Creation of a retreat

Over the course of the weekend (which for me included headaches, panic-mode, and generally feeling stressed out and tired) I decided to convert the stuffed corner behind my desk into a place for contemplation/prayer/calm-down. I need a place without chaos, without technology, without distraction.

Basic ideas

  • the corner should feel airy, but separate form the surrounding space
  • keyword: sensory deprivation. I even joked about getting myself a huge cardboard box from the attic to climb into when the world is too full of sounds and visual input; but I decided to go with white and just keep it simple.
  • no additional purchases (in the beginning I had planned to get things from Ikea, bad me) – I want a place to get away from hoarded stuff, so buying new things would be counterproductive
  • working title of the project: “warrior’s retreat” – I want to become stronger in mind, soul, and body, while learning to relax, to focus, to relearn stillness and mindfulness, and to be angry or stressed out less often
  • I’d like to spend at least ten minutes each day in my tiny retreat and allow my mind to wander a little, maybe read a bit … ideal would be ten minutes in the morning plus ten minutes before going to bed, but I’ll take small steps for now

Current concept

  • I turned around my art supply shelf to add a third wall (not very high, but high enough for when sitting close to the floor, see next item) and to keep the area closer to the empty stretch of wall and away from my desk at the opposite wall
  • a surplus palette (left over from replacing our sofa with palettes and beanbag chairs) is stored in the attic and will become a slightly elevated, airy “floor” – we have a slight problems with cold drafts here and a bit of elevation will make it feel more like a proper separate sitting area while retaining the feeling of being close to the ground by sitting on a flat surface
  • to provide a softer ceiling and the illusion of a fourth wall I salvaged my old bed canopy aka cheap mosquito net from of the get-rid-of-this-stuff box (instead some other items ended up in that box) and hung it from the overhead wall shelf by digging up one of the adhesive hooks I had bought for the bathroom some time ago
  • our old sofa throw (something between off-white, beige, and pastel yellow) will become the first layer on top of the palette
  • an old woven rug (mostly red, white, and a little black) my mother gave me for my first apartment will be either folded as a cushion or just run across the whole palette, depends on what I like better in the end
  • one of the Ikea “Skurar” plant pots which had served as a candle holders on our wedding day will be repurposed to hold a pen, a small notepad, and maybe a feather plus some fragrance (e.g. a single star anise from my stash in the kitchen)
  • one or two books; currently I think I’ll put my study bible and a capoeira book inside
  • a glass tumbler of fresh, cold water
  • maybe one of our small white or grey metal lanterns (also wedding decoration) will be added for soothing light and to focus on to calm down

Do you have a place in your home for contemplation and/or calming down? I’d like to hear about it and maybe see pictures :)


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