Creating sacred space at home
We all deserve a sacred space to exist in. What is a sacred space to you, when you think of it is it outside of your home? The word sacred might not be a regular part of our vocabulary or maybe at times overused but quite simply it means dedicated, connected to god/ the divine or higher power, this to me, the meaning of a sacred space is a space that helps me feel most connected to my true self. Today I spoke to Maria of Maria Magro designs about this, we have a shared love of mindful and beautiful spaces. I supported her through both of her birth journeys and shared in her sacred birth spaces and she helped me create the kitchen of my dreams! Probably the space I exist and create most in.
When you think of a sacred space you likely think of a church or religious building or site. These spaces much like your own sacred space are buildings or rooms specifically designed and curated to make the users feel a certain way, to feel quiet, reverent, connected to god and ready to worship. This is a feeling that we deserve for our own homes. To me creating your own sacred space is a very personal thing, when I say a sacred space authentic to you it’s all about YOUR space and how it makes YOU feel. What feels comforting, loving, joyful and precious to you might not be my very pink home that smells like my constantly baking cakes, in some places you’ll smell incense that I’ve grown and dried myself, or potions that I've whipped up. Sacred and cosy to me but not for everyone! Creating sacred space at home is more than just how it looks, though what you see is definitely a big part of it. It can be as small as an ever changing pretty corner, an altar with seasonal flowers, things from nature, altar cards of affirmation, or it could be a whole room. You should be able to access a space that lowers cortisol and releases oxytocin! To walk into your sacred space you should feel a sense of peace, ah this me, this is mine. A very romantic notion I know for those of us with children but I am not suggesting absolute tidiness or perfection, I know that’s not realistic. What I suggest is just being mindful, thinking about what matters, how you want to feel here, the purpose of this space, how will you exist in it lovingly? I’m all about feelings.
To me the home is one of the most sacred spaces, I even renamed my house Hestia, the greek goddess of hearth and home. I feel that our homes should feel like our refuge from chaos and our own little womb space. Filled with the people and things we love and hold dear, to me the home is so sacred. It’s been quite the journey for me to fully settle into this feeling and open my heart to my own home as I have moved a lot!
“The home is the most sacred of places: it is the first temple wherein the family creates the cosmos from chaos and experiences the fullness of life: birth, sex, flourishing, love, laughter, pain, and death.” He recreated his own home to have “a sacramental identity with its stylized representation of that primitive place of dwelling wherein humanity first developed our religious sense as part of, but caretakers of, the natural order.” - Steven Schloeder
The birth space and the postnatal nest are so sacred. A place to bow down at the altar of birth and to worship and serve the magical birthing goddess as she transforms from maiden to mother.
I have always enjoyed building beautiful rooms and spaces. With my birth and postnatal clients I like to help them find inspiration for theirs too. The birth space is a sacred space and should feel like one to anyone entering it.
As a birth and postnatal doula part of the birth prep I offer my clients is on the importance of environment and their own birth space. Sacred space is very important for birth as we need a respected and oxytocin friendly environment, our space and environment impacts the way we feel, the hormones we release and this is not just the birthing person but others too. Have you noticed if someone enters a dimly lit room they tend to walk softer and speak quieter? If you have invited others to join you in birth and they enter a quiet, dimly lit and sacred feeling space they will react very differently to a person entering a bright and busy room. A romantic feeling room is the same as a birthy feeling room. Oxytocin is the love hormone, it’s cosy, safe, loving and comforting. It’s the big one for birth and into the postnatal season!
A sacred space created in a hospital setting. A little corner of special objects. A felted birth goddess, led candles, pretty tea pot with a heart opening tea.
I encourage my clients to develop that sacred birth space as they transition from birthing goddess to mother goddess into a sacred postnatal nest.
We still want that oxytocin flowing and we still want this person to feel special in their space. We also want people to respect this space and the goddess at the centre of it when they enter. It doesn’t have to be perfect, by no means the tidiest room but it should feel safe, soft and loving. A loving space is a sacred space.
So my 'tips' (and feel free to disregard or adjust any of this, remember it’s a very personal practice.)
- Start by exploring how you want to feel. Settle in the space and be still. Make a vision board or mandala on your beautiful sacred space. This is an important ritual in how I start to build a space and often becomes part of the altar. Contact me for the guided meditation that goes with this.
- Birth mandala created by a client. A wonderful focal point for when she needed it.
- Explore the senses. Scents, touch, what you see, hear all of it. Think about lighting as well as being surrounded by beautiful or meaningful things. If it’s a birth room, think about a playlist, a lengthy and varied one. Same for your postnatal nest, think about curating a positive and helpful podcast, music and audiobook list.
- Don’t rush it. Stay mindful, stay connected, no rush. This goes for every part of the process.
- Change is good. When it feels like time to change your space then change it. We are changeable cyclical beings after all and your space has to suit the way you want to feel and exist in it. It may change with the seasons or life shifts. It has to feel right.
- If you only have a small space then thats ok, it’s not the size, it’s how you use it! Even a small portable alter is gorgeous and can move with you around the house or if we are talking birth then it can come with you to the birth centre or labour ward if you are birthing outside of the home.
- Bring in the beauty of nature. This helps connect you to the seasons in nature and within yourself. This can be flowers, fallen branches, feathers, A single object can increase your awareness of your spirituality and connection with what is sacred to you. I have lots of little gifts from nature around my home
- Use your intuition, it always has your highest good at heart.
An entire room can invite you into your deeper self. You can create your sacred space. What room or space in your home feels most sacred to you? Are you inspired you to create your own sacred space? How can you make your home feel more sacred? This is an invitation to explore this simple but profound process. Your home, your birth room, your postnatal nest and beyond are only sacred because you inhabit them. They are an extension of your sacredness. You are the goddess.