Friday, June 21, 2013

Sanctuary By Tammy Vitale (Guest Blogger)

Day 21 of 100 Days of Blogging 


Sanctuary by Tammy Vitale

A sanctuary is a place of refuge or  safety.  Do you have one?

As the world speeds up, and all of our “time-saving” devices simply require us to do more (because we have so much “free” time), it is good to consider creating a sanctuary for ourselves – a place we can go when we need to remember to breathe.

Having a sanctuary is a reminder that you are safe.  And you are.  No matter what outlandish dream you are following or what magnificent creation is being born through you, you are safe – so remind yourself of that by a rock or stone beside your computer, a spirit doll (How to Make a Spirit Doll ) or Taliswoman (see below) on your wall.  And a candle or three to light when it gets dark ( )

You can create a personal ritual that makes any space a sanctuary limited only by your imagination: as small as a single birthday candle lit and blown out  (breathe in your dreams, breathe out your intention and blow out the candle), or a full altar in a quiet place in your room, home, balcony, or yard where you can go to recenter.

My first sanctuary was imaginary - a place in the giant redwoods, which, when I used them for a sanctuary, I had never seen.  In my mind I would sit amidst a giant forest.  I could only see my back and I was always naked and sitting cross-legged on the ground.  I could hear wind in the trees, and some bird song and feel the earth under me – cool, strong, calm.  whenever I felt overwhelmed I could get there on the in-breath and stay as long as I needed to come back into myself.

Sanctuary can be physical.  About two years ago, I created a Garden Goddess to watch over my sacred space.  It took me forever to figure out how to make her but once I got the concept it was so easy I couldn’t believe it took so long!  I added prayer flags and started a potted garden. 

The Goddess called other art to herself and pretty soon I had a sanctuary, without even thinking about it! (Video link for "Goddess called other art to herself" : )  It has Garden Maidens, Forever Flowers and totems, and provides a wonderful space for gatherings of my friends in the short spaces between winter and mosquitoes.

But you don’t need yard space to create your sanctuary.

You can also create sanctuary through focused attention or creative action. 

 Here’s an example of focused attention:

Fill a glass of water and hold it.  Put your intention on the glass of water and say three times, “Everything I have taken from others, I put into this water.”  Then take the water outside and pour it onto the Earth, knowing that everyone stands on the Earth and all things will be returned via the Earth.

Then re-fill the glass and put your intention to the water again.  This time repeat three times, “Everything that has been taken from me I now reclaim.”  Then drink it.  (creator of this lovely practice: Eleanor “Energy” Hammond.  You can find her on Facebook).

And an example of creative action:

When you go away somewhere, anywhere, for any amount of time, make it a habit to pick up interesting bits and pieces of “stuff” that fall into your path.

 At the beach for an hour?  Drift word, shells, rocks, twigs, sand.  Walking in the trees?  Pinecones, acorns, felled branches and twigs.  Your kitchen?  The used up wire scrub (see the mermaid on the right: 3 Taliswoman by Conni James), a bent fork, a piece of that blue glass cup that just broke, beads from that old necklace you never wear anymore.  Get the idea?  Become a collector of amazing things – be present wherever you are and look with the eye of a creator getting ready to birth a Taliswoman (be careful, after a while *everything* looks good).

Create a box to store your treasures until you are ready to take an hour or two to play with your creation.

The faces can be made from pictures cut out from magazines and pasted onto cardboard, from polymer clay or from actual clay (these two pieces use fired clay faces from my collection which I make available during workshops or retreats.)  

Any one of the Goop brand glues or hot glue is  good for putting these together and keeping them together – be warned that the smell of that glue bothers some folks. Ideas for other things to collect:  scraps of material, buttons, lace and trim, dried flowers, feathers, brooches, pins, old medals, ephemera that represents your hobbies and passions (i.e. ,if you’re an artist: an old paintbrush.  Dentist?  Tooth brush, tooth picks, old dental tools).

This should be leisurely and unhurried.  You should have time to try out different patterns with texture and color before you decide finally how your Taliswoman is going together.  Consider this time sacred.  Consider your creation a doorway opening onto secrets that you want to know.

When she’s done sit her beside your computer or on your kitchen window sill.  Whenever you see her, take a breath and create a space for her to whisper possibilities to you!

How do you create a sanctuary  for yourself?  Share your ideas here!

Tammy Vitale  ( ) works with women who are ready to claim their Hell Yes!! life  ( ) through Kick Start programs ( ),  Master Mind gatherings ( ) , retreats and one-on-one coaching ( )  for women and small for- and non-profit businesses. She also teaches workshops in making sacred spaces ( ).

email:  Tammy is currently writing an ebook on Mini-retreats...personal powerups that you can do a little or no cost and without waiting for a workshop or weekend (although those are nice too). 


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