A Personal Refuge
I’m obsessed with the idea of sacred spaces and by that I mean a place that is a personal refuge from the storms of contemporary life. For many people it’s a place like a cabin in the woods or a house on the lake or in the mountains. One woman I met volunteers at the Dallas Arboretum and goes there early every morning before the crowds arrive to commune with nature and soak in the beauty. Another close friend on the east coast takes one weekend out of the month to drive from her home to Maine and stay two nights in a B & B by herself. When I asked her what she got out of it she had a hard time describing the experience, but said that it was something intangible, something favorable that spiked an overall feeling of well-being. I know I feel this way when I spend time in Connecticut. The quietness, the remoteness make it a perfect spot to decompress, and I find myself doing a lot of writing there.
It doesn’t have to be this grand though. Years ago, when I wanted to write my first book, I remember the feeling of needing a personal space was so strong that I couldn’t seriously write until I had designated my own private workplace. My first spot ended up being a quiet corner of our guestroom that was off limits to everyone else. Pushing the bed against the wall, I made room for a desk and chair, painted an old bookcase the same color as the wall, hung a couple of favorite prints, a small framed bulletin board, lit a candle, and voila, instant sacred space! Nowadays, when I’m finished writing for the day I often find myself sauntering back to my desk just to think and relax, play on the computer, maybe write a card or letter.
So, don’t be afraid to capture some of this positive energy by designating a small space in your home that is just for you. Maybe it’s time to move the toys out of the alcove and set up your study or clean out the spare room and declare it your office. Perhaps the time has come to claim a corner of the bedroom for meditation. Your personal refuge truly can be anywhere that you have designated as a spot where you can go to get centered and peaceful … recharge and renew. The simple act of doing something good for ourselves affirms that we are worth it, that we deserve balance and serenity … a powerful buoy in the choppy seas of life.