When we think of freedom or sovereignty we tend to focus on the practical aspects. We worry about how to reduce our dependency of the grid and how to make our every day life just a little more free. Sometimes those changes can feel overwhelming. If you live in the city, which is already overwhelming, it can seem almost impossible to ever really be free. If our mind is constantly focused on the current state of affairs, even as we make moves to reduce our dependency, are we ever really free?
Recently, more people have been turning to mindfulness as a solution to the stresses of city life. Mindfulness is simply the practice of living in the present moment. It’s more about focusing your attention on the moment you are living in now, instead of stressing over what will happen tomorrow. There are numerous studies proving that mindfulness not only reduces stress and anxiety, but it also increases focus, enhances cognition, and increases immune function- all of which are needed if we really want to embody our sovereignty!
How do you practice mindfulness in the midst of the hustle and bustle of city life? For me, having a sacred space in my home has been extremely instrumental in my mindfulness practice. A sacred space is a small area of your home that brings you peace and allows you to “escape” for a while. It’s where you can go to meditate or just take a quick break. Having this space is also a reminder to take a break. While I can practice meditation anywhere, sometimes I forget to take the time to do so. Having this space in my line of sight (mine is a small bookcase in my bedroom) is a constant reminder that I can stop and dedicate a few minutes to myself. Depending on how spiritual you are, you may have items there that help you connect to Spirit, God, Buddha, or even your higher self. You don’t need a huge amount of space- even a nightstand or windowsill will do! Here are a few things I like to keep in my space to give you some ideas:
Sage or Palo Santo
Many ancient cultures practice smudging (burning sacred herbs, like sage) to dispel negative energy and to achieve higher states of consciousness. Even if that sounds a little too woo-woo for you, science has proven that there are many benefits to burning sage (like improving cognition, boosting your energy levels, relieving stress, and decreasing aerial bacteria!). Palo Santo, burned by the Incas, is said to purify, clean energy, and provide healing. After being at work all day and commuting during rush hour traffic, it can’t hurt to come home and smudge away some of that negative energy, right?
*Please remember to be mindful when purchasing and burning white sage, as it is an “at risk” plant.
It is believed that the pure energy of crystals can bring your cells into a state of balance and help heal your body. Different crystals have different vibrational energies, so you can choose crystals based on their properties or you can simply choose a crystal that draws your attention and then look up their properties- you’ll be surprised at how accurate your intuition can be! If you’re not convinced that crystals provide any type of healing, you can still choose a crystal based on its properties and use it as a reminder of any intentions you want to set. Not sure how to get started? Check out Energy Muse for some basic crystal healing info.
If you are a spiritual person, this is a great place to add any images or statues of your preferred deities. In my case, I also have pictures of loved ones. If you’re not spiritual, you can incorporate things like a small vision board, or images of things you strive for. Want to someday move to the mountains? Get a postcard of the place you plan to go, or print a picture from the internet. Remember, these items should create a sense of happiness and peace for you.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it very hard to make time to read, unless I’m commuting. Keeping books in your sacred space will encourage you to spend at least a few minutes going through them. Books with mantras or short meditations are great to get you in the habit of starting your day off with reminders to be in the present, or you can use them to clear the day away. This is especially helpful if your sacred space is on your nightstand or anywhere near your bed.
Living in the city, it can be hard to get out in nature often. I’m pretty lucky to live within walking distance of a park where I go to quite frequently (even in the snow!). Incorporating natural elements like fresh flowers or a small house plant (succulents if you aren’t all that great at keeping them alive, like me) can help create a bit of connection to nature. Some people enjoy getting wood slices as coasters to bring nature in, too. The options are endless!
Keep in mind that these are all simply suggestions. Your sacred space can be anything that brings you peace and joy. If you like music, perhaps a sound bowl might be a good idea. If you’re into art, maybe add a small image of a work of art that makes you happy. This space is intended to help you relax and come back to your center. It’s a reminder that despite the sometimes depressing state of the world, there are still things to be grateful for. It will become a place you can go to for stress-relief, meditation, and to recharge. As you boost your energy levels, cognition, and immune system, you’ll be functioning at your best to take more steps towards your personal sovereignty!