5 ways to fit a bit of the sacred in any kind of space.
As a mom, actress and teacher Carrie-Anne Moss can’t just retreat to a different space any time she wants to. As she writes in her beautiful piece, "Sometimes we just have to claim the space we can, you know? It just needs to be a space that, when you see it or are near it, your soul feels a little more nourished.” Which is why she creates bits and pieces of sacredness throughout her home, areas where she can savor reconnection, a mini retreat, a slice of sanctuary.
This is important for all of us. Because our days are long, filled with commitments and responsibilities and errands. Because all of us naturally get lost from time to time. We become disconnected, pulling further and further away from our core selves, the selves beneath the doing and going and fixing.
All of us can use more peace, more opportunities to reconnect to ourselves on a deeper level. As such, here are various tips to help you create sacredness, connection, calm and soul care in the nooks, crannies and corners of your home.
Create a tiny altar in every room. An altar is a space that helps you reconnect to what’s important. It can be a spiritual space, a space for prayer, meditation or contemplation, a space for stillness and grounding, a space with inspiration and energy.
Fill your altar with your favorite things. For instance, you might include old family photos. You might include a photo of yourself as a little girl or boy to help you reconnect to your inner child and your well of self-compassion. You might include natural objects, such as stones and seashells; a candle with a favorite scent; and a sacred book open to your favorite page.
Have spots for literal growth. Include plants and flowers in various spaces and corners of your home, even in the bathroom. Include your favorites, and add new-to-you varieties every season. Even when you’re rushing, pause for several seconds to observe and acknowledge nature’s incredible growth. Plants and flowers are changing every day, every hour. And so are we.
Fill every room with inspiring words. Jot down mantras or quotes that help you refocus, that remind you of your values. Tape them to the wall or turn them into unique prints. These might be classics like: “Less is more.” They might be traditional mantras, such as “Om,” which embodies the essence of the entire universe and is considered to be the most significant of all mantras. They might be messages that you create yourself, such as: “I am worthy, regardless of what I accomplish, regardless of what I weigh.”
They might be quotes you borrow from others, such as: “Things that are always worth the time: belly laughs, hot tea, mesmerizing novels, playful puppies, gooey cookies, slow mornings and hugs that wrap you in love” (Sam Brown); or “Self-acceptance is my refusal to be in an adversarial relationship with myself” (Nathaniel Branden); or “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are” (Joseph Campbell). You also might write words that encapsulate your intention for how you'd like to be, such as: present, loving, kind, generous, creative, playful.
Set up scent stations. Scent is powerful. As Helen Keller once noted, “Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles and all the years we have lived. The odors of fruits waft me to my southern home, to my childhood frolics in the peach orchard. Other odors, instantaneous and fleeting, cause my heart to dilate joyously or contract with remembered grief.” Scent can send us back thirty years to making sandcastles on the shore with our family. It can take us to yesterday when we hugged our spouse, breathing in his signature cologne. And all of this can happen within a minute.
Turn different corners of your home into scent stations. Include your favorite scents and scents that spark happy memories—or scents that calm or energize you. Or pick scents that get you excited about every season, such as jasmine for spring, coconut for summer, pumpkin spice for fall and cinnamon for winter. Your scents might come in the form of candles, essential oils, incense, potpourri or room sprays.
Create a creativity corner. Pick a spot in your house that you frequently pass by, and put a small basket with sheets of paper, a pen, glue, some markers, and magazine images that resonate with you. This way you can sketch something that makes you smile. You can jot down your feelings or frustrations. You can create a collage that captures your day. Reflect on how you’d like to connect to your creativity, and fill your basket with the objects that help you do just that. Remember, too, that you only need a few minutes. Get in the habit of prioritizing your creativity (and thereby yourself).
Home is a powerful place. Our homes are where we come home to ourselves, where we unwind and take off our masks, where we are exactly who we are. Create spots and spaces that help you connect to yourself in this way, spaces that speak directly to your soul.