Sacred Space

 

Well. This is a little awkward, but it appears that I have vanished out of the blogging universe for five months! How did that happen? The first thing that happened was that I had some other writing that was burning to be written. The second thing that happened was that I have a university degree where apparently the essays do not write themselves. And the third thing that happened was life and all of its joy and catastrophe :).

Why am I back? All of those components are still present in my life: I have finished the first draft of my workbook, and am slowly but surely working through the second and subsequent drafts. I have finished the first year of my degree and have a month’s break until the first semester of my second year starts. Woah!  I made it through the first year! Another layer of healing for that young woman who lost faith in herself because she couldn’t stick with anything (note to self: it helps if you choose the right projects). My children are settled at their new schools, and I have just finished a six week block of full-time work as a kindergarten teachers aide, with the promise of more work to come.

Significantly though, I have been at home with large stretches of alone time for four days in a row. I have been recovering from bronchitis, which has slowed me down and turned me inwards. I have been pottering around my home, listening to podcasts and sacred music, cleaning, resting, reading and cooking as the desire took me. I spent some time yesterday in my sacred space, just pottering, making it beautiful, because when I nourish my space, I also nourish myself. By the time that I had vacuumed, rearranged furniture, cleaned windows and cleared away the stuff that didn’t need to be there anymore, I felt the last piece of my own health click into place.

I shared some photos of my room all loved up and sparkly, and a friend commented that she felt inspired to create a room of her own as well. I replied that I could not emphasise how essential having my own sacred space has been to my development, and that maybe I should join Virginia Woolf in writing a book about it haha :). Write it! she said. I’ll read it! I thought about it overnight and realised that I have already written about sacred space in my book. It’s not a big enough piece for a book, more like a…blog post. So my friends, that is why I am back here. Because I have something to say that is too short for a book and too long for a facebook post 🙂

Sacred space

On your journey as a Practical Mystic, where you will uncover and recover your true and vital self, you will need a sacred space and some time that is just yours. This sacred space and time is where you will meditate, journal, create, move your body or just rest within yourself. Do not underestimate the power of taking space and time for yourself. It is a radical act for a woman:  in this space and in this time, you are prioritising yourself. You are showing yourself and everyone else that you matter.

Now, don’t get hung up on what you think a sacred space should look like – we can all paint pictures in the clouds of our fantasy space could or should look like. Mine is a two storey tower with a library, yoga studio and bay window reading nook on the bottom floor and a balconied attic writing room on the top. Bump! Back to reality :). Don’t get hung up on the amount of time you have either – it’s probably more than what you think, but less than what you crave. For years I thought that I didn’t have time for a yoga practice, because my vision of the space and time that yoga required was not available to me in that part of my life. You work with what you have in a dedicated way, and then your life shifts to accommodate you.

So, work with the space and time that you have, right now. Perhaps you have room for an altar or a vision board. Perhaps you have half an hour of time after the kids go to bed, or before they wake up. Whatever and wherever, stake your claim on a piece of time and the physical space that you have. Be like a wolf – protect this space and time like it is your child. Know that you won’t be messed with and you won’t be distracted. This is a message to the Universe to show how serious you are.

Look at your schedule with new eyes. Can you wake up 30 minutes earlier? Can you go to bed a little later? Can you use your commute time? Can you use the time that you spend waiting for your kid at soccer practice or dance? Plot it all out on your calendar and schedule some time for your spiritual or creative practice. Prioritise it, make it important, no excuses. If you don’t think it’s important, who will?

Let me tell you how I discovered my own sacred space. I call this story My Accidental Yoga Room.

I had been complaining (for years) about not having a space in our tiny house to call my very own. Reading Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own had given me fresh urgency, but no solutions. Enter Divine assistance.

I had woken up early one morning with the realisation that my daughter needed a bed. She was still sleeping in a cot, albeit one with three sides, because I had hoped that the house extensions were going to be finished by now. Long story – another time. The short story is that my daughter’s room was more like a shoe-box, hardly big enough to fit what was in it, let alone a single bed.

However, it had become suddenly clear to me that we weren’t going to finish the extensions anytime soon, and something needed to be done. I called my partner in and he started to measure up the room and the bed that we wanted to put in there.

“It’s no good Sara” he said, perched on the edge of our daughter’s little bed. “It won’t fit across the room. We can’t put the bed in here, there’s not enough space.”

A little exasperated, I said “I never thought it was going to fit cross-ways in here. And don’t sit on the cot like that, you’ll break it.”

“I’ve sat on here heaps of times. It won’t break.”

CRACK!!!!

The bars of the cot popped out of the cross-piece and the whole cot broke in two.

We just looked at each other and laughed. We knew right then there was no fighting it. Some things are taken out of our hands, and this was obviously the case today. The Universe works like that sometimes.

So we pulled everything out of her bedroom, moved our son’s bed out of his room and into hers (he was at a friend’s house for the day luckily). We then moved the guest bed out of the cottage (the second dwelling on our one-acre property) and into our son’s room. It worked!

