All of us have a place, a space, whether it’s within ourselves or outside of ourselves that we go to again and again to get a sense of who we are.
Joseph Campbell said: Your sacred space is where you find yourself time and time again.
I loved that quote so much the first time I read it, I painted it on a block of wood that I found somewhere and I’ve schlepped it around with me for decades.
As I’ve been through good times and bad, I’ve realized just that what means. The best definition of sacred to me is: Entitled to reverence and respect. A space is: a room, interval, place, distance, area or gap.
It’s the space where you “go” and you don’t worry about what’s going on in your life. You forget all about the temporal and you’re in your groove. It’s almost womb-like that way because when you’re there, time stands kind of still and every worry is put on hold. You feel good, alive, sweet, beautiful. You don’t even think about it, but if you did it would be: “I AM.”
I’ve moved around alot. But wherever I’ve landed, whatever dire or not so dire circumstances I’ve found myself in, I’ve always managed to find that space. That space where I can be exactly who I am, be me.
For me that space is writing, painting, making something old and neglected new and beautiful. When I do those things, it never fails — I feel good — there’s something rhythmic about it, a knowing.
Big or Small Spaces — Doesn’t Matter
I’ve lived in big and small spaces. When hubby and I moved here, we had to let go of alot of stuff because it wasn’t going to fit into the smaller space we were going to.
Letting go of stuff isn’t a big ordeal for me anymore because I’ve acquired and let go of all kinds of stuff for decades. It’s kind of a gift really — forces you to really look at what you’ve accumulated — and ask yourself, “Does this make me feel good? Is there a good memory attached to this? How would I feel if I didn’t have this anymore?
When you let it go, it clears up a space for you — literally and metaphorically.
I’ve spent the past three yeas adapting to this new space, this time in my life where we get to visit the ocean and Manhattan pretty regularly. I don’t know how long we’ll be here. No matter. I can “visit” it anytime, when I write or think about it, as I have other places I’ve been, when I’m in my sacred space.
What’s your sacred place? Is it physical or a something within you? Share please.
Happy Monday everyone and enjoy some nice tunes.
Where I find myself time and time again is in bed, under the covers! 🙂
Seriously, I think this is a great post. I think for some, it’s a luxury to have a sacred space that you can retreat to without time constraints and circumstances getting in the way. I guess if it’s a mental space you go to, then that’s different. You can access that anytime.
I think we get out of sorts when we’re deprived of our sacred space for too long. I feel that way right now.
I feel the most like me when I’m at the beach but I can’t get there as often as I’d like. I guess I have to conjure it in my mind. Funny, I have so many beachy things in my house – you’d never know I’m in landlocked Illinois! Ha! So, coming full circle, when I feel thwarted from my space, nothing beats going under the covers for total relaxation and hibernation. Ahhh…
…and reading for escape! That’s a good one, too!
Sorry, Brigitte, my comment is all over the place!!!
Grippy, that is a sacred place! And a warm one during this freaky frigid weather. I can’t always access my mental space — I need to work at that a little more. It’s normally when I’m thinking/worrying about something or someone! I love beachy things too and wherever I’ve lived, I’ve decorated that way. My writing space (the walls) are painted Pelican Gray with white, cream and tan accents and LOTS of shells. And ah, yes, reading — that is a wonderful escape! Thanks, Lis.
I carry this notebook with me, pretty much wherever I go. It’s sort of become my own little space. I’ll sit somewhere quiet and start writing and before I know it hours have gone by and I don’t even realize it being in my own world!
HI EM!!! Nice to see you again — I’ve missed you. That’s a great idea. I sometimes do that. It’s great when you want to dot down some dialogue for later, you know? Thank you and so glad you stopped by!!
I know! I’ve been gone so long I missed it! I did a bit of soul searching haha 🙂
Some people say some great stuff and I always like to get it and remember it!
Soul-searching is always worth it and is worth all the time it takes!
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For me, my sacred place is “quiet” as in complete silence so as long as I have that I am really good and refueled.
