Personal Safe Haven
7 Steps to creating a personal safe haven:
1.) Identify what the ‘haven’ means to you. You may call this your safe haven or you might call it an oasis, a sanctuary, or refuge. To me, a haven is a place of comfort, renewal and solace. For others it may be a place for solitude, peace, or reflection. It may be a protected place where you can let down your guard, or it may be a calming place. Get quiet and think about what a haven means to you. What speaks to you? What would feed your Soul? What are you looking to get out of your time within your sanctuary? What purpose do you need it to fill, in your life? Is there a specific question you need answered? Remember, this is your creation, so it can be anything you need it to be.
2.) Identify what belongs in your sanctuary. After establishing what you want your space to be and what it means to you, you need to identify what elements belong or make up your refuge. Jot down what belongs in your sanctuary and identify what doesn’t belong there. Is your space outdoors or indoors? Do you want it to be clutter-free or do you want to surround yourself with meaningful objects? Do you want it to be an established space that you go to or do you want it to be portable, e.g.: carrying only a touch stone with you, in your pocket or your purse, so that you can connect with your space, wherever you are?
3.) Baby steps, baby steps. Take ‘baby steps’ while creating your shelter. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. My sanctuaries are evolving spaces; I add things and remove them from my space, as my Spirit and Soul dictate. There are times that my Spirit and Soul either grows beyond the need to have some items in my space or they need additional sustenance from having new things added to my space. Get quiet and listen for the answers, they are already within you.
4.) Establish boundaries. Set rules for your safe haven, and establish boundaries. This is especially important if you live with someone else. If you share living space, and your sanctuary is in your home, you should negotiate your space and whatever precepts you would like established for this area. Ask your roommates to support you and your need for this and for them to respect your sacred space.
5.) Downsize the clutter. Remove the clutter, to help clear your mind. This isn’t a requirement for everyone, but it definitely helps me to focus more clearly. If there is something within my space that I don’t need there, I find it to be distracting. This causes me to loose focus and it draws my attention away from my true purpose within this space, which is to connect with the greater, more profound, Spiritual Me, within me. (I call it ‘Look at the bunny…’ syndrome, where your attention is immediately diverted by some fleeting thought or image.)
6.) ‘Show a little respect’. Respect your sacred space; wherever it is located. Honor yourself by retreating there, regularly. If you feel you don’t have time, create the time. It’s no different than creating your refuge. Get up 15 minutes earlier; go to bed 15 minutes later. Schedule the time into your day or week, just like you would any other meeting, and commit to keeping the appointment, because it is that important to your growth and Life. What kind of message are you imprinting upon yourself and your self-worth, if you aren’t important enough for you to make time for yourself? You are feeding your Soul, here, after all. You couldn’t go very long without feeding your body; I believe the same is true about feeding your Spirituality and your Soul, too.
7.) Honor yourself and your commitment. Honor or reward yourself for creating your personal safe haven and for keeping your commitment to yourself to explore your space with whatever frequency feels right to you. Buy yourself some flowers, pick-up the phone and connect with that old friend you’ve lost touch with, etc. If you find yourself feeling disconnected, anxious, or just generally missing your personal sanctuary, you’ll want to make sure you invest more time there. Recognize that the amount of time you feel the need to spend there is usually commensurate with the life events you are facing. When your life is feeling like you are on the right track and everything is on auto-pilot, you will probably find that you need less time within your sacred space. It’s always good go stop by for a visit to check-in with you. When you feel like the world is coming crashing in around you, you should definitely make You the priority and create additional time to explore your life, your priorities and what’s going on. I know at the time that it might feel like you just can’t possibly spare the time, but I promise you that your life will be enriched by the experience and the benefits will amaze you.