In this strange strange year, we’ve spent a massive amount of time at home. For some, this has been a blessing of sorts. For most, it’s been a struggle.
On all fronts.
Every part of our lives has been altered. Work and what we used to consider to be important or valuable work has changed. Mothers and children are stressed to the max. Some relationships are stronger, but many are fraying or folding in altogether.
And that’s before we look out the window at the horrors unfolding in the flames of forest fires and hate fires.
What we need—what we want—is to feel at home.
At home in our physical surroundings.
At home in our relationships.
At home in our work.
At home in the world.
But what does that mean? What is home? What makes something or someone feel like home?
These questions have been swirling around me all year. But now they are demanding my undivided attention.
The moment to find home is now.
Of course, I didn’t see this coming. No one did. But when the orders for quarantine came in mid-March, I sensed this wasn’t going to be a two- or three-month experience. Despite rosy proclamations from on high, my gut told me I’d be home all year. And sure enough, that is what has come to pass.
And now, as cases spike, even countries that did an excellent job have put out firm orders to return to lockdown.
I don’t care what any politician says, my gut knows I’ll be in this house a lot longer, probably well into 2021.
If you doubt me, perhaps you need to know that huge pop concerts are being canceled for 2021. And the Metropolitan Opera this week announced that would be no 2021 season. None.
Staying home all year is not what I planned.
I thought by this time, I’d have sold my house in Florida and be on my way to my new home in New York.
Are you surprised?
I’ve lived in Florida for 36 years and in all that time, I’ve never felt like this is home. It isn’t that I didn’t try. I tried. I told myself repeatedly that I live in paradise. And once in a while I believed it, but I never felt deep roots here.
Of course, I can toss out the usual complaints. It’s hot. It’s muggy. And, oh lord, is it buggy. Hey, it’s Florida. (And I won’t even go into the ludicrous politics. Florida is a laughing stock for good reason.) And then there’s that little issue of hurricanes. I’ve had to evacuate several times.
A bigger problem for me is there are no seasons. Oh, how I miss seasons. Yes, even snow. I really miss snow. But my biggest problem is trees. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the Midwest, but my heart longs to see massive dark green fir trees dusted with snow.
My screensaver across is a panorama of fir trees after a fresh snowfall with one meandering set of foot prints. I stare at those tracks and hear the crunch made by those boots and feel the frosty kiss of the air.
Writing this, I feel I should look up from my computer and out my office window. There are trees. Five different kinds of palm trees. I’m sorry, palm trees. As adorable as a couple of you are, you’re not home. You’re not my home. And I want to go home.
And that’s what I thought I’d be doing in 2020. Finding my new physical home in New York state a couple hours from my son in New York City.
But home, as 2020 is teaching me, is more than a house, or a climate, or a patch of ground, or even a stand of trees.
I see now that this year under quarantine has been a great teacher. It’s just that it’s a teacher I didn’t seek. But looks like she was seeking me!
Now here she is, and she knows the question I need to explore. The question we all need to explore.
The question is, “What is home?”
OK, I said to my teacher. I’m ready. I’m ready to ask, what is home. I dove into this question in deep soul writing and was rather startled to see that I’ve had “oh this is home” experiences many times. Each one a little stronger than the one before.
The first one, the absolutely necessary first one, is knowing what’s NOT home.
I have a lot of experience with this one.
- My long career in headhunting? I made a good income, but it was not home. And staying for the money did nothing but make me sick. Headhunting was not home.
- The toxic marriage? Oh boy, so not home. And the longer I stayed and harder I tried to make it work, the more not-home it became.
So I left the job. I left the marriage. And things fell apart. Rather dramatically.
- But I found deep soul writing. Ah! Now, that’s home.
- And I became a writer. Oh, how I love being a writer. I’m home!
- If you’d asked me when Writing Down Your Soul came out in 2009, I’d have proudly told you I had found my home.
Little did I know, I was standing in the foyer. The adventure was just beginning. With each successive step on my wild and wonder-filled path, the feeling of home got stronger.
