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A House With Four Rooms June 3, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. 


Wikipedia ~ Chartres Cathedral (in Public Domain)

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.

Rumer Godden, A House With Four Rooms

Life balance is key.

If we focus solely on one room, one aspect of being, we are thrown off kilter by the pebbles in our path.

When we mindfully maintain balance between our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs, we navigate through life on a more even keel ~ capable of weathering the tempests and squalls of daily life without permanent damage to our rigging.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Which rooms do you visit most often?  How do you honor your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual beings?

Related post:  Daily Prompt ~ On The Edge


1. carldagostino - June 3, 2011

Four rooms? Most people I know need an attic and a warehouse. I am working on fitting all mine in a suitcase.For the silverware of your 4 dimensions only. All the rest is junk. Less really is more.

carldagostino - June 3, 2011

PS Great photo of Yankee Stadium

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

Gorgeous stadium . . . wonder if it has an attic?

2. Loreen Lee - June 3, 2011

Dear Time Out Box:
I would leave a longer comment, touching perhaps on Kant’s four categories, but I would first want to know into which of the four rooms you would classify the will? Do you associate the will, with the physical, the mental, the emotional, or the spiritual?

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

First you would have to define what you mean by “the will.” 😀

Do you mean “free will” or “the will to live” or “will power” . . . or something else entirely?

Loreen Lee - June 3, 2011

Dear Time Out Box:
First you would have to define for me what you meant by Spirit!!!!!!

Loreen Lee - June 3, 2011

Dear Time Out Box:
I quote: The will, ironically, is considered to constitute the normative aspect,i.e. the practical reason as distinct from theoretical or aesthetic judgment, as it is discussed in philosophy, by the way, –So discussions of the will would include all the aspects of the will you questioned as relevant……From the Will of God, to Nietzsche’s The Will to Power.

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

I don’t have the time or the inclination to translate whatever it is that you think you just said.

3. suzicate - June 3, 2011

yes, the lovely act of balancing…working on it a little at a time and getting there!

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

I’m far more balanced than when I practiced law and spent almost all my time in the mental/intellectual arena ~ detached from my emotions, ignorant of my spiritual essence, and too “busy” to get enough physical exercise.

Here’s to balancing the best of all worlds.

4. Woman Wielding Words - June 3, 2011

I spend too much time in the mental and emotional, and not enough time in the others. At the same time, though, I think they are inextricably linked so perhaps I always visit all four rooms.

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

They definitely are inter-related.

If we go for a walk in the sunshine, it’s good for our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being . . . as long as we remember to leave our “wheelbarrow of woes” behind and stay “in the moment.”

5. ceceliafutch - June 3, 2011

I really enjoyed this post. I turned in a paper yesterday on wholistic counseling, and how the four aspects of our lives need to be tended to (and issues in each area addressed) in order to achieve a true, healthy balance. Very interesting to see this post today! 🙂

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

That’s so cool, Cecilia. Feel free to share a few tips on holistic counseling with us. I expect that we could all benefit from your thoughts. 😀

6. Cindy - June 3, 2011

As Carl says … and a garage, playroom, studio, linen room, laundry room … erm!

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

I like to alternate my time between art studio and music studio . . . with regular visits to the playroom and the kitchen. 😀

7. Tilly Bud - June 3, 2011

I never thought of it before, but I think I visit most rooms most days. I walk my dogs every day; is that physical enough? Not fast, so maybe not 🙂 I spend time in prayer, so that’s spiritual. Emotional – I have a loving family. Mental, I write.

I think I might be doing okay. 🙂

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

Plus . . . laughing helps with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. 😀

8. Tilly Bud - June 3, 2011

Eek! ‘Mental’.

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

Fixed! Balance is restored to your house. 😉

9. Maggie - June 3, 2011

I’m in my mental room quite a bit, which explains my tendency to over-think things. I think I need to visit my physical room more often.

Thought-provoking post… but I’ll be careful not to over-think this time. 😛

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

Love it, Maggie! Mental/Intellectual is the room that calls out to me most often . . . but I operate best when I take time for exercise, sleep, adequate nutrition, meditation, laughter, nature, and FUN!

10. Linda - June 3, 2011

Hmmm I’m pretty sure that all of my rooms need some sprucing up. I have a very hard time staying in the moment.

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

Your dogs encourage you to visit your physical and emotional rooms frequently. Perusing and commenting on “inane behavior” keeps your mental house in order. Your photographs seem somewhat spiritual. Balance . . . ta da!

11. Christine Grote - June 3, 2011

It’s tough striking a good balance, isn’t it? In my life, like so many other things, I find that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Unfortunately, the spirit does not typically squeak very loudly.

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

I think it depends on whether Spirit needs to get our attention. If it does, it squeaks loud enough to be heard over any and all competing distractions.

At least that’s been my experience.

12. Jackie Paulson Author - June 3, 2011

Wow, this is great, four rooms-” a physical, a 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.” It is so hard to find balance! Thanks for such an inspirational post today.

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

Thanks, Jackie. Glad you enjoyed it. 😀

13. Rosa - June 3, 2011

It seems more manageable somehow when presented as four rooms! I like that. Maybe I’ll try peeking my head into each room this evening and knocking some cobwebs down!!

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

That sounds like a grand plan, Rosa.

14. kateshrewsday - June 3, 2011

Very good question. I ‘m off to think about it 🙂

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

Aah! Kate went into the parlor . . . to think!

15. Penny - June 3, 2011

Our four rooms- glad to hear there are only four-as at times I feel there is many more. Balancing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual is keeping it all focused in the right directions.

nrhatch - June 3, 2011

When we feel we have more than four spheres to balance . . . we’re probably overdue for an “alignment.” 😉

16. eof737 - June 4, 2011

I like that proverb as it reminds me of the four legged table… another image of balance which we all need. 🙂

nrhatch - June 4, 2011

When we remain centered and balanced, awake and aware, boulders become pebbles . . . easily kicked to the curb.

17. jannatwrites - June 5, 2011

This is an interesting concept. I think physical is the room I’m in the least (it’s like a spare bedroom.) The mental and spiritual are the most lived in and emotional seems to get attention when it asks for it. I do agree that balance is key…I’m getting there, but obviously don’t have it mastered yet 🙂

nrhatch - June 5, 2011

Physical includes sleeping and eating . . . but also motion. I’ve found that a 20-30 minute walk in the morning really does “brighten” up all four rooms for the rest of the day. 😀

18. Julie - June 5, 2011

I do tend to spend most of my time in one room or another, but the room changes – sometimes it’s physical, sometimes spiritual, etc… I make sure I visit them all, but I could be better at balancing it out more regularly – daily is perhaps a pipe dream at this time.

nrhatch - June 5, 2011

We’re probably all slightly “off kilter.” I need to work the most on balancing out the mental with the physical. 😉

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