In her second memoir, A House With Four Rooms, the English writer Rumer Godden wrote, “There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms: a physical, mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.”
In which room do you spend most of your time? Do you go into every room every day?
Your Physical Room
How does your physical room look? Are you getting some form of exercise each day? Have you established an eating plan that is healthy and wholesome? And, let’s not forget about sleep. Most adults need seven to ten restful hours of sleep per night. Believe it or not, not getting enough sleep can lead to many health challenges.
Your Mental Room
Do you pay attention to the thoughts you have each day? We have thousands of thoughts per day. I have read research suggesting that the number is between 6,000 and 60,000. The astonishing thing is that of those, 80%-95% are the same thoughts we had the day before, leaving only 5% to 20% for new and creative thoughts and ideas. As the saying goes, what you focus on flourishes. Our thoughts create our worlds, so be sure to visit this room often and clear up some space for the good to come through.
While we are on the topic, I would like to invite you to pay particular attention to your ‘self-talk’ each day. Would you talk to someone you care for the same way you ‘talk to yourself? If I may, I would like to suggest that you ask yourself three questions when you catch yourself in your ‘talking to self’ moments. Here they are:
- Is what I am saying to myself or about myself true?
- Is what I am saying to myself making a positive difference in my life?
- Is what I am saying making my situation better?
If the answer to all three questions is yes, then carry on. However, if the answer to even one of these questions is no, I invite you to change the conversation. Be as kind to yourself as you are to all the folks you care about in your life. Our words matter, especially the ones we say to ourselves.
Your Emotional Room
Emotions are reactions to events and people, places, and things in our lives. Emotions change how we see the world and how we interpret the actions of others. Our emotions can range from anger and fear to happiness and joy. We cannot always control what happens in our lives; however, we can control how we react to the various situations that we will inevitably encounter as we go through our days. Our reaction to these interactions dictates our feelings. Remember, what people say and do don’t make us feel a certain way. We get to decide that we are in control of managing our emotions. No one is responsible for our happiness or sadness or anger or fear. We are in the driver’s seat when it comes to our emotions. Be mindful of this during your daily visits to your emotional room.
Your Spiritual Room
Spirituality means different things to different people. Regardless of your definition, I encourage you to develop a spiritual practice that helps you deepen your relationship with the sacred. You might call this God, the universe, source, or something else. Examples are meditation, prayer, running, yoga, affirmations, or spending time in nature. There are many benefits to consistently dedicating time each day to being quiet and connecting to ‘something bigger than you.’
Just like the outer environment of our house, our internal environment is vital to our overall health and well-being. The external place we live in needs tended to. There is maintenance and cleaning, decorating, and rearranging of the furniture now and then. So too, does the internal place we live in need care and attention for us to be a complete person. I urge you to make it a daily ritual to visit these essential rooms, “even if only to keep them aired.”