04/19/2013 09:25 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

5 Tips for Creating Sacred Space

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Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again. -- Joseph Campbell

Our lives are so busy and noisy that we often forget about the healing power of silence. When we're out in the world, it's not usually possible to control the noise level. At home, we can usually turn down the noise, but why not take it a step further and create a sacred space of peacefulness and healing?

After my mastectomy, I had lots of down time and was often drawn to a certain chair in my living room. The chair was comfortable, the room quiet (no television) and the view from my window was lovely during those many spring weeks of disability. I returned to this chair again and again to meditate, or just to rest.


Gradually, that space became sacred to me. I brought meaningful items into it by creating a makeshift altar. On a tray on the coffee table, I gathered votive candles, pictures of my family and two small Buddhas.

A small carved elephant I found in an antique shop became especially meaningful to me. I was dealing with a lot during that time and my therapist told me I had the emotional memory of an elephant -- whatever I remembered, I felt again. That elephant became a symbol to me of how I processed my emotional pain.

You can get started creating a sacred space by following a few easy steps:

  1. Decide what "sacred" means to you. Do you need a space for yoga, meditation or spiritual connection? To me, sacred means uplifting, peaceful and spiritual. What does it mean to you?
  2. Dedicate a spot in your home that can become sacred. It doesn't have to be a whole room. It can be a corner of a room, the top of a dresser, or any other space you can find. My space is in the middle of my living room. When I am there alone it's sacred. When my family is in the space it's just as sacred, but in a very different way.
  3. Create your own altar. Find personal items which are meaningful to you. Next to my candles, pictures, Buddhas and elephant, I have a small piece of tile. I found it while taking a walk around my neighborhood and it is really beautiful. To me, it symbolized the importance of getting back out into the world and finding gifts in places I didn't expect to find them.
  4. Surround yourself with inspirational icons. Fill your space with meaningful quotes, spiritual symbols, calming music, plants, and any other items that uplift your spirit. Connecting with our spiritual selves opens up an amazing well to drink from when stresses come our way.
  5. Create a ritual. Once you've created your sacred space, how will you honor it? Will you use it to meditate for a few minutes every morning? Will you just sit, with your eyes closed, enjoying a few minutes of peace and quiet? Your ritual can be simple or complicated but, whatever you elect to do, make it meaningful to you.

Take a few minutes to bring peacefulness and healing into your home by creating sacred space. It's not hard to do and has immense rewards. If you already have a sacred space, I'd love to hear about it. If I've inspired you to create one, I'd love to know how you made it meaningful to you.

For more by Debbie Woodbury, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.