Happy New Year, everyone.
As we kick into a brand new decade, I just wanted to talk briefly about a practice that we would all do well to engage as consistently as possible in the new year. And that’s this idea of spending some time each day in the “sacred space.”
The Sacred Space (as I have grown to call it) is your personal escape hatch from the rest of the world… and from the distractions and concerns of your everyday life. Preferably, it would be a special space that you have at home, or in your art, writing or practice studio, or out in the garage, workshop or craft room, or potentially even in your bedroom or living room. The idea, however, is that the space can be all your own – at least for the duration of your Sacred Space time – and that you will be free from interruptions of any kind. And yes, you will want to step into the Space alone.
Next to the privacy issue, the second most important aspect of this space is the vibe. Whether this Space is always set up like this – or if you have to “convert” the space for this use – figure out what simple elements will make the space most comfortable and relaxing to you. Candles? Incense? Special lighting? Some kind of stereo so you can play a few tunes? Objects of beauty or sentiment? Books? You should have any of these things you like, plus a cozy place to sit down and relax. (Be careful about lying down, though; you don’t want to fall asleep during “Sacred Time.”) And absolutely no TV, cell phones or Internet allowed.
Otherwise, the whole idea is to just be. That’s it. Hang out. Breathe. Listen to some music, read a little, or just daydream. But mainly, be there, in the moment. And always, without fail, have pen and paper handy to jot down anything compelling that may come to mind. Because while you’re entering this space without any agenda beyond simply being, you’ll want to be able to capture any flashes of inspiration that might bubble up to the surface of your consciousness.
Scope this brief clip from the late, great author/genius Joseph Campbell. This is from his The Power of Myth series. (Campbell was also the one who coined the phrase, “Follow Your Bliss.” Love this guy…)
The point is this: we manage to fill up the majority of our waking moments engaged in either some kind of “doing” activity, or some state of distraction (usually technology-based, like cell phone, texting, Internet, TV, radio, etc. ). We leave very little room to connect with our intuitive nature or creative self. Hell, it’s a miracle there’s any room left for ANY kind of inspired thought to get through the clutter. So basically, as you quietly enter the Sacred Space, you are giving yourself the gift of true decompression and proactively creating an atmosphere of pure “allowance.” And if you allow yourself to engage in this for any number of days in a row, I guarantee you will begin to experience some quantifiable results, be it increased creativity, a greater sense of centeredness and wellbeing, or even a nice reduction of stress.
Remember, though, that this is a practice… something you have to engage consistently, like working out, eating healthy or meditating. So start with a mere 10 or 15 minutes every day or two if that’s all you can manage, but work up to 30, 45 or even 60 minutes as you can. This is the real deal, believe me.