Where do you go, when you need to let everything go? Is there a space that’s special to you? A place you go to sit and unwind?
A sanctuary is a safe, sacred place, your refuge from the world.
It is a place to retreat, recharge, unwind and create.
A sanctuary is a celebration of you, the greater You; your ideals, your hopes and your dreams…your Life. It is a space that helps you connect to your inner spirituality, no matter your faith.
It can be indoors; for instance, a room within your home or it can be as simple as a corner, within a room. It can be in a public place; in a library, an art museum or a chapel.
It can be outdoors; a pond, a place in the woods, a park. Your sanctuary may be in an art studio, a dance studio, a gym or on a basketball court.
Creating your sanctuary is your doing, your creation. You get to conceive it, choose it, mold and form it.
A sanctuary is about you, creating an extension of you.
It’s about creating a safe space that speaks to you.
It might not resonate with anyone else; and that’s okay, because that’s not what this is about.
It’s about you connecting with your vibration and your spirituality.
A sanctuary is about your relationship to something bigger than yourself; something that’s within yourself.
Creating My First Safe Space
I grew up in a chaotic environment, which I’ve always recognized as being both a blessing and a curse.
As a child, I was always walking on egg shells at home, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
It was never a question of ‘if’ the other shoe was going to fall, but rather a question of ‘when’ and how big a shoe it would be.
I was probably 6 or 7 when I created my first personal sanctuary. I cleared out a section of the closet floor, in the bedroom I shared with my younger sister.
I placed a tiny doll blanket on the oak floor along with a doll pillow, for me to use. I had some pencils and a writing pad, in there, along with a flashlight and a book.
I would occasionally bring pictures of exotic, far-away destinations I had cut out of magazines, places I dreamed of visiting, someday.
There were times I was involved in quiet activity inside the tiny closet like reading, drawing or making lists.
Sometimes, I would sit in my sanctuary with the closet door open just a crack, and sometimes, I would enjoy my peaceful peek into the world outside, viewing it through the little slit between the bi-pass doors.
Most times, my first sanctuary was a place to sit or lie, immersed in thought, trying to make sense of my world, trying to de-code the riddle of life.
Whenever I would enter my sacred place, I always brought my Raggedy Ann doll, Annie, with me. We were ‘best buds’ and I knew if I felt warm and safe and protected there, that she would, too.
It truly felt like my ‘get-away place’. I’m guessing kids who were lucky enough to have a tree house would likely say that same thing.
Re-connecting by Disconnecting
I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a place to ground myself, to re-connect. I would retreat to my closet sanctuary whenever life, and everything around me, was just too intense.
I’d take respite in my retreat when I was on overload and just needed to disconnect from everything around me, and reconnect with Me.
It allowed me to get quiet and listen to my thoughts. It was my time-out. It gave me space to evaluate what was going on around me and to question, ‘What really matters?’
It provided a place for me to ponder, to dream and to think about, ‘How am I going to get there, from here?’
As Dr. Seuss so cleverly put it:
‘Think left and think right and think low and think high.
Oh, the thinks you can think up, if only you try!’
My sanctuary gave me time to create the road map in my mind’s eye; to strategize and create well thought-out plans to help me start towards my far-away, future goals.
Over the years, while the questions and purpose have remained fundamentally the same, my sanctuaries have changed.
I’ve created personal sanctuaries in arboretums and forest preserves, in public libraries, at music venues featuring symphonies, rock or folk music, in a variety of churches, temples and synagogues, in museums and in my home.
My Current Sanctuary
My current sanctuary is clutter-free, almost minimalist, but it is adorned with physical things that I love most and want to surround myself with; photos of loved ones, Annie, (who has comforted me throughout my Life), and touch stones I’ve collected on my travels around the world, to ground me.
I have a stereo in my sanctuary, so that I can play music, meditations or positive affirmations, whenever the mood strikes, which is usually, daily.
And I have candles, in my sanctuary. I’m a huge fan of what I call, ‘the Shadows’, moving throughout my home without any light except for the natural or electric light from the outdoors, filtering in through the doors and windows. So, yes, candles do come in handy.
I’ve also found concentrating on the flickering candle flame helps me focus, when I’m beginning a meditation or an affirmation.
It feels like I’m connecting, on a spiritual level, with those who came before me, because in a way, I am.
Benefits of Your Own Sacred Space
If you don’t have a sanctuary, I encourage you to discover the many ways it can enhance your Life. Here are just some of the benefits you can achieve, by spending time in your personal sacred space:
- Greater physical and mental relaxation
- Enhances your positive mental attitude
- Helps you to be more productive
- Less tendency to worry and obsess
- Increased creativity and brain functioning
- Improved concentration and focus
- A sense of renewal and restoration
- Helps you release petty annoyances
- Increased patience, empathy and compassion
- Connection to your inner voice and intuition
- Manage stressful events more effectively
- Enhances your immune system and lowers high blood pressure
- Allows you to put things in the proper perspective
- Get to know yourself and others on a deeper level
- Synchronizes your ‘body, mind, spirit’ connection
- Creates a deeper connection to your spirituality and relationships
Find your space, create your personal sanctuary and explore the deeper you, the more profound you, the more brilliant you, that’s already within you.
Your sanctuary is waiting for you to come inside and explore.
Do you have a personal sanctuary? Where is your sanctuary? Has your space changed over the years? If so, how? What gifts do you get from your sacred space? If you are new to this idea, do you think you will create a space for yourself? What do you hope to gain from this space?
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