Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sacred Life Sunday: Refuge


When I came back from Thailand, one of the things I realized is that I would need a refuge. My own sacred space. It would be the place that would allow me to shut out the rest of the world and feel at home. This is something we all need. I believe that.

The world can be overwhelming, especially for someone like me who treasures peace and quiet. Sometimes the lights are too bright outside. The noises are too loud. People are too aggressive. I feel battered and bruised. I need a space that surrounds me like a cocoon. A womb.

My living space is small. A granny unit. I had to figure out how I could create that, given my limited space. It started small. An item here and there. A silk throw. Pillows. I filled my space with Thai decorative items, Thai furniture. I cook with Thai cookware, imported. (Thank you, eBay!) My flatware is Thai.

So. I'm obsessed. I admit it. I'm committed. Or perhaps I should be but I am in awesome love with my spirit's home.

Seriously though, this is what keeps me grounded. My little sacred space with the things that sooth me all around.

Please tell me about your sacred space.



MsLittlePea said...

Don't really have one in my home- yet.

I would say the beach is my sacred space though. I feel close to God when I'm there. It is where I am the happiest.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I also feel deeply grounded at the beach, especially when there is no one else there, and Muir Woods is an absolutely magical place for me where I once asked a tree to heal me, and it did. Instantly.

In my home, my sacred space would be the little alcove where my computer sits on an antique Chinese table of red lacquer. Above it hangs my Peruvian wall hanging and on my printer stand is a bamboo plant that nearly reaches the ceiling. There is a wall calendar of Hiroshige paintings and a framed photo of my children on the walls, and behind me hangs a Tibetan saddle bag. My chair sits on a Persian prayer rug, and I rest my mug of coffee or tea on a tile with a painting of a lotus on it. A bud vase with a single rose sits on my desk next to the phone, and also a tin of Licorice Altoids.

When I cook, the kitchen is also my sacred space.

I'm glad you asked. I had no idea I was living in such a sacred manner.

blooming desertpea said...

I like your sacred space.

You already know mine - my Queendom - under the roof with the four corners and the relaxing chair (the one I don't get to use very often these days).

Yes, I need to be able to retreat from noise and people like you.

Anvilcloud said...

I don't know about sacred, but I have a "den" that I spend much time in. It doesn't have to be much. In our previous house, it was an unfinished room. But I didn't mind.

In this one, I have my computer desk, a second small grab-all desk, two shelving units, a lazy-Boy, a filing cabinet, and a small fridge. Sounds like a lot, but it's really a small bedroom. There's a bit more, but that's basically it.

flutter said...

i wish I had one, yours is lovely

crazymumma said...


ahem. sorry.

I am in the process of making one. And am proud to say i have made huge headway since i posted about the chaos up thre.

Yours looks delightful.

Anonymous said...

Here's a snip from Abbie Hoffman's trial that made an impression on me (bear with me, I'm going somewhere with this):

Abbie Hoffman: "I live in Woodstock Nation."
Defense attorney: "Will you tell the court and the jury where it is?"
Hoffman: "Yes, it is a nation of alienated young people. We carry it around with us as a state of mind, in the same way the Sioux Indians carry the Sioux Nation with them...."

I love that image, and that's what I strive for. I carry my sacred space with me, within me; everywhere I go, it's right here.

slouching mom said...

Our family room, which I put together, is all dark reds, golds, browns -- and my grandmother's antique desk. With a wall of windows, through which we have a lovely view of our back yard. It's such a happy and peaceful spot for me.

Yours looks happy and peaceful, too.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

We all need a refuge, even if we live alone. I truly need one…from my ever curious cat.

Your refuge is neat. I like what you’ve created.

Martha Elaine Belden said...

i read this earlier, but i needed to dwell on it for a bit. i don't know that i really have what i would consider a "sacred space"

i do love my apartment though. it's so cozy and decorated exactly how i like it :) but bookstores are also a bit of a sacred space for me. anywhere i'm surrounded by books just makes me feel adventurous and happy. i love bookstores.

painted maypole said...

i love that your home reflects you. i think that is so important.

I don't have a sacred space, so much, but I sure do love my polka dot bathroom. and it totally reflects who I am! :)

Sienna said...

My mind, my most sacred *space* (LOL u get that?)is my fine mind.

That which is around me (just explaining for me) is the *wonder* of everything, the mountains, the sea, the open spaces of Australia, the wonders and moments can take my breath away but my mind is sacred.

It can take me back to the smiling, happy faces of kids jumping into the Chao Phraya River....the boat people living with so much inspiration and contentment...a small foal running around a paddock, so innocent and in tune with nature. It can create an amazing feeling of emotion from reading some beautiful poetry....It's really quite powerful, sacred but very powerful.

I love your home images btw it looks really peaceful and beautiful.


Journey Through Life said...

Thank you for sharing your sacred space. It is just beautiful. You have put so much of yourself into it, it must feel great.

Julie Pippert said...

Is that your actual space? Wow, lovely!

My space. Well, I keep trying to make my bedroom my space but the rest of the family is not with the program. :)

I use time and make a space for myself in that time.

It's great that you made such a wonderful space for yourself.

Using My Words

QT said...

At first, I didn't think I had a sacred space. I am so at war with the house I live in, I couldn't beleive there would be any space there that would be soothing to me.

It isn't the house - it is my backyard. When I sit out there, I am revived and soothed. Hence, winter is debilitating to me in so many ways.

Love the photos of your space, if it is indeed yours. That is my favorite color for walls.

Anonymous said...

The creation of sacred space is not important to me, it is a necessity like having air is required to breathe. Every place I "occupy" is special.

There must be quiet.
There must be restfulness.
There must be beauty, beauty in all forms: visual, tactile, auditory and olfactory.

I surround myself with luxuriant natural earth tone fabrics and art,too many and much to describe and mention but here's a few--"contemplative" art compositions, many Buddhas from around the world in 2D and 3D, plushy duvets, soft mood lighting, sacred objects of stone, feather, metal and wood, some gifts and others "found"--everything to remind me of who and what I really am and love.

A sense of place is so very important to me, too. The world and its volume can be deafening. I require deep peace.

Namaste and thank you, Chani.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I forgot to mention, everywhere my eyes come to rest is "special" countertops (small "shrines", pictures of Thich Nhat Hahn), windowsills with hanging crystals to catch and sing light, mineral stones, windchimes, plants, every table top, every corner, everywhere...and my space is small.

It's a Zen thang for me.
Placement, beauty, composition, quiet...

Okay, I'm through for now.

Rachel said...

What a beautiful space you have!

I don't know that I have a sacred space--I live in a small 2 room apartment with my boyfriend and 2 cats, so there's really no room to create a space that's truly mine. But I do have a vision of what that space would be: a small room with soft blue walls and soft eart toned neutrals with bright artwork on the walls and textural sculptures. There would be no televison or computer, just a large desk or table for me to work on, and a soft recliner or loveseat to rest on. And finally the room would house a bonsai tree, and a small fountain, and a candlestick.

mitzh said...

You have a very lovely place.

My little scared place will be the house that I grew up to although it was sold years ago, I dream about specially on times when I am really down.

Janet said...

Your space is lovely and inviting.

I have a loveseat right beside the fire where I love to curl up and read when the kids go to bed at night. Also, the island in my kitchen, where I love to bake. It holds all of my baking supplies and it is just the right size for whatever I make. It calms me.

Anonymous said...

I pictured it darker. I love the colors.

I don't have a space yet in this new house. My office (I will post a picture soon) is not ready, but I'm not sure how it will work because it has one small window. I haven't selected a color yet, but I do know I want the wall behind my chair to have photos on it.

After living here for a while, I've found that the guest room is the nicest for bright sun. I may end up taking that over...

Snoskred said...

I am with you on the noise.

Now that we live here, it is so quiet and peaceful. When I have to go into "society" it freaks me out because it is so noisy. The difference is so noticeable.


anne said...

You have a beautiful space - it looks soothing and balanced.

My sacred space is in a constant state of flux. I never know where it will be - it finds me, I guess when I need it. Sometimes it is in my home, sometimes my car, sometimes outside.

Lately it is the warm, fuzzy necks of my horses - a great place to bury one's face. The world just melts away.

Mary said...

I had to think about this for a while. I really don't have a sacred place in my home other than where I am sitting right now - but I'm never alone here.

For peace, I retreat to the outdoors. There is an area in the back of the college campus I like to visit. I take my camera there. No one can see me and it's very quiet. I also like to sit at my pond at night. Just me and the Koi and the sound of the waterfall. That's sacred to me.

TIV: the individual voice said...

psycho therapist, I used to have plants and crystals like you, and my books, I love my shelves and shelves of books. But in the last year everything became chaotic in my little house. We had all new windows put in. I moved out of my private practice office and so all those hundreds of books were moved home, and so now my little house is chaotic, I can't find a thing, and all my plants are dead and gone. Not at all a peaceful state of things. I try to reorder some little piece, like one drawer, or sort through a pile of books each day. I'll get back there again one of these days. Right now, my writing and my job come first. Chani, your space is charming and so you.

Angela said...

The beach. The woods. I need to be alone, to sit and observe and appreciate things around me.

Melissa said...

Your sacred space looks soothing, a place someone could go and instantly feel comfortable.

Angela said...


My home is my sacred space. That's why it's important to me to keep it as clean as possible - a place that literally invites me in at the end of the day. A place of comfort. I, too, can feel very beat up after a few hours out in the "real" world.

Vic Grace said...

I think my whole home is. It is only a mobile in the middle of nowhere, but I enjoy every minute of its peace and quiet.

Thanks for popping by my blog and leaving a comment. Good luck with the weight loss.

Girl on a Wire said...

I just stumbled over your blog and i am glad I did.

What a beautiful space you have, thanks for sharing it. Mine is lying in the bath, relishingthe early morning before the Mouse gets up and starts talking 19 to the dozen.