In order to lose yourself to the flow of thoughts and words, privacy is essential. You need to be uninterrupted and able to concentrate.
Before I signed the lease on my new apartment, I went to an open house there. It’s a little triplex built into a steep hill, with four flights of stone steps leading up to the front door. The first time I climbed those stairs, I felt like I was ascending into my leafy dream home: a tree house.
Then I found the crowning jewel of the place — a hidden patio in back. A tiny corner embraced by a 20′ stone wall with a garden bed, wildly overgrown with blackberries and morning glory. A lilac tree shaded the area and brought in dappled sunlight. Moss covered the concrete ground. Trailing vines scaled the old cedar plank fence. It smelled like earth and green. I was in love.
Even before I removed 100 lbs. of blackberry brambles and re-landscaped the whole shebang, I saw beautiful visions in this little spot. Mostly, it felt like mine. While digging weeds out of the rock wall, I accidentally shook loose an enormous boulder, narrowly missing my foot. It rolled into the perfect spot for a seat.
So I sat.
I drank lemonade and surveyed my new blank canvas, my oasis, my sanctuary. I dreamed and planned, and then I turned it into the ultimate journaling hide-out.
I brought home adirondack chairs in several shades of blue. I emptied out the garden bed and painstakingly removed all the “Yankee potatoes” (rocks, as we call them back East). I planted pink grass, white jasmine, purple heather, and passion flowers. Sunflowers, Star Gazers and Moon Lilies. Hacksaw Ferns and Bleeding Hearts. I tucked my comfy chair in the corner and started writing there in the cool green wilderness.
Feeling secure, secluded and supported, I have found some amazing pathways in my head while lounging in this sacred space. At night I can sit under the string of star lights and hand-blown glass bulbs, citronella candles and cat-tail lanterns. I can throw a log in the celestial firepit, which makes twinkling, star-shaped shadows on the ground. I can hear the crickets and frogs singing as I put my words on the page by firelight.
In the mornings, everthing feels fresh and new — hopeful. The sunflowers have their faces turned toward the rising sun. The moon lilies are quietly retreating to their earthen beds. The day feels clean and full of promise.
When I invite friends into my little wonderland, it feels like a gift for the both of us. I watch their demeanor change and their stress melt away. Even if they don’t consciously acknowledge it, the space works its magic into their soul and sets it free little by little.
It does the same for me.
Do you have a sacred space for journaling or other acts of self-care? Let’s hear about it!