Sweet Sanctuary – Where is Yours?
The definition of sanctuary in the words of my dear friend Marianne Piotrowski is “A place of refuge, a place to feel safe & comfortable. A place where one can de-stress from the outside world & commune with God.” It means something different to each of us but serves us all in the same way. Sanctuary can be your home, work, family, friends, outdoors, church – anything, really. But what does it mean to you?
Most times, a person’s sanctuary changes depending on what stage they’re in at that moment of their life. When things are good, it can be family or friends. When faced with hardship – death, divorce, or job loss – many people find sanctuary in their faith. For years, my sanctuary was work because I couldn’t bear to be at home. Over the last couple of years, my sanctuary has shifted to my home. I have transformed it into a place where I enjoy being, though I don’t spend nearly enough time there. When I faced losing my home, it became very clear how much it meant to me & I fought with all of my being to keep it. Thankfully, it worked & I feel so blessed.
What are the characteristics of your sanctuary? Are you surrounded by people & things that you love? Is it simply going to the beach to watch the sunset? Is it escaping to the spa for an amazing massage? Maybe cooking a delicious meal for your cherished family or friends? Here’s what my sanctuary looks like:
Home. I have a tiny condo in Huntington Beach. To many it’s nothing special but to me it’s my escape. I’ve decorated it with antique furniture & vintage glassware- each carefully selected based on the feeling I get the minute I see it. If it takes my breath away, I must see it every day in my home. I love how I can either close all of the curtains & hibernate or go out on the balcony to soak up the sun or watch the stars. I’m just a half-mile from the beach so I enjoy riding my skateboard or bike on the boardwalk & watching the waves. I love where I live & Marianne points out that it’s not the house that is important, it’s what you do with it to make it HOME that is significant. She is so right!
Pets. I’m the crazy pet lady. 3 cats, 11 lizards, a frog, a fish & a praying mantis. It seems like it would be crowded, but it works- everyone gets along, each is well fed & loved. The antics of them all is hilarious, I laugh hysterically at the crazy things they do! The cats cuddle with me at night while the lizards, fish & frog just do their own things. The praying mantis kind of freaks me out but I’m dedicated to caring for him well.
Plants. I have an itty-bitty balcony where I keep my unique garden. I have a “black thumb” & manage to destroy all plants that require TLC. So, I have a succulent & cactus garden (they thrive on neglect) in which only the unusual looking plants live. My favorite is my Night Blooming Cereus– it’s large & fragrant blooms open for just one night then wilt as the sun rises. This plant attracts bats! Too bad there aren’t any bats at the beach…. I can only imagine how amazing it would be to sit outside at night & watch them swoop in for a drink of nectar.
Scents. I use aromatherapy in my home to enhance my time there. Wallflowers by Bath & Bodyworks are my favorite- the scents I use are Eucalyptus Mint for stress relief or Lavender Chamomile for relaxation. There’s nothing better than having a great smelling sanctuary!
Paint me a picture of what your sanctuary looks like & how you created it – I’d love to know! Maybe I can get some ideas from you on how to increase my enjoyment while in mine. Thank you for sharing!