Category Archives: Sacred Space

Creating Sacred Space Within and Around You

altar collage My energy in the last week or so has been a bit off and today marked the day when I finally started feeling like myself again.

I needed down time to process all that was going on in my world, and I honored my need for that, even though at times I was frustrated with what felt like a lot of doing nothing.

Today I moved furniture around, created malas and tiny altars, and drank a lot of tea.

One thing that I love about malas and tiny altars is how portable they are. In a way, they remind me that whatever is sacred to us we can always carry with us.

We don’t need the beads or the decorated tin with trinkets in it to learn that, but in the times that are most challenging, they support us.

I remember last summer when our daughter needed dental surgery, I packed a little cotton bag with a feather on it to keep with me that day. An amethyst heart, a statue of Ganesha, some sea glass, and maybe a few other stones. Simple. And it gave me strength. Even though her surgery was short and relatively non-invasive, anytime I had a moment of worry, I could hold that back in my hand, find my breath, and find my way back to trust.

I don’t recall, but can imagine that I was wearing the mala I was wearing a lot at that time, finding comfort in the smoothness of the beads, and knowing that at any time I could meditate on a mantra that would bring me calmness and strength.

When I cleaned off my desk yesterday (again) I took a big round piece of wood that measures 18 inches in diameter and placed in one corner. No longer will my altars and sacred elements get lost and tucked away under mountains of to do lists and plans.

I created sacred space.

On it, at the moment, sits a medium size altar within a box, holding the intention of a particular wish.

There is a candle holder with a piece of Palo Santo resting on top of it.

There is my citrine orb (I will share my citrine story with you one day, it is still unfolding).

Today, I added two travel altars.

The first is one that I’ve had for a while but I finally decorated the lid. Inside is a mini visioning book and some small scraps to glue in as the time feels right. Part of the decorated lid is a scrap that says, “I am” and serves as a reminder that who I am is a constant evolution, that I am a sacred vessel, and that the words and visions I have are some of my many layers.

The other altar is a very mini one and holds a piece of amethyst, a small seashell, and a mini Buddha. This one is small enough that I can carry it with me in a pocket, a small bag, or even the palm of my hand.

I share all of this with you to express this point – we are all sacred. We need nothing external to let us know that, but sometimes it can help to have a visual representation.

As you create sacred space around you, rest assured that you are creating sacred space within you as well.

As you shift the energy of the things you surround yourself with, you shift your vibration.

I can glance over at my large altar space right now and be reminded of my wishes, my strength, my creativity, my sacred self.

The next time my energy is feeling off, I will certainly allow for the down time. Maybe now that I have created sacred space all around me, I’ll need less of it.

Sometimes You Have to Wipe the Slate Clean

I came home from teaching yoga and knew I would have the house to myself for a while.

I took off my shoes and coat, and told myself that I would get around to putting some music on at some point.

I decided to work from wall to window, starting with the wall unit that sits between our front door and our bedroom door. It is my view from my desk and when I walked in that day, it was a mess. There was clutter filling the shelves (old batteries, twinkle lights that didn’t work, buttons and paperclips and old light bulbs, papers ready to be recycled, a few things I had been looking for).

I took everything off. Emptied the shelves. Made space for possibility.

That’s what we do when we remove the clutter. We make space for possibility.

To see what I wanted to place on those shelves with intention, I needed everything to go, even what I knew would come back.

I cleaned the shelves and then with care began to rebuild the space into a sacred alter.

I found a home for my new piece of amethyst, one of my #33gifts during this month of celebrating my birthday.

amethyst altar

I found a home for my new buddha (another gift to myself).

story altar

I created a shelf for love…

love altar

And a shelf honoring our cats…

cat altar

I burned incense and stepped back every once in a while, moving over to my desk, to see what needed to be shifted.

Some items came off of my desk alter and moved to the wall, some items from the wall came over to my desk.

It was this beautiful dance.

In what seemed like an instant, four hours had passed, the music had never gotten turned on, and I realized that my thoughts never wandered. I never got lost in the things I had to do or what was happening later that day.

In the space where we live now, shifting furniture around doesn’t always come easily, and that’s how I used to shift my energy. What I learned the other day was that I can shift the energy with sacred intention.

The wall until is just the beginning. Our home will be our alter. Our home will be our sacred space.

We’ll shed the clutter, the layers, and open ourselves to possibility….

With Love and Gratitude,
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Detoxifying with Plants!

Did you know that the air inside our homes is actually more toxic than the air outside?  This is especially true during the winter months when the windows are usually closed, sealing in all the stale air.  Much of what we have in our homes, from furniture to electronics, creates pollution in our homes by releasing harmful chemicals. This means that every time we breathe in the air in our homes, along with the oxygen we need to survive, we’re inhaling loads of toxins as well.


When getting ready for baby, people often paint the nursery, buy new furniture such as cribs, changing tables, and rockers, and new accessories, including rugs and lamps.  Unless you’ve investing a lot of time and money, most of these are laden with these off-gassing chemicals, filling your home – and baby’s – with unhealthy air. 


This is obviously not what you want to do to create the healthiest environment for your baby, but why is it so important? Breathing in stale and polluted air on a regular basis can increase the chances for allergies, asthma flare-ups, colds, and other respiratory illnesses.  The fumes from chemicals can lead to headaches and fatigue.  When our bodies absorb too many toxins, they are unable to properly eliminate them all, and our overall health and immunity suffer.


One of the best actions we can take for our health and the health of our babies is to fill our house with plants.  Some plants can actually absorb almost 100% of the amount of certain toxins, like formaldehyde in about an hour! I have a track record of killing plants, but I recently decided that I wanted to try again.  It is recommended to have 2 plants for every 100 square feet of space in your house.  While I am not quite ready to fill our space with 20 plants, I started with 4.  I am determined to nurture and love these plants, and allow them to support the health of my family by cleaning the air.


Now each time I walk into my office, I am happy to see the plants I have placed on top of my desk.  I picked two days each week that I will check up on the plants, making sure that they get watered when they need to.  It’s also a great chance to talk to Chloe about the importance of respecting nature, as we teach her that she can gently touch, but may not pull the leaves off of the plants.  We made sure to get plants that are safe for both her and our cats. 


Here are some tips to getting started with decreasing the toxins in your home with plants:

  • Start with 2-4 plants that are easy to maintain (we got a philodendron, a spider plant, a rubber plant and a parlor palm)
  • Pick a day or two each week and designate them as the days that you check on your plants
  • Make sure that you buy plants appropriate for the amount of light you will be able to provide for them

Adding plants to your home is just one of many affordable ways that you can reduce the toxins in your home.  If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to reduce the toxic load in your home and in your body, send me an email at xandra dot oneill at gmail dot com.

I’d love to hear what plants you decide to try or already have in your home! Please share by posting a comment below!


Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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