The essential element of a home practice space is not the space itself, but the boundaries around it. These boundaries have little to do with walls and doors and more to do with creating conditions for your practice space to be free of disturbance. When you live with a partner and even children, keeping the door closed for even 5 minutes can seem an impossible feat. However, the people in your life love you and want you to be happy. They share in your joy and are sad when you are sad. The ones you love and who love you are the most essential support frame for your mindfulness practice.
Self-care is something we do for the benefit of both ourselves and those around us. Joy and kindness spread, as does stress and feeling of rushing. Making your closest family a part of your practice will bring success. For some that means practicing as a group with family members or friends. However, if you prefer to practice alone or your family members are not interested in joining the practice, it can seem selfish to shut them out while you lie around on rolled-up blankets and listen to a soothing gong-bath.
The first step in creating a successful nourishing home practice is to talk with your family and establish a time and space during which you will not be disturbed. This is the perfect time to assuage any fears or confusion about your behaviour. It is also the perfect time to listen to the needs of others. Perhaps a young child is confused by the closed door but is comforted by the promise of a cuddle afterwards, or has a timer which shows them how long you will be in your private space.
A partner who may feel neglected can benefit from a reminder of how much they are loved and appreciated. Soon they will see the positive effects of regular mindfulness practice in you, and both of you will begin to benefit from your efforts. Conscious awareness of and appreciation of the presence of others is already an act of mindfulness and love.
I have agreed with my partner that I will do a long restorative practice two nights a week when I arrive home from work quite late in the evening. One of our favourite things to do is to cook together, so we make sure to have time for that on other days and have leftovers in the fridge for the evenings when I am taking space for myself.
A space to practice mindfulness in your home is precious. There is no correct way to arrange the space, nor essential items to fill it with. As long as you can complete your practice in the way you want to within the space, then it is perfect.
Wishing you good practicing.