Do you have a special chair? Or a special nook in your home or place in nature that you are drawn to when you want to take a time out or a time in? There is something powerful, and at times even reverent, about gifting oneself with moments for deep reflection and connection with oneself.
Nowadays, I actually schedule in my calendar “time on the couch” interludes when I curl up in the corner of a special sofa in my living room that faces out onto a beautiful and replenishing view. Journal in hand, it’s a place to simply breathe and be, sip tea and converse inwardly with me, asking and exploring questions such as “What’s alive in me now?” and “What do I need to know or think about right now?” and “How am I feeling/how am I feeling about…?” I will also often take my seat on the ground behind my home, with that same view all around me.
At the age of 78, simply “sitting” is a practice that has served me well for a very long time, back to when I was a small child and, for example, would curl up in a red storybook chair to read. Then, in my early twenties. I learned TM™ (Transcendental Meditation) which I practiced daily propped up cross-legged on a chair pillow on my bed. This ritual opened up a whole new vista of seated experiences. Through the years, there have been a number of chairs that I have embraced and that have embraced me unconditionally, no matter what I chose to focus on, ruminate or cogitate about, or deeply collaborate on with my wise inner Self.
Then too it is worth considering the power of a (specific) chair. When first married, my favorite seat was a colorfully upholstered Vladimir Kagan (fabulous artisan at the time) bent rosewood rocker that lived in my living room where I could rock away my worries or listen to rock n’ roll and, eventually, rock my infant son to sleep. It is still with me 55 years later and has taken on a new appearance and vantage point in my current bedroom, serenely covered in beige. Looking around my home, there is also a pair of red stripe armchairs, gifted to me fifteen years ago by my very grown up son. I enjoyed my first magical Chair of Joy™ experience in one of those chairs.
Then there’s the red leather desk chair that was in my father’s office where my growing-up son loved to play pretend (and smoke “pretend” cigars). And a big boxy chair where I read to my then baby granddaughter in her first home. Looking back through other photos, I was reminded of a special in a chair moment of me sitting on the porch at Magnolia House in North Carolina, after being presented with a “Knight of Spork Medallion,” having spent five days being chef for a Come Back to Your Senses Retreat. I sat in that chair overlooking the mountains every day in between facilitating conversational circles and managing the kitchen. I also came across photos of a friend and me visiting a modern art museum in California where we played on roll and rock chairs. So many joy-filled and poignant and precious memories – snapshots of a life blessedly lived. I am grateful.
Looking around you and looking back in your mind’s eye, what are the chairs of joy that capture your attention and your gratitude now? I promise you, this is something worth considering. I hope you are delighted as you do so.