What are altars anyway? We’ve grown up with them in one form or another and they are a part of every culture in the world. As a child they stood towering over us demanding our respect, our reverence and our silence. Even the adults around us seemed to cower at their ominous presence. But what did they mean? What purpose did they serve? For me they served as a way to separate “us” from “them”. Only the most holy were allowed to step beyond a certain point and the rest of us had to stay arm’s distance. All I could tell you is that I felt much closer to God on my swing set than I ever felt in a pew. So many years later, without my realizing it, I began building altars. Little altars everywhere…in my kitchen, on the sink in my bathroom, on my desk, even in my car. And it took my dearest friend to point it out. It’s true, I had been making little altars everywhere for as long as I can remember, but why? It’s simple, these little altars are a touch point, inviting me to be in the moment, and wake up to all that is sacred in the simple. My altars are my invitation to alter my perspective and tune into my soul sense.
Creating your own Altars to Inspire
The key is to keep it simple… now reflect for a moment on where you spend a significant amount of time in your living space? The places where your mind goes on autopilot and you find yourself ruminating over negative beliefs and judgements. I spend quite a bit of time at my kitchen sink, at my office desk and in my bedroom, so those are natural places for me to set up a tiny altar to alter my negative thoughts to positive life giving beliefs.
Now establish a sacred space- it can be on your dresser or bedside table – be sure it is in plain sight and not off in some forgotten corner. The next step is to find a holder of sorts- this can be a bowl, a piece of cloth or a candle holder – be creative, this is just for you. I encourage you to find something you already have and even better if it carries a treasured memory. It can be as big or as small as feels good to you.
Now that you set up this sacred space… just begin to open your eyes, your ears and your heart to what inspires you, what captures your attention and brings you into the present moment. Whether you are on a walk, at a park or just stepping out your door- open yourself for a moment or two and you’ll be drawn to that acorn, that pine cone, that rock, that feather or that leaf. Take moment to feel its texture… is it smooth or spiky? Breath in its aroma- does it smell sweet or earthy? Now, inhale & exhale & be with yourself in this tender simple moment. Something has shifted within you because of this simple encounter with the NOW and you have been altered.
Gently tuck it into your pocket and place it on your alter as a reminder to pause now and again and just BE. Enjoy these treasures for a time & then let them go and open yourself to the new awaiting you.