And slowly I began to recognize what home feels like.
“Feel” is a carefully selected and accurate verb. You can’t find home with your mind. Logic won’t get you there. But you can trust your body to let you know when you’re home.
I discovered this on December 26, 2014 when I picked up a pen and my hand would not write the name for the Beloved I'd used since 1997. Instead, out poured, “Beloved Vibration of Sophia!” complete with exclamation point.
And the strangest thing happened.
My whole body opened. Not just my heart, my whole body. Opened. And I felt the Feminine Divine enter my body and She didn’t stop at my heart. Oh no, Sophia “landed” in my entire body, right down to my womb.
And I had the shock of my life.
Until that moment, I had no idea what it felt like to actually be made in the image of the Divine. I had no idea what it felt like to have the Beloved fit in my body.
Oh my Goddess, I was home. So home. Because She was home in me. I didn’t think it could get more glorious than that. But it did.
Home is so much bigger than we can even imagine.
When Sophia woke me in the night on February 25, 2018, whispering prayer artist, She was inviting me to come home to my sacred and holy purpose. And what an adventure this has been!
I started writing a whole new genre of prayer as love songs. I started offering prayer intensives. And I even said yes to redefining prayer altogether. Whew! Talk about home!
I thought prayer artist would be my home for the rest of my life.
But I should know by now that each time we say yes, Mother Divine gets ready to welcome us into the next level of sacred service and holy relationship.
Our home in Her has no limits. She is our beginning-less beginning. She is our endless end.
And yet, even though I know this, I confess I am always surprised when She beckons me into the next room. I have to trust that She knows when I’m ready.
But I had no idea that I was ready for Witch. That dreaded scary word that has sent thousands of women to death. But I guess She thought I was ready when I got into quite a tiff with my agent over this word in August.
The magnificent Rabbi Tirzah Firestone had sent me an endorsement for the relaunch of Writing Down Your Soul, and in the endorsement, she called me a “21st century witch.” I cried with joy when I got it. But my agent told me not to use that word.
Don’t worry, I said, I’ll just redefine witch. I’ll take on the task of re-sacralizing this ancient title that means wise and holy one. If I can redefine prayer, I can redefine witch. My agent pushed back. Hard. She’s no longer my agent.
I was confident making that decision because I could feel witch land in my body as sacred, holy, and true. Home.
Within 48 hours, I began receiving the opening stories of a new book that takes on the task of re-sacralizing witch.
Then, last Monday, September 21, I was blessed to have a major “come home” experience.
I was rosary-walking in my living room, carrying a little willow basket that belongs to a character in the book in my left hand, and a rosary in my right.
As I walked the rosary, I began talking and suddenly, out of nowhere, blurted, “A witch is a woman who prays.”
I stopped cold. I felt it again. That feeling of divine truth landing in my body.
Could it really be that simple? Could the definition of witch be so short and so clear and so universal?
Could woman and prayer and witch be that intertwined? That inseparable? That holy?
My body said yes.
- Yes, you can come home now.
- Home to yourself as a prayer artist.
- Home to yourself as a woman who prays.
- Home to yourself as a sacred holy witch.
- Welcome, you've found home.
I’ve been in close touch with my sister woman-who-prays, Emma Kupu Mitchell, throughout this strange and holy year.
And as we talked, we both reached this surprising realization that the single most important thing we could do right now is create a whole new kind of prayer intensive, not teaching any prayer practice, but inviting women to discover home for themselves, in their bodies, their physical spaces, in their sacred work, and in their most precious relationship with the Feminine Divine.
We’ve created something very deep and mystical and yet, please know, it's also great fun.
Because finding home is all of that.
It’s profound. It’s holy. It’s sacred.
And it’s the most fun you can have.
We open Tuesday, October 13 for 3 Tuesdays. All the details including two videos are on the landing page on my site.
I think this is the most important intensive of 2020. Come, let's find HOME together!
to the delicious feeling of knowing you have found home
PS: those fir trees in New York know I'm coming. Just not in 2020. I think they'll wait for me, don't you.