Sacred space is twofold- it is first an external place that enhances and enables a connection to self, spirit, God, Goddess, and life itself. That place might be a house of worship, a yoga studio, home, or outside in nature. The second sacred space is that which is created, refined, and observed within the mind and the body, through meditation, yoga, writing, moving with attention, kindness, and breath. It took me many years to truly find this internal place of consecrated connection, and I am still refining its foundation within.
When I was younger, I was sexually assaulted twice by strangers, which was preceded by a period of being one of the least popular people in my high school. Shamed for my body size and shape, the incidents drew me away from my body, which I believed was to blame, and into the recesses of critical thought, where I believed that I was unlovable. This inward thought landscape manifested in many ways, but it sadly creeped into my creative life and studies as a classical musician, where felt that I would never be enough or successful. After months of doubting yoga and its potential, I began a yoga and meditation practice in my senior year of college, which started to tap into the possibility that my body and my presence is divine, and that I am indeed worthy of love and happiness. My yoga studios became safe, hallowed spaces to explore vulnerability, softness, and allowing others to look at my body objectively. I finally knew what it was like to take an expansive breath, unfettered by fear and judgment, and that it was possible to be touched lovingly. My sacred inner space was slowly being created, carving away the doubts, fears, judgments, reservations, and self-hatred that I held within.
Though I still work with demons in my body and mind, I am able to reach a place of profound clarity so much more easily. I can observe a harmful thought or action in its gestation, and prevent an emotional engagement. This has created sweeping change in how I act and feel on a daily basis, but mostly how I create, perform, and mold sound. I am free to create, express, and find resonance in sound and am hindered by fear less and less. My sacred space is now everywhere, and within me always.
Photograph by Kate Lemmon