Embodying the Sacred Self – Celebrating Our Struggles – Part 4 of 6
We all have something sacred, something that we protect, something that we would respond to without thought, but do we ourselves make that list? Embodying the sacred self is a powerful process, one that takes great discipline and practice.
A quote from quora.com:
To hold something sacred means valuing something enough to let it change you.
The meaning of the word “sacred” has shifted for me throughout the years, and recently, it has shifted again. To me, the word “sacred” once meant religious. 15 years ago, I heard a friend call her house her sanctuary – that stuck with me! I was on the road non-stop at that point in my life, and I was comforted by the thought of leaving and returning to my sanctuary instead of my house.
Stepping Stones Toward Recognizing the Sacred Self: Sacred Spaces
During my Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy (CFLA) training to become a writing facilitator at Women Writing for (a) Change (WWf(a)C) I was introduced to the concept of building an altar, “a sacred space,” something I could set up anywhere. I found that to be a comfort as well; an anchor, a resource to ground myself and to draw strength from.
I never dreamed I would find myself inside a church, much less confirmed, but for my spiritual direction training, I had to experience a prayer practice, and thanks to my dog Moonshine (that’s another story), I ended up at St. Thomas Episcopal Church for an Ash Wednesday service in 2016. It was a beautiful space, I lit a candle, and I took communion. I also wrote in my journal as I sat and listened, and it was peaceful. I felt a connection to myself, and to something bigger than me; not to that person I saw in the mirror, but to the person I was looking FOR!
Stepping-Stones Toward Recognizing the Sacred Self: The Divine
In my spiritual direction training, we were studying the “Jesus Prayer,” and to be honest, I was very uncomfortable. It felt religious, it felt strange, and it felt forced on my life like church once was forced on me. Then something clicked! They were talking about how we were to use this practice to embody the teachings of Christ. I realized that I’d spent my life embodying Jimi Hendrix and embodying the teachings of Christ would be just as powerful. No matter what your belief— you can’t go wrong with practicing “loving each other as we love ourselves,” and importantly, vice-versa.
But wait—to truly embody something takes more than work, and more than commitment, it takes passion. You don’t embody something by doing it 10 minutes a day for 3 or 4 days, and then it falls off your radar. It’s not something you do once a week for 2 hours and then forget about, like church was for me when I was a kid.
Practice Embracing Healthy Boundaries
My life is full, it’s busy, and I sometimes don’t know where to start with the practice of self-care. When my schedule clears a bit, that ends up being just another opportunity to fill it up with all the things that I hadn’t had time to do the first time I was asked. It’s easy to fall into the habit of treating other peoples’ time as more sacred than our own. How do we break this cycle to embody the sacred self?
A little over a month ago, I started reading a book on boundaries. I had no idea the profound shift that was about to occur. I’ve learned that without boundaries, I have zero hope for developing a sustainable daily self-care practice. Without boundaries, I will never be able to invest my energy wisely, and that will deplete my capacity to heal, to achieve balance, or ever to be my best.
So what do boundaries have to do with “Embodying the Sacred Self?” When something is sacred, it has natural boundaries. Here’s an example I like to use: If someone asked to borrow my guitar, my old 1963 Fender Strat, I would say no and never once consider an apology. That guitar is sacred to me, and sacred comes with its own set of boundaries that I don’t have to work at, carve out, apologize fpr, or force myself to apply. Am I myself not as sacred as my guitar?
Connecting Celebration of Struggles with the Sacred Self
We’re all looking for meaning! What if we looked at the gifts and treasure that each one of us has and embrace them as sacred until we can embody them as our own? Just like when I let go of my wounds with my history around “religion” and allowed myself to embrace the sacred that day at St. Thomas, it frees us to become one with what we hold sacred, honoring the healthy boundaries we need and deserve for our own self-care.
Embodying the Sacred Self forms the core of part four of the six-part Celebrating Our Struggles series.
Let’s continue or start YOUR healing journey.
If you’re already in the class or on the journey, let this blog serve as a reminder and support of your process. If you’re not, I’d love to help you get started. There may still be time to register for the next class. Here are some options for you:
- Read Part 1: Reflection & Writing
- Read Part 2: Daily Self-Care Practice
- Read Part 3: Quieting the Inner Critic
- Read Part 5: Living Your Dreams
- Read Part 6: Finding Your Muse
- Consider One-to-One Coaching
- Inquire about a custom Workshop