Sacred Space

August 1, 2022 Leave a comment
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I went to synagogue last week to support friends who were leading the service and I got a gift in return. My friend Hilary shared some words that really resonated with me. I’ll translate them here as “this space is sacred.”

We create and move through spaces every day and all the time, at work as well as at home and in community. And, we are in times that can feel challenging, frightening, or even dangerous. And so how do we nourish ourselves and find the belonging that is a basic human need? Without being trite, I left synagogue reminded that I am already in those spaces and that I can do more to notice when the spaces I am in have elements of the sacred: belonging, grace, wonder, possibility, joy.

Here are some of the spaces I’ve been in just in the last month that I realize now were sacred, even if only for a moments:

  • At the dinner table in western Massachusetts, surrounded by the laughter of family who have only known one another for at most eight years, creatively weaving our connections as we anticipate the next generation
  • Floating in the ocean, swaying in the waves
  • Recently at a staff gathering where we were together in person for the first time in two and a half years…feeling the presence, seeing more than just the faces.
  • In a zoom room of white anti-racists sharing vulnerable stories of failure and intentions to be in deep partnership and sibling-hood in multi-racial spaces
  • In a zoom room of mostly strangers exploring generative conflict

Perhaps harder to conceive, and problematic if held in the wrong way, I wonder how we can find or create sacredness amidst a world or workplace that feels challenging. One way I saw that was in a beautiful interaction between two clients. One is leaving their job; another, in tears, processing the endless change and loss, spoke to how much they appreciated that person and how in seven months the departing person had pulled them into community and increased their capacity for important work.

I know that I, and many of our clients, yearn for and need wonder and sacredness as we move through a world full of challenges, violence, and fear. And, in discussing how we sometimes choose what we see, I would be remiss not to also name that it is a world full of beauty, changemakers, and organizing, with much to celebrate.

At IISC, we try to bring joy and foster belonging as we work on challenging issues, thereby creating and noticing the sacred space in which to do our work. Please join us and share your stories of sacred space.

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