From ALTAR YOUR SPACE by JAGAT JOTI KHALSA
Whether or not we consider ourselves spiritual or religious, we all innately crave contact with something greater that restores and connects us to life. We long to belong, to feel happy, peaceful, and comfortable in our own skin. We crave the feeling of completeness, of totality. We ache to feel that little chill that travels along the spine, tingles the skin and stirs the soul. Perhaps we pray for ourselves and for others to feel better, calmer and happier; or to be protected, loved and sustained. Basically we are all looking for a little more peace and security on earth, and a little more meaning joy in life. These longings move us to reach towards that indefinable thing we call the Sacred.
Many of us imagine we can only experience the sacred in formal settings, and designated places of worship outside of our homes that we have to dress up to visit, that we have to drive to in our cars and where we can stay only for a little while. We may go to church, Temple, Moss, holy site or a spiritual retreat. There are many ways to connect with the sacred. Spending time in nature can be an effective way to connect with your inner self. Designing your home as a temple for your spirit is another way to experience personal sacredness.
In a sacred home environment, your restoration should begin as you approach the front door. Each area of your home, and all of its various elements, should have a pleasing, comforting, healing or enlivening effect on your consciousness and your subconscious. Statues, furniture, carpeting, objects, lighting, flowers, paint color, pictures and paintings, the sounds of soft music or fountain water – all should be consciously place throughout your home in a harmonious mosaic designed to lead you deeper into an environment of soothing beauty and physical, emotional and spiritual restoration.
Experience has shown me that with a little help and guidance, a little reflection and imagination, anyone can design any space to serve any purpose and invoke any feeling that he or she desires. You don't have to hire a professional designer or a feng shui expert to tell you whether or not your house "works". No one outside of us knows the inside of us better than we do. We can can create a home environment that delights the spirit and surpasses your expectations.
I often find that, out of their vision and creativity, my clients end up designing beautiful environments that inspire me. Because these designs come out of them, they reflect who they are, their essential nature, their spirit. Their unique charm and beauty are projected into their environment. Having created something that exceeds their expectations, they are often surprised and delighted by the process, and the result- something beautiful they hadn't known they were capable of creating.
There's no one true theory that will tell you how to transform your living environment into a personal sacred space or even how to turn your house into your sanctuary. But your consciousness, intentions, creativity and projections are an essential part of the process of creating a sacred environment in your home or office, and living a sacred life. Many of us may need a little help and guidance along the way, but the vision must come from you, or at the very least, resonate profoundly within you. Only you are going to live in your space, not a professional designer or a feng shui master, not your friends and neighbors, not the photographer from 'Better Homes and Gardens' or the film crew from 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous'.
The best home design is always imperfectly perfect – not perfect for everyone, just perfect for us. It affirms and reflect who we are, our essential nature, and who we desire to become in time. It nourishes, restores, inspires and uplifts the body, mind and spirit. In doing all this, it fulfills the age-old promise of home as a healing sanctuary, as a reliable shelter from the storm of living in an uncertain world.
As we grow and settle into our homes, we will develop an intimate appreciative regard for the environments where we find so much calm and comfort, restoration, joy and even grace. As no living environment is static, once you complete the formal design of your home, a process will have begun that will last for as long as you live there. Your environment will subtly change, adapt and evolve as you do. It will be enriched you who you are, how you live, and your experiences within its walls. It will shift and adapt to embrace us the way a pair of shoes grows more comfortable and fits better when they are worn in. Our homes will grow around us like a garden, becoming more fruitful, beautiful and mysteriously alive.
From time to time we may notice little gaps and spaces here and there, in different rooms, not as flaws or problems, but as missing pieces in a puzzle that tickle our creativity. We have little epiphanies and serendipitous discoveries of objects, art, furniture and more that perfectly fit these little gaps, and further enhance and refine our altered spaces.
As you lovingly and creatively engage with your home environment in this way, you weave your spirit in. Over time, the atmosphere of your home will deepen and become richer, more subtle and satisfying, like fine wine improving with age. It will become infused with your energy, presence, and spirit. It will reflect your personality, with all its warmth and depth, it's quirks and charms.
When you create a space that truly reflects an express is who you are, the chances are the others, especially those who care about and matter to you, would love what you've done. They will feel welcome, connected, at ease and at home and your home, not because it's flawlessly designed or fabulously furnished, but because it genuinely embodies and communicate something essential about you. In your essence, you are already whole, complete and perfect, and you can create a living environment that reflects and supports this. This is the goal of sacred design. It is what makes your house a home, and your home a temple."