During the holiday season last year, we explored how to discover your inner sanctuary.
And with the year we’ve had, retreating to your inner sanctuary may have felt like a great option.
Yet, you may not have gone there as often as you intended.
And I understand.
This year has been hectic. Undergoing a global pandemic with shifting circumstances and now tackling holiday errands has added to the pile on your plate.
So you kept putting off self-care and visits to your inner sanctuary. You were busy, and you needed to be there for your family. That’s excusable, right?
This is the pitfall I see so many women fall into… Thinking that your well-being is optional.
Rather, it’s the opposite. Self-care is the pathway to success, abundance, and growth.
If it’s been a while, it’s time to brush the cobwebs from your inner sanctuary and restore it to a temple of peace and reverence.
But first things first…
What is Your Inner Sanctuary?
Your inner sanctuary is the sacred space within you where you can retreat.
Only you have access to your sanctuary.
And your inner sanctuary can be whatever you need it to be.
For now, it can be a place of solitude, serenity, and silence.
It can also shift over time. When you feel like you’re in a rut, your inner sanctuary can also be a destination for inspiration, creativity, and empowerment.
Your inner sanctuary is how you define it, and whatever serves you best throughout your life.
Why Is Your Inner Sanctuary So Important?
2020 confirmed that we can’t always visit an external destination to feel peace.
With businesses closed, you couldn’t retreat to the spa for the afternoon. You might have even needed to postpone your travel plans.
When your external world is affected, the only place you can find relief is your internal world.
You can find sanctuary and peace within yourself.
So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and burned out, you know that you can visit your inner sanctuary to feel centered and revitalized again.
But the thing is, your inner sanctuary serves you best only when you visit it regularly. Otherwise, you may be denying yourself all the benefits it has to offer.
How to Restore Your Sanctuary If You Haven’t Visited It For a While
Last holiday season, we talked about how to discover your sanctuary. But if it’s been a while since you visited it, you may have noticed some things have changed. In this technological age, your mind may feel like it’s hooked to a dopamine drip. You crave constant stimulation, and you find it in television, social media, or your emails.
Rediscovering your inner sanctuary is difficult when your attention is splintered.
So, here’s a meditation for restoring your inner sanctuary to the oasis of peace and inspiration you desire…
#1 Relax Your Senses
Find a quiet room where there’s a comfortable place to sit (be sure to leave your phone in another room and turn off the ringer).
Close your eyes.
Breathe in through your nose slowly to the count of five.
Then exhale slowly through your mouth to the count of ten (let the world around you melt away).
#2 Visualize Your Inner Sanctuary in Disrepair
If it’s been a while since you last visited your inner sanctuary, let its appearance reflect this.
Let’s say your sanctuary is a small cottage in a peaceful meadow. Imagine a thick layer of dust has settled everywhere. Cobwebs accumulated in every corner, and the plant life around you has browned. The sky is overcast, with no sunshine to warm you.
This may feel unsettling. But let this serve as a visual reminder of what happens when you don’t regularly care for yourself.
“Self-care is a practice that warrants active attention to strengthen your well-being,” said Shainna Ali, Ph.D. in Psychology Today. When you put self-care on the back burner, your health suffers — you feel anxious, your muscles ache, and your focus blurs.
When you don’t visit your sanctuary regularly, it also suffers from neglect.
#3 Now, Visualize Your Inner Sanctuary Being Restored
Continue with your deep breathing. Imagine your inner sanctuary being restored with each out-breath.
Slowly, the sun peeks from behind the clouds. The dust lifts from the surfaces. The plants slowly spring to life in vibrant greens, yellows, and pinks. The sound of birds chirping fills the air.
Immerse your senses — sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell — with all the sensations that delight you.
Experience every moment. Feel truly present within your inner sanctuary.
#4 Recognize How This Makes You Feel
As you embrace your senses, tune in to how you feel within your inner sanctuary.
Do you feel safe and at peace? Notice that.
Do you feel clarity and purpose? Notice that.
Do you feel empowered and inspired? Notice that.
Identify the emotions you are feeling and etch them within your heart.
What you’re doing is creating a strong emotional connection to your inner sanctuary.
When your physical world feels like it’s chaos and you’re pulled in every direction, a strong emotional connection to your inner sanctuary may encourage you to return again and again.
Make Visiting Your Inner Sanctuary Part of Your Self-Care Routine
The beautiful part of your inner sanctuary is that it’s always there when you need it.
But you might take that for granted and not visit as often as you would like.
Remember: your inner sanctuary isn’t solely for when you’re feeling overextended or signs of burnout.
It’s a place you can visit every day, especially during the hectic holiday season.
Just as you would practice self-care every day, make visiting your inner sanctuary a non-negotiable daily practice.
Imagine visiting your inner sanctuary each morning. In this way, before you give yourself away to the world, you explore the world within you.
You’re at peace. You’re centered. And you’re grounded, ready to face the day ahead.
Sometimes the best holiday gifts are the ones that cost nothing at all. That’s why I offer you this free gift: a list of my favorite holiday self-care practices (which take 15 minutes or less). These small acts of self-love can remind you how important it is to prioritize self-care and your well-being during this special time of year.
I hope that you use this list to take time for yourself during this holiday season.
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