Give and Get Love Today!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  

Want to give and get love today?  If so, there’s only one place to go, THE BEDROOM, of course!  

Our bedrooms are undoubtedly the most important rooms in our homes.  Why?  Our

that's me sitting on my bed after hanging that beautiful photograph my husband took!

that’s me sitting on my bed after hanging that beautiful photograph of Iceland my husband took!

bedrooms hold all the metaphors for the way we “do” relationships and love in this life.  The ways we decorate our bedrooms, take care of them and maintain them, what we do (and don’t do) in them, and how we share them (and don’t share them) all reflect how we are in relationship to ourselves and to our intimate partner (if we have one).  For singles, the bedroom even reflects how we are in relationship to our desire to have a partner.

Today, when hearts and roses and love are swirling all around, I offer you 10 new ways to give and get love.  These tips are for couples and singles:  those of you who feel “successful” in love and those of you who feel like love has been an uphill and confusing journey.  These tips are for all of you.  And they all start in this most special and sacred place in our homes–the bedroom.

1.  Do a super thorough cleaning of your bedroom.    Taking care of this room is really about how you take care of your self and your relationship.  When we are taking good care of ourselves, we can love and be loved more easily.

2.  Let go of bedroom clutter:  junk under the bed, stuff crammed into nightstands, random things in dresser drawers.  Clutter in the bedroom prevents us from feeling alive in our relationships to self and others!  Certain forms of clutter can also keep us attached to old relationships.

3.  Give yourself the gift of sleeping on some really luxurious sheets.  Go for warm and rich colors.  Choose the high thread count.  This will bring delight to this most vulnerable space.

4.  Take a look at the art hanging on your walls.  Do you love all of it?  If not, take it down and look for art pieces that really make you feel great.  When you surround yourself with things (art, furniture, objects) that you love, it increases your energy and happiness.

5.  Monitor closely for what I call “therapy art” or “therapy objects.”  These are items that served a good purpose at one time.  (The recently divorced woman needed to hang a painting of an independent woman by herself).  But beware when it’s time to let these things go and be open to a new phase of life.

6.  Limit your bedroom to sleep, self-care, and intimacy.  When we bring work, TV, computers, etc. into this sacred space, it takes us further away from these 3 basic pursuits which are all so important to LOVING!

7.  Create your bedroom to be a total sanctuary for sleep, self-care, and intimacy!  What would that look like for you?  Get creative!

8.  What’s happening in your closet reflects how you present yourself to the world and how you express yourself in the world day to day.  Is it organized?  With only clothes you love and feel fantastic in?  Do the colors reflect you?  Spend some time loving your closet and it will be reflected in how you love yourself and your partner!

9.  If you are in a partnership, how are you sharing your bedroom space?  Have you collaborated in decorated and arranging the space?  Or has one person done everything?  I invite you to bring the spirit of collaboration into your space and talk together about how to make the room feel wonderful.  Collaborating here will reap benefits throughout your relationship!

10. And, please, get yourself some Valentine’s flowers today even if you are in a relationship, and put them in your bedroom!  Love yourself first today!

Love,
Anne

What is your ONE for 2014?

~~i hope your new year has gotten off to a magical start~~

I’m gonna fill you in on a little somethin’.  I have been meaning for weeks, no, let’s get real–MONTHS, to create a “Wall of Women” in my dressing room. I have a very sweet and tiny room off of my bedroom where I keep my clothes and jewelry and where I get ready in the morning. There is an empty wall in there that has been BEGGING me to hang up framed photos of my main women loves–my gal pals, my sister, and other inspiring ladies.  I keepphoto_46b33d4eae40277778e2 envisioning their beautiful faces smiling at me as I start my day and I get all giddy.  I’ve got the frames, I live two minutes from the CVS where I can get the photos enlarged.  So…what gets in my way?  Why has it taken me months to make good on my vision?

I’m guessing that we ALL have something (or a lot of somethings) in our homes that we’ve been meaning to do–for weeks, months, and maybe even years.  Is it the wall that needs patching?  The paintings that need to be hung?  The basement that needs decluttering?

Sure, I bet we could all say that we are too busy and over scheduled to attend to these things, but I’m going to venture to say that it’s MORE than just this.  That there might be some emotional block in the way between the idea and the action.  What would it mean to us to do the thing we’ve been meaning to do?  What would it mean to take action rather than wonder?  What would it mean to fully express ourselves in our physical space?  What would it mean to take good care of our physical space?