Yes, quiet…that’s an absolute! Thanks, Audra.
I took a class a long time ago that focused on building a space and an altar to use for meditation. I originally had it in the closet under the stairs, but found it too noisy. Then I put it in my bedroom closet, but as the family grew my space began to shrink and this altar is taken over by clothes I need to send to Goodwill. Now that I’m having to work so hard to get back on my feet after surgery I think my sacred space is within my body. Regular exercise is going to be a must to maintain my balance and ability to walk without a cane. It’s funny how these spaces shift as life demands it. I just have to remember to go there, that’s the hard part.
Hey Fish, many people do that and I think it’s a great idea to set a place where one can go and just be still. I know what you mean about the clothes thing. I do that too and then just try and hurry up and take them so I don’t start doubting myself and pulling things back out! I bet you space is within YOU right now as your body heals. Yes, “going there” is difficult; I struggle with it myself. It’s turning off the what ifs and the worry that the most difficult part about it. Thanks so much, Fish — hope you are well, healing and happy.
This is a really interesting topic, and one which I haven’t given much thought. Growing up an only child, I put a premium on privacy. I have a largish family (five people) in a very small home, and in addition to the people who live here, we usually have at least one or two guests (my grandmother or mother-in-law usually–and once a week–tonight–we have family dinner where there are usually at least eight people in attendance–my house is really tiny!), so I regularly need to break away to get my head together.
My space used to be the garage, where I had a small office. Since then, we’ve had an office built in the backyard, so that’s where I retreat to. I have trouble working in a busy or distracting environment, so my office has only one small window on the door. It gets a little stuffy in the summer, but I’m able to do my work without distraction, so it’s a good thing.
Hey Smak — thank you my friend. You should write about being an only child! It must have its perks. And yeah, I know what you mean, we are living in a smaller house that we had down South and if there’s too many people, it feels crowded. I feel crowded. My office is inside my house but it’s infused with parts of me — things that reflect who I am. It’s cool that you’ve got a separate spot to go. I’ve always said that I WILL have that one day… Thanks for stopping by!
Excellent post, Brig! I love the idea of a sacred place and a place where you can physically go to be yourself. These days, for me that place is anywhere I am 100% alone, which as you can imagine is rarer and rarer because I’ve always got C on my hip. Even if I am going to the grocery store while she stays home with B, I relish it. I need that time to relax and just think. Yesterday I took a nap for the first time in awhile and I kind of shut everyone out too. It was nice. I felt like an individual for an hour (even though I was sleeping.)
Hi Em, yeah your little munchin takes up a whole lot of space, huh? My sis has said they can be little energy vampires, but in a good way. Sometimes the grocery store, doing everyday things can be relaxing UNLESS they’re playing the most horrible music ever created from the late 70s or 80s — where or where do they get the soundtrack and why do they play it?? Sleep and dozing — now that’s sacred. Thanks, Em.
I totally agree about the place you are 100% alone. I love friends and family and all that…maybe always being surrounded by noise makes you enjoy those moments even more.
Hi Katie and welcome! Ah, quiet, it makes it easier to find that space. Thanks so much and hope you’ll visit again soon.
Maybe part of my recent self-doubt stems from spending too much time away from that sacred space. Where is it? For me, I’m not sure it can be someplace physical, because like you, I’ve made a number of moves over the years. Even when we’ve stayed in the same general place, my husband and I have changed houses. We don’t have the attachment to them that our parents did.
With all that physical moving, my “physical” sacred place must be someplace within myself. And I think it’s within my “imagination,” where so many possibilities exist all at once. It’s in there that I really do see glimpses of my life in other universes and contemplate the “big” questions. Does this make any sense to you?
Hey JM, I get that way myself and its normally when I stop making a point to find that place. So you’ve been kind of a wanderer too,huh? I’d like to think that’s a good thing. And I know EXACTLY what you mean about glimpses of things too — possibilities. I swear to you, J I almost wrote a sentiment like you expressed and I took it out, fearing it may have seemed “too deep.” It makes perfect sense to me and that you would understand as well. That’s that creative space inside you and it seems to me you “go there” a lot my friend. Thank you!
