Written by Samantha Carter

These days, finding moments of peace and solace can feel like a rare luxury. Yet, amidst the chaos and noise, it’s essential to carve out spaces for mental health and well-being — places where we can retreat, recharge, and reconnect with ourselves on a profound level.

Enter the concept of the inner sanctuary: a personalized oasis of tranquility and self-discovery that serves as an eternal safe space to nurture and house different parts of ourselves, including our inner child(ren).

If you’re interested in learning more about this concept, read on as we delve into the art of creating an inner sanctuary and offer practical tips to help you facilitate healing, resilience, and growth.

Understanding the Inner Sanctuary

Before embarking on the journey of creating an inner sanctuary, it’s essential to understand what exactly it is. At its core, an inner sanctuary represents a symbolic space within our psyche – a refuge of safety, comfort, and authenticity – where we can access our deepest truths and inner resources. It serves as a container for our emotions, memories, and identities, offering a sanctuary for self-exploration, integration, and transformation.

Central to the concept of the inner sanctuary is the notion of the inner child, the pure, innocent aspect of ourselves that retains the memories, emotions, and experiences of our past. By nurturing our inner child within our sanctuary, we can learn to heal core wounds, cultivate greater self-love, and foster a sense of acceptance for who we truly are.

Creating the Physical Space

While the inner sanctuary primarily exists within the realm of the psyche, creating a physical space that reflects it can enhance its potency and effectiveness. Alternatively, this can be a place you regularly go to in the beginning of your practice to help you build your internal world. As time goes on, you’ll likely be able to access this internal place anytime, anywhere – making the physical space optional. Below are some practical tips for designing your physical sanctuary.

Choose a Sacred Space

Select a quiet, private area inside your home where you can retreat and immerse yourself in solitude. This could be a cozy corner of a room, a tranquil garden, or even a dedicated meditation space.

Set the Mood

Create an ambiance that evokes a sense of tranquility and serenity. Use soft lighting, soothing colors, and natural elements like plants or crystals to foster a calming atmosphere.

Personalize Your Space

Infuse your inner sanctuary with elements that resonate with your unique preferences and personality. Display meaningful objects, photographs, or artwork to evoke feelings of joy, comfort, and inspiration.

Incorporate Comfort

Prioritize comfort and coziness by adding plush cushions, blankets, or meditation pillows to your space. Ensure that you feel physically supported and relaxed in your sanctuary.

Minimize Distractions

Eliminate any distractions that may disrupt your inner sanctuary work. Silence your phone, close the door, and create boundaries to protect your sacred space from external interruptions.

Create Rituals

Establish rituals or practices that signal the transition into your internal world. This could involve lighting a candle, practicing deep breathing exercises, or reciting a mantra or affirmation.

Cultivating Inner Presence

Once you’ve established the physical space for your inner sanctuary, the next step is to cultivate inner presence — the art of turning inward. Below, we’ve listed some practices to help you deepen your connection to your inner sanctuary.

Mindful Awareness

Practicing mindfulness meditation can help cultivate present-moment awareness and inner stillness. Simply sit or lie down comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Notice any thoughts, sensations, or emotions that may arise, and gently return your attention to your breath whenever you become distracted. Alternatively, you can chant/sing, focus on an image, or practice mind-body meditation through practices like yoga or tai chi.


Keeping a journal to record the thoughts, feelings, and reflections that come up in your inner sanctuary can be a great way to further integrate your experience. Use this exercise to explore your inner landscape, express gratitude, and process any emotions or insights that may arise during your practice.

Inner Dialogue

Engage in a dialogue with your inner child within the sanctuary. Offer words of love, reassurance, and compassion. At the same time, acknowledge any fears, wounds, or unmet needs that your inner child may express. Allow yourself to listen deeply to the wisdom of your inner child while responding with empathy and understanding. Your child may need things from you that it didn’t get from your caretakers growing up. Commit to helping your inner child feel safe and cared for without judgment.

Creative Expression

Tap into your creativity as a means of self-expression and exploration within the sanctuary. Engage in activities like painting, drawing, writing, or music-making to channel your emotions and give voice to different aspects of yourself.

Guided Visualization

Practice guided visualization exercises to journey within your inner sanctuary and connect with different parts of yourself (including your inner child). Envision yourself surrounded by a protective bubble of light and exploring the landscapes of your psyche to embrace the various aspects of your being with love and acceptance.

Healing and Integration

As you deepen your relationship with your internal sanctuary, you may begin to experience profound shifts in your mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. The act of nurturing and housing different versions of yourself, including your inner child, can lead to incredible healing, integration, and transformation on multiple levels. Below are some ways in which inner sanctuary work can help support your mental health journey.

Healing Past Wounds

By providing a safe and nurturing environment, the inner sanctuary offers an opportunity to heal past traumas and wounds, allowing for emotional release, forgiveness, and reconciliation with the past.

Cultivating Self-Love

Through acts of self-care, compassion, and inner dialogue, the inner sanctuary fosters a deep sense of self-love and acceptance that can positively impact your mental and emotional well-being. By nurturing a relationship with yourself, you can foster a greater sense of worthiness and belonging with benefits to your personal and professional connections.

Integration of Inner Aspects

As you engage with different parts of yourself in the sanctuary, you may begin to integrate fragmented aspects of your psyche. This, in turn, can help you manifest a sense of wholeness, coherence, and authenticity.

Strengthening Resilience

Regular practice within the sanctuary can cultivate resilience, inner strength, and emotional stability. This can empower you to navigate life’s challenges with greater calmness and grace.

Fostering Creativity and Inspiration

By tapping into your inner resources and creative potential, the inner sanctuary becomes a fertile ground for inspiration, innovation, and self-expression. Therefore, internal sanctuaries can help to fuel personal growth and transformation.

Cultivating Inner Peace and Wholeness

In a world of change and uncertainty, it can be helpful to build an internal world that stands as a beacon of stability, wisdom, and resilience. In our own timeless refuge, we can learn to retreat, replenish, and reconnect with the essence of who we are.

By being courageous and creating spaces for our mental well-being, we can experience the joy and relief of deep understanding, healing, and integration. Nurturing the multifaceted aspects of our being allows us to embrace the fullness of our humanity.

As you set out on the journey of creating your inner sanctuary, don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist for assistance. Not only can a therapist help make uncharted territory less frightening to explore, but they can also help keep you on track of your goals. While your inner world is just for you, that doesn’t mean you need to do it all alone.

Reach Out for Support

While creating and nurturing an inner sanctuary can be a deeply enriching and empowering experience, it’s important to recognize that it may also evoke challenging emotions or memories along the way. If you find yourself struggling to navigate these inner landscapes or feel overwhelmed by the process, know that help is available.

Reaching out to a qualified therapist or mental health professional can provide invaluable guidance, insight, and support as you embark on this extremely personal healing work. A therapist offers a safe and nonjudgmental space to process difficult emotions, gain clarity and perspective, and develop effective coping strategies for managing any internal turmoil.

If you’d like to learn more about Plus by APN’s various therapeutic modalities and full continuum of care, reach out to our team online or call 424.644.6486.


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