It’s about saying YES to ourselves.  It’s clearing the mental clutter.  It is about fully claiming our physical space which is really about claiming our place in the world. It is about taking good care of ourselves.  It is about taking the risk to say “I matter” and “I am worthy.”   Expressing ourselves in and taking good care of our physical space directly relates to how we express and take care of ourselves in life.  How do YOU want to live your life this year?  Can you express that in your home?

Here is my sweet challenge to all of us as we begin the new year.  What if we were all to choose one–just one–of these things, and DO IT this month?  Heck, it’s a New Year and we’re in the thick of turning over new leaves and making good on commitments and promises.  Why not make a commitment to our home?  Why not commit to ourselves?

Want to play with me this month?  Pick one–just one–thing that you’ve been meaning and wanting to do with your home and DO IT this month!  It doesn’t have to be big (although it can be!)   It can be as small as organizing your silverware drawer.  I am committing to making my Wall of Women this month.  What will YOU commit to doing in your home this month?  What will be your ONE for 2014?

Will you please email me and tell me what you’re going to do?  Let’s see how we feel when we give ourselves a little kick in the pants to make our vision reality.  Let’s see how it changes the way we feel about ourselves and our space.  And if you really want to play with me, come on over to my recently revamped Services page to see the new and exciting stuff going on!   For those of you scheduling between now and February 24, I am offering a 25% discount on all services as a way to kick off the new year!

And, stay tuned!  This April I am leading the CREATING SPACE RETREAT–a month long online retreat to help you create space in your home and in your life (imagine what it would feel like to really let go of your clutter).  For information, please contact me or watch for sign up details next month!

Wishing you a bright New Year, in home and heart,
Anne


WORK WITH ME!
Anne McCauley, LMHC, OTR/L is a licensed Psychotherapist committed to helping people move through their blocks by learning how their homes mirror what’s happening in their lives.  She offers phone, skype, and in-person services.  Check out the Services page to find out more.

1.  House Calls —  a splendid and deep 30 minute phone call that will quickly get to the heart of the matter with regards to home and heart.  Perfect for those of you who want to test the waters and get some support around a home/life issue that feels stuck or confusing.  Designed especially for you to get to know me and this work without breaking the bank!

2.  The Moxie — Moxie:  spirit, courage, vigour, boldness, and nerve.  Does your home need more of this?  Does your life need a huge dose of spirit and spunk?  If so, this package is for you!  An in depth look into your home and heart that is sure to clear the cobwebs and kick start your life in a whole new direction!

3.  The Love Shack — Bring love back into the shack!  For struggling couples and singles looking for love.

4.  The Clutter Clear –There is an emotional connection to clutter.  Until it’s dealt with on that level, it’s not going anywhere.  Process the emotions, clear your clutter, and feel free again!

5.  Creating Space Retreat — A month long online retreat designed to help you create more space in your home and in your life (imagine how good it will feel to really let go of your clutter!)  COMING IN APRIL!  STAY TUNED

Unpack: Be present, Be here!

Hi There!

The past month has been a delight over here at Heart Your Home Love Your Life! In addition to a Winter Wonderland (we got 10 inches of snow last night here in Massachusetts!), we’ve also been in House Call Wonderland!  I’ve gotten to enter the intimate territory of your homes through some very sweet phone conversations with many of you!  A big thank you!

winter wonderland!

winter wonderland!

And now, as we are in the heart of the holiday season, I have something for you that has absolutely NOTHING to do with gifts, shopping, trees, parties, cookies, or elves.  This something is a home-something, a something you can do for your home and for your life that just might have some big relevance for you during this holiday season—and beyond.  Hint—it has to do with unpacking our lives so that we can live in the now.

Have you ever returned from a trip and stared at your suitcase of clothes for days, not wanting to unpack because it would mean that the trip is over?  Or, to go away on a trip and never really unpack your bag in the new place because, well, why bother if it’s only for a week? Returning home after a recent week away for Thanksgiving, I was reminded of the meaning behind all of this and how unpacking our bags actually allows us to be present and grounded wherever we land!

When we come home from traveling and put off unpacking our bags, it leaves us in limbo-land, not fully here and not fully there.  Part of us stays in the place we left behind and makes it hard to really be back home.  And when we’re not fully home, it’s actually harder to go about relating and connecting with our selves and our communities.

My antidote to the loss we may feel in returning to normal life after a trip away from home:  create a “remembering space.”  This is a spot on top of a table, dresser, or kitchen counter where you place several reminders from your time away—to keep the memory alive so you don’t have to let your unpacked bags keep it alive!  I find myself doing this after most trips away—see the above picture of a remembering space I created after a recent trip. It allows me to keep remembering the special moments of the trip while ALSO fully being back home.  (Iceland Lonely Planet guide, Icelandic rhubarb jam, a heart shaped rock we found hiking, a piece of coral, an Icelandic coin, and some Icelandic chocolate!)