I don’t know that I have a sacred place. Maybe that’s why I have such difficulty living in the here and now instead of the future. Must find my sacred place. I suspect it’s on a beach somewhere… 🙂
You must have, Carrie — you wrote a book! You tapped into something. And I agree with you about the beach. 🙂
Ah, yes, but it sure took me a long time to get there (the book, I mean, not the beach 🙂 ).
This is a good one Brig! My space where all my cares float away and I feel myself unfurl is in the town of Gearhart, Oregon. That is a magical space for me. Thank you for asking! xo
Hey Maggie, I remember that about you! You wrote that wonderful post about it. Glad you enjoyed it and THANK YOU for sharing. Xo
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I have this tree stump outside of my office building that I have claimed for my own. On non-rainy days you will find me there during lunch time either writing, eating my cheese sandwich or just thinking.. I love that stump.. It’s my sanity seat as I call it 🙂
That’s way cool, Lynne. I could use a sanity stump myself! Thank you.
Any chair as long as it’s comfy, in any space as long as it’s quiet, with any book……as long as it’s absolutely riveting – it means my sacred space is fairly flexible, (and Carrie, there are heaps of quiet little beaches in my neighborhood so I have a nice low beach chair in my car and a couple of books just incase……….:)
Reading — one of those universal sacred spaces! I love a good novel. I’m reading JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. It’s okay but I never read her Harry Potter books so…. thanks, Nanna P, nice to see you here!
I’ve been through the HP’s three times…..once with the son, twice just because I wanted to be ‘back in that world’ for a while. I’m slightly afraid of reading her adult fiction……mainly because I clearly don’t want to grow up yet!
Water. A river, the ocean, a lake, a stream – that’s my sacred space…I haven’t been for quite some time…I think it’s time to go again.
It’s those positive ions D, the reason why we feel so good around that water. And primal and womb-like. Very sacred. Thanks for sharing your “space.” 🙂
My sacred space is a walkway aside the woods in Riverdale on Palisade Avenue. The Hudson River runs by it also. I was compelled to walk on it after work almost everyday, about three quarters of a mile, even when I was tired. The hurricane knocked a lot of the trees down but it’s still pretty. It definitely is my sacred place for me to decompress and muse.
Sandee, well hey there! Nice to see you here. I was just telling Lisa I hadn’t seen you around in so long! I think many associate a sacred space with water, nature. Those are the things that inspire us to create and you can’t get much more sacred than that. Thanks my friend.
Brigitte, I like that quote, too. That’s a special one. Is this a good topic for me, as I do not feel I have been able to carve out that space for myself at all, in a long time, both in the physical and/or metaphorical sense. It’s gives me something to reflect upon. My mind feels very crowded that’s for sure. I wish I could dump some things out.
Amy, I get away from it myself sometimes. Maybe you should write about it. You have a lovely way of expressing yourself. Who knows, writing about it may just get you there! Thank you, Amy.
Thanks, Brigitte. That’s a good idea. I think I feel I have a lot to do, get done, yet it never gets done! Writing about it couldn’t hurt.
I am my sacred space, Brigitte. That space is not a luxury to me, it is the core foundation of me. Everything I do, every day, holds that remembrance of who I truly am and with that remembrance I am able to express humanity, mostly with love and laughter. It’s when I’m in the state of amnesia of who I am that anger and fear rear their ugly heads. With practice, the remembrance takes precedence, is the more natural state, and it gets easier to hold! 😉 xoxoM
Yes, that’s it! It is a necessity! I can always recognize when I’m getting away from it when I begin to fret over things I can’t control and have those anxious feelings. One way or another I get back to that core, as you so beautifully expressed it. Thanks, M!
This is an amazing thing, Margarita.
Perhaps, dear Madame. To me, it has become the natural thing…xoxoM
Hey Weebsey, and what about YOU? 🙂
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I’m still writing my comment to you! 😀 Stand by!
