Week Four ~ Letting Go & Possibility
"You only lose what you cling to" - Buddha
Claiming Your Own Sacred Creative Space
This is one of my most favourite topics.... I LOVE creating sacred and magical containers that are conducive to consciousness, transformation, and creativity! I invite you to use the opportunity that is this course, using group momentum and some gentle guidance from me, to carve out a space in your heart and home just for your creative and spiritual unfolding. If you already have created a space, perhaps this exercise will be an invitation to revisit, shift, love, or occupy it even more deeply.
Developing your own sacred creative space is a way of integrating and claiming the ongoing process of your creative and spiritual development into your daily life. You might choose to create spaces that is designed for reading, meditating, writing, dancing, yoga, music making, art making, reminding you of what is important in your life..... any purpose of your choosing.
Ideally your space can be permanent in some way.... I find it uninspiring to have to continually rebuild a creative space over and over again before I can create in it. (I used to paint in my dining room and would have to pack up and unpack constantly). That said, if permanence isn't a possibility, consider getting really slick in your design of a portable space for ease of setup when the time comes. Sometimes temporary spaces feel particularly alive and inspiring.
The first step in my process of creating space, and perhaps more important than the physical organization of objects, is becoming aware of my inner sacred space as I begin. (Sometimes we only need to create inner sacred space, as we experienced in our writing practice) For example, If I am creating a space designed to support the healing process of another, my work is to apply the the same principles of awareness, wisdom, compassion, forgiveness and release in my own heart. From this inner awareness of what I am intentionally creating, all that flows thereafter will arise intuitively from this intention. So get clear on the energies and possibilities you are aiming to evoke in your space.
Size doesn't matter
It's true, you can create sacred space regardless of square footage you have available to you.... you don't need a huge studio, or even your own room necessarily in order to create yourself something inspiring and meaningful. Notice areas in your house that you love to spend time in, maybe you have empty spaces or corners just waiting to be developed. Maybe you are ready to clean out an entire room that is under-utilized, or maybe a small shelf that you can turn into an alter. I tend to be sensitive to light conditions in spaces, creating my early morning meditation space in a place that will feel dark and womb-like, and my painting and writing spaces in areas where light streams in as inspiration. Throughout my life I've created sacred spaces ranging from (literally) my closet, to an entire gorgeous shared public space we called The Creative Commons. I've even had the opportunity to create the tiniest of sacred spaces with women who were experiencing intimate partner violence.... meaningful spaces so small they would go undetected and remain safe.
Throughout the design process, continue to hold your intention in your heart as a guide. When I create an alter space, I connect with the intention for the alter... maybe its for a retreat, to hold space for someone I'm working with, or for my own personal practice. Instead of beginning with an agenda of how it is going to look, I allow the intention to illuminate the optimal design. Sound like our painting process? ; )
Sometimes I will gather objects that sparkle and call my attention as I walk around my house, or peak through my stashes of sacred crystals, feathers, and special goodies I've collected. Less is sometimes more, especially in creative spaces. If a space is already filled by objects, it can leave you sometimes feeling cramped and cause you to tense up in response. Interestingly I've also discovered how uncomfortable empty space can feel. There have been a few times when the largeness of a space made me question my ability to use it, my worthiness, and challenge the ways in which I keep myself small, comfortable and reaffirming the status quo.
A few more design tips...
- Add objects sparingly and see how your body responds to their presence... remove/add as your heart guides you
- Colour is powerful... it is its own healing modality. Learn about the energetic qualities of colour and apply intentionally to your space
- Design to suit your specific purpose... no need to add that old chair you have had for years just because... be focused and scrupulous!
- Continue to tweak your space after using it for a while... its like first going into a meditative posture and then realizing your neck is out of alignment... keep listening and readjusting
- Protect the boundaries you've set around your space. What are the expectations around how this space is treated? Can anyone pick up your paints, adjust your alter, or burn your incense? Sharing can be fun.... if its the intention
- Remember that you deserve it! No apologies for claiming a space to call your own
Getting in the habit of using it
For some of us space creators, we may have a tendency to get so excited about creating the space that we mistake this process for the intention of actually enabling more creativity in our lives. At first you may want to make a clear plan around how you intend to use it in order to integrate it as a new conscious habit in your life. Will you use your meditation spot every morning at 6? Will you light your special candle every time to start to make dinner? Will you do an hour of painting in your new creative corner every evening once the kids are in bed? I find that the more a space is used, the more it magnetizes me to it and enables my creative and spiritual practice.
Eventually, your sacred, creative space will develop an energy field of its own that will joyfully draw you in and support your efforts.
Contemplating your interior creative space... Our ability to manifest or embody our intentions is largely determined by the spaciousness of our interior worlds. What we experience today as lack, is the direct outcome of inner restriction. It can be tricky to become simultaneously aware of the inner and outer correlations in our life, and yet this is our work.... to notice... to connect dots... become aware of alternatives.... to let go of our agenda and open to possibility.
We know when we are experiencing inner lack or restriction when we want something other than what we already have. The truth is we already have and are EVERYTHING, we are just in the process of noticing this wonderful reality, and so as we grow into ourselves we experience what we call lack, or not enough-ness. As we reflect on the origins of our current, particular sense of lack, we will often be brought straight back into our childhoods where we received messaging from our family, school, churches, etc. that we adopted and took up residency within us. These limited, inherited beliefs have informed our sense of self and our relationship to the world around us ever since. What we believe is perhaps the most powerful thing!
With journal and writing tool in hand, bring to your awareness your initial intention for this course, Writing stream of consciousness, contemplate.... What restriction(s) or attachments in my interior world, did I feel when I first began this process? How do I sense my inner world has shifted towards possibility since I began this process? What new and more expansive beliefs have I noticed about myself and my relationship to the world around me, that bring me closer to becoming that which was once only a wish? How have these beliefs opened up a more expansive creative space within myself?
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Step 8 Reviewed
Incorporating Your Symbology
- Choose 2-3 colours (final colour palette is still not a necessary consideration)
- When adding pattern, use brushes that naturally make the shapes you desire i.e., round soft brushes to make round shapes, square brushes to make square shapes
- When adding larger symbols, use all the techniques used until now... beginning with step 4
- OR simply paint the energy of the symbol rather than a literal realistic translation i.e., feathers, fur, glow, etc.
- Continue to tend the primary image (i.e., face) with any new colours used
- Let yourself go into a meditative, relaxed inner state and enjoy!