Last week a colleague gave me some feedback on sanctuary and the concept of a daily sanctuary practice that was a little difficult to hear.
She described it as luxurious, indulgent, self-care. The kind of self-care that takes lots of money and lots of free time. I didn’t realize that, in my writing I might have inadvertently cloaked the concept of sanctuary with privilege and exclusion.
I do talk a lot about creative pursuits like journaling, painting, gardening, cooking, taking classes, etc. But that’s not actually what’s at the heart of a daily sanctuary practice.
Three basic things:
- Claim a little bit of TIME for yourself. Ideally, 15-20 minutes. If you can’t spare that, even 5-10 will do. This is your time — morning, afternoon or night — you get to pick what works with your schedule.
- Get a little bit of SPACE for yourself. Your front porch, your bathtub, your car, or any place at all where you can be alone. If you have a door that can close, close that door. The alone part is what’s important because you need to be able to relax and hear yourself think.
- Do ONE NICE THING for yourself. You get to pick it and anything will do as long as it is something that quiets your mind and lets you breathe deeply for a few minutes. Make a cup of tea. Read something inspiring. Stare out the window. Stroke the fur of your pet. Light a candle. Write a few sentences. Let. Yourself. Be.
That’s it. That’s practicing sanctuary. Rinse. Repeat as needed.
It’s that simple. It doesn’t cost a dime and it only takes a few minutes. And no matter who you are or where you are in life, if you put this practice to work, it will make you stronger and more resilient.
We’re talking about being kind, considerate, and loving with US! This is how we fill ourselves back up — we cannot continue to care for others and give when we are empty and exhausted.
The space, the room, the physical sanctuary has always been my personal “way in.” As an interior designer, using our environments to help us live better and be happier makes sense to me. But the truth is that what we are actually developing is a space INSIDE US, our own sense of inner peace — the sanctuary we carry with us everywhere.
The simple practice of sanctuary is where the real magic happens.
Sanctuary is for everyone, every day, in every situation. It offers a way to cope with life. And don’t we all need that?
With love and gratitude,