The weekend before last, we had a party to celebrate Finding Sanctuary. After all, there is much to celebrate. Our new site launched a few months ago, we have an official trademark (thank you, Uncle Sam!), our online class Seven Days to Sanctuary is up and running, our customized journals just arrived and our online store is coming soon! So there is a lot going on, and a lot to share.
The party was beyond lovely. The room was exquisitely transformed by our dear friend Steven Bowles of Steven Bowles Creative with a healthy, creative and madly delicious menu by Chef Jay Wolfson of Prestige Catering, music by fabulous pianist Mark Dunn and his quartet, and a special musical performance by my ridiculously talented husband Philip. All in all, it was a veritable FEAST of sanctuary for everyone there.
A resounding success and right in my own backyard, more or less, at the Shangri-La Spring and Spa.
So why a party? Well, first off, why not have a party?!?
Secondly, because the people I work with and talk to every day, my colleagues, my friends, and my family — I wanted all of them to experience sanctuary first hand, to see it, breathe it, feel it, smell it, taste it, and hear it. I wanted to share that immersive experience of sanctuary with each one of them.
This party was, in essence, a mobile sanctuary lab. If you just got an image of the Scooby Doo van, dispel it right now. Not that kind of mobile lab.
This was also a chance to talk about what sanctuary is in more depth. Whenever I mention sanctuary, I get a lot of questions (“Is it a room?” or “Is it your design esthetic?”) and this was a chance to address those questions and just geek out on the sanctuary-ness of it all.
As I got up and spoke, I was able to share how creating a sanctuary for ourselves and using it regularly creates an oasis for the soul, one in which we can heal, and one in which we can rise to new heights. Sanctuary is indeed a launchpad for possibility, for happiness, for peace.
And because of all of the hard work put into the evening by the people I listed above, I was able to actually create that experience for everyone, to give them a place where their bodies, minds, and spirits were nurtured, if only for a single evening.
But I wanted to give my guests more than just a single evening of sanctuary. I wanted everyone to take this home with them.
That’s why I created a sanctuary tool kit for each guest, carrying the seeds of sanctuary within it. I stocked each beautiful wooden box (decorated by friend and Naples artist Clayton Brown) with few beautiful crystals, a special journal, a candle, a jar of long matches, some of my favorite essential oils, the forthcoming album of very sanctuary-esque music from my husband, a bar of Ayurvedic chocolate, and a few other secret and precious things, along with a letter explaining each thing and how it is used.
There’s something in each box to bring sanctuary to every sense, through every door to the mind and heart.
The response I’ve gotten has been overwhelmingly positive. My guests LOVED the event, loved their boxes even more, and I’ve gotten more questions and inquiries about how to create sanctuary than I ever expected. This is exactly what I was hoping for.
I wish I could have invited everyone I know to the experience of this party. I certainly plan to do this again, and on a grander scale in the future. But what I can do right now, and what I try to do every two weeks, is to invite the whole world into creating and experiencing sanctuary for themselves.
When each of us has a place where we can process our emotions, where we can heal, and where we are encouraged to dig deep and grow, I believe that the whole world will be a more beautiful, peaceful, and expansive place to live.
I’d love to hear, if you were to create a custom, sanctuary tool kit for yourself, what would be in there? What are the things that would bring you solace, joy and encouragement? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo credit: Nick from Keri Johnson Photography