The Importance of Home
"Sacred Space is where you can find yourself again and again." - Joseph Campbell
You do not have to be wealthy or have a large house to create a space that constantly reminds you of your own deepest values and hopes and inspires you to realize them. For example, the house I live in now has been furnished on a shoestring. My night stands come from a hospital in Wyoming and were given to me by a great friend who delivered babies there. The coffee table in my living room is an old wooden, hand-whittled chicken coop that is 75 years old. The most expensive feature in my whole home is an Indian poster I received as a gift. Everything else I own was either picked up while traveling, discovered in thrift stores or garage sales—even back alleys on garbage collection days—and from wonderful reasonably priced stores like Pier One. I mention this to make it clear that what you need to create a sacred space is NOT money, but what each of us already has: creativity, intuitive guidance, imagination and inspiration.
The importance of home
No matter what place you call home, the very word strikes a chord deep inside each of us. Home means sanctuary, the place we can rest, relax, enjoy time with friends, learn, grow … and just be. Our homes say a lot about who we are and what we think is important in life.
Home is where the heart is but it goes deeper than that. Our connections to home are basic threads in our lives that pop up automatically in casual conversation. We use the word home to identify where we’re from (hometown), cheer on players who represent us in sports (home teams), describe a level of comfort (at home), relate to our national identity (homeland), and at the end of a vacation, name it as our favorite next destination (“There’s no place like home.”).
When we purchase a home, we look for it to provide comfort, to be a place where we can feel safe and invest our hopes, dreams and wishes as a foundation for our future. Most of us have pretty similar goals and intentions in life, no matter what size, shape, color or type of home we choose in a given geographic location. We all want to start a life with a significant other, perhaps have a family, grow through life’s stages and eventually retire. That’s the American dream. As our lives progress, the daily demands of family, friends, school, careers and all the unforeseen events we deal with over time all contribute to the stress in the overall atmosphere in the places we call home.
Think for a moment of your home. If you were to describe it in a word or two, what would it be? Peaceful and calm? Orderly? Disorganized and chaotic? Messy? Open and welcoming? How would you compare the way you describe your home to the life you lead? Our environments are often the exterior reflections of our interior worlds.
Trusting our senses: our guides to what we can’t see
Think back to the last time you went apartment or house hunting. (Note how we refer to it as a “house” at first. We don’t transition to calling it “home” until we begin to think of it as ours.) How did you know whether you liked a space when you first walked through the door? Did you smile? Sigh? Check to see where the closest exit is? What was your first tipoff that the space was a hit or a miss?
Chances are your body told you pretty fast what your reaction was. We all have a set of intuitive monitors that help us know quickly whether we want to stay in a place or not. They’re called our senses. They are an inborn part of our wiring and with just a little imagination, we can call them forth and use them in some pretty creative ways.