Have you ever heard the phrase “As within, so without”?
I heard it spoken many times without truly digesting the meaning until one day, frustrated with my every day routine and consistent petty quarrels with my husband, I was overcome by a deep desire to escape. With COVID still wreaking havoc everywhere, it wasn’t as if I had somewhere I could go, and I found myself pacing my kitchen floor like a caged animal, stopping every so often to growl at the bars holding me in place.
I had to feel my feels, of course, and let my anger and frustration take me on a short ride while I just felt them and allowed them to come, and then finally, they went. I became very still. I found myself looking around my house, my environment, with fresh eyes. I saw the dining room table where I gathered with my husband and daughters to enjoy meals. I saw the bar area, cluttered over with today’s crafts of choosing by my children, glue stuck to the granite counters. The kitchen, always an ever evolving state of cooking or cleaning. The living room, with all of our regular seats and throw blankets, waiting to hold all of us cradled should we decide to hang out together. The girl’s bedrooms were testaments to their current stages in life, the master bedroom a kaleidoscope of blankets, laundry baskets, and dog beds.
It dawned on me that I did not have a space that was simply mine. Everything was shared, except the bedrooms, and it seemed everyone had a place for personal space except for me. I don’t know that my family would have agreed: they may have said the laundry room is mine, based on how much time I’ve spent there, or even perhaps my hodge-podge office area, where an old desk was crammed in with another craft table so I could work from home like a champ during quarantine.
My ego, bruised at this realization, piped up in my head. “Why doesn’t anyone notice that you need space, too?” I let that thought come and go, reframing it slightly.
“Why am I not making space for myself in my own life?”
Bingo. That, my dears, is what you call hitting the nail on the head.
As within, so without. I am an incredibly family oriented person, and my home is a testament to that, from top to bottom. Yet, I’m well aware that having time to myself brings me into better balance. I am more present and less drained with my family when I have a chance to rest and rejuvenate. I used to accomplish this through action, a day spent shopping, or a night in the city. My once awesome options were no longer being served on my menu of choice. I would have to pivot my desire into something new.
I went back to my cluttered office, stood in the doorway, and began imagining a space for myself, just for me. My anger completely dissipated. Excitement began to take its place.
I entered into the flow of making a sacred space for myself with ease. I didn’t allow myself to plan, so much as manifest the idea of my space one piece at a time. I spent quite a bit of time shopping online, trusting my gut and knowing that when I saw the right desk, I would just know. I followed that same thread as I purchased a nice office chair, a shelf with a coatrack, an altar cloth, and a meditation pillow.
Once I had everything ordered, I began clearing out the clutter in the old office space. The old desk and craft table were moved out, the floor swept, the walls wiped down. As each piece arrived, they were assembled and put inside for me to place where I wished. I moved my journals, my oracle cards, my crystals into my new sacred space. I hung my moons and stars, I placed my candles, and even spent a few precious hours giving an old filing cabinet a face lift with some pretty contact paper. Until finally, I was done.
I burned incense, sandalwood and sage, and blessed the space with love.
I now spend my workdays in an environment of my choosing, and I can’t relay to you how big of a difference that makes. Within my sacred space, I meditate daily, work remotely, and relax on the weekends. Within this space, I feel more free to be creative, which is to say, I feel more free to be myself and nothing else. It is within this space that I now write to you and for you – because I know I’m not the only mother out there that built her entire temple in dedication to family and has completely forgotten herself.
If you feel called to claim some space of your own, do it! Of course, I realize I was fortunate to have a room that did not have a fully realized purpose that I could utilize. Not everyone has a whole room, yet that doesn’t mean you cannot carve out space for yourself within your home. I’ve even seen some inspiring pictures of some spaces that were just a solitary corner or a giant bay window. Add in a few gauzy curtains, some bookshelves, and an altar and you’ve already begun.
Here are my personal tips as you venture into creating your own space within your home:
· This space is about you. Focus on what you would love to have near you and around you when you are trying to connect with yourself. For me, that includes my crystals, my incense, my journals, and a soft and cozy place to sit. For you, it might be completely different! Just remember that this is for you, so you do not have to take into consideration anyone else’s particularities – only your own.
· Your newly created space will have a vibe, one that you create and set according to what is pleasing to you and your senses. For sight, you may have a pretty altar or flowers. For smell, incense or essential oils work well. For sound, you can try chimes, calming music, or a sound machine. For touch, try objects that have significant meaning to you, like a statue or a photograph. These items are reflections of you! Remember: As within, so without.
· Lastly, there is no right or wrong way to create your sacred space. This is all about what calls to you personally, what fills you up and makes you feel wonderful. When we, as women, feel nourished, we are better able to love and nourish others. Having a touchstone space within your own home is an excellent step in the direction of self-care.
I hope you feel inspired to create your own space after reading this post, and I would love for you all to comment and share pics of your own private spaces if you already have one! Tell me your favorite thing to do in your personal space, or even your favorite ritual or ceremony. Let the beauty of your space come alive and share it with the world!
Wishing you love, light, and blessings always,