I’m in an impatient space. Can you tell?
My ‘space’ is definitely out in nature–on quiet forest trails where I’m dumbfounded with the beauty of nature and on wide open ocean beaches where steady winds push me back from the shore and salty air fills my lungs and sprays my face with a tasty mist. It makes my soul feel full. 🙂
That certainly doesn’t come as a surprise to me about you, Sue. It’s so nice when your soul gets filled up,right? Makes those tiny hairs on the back of your neck stand up! Thanks, Sue.
Indeed! And it works EVERY TIME!!!! 🙂
I love this idea. I always think of space in a physical sense, but like you, I am most myself when I’m doing – writing, dancing, wandering along the water’s edge, lost in thought. Joseph Campbell was indeed smart – truly, he has the best quotes of all. But who is his wife??
Hey Sally. Sounds as if we share some of the same spaces. 😉 His wife is a former student of his, Jean Erdman who is a dancer/choreographer. They lived in Greenwich Village. love his writing! Thanks, Sally.
When I was young, my safe space was either under my bed (I had a four poster, so, it was high off the ground) or up in the top branches of the elm behind our house. Now, it’s either in bed or curled up on my sofa, which is down filled and mega comfy. I wish I was still limber enough for under the bed or up the tree–they were the best.
Addie, those sound like very comforting spaces and how sweet! You should write a post about this memory — I got a nice image and a feel-good from just your writing a few sentences. Nothing like curling up on a cushy couch with a good book. It cushions you in all kinds of ways, huh? Thank you, Addie – I hope things are wonderful in your world.
As soon as I saw the title of your post, a little bell went off in my head because I’m pretty sure (if my memory is correct) I actually studied sacred spaces in college, but in the context of culture and performing arts.
Sorry for the tangent, just thought I’d mention that. In any case, I’ve learned that my sacred space is not dependent on where I physically am. Finding the time to indulge in my own little routines is enough to help me relax into my sacred space.
Lillian, that must have been a very inspiring class. And yes , most of us are creatures of habit and moving through our routines is sacred and comforting. I know how routines becoming disrupted can take you away from that.
Oh, and you are more than welcome to go on a tangent here any time you’d like. Your input and insight are always welcome. Thank you, Lillian.
my space is when I am in my little corner of the dining room/office writing on my laptop (or posting or reading blogs)–it is my safe little corner I go to and escape–this post made me think about my sacred space–which is in my head and when I can go there it is bliss–sometimes though stuff gets in the way
Definitely, Lou Ann. I have a dedicated space where I write as well. And since you’re writing about your bliss, I’ll just bet you’re a fan of JC. When we follow our bliss we always return to that sacred space, don’t we? Thank you, my friend.
yes I have invoked him a few times in my search for bliss–loved your quote–mind if I steal it?
I never really thought of it as sacred – but anytime I can get behind my camera and get all right-brained – time has no meaning for me when I am shooting,
You know, A, I think anytime you’re doing something creative; seeing something in a different way, it’s pretty sacred. Thank you!
I have several sacred spaces, actually. My home – all of it is special to me – it’s where I can just be me, but one room in particular is my library – just book shelves full of books, a fountain, meditation cushion and two chairs for reading…It has a wonderful feel to it and I love going in there to meditate or read. I’d also say that my office where I do my Rolfing/bodywork practice is sacred. While I invite my clients into it for their sessions, it has a lovely feel that just says “healing.” I find it amusing how many people don’t want to leave. It can sometimes be a problem as I am trying to get ready for the next session! 🙂
This is a great post which, I think, reminds us of our need to recognize what feeds our souls and makes our own space important and nourishing. Thank you, Brigitte!
Cathy, I do too. One is my writing room/office and the other, I’ve made a spot out in my garage for painting and that’s where I redo furniture and things like that. I wish it was another room, but if have to work with what you have! I can imagine that your healing space is very sacred and why people wouldn’t want to leave that space! Glad you enjoyed, Cathy. Most of the time when I write these it’s because I’m trying to work on these things myself. xo
Yes, I know what you mean. Thanks for letting us listen in!
