Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.Joseph Campbell
Lately I’ve been waking up even earlier than usual. Fall has already made its entrance and I find that I need more quiet, alone time with myself. It’s dark outside when I make my way downstairs. The light begins to faintly arrive around 6 am.
Nature comes alive when we’re going to sleep and the animals wrap up their activity as the morning light announces itself. The coyotes are having a howling convention in the late evening hours. As I tip toe around my kitchen in the early morning hours, I’m treated to glimpses of activity I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.
Today, I counted five skeins of geese flying overhead, heading West. A fox ran through the backyard and into the woods, while two red tail hawks chased each other and landed on the tree outside my kitchen window.
I make myself a pot of tea, ginger with lemon. It feels good to hold a hot cup of tea at the beginning of the day, in my dark kitchen, my notebook open in front of me, and a candle burning on the table, its warm glow making me feel safe and cozy. I’m reminded that I need to foster this feeling more often.
I remember when my twin daughters were infants, the long waking, working hours, and the feeling of exhaustion. It was so easy to lose sense of time, much like the last eight months. The truth is that I’ve never been good at taking time for myself but after many failed attempts at being productive, I realized that what I craved the most was stillness. So, I decided to change my ways and try something different.
Every day, around one in the afternoon, the girls would take a nap. Whoever encouraged me to get the girls into a schedule, starting when they were infants, I want you to know that you have my heartfelt gratitude!
It was during those naps that I’d make myself a pot of tea and serve it in my favorite tea cup. I’d light a candle and sit in front of my biggest window, put my feet up and allow myself to take it all in. Sometimes it was thirty minutes and other times it was one hour. At the end of this break, I felt rested, excited, and ready to go hug my kids and see the day to its conclusion.
These days, as fall is prepping us for its grand entry, I find myself seeking warmth and comfort within myself as I feel my energy building up. Change is afoot. I’m getting inspired and grounded in my work. I’m preparing a new virtual retreat for a small circle of women who need a respite from the craziness that’s been thrust upon them since March, and Neal and I are taking small steps every day to prepare for our next move.
I’m inhabiting the space between endings and new beginnings. I’ve been in that space before but this one is different. I’m different. I’ve changed and grown and got knocked around quite a bit. This is a whole new chapter and it’s exciting … when I’m not anxious about the climate or the political landscape or my girls or whatever.
I’m well aware that I’m standing at a threshold, preparing to cross into a whole new chapter of my life. The world appears to be going mad and it’s ever so tempting to be swept into the collective emotional vortex. It’s during these times when my emotions can tip the balance, that I remind myself that our world has never really been a safe, predictable place to be in.
I look outside and see the squirrels engaging in their autumnal activity, running here and there, keeping busy, preparing for the change of seasons, unaware and indifferent to our drama. They’re preparing for the cold months ahead, pointing the way for me too.
As the weather changes into cooler temperatures, Mama Nature will be putting on a show, dressed in her bright colored robes, before she ushers her children underground to rest for Winter and gather their strength.
As I’m writing this, I see why I chose to share Joseph Campbell’s words …. “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.” I’ve always felt the need to create sacred space for myself. I’ve done this since I was a child. I used to have my hide-out places where I’d go to be alone. There, I’d follow my imagination and create a new world to escape to. I’d daydream and travel to far away lands and meet all kinds of interesting people.
I continued this tradition as an adult. My home, this very corner I’m sitting in right now, and my garden, are some of the sacred spaces I’ve created for myself. There are others too, places I visit that are special to me and inspire me. When I’m there I can feel my heart open and I know I’m part of something much bigger than myself.
Now your turn! How do you create sacred space and time for yourself? When our so-called reality threatens your well-being and sanity, how do you soothe yourself? What are some of your favorite places where you go to find peace and be yourself?