My Self = My Sanctuary

I recently wrote about a friend who really needed to learn to chill. We discussed how our feelings are actually coming from our thinking and not from the outside world itself. Remembering can be the hardest part, so we needed something specific to remind her on a daily basis. Since she’s a busy person and is in her car a lot, we decided to make her car be her sanctuary. And it worked! Which reminds me to check in with her to see if it’s still working… And of course it still works; she just needs to keep remembering. The car itself does nothing. We do everything, like breathe, relax the body, and then let our inner wisdom rise to the surface. We calmly stick to the facts of the situation instead of spinning around and around in our head. There’s nothing wrong, though, with having something external be our signal to remember.

When you learn to relax and get out of the way with your thinking, there’s something inside of you that’s able to come to the surface. Call it wisdom, intuition, or whatever – but it’s pretty awesome. And it’s not broken. And it can handle the current issues in your life and more. What I’m talking about is inside of you, so it’s there all the time. If we start by making a specific place our sanctuary, then we’re training ourselves to relax by using that place as our reminder. That’s a smart thing to do. My friend can get in her car and instantly let go of what she’s carrying. But the real sanctuary is herself. The car is just a symbol of this.

If you think about it, this is really good news. This means you don’t need to go to yoga or the gym or whatever you do to relax. I’m not saying not to do those things. In fact, those things are great! But they’re just clearing space so that what’s already inside of you can come to the surface. There’s an awesome movie called Kumaré in which the main character is a fake Indian guru doing an experiment to see if he can get followers. And he totally does. You have to see it… The cool thing, though, is that his message is awesome: you don’t need a guru because everything you need is already inside of you. So he’s in a nice yoga center and he’s talking about how nice it is, and then he says in his awesome Indian accent, “Bring yoga center inside of you! Yoga center inside!” I scream that all the time when I’m teaching at Gulf Breeze Recovery. I have lots of Indian friends, too, so I have a decent Indian accent. It’s lots of fun.

So that’s the point of this post. Your sanctuary, your peace, can only ever be inside of you. Yoga center inside!! You take it wherever you go, 24/7/365 (and 366 on leap years). Most of us were not taught this growing up, though, so we’re unlearning some old habits. So by all means use your car, bedroom, yoga studio, gym, or whatever as a reminder. But it’s only helping you uncover what’s already there, anytime and anyplace. By making something like your car be your sanctuary, this will inevitably spread to other areas of your life until you’ll start to see that it really is inside of you and can never not be there. It can only be covered up. By your thinking. And what great news!