A Sacred and Safe Space for Workshops

The word “sacred” means different things for different people. It is usually something that is regarded with great respect and reverence by a particular religion, or a group of people, or an individual person. In different traditions, there are different places, objects or rituals which are considered “sacred”.

According to the encyclopaedia, “A sacred place is first of all a defined place, a space distinguished from other spaces”. To me it is a space created and upheld through intention and awareness to form an uplifting, safe, peaceful and spiritual area. Our intention to be respectful is key in creating and using a sacred space.

We might want to use certain rituals to honour the sacred space and to shift into a clear intention of what we want to feel and experience in the sacred space. This sacred space can be an area in your house which you set up with intention, perhaps as a meditative corner, possibly with an altar or other meaningful objects. Nature itself can be your sacred space and you might create a ritual around this. One of my best friends finds her daily meditation by going for a walk. This is her sacred and soul-nurturing ritual, her sacred time.

Part of focussing on the sacred is to set aside certain times and spaces as sacred, which means as something basically different than the everyday world we live in. When I offer a workshop, my intention is to provide a sacred and safe space for all the participants. With the upcoming Dream Workshop, I am more than ever focussing on the sacred as I have the immense pleasure to facilitate this class together with my friend Susan Webber, who is a spiritual artist and teacher.

Prior to this workshop, we have visited the space where we will be teaching and have performed a small ritual outside, asking permission from the ancestors to use the space. As a response, four—not just one but four—swarms of geese, which symbolize fertility, unity and intuition, flew over our heads. What a perfect symbol and encouragement for our workshop.

Did you know that geese never leave one of their own behind? Should a goose become injured during the flight to the south, another goose will leave the migrating flock to stay with the injured one. That sense of community is certainly what we would like to create with our workshops. We can have the experience that we are all one and can hold the space for each other during challenges times and experiences, or when we do our healing.

Geese are known as gifted navigators and instinctively know the way to warmer climates. They forge ahead, confident and brave, and thus are a symbol for courage and for trust in their team. Geese have intricate methods of communication. They smoothly take turns to fly at the front of the flock and communicate with each other about when and where to land. They keep each other safe. Taking this workshop is all about tuning into our intuition and listening to our more instinctive parts, like our inner child. It is also about safety in the group, and growing together as a spiritual family, in which healing and growth is possible.

During the workshop, we will use rituals to create a safe and sacred space. Susan will guide us through a smudging ceremony and a story ritual around the camp fire, and I will lead you through meditations. We will make sure that everybody feels safe to speak, explore and share.

Any personal healing work requires a safe space. This applies even more so when doing our dream work. Sharing our dreams with others requires vulnerability and trust. We need a space in which others listen respectfully and lovingly and do not intrude with their interpretations. Everybody allows everybody else to be the expert on their own dreams and the meaning of those dreams.

When you decide to join us for a workshop, you make the decision to set aside sacred time to do soul-nurturing work. You are part of this team of dream explorers, which holds the safe and sacred space for everybody else. Together we can be like the flock of geese, forging ahead to discover new lands.

Sacred space is where you connect with who you are at a soul level, where you find yourself again, and sometimes again and again. Workshop participants often return for further workshops to learn something new, but also to experience and connect in this sacred and heart-opening space once again.

 

Join us—for the first time or again—on Dec. 9/10, 2017 for the Dream Workshop in Lowville (Burlington). For more details click here or contact me

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

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New Year’s Traditions

In Europe—and Russia so I heard from one of my clients yesterday—the end of an old year and the beginning of a new year is seen as a more important celebration than in North America. Everybody stays up, and celebrates with family and friends. You think back to the old year and look forward to the new, setting intentions of what you want to experience.

 

bleigiessen

When I was a girl, we used to do “Bleigießen” (“Lead pouring”) for New Year’s Eve in Germany. A small amount of lead was melted in a tablespoon (by heating it up with a lighter underneath the spoon) and then poured into a bucket of water. It would harden into different shapes to give you a preview of what to expect in the New Year. For example, if the lead formed a ball, it meant “luck will roll your way”. Superstition? Or is it maybe a way to talk about your dreams with your loved ones and to set intentions of manifesting more consciously in the New Year?

 

gratefulness jar

In our family, our favourite New Year’s Eve tradition is to open our Gratitude Jar. The jar is filled with little notes about the year that is just ending. Whenever something good happens to one of us, something we felt excited about or grateful for, we put a note in the jar to hold onto those memories and good feelings. On Dec. 31, everybody has a chance to read out their own notes to everybody else and re-experience their happy moments. It’s a way to look back at a year of plenty, an abundance of joy, happiness and dreams which came true.

 

suitcase

Another tradition my children like is to take a suitcase and run around the block or around the outside of the house to set the intention of travelling in the year to come. I believe we first came across this fun custom speaking to a Mexican friend of ours. It has us laughing and envisioning the marvellous places we want to visit in the future.

Have you ever wondered why we kiss the person closest to us once the clock strikes 12:00? It has to do with the custom passed down through the ages to kiss the person we hope to keep kissing in the New Year.

 

Oliebollen

In different parts of the world, food is used in a symbolic fashion, usually for food to be abundant again in the new year. In Dutch, Belgian and North German homes, fritters made out of flour, eggs, and milk, called Oliebollen or Ölkugeln are served. In Swiss homes, dollops of whipped cream, symbolizing the richness of the year to come, are dropped on the floors.

 

letter to Universe2

A spiritual way to end the old year and begin the new is to write a letter to the Universe. This letter is written as if you are already looking back onto the coming year, so for example this year’s letter would be written looking back onto 2015 at the end of December 2015. In the letter you give thanks and feel gratitude for all the health, happiness, prosperity, growth and wonderful manifestations of the year.

 

THEME OF THE NEW YEAR

My friend Grace Attard raised an interesting question on Facebook by sharing her theme for 2014 (“easy manifestation and allowing”) and her new theme for 2015 (“all in” and committing to the work required). Someone else mentioned “letting go” as their theme for the New Year.

What is your theme for 2015? What are you focusing on?

My theme is “creativity”; meaning handling life’s challenges creatively. We are not in control of what other people bring into our life but we are in control of what we want to “cook” from the “ingredients” which show up.

What do all these traditions and end of year reflections have in common? They are about gratitude and focusing on what we want. They help us to be thankful and give us clarity about our goals and desires. Energetically, we are getting ready to live and create more purposefully and in line with what makes our soul sing.

An old year ends, a new one starts, and we are bringing all those beautiful memories of 2014 with us as we continue to create and celebrate life. We carry feelings of gratefulness and excitement in our hearts. Here is to another amazing year! Cheers!

Angelika

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