And when we travel to a new place and don’t unpack our bags there because we figure we’ll just have to repack them again in a few days or week, part of us stays home and doesn’t ever fully arrive at our new destination.

To fully unpack—whether on the coming or going end—communicates to ourselves and our hosts—I am here!  I am in!  I am ready!  I am available!  And for those who are not traveling, but hosting—encourage your guests to fully unpack and fully arrive—which may mean making sure there’s space for them to do so!

Here’s an invitation for all of us this holiday season…to unpack, to arrive, to be present, to be ready, to be available, and to open ourselves up to all the magic of the season.

Wishing bright homes + bright hearts to all of you during this special time of year.  See you in 2014!

Much Love, Anne

Want a FREE House Call?

It’s BIRTHDAY month over here at Heart Your Home Love Your Life, and guess what that means?

A gift for YOU!

Today, I am celebrating my birthday! What better time to offer YOU a very special gift!  Today, I offer you the gift of your very own, individualized (and free!) HOUSE CALL!  While I wish I could visit each and every one of you in your homes for my birthday, I would need a super high speed jet as you all are spread far and wide over this country–and beyond!

Instead, I am offering a different type of HOUSE CALL.  This house call will help you see your home with new eyes.  It will help you get clear on any burning questions you have about your home.  It will help you understand how your home reflects who you are.  It will help you understand how the ways you use your home, care for your home, decorate your home, and share your home either supports you in life or holds you back.  It will help you find out who you really are.  Come on over to my website to find out how you can get your FREE HOUSE CALL!

For the first 20 people to respond, I am offering a FREE 30 minute HOUSE CALL!  How does this work?  First, make sure you’ve signed up for my monthly newsletter (sign up over on the side panel of this page) as this offer is good only for newsletter members.  You email me at anne@heartyourhomeloveyourlife.com, we set a date and time, you call me at the agreed upon time, and we chat about your home!  ANY home related question is fair game!  Love your home and want to tell me all about it?  Lived in your home for years but still feel like it is unfinished?  Do you have a sense that you are hanging onto certain things in your home out of guilt, fear, or avoidance?  You and your partner can’t agree on how to use/share/decorate your home?  Have a hard time keeping up with the care of your home?  Or, just want to tell me about your home?  Anything goes!

I will be scheduling house calls for a limited time only–between November 15 and December 15, so email me soon if you’d like to take advantage!

To schedule your house call, email me at anne@heartyourhomeloveyourlife.com.  I look forward to connecting with you!

P.S. These precious little ceramic homes in the picture above were given to me by my sister.  She knows I heart homes!

Yours, in heart and home,

Anne

Home Care is SELF Care!

Why, Hello!
Q: Do you want to take better care of YOURSELF?
Q: What does your home have to do with it?
A: EVERYTHING! Read on!

There’s a ton of buzz these days about “self care.” Self care is the practice of doing things on a consistent basis that nurture you and feed your body and spirit. It’s eating nutritiously, spending time in nature, it’s exercising, meditating, it’s having fun, or spending time with friends and loved ones. It’s all the million different ways that we recharge our batteries. And it’s a good thing there’s so much buzz about self care. With as busy and fast paced as life can be, if we’re not taking good, consistent care of ourselves, it’s easy for stress, depression, fatigue, and overwhelm to set in.

So, what do our homes have to do with it? EVERYTHING!

To put it simply, the way you take care of your home is the way you take care of yourself. The care, attention, nurturance, and effort you put into care-taking your home, mirrors how you take care of your most important asset: YOU!

Home Care = Self Care

A huge part of home care is indeed keeping your home clean and orderly. There’s nothing that makes a home feel uncared for more quickly than letting it get messy and cluttered. There’s also more to home care, though. Home care is setting the table beautifully for a simple weeknight dinner, it’s burning a candle, it’s finally hanging the pictures on the wall that you’ve been meaning to hang for years, it’s getting rid of the chair that is broken, it’s patching the hole in the wall, it’s fixing the door that always sticks, it’s asking for help when you are stuck. Home care encompasses all the ways that you put loving care into your home.

