After an early start of yoga and meditation I sit to write a letter to myself five years in the future. I’m writing by candle light because it’s about 7am and a seriously foggy morning so the cabin I’m staying in is dark. During the letter writing I take time to reflect on all the aspects of my life that are important; Ruth and the creation of our family, my work and it’s impact in the world, my health both physically and mentally, the community of friends near and far and the community we live with in Frome, and my commitment to guitar playing, song writing and learning, and ceremony facilitation. I set down intentions and prayers for how I would love these things to pan out over the next five years, pop it in an envelope and seal it with my name on the front.
Letter finished I wrap up warm and head out into the heavy fog for a walking meditation. Fasting brings a powerful presence of mind and a clarity of thought and it’s a real pleasure to enhance and cultivate that through almost constant meditation, whatever I’m doing. Walking is a great form of meditation. I chant my mantra in time with my steps which are slow and balanced. At times I’m walking through the middle of fields totally surrounded by fog and grass, that’s it.
Nearing the end of the walk a couple are out and about with four dogs woofing and barking at each other and their owners. When the dogs see me they come bounding over and standing about 10 feet away get stuck into some serious barking. If looks could kill the closest dog would have vaporised in a cloud of flame and the others would have run away with their tails between their legs. Instead the owner had to come over and drag them away using lead and stick. I took an alternative route home and came across a stunning stretch of stream and woodland. A small run of clear water, some two foot wide, found it’s way down a sandy gull. On the side I walked there was a wide and flat path covered with oak leaves, the other side rose up in a steep hill spotted with vibrant green ferns. The previous spring that entire side had been one field of wild garlic, I remember picking some.
My feet guide me to off path and down to the edge of the stream, I take off my glove and hat and stand there, awe struck by the sheer power and beauty that surrounds me. I make a prayer that goes something like this:
Aho Great Spirit, Mother Earth, Father Sun, The Four Sacred Directions and the Heart Within.
Thank you for this beauty, this presence, this power. This feeling of your life force that I feel within me too. Thank you for the power in these trees, their strength, their integrity, their ability to support life and nurture the land. Thank you for this stream with it’s clear flowing water that gives to and shares with and loves all that it touches.
Thank you for this air, this spirit that moves between and around everything, the Great Spirit that breathes in me too. Thank you for it’s purity, for the light that shines through it, for the sense of sacredness in this moment, in this space.
I love you Nature. I love you Mother Earth. I love your capacity to love us humans too. Help us to see the way forwards, to become the stewards that we have the potential to be, allow us to evolve and grow into a fully co-creative partnership with you so that our work is channelled towards the continuation of your beauty, so that we give willingly of our gifts and service to the continuation of your life force.
Guide me, I ask, bless me, with clarity of mind and body, clarity in my expression and in my service. Allow me to continue with my coaching work and let it have a massive and transformational impact on all that it touches. Allow me to stay connected and tuned in to your power and strength and to always remind myself that I do this work for you, for your beauty, for the successful evolution of our species.
Thank you for the guidance and support you’ve already given me, thank you for the sources of inspiration and that guides that have come to me on my journey so far, bless them in their work, bless their continued success. Bless their families and their businesses because they are doing important and worth work.
Thank you for your presence and strength, for your understanding of my prayer, I feel it already answered. Thank you for the confidence you give me to go on living, to do my thing in the world with passion and commitment.
I was having a serious ‘moment’ there down by the stream. Having that prayer received and heard and resonating in the landscape around me. I was bought close to tears as I made my way slowly back to my cabin, once again chanting my mantra internally with each step forwards.
What do I mean by sacred space?
By sacred space I mean creating the time and opportunities to connect with the idea of your life being an act of service. That you have been given this gift of life and that you’re going to do your best with it. You have a purpose, a meaning, a gift to bring into the world that will be some kind of beneficial service. We all do. It’s part of what makes us human. If you don’t feel like you’re living that gift right now then perhaps you haven’t created enough sacred space in your life so that you can tune into what that gift might be.
Your purpose will be linked to some kind of helping the world become a better place, once you discover this you begin to live your life always according to this deeper level of meaning and significance. It isn’t always easy or straightforwards but the feeling of striving to live your own life, one that is authentic and one in which you bring out your best service into the world is totally fulfilling, enjoyable and satisfying.
Sacred space also means the understanding of your life fitting into the larger unfolding of the world around you. You see your work as part of a puzzle (in how it fits in with the gifts o others), you recognise your small part to play is having influence and impact. The world is changing, we are moving between stories into a new time. How are you contributing to that change?
To feel nature, to connect with her rhythms, to understand her pace and to put yourself in service of her is part of having sacred space in your life. Part of our current dislocation as a global community is the forgetting that we are nature, not a part of it, not standing outside, not the stewards, we are nature through and through.
We are born with a capacity of rational and reflective thought and language that appears to put us separate or somehow ‘above’ nature, what a load of rubbish that is. Our primary and only real duty in the end is to be of service to nature.
What if we could evolve as humans to become the co-creators of a fantastically wild, fruitful, abundant and harmonious planet?
Is that really beyond us?
That, for me, is our collective ultimate purpose and I believe if you spend enough time in nature, alone perhaps, on retreat, or simply connecting with your local woods, you’ll begin to get an understanding of that divine calling within all of us to do work that is good for the planet.
Why is it important and what is the impact of sacred space in your life?
You will live with a power and depth of courage.
Knowing that you are creating your business, or making that pitch, or going into that meeting or hosting the workshop because you’re in service to a larger story gives you power and courage. Whatever you do for your work, knowing that you are doing that action because ultimately it’s a sacred service to the world will fortify your will and clarify your intent. Each day becomes a gift in which you can give of your talents and service to the maximum. You live with a joy and power because of your connectedness and understanding to the notion of service.
Having sacred space in your life keeps your orientated.
You know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. My good friend Peter Hawkins likes the joke:
‘What the definition of a mid-life crisis?
Getting to the top of your ladder and realising it’s standing agains the wrong wall.’
How many of us go charging after some illusion of success, advertised and forced upon us by our society or friends or colleagues. And then when we have money or fast cars or houses or power we realise that it’s totally vacuous, unfulfilling and void. Our life has been one constant chase after some illusory dream.
Sacred space is not illusory, the notion of service to better nature is not illusory, you are either in service or not. If you create time and opportunities in your life to connect with you deepest calling and deepest service, and then work consistently towards that you won’t experience any kind of mid-life crisis. You are oriented in the world of work through an inner compass.
Your morning routine is sacred.
Practicing yoga, meditating and journalling each morning gives you the opportunity to checkin with your intentions, your dreams, your direction in life. Try asking yourself some of these questions and then journaling to see what comes:
Am I doing my best?
Am I living my true and powerful service?
What can I drop today that isn’t truce for me any more?
What can I take up today that feels exciting and empowering?
Self-reflective journalling is a form of being in your sacred space and digging into your psyche. You spend time contacting your core motivations, your search for meaning happens in a conscious and focused way.
My plan is to write and share more about the process of building sacred space into our lives, with a particular focus on the creating of a good morning routine. Let me know if there are specific questions you have or areas you’d like me to write about.