Have you ever taken a moment to look around your house, office, car, etc. and compare how it looks to how you feel? If your house is clutter free, do you feel spacious and calm? If your office is a heap of papers, does it invoke stress and anxiety in you? How about the reverse? Do your surroundings become disheveled or cleaner based on your frame of mind? Well, there are studies that prove this notion! Your physical and emotional states are always playing off each other, as we are discovering more and more with revelations around the mind-body connection. Body is not only your physical body but your environment as well.

In my years counseling clients, I have encouraged them to analyze their surroundings and create living and working environments that are in line with the life they want to create. My Live Fearless and Free blueprint for daily living, which is a set psychological strategies and actionable solutions to create a life that thrills you, includes creating a custom Zen Den. This doesn’t have to mean completely overhauling the house or gutting your work cubicle. It can be as simple as adding a colorful throw pillow, live plants, or pictures of loved ones to your space. It can also be as basic as taking the time to clean out the car, the pantry, and filing cabinets. Clutter is an energy drain, so clearing it not only frees your space physically but mentally as well.

Creating a scared space around you and taking care of your environment reminds you to tend to the divine sacred space within you.

You could also set aside a space in your home or office as a dedicated Zen Den. It could be a corner, a desktop, or an entire room. The elements of your sacred space should mirror what calms, soothes, inspires, and uplifts you. My Zen Den is a table strung with white lights, some candles, statues of Buddha, Ganesh, and Shiva, a magnet of Wonder Women, a picture of Deepak Chopra, photos of loved ones, and flowers. I also have a traveling zen den with little statues and pictures and mala beads that I can set up in a hotel room. Other friends of mine, who travel a lot or are always running around NYC, wear a special piece of jewelry or have a particular wallpaper on their phone or iPad, so that when they look at it, it invokes a sense a calm. This isn’t a “zen den” so much as it is a nice reminder to stay grounded and centered and take a moment to recalibrate.

Here are three hotels rooms I decked out:




Creating a sacred space for meditation or to bring comfort is an act of radical self-care. Taking the time to build a space or finding that special “piece” that soothes and nourishes you has a positive ripple effect. When you take care of you first, you have something to offers others.

Do you have a sacred space? What’s in it, and where is it? Have you ever created a meditation altar? If not, I invite you to PIMP YOUR SPACE and get creative!

I’m sharing some of my favorite zen dens on Pinterest if you need some ideas, and I would love for you to share yours!

Love Love Love


Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Tune Up Tips and follow her on Twitter.

*Photo Credit: ell brown via Compfight cc