The next day I woke up early with one thought: there’s a whole empty room in the cottage. When I went over there to check it out, I just couldn’t believe it – there was my room I had been waiting for! And, get this: it had been there the whole time. I just needed to look at the problem from a different perspective.

That was four years ago. In that four years, I have re-claimed my self. The things I do here are just for me. I have sustained a regular yoga practice here, I have developed my writing self and I have done 3 years of study. I have seen the sun rise hundreds of times out of its windows. I nourish myself when I nourish this space, because there is so much of my essential self here in these four walls. This space had been here the whole time, but I had to truly believe that I deserved it.

What are the hidden possibilities in your life?

36 comments

  1. Woke early to this. Thank you Sara. Showed your pictures to Brad last night. This is the space I want too. Funny, as I was offering to have a much smaller space. Just an office. I don’t want that … Just need someone to break our spare bed and I could have a better room too. Maybe I should get A to come and sit on it for me 😜 Thank you for his and welcome back ❤️❤️❤️

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    • Hullo my friend, so lovely to be welcomed back 😊 You know, before I had this space, I didn’t even have a patch of wall to line my yoga mat up against, or so I thought. The cottage was the kids rumpus room and a place for guests. My own needs were obviously somewhere below these priorities. So, I took the guest room, and then swapped it for the rumpus room 😊 the guests now can stay in The tiny little room that used to be Alani’s. It all works fine 😊 I hope you get the room that you need, you deserve it!

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  2. You’re back! 🙂 What a lovely surprise to see this story on my feed. I’ve been working from home the past few days but have gotten up early to swim/go running and come home to clean up the house. I’ve been traveling a lot and the disorganized state of my home messes with my energy. Maybe it’s the Libra in me that craves the peace and harmony of my space. Either way it’s felt so good to clear my space and make way for the new. 🙂 Glad you’re back. ❤

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    • Yes! I had been so busy working and studying, that my house looked like a bomb had hit. It messes with me too – I have a Libran moon which values harmony, so there’s that, but I think that having Mars and Saturn in cancer means that a lot of my personal power resides in my home…any way, so lovely to be welcomed back Leslie – enjoy your space clearing!

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  3. I have been waiting patiently to hear from you again. As usual you have inspired me. I am sitting in my space at the moment but it needs rethinking and reorganising. Have been meaning to do it for a year and have partially done it but not fully. I know, I know, no one else will do it for me. My problem is how to get rid of the stuff that is holding me back. I’m going to learn how to use Gum Tree and see how I go. Thank you. Big hugs, keep going!!

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    • Thank you Ardys, for waiting for me, I feel honoured! I know what you mean. As I was washing windows yesterday, I was thinking how they had been annoying me for months. As in more than 6 months! Why would I put up with it? Especially if it relates to neglect of self, as I believe it does for me. Hey, good luck with gumtree…a blog perhaps?

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  4. Sara, so happy to see you back! So many of my blogging friends have steadily dropped off or haven’t been posting as frequently so it’s always good to see familiar faces make a comeback. That being said, I’m definitely not doing too great as a blogger but as you said, when life picks up and there are things to take responsibility for, blogging tends to get pushed to the back burner. Hmm, hidden possibilities you say? I can’t necessarily speak on anything specific but these days, I do feel the energy of potential and good things to come so does that count? Your space looks wonderful and I hope in the future if/when I start my own family, I’ll be able to carve out my own little space just for me. 🙂

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    • Potential and good things to come definitely count as potential Lillian! I know what you mean about blogging – for me, it becomes all bit too consuming. I love the social part of it, and I find I get really hooked on it. I think I needed to stop because of that, and just to recalibrate my message and purpose. I can’t say that I have necessarily done that, but I hope to be on here at least monthly (that should keep me in check!). Love your work Lillian, and thank you for your welcome and support xo

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  5. Aha… one of my favourite words – Possibilities. With a capital P because it deserves it. When I saw your Sacred Space pics… the first thing I thought was Green! Perfect!!! I love how the opportunity presented itself, and than you grabbed it. It’s so good that you extended the conversation into a blog post… its relevance and significance is deserving of that, and I too would read the book.
    A little while ago I unpacked my stuff, created my Backroom and wrote a blog post about it. It’s a shared space physically, and wonderful to have a designated room with my books & bits n’ pieces where I can be as involved with the rest of the household as I want, but more importantly about carving out mental space and time. In hiatus at the moment between practical living and preparing for & setting off on our next trip I have stepped back from the domestic and because during the day I can’t bear to be indoors I set myself up on the front sunny corner of the verandah… where there is an invisible force that makes the space my own for the time I want it to be.
    Congratulations on all you’ve achieved, and will go on to further. It’s inspiring to witness 🙂

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    • I love your invisible force surrounding you on your sunny verandah Dale – that made me smile :). Painting this room green was the very first thing I did to reclaim the cottage – it was a cheap pink before – but it was still years before I carved out a space of my own. Funny that. Carving out mental space and time…yes. That is the most important bit, and I think a physical space helps represent that, and protects it, but is not necessarily IT if you know what I mean. Still…I have just walked over here now, chai in hand, and it feels new and exciting, just with a bit of a polish. What will I do now? 🙂

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  6. What a refreshing read, Sara. So much goodness in there to takeaway! Glad you’ve found your way back to the blog. I’m right with you about claiming the time and space that I need. It’s not a lot of space, but it gives me exactly what I need every single morning. It’s a non-negotiable at this point – Early mornings are mine!

