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Empty Nest

The scene is common: a traditional family with two twenty-something daughters who live in other parts of the country, and a teenage son who is preparing to leave home. My client, their mom, has defined herself largely by her mothering role, while her husband has found a sense of purpose in providing for the family. Home, for them, has been characterized by supporting the children, creating special family experiences, developing traditions, as well as negotiating the random demands that arise in any group-living situation This couple has spent their time building their life together as a family. Now, though, it is time for them to begin creating something new in which they can enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Transitions often require that we rethink our relationship to those aspects of ourselves that are changing. In this example, my client is revisiting what ‘home’ means to her. She is slowly releasing the idea that home is the space that houses children and lots of divergent interests and activities, in which she provides stability and harmony.

Because having children in the house has been so interconnected with the sense of home and purpose for this couple, I asked if they had considered becoming foster parents. They could continue to generate the sense of home in the same way, while providing others with a template of what it is like to be supported in a loving home environment. However, my client assured me that she and her husband are ready to begin redefining themselves. In the case of my client, she knows that she is ready to let go of the idea that a home requires children, but she is not sure of what she wants to replace it with. Would she enjoy painting? How does she want to shift the time and energy that she has been using to create a supportive space for others?

She is transitioning to a new concept of home as a space that nurtures her. Of course, when we change our relationship to one aspect of our lives, it often has ramifications for other aspects of our life. In this example, right under the surface of the question, “What is home?” lies the inquiry “What is the basis of our marriage now?” And, then, beneath that, inevitably lies “Who am I?” and “What do I want?” This couple is bravely peering into the void to radically redefine themselves, their relationship, their purpose, their roles, and their living space. Clearing the house energetically helps this couple’s transition to happen more smoothly by opening the space for them to choose how they want to create in this new phase of life.

Time changes everything, whether we are ready for the changes or not. While these shifts can be daunting, they’re also incredibly rewarding—they are what make life terrifying and wonderful. I invite you to consider the aspects of yourself that are currently changing.

Bring fun and adventure to the unknown!Written by Heidi Szycher, a staff member at the Boulder Psychic Institute. Check out her personal site at

Designing Your Life, Love & Relationships


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