Creating My Home as My Internal and External Sanctuary

room 360

Here is a 360 degree view of my room, which I moved into about a year ago. It is within this room that I decided to really apply what I had learned in my last two blogs, and create for myself a sanctuary of sorts. A place to heal, to unwind, to fall apart and put myself back together, to nurture myself and to rest. I went through a process to make this my own space, a process of redefinition and creation, to accompany my process of self-creation.

Some things were gifts, like the chalk board above my computer where I write the living words I am working on, some I brought with me, and some I found close by.
Making a space my own is something I wish I had developed much earlier in my life, as I have moved many, many times throughout my life, often times feeling like I was living in someone else’s space.

Now, I thoroughly enjoy setting up my space in a way that best suites my needs, a place where I feel comfortable and cozy, where when I walk into it, it feel like I am walking into a warm embrace.

I aim to make my room my safe haven, full of comforts and support. At the same time, I am creating an internal safe haven, so that my internal and external spaces are a reflection of each other.

I must say, my dog Ghost has been a huge help in the creation of cozyness! Wherever he plunks down, he transforms that space into the most homey, welcoming and pleasant spots in my room! Additionally, his company, cuddles, protection and consistency have been huge internal support as well as I had decided to put aside my fears and walk unconditionally into a relationship with him.

room ghost
Our personal space, as much as our internal space, is sacred. It is a place we can CREATE, using our capacity as CREATORS, and with our CREATIVE abilities, to support us in many ways and on many levels, to walk a process toward becoming our utmost potential, our best.


On the front lines of OCD: Bringing PEACE to the war at HOME – Creating my safe space, my sanctuary.

In the photo above, you can see how I have taken steps to create a home environment that is supportive in all ways: I have set myself up in front of the computer to write, which supports me in in my process of taking my authority back from OCD/derma. But because I know that being in front of the computer triggers the OCD, I have put a hair mask on to keep my hands away from my head. The hair mask also nurtures and moisturizes the scalp, which supports me physically as I have scalp psoriasis.

I lit a candle to create a more relaxed and soothing atmosphere to lower anxiety, and I also like the way it smells, so it is a point of  simple enjoyment as well.

The same with the tea, which is filled with healthy ingredients such as ginger, turmeric, honey, lemon, and also chamomile which calms and relaxes. It keeps my hands busy when I get antsy, it tastes good and is warm and comforting.

This calming, soothing, healing and nurturing environment was created by me, in awareness. This is MY CHOICE. It depicts an act of creation rather than an environment of consequence, resulting from the automated behaviour of OCD. This is one step of my journey, bringing my writing to life in practical application.

To read the writing, visit: Feeling ‘At Home’ in My Skin and my Environment and At Home Within Myself – Living the Word ‘Home’

10 things in my room that support me:

1) the turtle a friend gave me to remind me to slow down, accompanied by the tree her son gave me, “my tree” he says, which I must promise to protect.

turtle 1

2) the salt rock lamp I bought for myself for balance. The colour and presence of the rock to me look like a heart, reminding me of my heart as well as the delicate nature of the living body.

salt rock lamp.PNG

3) the painting that I chose. To me it is less about what the painting represents and more about the fact that I chose one I like instead of keeping the one that was there before.

4) the mosaic glass lamp I found in storage. The colours match the colours in the painting, and are colours I have been playing with lately: shades of champagne, golds, browns, ivory, rust and auburn.


5+6) essential oil diffuser, essential oils, homeopathic ‘rescue remedy’, and ‘cell food’ supplement from the pharmacy. I am exploring the effects of these products on my mind and body, seeing how I can support my body’s comfort, calm and release.

essential oils.PNG    oil diffuser.PNG

7) beeswax candles for that firey glow and to clean the air. Calming and soothing and they smell so damn good.

8) Butterflies above my medicine cabinet, reminding me of transformation, change and growth. My medicine cabinet is full of teas, supplements and creams I use to tend to myself as acts of self-care.


cabinet contents.PNG

9) blue tooth speakers to play nice tunes while I work.


10) living-words chalk board. I take the words on one at a time to incorporate into my living. I take ‘problem’ words, or words I have not been living effectively, and turn them into ‘solution words’, where I redefine them in a way that supports my best.






