth, comfort, and nurturing foods. I love you just the way you are….nothing you can do will drive me away. I am here just for you. I have no judgement, no conditions, no expectations. I only wish that you would remember that I am here and ready to care for you.”
My next step in my process of creating a comfort zone within my self was to create an inner hearth. If you look at the word, hearth, you see that the root is “heart”. The heart is the place of warmth, comfort, nurturing and light. I began the process by looking through magazines for images of interior fireplaces that appealed to me. There were many to choose from, especially in decorating or remodeling magazines and books. I found that I prefer natural stone hearths. My “Hestia” SoulCollage(R) card was “consulted” in the process. I wanted to create a collage of a hearth that she would build, or inhabit.
Once I had chosen an image of a hearth, I chose images of furniture, rugs, pillows, accesories that make me feel comfortable. I cut and glued these images until I had created a room that invited me to sit back, relax, and feel “at home”. I imagined this room as being located in my heart area, inside my body. I felt the warmth of the fire, and nurturing comfort that radiated from my heart to the rest of me. This collage will go into my scrapbook, which is called “My Home for My Soul”.
I was born in the 1950’s. My ideas about home and Mom and nurturing and comfort live in that era. My body came of age in that time. I often feel the need to go back there to reclaim something important….something about reconnecting my heart to my mind and my body. A key to a missing link…
The happy home maker of the 1950’s was an illusion…yet she had a purpose. Her job was to create and maintain a comfortable, clean, safe place for her family to come home to after a long day of facing the perils, the trials, the chaos of the outer world of work and school. The iconic homemaker was able to whip up a nutritious, delicious meal for her hungry children and spouse using inexpensive ingredients. She set a lovely table with colorful dishes and clean, ironed table cloths. She comforted and soothed by providing the needed band-aid or chocolate chip cookie. She provided toys and bicycles and roller skates and swing sets for her children so that they could get outside and PLAY! She kept schedules, budgets, routines, and gave structure to daily life that often seemed harsh and “out of control”.
We all know that this wonder woman was a fantasy that many women tried to become. She was an idea, a character, a representative of a feminine ideal that began with the Greek Goddess Hestia. Hesita was and is the one who builds and maintains the hearth. This is the center of the home. The place where heat, light, and cooking happen.
Hestia knows the importance of inner sanctuary. Hestia knows that the sacred inner hearth is the key to inner centerdness and wholeness. She has been forgotten in recent years, but her spirit is sorely needed now. You may see the iconic Mother as the Great Mother, or Mother Mary, or Kuan Yin. She can be “Suzy Homemaker” or your Fairy Godmother, or a combination of all of these. However you imagine this energy, her sole desire, whatever she calls herself is to keep you alive and comfortable by providing you with warmth, light, and nurturing.
I like to think that we all have an inner Hestia. If we did not, we would not be alive. My verions of her is one who lives in our hearts. We may be very resistant to her. We may be unconcious of her existence. She is here, within us, no matter what we think. She is our life force. She is the one whose job is to nurture us and provide us with the will to keep on living. This comes from her love of life on earth, of life and of the experience in a body on this planet.
Like many of you, I have spent most of my life at war with my body. I didn’t like it. It seemed to make me a target as a child: for teasing, for abuse, for criticism from “well meaning” adults and from myself. I remember being 8 years old, sitting next to my mother in our Oldsmobile, and showing her how I wanted to cut off the fat from my belly. I can clearly see myself gathering the extra layer of skin with my fingers, holding it tightly and wishing I could just take a pair of scissors and cut it. I think my mother said something like, “wouldn’t that be nice”….This war escalated during adolescence, when I tried starving myself, which lead to binge eating, and to extreme disgust with this out of control thing that seemed to determine my ability to be loved and accepted by others. In adulthood, my body has served me by giving birth to two healthy children and by remaining healthy and able to perform all that I ask of it. Still, I have continued to exercise, diet, and push my body in an effort to look and feel lovable….
Some part of me, living down in the first or second chakra, knows that I am ready to really, truly, learn to live in my precious body: The place where all of my memories are stored as energy. The place where my vitality lives. I couldn’t write, think, move, or breathe without this amazingly efficient place that my soul calls home on Earth.
My body deserves love from me. I know this. My body needs to be accepted, felt, seen, and even celebrated. My body has been through hell, and she has survived and served me for over 50 years. It is time for me to take the journey inward, into her. How can I do this?? This blog is the beginning step of my quest. I intend to experiment with ways to create a comfortable home within that I will not feel like leaving. A home within that soothes and renews my entire being. My body, my home, my friend: I pledge to take a step toward you each day. I will share my creative experiments on this blog…and I invite anyone who would like to join me, to feel free to try these ideas along with me. Let’s see if we can find our way together. This could be fun!