What can I say about Lorraine and how the lessons she taught her children and grandchildren relate to this month’s theme of ‘The Healing Home’ ?
I know for sure that the most important lesson I’ve learned from Lorraine is to bear witness to the invisible. I’ve learned that when we routinely give our attention to the invisible spaces of our households as well as the invisible moments in our daily routines, it will have a profound impact on our health. Bearing witness to the invisible brings you to the present moment and elevates the experience – whatever experience that may be. To honor the invisible is to not only pay mindful attention to the energy of a thing, but to lift that energy up to it’s highest, healthiest state.
A couple examples:
1. While visiting with Lorraine in her kitchen over a refreshing drink and delicious snack, she always sat on the same side of the table. She is blind in one eye, so it was a priority for her (when choosing a seat at any table) to be able to see out the window, in her peripheral vision, with her one good eye. Well. We just don’t all think about that. Do you always think about where the window is located when you sit down to eat a meal or enjoy a loved one’s company? No, I don’t either. But Lorraine did. Lorraine ALWAYS did. She knew that if she could enjoy the vibe of the outdoors from the corner of her eye while she enjoyed her meal or the company of her loved one, that the experience would be elevated.
2. Lorraine insisted on drinking water from a clear glass glass. Not plastic. And preferably not an opaque glass glass. A clear glass glass. She explained that she preferred to see the beauty of the water while drinking it, which made it more enjoyable. Also, feeling the texture of glass while drinking anything is so much more enjoyable than the feeling of the texture of plastic. It elevates the experience. Well. We just don’t all think about that. Do you refuse to drink water out of plastic or opaque containers because the experience of witnessing the water will elevate the experience of drinking it? No? I don’t either. But Lorraine did. She ALWAYS drank water from a clear glass glass.
3. Lorraine always had tons of crystals hanging in her big kitchen window. When the sunlight hit them, the room was taken over by little dancing rainbows. I don’t know if this was her idea, or if it stemmed from one of her lovely hippie daughters, but I don’t remember a time when her kitchen window was not sparkling with a variety of dangling crystals. I’ve not seen this in other households. Well. I know people sometimes do this, but it’s certainly not a common thing. Why? Why isn’t it common? Throughout the day, when the sun soaked the crystals, the invisible air of the kitchen came to life and reminded us of the power of nature. Rainbows inside. Magic. You cannot be grumpy when little rainbows are dancing around you.
4. Lorraine introduced me to the idea of Aromatherapy. One afternoon, during one of those delicious drink and snack visits, she presented my sister and me each with a beautiful little blue-glass bottle. She had soaked a cotton ball in peppermint oil and inserted the cotton into the bottle, then capped them with tiny corks to capture and save the scent. She instructed us to carry it with us, remove the cork and inhale the peppermint any time we were feeling blue or stressed. “It will elevate your mood”, she said. Well. She was right. Do you do this? Do you tuck a beautiful little (glass of course) vial into your bag to carry with you in case you need a little lift?
5. And as for this last example, I actually don’t want to say it out loud because then my husband will take note and remind-remind-remind me: Fresh air is better for you than air conditioning. I guess we’re all addicted to air conditioning now, but fresh air is where it’s at. Now that I think about it, I’m wondering if Lorraine ever had air conditioning? I don’t think so. I don’t ever remember feeling “air conditioning” in her home. And never did I ever see an air conditioning unit – not even a small window unit – anywhere in her home. Spring, Summer and Fall: Fresh air was always streaming through her windows and door screens. Never an air conditioner. Well. Shoot.
I’m sure there are many more examples from my experience with Lorraine of her bearing witness to the invisible to elevate her mood, her space, and her moments. These are just five examples that came quickly to mind. This was the way she lived her life all day, every day. Her message, therefore, is completely ingrained in me. It has always been ‘common-place-knowledge’ for me. I’ve realized, however, that this is not common-place-knowledge for everyone.
The ‘Healthy Home’ is currently “on-trend” due to Covid-19 and our ‘Sheltering in Place’. Suddenly, everyone is paying attention to the healing effects of “the invisible” inside our homes. The topics of indoor air quality, the importance of sunlight and aromatherapy in our homes are popping up everywhere.
Even the more Woo-Woo concepts = the healing properties of crystals, feng shui, and smudging (burning sage and other leaf bundles to clean the energy of your space) seem to be getting more mainstream attention and acceptance.
Case in point:
The hottest holistic home trends (page 39)
Thanks to Lorraine, I’ve never questioned ‘woo-woo’ ideas. I'd love to deep-dive into each of those topics in another blog post.
Thanks to Lorraine, I’ve never questioned any of these ideas and have always known them to be fact:
1. Time spent with nature improves our health. If you can’t get outside, bring nature indoors. There are a million ways to do this.
2. Fresh, clean air is good for us. That goes for the air outside AND inside our homes.
3. The energy in our homes is real, and negative energy will negatively impact our health.
4. Aromatherapy is real therapy.
5. An elevated experience elevates our mood, and an elevated mood strengthens our immune system.
Thanks to Lorraine, I work to keep my house a healthy, healing home.