How to create an Altar without becoming a wierdo.


My Mum tries her best to keep open minded with me.  It would never have been her first choice for her daughter to become a wondering yoga teacher, dragging her children around the world in a most unconventional way, but she has embraced it whole heartedly; proof if ever it were needed that a mothers love knows no bounds.  

So I know that when she takes me to one side with a look of concern on her face, I’ve probably crossed a boundary that the majority of middle class British people would struggle with. That was how it was the day she over heard me on the phone, discussing my altar.

There was real fear in her eyes when she told me how happy she was that I was so happy at the moment, “but please, darling, don’t go too weird.”

I know that almost all of my non-yoga friends with agree with her.  There is something about the creation of an altar that takes you over a line into full on wierdo territory.  If my altar didn’t bring me so much joy and support, I wouldn’t bother writing this.  But it does, and I think it has been fundamental in changing the quality of my sleep, my day and my head space.

I set up my altar at a time when I was feeling lost.  Isn’t it always at those times you get pushed into trying something you would scorn at any other moment?  I went to a Catholic Convent boarding school, so the word altar has all the residual baggage of fake piety and hypocrisy that the Convent experience had filled me with. But, I wanted to do something to demonstrate that I was taking hold of my life and making a commitment to being truthful, transparent and focused on who I was and what I wanted my life to be.

No more keeping everyone happy by watering myself down into an easy to accept version of myself.  

Like a cat peeing around the boarders of the garden, I flung out anything in my home that I felt wasn’t connected to the REAL ME and brought to light everything that made me feel stronger, braver, connected.

And I reclaimed my bedroom. Previously, my bedroom was everyones bedroom. I never quite got the hang of disciplining the children to sleep in their own beds, even from newborn.  Secretly, I like them sleeping with me.  So, at any point in time, you could find most of the family plus piles of clean washing, toys and books from the children’s bedroom, papers from work, piles of books I intended to read, my yoga mat, even half drunk cups of tea lying around in my bedroom.  It wasn’t pretty.

I was taking part in a Shiva Rea online course, and part of it included creating an altar.  Initially I thought I’d just skip that part.  However, on the Facebook group forum, people were sharing photos of their altars which were really beautiful.  They included any items that the creator found joy from – old photos, shells, flowers, art work, essential oils, textiles.  It got me inspired.

So, I tidied up my bedroom and created space on top of my chest of drawers.  I selected photos of the important women in my life and placed them there.  Then I added as essential oil burner with ylang ylang burning which induces a restful state of mind.  And then I bought a small rose quartz crystal and added it.

Over the coming days I started to see things that I added – some beautiful wild flowers in a little vase, a goddess card that I’d picked and resonated with me, a love note from a friend, and drawing from my daughter. I was hooked.

There are many things going on here, and all of them good.  Let me summarise why I think it all felt so good.

1. Creating something as a statement of who you are feels really really great.  Its not for anyone else’s benefit, so you have carte blanche to do as you wish.  This is fun, energising, creative and utterly feminine (in the essence of the word, rather than the high heeled lip stick wearing version).

2. Reclaiming your space makes you physically determine your boundary, which helps you mentally, emotionally and spiritually identify your boundaries and stick to them.  For example, the children still come into my bed, but only in the morning at the weekends, and I’m getting so much more sleep.

3. Relaxing in bed at night with the flickering of candle light through  crystals, beautiful bits & bobs and the scent of ylang ylang filling the room is extremely peaceful, decadent, self loving and supporting. What better way to go to sleep?

4. Waking up in the morning and seeing your intention in physical manifestation reminds you and supports you to take another day to realise your dream.

So I urge you to give it a try.  If you think you could improve on your bedtime ritual, or you need to reinforce where you want your life to be going, or you just want an avenue for creating a wonderful creative space, try making yourself an altar.  You don’t even need to tell anyone… but I bet you soon do.

For more accessible, easy tips on how to stay connected to your better Self, please take a moment to look at my website

I hope you’ll join me so that you can kick back, thrive in motherhood, and be your Happy Sexy Mama self.

Sonja Lockyer writes for, and is commited to looking after the Mummies who are busy looking after the rest of us.

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