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Rainy Days and Sacred Spaces

We had a rare, rainy weekend in San Francisco.  Since my bedroom window was open just a crack, I woke up Saturday morning to the sounds of raindrops on the leaves and cars sloshing by on the street below. I found my son sitting by the window, watching the rain. “Mom! It’s raining…we HAVE to go on a walk today!!”

I was totally down because a rainy day walk is one of my greatest pleasures. First, rain or shine, I love city walks. But when it’s raining, there is the added pleasure of how refreshing wet air is…cleansing even. The city looks gorgeous; everything is glistening and reflective, while the streets are dotted with colorful umbrellas. To make it even more joyful, I like to bring along my camera. The combination makes me feel tranquil, even in stressful times, and I believe it creates what Joseph Campbell calls “sacred space.”  

[Sacred space] is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen. ~Joseph Campbell

Sacred space can be a physical space or a state of being that you create through a specific activity. 

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Have you ever been on a run and found yourself solving a problem that just couldn’t crack while sitting down and “pounding it out until you find a solution”?  Have you even been tending to your garden and found yourself tuned into a voice that is giving you really great advice about your project, career, or relationship?  You are dwelling in sacred space.

One of my favorite shows is Marple. Ms. Marple is an Agatha Christie character, an older woman who masterfully solves crimes that often stump the professional detectives. If you watch enough, you’ll notice that Ms. Marple is often knitting when she is processing her cases. Knitting transports Ms. Marple into her sacred space, a place where she makes connections and solves mysteries.

What takes you to your Sacred Space?

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There is nothing like a rainy day to find oneself intuitively turning inside. On this rainy Saturday, I just needed to lose myself.  I wasn’t trying to find any solutions or come up with any ideas. I just needed to dwell in my sacred space.  I wrapped my camera in plastic and ventured outside.  The rain was light but steady. The puddles on Battery Street were massive and a challenge to navigate without getting a shoe-full of water. As we jumped between patches of sidewalk, I was mesmerized by the reflection of the trees and how the rain drops created mini explosions that rippled across this exquisite mirage. 

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So, I’m guessing that you are onboard with this idea of sacred space because you’ve probably realized that you’ve been tapping into sacred space for your entire life without even realizing it! Here is a practice to help you purposefully access your sacred space.

SACRED SPACE PRACTICE

First, choose an activity that allows you to really lose yourself.  Think of an activity that clears your mental decks and you find yourself forgetting about your problems.  I know that everyone has at least one activity that sweeps them into sacred space. One of mine is photography.  While I love walking, I can still find myself ranting, or anxious, or sad…but if you put a camera in my hand, I can forget everything and get out of my ego mind.

Second, set an intention for what you want and say it outloud. Examples:  I want to step into flow and lose myself, I want to come up with some ideas for my next writing project, I want to overcome this writers block, I want to come up with a better way to deal with my son’s math homework.

Third, take note of what you discover. Carry a little notebook or record a voice note on your phone. It doesn’t have to be a big deal…something like I had a great idea about …. this is what I came up with.

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Some of the benefits of this practice are cultivating a deeper relationship with yourself, building a profound trust in your intuition, and acknowledgement that you are powerful right now, regardless of your current situation. 

Until next time…..

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