Projects overdue. Bills waiting to be paid. Texts are backed up. Email box is screaming. Voice mailbox is full. Pantry is empty and they know your name at Jack in the Box. With all the plates spinning, even happy hour feels like an obligation.
Well, it’s fuck that shit o’clock, ya’ll. Time to stake your claim on calm.
- Staking a claim on your calm is an act of rebellion.
- Staking a claim on your calm is giving the finger to the culture of stress.
- Staking a claim on your calm is making your life your own again.
- Staking a claim on your calm is creating your sanctuary. Daily. Sometimes minute by minute.
- Staking a claim on your calm is demanding and creating your sanctuary.
Sanctuary is a place for the personally sacred. It has boundaries that may or may not be physical, but is nevertheless well defined. Inside that space, it is quiet, calm and safe.
Sanctuary can be things like:
- Time – Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee, No work before 8 am
- Space – A room, a part of a room, a work cubicle, a certain spot in the park, in your car, in your kitchen, etc
- Intention – I will not engage my toxic co-worker until someone else is in the room, I will take 3 conscious breaths before I make a decision
- Activity – yoga class, morning walk, making breakfast, a hot bath
- Materials – candles, prayer beads, a cup of hot tea
- Some combination of the above: I do not speak to people (intention) until I meditate (activity) on my cushion in the meditation corner of my room (space).
Whatever your sanctuary boundaries are, inside that space, you are ultimately safe and comfortable by your own definition. In that space, that which is unsafe, unsettling, or disturbing is not allowed.
In this space, you recharge your batteries.
In this space, you clear your mind.
In this space, you do not engage in judgment inside or out.
Sanctuary may be small. Back in my days of working in offices, there were a few sacred moments every day when I prepared my first cup of coffee in my particular way and did not engage anyone even if they were standing right next to me.
Sanctuary may be large. Another example is clearing my home office of clutter and arranging it with the intention that it is only used for certain activities. Or, setting up a room for yoga, meditation, or spiritual practice.
Larger scale sanctuary practice can become a retreat in your own home or away on vacation.
Sanctuary building and maintenance is a skill. Being that skills are like muscles, that means sanctuary practice must be engaged consciously and practiced with repetition. The stronger the muscle becomes, the more calm and comfortable you will feel even outside the sanctuary zone.
What’s the point of building the sanctuary skill?
The ability to carve out a safe, sacred space mentally and physically is the ability to protect yourself. It is the ability to self-soothe. It is the skill that allows all other skills to be learned and strengthened.
A lump of clay only becomes useful when it is molded into a shape that has empty space. Sound only becomes music when there is silence between the notes.
What is the strength of your sanctuary muscle today?