Everyone needs a sacred space. A place to pause and catch your breath. A spot to gather your thoughts and connect with your center. An altar to offer your gratitude. A place to name your intentions and your goals, your wishes and your dreams. A space that is yours. “A Room of One’s Own” as Virginia Wolf would say.
It doesn’t even have to be a room. It could be a closet or a corner, or in my case, some empty space between the studs of a wall. I originally hired a contractor to create this space to be used for holding cleaning supplies such as my broom, mop, and dust pan. When I discovered the space was not deep enough to house my Swiffer (and I’m not giving up my Swiffer!) the space sat empty and unused for many months.
Then, thanks to Shawn Fink from the Abundant Mama Project, I found a far better use for the space! She had encouraged us to find an area in our home to create an altar for ourselves. As I was contemplating the perfect spot, this little empty nook popped into my mind.
This “secret closet” is now one of my favorite spots in my home. The best part is that it doesn’t take up any extra space. I also love that no one would even know it was there unless I showed them. (I’m an introvert and I don’t necessarily want any random visitor in my house seeing my altar.)
This space was extremely difficult to photograph, partly due to the fact it is a tiny corner at the end of the hallway, the fact that there is very little natural light, and the fact that the door to the little closet is a mirror. At first glance this appears to simply be a mirror hanging on the wall. However, it is actually a door! To the left of the little closet is the door to our spare room. My own tiny impromptu room is created when the door to the spare room is shut and the door to the closet is open! I use the inside of the door to hang inspiring quotes and artwork.
The first two shelves are the perfect spot for housing some of my most frequently used homeopathic remedies, essential oils, and incense.
The third shelf is where I keep my little birthday candles that I use for meditation.
(Inspired by Amy from Mama Scout and Shawn Fink from the Abundant Mama Project, I keep them in the beautifully decorated matchboxes that I got when I was in Mexico). I also keep my singing bowl there.
I keep two statues that were given to me as gifts which have special meaning on the second shelf. An antique cross can be seen hanging on the wall. The cross actually holds a bottle of holy water and two candles inside. These used to be kept in the homes of Catholics. In the event of an unexpected death, they were able to perform the sacrament called “last rites.” Hanging from the cross is a moon necklace that was given to me by Rosemary Gladstar at the end of my apprenticeship with her. I have a few other special items on this shelf including an amethyst and a statue called “Release.”
The bottom is just the right space to house my meditation cushion when I’m not using it!
Now, the next question you are probably asking is, when does a mama have time to meditate or sit at an altar or sacred space?
Since I have only one child and she is getting older, I will admit it has gotten much easier for me. Currently, I’ve found that the best time for me to meditate is when she is in the bathtub. She is old enough now to be in the tub by herself, and because our house is small, the bathroom is only a few feet away from my meditation spot and I can hear her playing.
I only meditate for about 15 minutes or less. I usually just do the birthday candle meditation. It takes around 13 minutes for a birthday candle to burn completely down. For mom’s with younger children, perhaps nap time would be a good opportunity, or first thing in the morning before everyone wakes up, or at the end of the day after everyone is in bed. (Although personally, I’ve never found this first thing in the morning/after everyone is in bed things works very well for me. My daughter tends to fight her sleep and stays up late. I’m usually ready to fall asleep before her!
Getting up early after staying up late just isn’t in my blood. So, I try to find other times to sneak it in. And YES, I am going to say this: sometimes fifteen minutes of Elmo or ipad time isn’t a bad thing! The results of fifteen minutes of quality “me time” is well worth the compromise. I don’t think this makes me a bad mom. Everything in moderation.
I’d love to hear about your altars or sacred spaces and any ideas on how you find the time to spend a few minutes there?
Check out these additional resources for more inspiration:
This is a great blog post, Create a Meditation Space in Your Home, by LeftBrainBuddha
My Sacred Spaces board on pinterest:
Follow Betsy Kay’s board Sacred Spaces on Pinterest.
This book by Denise Linn:
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