Food for Thought: Finding the Sanctuary Within You

A pink sunset sky with two mountain peaks whose reflections can be seen in the still water of the lake beneath them.

“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” – Hermann Hesse

If we’re so used to experiencing inner turmoil rather than inner peace, it’s hard to believe there might be a calm place within where we can find refuge.

A major reason for binge eating is to gain relief from the chaos inside.

We turn to food to quiet our fretting minds and soothe our jangled nerves. Eating offers us a time out from feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

But it’s only ever a temporary vacation from our troubles. And what follows – physical discomfort and self-loathing on an epic scale – ensures the holiday wasn’t enjoyable.

Food can never give us the peace we crave.

What if there is indeed “a stillness and a sanctuary” within each of us? What if, instead of looking outside of ourselves for relief, we can learn to turn inward to soothe ourselves?

We might say: “I’m just not that kind of person”. But it’s only our thoughts that make us frantic and thoughts can be altered.

The very reason we’re drawn to quotes like Hesse’s is because they connect us to that place of sanctuary – the place of inner calm where we know everything’s going to be OK and we can weather any storm we encounter.

We just have to find it.

Perhaps, instead of worrying about how we look and what others think of us, we could divert that energy towards locating our sanctuary within.

We could work to establish a link to the stillness and peace inside us.

Then we wouldn’t have to turn to food for solace because we’d always know there’s a place of refuge just waiting for us any time we need it.

Remember, the entrance to the sanctuary is within you” – Rumi

©️ Julie de Rohan 2020.

29 thoughts on “Food for Thought: Finding the Sanctuary Within You

    1. I think how you connect to the sanctuary within you is probably a very personal thing. Some of the things people do include meditation, breathing exercises, mindfulness and being in nature to connect to the stillness within themselves – it’s a case of what feels right for you. Personally, I have to use the “Calm” app to help me slow down and connect with myself because I’m too undisciplined otherwise! Many thanks for your comment, Kacha, I hope you find your sanctuary.

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  1. Great post, Julie! I find the idea of inner sanctuary so reassuring and calming, just remembering it exists within me is enough to bring stillness to my inner chatter 🙂

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    1. It’s so great to hear your experience, Karen. I hope it will be comforting and encouraging to anyone who struggles with the concept of inner stillness. Many thanks for sharing it.

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    1. I think if you’re used to overthinking and rushing around, it’s really hard to believe there can be a calm, still place within you. But I believe it’s in all of us and it’s possible to access it if we give ourselves time. Many thanks for your comment, Sam.

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    1. You describe that brilliantly, Deepa – so close but out of reach. I think that’s how many of us feel but so worth it when we’re able to find it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  2. Thank you for sharing!!.. I do meditation to connect with my inner self plus I listen and follow my heart… 🙂

    “When someone tells you “you’ve changed”, it might be because you have stopped living your life their way”.. John Pence

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    1. It’s great to hear your experience, Dutch – meditation is such a useful way to connect to the stillness within, it makes us slow down (even if there’s a part of us that doesn’t want to!). Many thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  3. Excellent Julie – l think all of us need an inner sanctum or sanctuary to retreat into at times for whatever ails us – a place where we can feel better about ourselves, reboost and recharge.

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    1. Absolutely, Rory, and very nicely put. If you have a busy brain like me it can be hard to switch off your thoughts and find that inner stillness but I find it makes such a difference to my life when I do. Great to hear from you, hope you’re doing well.

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      1. Well you know me Julie my brain is continually buzzing, it doesn’t understand the word stop 🙂

        Yes keeping as well as l can, hope you are well too and the rain’s/winds are not causing too much havoc in your neck of the woods 🙂

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