May 22, 2020

Sanctuary in an instant

When someone asks me about the quickest path to instant sanctuary, my answer is always the same: LIGHT A CANDLE. 

Simple, accessible and available almost everywhere. 

Candles are magical. You light the wick and right away something inside you responds. You exhale the breath you didn’t even know you were holding. Your eyes focus on the wavering flame and there is a sacredness in the moment that can remind us of other candle flames we have experienced during quiet times, joyful times, contemplative times. 

It might bring you back to Christmas Eve, celebrating a midnight service and passing the flame along the row as you light your neighbor’s candle. It might bring you to a reverent experience at a temple or a synagogue. Maybe you once lit a candle for a loved one in a side chapel in a cathedral. Or maybe it reminds you of the long, luxurious bath you took last week, lit by candles. We use candles to mark occasions — dinners, relaxing moments, celebrations, a show of solidarity at a musical concert. Candles create a mood, they change the energy, they soften the light. 

I have often told my husband Philip that I am best viewed by candlelight. It softens the lines and the contours, not that I have any. Plus, it’s romantic. 

Candles are evocative. Sometimes they smell good, although I am super fussy about the scents so please don’t mention Yankee Candles. They give me a headache. That being said, sometimes LIFE gives me a headache and guess what helps? A candle. 

I light candles in my design studio when I’m working on a design project. Why? Because I am creating sacred, sanctuary space for my clients. I need to have sanctuary around me to do that. I need to be in a sanctuary frame of mind. Candles help me to achieve that very thing. 

Time to come clean: I actually have a subscription to a candle company and get a specific candle shipped to me every month that I light every morning as I write my pages with coffee. A candle in the morning? You bet. A great vibe is a great vibe — I don’t care what time it is. 

To honor the world’s most perfect sanctuary tool, we are offering some special candles (one of my favorites) on our site this week. Our quantities are limited, but these are so soft and lovely, they are virtually headache proof. And the packaging! I save these gorgeously watercolored cylinders to keep my paintbrushes and crystals sorted out. I have other favorites that we will be sharing in upcoming weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you want to try one of these beauties, click here

I’d love to hear about your favorite candles! Tell me in the comments below. I’m always looking for new sources.

In candlelight, with gratitude,


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