Sanctuary to me, means a safe and peaceful place that one goes to after retreating from battle or conflict. It is a safe place when we feel most vulnerable.
It is important to be able to protect yourself from physical, verbal, emotional or spiritual assault to stay healthy and depending on the situation one needs to be able to rapidly create or access safe areas. In this discussion, I am not really concerned about physical security as this is in most cases obvious.
Essentially what I am talking about here is a visualization technique to create a sanctuary. There are some key factors that need to be there - protection, peace, clarity and healing.
As this is a visualization technique, each person's metaphor may be different, so I will start with the principles and then give an example. It is also not necessary just to have one sanctuary. You may have various metaphors of various sizes and construction.
In your Sanctuary, what is your protection from the outside world? People who come from a religious or spiritual backgrounds may use icons like guardian angels or other symbols of protection. I like to use the concept of camouflage around my sanctuary.
The symbol of peace allows us to lower our guard and release stress. Personally I use a water-fountain in my Sanctuary to represent peace. I also visualize a resting place, like a couch where I can sit or lay.
Clarity represents order in a world of chaos. This tells my mind that even though I don't like or understand the environment outside, I can make sense of what is going on to me. My visualization of clarity in my sanctuary is a strong but not overpowering beam of light.
The healing metaphor tells me that I can and will recover from past assaults and that in Sanctuary I have commenced the healing process immediately. In my Sanctuary, healing is represented by pure running water from the fountain and that it has healing properties.
Sanctuary is not a place to live out one's life but there in times of chaos and confusion. If you are totally confused and don't know what to do then dig in, cover up and start building your own sanctuary.
When we are being physically attacked then it is blatantly obvious, even if it is bullying tactics but when someone is being rude, sarcastic, subversive, ignoring or deliberately excluding then one may not initially recognize that they are under verbal or emotional abuse, so this type of metaphor can help us deal with non-physical assaults effectively.