This post comes from contributor Kristen Hedges.
A few years ago, I didn’t know that I was a writer.
I had always wanted to write – from the time I was maybe six or seven – but it was quite a taboo profession to choose. During grade school, I often lied whenever a teacher would ask about my possible future. An archaeologist, I would say. A doctor, a composer for big screen films, a historian. Anything but writer. After all, I didn’t want to worry them. I didn’t want them to see me starving, pockets picked clean, alone with my art, allowing it to tear me to messy, exposed pieces.
Luckily, I accepted myself as a writer – as an artist. And suddenly, having a sacred, creative space to do my work meant more than it ever had.
I believe that everyone – writers, painters, creatives of any kind – should have a space where they can completely be themselves. A little nook or room that feels like an external expression of the voice that fuels their work. Entering this space is a sigh of relief. A soft smile, a subtle nestling into the atmosphere. Somehow, this space makes you feel as though you can create absolute wonders. As if you could dip your fingertips into watercolor and spill your entire heart out onto the canvas.
Since we live in a tiny studio apartment, the entire room seems to be my creative space. Whenever I choose to start a new project or pick up one that I’ve been toying with, I set an intention, out loud for all the world to hear.
I say, “I am a writer.” I don’t whisper – I declare. I believe it. I feel it swell from my throat, out to my fingers and down to my toes. Your intention can be similar – an ‘I am’ statement. Or, it can be different entirely.
I also use tingshas – the little cymbals you often see in a yoga class – to clear the space of negative energy & unpleasant sound. A few other energy clearing practices include burning sage, lighting incense, allowing soft music to fill the air, and holding your hands to your heart while taking a deep breath.
Decorate your space for no one but yourself. Cut flowers and arrange them in a jar, roll out a rug, hang chalkboards on the wall to scribble sudden inspiration. Pin photographs the the plaster, display maps with thumb-tacks marking the places you’ve been, the places you ought to go. Keep the lighting natural, if you can. Open a window, allow the day to roll in.
Keep the space clean, and free of clutter (unless, of course, clutter is what inspires you the most). Shake the dust from your curtains and wipe the day from the tabletop. When your space is fresh, and full of renewed energy, your work will turn into a reflection of that.
It’s also quite nice to find something small that you can carry with you when you take your craft on the go. I like to hide my little bronze Ganesha in my purse and bring him with me to the café when I collect my stories about strangers. He reminds me of my sacred space at home; of the sacred space within.
While burning sage and ringing bells can certainly help you to feel more at ease and open, it’s nice to remember that any space can be sacred. The airport, the coffee shop, the last seat on the bus that’s covered in someone’s old chewing gum. All it takes is a positive intention, a smile, a deep breath, and the willingness to work with what you have. After all, there’s nothing more sacred than the still space that you cultivate within.
Now, tell me: what helps to make your space sacred?