I have friends who have lived in the same city all of their lives and these same friends tend to have children who live in the same place (how lucky for them).
I’m in awe of this.
I wonder what a life that has stayed put would be like because that hasn’t (for good or ill) been my experience.
In spite of having lived in many different states as a child and an adult, I do have a sense of places that feel like home. They are dry climates, definitely the American West and near mountains. This, I’m sure, is a product of having grown up in Colorado and Utah and having fond memories of those years.
According to anthropologist Setha Low and psychologist Irwin Altman, both pioneering place-attachment researchers, place attachment is emotion and belief combined with action or behavior. It’s the way we imbue places with meaning and memory (Psychology Today, July/August 2016).
I’ve learned to adjust to new places, making new friends, leaving good friends behind (at least geographically) and was taught from when I was a young girl to find things to appreciate about a new locale. To foster attachment, I learned that a town doesn’t need to be the platonic ideal of a city, or countryside. You can adore a place that someone else in your family hates. Your “place” just has to make you happy. When it does, you want to stay.
So I got to thinking about this, having lived in Oregon for almost four years now, when a Chinese Medicine practitioner/herbalist/nutritionist did some testing with me and one of her determinations was that this wet climate was not good for me, physiologically. My system, she said, would thrive in a dry climate. I had not told her that I was from Colorado/Utah (both dry climates).
Another layer of this intrigued me when I read lately in “This is Where You Belong” by Melody Warnick, that there’s a growing sense, supported by new research, that geography influences all the basic facets of our lives, from income to relationships to physical health. Hmmmm…..
And THEN…delving deeper into the subject quite by accident, I had an ah-hah moment when I read this regarding our root chakra:
The clearest energy comes to you when you find the spot on earth
that most enlivens your physical being.
Each animal in nature has a different habitat on the planet that it thrives in.
What type of environment and habitat most stimulates your being?
Ideally (and I LOVE this), you would walk out your door in the morning and
feel invigorated by the climate, the vegetation, and simply the feel of the
And this is a very individual attachment/issue/feeling, isn’t it?
I have a son who loves Oregon and moved here shortly after high school. He loves the rain and the clean air and the abundance of green.
I have a daughter who loves Alaska (having lived there for three years while she was growing up) and another daughter who thinks it’s “dirty and cold” and wrinkles her nose at the memory of it.
I have friends who love the wide open fields of the great plains and grasslands in our country’s mid-section.
I have a sister who loves living by the sea.
I love to visit the seashore and am in awe of the ocean’s power and vastness, but don’t feel a “home”connection to it, nor a longing to live near it.
While I know that our base chakra, our root chakra, our first chakra (all the same chakra) is the root of our being and our deepest connection to our body and the earth, where we’re either grounded or not, I’d never considered that it could be out of balance because of where we live.
Could I feel at odds and not be sure why if I were not living in my place?
And tell me, where is your place?
Where is it that you feel most connected to the earth and the elements?
Pay attention to your connection with this vital life force. What type of environment stimulates your being? Even if you’ve moved and relocated many times in your life, if someone asks you where home is (really, really home), where is that for you?
Wherever that is, seek it out one way or another. If you can’t be there – consider art that portrays it, fresh flowers if you’re used to lush gardens, a water feature if you love the water.
As Melody Warnick advises, “Loving where you live many not be as paramount in the grand scheme of happiness measurements, but for good or ill, places form the landscape of our daily lives, and it makes sense that becoming more satisfied with the where of your life could have positive trickle-down effects for the who, what, and how.”