7 Steps to Create Your Sacred Space
We are all seeking some sort of magic. The kind of magic that makes us feel closer and more intimate with the part of ourselves that we cannot touch - the palpable yet indescribable feeling of divine intelligence. But a one-size-fits-all spiritual practice does not exist - despite all the efforts of organized religion and traditional customs.
If you are searching for inspiration in your personal practice, here are seven key components to start building your sacred space…
1. Create a safe boundary.
Look around your space and find a location in your environment where you feel completely safe. A place where you can be vulnerable and intimate with yourself. Just as you would (hopefully) choose a private and quiet place to have sex, find a place that makes you feel like you could strip yourself naked - energetically, emotionally, and spiritually - without fear, without judgement, and without expectation. I am often able to build strong boundaries inside my home, where I know that I will not be easily disturbed. But sometimes, depending on my intention, I will carefully choose a location outside in nature.
*Whatever location you choose, pay attention to the four cardinal directions (North, South, East, West) and your body’s orientation in space.
2. Collect your essentials.
Consider what is meaningful to you. Just as you would gather supplies like food, water, clothing and shelter for survival, you must collect your sacred essentials! As you gather supplies, reflect on conversations you’ve shared, articles that you’ve read, insights you’ve had, objects you’ve collected, and things you have recently learned. If you do not create a personal connection with them and understand why you are incorporating them, the objects you use choose will be completely arbitrary and meaningless. So reflect on your life experience and your personal taste to find truly meaningful objects that give you great joy to assemble in the form of an altar.
*Choose essential oils, herbs, teas, flowers, food, gemstones, incense, artwork, colored fabric, jewelry, books, and memorable iconography.
3. Speak in your native tongue.
Reflect on your preferred style of learning. Think back to past realizations and discoveries that have shaped who you are and how you see yourself now. Think back to ways that you have most readily absorbed new information. What is the communication style that most viscerally grabs your whole body-mind attention and pulls you into a deep state of relaxed awareness? Visual? Imagine or collect a beautiful image, and re-draw it. Auditory? Listen to a full musical album and sing along. Verbal? Write a poem, read it, and speak it out loud. Kinesthetic? Close your eyes, and move your body as you wish.
*Let yourself speak in the language of your heart - the language that will open the gateways of inspiration and deeper understanding.
4. Call upon your ancestors.
Cultivate a fertile ground of gratitude for everything and everyone who has led you right here. While your personal practice is a solo journey, you are never alone. Beside you are all the teachers you have ever met, the guides who have walked the path before you, and your spiritual family who is always there to challenge, support, and inspire you. Give thanks for your origins and all the community members in your life.
*Say a prayer to your ancestors to offer your love and good wishes - to all beings and yourself.
5. Identify your desire.
Your spiritual practice is much easier (and more enjoyable!) when you clarify WHY you are practicing. What do you want to cultivate? What do you want to release? Let yourself feel the safe boundary that you have built, and then ask: What is my strongest current desire? When you find words to express your personal desire, continue exploring what this thing would give you - and how it would feel in your body.
*Let your desire manifest as a color. Close your eyes, and allow your whole body to be washed in this color - from the inside, out.
6. Give yourself permission.
Put away your weapons and let down your guard. You have created this sacred space for you and only you, so hold nothing back. Give yourself permission to be here for as long as you need. Forget about the time. Forget about your duties. Forget about what anyone else wants from you. Listen to the silence and wait for the invitation of self-forgiveness. The moment when you realize that only you have the power to transform your experience, and the most valuable gift you can give to others is your whole presence.
*Allow yourself to exist, unapologetically, in silence.
7. Wait for wisdom to emerge.
The Bhagavad Gita defines Yoga as skillful action. So whatever you do in your Yoga practice or daily ritual, it should gently guide you into stillness. True stillness comes from an open body, an open mind, and an open heart - and it allows us to move with skill and wisdom. In closing your sacred space, let yourself emerge slowly and mindfully. Pay attention to how your sacred space transforms the rest of your day and how it translates into your work, your relationships, and your life.
*Carry the clarity and confidence of your sacred space with you into all of your daily actions.
Maria Borghoff (E-RYT, YACEP) has been teaching Yoga since 2011, and holds a BFA in Studio Art from Appalachian State University. She works with individuals, couples, and creative entrepreneurs - artists, educators, and health practitioners. Maria offers Tantric Readings, Yoga & Therapeutic Essentials, Meditation & Spiritual Coaching, as well as Sacred Ceremony Design. She teaches people to embody their creative power and channel their sexual energy in order to build a more peaceful and harmonious planet. (firstname.lastname@example.org)