Finding Peace in the Simple Things

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Designing Your Sacred Space

People have made altars since ancient times and in many countries you won't find a home without one. I have encouraged many of my clients to create an altar. For many people this seems quite natural, though they may never have thought of the word "altar". Often, I hear "oh, I have altars all over my home, now that I think of it".

The essence of making time for a spiritual practice, an honoring of our Source, requires that we create space in our thoughts, in our beings, to be connected to something greater than ourselves. So, an altar is really a place of beauty, with reminders of where we want to focus our attention. You may have symbols specific to your spiritual practice. If not, use your intuition. Anyone can have an altar. Think of it as a physical representation of an intention you have.

There are many reasons to create an altar. Here are just a few to get you started:

When I work with someone experiencing a loss, they often make an altar to honor the person or experience they are grieving. Each year, on her birthday, I make an altar to honor my mother-in-law. I remember her with daffodils, the flowers I gave her each birthday. I add a favorite picture of her and some candles. Each time I pass this altar, or pause there, I smile as I recall things about her and what she loved. It is like spending the day with her.

Create an altar in your bedroom to honor your couple's relationship and the connection you intend with each other. Place cards you have given each other there. Light candles and burn incense to clear away the mundane and make space to be loving.

Make a space in your cubicle or by your desk at work to help refresh your thoughts and give your eyes a place for rest and beauty. Bring things that remind you of who you are and what you value.

Design an altar to honor yourself, to love your whole being and treat yourself with respect. This might include photos of yourself as a child, colors and objects with special meaning just for you. This is especially meaningful when you are learning to be less self critical.

Getting Started:

* Set an intention for your altar
* Clear a space and claim or create a surface
* Cover the surface with a beautiful cloth or special sheet of handmade paper
* Add candles, objects, photos, a poem in a frame
* Create a place to sit or stand
* Make time to initiate the space with a ceremony of your choosing, a prayer, lighting a candle, burning a sacred herb or incense, ringing a bell.
* Keep your altar well tended and free of dust and rearrange as it pleases you

Making an altar is a lovely way to support yourself in living Your Authentic Life!

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