We are on the cusp of a new decade. The 20s are sure to bring highs and lows for each of us individually and collectively. As thought leaders and consciousness activators, it is important that we are prepared for the opportunities, evolutions and transformations to come. Which is why it's more important now than ever to establish, reconnect or deepen your meditation practice in 2020. Today I'm writing about how anyone can go about strengthening their foundation to hold and flow with life with greater ease and deeper connection.
A lot of us meditate only when we need it. Feeling too much stress or anxiety is our impetus to finally sit down and be with our minds and ourselves. It’s true that meditation helps in moments that are highly charged--and is a great place to start. But what I want for you, and my intention for writing this article, is more than just a quick fix. I want your meditation practice to be so strong on the good days so that the bad days don’t feel so heavy and difficult.
Think of it in a way like your health. Eating one piece of spinach doesn’t do much for you. However, when you eat healthy consistently it can improve your whole life. The same with meditation. Meditate when you are happy and joyful already so that it supports you when you need it the most.
I want you, and everyone in this community to be strong, able to face the storms, challenges and blessings that are coming our way in this new decade. Establishing a consistent meditation practice for yourself is the best way to bolster your energy, body, mind and emotions. Which is why I want to offer you from my heart the three essential steps: creating a space in your home, setting up an altar, and establishing a supportive foundation to reconnect with or deepen your existing 2020 meditation routine. So without further ado..
Step 1: Creating Your Sacred Space In Your Home
Setting up a sacred space in your home is like creating a container to hold water. An altar space holds the energy of your meditation practice. If you don’t have a place to meditate in your home, how likely are you to actually meditate? Probably not very likely. Just like trying to hold water in a strainer, it won't work out well. Your good intentions will eventually be drained without the proper space.
So let’s begin with your container. When setting up a meditation space KISS it, keep it super simple. Creating sacred space is a fun, open-hearted activity that is both self-nurturing and highly creative. It's important to have this approach in mindset so you're coming from a strong foundation before you begin. I enjoy creating my sacred spaces so much that I even do it when I travel -- in miniature of course!
Next, lets look at the location. Where in your home do you want to meditate? Find a quiet space where you are less likely to be distracted. This could be a corner of your bedroom or living room. Do you have an office space? Finding the perfect space depends on if you live with others and how much private time you have to yourself. I know some people even meditate in their closets because its the only place they won't be disturbed.
Lastly, once you have the space picked out, clean the space a little extra. Vacuum/sweep the floors. Clean the baseboards, notice if the walls are dusty or have cobwebs and take care of them if present. Declutter the area as much as possible. You may want to smudge the space with sacred herbs or use the vibrations of singing bowls or tingshas to clear the energy. In general you want this space to start off as clear and pure as possible. In essence, you want to basically purge any stale or negative energy and set it up with love, and a higher vibration.
Step 2: Setting Up Your Altar
An altar within your sacred space holds energy for your spiritual practices. It holds inspiration that elevates your heart and spirit and keeps you focused on your inward journey. First, we want to start with the form of an altar, and then add beauty with objects that inspire.
Begin by gathering inspirational objects that you want to include. I like to elevate my altars off the floor. Using a small table (thrift stores are a great place to look for these), a box with a cloth over it, a tray, or a window sill can be a great container to anchor the space. Now look for things you already have to decorate the space: art, a vase for flowers, pretty cloths or linens, candles, crystals, incense, smudging materials, statues, singing bowls… Really, you can add anything to an altar as long as it makes your heart smile.
I feel a candle is appropriate for all altars. If you had nothing but a box and a candle, that could be it. In fact, that might be best if you are just getting started with your practice or working with an altar. Remember that the KISS method is important here.
You don’t have to use all your inspirational objects today. When someone is just learning how to recognize spices as they are cooking, it is easier to recognize and delineate how each spice changes the flavor when added one at a time, and also notice how the person eating feel as they’re eating. The same goes for placing objects on your altar. If you are new to this practice start small, just 1 or 2 objects at a time. As you become more comfortable with your awareness of the energy the objects you’ve chosen hold--and then you can add new and switch objects out with greater ease. Notice how you feel sitting at your altar with the beautiful objects you've added.
If you want to do something more, take your items gathered, arrange them on your altar and in your space in a way that is visually appealing to you. Do your best not to overload the altar. I am the queen of this--I want to have it all there with me. Your space is so clean and clear, don’t overdo it now. You can always refresh your altar and change things out over time. As you can see, I'm writing this article just as much for you as I am also writing it as a great reminder for me. :)
Since this is a sacred space you are creating, treat it with loving care. Keep it clean and tidy. If you have fresh flowers, replace them regularly. Keep it dust free. I like to gaze upon each item regularly sharing my love and appreciation with it. Whenever you feel inspired or the focus of your meditation practice shifts you can update and change your altar. You can switch out one item or start fresh. Your altar is an outer reflection of the love and devotion you have in your heart and mind.
After you have had your altar set up for some time and have been using it, you will notice that it is special. As soon as you sit down you feel yourself more at ease and peaceful. Your mind begins to settle and your body feels like it is safe, and being held on your meditation cushion. When someone walks into this space, they know immediately that something special happens there. It is a place you can go to at any time day or night to help you realign with your center and your highest self.
Step 3: Establishing Your Daily Ritual
Now that your altar is set up and you have your own sacred space (even if that is in a public area of your home) it is time to interact with it daily. Sit in front of your altar. Light your candle or incense. Settle into your seat and breathe. Breathe in this new space that you have for yourself. Breathe out the stress of your day. Breathe in the self-care that got you here. Breathe out anything you no longer need. Sitting, breathing and being in your sacred space is enough today.
When you are developing your daily ritual, this is time spent with yourself to nourish and feed your body, mind and spirit. It is time that invites you to let go of all the distractions of your life and focus inward. It may only be 5 minutes of your day. But, you will begin to feel its effects, like a ripple, move through your daily life.
Your daily ritual is a series of actions taken to help your mind, body and spirit come into alignment. Alignment certainly can be found without ritual. However, I feel that ritual makes the process much easier. It sets the stage and creates an environment that invites you to go within, to calm your system and tap into your highest self. Ritual has been an important part of our lives throughout the ages. Tap into this ancient wisdom by establishing your own perfect practice.
An app with guided meditation might be helpful when getting your routine established. There are also many practitioners like myself that hold space for people at the same time every day for 2-3 weeks at a time. Reach out to me in the comments or my website if this is something that might interest you.
Putting it all together to support your spiritual growth and success in 2020.
A consistent meditation practice is the key to your spiritual growth. It all begins with your creating a space and combining it with your personalized daily ritual. Getting to know, love and trust in your Self is the only thing that will support your heart’s deepest desires. You will be amazed at how much it will positively impact everything else in your life.
In next week's article, I’ll be digging deeper into how to practice your meditation. For now, explore what naturally arises when you simply sit with your beautiful altar for a few minutes each day. What natural rhythm does your ritual want to take? When you create the space and allow time in that space your perfect ceremony of being with yourself will arise.
As for me, it is time that I go sit in my sacred space. I will light my candle, sound my singing bowl, breathe consciously and be with myself today. The last week has been challenging for my family. My meditation practice and my rituals got me through.
With Love I’ll See You on the Inside,
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