News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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Living Creatively: Find a ‘third place’

When we wish to connect with something more meaningful than what we currently experience, or yearn to find a place to connect with others in a more meaningful way, we can often find it at the “third place.”

The “first place” in our life is the one we call home, where we regularly go to for sustenance and rest, a place to commune with family and friends. Home is the place of the sacred center, as the related words “heart” and “hearth” suggest. The “second place” is where we work or volunteer our time and energy, where we use our talents, abilities and knowledge to support ourselves and others. It is a place of community where we give and receive for mutual benefit. A way to live more creatively is to also have a “third place.”

A “third place” is a special place you can go to for any number of reasons important to you. It can be a place for spiritual renewal, or one for personal growth and development. It can be a place to explore or expand your creativity, or one where you can make new friends. Ideally, it is a place to grow spiritually, develop creatively, and is one that attracts others of like heart and mind.

For some, the “third place” is a religious community or a center of activity related to one’s interests, talents or abilities. For others, it is a favorite coffeehouse, restaurant, bookstore, or library, where one can pursue a solitary endeavor, or meet informally with friends and colleagues. Social networking sites are a “third place” for many, and even though they are connected online to others, some still prefer more personal interaction. If you do not have a “third place,” perhaps you could ask a friend who does to invite you to visit a physical “third place” they attend.

A “third place” is a sacred space, also called “sacred community,” where we can experience spiritual communion, to commune with our inner being, or to communicate with others of truly like heart and mind. A truly sacred space asks nothing of you except for you to be yourself, and requires only your loving presence and participation if you are happy there. It affords you the opportunity to find yourself through exploration, and at best accepts you unconditionally. It is where you can feel love from and for others, or enjoy an activity you love to do. It is a place you feel kinship with others, are appreciated, understood, and can perhaps even make a new friend.

A true “third place” is the one you love returning to and would keep in your life even if you changed your home or work. A simple and sacred “third place” can be one you find related to nature, a space with a special view, or one that has a garden or a tree to sit with that nurtures your soul and speaks to your spirit. Save a “touch stone” you find there and keep it with you, so that when you are away from it, you can reconnect with the feeling of being there at any time.

If you work from home, dedicate a room or a corner or area of a room, or an area out of doors, to create a sacred space devoted to your creative and spiritual activities: art, crafts, music, dance, acting, writing, reading, imaging, prayer, meditation, cooking, gardening or other activity sacred to you. Then, create a routine that honors that space, one that you will do consistently every day. Do it with an attitude of gratitude, and discover a secret to prosperity: that for which you are grateful, increases. This is living creatively, creating the life you want to live in body, mind and spirit, by caring for the “first place,” tending to the “second place,” and honoring a “third place” in your life.

Barbara Basia Koenig is an Encinitas artist

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Living Creatively: Find a ‘third place’