Airports. Hotel rooms. Uber rides. Flight delays. Rain. New towns. New people. New challenges. Late nights. Early mornings. As I have navigated the past four months serving as the interim CEO at pioneering clean beauty company Beautycounter, I was struck by how important it is to create sacred space no matter where you find yourself.
Sacred space is the place in your hotel room (or office or home) which you set up in a way that is meaningful to you.
To create my sacred space, I travel with a few key items that serve as visual triggers for me: my journal, pre-selected crystals, angel cards or an inspirational book. I’m an immediate unpacker when I hit a new hotel room because setting up these items gives me a sense of peace immediately, no matter how packed my schedule is.
I know that I have a ‘place’ (read – small area next to the bed) that feels sacred and more importantly cues me to find my center so I can show up at my highest and best.
Want to get started on creating your sacred place? Collect items that will help you do these three things:
- Slow down and breathe
- Tune in
Let’s walk through each one.
Remembering to stop and give yourself the gift of a pause is incredibly challenging. I notice that if the first thing I do in the morning is pick up my phone and begin to address all the texts, emails, and phone calls that have stacked up since I went to sleep, my day is hijacked. When I start that way, I find it very difficult to go sit in my sacred space and get centered within myself.
My good days are when I start with a pause. Meaning, upon awakening, I immediately go to my sacred space and set a timer for a set period, and give myself the gift of time. That pause may be five minutes or it may be an hour. Whatever the demands of that day allow. Or more importantly, whatever length of time feels most nourishing to me.
My best days are also when I end my day with a pause – same method as the morning pause. When I begin and end my days with quiet time in my sacred space I feel better on every level.
Slow Down and Breathe
Once I am seated in my sacred space and have set my timer, I begin to focus on how my body is feeling. I typically do some gentle stretching and then ease into conscious heart/belly breathing (placing my right hand on my heart and my left hand on my belly). This type of breathing helps me to get out of my head, slow my thoughts, regulate my nervous system, and return (again and again) to my body.
My mind tries hard to distract me. My ego tries hard to take over (you know, that voice that says, ‘you don’t have time for this, you should be working, you should be doing something for someone else…anything but taking care of yourself’). Breathing slowly, gently, and with intent neutralizes those lies my smaller self tries to slip in, sends my body the message that it is safe to relax, and activates my heart center and better enables me to tune inward.
And here is where it gets interesting. It’s as if the sacred space with the crystals and journal, setting the timer on my phone, the stretching and slow belly breathing…all are little steps on a path that takes me to the destination I’ve been yearning for…
That space in my heart, the space that feels calm and peaceful and loving, the space within me that is connected to the divine – and from which the intuition, guidance and downloads come from. Once I tune in, this ‘space’ is now accessible to me and switched ‘on’. Whatever emerges (emotions, sensations, feelings, nothingness) is all okay. I sit with myself in that quiet, centered space and allow it to be what it is.
Some of you may be thinking this is impossible for you. I am living proof that it is possible. I have ‘monkey mind’ just like you. I have a crushing schedule of obligations just like you. I have every excuse to not pause, slow down, breathe and tune in.
What I’ve learned over the past nine years, as I have systematically devoted myself to learning a new way to live (the learning is far from over, by the way, and some days I simply revert to old habits and the belief that I can’t do it), is that the single most important factor is choosing. Simply deciding that you are going to do it.
In 2014, I started with five minutes a day. And I stayed at those five minutes for a very long time. Slowly, over time, I learned what worked for me – which was creating sacred space in my home, my office or wherever I traveled. Because for me, I need the visual cues. I need the environmental reminders that I have the power to choose something different than my unconscious default mode (which looks like a frantic push through every ‘to do’ item without stopping for a breath and then collapsing, depleted, at the end of the day). I have also learned that as I change and evolve, my sacred space and how I find my center, changes, as well. I flow more with how I am feeling. Sometimes I need to walk in nature versus sit in silence inside. What I know for sure is that finding my center is an essential part of my daily living now.
I also know that if I forget and go for a couple days without pausing, breathing and tuning in, it is okay. I can choose, again. You can, too.
Go find your center. It is in you.
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