Photo by Anthony Fomin on Unsplash
Our homes have always been inextricably linked to our wellbeing. And that is especially true in this Covid era. Required to spend almost all our days within our homes, it’s time to start treating them as temples.
Maybe this concept is new and seems a bit wacky to you. But if you’re familiar with Feng Shui, or the Indian equivalent Vastu Shastra, this is the fundamental philosophy behind the traditions and guidelines.
Our homes should be a haven for our minds, bodies, and spirits. They are the containers for our energy, and we have a symbiotic relationship with them. The energy we emit impacts our homes' energy, and the energy in our homes impacts how we feel.
It’s helpful to our wellbeing to be mindful of this and regard our homes as sacred spaces. They are, after all, where we recover and refresh our bodies and minds.
So we do need to put in a little effort to create and maintain a sense of sanctuary. Generally speaking, though, that doesn’t have to be anything overwhelming. For the most part, simple steps will achieve the effect we need.
As the world moved into lockdowns last year, many people started redecorating their homes. Both as a distraction and because switching up the look of our homes can also help us feel better about them and within them. The two quickest, and most cost-effective ways to do this, are to paint the walls and to change the room layout. I recommend both if you’re feeling the need for a visual change in your home.
But in terms of creating sacred space, our tasks are more basic.
To set your home up as a true sanctuary — a place that nourishes your wellbeing on all levels — think more along the lines of a temple than a magazine cover.
Whether you align with a religion or not, thinking about how temples are used and cared for will help you set your own home up as your (and your family’s) personal sanctuary:
It will be clean and clutter-free. Yeah, I know, not fun! It is the fundamental step though, like washing our bodies before we put on clean clothes. Of course, different clearing levels are possible in different households, depending on the age and needs of everyone living there.
Where mess is completely unavoidable, is it possible to zone it? Or could you organize your storage better to create pockets of temporary calm when the lego and other necessities aren’t in use? And clear out what’s definitely past being loved and used — even if it’s only to the car boot until the charity shops can reopen.
Use sound, mindfully chosen to raise spirits. Sing, chant, play instruments. Turn off the news and play Mozart in the background as you go about your day-to-day activities.
Smudge the space by burning incense or herbs. Make sure your incense has natural ingredients, not synthetic. And set an intention around what kind of energy you want your home to support before smudging. Do this regularly, especially after a household member has been sick or after an argument.
Create a little altar. This doesn't have to carry any religious connotations whatsoever. Instead, dedicate a space to symbolically showcase what matters most to you right now. It can act as a reminder when the small things start to get you down and be a reminder that your home itself is a sacred space.
Fresh Air, Greenery, and Symbolism.
Other simple steps include opening the windows as much as possible to allow fresh air (energy, chi) to circulate through your home.
And while we don’t see plants in religious temples, they make a great addition to a home. This is especially true if you have no outside space, as plants bring vital living energy into our space.
Review the art and other knick-knacks around your home. Do they reflect you and your life? Do they symbolically support the journey you wish to take going forwards? If you want your home to feel peaceful and happy, does the art you’re looking at daily evoke those feelings?
Art depicting stormy scenarios or sadness might be better swapped out for more joyful scenes. And in the bedroom, be sure you’re displaying symbols of happy couples and not sad or lonely-looking people.
We want our homes to symbolically represent joy, health, love, compassion, and all the other good stuff we wish for ourselves and our loved ones. When we walk through the doors, we want to feel uplifted by the space.
And we want that sense of harmony to stay with us as we move through our homes. So, after we’ve completed any necessary decluttering, it’s important to be thorough with our maintenance cleaning.
I don’t love cleaning, but reframing the idea that it is a chore to being a spiritual practice helps me. I consider my home to be a temple for my body, mind, and spirit, and I treat it accordingly. It has helped me tremendously throughout the past year.
I invite you to see your own home as a similarly sacred space and see how that shift in perception might change how you feel.
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