This was beautiful. Love the lavender!! I fell in love with Joseph Campbell so many years ago…I was young and just discovering him and cried when I found out he had died. So lovely a human being. I guess my space is wherever I make it now. Usually I go to my mind and picture my feet in the sand with the surf washing over them. It calms me like a pill. : )
Hi there and so nice to see you here again!! I don’t think I’ve met anyone that doesn’t love Joseph Campbell or those who don’t have a favorite quote from him. That’s wonderful — your space being wherever you make it. That’s the best kind — the kind you can summon up — at will, no matter what is going on. Thanks!
That space for me, when the temperature is not blistering hot for then I am sacred spaceless, is always my apartment. It’s arranged just the way I like it with a giant bed in the middle of the room and a corner where I write. Friends have referred to my garret as my writer’s cave.
Hey V, nice to see you here. I have to have my space just so myself. It sounds as if you’ve got it feng shui’ed to your liking so that it flows and works for you perfectly. Having a GIANT bed in the middle of the room sounds perfect and we all have to have our writing spaces, right? Thanks!!
it was fascinating reading all the comments above – and the things we all do to create and maintain a sacred space. As you know, a sacred space is on my mind at the moment, and i love your definition : Entitled to reverence and respect. So I am busy creating another sacred space for myself, and enjoying it very much. Also, my waterhole is a sacred space, as is any alone time I am lucky to have, as well as writing and reading. It’s not a luxury for me, it is essential 🙂
Sara, I know what you mean. I find it fascinating as well. How is that space going? How nice to have a waterhole nearby as well. The older I get the more I understand how it’s a necessity not a luxury to find, visit and keep a sacred space.
So far so good :). I’m just easing slowly into it. Today I am attempting to set up wireless internet over there which is completely bamboozling me 🙂
I wish I was in the same place as Margarita, where I was able to BE my own space, but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. One day! In the meantime, I don’t really have a physical sacred space, so instead I have my mental one. When I meditate, I can go there and it looks just the way I want, etc. It helps me to feel more centered and grounded whether I’m sitting on the couch or in a really quite space in a park. Strangely, I feel very grounded when I’m around a lot of other people, sitting at a cafe or on a bench in Central Park or something. It makes me feel connected somehow. But I would love love love to have a physical space that was all mine, even a very small nook. But our apartment’s configuration isn’t really cut out for that, so I’ll have to improvise until we move to a place with an appropriate area.
I do too. I’m not to that point as Margarita is. She says practicing helps but some days I will just shrug it off. I admire people who can meditate on a regular basis. Did you learn that through Reiki — the continuous practice of it? Sounds as if you’ve got the visualization process down pretty good, J. My space is small but it’s mine and feels like me. I think getting in that space, inside yourself, is far more crucial than a physical space and much more difficult! Thanks, Weebs.
The stories, poems, and songs I write are where I go, although I am fortunate enough to have a father who owns close to a hundred and forty acres that no one lives on, mostly wooded. It is a great place to go and write stories, songs, and poems. When I mix it all together, I find myself every time.
Thanks for the post.
Hi Tim and welcome! How wonderful you have such an expansive space in nature — that must inspire you plenty! Many people find that place through creative outlets, myself included. It is “sacred” and should be nurtured. Thank YOU for your very nice comment and hope you’ll stop by again.
Wow, Brigitte—thanks for the Eric Clapton! I move my laptop to the kitchen table and spread out my files each morning, and that’s sacred until the kids get back home from school. I don’t answer the phone, and sometimes I unplug from the internet to keep me from being distracted (but other times, I start wandering–like now!) I do think that going to a regular place helps to jump start the creative process…and once I get there, I want to stay there.
Hey Robin — you’re very welcome. I love that song. I’m like that – sometimes I have to unplug myself. So nice to see you here and here’s to some nice uninterrupted time in our “space.”