What is House & Mind? I'm Francesca...
I used to go crazy trying to stay organized....
Until I realized that what I was feeling INSIDE totally reflected what was going on in my OUTside-home, life, everything...
On House & Mind, you will find a way to combine your love of "keeping house," organizing and design with the deeper issues of home, heart and living a fulfilled, enriching and thoughtful life...I also am a writer, budding filmmaker, lover of literature and great mysteries!
I created this site for people like me: You love organizing your space, but are looking to deeper into what makes your life smoother, richer and more fun…I hope you enjoy it.
xo Francesca McCaffery
This piece by one of our wonderful contributors, Mick Kubiak, sums up the philosophy of House & Mind perfectly:
YOUR INNER HOUSE-by Mick Kubiak, LMFT
For many of us, our homes are our sanctuaries. They provide us with refuge from the world out there—no matter how noisy, how unpredictable, how cruel, or how demanding it gets-at the end of the day, we can step into our safe spaces, and shut the door. We turn the lock with a deep sigh of relief. Here, we find peace and beauty for our weary hearts. We fall onto the couch, as if into the arms of a supportive and nurturing friend. There is a common phrase—all the comforts of home—that captures this daily return to safety and warmth.
But there is another home—even more vital and sacred than our primary residences. I speak here of the inner home of your Being—the internal space in which your thoughts, emotions, feelings, perceptions, schemes, and dreams unfold; the place from which you—You—view the world and the people and things in it.
One of the great tragedies of the human condition is that most of us do not know that we even have an inner home, and that it needs our attention, and energy, every bit as much as our external home does. Even worse, we have been taught that we don’t have much say in the matter of what goes on in there. We endure, and try to overlook or compartmentalize all kinds of darkness and waste that we would never tolerate in our world kitchens and living rooms.
We must forgive ourselves for this neglect, this lack of consciousness, because our mothers and fathers taught us how to cook and clean, and wash the car, how to balance our checkbooks and pay our bills, but most of them failed to teach us that we have to look inside, and attend to our inner homes as well. This was not malice on their part, but ignorance. They couldn’t teach us what they didn’t know.
Sometimes, the awareness that our inner home is a real place, a real place we haven’t paid much attention to, can be overwhelming, kind of like finding out that you own an actual house that no one told you about until now. When you first go to see it, you’re going to be like, oh dang, that place is a mess. And you might want to just walk away and pretend like you never saw it. Plenty of people do.
But not you, dear House and Mind reader! Because you know that with the right encouragement and support, you can handle this! I’m telling you. You really can. And at some point in the future, when you have cleared the brush, fixed the broken door, and swept out the cobwebs, you will be standing full of joy in your inner home, so happy that you finally claimed this place for yourself.
It is this state of inner presence that is known as self-possession, and if you’ve ever felt it in yourself, or sensed it in another person, you want it—poise, equanimity, and inner peace. Yes, please!
So here you are, standing on the sidewalk, staring at the overgrown foliage and more than a little freaked out by what might be lurking inside the house. Will there be mice? Rats? Squatters? Well, the answers to those questions will come with time and you don’t need to freak out about any of it right now. In fact, if you remember only one thing as you do this work of reclaiming your inner home, this is it: Don’t freak out! It’s not necessary. Choosing not to freak out is a certain kind of magic, and once you experience the power of it, you will never fully go back to freaking out again.
As you’ve understood by now, this inner home is not visible in the apparent world. It is a place you can only see with your eyes closed, if you can see it at all. I have noticed that some people seetheir inner world, some people feelit, and others hearit. Still others just somehow grasp it without reference point to any of the five traditional senses. They just know.
You will find the way that works for you if you willingly suspend any disbelief that you have an inner home. In other words, you don’t have to believe it; you just have to be open to the possibility of experiencing it.
So let’s start there, and let’s start small. This first session will be like a Tiny Tidy for your inner home.
1. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and close your eyes with the intention of finding out what is going on inside.
2. Notice what you are hearing—spoken word snippets from your lifelong to do list, snappy comebacks you wish you had thought of in your last conversation, that Taylor Swift song you can’t ever seem to escape. Imagine all that noise is coming from a TV set or a radio, and you can turn it off, turn it down, or just tune it out. Sometimes it really can be that simple.
3. Once you have attained some inner quiet, notice how the space inside you feels. Does it feel open and light, or cluttered and claustrophobic? For now, just notice. Get a lay of the land. Remember our cardinal rule: it is not necessary to freak out. Just observe and rest easy in the confidence that you can handle anything. You can restore order, brighten, lighten, straighten and shine, as needed.
4. When the timer goes off, you’re done. Go live your life, and repeat these steps tomorrow, again for 5 minutes.