Jane explores how to make your home the perfect sanctuary
Over these last few months I’ve appreciated my home more than ever, loving its calm, nurturing feeling. Many of us have found the outside world a threatening place of late and so we really do need our homes to be sanctuaries, places of security. Our ancestors honoured the home as a sacred space and I’d really urge you to do the same.
My book Spirit of the Home – How to Make your Home a Sanctuary (HarperCollins) has now been updated and re-released and it couldn’t be more timely. It’s a guide on how to make your space a soul home, a place of protection and serenity that allows both body and mind to drop out of the stress response and into a place of profound rest and recuperation. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a huge house or a single room – here are a few starting suggestions.
• Discover your home ‘personality’. All too often we beat ourselves up for not having what we consider ‘perfect’ homes but CG Jung taught that we each have one major ‘function’ that determines how we like to live. Sensation types need everything well-ordered. Intuitive types put mood and atmosphere over practicality (that’s me – how mad is it to have white floors?). Thinking types live in their minds and aren’t too interested in design. Feeling types are all about fashionable comfort.
• Clearing. I’m not wild about total minimalism – it just doesn’t suit all of us and there is comfort in familiar things. However if your home is cluttered, your mind will be too. Dump the stuff that doesn’t give you joy. Then give your home a really good scrub, from top to bottom, using natural cleaning materials and a good dose of elbow grease.
• Space cleansing – Trust me, a dose of space cleansing will make your space feel totally different. Use sound and scent to clear your home. Incense, sacred smudge, and clapping all work well but, above all, use your intention and visualise a clean, clear home.
• Scent – Our olfactory receptors are directly connected to the most ancient part of our brains, so we react to scent at a primal level. Use natural essential oils which have distinct psychological effects – my favourite soothers include Roman chamomile, vetiver, frankincense and sandalwood. Use them in diffusers; make your own bath oils or create room sprays (fill a house plant mister with purified water and add around 15 drops of essential oil).
• Bring in nature – House-plants not only look lovely, they lift spirits and can even clear the air of toxins. Choose a beautiful crystal as your ‘home protector’ – quartz, turquoise and jade are all strong protectors.
• Build an altar – a window ledge or the top of a bookcase or shelf will do the trick. It’s a place of focus, a place to stop, pause, ponder; meditate maybe. Add whatever works for you – candles, incense, meaningful images or statues, crystals, a posy of wild flowers.
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