I’ve been traveling a lot lately. More than my typical summer travel. I’ve been to Wyoming, Charleston and Ohio and am typing this from 30,000 feet on my way to Atlanta. When I get back, I head to Toronto in a couple of weeks. Don’t get me wrong — I do like to travel, but as I had a full weekend at home this past week for the first time in what felt like forever, I noticed something.
My sanctuary was waiting for me.
My sanctuary sat right here where I left it, humming with my energy and intention, waiting for me to return so it could soothe my jagged edges and nurture my tired spirit.
And the truth is, THIS SURPRISED AND DELIGHTED ME!
Now you might be thinking, “Please, Lisa. You talk and write about sanctuary all the time. Surely you of all people know how it works.” And yes, I do. But this time, I FELT IT. On a soul-deep level I could actually feel my space cradling me. I felt my tension and anxiety draining out of my feet and down into the floor under them. I melted into my soft chair and appreciated the candles burning and the feel of my dog Maggie as she snuggled up next to me with her little puffs of doggie breath soft against my leg. I delighted in the shelves and stacks of books begging to be read, the clusters of rock crystals on my desk catching the light, the green leaves of my millions of houseplants adorning almost every surface. (I don’t think we’ve talked about my houseplant addiction. It rivals my book obsession. Pretty soon my family might have to sleep in the garage as the books and plants have taken over the entire inside of our house.)
I padded into my kitchen, switched on the kettle and got my favorite tin of Earl Grey Blue tea from Mariage Freres out of the cupboard. I listened to the contemplative chords in the latest music my husband is writing piped through the speakers and thought, “Mercy me, it’s good to be home, to be here, to have this sacred space to come back to.” (Ok, I didn’t think, mercy me. I actually thought holy CRAP, but I was trying to be deferential to my mother who may read this. My mother, who is married to a man who actually uses the world “fiddlesticks” on purpose.)
As this feeling of bliss came over me, I thought, “This is my sanctuary. I wouldn’t trade this space for anything.”
All of the sudden the plane delays, the long hours waiting in airports and in cars traveling down the highways, the strain of not enough sleep and the digestive trauma of eating weird foods seemed really (and thankfully) far away.
This experience of climbing back into my own body and mind, focusing back on what is inside me rather than exclusively on the outside world feels like slipping on a favorite bathrobe. Or sinking down into a bath of warm, scented water. Ahhhhhhh…
You’re with me, aren’t you? I see you smiling as you read this. It’s a delicious feeling.
That’s the magic of truly understanding sanctuary as a lifestyle, as a way of leading our lives. It isn’t just a space around us — although it STARTS with a peaceful space around us. One that we create with intention so we can care for ourselves with love and compassion. We create peace around us because then something magical happens — that peace around us, inspires peace within us. Sanctuary changes at that point from being an outward experience to an inward experience. We walk through the door of understanding to our true selves, to the peace that always exists inside us.
So as you can see, I truly am a sanctuary-work-in-progress. I continue to develop and refine my idea of sanctuary. I continue to strive for congruence in bringing the principles of sanctuary into every aspect of my life. I continue to try to LIVE the kind of change that I want to see in the world. What does that change look like, you ask? It looks like gentle, peaceful, kindness that springs from self-awareness and a compassionate worldview. It looks like beauty both outside us and inside us. Well, that and boatloads of houseplants and books, because after all it is MY change we’re talking about.
But what kind of change do YOU want to see in your world? I’d love to hear — take a minute and tell me in the comments below. I love hearing from you — it’s one of my favorite things.