Creating Sacred Space

Our homes are our sanctuaries from a busy, stressful world. Consciously creating a sacred space within your home can help to give your spirit a place to rest. You can do this in a corner, or set up a whole room - your bedroom is ideal - to be a place where you can connect with the sacred. Imagine sleeping every night in a space filled with the nourishing energy of Divine connection.

Once you've settled on a space to work with, start with cleanliness (said to be next to Godliness!). Clear away clutter and give the space a good cleaning. You might want to cleanse the energy of the space as well, with prayer or smudging or sound.

When setting up your sacred space, think about what makes you feel peaceful, joyful, and connected to the Divine. Include only objects that bring about those feelings for you... candles, a cross, a Buddha, special stones or natural found objects might be good additions. You might also include photos of loved ones who have passed on. A bench, a dresser, or even the top of a bookcase can serve as an altar.

Give some special attention to the images you choose for your sacred space. Simplicity is key here. Photos that capture the beauty of Divine creation in its simply glory can really add to the sacred feeling of a room. There are several photos in my various galleries that would be good candidates.

Once you have created your sacred space, make sure you take at least a little time to be consciously present in that space every day. Let your heart expand to take in the beauty of life and all creation. Breathe in peace and set an intention to carry it with you throughout your day. I like to spend some time in my sacred space when I first wake up and just before sleep. Having my bedroom be this space makes it easy! Prayer, meditation, journalling, yoga, and making love are all enhanced by the conscious inhabiting of sacred space.

But I hate having my picture taken!

October 6, 2015

I hear this all the time when I shoot events or take portraits: "I hate having my picture taken!"

Well, most people do... including me. Most photographers I know are on that side of the camera for a reason, and I'm no exception. Even supermodels walk around feeling flawed and inadequate; it is any wonder the rest of us are reluctant to have photos taken?

But here's the thing, folks: It's not about perfection. Your loved ones already know you're not perfect. They don't care. They care that you're YOU, and they treasure keepsakes of you.

None of us are getting any younger or more perfect with the passing days (at least not on the outside). And none of us will live forever. When my late husband died, I didn't have a single great portrait of him. I wish I had. But every photo I do have is infinitely precious to me. It shifted my point of view. What if I had been the one to die, and after 23 loving years together, he had been left with no good photos because "I hate having my picture taken"? It would have been so sad, and so unfair.

So my point of view now is this: We owe it to our loved ones to set aside our discomfort about being photographed, and just do it. We can gift our spouse, children and grandchildren (not to mention friends) with a precious likeness that will warm their hearts every time they look at it, or we can leave them nothing but their fading memories. Think about how delighted you would be to have a really great portrait of your parents or grandparents. Your kids and grandkids will be just as pleased to have a good portrait of you.

Do I still hate having my picture taken? Actually I do. But I have photos taken now from time to time, and I do self portraits (not selfies!) once in a while, too. I do it in spite of my discomfort, because I love the special people in my life and I owe it to them.

I'm aware that you may be nervous when you come for your portrait sitting. I understand how that feels, and we can chat a little, relax, and take our time together. I'll offer you only the most flattering shots I take of you, and gently retouch them to make sure you look your very best. So get your courage up and, as Nike says, "Just do it!" It won't hurt... I promise!