Feeling ‘At Home’ in My Skin and my Environment


I’ve moved around a lot in my life, and every time I would arrive at a new location I would have projections about what it would feel like to live there, and I would hold an optimistic outlook on how my life would be and how I would make this new place my home. I would settle in over time, but as time passed I would never quite be able to create this feeling I was looking for, the feeling of being ‘at home’.

The repeating cycle that would occur is that the new apartment would become messy and disorganized and financial and other stresses would inevitably arise and plant their roots in my mind and thus be reflected back to me by my environment. Soon most things in the house would cause a negative reaction in me, such as anxiety for example, as I would see things I was neglecting or unfinished projects I would judge myself for having abondoned.  Slowly, over time I would lose my authority in the situation, as I would lose authority over myself and my actions, and this unfortunately leads to a lack of order and direction,  which created an environment that is not conducive to healing, growing or expanding. This environment is actually more conducive to perpetuating dermatillomania, wherein I become the product of the environment I have created, instead of the environment becoming the product of me as I create myself into someone that is striving to meet their utmost potential, which includes overcoming dermatillomania.

These aforementioned negative effects could be associated with having OCD, although I am certain people without OCD have experienced this as well. For me, with dermatillomania, the home becomes ‘unsafe’, in a way. In the above scenario, things I see in the home create an underlying overwhelming-ness within me, and become triggers and soon bathrooms and mirrors become unsafe places for me to go because of the effects of having a BRFD (body-focused repetitive disorder). It is not an environment of comfort and support, rather, through my abdicating myself to this behaviour, I set myself up for failure and self-abuse.

And so in this blog I’ve taken up looking at this word ‘home’, and I have decided (i.e. not the disorder deciding) that it is time for me to decide how I am going to re-define the word ‘home’. This way, I can apply that definition into my daily living, thus creating a living word for myself, wherein slowly over time, one word at a time, I will create a ‘living vocabulary’ and thus, a new life for myself on My Terms – not the terms of the disorder.

The word home, a defined in the dictionary, means:

  1. the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household:

Informal – a place where an object is kept.

Sounding out the words (what hidden words or phrases can I see within the word?)

HOnor ME –  (home is a place where I honour myself, and my internal/external environment should reflect that)

HOne in on ME –  (Home is a place that I know in the utmost detail, and when attention is needed somewhere, I hone in on it. If something requires attention and is not getting done, I first hone in on me – my mind – to check why am I not moving myself to tend to the task)

HarmOny in ME ( Home is a place where I create as little friction as possible, where events and play-outs are directed by me in a way that creates them to be beneficial to me, supporting and nurturing my growth and development).

HOusing ME ( Home is the physical location that is housing me, whether it is in my body or my house, and it therefore requires to be physically maintained: kept clean, tidy, organized, well presented, and practical for me).

I like how in the ‘sounding out’ of the word I see a focus on ‘me’, before only considering the physical location, because this way home can be wherever I am. The dictionary definition states that a home is the place where one lives ‘permanently’. This can be complicated for someone in my situation who has for so long been living temporarily in different locations. If I were to limit myself and my experience to the dictionary’s definition, then I may react by feeling things like lost, homeless and self-pitying, because, according to the dictionary definition, I don’t have a’ home’! This can potentially be disempowering, because it’s important to have a place and a space within which to grow and be grounded, and without one I feel ungrounded and like I have no place. This is the kind of potential consequence of not fully investigating the words we are living and defining ourselves according to.

I would like to instead Empower myself by creating my own definition for the word home. This new definition is not just a physical location; it is a living and a doing, internal and external. ‘Home’ is actually who and how I am within myself, and the physical location is simply an extension of myself, so that by extension, it also becomes my ‘home’.


Orderly – I have a place for things and I address and tend to all components as necessary.

Safe – it is a safe place/space because as I establish the environment I want to create, such as developing self-acceptance (no judgment) and self-discipline (stopping OCD patterns, keeping everything in order etc), my mistakes, falls and slip-ups are immediately forgiven, and the slate is clean for me to learn from the experience and try again. In my home environment, internal and external, I forgive myself, I learn, I expand.

Directed  – Home is where I prioritize what needs to get done, and I move myself through the tasks. This is Self-direction, where I am the one that assesses my home’s needs – my body as food, water, exercise, relaxation etc… my house as groceries, cleaning, decorating etc… in my home, I push myself to get everything that needs to get done, done.