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    • Thank you! Yes, they seem to be. I do need lots of rests, and not only in blogging. I think it’s because of the level of intensity I give to whatever I am doing, I get burned out from time to time. Perhaps I could just dial down the intensity…

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  7. Sara, so good to have you back. Missed you. I’m happy your university career is moving along so nicely and that you have a job you like–and now, a space you can call your own. I have a space of my own too–the computer, desks, chairs, and books stacked everywhere, though neatly. My book for writers is going well, and my space has much to do with facilitating that. Diana is well too, and looking forward to a summer of freedom, to drive where she will. We’re certainly looking forward to many more of your enjoyable and profound posts.

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    • David, it’s people like you that make this community so nourishing. Thank you! I can imagine your space quite clearly – how does your space influence your writing do you think? Hey! I just thought of a blog post for you – the importance of space for artists and.writers in history 😊 I would like to read about that…now you can slap me for being way too impertinent!
      I hope you and Diana have a wonderful summer xo

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  8. Sara, why in heaven’s name did you suggest that topic to me? Now I’ve been thinking about it all day, and I have ideas, and will pursue it further and see what happens. How does my space influence my writing? Everything is in perfect order, although it might not look that way to someone else. Everything I need is within reach. (Sometimes cats interfere by getting in my way. You know how they tend to sit on the exact piece of paper you need.) For example, if I think I need something about Henry James, all I need to do is turn to my left, and there are three books about him. I have access to Youtube, so I can warm up by listening to music. And of course the internet is of inestimable value to all of us. A mug of coffee to my right and the list of things I must do that day to my left. A bathroom 20 feet behind me. My cellphone in my pocket. In the computer, file upon file upon file of writing I’ve done.that I have access to any time I wish. I don’t know if this happens to you, Sara, but from time to time I come across something I’ve written–a story, for example, that I haven’t seen for years and have forgotten all about. I read it and say, “This isn’t half bad. This is pretty good stuff.” Then, sometimes, I forget all about my work schedule, and go back to that thing that I dredged up and work on it. I’m not averse to going off on tangents, and have no worries about time management nowadays.

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    • I love this conversation so much <3. So often I walk the line between cheeky and just plain wrong, and I thought that I might have really put my foot in it this time…but I really wanted to know about artists' spaces, and I hoped that our friendship was strong enough to cope :).
      I can totally picture your office, which you obviously know as intimately as the back of your own hand, and which knows you just as well, I would say. Imagine what it would be like to not have that space or any space of your own, and how that would affect your creativity and productivity…I am looking forward to reading what you come up with 🙂

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  9. Sara, you have been missed!
    There are so many things I love about this post. And THIS quote: “You work with what you have in a dedicated way, and then your life shifts to accommodate you. So, work with the space and time that you have, right now.”

    I am also deeply inspired by V. Woolf’s book “A Room of One’s Own”, and find the image you used of fighting for and protecting my own sacred time and space “like a wolf (Woolf?)” especially fitting. Thank you again for stoking this fire.

    Please write a book, I will read it! xox

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    • Yes! Like a wolf/Woolf! Thank you dear Annabele, for your lovely words of support, I really appreciate them. I am writing a book, and that quote is an excerpt…I am the world’s slowest writer apparently, but it is happening 😊

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  10. The contraction before the expansion! Sara, CONGRATULATIONS on completing your first year!! Bravo to you. And yes, picking the right projects is the key. I too find this post utterly inspiring. Thank you for sharing. I am actually now rethinking of how to redesign/decorate the interior of my house! You are magnificent! xx

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    • Tahira, thank you! It makes me so happy to hear that my words have inspired you <3. And yes, the contraction before the expansion is perfect – a rhythm I am ever so slowly learning to roll with in life 🙂

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  11. Sara! Wonderful to see you back in this space! I love that 5 months passed between posts – the awkward, the rejuvenating, the recalibration. Thanks for the sacred space story. I have been busy creating my sacred space in The Natural Space to Be http://www.thenaturalspacetobe.com.au …very exciting, daunting, inspiring and perplexing…the journey is ongoing isn’t it? So right night I am exploring possibilities, and then resting into knowns and then struggling with the angst times in the middle of it all! Regards, Kate (nepaligilsons etc)

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    • Wow, your sacred online space is beautiful, Kate, and thank you for that beautiful welcome back. I can’t wait to have a look around and read some of your writing and see what you have been up to xo

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      • Good morning Sara, a moment or two of (belatedly) continuing the conversation before emerging into the morning routines…thanks for the ‘beautiful’ about The Natural Space to Be. I am enjoying it, and as you may see pondering the writing aspect of the space – something that was in the intention for the space, and am still evolving actually ‘putting pen to paper’. Sending you warm fireside wishes and deep breaths of cool sparkly fresh air to celebrate the Winter Solstice. X

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