September 14, 2018

Grab a quick fix of sanctuary

Do you wish you had a beautiful sanctuary space that you just can’t seem to spend enough time in? Do you feel overwhelmed at the thought of trying to make one for yourself because it sounds like a lot of work and you need it RIGHT NOW?!

It’s easy to get all caught up in thoughts of creating your space, lighting a candle and doing a meditation or some type of calming ritual, to the point that you’re wondering if you can fit it in to your day or evening.

Sometimes making a ritual seems like a lot of effort, and takes a chunk of time.

You may be thinking, “I just don’t have the kind of time for this.” If that’s you, you’re not alone! I’ve been there too. I still go there sometimes, especially when I get stressed and frazzled.

Micro-sanctuaries are the answer

Think about suffusing your life with micro-sanctuaries, tiny, little places that bring sanctuary to you where you are, whatever you’re doing. Think of it as a quick fix.

I use my micro-sanctuaries all the time. For example, I have a little low table in my bedroom that holds my journal, a few pens, and candle. When I have trouble sleeping, or awake with a head full of worries, I light the candle, commit them all to paper (so I can worry about them properly in the morning), and usually manage to find my way back to sleep. This is one of my many micro-sanctuaries.

I have candles, lavender oil, books, and a gorgeous bath board right beside my tub. When I get that soul-deep exhaustion where I just feel hollow, I draw the water, put in a few drops of lavender oil, douse the lights, light the candles, and slip into the warm water. I might read. I might just sit there and feel the warmth soak into my skin. This too is a micro-sanctuary.

I have crystals, a small candle in a lidded tin, and some small books of inspiration and poetry that I pack with me when I travel. When I arrive in yet another little box of a room with no view and no charm (I miss you already, Paris), I pull these things out and place them where I will see them and use them. This is another micro-sanctuary.

And of course, I’m lucky enough that I could create a micro-sanctuary space in my office. It’s good to be the boss — but truthfully, it’s not a big deal to add a few personal, sanctuary touches to your office even if you’re NOT the boss. Things like a live plant, a rock crystal, or a picture of your favorite mountain vista. Even a little book of quotes that you love can be a nice pick-me-up in the middle of a busy day and give you that shot of sanctuary that you need to find a moment of equilibrium.

My friend Nancy likes to call this “sanctuary at any scale,” and I think that’s a great way to describe it. If you can’t go to the mountain, bring the mountain to you. Make it easy!

Sometimes our need for sanctuary doesn’t tie itself up into neat little bundles that can be addressed all at once. Sometimes we just need some sanctuary wherever we are, with whatever we’re doing.

If you create sanctuary for yourself, where are your micro-sanctuaries? Where are the niches in your life into which you’ve been able to tuck a little care for your soul?

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