Redefining Sacred Spaces
We tend to understand the word in a religious way; at least I know I used to picture holy waters and white priests whenever it was mentioned in writing or conversations. Our society isn’t used to mentioning the sacred. Think about it: the way we consume, the way we treat our planet, the way we treat each other… Do we consider our surroundings sacred?
In the hustle and bustle of life, we forget to appreciate the world, nature, the people around us. Money has been our holy grail for a while now and although it is increasingly being questioned, it still is one of the prevalent measures of success. The problem with this is that the rest loses importance; the rest is left to be just that, the rest. And when everything becomes the rest, we make it less important, we care about it less, and life makes us simple robots who make money, spend it, and throw out everything we don’t need - people and stuff alike.
Making the effort of holding space for physical & mental places to become sacred - or to regain their sacredness - plays an important role in making meaning, being at peace and well in your mind.
So, what does sacred mean?
The practice of yoga as a whole has been a way for me to un-learn and re-learn about what is sacred and why it matters. Sacred can be physical and mental places; sacred refers to everything that is special to you, that you care about, that you respect and that you want to tend to because of aforementioned reasons.
You can worship that thing, of course, that would be one classical way of making something sacred, but you can also just give it the value you want, give it a special place in your mind and heart.
If we considered the Earth sacred, we’d look after it more (reducing our plastic use, chemicals use, respect and care about our trees and oceans); if we considered people sacred, we’d look them in the eyes, look after them, we wouldn’t complain, criticize and judge as much; if we considered ourselves sacred, we’d attend to our needs, desires, we’d listen to our voice more, we’d be more connected to who we are.
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Inviting you to create your sacred space
A sacred space can be anything.
A special area in town. A secret spot on the beach. Somewhere in your house, in your bedroom, in your living room. Ideally, it’s a space you can often go back to, a quiet & welcoming one that makes you feel safe and respected, the same way you make it safe and respected.
You can have objects you love in there, maybe a chair, a cushion, a blanket, books and journals, a candle or two, scents you love, bells or something you can make music with, objects that feel different to the touch (like feathers and rocks), different lights to make it cozy, pictures of things, places, or people that make sense to you, maybe the people who are sacred to you.
Don’t be afraid to take time - hours, days, months - to find what you want to have in your sacred space. Don’t be afraid to move things around, to change your mind and to let the notion of ‘sacred’ evolve.
Using your own sacred space
Think about making it your meditation space, too. Actually, make it your meditation space, too. A place where you go every day to sit in the quiet and breathe and simply be. A place where you feel allowed to be you, to think you, to feel you.
Get yourself a tiny table, box, tray, where you can keep all your tiny (or big) objects to have around. Make them make sense where you place them. Have a journal you like to write in after your meditation, have a book or two you can flip through to inspire your meditation. Make it the space where you create your sacred intentions for the day, the week, the year ahead.
Make it the place where you learn about what sacred means to you.
What deserves respect in your life and what doesn’t.
What deserves space, what doesn’t.
What helps you find meaning and make sense of what’s around you, what doesn’t.
Make it your learning lab, your own little corner of the world.
Go back there with love and respect; go back there often.
What do you have in your sacred space? Why do you think having a sacred space matters? Please do share your thought below - and don’t forget to share the article around to keep the conversation going!