Thursday, January 19, 2012

Creating Sacred Space

    Last week I shared my longing for a “Red Tent” of my own, although I haven’t put up a teepee in my backyard (and gone is the pop-up camper) I have been working on creating a sacred space for myself.

     When I first began pondering what my “space” would be like, I set my mind loose to conjure whatever space I might create if there were no limits. As you may well imagine, the space was quietly magnificent...the most beautiful natural setting, plenty of light, pleasing colors, lovely aromas, things that reminded me of what and who was important, and things that made me feel like me...the best me. What I realized when I came down from the cloud, was that although I didn’t have the money to spend on redecorating, nor did I have any space in my house that I could claim as a completely private oasis, I could still create what I desired in a modified way without losing any of the potential benefits of such a space.

     A bit of internet research on creating sacred space and voila! I found a great article on the Gaim* site. After asking myself some of the basic questions that the article had suggested, I realized that in many ways, I had already created my sacred space and only a few simple additions would truly make it the “magical” place that would serve me as I needed it to. I was also surprised to find that the space I had chosen for myself was actually quite a public area of my home. I have four young children, an uppity cat, and a loving Fella’, all of whom have just as much claim as I do on this dwelling; and yet I’ve managed to find a spot that brings me home to myself amidst all that happens here in the every day busy-ness of our life together.

     Pictured here is the view from my desk, which is located in our family room.

     This is just a small corner of an otherwise very busy part of our home, but it is where I spend so much of my time. It’s where I write, it’s where I learn, it’s where I find entertainment, it’s where I budget, it’s where I come up with ideas for all sorts of pieces to the puzzle that is my life, our life. With all that I do each day, I find myself coming back to this spot several times a day. It is my landing pad, it is my starting place and my ending place. At times, when I have been running about doing all of the things that I must and suddenly stop to try to remember what I am supposed to be doing now or next or what-have-you, I will come sit on the chair in front of my desk to think, to remember, to just breathe for a moment.

     This space has become my sacred spot sort of by accident. I found that when I started practicing yoga regularly again I chose the family room during the wee hours of the morning, or sometimes in the afternoon while the baby was asleep and the older kids still at school. Yes, it did make sense, my desk in the corner of the family room is where my computer lives, and as such I would do yoga here because I like to stream yoga classes on Yoga Today. When it was time to put my mat and block away, however, I could have tucked them away neatly in the closet with other sports equipment, but no. I chose to tuck them next to my desk. That was my spot. These were my things, for “me time,” it made perfect sense that I’d put them there.

     It’s not unusual for people to use some of their desk space for displaying pictures of loved ones, and my space is no different. Additionally, the windowsill behind my desk is the home for our family’s “Wall of Fame”, this is where we place recent photos of our immediate family members doing their various activities (baseball, soccer, cheer) also trophies, student recognition awards--all of the things that have recently made us proud and want to celebrate. It makes sense for me to have this as part of my sacred space because this “wall of fame” is a reminder of the family that I put my heart into each day.

     A simple way I’ve enhanced my sacred space is by changing the “desktop” background on my computer to my favorite color, purple, which represents healing and spirituality**. Small changes like that can make a big difference when it means something to you, it's all about intention. Another recent addition to my sacred space is this lovely aromatherapy diffuser: a sculpture of 3 praying women (3, if you didn't know, is a very powerful number***)

     This sculpture is meaningful to me on many levels: reminding me of the important women in my life whom I admire and who hold me up in many ways, who are out there with a prayer in their hearts for me as I have for them. The posture of the “praying women” could just as easily be mistaken for yogi’s holding hands in prayer position and saying Namaste, which essentially means I honor the light in you, as you honor the light in me, with this reminder I honor my own light while in my sacred space. Using this lovely sculpture/diffuser I often burn essential oils while sitting, working, or playing in my sacred space--whatever I need at the time, be it grapefruit essential oil (by Eden's Garden) for a boost, Aura Cacia's geranium when I need to feel more balanced and more loving of myself, their lavender when I want to unwind, or Plant Therapy’s Germ Fighter blend when I feel illness coming on.

     Although my sacred space has a very comfy chair, which sits at my desk, I hope to add to my little corner (which now houses my yoga mat and blocks) a meditation pillow so that I can make that practice a part of “me time” as well. Recently I’ve had my eye on this one:

...because: 1) I love Yoga Direct’s quality products and prices, and 2) It’s purple (!) of course.

     The kind of sacred space I have created for myself is as unique as I am, it’s what fits. For you, it may be entirely different but I encourage you to create one...or many. Some people like to create a kit they can travel with to bring a bit of their sacred space with them wherever they go. Whatever you create let it fit you, don’t try to recreate something that someone else has done (unless you love it and it speaks to you!) or make it fit some mold of what you think it “should” be, just let it be a space that makes you feel comfortable, that speaks to you and feeds you in some way. Every woman, man, and child, for that matter, can benefit from having a space that brings them back to themselves in the most safe, nurturing, and quiet of ways. In your journey toward finding and creating it I say...


Links of interest, associated with this post:
* Gaim, Sacred Space article
** Color Meanings and Feng Shui
*** The Power of 3 

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  1. Tamar, thank you for posting this. I've been looking at my overwhelmed desk and wanting to reclaim if from the've given me some inspiration.

    1. Lori Ann, I'm so glad that you've found inspiration in my post. I can certainly relate to the paper feng shui clutter areas are sometimes referred to as "sticky spots" because they trap energy instead of letting it flow. Always a great idea to clear those spots! :)

  2. She has totally inspired me as well, I know what I'm doing this weekend!

  3. Don't you feel a weight is lifted when you perfect a small niche for yourself in your home? So nice.

  4. Creating a prayer place in my bedroom is actually on my list of things to do in 2012. I love the idea of an aroma therapy diffuser.

  5. Hi Tamar! I am coming over from Jules' WMP. What a lovely idea to carve out that little space for yourself. I am with Jules and love the idea of the aromatherapy diffuser.

  6. Just found you through the social parade at Smart & Trendy moms! Following! Tera @

  7. Just found you through the social parade at Smart & Trendy moms! Following with GFC @s8r8l33 Twitter @s8r8l33 & FB @SaraLee E Please follow back.


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