And why is this so important? When we have trouble taking care of our homes, we also have trouble taking care of ourselves. If it’s a struggle to take good and consistent care of your home, it might be a good time to ask your self how well you are taking care of yourself in life. And self care is important—It’s really important. When we are taking good care of ourselves, we are happier, more relaxed, and experience deeper connection with other people.  It’s the foundation of life.  Without it, it’s hard to enjoy anything.

photo-31

 

My admission: I don’t like to put my clothes away at night. When it’s time for bed, I don’t want to hang and fold clothes. However, I don’t like the feeling I have in the morning of seeing several days worth of clothes piled up on the chair. It zaps some of my energy and becomes one more thing I have to do. Over the past few months I’ve been experimenting with taking the two minutes (and that’s literally all it takes!) to put away my clothes at night. And man, what a difference I feel in the morning! It’s my    new little self care/home care ritual.

Taking good, consistent care of your home is another self care tool to add to your tool box. And I stress the consistent part. While doing a blitz of self-care over one weekend will indeed help you recharge and revitalize, it’s most effective to develop a consistent and steady practice of daily self care, even for just 15 or 30 minutes each day. The same is true of our homes. While it is so helpful to do a major cleaning after the house has started to resemble a war zone, the best self-care is to take care of your home on a daily basis, in whatever way feels right to you. home care = self care = self respect.

Want to strengthen your home care/self care program?

1.  Start small! Baby steps are great and so important.

2.  Choose just one thing you could do in your home on a consistent basis to take care of it (think: dealing with the mail on a daily basis, making the bed every day, cleaning the litter box every day, burning a candle each night at dinner)

3.  Acknowledge that you aren’t just “taking care of the home,” but that you are taking care of YOURSELF and respecting yourself.

4.  Tell a friend what you are doing—get support!
5.  Notice how good it feels to make the change and celebrate it!

How do you take care of yourself? How do you take care of your home? Have you had struggles or successes with home care or self care? Email me! I’d love to hear from you!

Wishing you a month of taking sweet and loving care of yourself—and of course—your home!
Anne
P.S. I wrote this post from Salt Lake City, Utah–that picture is me and my husband doing some nature-based self care in the Wasatch mountains outside of Salt Lake!
P.P.S. Stay tuned next month for a fun and FREE offeringjust for you!

If you’d like to receive this newsletter directly to your inbox each month, please sign up in the sidebar of this webpage!

Your Stuff + the G word = JOY!

Welcome!
Could letting go of stuff = More Joy?  Read on!

Dealing with our STUFF is no small thing.  And by STUFF I mean all the contents of our lives:  what we keep in our closets and drawers, what fills our rooms, what takes up space in our homes, and what adorns our walls.  Our stuff defines us and shows the world who we are and who we were.  It’s a tangible biography of our lives. Ideally, our stuff inspires us, makes us smile, serves a good purpose, or makes our life easier.  But what happens when we have too much of it? When it overwhelms us?  Or when some of that stuff defines us in a way we’d rather it not?  Or reveals a biography we’re not so proud of?

Hanging onto this kind of stuff can bring us down and make us feel stressed, depressed, and tired.   Why?  Somewhere inside of ourselves WE are also holding onto these parts of lives that are old, outdated, and no longer vibrant.  Even if the clutter is way up in the attic or shoved to the back of your closet, on some level, we know it’s there and it affects us.

Why am I thinking about STUFF today?  I had a spontaneous yard sale this past weekend.  Over the year since moving into our new house, my husband and I have been weeding through our belongings.  The pile of “unwanteds” had grown so much that it was time to take action!  And here’s where the G word comes in.  Even though letting go of our “unwanteds” has made me feel lighter and more spacious, as we watched oodles of our stuff go into other peoples’ hands and become part of other peoples’ lives, I have to say, that G word crept in.  Read on…

How would you like to live a life that is joyful, more free, and full of ease?
And find out what that G word is?!

To clear the clutter out of our homes and to experience feeling lighter and more free, I’m convinced that implementing organizational systems isn’t the answer.  And neither is reading up on how to reduce clutter.  Nor is buying yet another closet organizer.  While these things help, the real answer my friends, is that we have to GRIEVE (here’s the G word)!  We have to grieve the loss of the parts of ourselves that our old stuff represents.  We have to tolerate the sad and prickly feelings that are a natural part of letting go of anything.  Many people who avoid clearing clutter are not avoiding the STUFF but avoiding the FEELINGS that come up when they start looking at their stuff!  As much as I was happy to see our things go into new hands at the yard sale, there were twinges of sadness.  It’s part of it.  And it’s hard.  But I keep being reminded:  the more I can grieve and let go of what I don’t need and what doesn’t reflect who I am, the more I can be happy.  And that happiness and lightness is sooo worth the effort!

