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Creating Sacred Space in Your Home Office or Garden

 by: Jan Marie Dore

The environments we surround ourselves with contribute to our sense of well-being as well as to our creativity and productivity. There is a direct link between inner peace and the spaces in which we live and spend our time. It is possible to create harmony and abundance by enhancing home and workplace energies. The idea of sacred space is as old as humanity itself. The ancient oriental art of feng shui teaches that the buildings and space one occupies affects personal, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. Sacred Space is a physical place where the Divine or the supernatural can be glimpsed or experienced, where we can get in touch with that which is larger than ourselves, where we can experience harmony and inner peace. It is also a place where, as Joseph Campbell put it, wonder can be revealed, and you can experience who you are and who you might be. By acknowledging that something larger than ourselves with greater purpose exists, we create an environment where a sense of the sacred can be realized in the details of our everyday lives and in ourselves. Letís look at three environments in which you might create sacred space: your home, office, and garden. The intention behind creating the space may be the same for each area, but the questions you ask yourself, and the objects you place there, will be different in each case. Creating Sacred Space in Your Home Bringing the sacred into the everyday, carving out sacred space in the domestic sphere, can be done in any number of ways. Creating this space becomes a search for meaning, or a process of discovering what has meaning for you. It involves putting spirituality into physical form. In our contemporary times, creating personal places of prayer, ritual, and meditation is one way of acknowledging the sacredness of all the space we inhabit. It can serve as a reminder of the role spirit plays in your life. We can create a space where we can come into contact with all that lies both within us and outside us. Creating and maintaining a regular spiritual practice is the best way to make your spiritual self-care a priority. Creating a sacred space to honor your spiritual well being on a regular basis means deciding on an actual location, the best time of day, and the right frequency for you. You may want to find a place in your home that you can set aside for spiritual rejuvenation. It may be the corner of a room, or the whole room. Find a space that looks, feels, and smells right to you. As you chose the place in your home to establish your sacred space, listen to the voice within: - Will you be comfortable here?- What does this piece of your home actually feel like to you?- What kinds of associations does it bring forth? Clean the area well - vacuum, dust, polish - whatever it takes to have the space feel fresh and clear. Next, check the lighting. Is it appropriate day or night for your optimum comfort? Then, gather any items that that trigger a feeling of

spirit in you in your daily life and may help make it a sacred space for you. Listening to yourself is an important part too of choosing objects for your sacred space. Permit yourself time to visualize your sacred space and decide what you need in it. Think about what is important or meaningful to you at this time in your life. The items might include pictures, candles, symbols, books, pillows, flowers, statues, mementos, blankets, sage or incense. Once you have created your space, sit in it and notice how you feel. Does the energy feel peaceful? Is it quiet enough? Make any necessary adjustments. Have it be a place that calls to you, a place that you look forward to spending time in. Look for ways to incorporate other rituals into your daily life. The intentional use of rituals can be a powerful reminder to hold ordinary events a sacred. The simple act of blessing a meal, burning incense while reading a book, or lighting a candle while you work can add a sacred quality to everyday life. Creating Sacred Space in Your Office Just as your emotions and energy are affected by your home, so too can they be influenced by your office space. If your office or work space is humane, loving and sacred, then what you produce there will have a sense of humanity and integrity. The challenge is not to change yourself to fit the space, but to seek a way to occupy your office space in a way that harmonizes with your personality and energy. Also, it is important to see your work in the greater context of the world at large. You must know that your work can make a contribution to the world and that your office space can reflect this intention. Bring to mind an image of your workspace. What do you see that stimulates your creativity and calls to your muse? Can you see the cool green of trees and grass? Hear music or a fountain? Write or draw with a rainbow of colors? Feel the warmth of polished wood? Smell fresh flowers from your garden? Is your office, cubicle or desk visually stimulating with lots of pictures, quotes and memorabilia? Or, do you prefer a clean, uncluttered space for working? Before you begin to implement any changes in your office, take a moment to still your mind and ask yourself: What is the message that my office or work space currently communicates to myself and others? What is my long-term intention for myself and for others in the work that I do? Think about what changes you can make to the layout and design of your workspace to create an environment that inspires your best work, and what objects you will place in your ideal work space to give you a sense of the sacred. Creating Sacred Space in Your Garden Understanding your garden as a sacred space helps focus both intentions and thoughts. Creating sacred space is a process. An entire garden can become a sacred space, or just an area in the garden, so that the upkeep is manageable and you have time to benefit from the haven it offers. You can create a

special corner of your garden with a bench for sitting, a small waterfall, or a living altar to Mother Earth, one that attracts birds and butterflies and other living creatures to your sacred space. Creating altars outdoors permits us to get back in touch with the cycle and beauty of natural light that most of us - spending our days in offices, our nights in apartments and houses - no longer experience on a regular basis. Sacred objects can be arranged here on an altar - candles, stones, found objects from nature, statues or figurines, bowls, crystals, flowers, rocks, pebbles - whatever appeals to you. A fountain, bird feeder or a bench can be added. Even the simple act of digging in the earth seems to connect us to the ancient rhythms of nature; the scent, color and texture of the soil combine to wake us up. The forms of life we discover in the ground are a small epiphany of the unseen web of nature. Bringing our spiritual life out of doors is a very humbling experience for it reminds us that each of us is only a very small part of the natural world. To create sacred space in your garden, begin by really looking at your surroundings. What does the natural landscape say to you? What is its spirit? Look at the land, and pay attention to the wind and the sun: is there movement and light? Does the landscape make you more aware? Listen to the place: is it filled with natural sounds or is it still? Look and listen at different times of day and night to heighten your awareness of the sacred space. Think about what objects will you bring into a special place in your garden to provide a haven of peaceful surroundings and remind you of the larger context of your life.Special altars can be created in your garden for special occasions and to mark earth-honoring ceremonies from the traditional calendar - the summer and winter solstices, the spring and fall equinoxes. For example, the equinox - the twice yearly moment when day and night are precisely the same length - is a time of balance, so objects could be chosen to represents pairs of opposites - heavy and light, wet and dry, light and dark, etc. The solstices can be honored as times of transformation by aligning the altar with the sunrise so as to catch the first ray of light. Written prayers or intentions can be burned to signify the transformation and release of the old. Creating a sacred space represents your conscious intention to make time for both the needs and goals of the spirit. The very act of creating a physical place that represents what is sacred to you makes you spiritually receptive and helps you stay connected to something larger than yourself.

About The Author

Jan Marie Dore, Professional Certified Life Coach, Speaker, and Writer, publishes articles like this one in her free ezine 'The Balance Sheet', designed to inspire, challenge, and support you in living your best life, both personally and professionally, and creating a life that is meaningful, authentic, and a joy to wake up to every day. You can sign up for your own subscription by sending a blank email to balance@janmariedore.com. For free resources and programs on living a great life, visit Jan's website: http://www.janmariedore.com

Copyright © 2004 Jan Marie Dore. All Rights Reserved. Newsletter publishers are most welcome to reprint this article provided it is published in its entirety, without change, including contact and copyright information. Please send an email to admin@janmariedore.com advising the ezineís name & URL, and the date the article appeared.


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