In order to understand the world, one must turn away from it. Where do you go? What do you do?
To forget worries, I have my own dedicated studio space. It took a lot of lockdown time to get it in order. It is a converted garage that looks out into the natural garden. It is where I retreat to. Work from. Find solitude in. Friends and family are welcome with an invitation only. I don’t find this selfish. I find it essential. I am finding that many more community members are committing to their own solace retreats. They were called men’s sheds. She sheds perhaps. Garden studios or just plain gardens. It doesn’t need to be fancy, neat or tidy. It only needs to be private.
Reflection and introspection can be done anywhere as it is all about giving yourself the quiet time to get thoughts in order and here, I can share some tips to making it happen.
If you are lucky enough to have a shed or room to call your own, embrace it. Make it warm. Make it comfy. Put rugs on the floor for warmth. Moisture proof and wind proof the dwelling. Add personal items that you cherish. This could include plants, pottery, paint or power tools. Be aware of your budget and by all means, get creative. I’ve seen beautifully carved window and door frames, murals inside and out. Loads of macrame pot hangers plus a dedicated collections of nuts, bolts and screws from floor to ceiling. We cannot forget the ubiquitous pot belly stoves and bars. This is, after all, your retreat and you should personalise it.
Pay attention to a readiness routine that you do, when planning your visit, so that your mind is already gearing down. For me it is walking down the steps and ringing my bird bell before I enter. For you it could be making a cuppa and kicking the shoes off. Perhaps it is unlocking the potting shed and putting the gardening gloves on.
Whatever it is, be mindful that it is starting to relax you. This way the wind-down gets faster, and you can drop into that quiet space more quickly. Be grateful for this time and space, as I believe, nowhere can one find a quieter retreat than in their own shed.