Sanctuary

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Finding comfort at home – during stressful times – remains one of our sweetest rewards. A welcome respite at the end of a long day of work or travel, home provides for many a sanctuary within which to heal our bodies, rejuvenate our souls and revive our spirits. Often, the news of the world nips at our heels like so many hundreds of hounds from hell. If we didn’t sincerely know any better, we would all believe there exists no place to which we can not only retreat, but also renew ourselves. As a society, we may have forgotten the simple gifts of spending time alone – unplugged from the network of news and social media – where we bask in the state of just being.

For those of us who recognize the benefits of the wisdom of slowing, calming, and winding down, home often provides the best form of sanctuary. A place where – by design – we create environments to encourage relaxation, take actions to manage stimuli, and engage others to foster peace and good will. Home represents the one place in which we possess control over our environment. The simplest way – but, perhaps the most challenging one to many to begin the process of returning to one’s natural self – begins with the basic act of “unplugging.” Yes. Unplugging.

I feel fortunate to remember broadcast television consisting of only twelve stations rather than – like today – having hundreds of stations from which to choose. Similarly, I enjoy acting as if my smartphone is attached to a wall or, at the very least, a wire plugged into a wall, a landline. Do you remember the last time you left home and left your phone behind? Try it. You might like it. And, I feel grateful to understand how to manage social media, since I’ve the benefit of remembering the days when no similar equivalent existed. Yep. Unplug. And, I don’t mean forever; but instead, I suggest employing the powerful basics of common sense and self-restraint.

In the process, depending upon your age, your upbringing, and your aptitude for such things, you may even discover – or rediscover – the joys of actually doing something. And, when I suggest doing something, I mean activities that take hours, even days, to complete like reading, painting, songwriting, or writing. Anyone today can spend a whole hour on an exercise machine, but how many people can spend an afternoon – just an afternoon, mind you – reading a book? “Read a book or listen to music instead of watching television.”1

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Though every generation and age of man presents its own challenges, the fundamentals remain the same. All of us possess the innate behaviors of our forebears. Those primitive reactions and gut instincts never change; however, today we understand how to identify and manage our primitive instincts. And, in what better environment than the “home” may we exercise our power to create those environments that nurture and guide us back to our core selves? In that way, we may live as better, more centered, and whole individuals in the world. As the contributing staff of Mother Earth Living state in their piece Build Your Home Sanctuary2: establish a cleaning schedule, declutter your home and eliminate “clutter stations.” These simple acts foster an environment of comfort and encouragement. Such environments also promote focus and clarity.

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Besides “unplugging” and “decluttering,” remember to bring the natural environment into your home. Though perhaps the concept gets lost among the trappings of our modern, technological and materialistic environment, we are – after all – natural beings. As such, our innate selves find comfort among the colors and elements of the natural environment. Enjoy the flicker of an open flame. “Sitting by a crackling fire has nurtured souls from time immemorial. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, use it to create relaxing ambience. No fireplace? Make the most of candlelight . . . feel free to use them in abundance.”3

Also, consider updating the décor with freshly painted walls in colors inspired by your own creation of mood boards, which help you discover the colors that most soothe you. Likely, you’ll discover blues and greens soothe your mind and spirit especially when combined with white and pastel accents. “. . . clean whites, neutrals and pastels work well in light sunny rooms and give a sense of peacefulness.”4. Further, invest in quality furnishings for the key pieces in your home. For example, “If you have room for a sofa, or even a love seat, invest.”5

In the end, you create your definition of home and your sense of sanctuary. The more thought you give toward what you need to feel comfortable, safe, and welcome in your home, the more successfully you will create a space that truly reflects you, your desires, and your needs. Enjoy your sanctuary. You deserve it.

Footnotes

  1. Weil M.D., Andrew. “Creating a Sanctuary.” Weil.com.
  2. Mother Earth Living Staff. “Build Your Home Sanctuary.” Mother Earth Living.com. May/June, 2016.
  3. Greenberg, Cara. “How to Make Your Home a Soothing Sanctuary.” houselogic.com.
  4. Colour me calm: Create your ultimate home sanctuary.” realestate.com.au. 18 September, 2017.
  5. TSLL Staff, “The Simply Luxurious Life.” thesimplyluxuriouslife.com.

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