Feb 9, 2021

Sacred space

What's a sacred space? Is it a place of religious importance? Is it a corner in our homes where we do our prayers?

Along with these spaces, two places need to be given sacrosanct importance - our body and our mind.

"Treat your body like a temple" - we might have heard of this phrase. One of the interpretations of this phrase implies that we need to be more aware of the food we put inside our bodies. 

As I pondered over this phrase, I wondered whether we give the same attention to our minds. 

Do we treat our minds like a temple? 

Are we aware of the inputs we feed our minds - written content, visual media, audio, verbal interactions?

Are we aware of the thought trails (remember the thought rabbit hole!) and where they lead us towards?

Are we aware of the repetitive thought patterns?

Do we pause and understand a thought, feeling, or emotion?

Do we take dedicated time to process our thoughts and the triggers behind them?

Do we take a step back and dissect why we reacted the way we did?

I wasn't doing any of these until 2019. Over the past year, I have started to do a lot of questioning in myself - questioning my thought, my emotion, my reaction towards a certain trigger, etc. This is possible only because of the solitude time I have allocated for myself during my walks and other chores. This is possible only because of consciously reducing distractions and culling my content consumption patterns.

Earlier, if an uncomfortable thought or a trigger comes up, I would reach out for a distraction, mostly my phone or scrolling through an OTT platform/Youtube. But now I process my uncomfortable thoughts as much as possible. I don't segregate them as good vs bad thoughts (seeds vs weeds). I rather prefer to ask myself why I'm feeling this way, in a self-compassionate manner without being self-critical about myself. As I ask "Why" more and more, I realize that some of these thoughts are triggered by childhood conditioning, beliefs set in my early years, the subtle messages etched deeply, the kind of information I've been consuming over the years, and most importantly, the EGO in a big way.

Gaining awareness is the first and most important step. Without this clarity, the same thoughts and our reaction patterns keep repeating on auto-pilot mode.

"Treat your mind like a temple" - it is a much more challenging process as compared to the body, in my personal experience. But we can keep that goal in mind and work towards it. 

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