The pic above is of me dropping off the last of our stuff at my favorite local thrift store, the Worcester Habitat Restore.  !Ciao Stuff!

Not sure if your stuff is brining you down?  Any of these sound familiar?
1.  You’re still hanging onto stuff from a previous marriage
2.  Your grown kids’ stuff is taking up space even though they’re out of the house
3.  You’re holding onto clothes that felt good to wear—years ago
4.  Your house feels congested and too full
5.  There’s not enough space in your home to do or be what you want
6.  You dread going through your stuff
7.  When you think about clearing your stuff, you feel overwhelmed, sad, or anxious

Do you have a story about your stuff?  If so, I’d love to hear it!  Email me!

I wish for you the wide and wild happiness that comes from releasing what we don’t need.  And a very happy end to your summer.

Anne

P.S. What we’re doing with the $100 from our yard sale?  Going out to dinner to celebrate my newly acquired credentials!  See my Bio page for details!  www.heartyourhomeloveyourlife.com/bio

P.P.S.  Need support in navigating your relationship to your STUFF?  In addition to local services in MA, I’m now offering phone/skype sessions for those of you not in the Massachusetts area.  Check out my Services page for details:  www.heartyourhomeloveyourlife.com/services

And If you’d like to receive this newsletter directly to your inbox each month, please sign up at my website, www.heartyourhomeloveyourlife.com!

 

Need a Home Hug?

Welcome!
Do you want an enormous hug from your home? Need some extra support in life?  (Don’t we all??!!)

I am just wrapping up a SUPER busy and intense period of work.  Between running a large school-based counseling program at a Boston non-profit agency to teaching a post Master’s level counseling course to TAKING a graduate counseling course, in addition to launching my Heart Your Home business, I have been BUSY!

As I write this, I am sitting outside on my deck, looking out at our growing garden and the peach trees getting heavy with fruit, listening to the birds singing their morning songs.  I look up at my house and feel a big ‘ol sense of gratitude for it.  Through all of the long work days and hectic pace of the last few months, my house has been my rock and the place where I rejuvenated and came back to myself.  There were many days over these months where I would come home exhausted only to find that within minutes of being home, laying on my plush wool rug, walking through my garden, or kicking back in my favorite chair on the porch, that I would feel myself returning to myself and my breath getting a little deeper. (This picture is one early morning’s strawberry harvest from our garden along with yellow wildflowers from our yard).
We all go through these busy periods—whether it’s due to work, parenting, caring for others, or simply just life taking over.  If we can count on our home to be there for us as a source of support and inspiration, it’s money in our self-care bank, it’s a built in personal caregiver, it’s an enormous size hug that keeps on hugging.  What does it look like when your home is a support?  When you walk into it you feel more relaxed, you feel proud of it, you wanna show it off, you love it, it reflects you, it reflects the other people who live in it.  When it’s not a source of support?  It overwhelms you, you can’t keep up with it, it’s messy, cluttered, and you’re embarrassed to show it (or parts of it) to other people. As busy as life gets these days, we NEED our homes to be a source of support for us.  Without it, it can be hard to relax and difficult to connect with ourselves, making us prone to chronic stress and depression (sound familiar, anyone?)  If you need help turning your home into a source of support, check out the Services page on my website at www.heartyourhomeloveyourlife.com/services/

If your home needs a little more support in order to become YOUR source of support, try any one of these simple tips:

  1. Get rid of ANYTHING in your home that you don’t LOVE (artwork, clothes, knick knacks, etc.) and let go of any sense of guilt about giving away certain things.
  2. Give it a good down on your hands and knees cleaning.  This alone will do wonders.
  3. Pick some fresh flowers (there’s so many beautiful ones blooming right now!) and bring them inside.  Put them everywhere!
  4. Invite a friend over to your home.  Go so far as showing them any area that you may be embarrassed of.  You can bet that this will get you fired up to change it!
  5. Start small—choose a drawer or a closet and clean it out.  Notice how even small changes make big shifts in the way you feel about your home (and your self!)
  6. Give your home (and yourself) a gift.  If there’s a piece of art you’ve been dreaming about, a chair you’ve been ooooing and aaahhing over, or even just that orchid plant that keeps grabbing your eye, invest in yourself!

My husband and I are heading off soon on our much awaited honeymoon to Iceland where I hope to do lots of soaking and relaxing in the many hot springs (in addition to eating their famous hot dogs!).  I recently learned that there’s an Icelandic word “heima” (thanks to one of my favorite bands Sigur Ros for this) that means “at home.”  As I sign off, I wish for YOU the sense of feeling “at home”—IN your home, in your BODY, and in yourself.