Cultivating Sacred Spaces

by Calli Birch in


“Girls, I'm going to have some quiet time at my desk. Please knock if you need me.” 

Supplied with apple slices and PBS Kids, they are happy to oblige.

I close the door, shutting out the sound of cartoon voices. I turn on my little lamp. Sometimes I even light a candle. 

And I enter my sacred space. It’s just a simple closet turned writing nook (which I affectionately call my “cloffice”), but it’s the only unshared space in the entire house, the only space that is truly mine. 

My "cloffice."

My "cloffice."

I created it about a year ago, at a time when the excess toys and baby gear sometimes left me feeling claustrophobic. Carving out my space—however small and simple—was a stake in the ground. It was a way of re-claiming the importance of nurturing my own soul. Even if for only the length of one kid’s program, those minutes were mine. A time to write, to pray, to read—or just a time to be alone (which is essential for my sanity on some days).

The Designer has always been intentional about designating “sacred spaces” in her homes. In fact, it was actually her idea last year for me “find a spot in the house that can be transformed into a special space to write and pray.” In her opinion, even children greatly benefit from having little nooks to call their own. That’s why she created this sweet hidaway for her granddaughters.

This is my girls' favorite spot in their DeeDee's house. 

This is my girls' favorite spot in their DeeDee's house. 

Notice that while a desk may be appropriate for one sacred space (as it is for mine), it is not a necessary ingredient. Sure, work is sometimes accomplished there, but this is not a designated “work space.” 

 

It’s a sacred space. 

 

So what does this look like?

For my father, The Doctor, this looks like a library. Think warm, deep, rich colors, antique books, tapestries, leathers, wood beams, antlers.

Little Sebastian loves this space too!

Little Sebastian loves this space too!

For my mother, The Designer, the color palate has changed with design trends, but one thing has always been the same: a comfy chair and ottoman. Her space is typically in the bedroom, accompanied by a special feature, such as a fireplace, a balcony, or a large window overlooking a view.

My girls often sit in DeeDee's lap here to read their bedtime stories.

My girls often sit in DeeDee's lap here to read their bedtime stories.

Ultimately, the goal is to cultivate a space in your home that promotes relaxation, reflection, and peace (for information on the wellness benefits of this, please see #5 in our previous post). If you don’t currently have such a space and want to create one for yourself, here are some tips to get you started:

1. First, locate a space that can easily be repurposed. Good options include: a closet, a window seat, a garden, a patio or courtyard, or a secluded corner of a room.

2. Identify what type of furniture will be conducive to your needs; some options might be a desk, a chaise lounge, a bookshelf, or a bistro table. 

3. Consider practicalities such as: Do you need a small table to rest your coffee cup? Do you need some floor space to unroll your yoga mat? Do you need an electrical outlet for a lamp?

4. Finally, consider ambiance. What colors and styles most sooth you? What atmospheres bring out your creativity? What details could encourage positive thoughts and gratitude? For example, one of the framed prints above my desk reads, “I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.” And across from my mother’s comfy chair hangs a framed scripture and a family photo. 

 

So, what will your sacred space look like? 

 

Feel free to visit our Pinterest board for more ideas and inspiration.