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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.

How do you create your own sacred space when you literally have no place to go?Tweet: How do you create your own sacred space when you literally have no place to go? http://ctt.ec/dB8b7+ @wildbeebeauty

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.

Whatever your space looks like on the outside, it’s the space you cultivate inside that matters.Tweet: Whatever your space looks like on the outside, it’s the space you cultivate inside that matters http://ctt.ec/9fbR7+ @wildbeebeauty

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

Massage SpaceDo you have a sacred space for your art?  If not, how do you create one?  I’d love you to leave me a comment ♥

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4 Comments

Tara Leaver · March 20, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Oh I love this Elizabeth! So beautifully described and I love the inner space concept. I started making art in my bedroom, then gravitated to the dining table when I had my own place. That slowly took over the whole living area, which was less than ideal. You do have to be ruthless when you’re borrowing space for short periods! And I am not so it was constant chaos. After that I used a small spare bedroom, and now I’m fortunate enough to have a dedicated studio space in my home, years later. Your set up sounds so organised and clean; I love the idea of you sitting at a scrubbed wooden table mixing your oils, with the scents swirling around and the sound of birdsong outside the window!

    elizabeth · March 20, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Tara, thanks for sharing your own story. It’s great to see how you’ve gradually expanded your art space bit by bit to finally end up with your own studio, which sounds great. I am still dreaming of that with my massage space…. The wooden table is a pretty good workspace though and the kitchen/dining/living space is all open so I am able to use to stove and the table simultaneously when melting wax etc. for my balms. The birdsong definitely helps – there are wood pigeons, woodpeckers and a robin plus others that I don’t know the names of yet. It all helps 🙂

terriv · March 21, 2015 at 1:24 am

Lovely post Elizabeth – one of my favourite topics! I’ve struggled to create this also and have a place I love after many years with all my books in one place, my much loved roll-top desk and a view of trees. I also have a special cafe I love to be in where I am writing from now. Sacred spaces can come in all shapes and sizes. One thing I have learnt though is that the space to create is just one piece; you can have the best space in the world and achieve little and no dedicated space and achieve much by finding creative solutions. For me, it could easily be a form of resistance: waiting for that perfect space and time becoming something of an excuse not to sit down and write.
Thanks for the inspiration as always x

    elizabeth · March 22, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Terri, I love the sound of your space with your books, desk and view, and it’s always a bonus to find a great cafe to write in. I would so love my own (perfect) space but I just don’t have it right now and who knows if I ever will, so being able to cultivate the ability to create from wherever I am is really important. You’re right when you say that waiting for the perfect space can just become something of an excuse. Hope you’re having a great weekend x

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