Often we are required to take time out in our lives to move into sacred space. For many, these moments are forced upon us in the form of illness, change of jobs, having to take care of a child or aging parent, managing a trauma. Sometimes, we have to muster up the courage to demand sacred space for ourselves and we put in a request for a sabbatical, ask for a leave of absence, walk out from a toxic situation, schedule a vacation. Regardless of the circumstances, finding sacred space is necessary for personal and social transformation. It is also necessary for learning.
The last time I experienced sacred space was when I moved to the country and I was unemployed. During that two-year period of time, I discovered myself and the world around me through nature and painting. Currently, I am in sacred space again. This time, I find solace in fiction writing, meditation and painting. Applying colors on a canvas seems to be an integral part of my sacred space experience. In doing so, I access the right side of my brain where imagery and our ability to see new things live.
What can we learn from sacred space? During these moments of deep introspection, perception of time is warped. Everything seems to go slow and daily life routines appear dreamlike and upside down. In this warped time and dream-like experience there is deep inner work happening. The Ego is acting out, belligerent. The heightened duality of the self, as well as our detachment from routine leads to a sense of discomfort and novelty–both essential in learning and initiating transformation.
Eventually, we come back onto the world stage, taking with us whatever metamorphosis occurred. We have learned that we can manifest our inner selves outwardly and this manifestation may take the form of art, altered states of being, modified behavior, a new home, a new work environment, a change of heart. However it happens, we emerge new and rejuvenated. We have altered our vibrational energy and now we are ready to pour ourselves into the outside world to impact the totality of our collective experience.
Here is a simple formula to describe this phenomenon
Space + Time = (Spirit) Consciousness = Creation
Space + Time + Creation = (Spirit) Consciousness
The following are definitions to clarify terms:
Spirit refers to a sense of deeper purpose, that which exists beyond our own understanding, that which pertains to a non-material world, all that is subtle, nuanced and abstract.
Consciousness is a state of awareness.
In modern day society, we fail to legitimize sacred space as being essential to our personal and collective wellbeing, especially in the field of education when everything is about data, science, logic and efficacy. Therefore, in my work I explore creating, building and implementing sacred spaces, for individuals and groups to learn.
Some of this work entails asking these questions:
- What makes a space sacred?
- How much time can we realistically set aside for sacred space learning?
- What materials, resources or facilities are required to provide sacred space learning opportunities within the work place?
- How can we manage our schedules so that teams are productive and also allows for flexibility?
- How can we leverage what we learn from sacred space?
- How can we channel sacred space energy in ways that support our vision and mission?
When was the last time you found yourself in sacred space? What came out of it? How did you apply the new insight of self and the world around you into your teaching and leading?