Monday, 22 January 2018

Creating a Sacred Space - Eating Disorder Recovery #1

Hello lovely people,

As promised, today's post is the first in an Eating Disorder Recovery series.

Recovering from an eating disorder is HARD but 100% possible. While that may seem like a contradictory statement, the truth is, although recovery is challenging, it is a challenge that brings about personal growth and positive change. This recovery series will cover topics that benefit mental health in general, regardless of whether or not you are in eating disorder recovery.

Today I want to talk about creating a sacred space and why it is so important.

When you have an eating disorder, you exist from a place of scarcity and emptiness. Self love and self care are kept to a minimum and this can often include restricting on eating and resting - two basic ways of looking after yourself. When you have an eating disorder the landscape of your soul is dark, barren and cold with rough terrain that nobody can travel through. The flowers are dead and the trees are spiky. It is a place of isolation and an ideal breeding ground for self-hatred. Am I painting a picture for you?

Clearly, this is not a nice place to live, but right now, you can't seem to find a way out.

Now, imagine finding a cave, which is warm and dry (it's a magic cave, let's not apply logic) where you can rest. After further discovery you find that there are small flowers growing from the cracks in the walls. This is a place of growth and safety and hope. The more time you the spend here, the better you feel. As this happens, the outside world seems to change: the grass starts growing again, the river starts flowing again, the land changes and becomes habitable again. New fruits emerge, the trees stand strong and tall with roots that sink miles deep - the earth becomes more abundant than ever before. If and when hardship strikes the land, it can heal its wounds and rejuvenate, over and over again.

This is recovery.

It starts with finding solace in a scary place. And by creating a sacred space, you can do just that.

Ask yourself these questions: 

What kind of thoughts do you want to grow in your sacred space? What kind of emotions do you want to cultivate? What kind of values do you want to instil?

Your sacred space can be as big or as small as you like. It can be virtual or irl or both (though I find a physical space works best). In creating this space you are softening the landscape. You are creating a source of grounding - a reminder of what's to come. This is the spring that waters the land and returns it to a place of nourishment and vitality.

Some things that you could include in your sacred space:

- a quote that inspires you (or two or three) 
- some healing crystals (rose quartz is really great)
- stones/shells from the beach
- fairy lights
- postcards 
- a candle (could be battery operated if you set things on fire easily (like me))
- a note of encouragement to yourself
- flowers/plants (could be fake or fresh)
- something that reminds you of who you are outside of your eating disorder (for me that's pin-badges from museum exhibitions)
- something that makes you smile (could be a photo, a birthday card, a unicorn..)
- a representation of peace (like a Buddha, if that floats your boat)
- some dried lavender (scent is v. calming)

It could be all or none of these things; it doesn't matter. It could be a Pinterest board. It could be a change of wallpaper on your phone/laptop. Ultimately, it is a symbolic act. By creating a sacred space you are setting an intention to heal. To soften. To nurture.

Whenever you are feeling lost in that barren landscape, return here and remember that even though the landscape is harsh, you are allowed to be soft. And the more you honour that, the more the landscape around you will change.


I hope you have enjoyed this post, remember to take time out to be soft.

Remember to follow this blog on bloglovin and like the Facebook page (and check out my other social media links).

Until the next time,

Niamh xxx


  1. Niamh this is fantastic, so well written and so helpful xxx

  2. Thank you so much Rachel! I'm so glad you like it <3 Xx


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