How often do you feel like escaping? Just getting away from it all? It is possible to create your own little sanctuary, a corner of the world that is just for you. While the term altar is often connected to religious settings, it really means any space that is sacred.
Making an altar is a way of creating such a sanctuary and it can be created even in a tiny space. Sacred spaces make us feel comfortable, welcomed, supported, and loved. They are vital containers of positive intention and action.
An expressive space for memories, intention and purpose, an altar is a lovely opportunity to focus our attention on what we are grateful for and what we want to manifest, and to define our sources of inspiration. With life moving as fast as it does, it can be all too easy to lose sight of our hopes, dreams, passions, and all the love and beauty that surrounds us.
Remembering and meditating on this within the framework of an altar, we remember what is important to us and invite ourselves to turn inwards and explore our inner skies with clear intentions. Making your own devotional altar in the home is a wonderful creative process, like a living diary of where we have been and what we have experienced, a physical reflection of what matters to us the most and where we are at in our lives and relationships.
How to make an altar
A colourful fabric covering or clean earthy texture such as wood or ceramic makes a good setting, and having memorable objects from our travels linking to cultures and traditions that we resonate with can help us to become grounded. Fresh flowers or a plant remind us of our synergy with nature. You can add anything that you love, from photos to poems, crystals, shells, stones, ornaments, candles etc. Additionally, your altar could include inspirational quotes or pictures, music, a journal, or written notes.
If there is a particular theme or concern in your life that you need help with, find a way to stay with it here. Express it on paper or find a physical object that represents it. Stay calmly with it to bring about resolution and peace, preventing the mind from overthinking.
Practicing gratitude or journaling, relaxation and meditation, but also gentle forms of exercise such as yoga and pilates can all take place in this sacred space that you have provided just for you. You can also use your altar as a space to set an intention for the day or week, helping to keep track of your goals, both short term and longer term.
So when you next feel like jumping on a plane, which is becoming increasing more difficult at present, take a few minutes out in your sacred space to escape, relax, and reset. Keep it simple- enjoy each moment.
Author: Christina Mardell-Walsh, Head of Student Wellbeing