Sanctuary Time

Feb2014 Cabo de Sao Vincente Portugal2

Sanctuary time is about pausing, reflecting, recharging.


Sanctuary time enables exploration and seeing the path. Sanctuary time is about calibrating my compass and finding right direction. I’ve come to crave the time because it grounds me and guides me in being my best.


I feel like I’m getting important things done when my energy is high and I’m in action. My sanctuary time is the engine that charges that action. Sanctuary time ensures my energy is directed in the most valuable ways. I’m discovering that it’s not either steady and calm or moving and energetic – it’s a big A.N.D. Balance is possible only when both are present, each counterbalancing the other. The energy ultimately calls for the calm, and the calm fuels the energy. There’s a synergy, a harmony in having both.

Sanctuary time is introspective and filled with questions. The inquiry provides answers. Who am I? What do I stand for? How I want to show up? What impact do I want to have? What I am I grateful for? Where can I stretch? What would facing my challenges look like? What can I celebrate? Who do I want to bring along on my journey?


In my sanctuary, I’m able to release the blocks that hold me back and control me. Well, I don’t always get those blocks completely out of the way; however, I am able to loosen them. And when I can’t seem to do that, I embrace the idea that the obstacles on the path ARE the path. Those blocks are my invitation to grow and stretch and see what my energy can create in the world. The time permits a letting go. I can feel deep down to my core how healthy and good this letting go is.


In this sanctuary, I find authenticity. I open to the softest spots of my being. I discover who I am, what I’m feeling, what I want, how I’m doing. I sense the essence of myself and those my life touches, the purpose in my work and life, the incredible mystery of the world around me. From here I come out of hiding, let go of any defense, and take off the armor I so often and easily use to protect myself. In this holy place, I open, I claim my power, I grab my courage, and I open and share my truth.


This sanctuary is a place where I “play with the edge of my life” (Rolf Gates), where I gain the strength to “live on the edge of possibility” (Therese Kienast). To see out into the vast spaciousness and unknown requires my light. And when I shine bright, I illuminate what’s possible.

I invite you to ask yourself:

  • What does “sanctuary time” look like for me?
  • What is possible for me when I slow down enough to pause and reflect?
  • What do I want to create during quiet introspective time with myself?

I’d love to hear your answers…


2014 Calendar

Some of you may have gotten used to finding a monthly calendar here. Instead, I offer you this complete 2014 calendar:

2014 Inspiration 11X14_Leading With Intention

Photo by Vicki L. Flaherty, Cabo de Sao Vincente, Portugal, August 2013.

Author: Vicki L Flaherty

I am most alive when I am creating, whether through writing, photography, gardening, cooking, crafting, sewing, yoga. I enjoy traveling because it opens me to greater awareness and new possibilities. I find a special joy when I’ve helped someone see their brilliance and express their full potential. As I've focused on living more mindfully, I've found special joy in expressing myself through poetry and photography, and in truly being in relationship with those I meet along my journey.

18 thoughts on “Sanctuary Time”

    1. I see how your sanctuary time is the light of your creative self-expression. Presents of Presence seems to be founded on the idea of deep connection with the moment – who you are in the moment and what you want to create in the now. I love the light of your sanctuary…

  1. Ah Vicki, as always you give us the gift of insight – helping us crawl towards that “edge of possibility” – I think that’s what i love most about thinking time (and you know I am a thinker – so if I don’t get time to think, I become anxious, cranky, and less effective.) The sanctuary helps us separate what matters from what doesn’t, it offers quiet clarity, and the opportunity to be our true selves without pressure from the outside. I’ve always wanted to do a 40 day retreat… 40 days of silence, away from people, thinking, writing, cooking, living, breathing… maybe that goes on my success plan for 2014? Hmm… See what possibilities came from your post??? I love it!

    1. I love that you point out how you get if you don’t get your think time. I get that way when I don’t get my sanctuary time. And, I find my work creeping in on the usual time that I spend getting grounded – as it has, I have gotten even clearer about my need for that time and how it serves me. Now it’s a matter of shaping my day to build it in and I’m opening to it being at a different time and perhaps taking a different shape.

      Wow! A 40-day retreat! That sounds awesome! Putting my maximizer to work – would all 40 days have to be lumped together? Could you take 10 days at a time, one per quarter? Regardless of how it shapes itself for you, you are on your way to finding time for silence, away from people, thinking, writing, cooking, living, breathing since you have claimed it for yourself. (Hey, you know what, sounds like Mother Nature is doing her best to help you with that!)

      1. Look at you, helping me see new possibilities! 10 days a quarter… I like it! Thank you!!!!! Let me add that to my Project Butterfly plan – can I be WONDERFULLY FEARLESS and make time for me?? oh my…

  2. My sanctuary time looks and sounds a lot like yours. This is the place where I see and hear the things I am not aware of in noisy places. I see me, I practice forgiveness and acceptance as I hug my child within. My sanctuary time is where I am learning to embrace and champion my hurt Self. This is the time when I remember my journey is to find my way home to myself.

    1. Brenda, it’s always nice to know that we have kindred spirits, looking for some of the same things in this life. I love your closing line “my journey is to find my way home to myself.”

  3. For me, sanctuary is about creating the time and space to get out of my routines, and to be out in the world. Even a walk in the city will do it. There’s something about engaging the body that helps to quiet the “monkey mind” for me and allow me to hear what’s really going on. Beautiful post. And, that calendar. Wow. Terrific photos, not to mention the quotes. Today, the one I’m listening to is the one about accepting ‘what is.’ So much better than resisting ‘what is.’

    1. Jennifer, you make a wonderful point about how engaging the body enriches the power of sanctuary time. For me, I find sanctuary in running and often proceed or follow my quiet time with some restorative yoga. Glad you like the calendar – realize now that travel is another form of sanctuary for me, that is extra special because it includes my husband and life partner, Jim. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

  4. My sanctuary time is non thinking time, and I am only beginning to allow myself this space away from the thinking…doing…talking babble of daily like. In my sanctuary time I imagine the opening of my life to the new possibilities before me as I move away from the known/structured way of my life for many years. Sanctuary time helps me to calm the fears and allow an inner voice to talk to me. It is as nourishing for me as eating healthy, balanced food that I have taken the time to select and prepare.
    Thank you Vicki

    1. Connie, what a delicious sanctuary. I am so glad you are claiming this new perspective for yourself. I find it so refreshing – and supporting of good thinking and doing time – to have BEING time. Glad your sanctuary nourishes you!

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