Four Rooms – Week 3

I’ve now been doing the “Four Rooms” approach for three weeks. To recap, this has been a season of “spiritual housecleaning” spurred by  Rumer Godden’s observation that “Everyone is a house of 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.” Facing the fact that my own life had gotten badly out of balance, I made a commitment to work at “airing out” each of these four rooms every day for four weeks and encouraged you to do the same thing.

After a week, I began to notice that I was experiencing “mindful moments” more frequently. In Week 2, it became easier to start the day with puzzle games (for the “mental” room), I noticed myself taking better physical care of myself, and I was more willing to walk into the “emotional” space. With each small “win,” it was becoming easier to take on bigger challenges – including disposing of unhelpful ideas.

Let’s see what I mean by that.

In the physical room this past week, I’m seeing improvements in both what and how I eat as well as in increased outdoor activity. Yes, I have more the body type of a lush Rubens goddess than a consumptive Pre-Raphaelite beauty, but moving is moving and I find that I’m enjoying it more, especially with the spring pollen season behind us. The trick is to get out early, before the blaze of heat hits, which then gives rise to the Southern phenomenon of “late afternoon thunderstorms.” On the eating side of things, I noted this week that I shopped for LOTS of fresh fruits and vegetables, that I enjoyed cooking with my husband one night, and that I took time to eat a yummy frozen treat on the grass under a large, calm tree. A complete win!

The mental room continues to be where I’m starting my days. I usually do at least a quick mini crossword and the New York Times Wordle game, which makes me think about the English language and how it “fits” together. I’m also being far better about working on my French Duolingo lessons. I’m nowhere near fluent, but I’m able to read the language a little better.

For me, the emotional room has been the hardest room to enter. (I find that it’s much easier to shove emotions down than it is to feel them, which often leads to self-exploration and the need to do some hard work.) Often, taking the time to paint again has been my go-to for this room, but this week (with a little prodding) I said “yes” to a Big Thing and had tea with all the trimmings with a friend. It was International Tiara Day (Queen Victoria’s birthday), so we donned sparkly rhinestone tiaras and went to a tea room that neither of us had ever visited before. Not only was the tea with all the trimmings (we had scones and a selection of tea sandwiches) delicious, but we met members of a women’s group out of Fort Mill and each group was quite taken with the other. Kindred spirits truly ARE around us, if we’ll but take the time to look. (There may well be more to report on that in the coming months.)

I’ve spent a little more time in the spiritual room this week. Instead of taking just a minute or two for a quick reflection in the morning, I started back with the Calm app and am working through a basic seven-day meditation “mini course” that is refreshing my toolbox of techniques, ten minutes at a time.

The biggest change I’ve noticed after Week 3 is that I’m taking more time and apologizing less for doing it. I’m not leaping into action when the rooster crows. I’m taking breaks during my day to drink more water, to notice the sunset, or to see the faint double rainbow after an out-of-nowhere thundershower. I’m making painting a priority and taking on bigger projects. I’m making time for friends who are passing through town. When walking the short trail in town (which I had all to myself for some reason), I stopped to pick up a wild turkey feather on the path. When given homemade cherry-almond scones, I made sure to take time to make cherry tea from that tea house and enjoy my treat with Bonne Maman cherry preserves and put Jeri Southern’s torch songs on for background accompaniment. I’m walking into each room every day and – taking – my – time.

And it feels really, really good.

One more week to go – I can’t wait to see what this brings!

Go forth, Divas! Live with savoir faire and bring light into the world!





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *