I’ve written in the past about my favorite spot in Southern California (quite possibly my favorite place in the world that I’ve been to so far)—the area I consider to be my sacred space, the place I go when I need to unwind and reconnect to my soul and Providence. The Meditation Garden at the Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas, CA is a calm, quiet place, perfect for meditating (obviously), relaxation, and quiet reflection…
Until the weekend or summer hits.
The Meditation Garden is a stunning place. It’s full of beautiful flowers and has an incredible view of the Pacific Ocean. Its Eastern spiritual origins and breathtaking views attract a lot of tourists, both local and from abroad. On weekends, it gets incredibly crowded.
That was never much of a problem for me, because I go during the week—a mental health detour instead of going to class, or a nice day off hanging out with Pup.
Now that the summer has hit and school is out, even a Tuesday afternoon finds my sacred space swarming with disrespectful people, carrying on loud conversations near others trying to meditate and making jokes about “the hippies.” I understand this is to be expected with crowds of people. It happens.
Unfortunately, it spoils the atmosphere for me. It’s difficult for me to meditate and reflect in quiet solitude when a girl is standing five feet away from me having pictures taken for her modeling portfolio and laughing loudly with her photographer. I haven’t yet mastered the art of tuning out distractions.
So, what’s a witch to do when they lose their sacred space? Well, there is the obvious:
Find a new place.
Go out and explore your city or even your neighborhood (I used to live in an area that had a lovely park right around the corner from my house). Search online for things to do in your area to find your way to places you might not have even known about. Or better yet, just go free-style exploring!
Don’t write somewhere off just because you don’t think it will be spiritual for you. I was never much for nature growing up—I found most reverence in buildings, especially older buildings with ornate architecture. I appreciated the beauty of nature, but I never connected with it. The only reason I initially visited the Meditation Garden was because my spiritual counselor very strongly suggested it. I expected to find beauty, but never expected it would come to mean as much to me as it does.
If you’ve exhausted all your city has to offer, or maybe the place you’ve found has operating hours which don’t always work for you, there is another option.
Make a sacred space.
Ideally, everyone would have their own space, completely separate from the world—be it a secluded area in their backyard or a devoted room in their home—solely to unwind and connect with whatever spirituality they deem fit. Unfortunately, I live in the real world and that’s not always feasible. Space costs money, especially if you live in the city, and that seems to be in short supply for everyone but a select few, these days.
So, what can you do to make the space you have a little more spiritual?
Décor, décor, décor.
Try to decorate your space with things which make you feel connected. Maybe it’s a picture or statue of your deity of choice, maybe it’s a few potted plants strategically placed, or maybe you’re like me and have piles and piles of sparkling crystals on every flat surface. Whatever it is that gets your soul going, fill your space with it until you feel that spiritual energy every time you walk in. Just try not to overfill your space—too much clutter can have the opposite effect we’re going for.
Nix the technology.
If you can avoid it, keep things like TVs, computers, or phones out of your sacred spaces. Technology tends to give off “busy” vibes and can make it difficult to relax. If you absolutely can’t avoid it (maybe you’re like me and only have the one room/a studio apartment, or you utilize your sacred space to get creativity flowing for work purposes), keep technology off and covered when not in use. I drape spare fabric over my desktop monitor and TV when they aren’t in use. Simple and easy.
If your sacred space is outdoors, in your yard, I envy you try to leave your cellphone indoors before going out to meditate/pray/relax. Those texts and voicemails aren’t going anywhere and you deserve a break from them, anyway.
Cut the clutter.
For most people, clutter feels chaotic. Which, okay, maybe you’re a chaos witch and thrive in a busy, cluttered space. In which case, awesome, ignore this part. For me, though, clutter causes anxiety and stress—both things I try to get rid of by visiting my sacred spaces.
Take some time to really declutter your space. Look at things and ask yourself, “Do I really need this? Do I use it? Do I enjoy having it?” If you’re not sure, here’s a tip I’ve learned over the years: Put it in a box. Put all the stuff you’re just not sure about in a box, tape it up, and put it somewhere out of the way for six months. If after six months, you haven’t missed anything in that box, give it to charity–don’t even open it, just get rid of it.
A Note From Sixteen-Year-Old Me: It might be tempting to fill your space with tons and tons of pillows. The idea of collapsing in a big, soft pile of pillows has always appealed to me. But, really, it’s just not practical. Those pillows need to be stored somewhere when you’re done, especially if your sacred space is outdoors. That pillow-pile goes downhill quick after that first spring rain.
Of course, your sacred space is yours, so you should ultimately do what makes you feel the most connected to whatever you consider sacred (be that a deity, the Universe, or just your own awesomeness). Hopefully, these tips will give you a nudge in the right direction if you’re feeling a little lost on how to proceed.
What do you look for in a sacred space–either one you find out in the world or one you make for yourself? Let me know in the comments!
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