This is a gift to all of us at home right now
Home knowing-- knowing your mind, knowing your heart, knowing your courage.
If we know ourselves, we’re always home, anywhere.
-Glinda, The Wizard of OZ
First, what is home? A far-reaching seemingly mundane topic, yet the question will create a rich diversity of answers. However, a few things would be found to be in common whoever you ask. Home is place where we sleep, have our belongings, also has a roof, usually a place where one cooks and eats.
Being at home is one thing, but being told to stay at home even for safety reasons is another story, especially after weeks or more. Most of us at this point have found ways of being at home to help us in these times.
I want to add another activity that may not only be fun, but prove very interesting!
I am inviting you to engage in the process of making a Home Portrait.
All you need is a basic camera, a piece of oak-tag/bristol board or the like, scissors, tape, perhaps colored pencils and anything else you may think of. Oh, you will need to get your pictures made into 4 x 6. I recommend you take and make 49 of them.
The premise: Home Portraits asks you to look at your home as an extension of you--a reflection, but is not judgmental--if your home is clean or dirty.
Home Portraits are a process-oriented journey, meaning all what you find is part of a larger process and always changing. This means, as applied to Home Portraits that even though this is a kind of project, it is open-ended, that you may discover things by accident, during or afterwards. For sure and this is important, there is no one fixed meaning about something you see or find while in this process or after.
What is the purpose of a Home Portrait?
Simply put, it is an abbreviated version of an adventure I call:
As you will see when looking at the worldthrualens site, it is about taking journeys that cultivate and experiment with practices for enhancing our communication with Nature, the Universe and how the Universe “speaks” to us and so further developing rapport. However, with the Home Portrait, you are looking at your home and what is seen their which shows up in pictures you take.
How does it work? You use a camera (any kind) and are photographing things that attract you in your home. For example, to photograph a chair and photograph it in whatever way you are compelled to. The “idea” is not to deliberate over what pictures to take, but be spontaneous—photograph with what commands your attention at a moment. (No need to be a photographer or get the picture right—even if comes out blurry or out of focus, it is OK!) Then you will assemble a Home Portrait story board. Then you will tell a story.
Notes: Before going on this Home Portrait quest, you want to treat this adventure like it is something special! There are a number of steps you could put forth, but here are a few, you want to 1) engage in some activity that is different than ordinary life, for instance, put on rhythmic music without words and dance 2) readjust the lighting in your home 3)Pretend/makeup another language as you go about this.
OK? Go for it! When you have all the photos, lay them out in a way you like and affix them on the board the way you like. Then, reflect on what you did and make up a story-- Once upon a time I …for instance inherited this bowel from an aunt ____ and…
Now if there are more folks in your home, of course tell them what you are doing, and you may or may not invite them to do the same. If others do this, including children, in short, it offers the benefit of practicing listening and telling a story. (If you do this with a group or as a couple, a helpful rule is that only that person speaks at a time. Try to show support and appreciation for the others portrait).
Once, finished hang up the Home Portraits. Over time more and more reflections could come.
The foundation of Home Portraits is many-fold. In short, it is made-up of findings in the connections of physics and psychology, aspects of spiritual traditions--which impart the power of retreats and quest-seeking, then add, the far-reaching power of story-telling and more.
Home Portraits is shared with you by Brett Noel, a life coach and artist as well. He has lived a life where homes have been a refrigerator box to a mansion and a lot in between. A highlight in his life was 7 years as an audio visual assistant for the late mythologist, Joseph Campbell.
Home Portraits are explorations and exercises in reflection. If you have questions, they can be emailed.