“Make your house a home where love lives.” That what’s the invitation said.

So I trundled into Toronto to the Saturday afternoon workshop given by Sara Brown Crowder.

Sara and I have known each other for years, in a friend of a friend kind of way. We were both close to the incomparable Heather Joy Skelton and part of her inner circle. When Heather died a couple of years ago we drifted apart so I hadn’t seen her for a while.

When I last knew her, Sara was working as an event planner and doing home rennovation on the side. I remember going to a Jesse Cooke concert and her saying that the drummer was moonlighting in her kitchen. Since then she’s moved on, first into home staging, to support her husband who is a successful Toronto realtor. Then to found a new company of her own called HouseHeal.

Sara makes her opening pitch: “If we can begin our healing at home, discover our creativity at home, know what we want at home, feel safe and loved and beautiful and powerful at home, everything else in our lives will be in flow. We begin at home.”

I feel the truth of that in my bones.

Sara bases her program on the Law of Attraction, an old idea made popular again by the hit video The Secret. I’m ambivalent about The Secret, uncomfortable with “channeled” messages, not too keen on mystical theatrics, concerned about the implications of desperate people trying to think their troubles away. But the core of the message, the law of attraction, is something I cannot dismiss. I have seen too much evidence for it in my own life.

The Law of Attraction says that your thoughts and words and dominant emotions create a kind of magnetism that draws to you people and situations with a similar vibration. Another way to say this is the old proverb “like attracts like.”  If you want to attract more positive people and opportunities, you need to change the way you think and talk; stop dwelling on emotions that are negative and focus your energies on what you want to bring into your life.  Where your attention and energy focus, you are more likely to see opportunities, take small and large actions to support your vision, make requests of people who can help you and otherwise increase our probabilities of success.

“Your home is a major point of attraction for everything in your life,” Sara says. “You can literally change your life by raising your awareness of what is in your home – physically and psychically – and consciously and conscientiously making appropriate changes.”

The first thing I did when I got divorced was to buy myself a house of my own. “A house of belonging” I called it, after a celtic tradition and a David Whyte poem. I created a scrapbook in which I wrote out my vision of the home I wanted and the life I wanted to live there.  I collected pictures to reflect the look and feel of it.  When I found the one I wanted I knew it right away.  Made the offer the day the home was listed.

I love my house with all my heart. It is sturdy and pretty, with many large windows, hardwood floors and a wood burning fireplace that I love to read by in the winter. It is also one of my life’s biggest frustrations. It always seems to want something or need something, something that will involve a lot of work and another hit to my credit card. This year I have made great progress on my house. I have waterproofed the basement, ripped up carpets that my dog had destroyed, refinished the hardwood floors, put a new laminate floor in the kitchen, repainted the back steps and reduced the clutter by half.

“It all begins with knowing what you want,” Sara says.

“Right now I feel like my house is a heavy responsibility and a money pit,” I say. “I want it to be a sanctuary, a place for hospitality, a canvas for creativity.”

She asks us to draw a floorplan and decorate it with red, green and yellow dots to show where in the house we are moving forward, holding on to past garbage, or just stuck in a rut. As always with such focused awareness, overwhelm fades, choices become apparent, creativity comes forward with some new options. By the end of the workshop I am energized, ready to make some change.

I go home, collect two garbage bags of trash, an old carpet stained with dog pee, a broken lawn chair, bits and pieces of leftover building supplies and call Charmaine to keep me company on a trip to the dump. I email a friend to come and clear out a closet full of stuff I’ve been storing for her since she left for a stint in Europe six years ago. A cheque comes in and I set is aside in a new account, to go towards the new sofa that will soon replace the old worn and dog chewed one in my living room.

“It’s only Tuesday,” Sara says when I call to report. “But I’m a quick start” I tell her, “I begin with great enthusiasm or not at all.”

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Thank you Sara.

Three morals in this story:

1. Your home is a major point of attraction for everything in your life.
2. Harmony in the home, is the beginning of peace in the world.
3. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Yours with creativity and imagination,

p.s. Since writing this blog Sara has published a booked called HouseHeal which you can order by following the link.

p.s. The house in the featured image is mine.

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