Discovering Your Sacred Space
Do you have a special place that's all your own? Some place where you can let your mind wander and play and create? Cathy Goodwin, the moving lady, shares her sacred spaces and ideas on discovering your own..
Many of us have a place in our lives where we feel especially free and creative. Places we retreat to when we want to recover from a bad day, celebrate a good day, think through a knotty problem, or write the first draft of our next chapter. Some people head for the hills and the parks, but sacredness can come anywhere: one friend confided that she wrote her best grad school papers in a pizza parlor. Sometimes your entire home, and sometimes a special room in your home, will be a sacred space.
I have enjoyed several sacred spaces as Iíve moved around the country. Often my sacred space is a coffee shop.
Years ago, visiting at a university in New England, I was stuck on a research paper. One weekend I drove down to New Haven, where I found a coffee shop with just the right vibes. An outline drafted itself in half an hour.
In Philadelphia, I particularly liked the Tuscany coffee shop, just around the corner from my apartment. The counter staff got to know me. At first I had to convince them that I really prefer raw, untoasted bagels and, yes, I know itís January, but I still want my coffee iced. I first began to feel at home when they handed me one of their Christmas cards for "regulars" with a coupon for a free cappuccino.
I didnít find a sacred space in Florida until Keesha, my keeshond-chow mix, entered my life. As a new dog owner, I was surprised to learn the maxim, "A tired good is a good dog." Keesha and I learned to love the dog park in Coral Springs. I knew she had enough exercise when she was too tired to bark at the toll-takers on the Sawgrass Expressway. When she gave up chasing the cats after a half-hearted "arf" I knew we were on to something. The dog park became a sacred space. I would walk while Keesha ran, appreciating the cool breezes and the open space. When my career change became frustrating, I would walk through the park and visualize a new future. --I must say I am not a great fan of Gainesville -- where I just spent a year as a visiting professor (forgive me, Gator fans) -- but the dog park is probably one of the best in the world and that became my sacred space. If youíre not a student, Gainesville can be lonely, and the dog park had people to talk to and a place to hide from people on Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Check out their website: Dogwood Park.)
In my own Fort Lauderdale house, my backyard offers a private place to sit with the dog, drink my iced coffee, and watch the birds. Fort Lauderdale is a kind of hub for migratory species and cardinals, orioles and bluebirds stopped by as the seasons changed.
--So, whatís your sacred space? Have you discovered yours yet? If not, don't worry. Relax, and keep these two things in mind:
First, you will feel at home in a new city or a new life after you discover a sacred space.
Second, you cannot go searching for a sacred space. Your sacred space will find you.
So explore your home, your town, your life. Experience the nooks and crannies, the parks and shops, the people and the wildlife. Your sacred space is out there, looking for you.