With Melissa Venable

When describing your home, what words do you use? Sophisticated? Elegant? Contemporary? What about sacred?

Typically, when we think of sacred spaces, we think of places of worship or hallowed ground such as memorial sites or cemeteries. How many of us would consider our own homes to be sacred? When working with coaching clients, one of the very first things that I have them do is create a sacred space within their home. I do this because there is such value in having a space where one can retreat to release the stresses of the day and reconnect to one’s truest self.

A personal sanctuary doesn’t need to be elaborate; it just needs to be yours. And because it is yours, you get to decide how to make it sacred to you. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

  • Make sure that your space is well-lit so you won’t have to squint while reading, journaling, knitting—whatever it is that you plan to do in your space. If possible, select a space that has natural sunlight from a window with a nice outdoor view.
  • Only allow items into your space that hold a sacred value to you. Don’t allow your space to become cluttered with too many knick-knacks. Maybe you love music and therefore want a guitar in your space or an artist’s pad to encourage your creativity.
  • Create a sense of comfort. I have a client who keeps a pair of fluffy slippers under the chair in her space so that she can slip them on when she enters her sanctuary. If you like candles, they can add a cozy ambiance and comforting fragrance to your area as well.
  • Select a soundtrack for your sanctuary. I have a client who loves the soft sounds of Native American flute music and another who insists upon complete silence when she is in her sanctuary.
  • Perhaps you will want to add a miniature water feature in your space so you can enjoy the sound of gurgling water. Again, this is your space, so only you can know what kinds of sounds you desire.
  • Consider adding a touch of nature to your space by bringing in a potted plant or two. Plants keep the air in your space clean because of their ability to remove toxins from the air. Additionally, plants create a sense of calm and of connection with nature.
  •  The use of color can do a lot to enhance the vibe of your space. How do you plan to use your sanctuary? If you plan to use it as a place where you can partake in quiet, contemplative activities, you might do best by choosing a soft, calming color palette for your space. On the other hand, if you want to use your space for more lively pursuits, you might opt for an energizing mix of bright, playful colors. Even if you can’t paint the walls of your space, you can add pops of your desired colors by adding pillows, rugs, accent pieces, etc. Our sanctuary spaces are places where we are able to relax and let go of the stresses of the day. They are also places where creativity is uninhibited and therefore free to run wild.
  • Make sure you are prepared to capture the thoughts and ideas that come to you during your sanctuary time by having a small notebook and pen available.

With a little intentionality, your sacred space can become a welcome respite from the cares of the world and a place to nurture your soul’s work.