If you have been following my blog for any length of time you will know that I am someone on the move. Two years ago I was living in a small city apartment in Lyon. Then there was a year in a large country farmhouse in Poitou Charentes. Next, a three-month stint in a tiny studio in Bordeaux and now a small cottage in the grounds of the villa we look after. It’s an odd existence at times, and one that does not really allow for the creation of personal space for doing anything artistic.
I firmly believe that we all need space to create. Whether we are writing, painting, crafting or expressing ourselves through song or dance, it’s important to have somewhere to do this. However, I realise that for many people the possibility of a designated space is a dream at best. It usually looks more like a nook under the stairs with the kids running past as opposed to a beautiful study, complete with hardwood floors, floor to ceiling bookshelves and a window overlooking tranquil gardens.
My art is my massage and aromatherapy. Right now my massage bed sits obediently in the corner, folded and packed away in its cover. My aromatherapy materials are tucked away in a cupboard to the left of the dining table. The dining table is the place I normally work.
A square solid wooden table, you could barely fit four people around it. After breakfast and lunch I clear away the placemats and get out my laptop if I’m writing or my oil supplies if I’m making products. Next mealtime, it all goes away again. For massage, if I move the furniture in our living space into the right configuration I can just about squeeze around the massage bed.
It is hardly what I imagined when I decided I needed a space to practise my art. However, this is what I have for now and strangely enough it works. Although it feels less than ideal, I’m getting used to working in cramped conditions and the endless taking out and putting away of my materials.
I have realised that if I have the headspace to create something, then I’m able to do it regardless of whether I have the perfect physical space. I have learned to visualise my sacred space, and by opening the window a crack and hearing the birdsong outside, or by burning some oils or making some herbal tea, I find I’m able to sit quite comfortably in that space and work. As a visual person I find it helps to use imagery so I have created a board on Pinterest where I go every now and then for inspiration.
I may not have my own massage room or the perfect place to write or create, but I can still work from my sacred space. Maybe the space in our mind is all that matters anyway.
“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” ~ Joseph Campbell