When you take the inner journey you connect to the most beautiful version of you.
“You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation” ~Joseph Campbell
If you’re a late bloomer like me, and looking to bring forth all that you are and all that you might be in your second half, a real-world personal sanctuary is a great start. There’s another option though that I’ve found is an even more powerful way of tapping into the wisdom of your true self.
Create an inner sanctuary using creative visualization
There are two ways we can use creative visualization in our everyday lives. The first you’ll probably know about, especially if, like me, you read Shakti Gawain’s bestselling book ‘Creative Visualization’, back in the 70s. This is when we have a clear vision of what we are and what we might be and we create a mental image depicting that vision as if it already exists. When we do that we are consciously calling on the creative energy of the universe to make that vision happen.
The second less common way to use this technique, and one I’ve used a lot in recent years, is when we don’t know what we are and what we might be and need to find out by tapping into the guidance and direction of our true self ~ our spirit. This type of creative visualization begins by acknowledging that we know the question but we don’t know the answer.
Why am I here? WHAT’S NEXT? What is my purpose?
How can I THRIVE now I’m over 50?!
Using your imagination you build yourself an inner sanctuary and spend a little time there each day during your visualizations and meditations. You’ll find that as you hone your imagination over time this space will grow more detailed and begin to come alive in your mind’s eye. This is your place of creative incubation that Joseph Campbell talks about. Time spent here will start your creativity flowing and lead to a flood of insight and wisdom in any area of life that is challenging you.
“The Possible’s slow fuse is lit by the Imagination.” ~Emily Dickinson
How I created my first inner sanctuary in my 50s
When I started creating my inner sanctuary I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I just felt pressed to do this and followed along as best I could. To begin with the space I imagined was a house high on a hill in the deep south of New Zealand. It had a wide balcony and when I sat out there I imagined I could see all the way to the South Pole.
It felt good to be there and so I spent lots of time in that space and in the adjoining kitchen, baking wildly creative cakes and other delicious things. Then one day in my imaginings a towering magnolia tree appeared out of nowhere, just beyond the balcony.
Wanting to see more of this tree in full bloom I climbed a winding staircase that had also appeared about that time, and found myself in a room made of glass the colour of blush pink magnolias. I didn’t consciously set out to make this room a sanctuary. But it was warm and welcoming and just seemed to draw me in during my meditations and visioning exercises.
Over time I came to see that this was no ordinary room! The magnolia tree just beyond the window was always in bloom no matter what the season. And the light was like nothing I’d ever seen before. It took my breath away.
Why I love my imaginary room so much
As time has gone on this room has come to feel like a sanctuary I can escape to with all my questions, concerns and uncertainties about who I am and what I might be in this next stage of life. I write them on imaginary notepaper, then pin them to the imaginary wall and leave them there.
It isn’t so much that insights or answers come to me while I spend time in this room during my meditations. Rather it is a place where I set my problems down and present myself as an open channel to my higher power.
The insights and answers that do come to me seem to pop up as if by magic as I go about my daily life, but I always know that they have their roots in my inner sanctuary, and the time I spend there.
The lovely thing about my inner space though is that it doesn’t just help me find clarity around things I am uncertain about ~ it also fills me up with a joy that seems to overflow into my everyday life.
“You really don’t have a sacred space, a rescue land, until you find somewhere to be that’s not a wasteland, some field of ambrosia – a joy that comes from inside, not something external that puts joy into you – a place that lets you experience your own will and your own intention and your own wish so that, in small, the Kingdom is there. I think everybody, whether they know it or not, is in need of such a place”. ~Joseph Campbell