Week 5: Creating Sanctuary

When we’re stressed out, we often just need a place to retreat to—somewhere we can take care of ourselves. That’s where the idea of sanctuary comes in. Here, I’ll explain what a sanctuary is and how you can create it inside your own home.

What is a sanctuary?

A sanctuary (another word for ‘intentional space’ or ‘altar’) is a space where you can clear your mind. Think of it as the place to go for an energy reboot, where you can recharge. Going to your sacred space will allow you to find greater clarity, build motivation, alleviate confusion, and cleanse yourself of your daily stresses.

There is no home or room too small to create an intentional space within—whether it be a shelf, a corner, a whole room, or an altar. Here’s how:

  1. Decide that you deserve this space—and commit to using it.
  2. Select a room or space. Fill it with things of importance to you: treasured belongings, heirlooms, symbolic jewelry or photos of loved ones. The energy of those items often bring about nostalgic, loving, or soothing thoughts. Even it’s just a shelf, the hope is that by passing by it, you will be reminded to breathe or smile.
  3. Keep it clean so it’s always a safe, uncluttered place for you to relax your mind.
  4. Use incense, candles, essential oils, or whatever items you feel can enhance your senses and help you move through your feelings.

Some of my personal favorites ‘Zen-den’ items:

Sage. You may want to burn sage when you enter the space. Sage has traditionally been used to rid a person or space of negative energy.

Palo Santo. Palo Santo is a sacred wood that comes from the Palo Santo tree. Its name literally means holy wood. When it is burned as incense, the smoke is believed to have both medicinal and therapeutic healing power. It is often used as a tool for promote stress reduction.

Crystals. You may want to get a few and place them around the area. Crystals have, for a long time, symbolized protection, energy, and cleansing. Some of the crystals I like to include:

  • Hematite: Used for cleansing, so it’s good to have on hand when you come in after a long day.
  • Amethyst: Great for managing stress, as it is considered a naturally calming crystal.
  • Selenite: Used to promote clarity of mind and cleansing, so it’s perfect for massaging the body to clear unwanted physical and mental stress.
  • Smokey quartz: Grounds us and helps us work through our intentions. It can also be used for energy when you need a reboot.

You can hold the crystals while meditating in your space or while simply resting. Or, you can place them around your space, surrounding where you sit or lie down.

I challenge you to create a space that you can go to for a few moments each day. What will it look like? What will you put inside of it? Having invested in yourself in this way will help develop the sacredness of your mind, body, and spirit.