The value of “welcome”

One thing that is ridiculously present for me right now, and which seems to be the only damned thing I can talk about these days (much to the chagrin of my friends, I’m sure): We are in the middle of a seemingly-endless home renovation project.

Another relevant thing: It was 60 degrees and sunny last Friday, which has nothing to do with the stuff going on at the house, but I promise, it connects somewhat in my mind, at least.

Throughout the remodeling project, which began in earnest immediately after Thanksgiving, I’ve been very out of sorts. It’s interesting to discover, for an unapologetic introvert, I’ve never really realized how much of a homebody I am in some ways until home has been full of dust, contractors doing work 6 days a week, and a near-constant feeling of either being in the way myself, or having other people in my way. Unsurprisingly, I suppose, the thing I want more than just about anything else right now is to feel like I can drink some coffee in my own kitchen, then go to my bedroom and close the door for a while. Also, I would like very much not to have to have an opinion about paint colors or the design of ceramic tile for quite some time (perhaps for the remainder of my 40s).

I’ve been thinking, too, about the intention of home. Not just as a place to be (and to be comfortable) myself, but in that larger sense – what do I most want to manifest there? It finally occurred to me on Friday that it’s really pretty simple. It was unseasonably warm that day, almost 60 degrees on February 19th, and despite all of my fears about climate change on the larger scale, I have to admit that the world felt unarguably welcoming that day, as if the earth was reminding me, personally, that it’s okay to take a few deep breaths and relax from time to time. I didn’t need a heavy coat or a scarf to walk around outside comfortably, and when the sun came out during my walk home from work, it was like an extra little delight. It wasn’t a perfect day, by any stretch – the wind was REALLY STRONG, which led to some damage around the city, but still. It felt lovely, relative to the previous few months.

When it comes down to it, I guess that’s what I’d like to manifest in the world, whether it’s in the context of my home or my family or my relationships or my spiritual work. How do I move through the world if my intention is to carry out a little more of what I want visitors in my home to feel? What’s it like to make make people feel welcome when I’m not hosting them? I really don’t know what “welcome” as a personal practice might look like, but I do like the idea of dedicating time and energy to it.

Whatever form it takes, though, I’m increasingly clear that I’d like to make the people who are important to me feel not only welcome, but perhaps *unexpectedly* welcome. The sort of welcome that comes, to me, from an unseasonably warm day in the midst of winter, when I’m starting to question whether Spring is a myth.

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4 thoughts on “The value of “welcome”

  1. Amoret February 24, 2016

    I love this post, Jason. I didn’t realize it until just now, but I’ve been a Dedicant on the Welcome Path since I learned about “Gracing” at Diana’s Grove many years ago! Thank you for reminding me of this work today, when it is grey and gloomy and rainy outside, when spring does feel like a myth.

    • Jason Frey February 26, 2016

      Thanks so much, Amoret. I was often just blown away by the feeling of welcome I had, and observed others experiencing, at Diana’s Grove. It occurs to me that there’s a reason for the term “community *artistry*” because there really is an art to it that just blows me away when I see it in action. Something to aspire to, for sure.

  2. Sandy Cawthern February 25, 2016

    Ironically, I picked this up from dogs. When I’m approaching dogs I feel very happy to see them. They recognize this. They look at me. Their posture changes. We are approachable to each other.

    • Jason Frey February 26, 2016

      Ooh. I really like what you said about how you feel happy to see the dogs (not that you ACT happy to see them). That’s a really good reminder for me about authenticity – not just following a formula, but letting my genuine emotions be visible as a form of welcome. Thanks for that reminder, Sandy!


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