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 🙂
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.”
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?