Creating & Working with Personal Shrines
I believe that it is so very important for us to create space and time to develop a conscious relationship with ourselves. We are in need of time to connect to how we feel, to become aware of what we believe to be true about ourselves, and to get clear about what we would like to believe about ourselves.
Shrines and altars have been created and used by many cultures around the world for thousands of years. Traditionally shrines have been dedicated to a specific person or to a deity or saint. Altars have been traditionally used as sacred space for religious or spiritual purposes such as worship, prayer, rituals, or offerings. Many people also create their own personal sacred space for prayer, meditation and reflection.
Shrines are used as an honoring space; they connect us to our memories, to each other, and to something greater than ourselves. They help us to remember who we really are and give us safe space to heal and to honor all of our parts.
What is a Personal Shrine?
An act of self-love
A prayer in action
An external representation of what is in your heart
Personal healing through the act of creating
A creative daily practice
A place to pause, to meditate, to find your center/grounding
A way to honor yourself and show self-respect
An opportunity to express the essence of who you are beyond your personality
Visible form for your intentions
Time and space to honor and cherish yourself as a human being who is worthy and deserving of love
A place to be vulnerable and honest with yourself
A place to honor a part of yourself you may feel you have lost, become disconnected from, or that has never been able to fully come into being
There is no right or wrong way to create a personal shrine. This is an extremely individual process. You may choose to prepare by doing some brief writing, drawing or visualizing.
Find a container or backdrop for your shrine, a wooden box without a top works nicely. It is helpful if this shrine can fit on top of a shelf, table or bureau easily. Keep your eye out for meaningful symbols/items/messages that will help you to focus on your intention to love yourself fully to add to your shrine over time. These can be anything to reflect parts of yourself that you would like to be more gentle with and more accepting of. This is also a space for facing and loving your shadow parts – this process doesn’t have to be all "sunshine and rainbows". You may even choose to change objects weekly. Simply the acts of planning, creating, and adding to your personal shrine is an active meditation and a healing ritual.
Tips for Creating your Personal Shrine
Mindfully collect materials and images, but as you engage in the creative process let insights/inspiration guide you
Collect healing symbols and images that speak to your body/emotions/spirituality–feel what inspires you, makes you feel courage, brings you comfort, makes you feel whole
Let your heart guide the process
Let go of judgement
Follow your own sense of beauty
As you work with your shrine by sitting in front of it daily with an open heart and mind, feel the old beliefs and unworthiness dissolving – remember energy flows where attention goes
Consider giving yourself permission to smile