Sacred Space

Sacred space is a zone of peacefulness in which we can center ourselves.  Even those who are not spiritual can have a space sacred to them; a place where they keep in touch with themselves free from the distraction of chaos.  This space is important for self-care.

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For many this sacred space will be out in nature.  I myself have considered nature to be my church.  It is lovely to be able to ground by touching your bare feet to grass, to feel the breeze against your skin as you take deep breaths, to hear a choir of birds sing.  Earth is sacred to all of us (even if some would deny it the respect it deserves), thus it makes sense that so many feel a sacred connection and peacefulness outdoors.  A home garden could easily be a sacred space.

However, it isn’t always ideal or possible to have a regularly visited sacred space outdoors.  (One could have an occasionally visited sacred space at a park or some other place.)  For example, Summers in my area can have a real feel of up to 110 degrees F.  There can be a lot of humidity and an abundance of mosquitoes.  I am not spending more time outside then than is absolutely necessary.  For an additional example, people in cities often do not have a yard or a balcony.  Even if they do have a balcony or a yard, it might be very noisy outside with sounds of car horns and chatter.  With all that said, here are some ideas for creating a personal sacred space:

  • If you have a yard or balcony in the city where you typically have a lot of noise pollution, you could still potentially use that space as a sacred space if you wear ear plugs or headphones.  Of course I would not suggest this in a high-crime area where it is necessary to be very aware of your surroundings.
  • You may desire to feel connected to nature while remaining indoors.  This is very possible.  One way of accomplishing that nature connection is by setting up a sacred space by a window.  It is also advised to keep houseplants.  If you have a particularly hectic lifestyle, you likely only want to maintain one plant.  You can also close your eyes and listen to nature sounds as found on YouTube.  You can listen to a thunder storm and see the lightning flashes in your mind.
  • Altars are focal points for sacred spaces.  You place representations of what you want to focus on on top of the altar.  Representations of faith, joy, and spiritual evolution are ideal for the decoration of the altar.  They are not necessary, per say, for everybody.  I find them a personal must-have though.  Your altar can be anywhere you can fit it.  In fact, a travel altar can enable a person to create a personal sacred space anywhere they can be alone.
  • Make it comfy.  This space exists for self-care (and connecting to our faiths for those of us who are spiritual).  It may be difficult to relax if your bum is going numb from sitting on a hard surface.
  • Decorate the space with colors you enjoy.  Our favorite colors add to our sense of happiness.
  • If at all possible, make sure your sacred space is somewhere you can be alone.  That doesn’t mean others can never enter the space, it just means you can have private time there.  Your sacred space should help keep you centered.  It makes it harder to achieve a state of balance if somebody is talking to you and messing with your stuff.  I realize that some people hate alone time, but I believe it is necessary.
  • Don’t be afraid to think out of the box when creating a sacred space.  This is especially true for parents and people with obnoxious roommates.  An altar topped with knick-knacks might not be idea for a mom sharing a small apartment with toddlers.  Quiet, personal space, might be non-existent in that situation until the children have went to sleep for the night.  Perhaps that Mom’s sacred space could be set up in her bathroom after the kids have gone to bed.  She could fill the tub with warm water, light a scented candle placed on the counter, and just take half an hour to soak in peace.  Although the bathroom is shared domain most of the time, it can be converted into sacred space at night.  Your kitchen or laundry room could even serve as sacred space.  I remember my stepmother’s favorite chore seemed to be folding clothes.  She would sit in the laundry room by herself, and that may have been the most relaxing time of her day.  I can totally understand that too, especially with how amazing some laundry detergent smells.
  • If you don’t have a physical space available that is peaceful, you can create a mental sacred space.  Of course this requires imagination and the ability to tune out distractions without being physically removed from them.

I’m sure much more can be said about the subject of sacred space, but I think I have provided a good starting point of information.  I wish you all to be blessed and enjoy your sacred spaces.

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