A Sacred Space Schedule—Making Room In Your Life For You

Sacred space: two words I spent a lot of time with even before I found myself gifted with a ticket to see Elizabeth Gilbert speak last Friday in Vancouver.

My kids know not to pass beyond the sacred shroud (a curtain that divides my office from the rest of the house) when it is pulled. My husband knows not to interrupt me in the middle of sacred silence—my morning quiet time before the first cup of coffee. My slightly irregular visits to my yoga mat are sacred for my back—and, apparently, the cat.

I joke.

Actually, sacred spaces have permeated my whole life. Since childhood, my drive to establish and frequent them has bordered on obsession. When I didn’t have them (which, honestly, was a lot), I was a walking disaster.

However, it never really occurred to me what I was doing (typical) until I happened upon a ticket to see a woman to whom I have never really paid much attention.

Gasp! Really, you never even had the slightest urge to read Eat, Pray, Love?


Elizabeth Gilbert published her wildly famous memoir in 2006. I might have been moved by her journey, but I was in the middle of my own as a new mom living in my mother-in-law’s house in a new country. Anyone off exploring the world didn’t show up on my radar. I was a bit heads-down.

Oh, everyone talked about it. I’m pretty sure I lied about reading it more than once. I just didn’t have any space for it, and eventually the book and Gilbert dropped waaaaaay down my TBR list.

This has nothing to do with Gilbert. However, it’s important to note that, lately, I’ve found myself stupidly exhausted—physically, emotionally, but most of all existentially.

My heart has lived right at the base of my throat. I suffered a deep longing for a reorganization of, well, something that would not present itself to me. What the hell?

So, when a friend offered me her amazing VIP ticket to the Vancouver event last Friday, I agreed to take it off her hands. Not because it was Gilbert (I actually felt bad at the meet-and-greet. What would I say? “Hi. I have never read anything you have written. You seem nice and everyone loves your books. I will guilt buy it and read it later tonight.”)

I honestly just needed to see if something would present itself.

Everything Inside This Circle Is Sacred Space

Gilbert spoke those words on stage and my whole world lit up. She said a lot of amazing things about storytelling and honouring yourself, tolerating too much crap. However, this ended up sticking to me.

I knew exactly why I ended up in that theatre, in front of a woman whom I had no idea about, listening to her speak about truths that resonated so deeply with me.

I needed her.

Sacred Practice to Find Sacred Answers

The next day, I tried out the practice of two-way prayer that she shared with 4,000 women and five guys the night before. Two-way prayer is not new. I Googled and learned that it is a time-worn practice for 12-step program folks.

Whatever you believe, cool. If this doesn’t resonate with you, I respect that. However, Gilbert spoke with a rawness about her own experiences with mysticism, listening to her inner guides. It was like a permission slip from the world to let myself fully accept, listen to, and talk about without shame my own very powerful experiences in that realm.

So, I sat down for two-way prayer and my inner guides had a lot to say. I kept doing it, and more is coming every day. It’s a completely different form of prayer or meditation than I have ever practiced. Powerful beyond words. You can learn more about it HERE.

Sacred Space kept coming up again and again in that two-way process. Gilbert’s words, “Everything inside this circle is sacred,” took form in my head and I realized I had received that thing that I longed for to sort out my existential issues.

The Beginnings of The Sacred Space Schedule

I drew a circle on a piece of paper and put ME in the middle. Then, I wrote, “Everything inside the circle is sacred.”

Holy hell, some sort of personal revolution launched inside me.

I wrote down and circled all of the people, places, doings, and situations that mattered most to me. I made notes like,

“I wanted to fill the circle – hyper-competitive.”

“I wanted to put things that aren’t actually sacred in there so people wouldn’t be mad.”

I irritated the hell out of myself. So many people pleasing, poor-me-ing, what the hell-ing little habitual details came up as I kept pushing through the process. It forced me to consider my mindset and approach to everything important to me.

Repositioning & Reprioritizing Based On How It Serves You

I discovered that I had actually been creating my own chronic despair loops. I knew the true purpose of a certain sacred activity, but assigned an entirely different set of expectations to it. For example, I write fiction as a way of developing my inner world. I want to build out the richness of storytelling and creating, but I had put all of my energy into it needing to be my outer security. My perceived shortcomings had turned my absolute love of the story into a painful rejection that shut down my creative energy.

That’s when I remembered another Gilbert gem. A woman she wanted to be her mentor many years ago told her something like, “When are you going to start living the life you are pretending you want?”


I am living the life I want. I write novels. I travel. I own a wonderful writing business and love inspiring young people to love reading and writing too.

However, I lacked a sense of sacredness in the way I held them close to me in my life. The motifs of presence and effort came up again and again.

Presence & Effort—The Golden Duo

As I worked through the process of scheduling out how I would take care of each of these sacred pieces of my life, I repositioned them in my heart. I know, it sounds cheesy, but that’s reality.

By drawing that circle and placing all that I hold sacred in that space around me, I released myself from the longing that has hung me up these last few months. I also released myself from expectations of wanting or needing to take on parts of life or experiences or people that I do not hold sacred.

Now, I am in the process of developing an actually daily schedule that will serve to feed these necessary parts. The sacred space exercise really set my mind right about so many things. I’m clear about what I want and why I want it. Those things that are in the circle and aren’t entirely clear will get my extra effort for a while until I can determine if they are actually sacred.

I forgot to mention that one of the biggest revelations came in the form of how I do not really hold much space at all for dedicated quiet downtime. And, what I do hold space for is not accessible on a regular basis. Hmmmm, corrections are in order.

I get to go do the work. However, I really do have to thank my friend who thought I needed the ticket. Especially, though, thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert. I won’t promise to pound through her catalog, but her practical magic has won over a longing heart.