To me the word sanctuary means finding the peace within. To others it represents a special place you go seeking peace or balance. However, each of us must find our own place of sanctuary, whether it be a place we travel or a place within. Wherever you find your sanctuary remember these powerful words from the poet Rumi- “When you stand, be the soul of that place.”
It matters not where or how we find peace….it only matters that wherever our space is that we honor the space with our full presence. In my Complementary Therapies in Healthcare class I often encourage students to create a home sanctuary. You can make a medium sized closet or a small corner of a larger space like your bedroom into one’s own place for reflection. Set up a small bench or a shelf draped with a beautiful scarf and with intention choose a few meaningful objects to adorn it: a photo, fresh flowers , a treasured keepsake, small rocks or shells, or a candle are a few of the suggestions. Take your choice of music via CD player, tablet, etc. and a comfortable pillow or small chair to sit in quietly and you are ready. The important thing is to make the space your own and visit it as often as needed. This option works for many who have obligations that don’t allow them time to ‘get away’ to a destination.
In the days following Christmas, we begin the perpetual search for meaning in our daily lives and begin thinking of how we might improve our lives as well as the lives of others. To be sure; it is an honorable quest and each of us strive to make changes each new year. This year consider making yourself the priority! We cannot help others when out well is empty. Fill yourself up by slowing down, savoring life and connecting with the things that bring you joy, peace and love.
This year I am going to do my best to keep this vow and honor myself with a twelve small daily acts of kindness to me…..
My list: 1.Savor my first cup of tea as if it were my last cup of tea. 2. Make time for Loving Meditation each day. 3. Inspire myself with fresh flowers, fruit or a plant each day. 4. Joyfully plan one act of kindness towards another each day. 5. Enjoying at least one fresh, local, seasonal item during my main meal. 6. Breathing with intention during 15 minutes of scheduled solitude. 7. Celebrating the arts via music, artwork or creating something beautiful once a day. 8. Laughing with one or more friends each day regardless of the circumstances. 9. Celebrate each sunset with a glass of my favorite red wine. 10. Learn and grow,however difficult the challenges of the day. 11. Celebrate joy in small ways everyday, just because! 12. Slow down and connect with all of my senses which will bring more life to my days.
2014 and 2015 have taught me some of the most important lessons of my life and for that I am grateful. I learned to forgive and move on……accept myself and others…..always be kind……make time to pray and meditate each day….. laugh more and cry less…..organize something each day (attempt to control the chaos)….. be more flexible and spontaneous when possible.. travel more and travel lighter….and last but never least…. BE GRATEFUL FOR EACH DAY! Walt Whitman, a favorite writer says, ” Find happiness not in another place but in this place and not in another hour, but this hour.” I could not agree more.
In this New Year, 2016……
May you Be Well, Be Peace and Be Love, Sara