I had an unexpected hour today when a private coaching client asked to reschedule our meeting. There was plenty to do, work of varying kinds. But I chose, instead, to give it to me. And I did one of the most nourishing things I know of. I built an altar.
The word "altar" has religious origins and, as a Wiccan woman, altars are religious for me. But they can be thought of as simply spiritual, a place set aside for symbols and images that feed our souls.
I like to keep a seasonal altar in the living room (you've seen my current one here) and a separate personal altar in the office. They don't take long to make (at least they don't have to), they can be very inexpensive, and no special skills are required. And yet, for so little they give so much. They help me stay connected to the turning wheel of the year (in fact, when I keep up with building a new one every 6 weeks or so, it eliminates the feeling that time is going by too fast); they provide a place of solace; they offer key reminders of who I am and who I'm becoming; they hold my vision and desires; they help me feel connected, to whatever I've placed there.
My personal altar has long been neglected. It's just another example of where I've been placing myself on the totem pole of priorities. But I realize it's quite backwards… So much and so many depend on me, and I do everything better when I'm taking care of myself. So this afternoon, I gave myself a gift. In fact, I went so far as to put off building the altar to motherhood I've been wanting and chose, instead, to build one that is all mine, a place I can focus on my personal and, especially, professional evolution. An altar of my own.
There was dusting all the nooks and crannies. There was honoring the empty space. There was my Guan Yin, to remind me to be compassionate with myself. There were seeds, for all that is growing, all that I'm becoming. There was the flame of my bright star. And, in the end, there was a warm and beautiful place to land.
How are you honoring yourself?
And if you aren't, will you now begin?
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