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  • Writer's pictureHannah Telluselle

Creating sacred space

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

What is sacred space? I first encountered it, and named it as such, while I was detained at Honolulu Federal Detention Center in the United States for an immigration violation 2011-12, and had just picked up the book: The Language of Emotions, to read. Instead, I was put in the SHU, a segregated housing unit, which included being locked up for 23 hours a day. The upside of this, was a sense of finally feeling safe. Much thanks to one of the correction officers, who even by his body size, became a sense of protection. He, thus, enabled me to create my own space for healing.

In order to heal, we must feel. In order to feel, we must be safe. And then we can relax. Through relaxation, we find a deeper presence within, to our own emotions, our heart. It has nothing to do with meditation, which is to empty one's mind and heart to create peace. Accessing our true emotions aren't peaceful. And, here is also where Maslows hierarchy of needs come in. In order to be able to relax, we must first have our needs met.

What is then standing in our way? Stress, of course. Stress in the form of performance anxiety, which can even include things like "wanting to heal", or "radiate stillness on Instagram", which then sadly becomes obstructed by one's own Ego. The stress that I have had to deal with, has been all about actual survival. Survival in terms of getting my basic needs met, as well as guarding my physical space from intruders. In the heat of the moment, whether pushing communication efforts forward to meet a deadline, or calling the police on someone because of their threat, we can either use our emotional charge as a direct fuel for our action, or we can disassociate and deal with the emotions later. To deal with it later, we must go back into the memory of our trauma and continue from there again, but in a new form, emotionally.

The space becomes sacred, when we use it for healing; for feeling and for resolving. It can be to ask for forgiveness, or to get closure. It can be to pray, or to meditate. To feel our feelings though, I have found it's easiest and more authentic, when I lay down to relax. Anchored in safety.

What makes you feel safe? Do you have a literal room you can go to? Do you need to be alone, or have someone there to guard your space?

Find more about feeling our feelings with examples, in my books.

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