My Inner Sanctum


I have built a sanctum of inner peace

Designed with walls of my choosing

a doorway or two and anything else

I want because it’s my inner home

Though I am not alone --

my inner child is here with me

Along with my teenage self

And my functional overachiever.

Sometimes we pace around this sanctum

As we hold our stories close

Choosing not to share with another

Because we feel like strangers

My age is crone and yet my mind

Is not confined by my years --

I remember I am more than my experiences.

I am the collective vessel of my soul.

This is my inner sanctum

Not a sanitarium, offering

hope for more talking and sharing

Growing closer and caring.

This is the true essence of what a family means

for I rewrite my history and create a family

welcoming all of me with caring and

acceptance, and love

I am all of my experiences and

All of me is needed to go forth

I can’t leave any of you behind

Or I’ll be repeating what I have suffered.

All of me wants to be loved

Even the little girl with shame in her eyes

Even the teenager fighting against.

We all want to be counted.

So my arms are open and I welcome you

When you’re ready, no matter

if you’re peering from your hidden spaces

or your back is turned to hide your faces.

We breathe the same breath

We see from the same eyes

We feel from the same heart

Let’s trust this home is our true home.

Awareness Knowing Itself by Danna Faulds

Settle in the here and now.

Reach down into the center

Where the world is not spinning

And drink this holy peace.

Feel relief flood into every

Cell. Nothing to do. Nothing

To be but what you are already.

Nothing to receive but what

Flows effortlessly from the

Mystery into form.

Nothing to run from or run

Toward. Just this breath,

Awareness knowing itself as

Embodiment. Just this breath,

Awareness waking up to truth.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • I appreciate the reading. During the pandemic, I often feel tossed from one side of the boat to the other in the course of a day. Sometimes I’m not sure how to stand to be in alignment with who I am. To think about the dimensions of who I am in terms of family members and to come to embrace the nurturing mom or my wayward cousin—this gives me another point of view, and coming back to my own home. I love that approach. It’s based on the core understanding that you are one anyway. And which one do I need to speak to or take care of today.

  • The phrase that I was drawn to was this centering of the breath in the middle of the spiral. In my meditation, I was first drawn to tornados. I grew up in a place where tornadoes were a very real threat quite often. I’ve had a lot of dreams about tornadoes; they are ever present in my world. And then, images of Sufi dancing and spiraling around and around, coming to that center. And labyrinths, I’ve done a lot of labyrinth work, I’ve built them. I walk them. And it really helped in my meditation focusing in on the breath. It was like I was inside the tornado and there was debris swirling around. I was able to pull myself back into the breath and hear my breath. It felt very physical and present for me. I made an agreement in my meditation—on my way home from work, I pass a labyrinth I built. I promised myself I would stop when I could and walk that bigger labyrinth. Thank you.

  • Thank you. Since joining this group, most of the time during the meditation there is a tear at the edge of my eye that almost defies gravity. There are times when I think how can it be, defying gravity? During the reading, I felt like the gate opened. Thank you for the reading. It was deeply personal for me. I’m grateful you mentioned the teenager. Yesterday, when I gathered some photos, I grabbed one of me as a teenager that was taken the day before trauma. I was so happy. It’s important to gather her up as well. It was important for me to recognize, not withstanding the importance of what is going on out there, that every voice matters. Those that don’t have a voice, they matter too.

  • I loved the line ‘hearing from your hidden spaces. It’s powerful. Thank you for your thoughts. It’s not often I can sit and be quiet because of all the chaos around me with the work I am doing for social justice and my own personal obstacles. I love this time when I can sit quietly and open my mind. During the meditation, I opened my mind and I got clarity about a problem I am working on. That’s the gift I am getting from this meditation time, a chance to disconnect and open my heart and hear what I need to hear.

  • I keep reading Susan Jeffers’ affirmations which helps me. I sit here with one of the kitty’s sitting on my lap, purring away. I’ve been holding my breath my whole life, just doing shallow breathing. During the meditation, I tried to take a deep breath a couple of times and it was hard to open up. I started thinking wouldn’t it be nice to have all our parts together, to be loved and accepted. And maybe I could even get to the point where it would feel like a cat purring, wonderful, comforting, soft, vibrations. Also, if people could hold in their thoughts and prayers for me and my family member. Thank you.

  • It is the intention of the power of this group that we hold you both constantly, that our intention doesn’t ebb and flow. I encourage you to shrink yourself up and lean into that kitty-cat like a big soft place to rest when you can to create a safe loving place.

  • I think we could build an entire meditation about being inside a cat purring. I love that warmth. Anyone with a cat on their lap understands that.

  • Our thoughts can be comforting. Thank you for joining us today. Thank you for this journey of meditation and silence and envisioning and sharing. It’s very rich. I wish you all well.

Photo credit: Brian's Jeannie Bottles

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© 2017 by Strong Voices Publishing