Every woman needs

A room of her own

 Thehouseofbethan.com

I don’t have a room of my own. I have a house where its all about the free-flow.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and not only are there two children, two cats and a man in my bed, but also mobile phones blinking from the bedside table, emails to be answered and a drumming crescendo of demands from work, school, people, dramas, relationships and life in my mind. Then I steam, like a machine, through the day, dealing with, fending off, sorting out, making happen, shifting around until I go to bed, with noise in my head about what needs to be done tomorrow. No space, no room, either internally or externally.

I didn’t realise how noisy it was.

Until

I woke up on a mountain and heard

silence

tea being made

the wind

in trees

shutters knocking gently.

I began to adjust to the idea that there is a different sort of Peace and Space.

And part of that is knowing that every woman needs – deserves – a room of her own. Thank you Emma.

Now I want one.

***

An independent income

TheHouseOfBethan.com

Thankfully me and Prosperity are friends (with benefits).

He gets to live within the wall of my life, coming and going, cherished and respected but not grasped hold of.

I sit safely in the knowledge that I am always okay, have enough of what I need and can trust in my independence. By knowing that I am self-reliant, I don’t waste energy or internal space on worrying about bills, finances or paying the mortgage. I am thankful for that and it seems that in the thankfulness, Prosperity hangs about.

An independent income. I have one.

***

Real food

TheHouseOfBethan.com

I’m not sure, anymore, if I can call supermarket food Real.

On Saturday morning we headed to the nearby mountain village where the market was held. This wasn’t a tourist market, but a proper French Mountain Market. The palette tables were low, spread with patterned cloth and sold the Real-est fruit and veg I’ve ever come across. Along with lettuces and tomatoes,  I purchased two round goats cheeses, one covered in pepper and one in chilli. They were soft and airy like white heavenly mousse.

Each night we ate Real Food, around a real table, with real wine and real meat. It was nourishing on a level that went way beyond mineral.

Real Food. I’m growing some.

***

Presence

TheHouseOfBethan.com

I realised whilst at The House & The Hill – so close to the sky and the ground – that to create life-space and a room of my own, then I need to begin with creating room in my head.

The chatter needs to calm.

 Outside demands are nothing compared to our internal demands, but the two combined can send you a bit lah-lah.

To be present – and just be – in Nature, with Mama Juju – breathing.

Presence. A new practise I’m working on.

***

A daily walk

TheHouseOfBethan.com

 Not running. Just walking. Peacefully. Being present. Hearing the birdsong. Feeling the air.

Not thinking, or mulling, planning or reflecting.

Listening.

The hum of nature billowing through your ears and mind fields.

***

A Louis and a Dillis

TheHouseOfBethan

Oh My God.

 These two pups were possibly the loveliest dogs I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Dillis is the black one and Louis the white.

I loved these little dogs so much. One afternoon I was sitting at the kitchen table, drawing a picture of “space and room” in my journal, when I looked up out of the window. The wind was rolling in, billowing and tumbling through the trees. And there sat Louis, next to the daffodils, his white frondy eyebrows like meadow grass, rippling. His eyes were slitty against the invisible force as he gazed out over the valley. He was almost regal but not haughty. Regal and earthy and soulful. Seeing him did something to me and at that moment, I actually fell in love with him.

Dillis was gorgeous too.

But Louis. Oh.

***

Green oak to burn

TheHouseOfBethan.com

My Calor Gas has cost me a flipping fortune this winter. The wood I’ve been buying from the shop gives out no heat. This summer I am collecting wooden debris from the woods around here. This way I can walk and I can also connect and I can also help my independent income from being flittered away.

Please note: Gorgeous wood burner and Gorgeous Louis snoozing behind it.

***

Hand-Pressed Artisan Expression Juice

TheHouseOfBethan

In the midst of the reeling “no space” realisation, Emma asked me, “When was the last time you made something with your hands?”

I thought. I frowned. I breathed in deeply, out loudly. “Hang on. Let me just think back.”

Silence was hung …. one moment … two …. And do you know what?

I couldn’t remember.

I couldn’t remember when I last made something with my hands.

Bethan, who was brought up in a primary school stock cupboard, whose strapline was “can I cut it up and make something?”, who used to hand make her books, hand paint the covers, stitch the felt, handwrite letters to friends, make dolls and toys and Baba Yaga drawer spells from oak leaves and lavender, used to create packages with illustrations to delight the postman … THIS Bethan could not remember when she’d last made something.

Which brings us right back to the need for a room of our own.

And some space.

***

By journeying to The House & The Hill – Creative Retreat, I realised how blistering, rampant, noisy and charged my life has become. And in dipping into a lifestyle of space, creativity, presence and quiet, I feel as though I’ve experienced “driving on the other side of the road” on a soul level.

Isn’t it funny how accustomed we are to the way we do it, the way our neighbours do it, the way “everyone” does it – NORMALLY?

We live in a bubble. A cultural bubble and do not even anticipate another way. Then we go away. To France. To India. To someone else’s house. Up a mountain even. And not only do we drive on the other side of the road, but suddenly we are passengers in another Way Of Life. Another Way of Seeing things. Doing things. Eating things. It is a way that we may have dreamed of living, but somehow couldn’t connect to our actions.

Then we see how simple it can be.

And bring it home with us.

  I love that.

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15 thoughts on “Every woman needs

  1. From this point on, where ever you are, what ever you are doing, you will only need to close your eyes, take a breath and recall this moment, this place these feelings of peace. The gift of your retreat will always remain within.
    My retreat lasted almost one year. It was a hard year but the silence and peace is still with me even after 7 years. When I pulled my moving truck down the long dusty, dirt road to leave my place behind, I knew in my heart I would never return. Except when I close my eyes.
    *by the way I was very productive at making things during that time*

    • That sounds beautiful, Mountain Gypsy. I love the way you described your retreat and you are right – that energy is present every time we/I decide to summon it. Having said that, I have every intention to return to The House & The Hill very soon. Good to hear from you. xx

  2. I can completely identify with this! We go up to the Isle of Skye regularly and that’s where I find peace. I love it! I’m not sure I get quite as much out of it as I could and don’t bring enough back (only a longing to go back – every day!). I can’t recall as easily as Mountain Gypsy describes – maybe it’s all the ‘noise’ in our heads that you describe that makes that difficult if we don’t practice? I’m a work in progress 😉 When we live in a relationship we could even just take a walk on our own on holidays / retreats to find that peace? Xxx

    • Hello again my beautiful! I reckon we’re all works in process. Its strange that, sometimes, we have to be completely REMOVED from our own birdcage thinking to really see how peace-less or frantic life has become. Also, it depends on how desperate we are to shift into more peace-able times as to how much we bring back with us. Since coming home from France I am standing back and looking at my days and scratching my head and thinking. I’m also pressing my top lip with my index finger and then step forward to make the shifts both internally and externally. So far there has been real food, movement towards a room, one walk (that’s the bit I need to conquer), more blogging, more presence and an embracing of Mr Prosperity. I haven’t got myself a Dillis and Louis, but I have stroked Nels and Flo – the cats – more. I would love to go to the Isle of Skye. I’ve heard that it is a place of utter gorgeousness. xxx

  3. Thinking about dolls for my post yesterday, made me remember how much I liked all the doll stories by Rumer Godden. I am also passionate about her other writing. I checked out her website and found this which I had forgotten about but which suits your post well, I believe.” One of her favourite axioms came from an Indian proverb that says – “everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person”. She quotes this in her autobiography A House with Four Rooms.” Isn’t that wonderful?

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