Spiritual & Mental Health Therapist Alisa Gracheva on Creating a Home Sanctuary for Wellness

Photography by Luis Perez
Hallandale Beach, Florida

9 mins read

The home should be a sanctuary that nurtures the body, mind and soul. Our home is a place of refuge and the foundation of our well-being. The familiarity of home provides a sense of calmness, love, safety and content. When your home is paradise, where else would you rather be? Esteemed spiritual & mental health therapist Alisa Gracheva is a true believer that our home is where we are, it’s inside of us. In order to find inner peace and be able to connect within ourselves, it’s important to have a safe haven where we can find refuge from the world and where we can gather our thoughts. We can take solace in the quiet of the space, letting our minds find a tranquil place.

Despite the fact that Alisa had to change twenty-four apartments in ten years, she was always building her space according to her needs. “It was always warm, welcoming and safe to be in. Even if the place I was living in was a living room, I would bring my passion of fresh flowers into it. Having a sacred place to spend time with our loved ones and ourselves, a place to meditate, relax and forget about all the stressors from everyday routines is very important part of everyday living.”

Alisa Gracheva for Livingston Magazine

Nurturing spaces are places that bring a wave of contentment over you. Some spaces make you feel a sense of tranquility, while others can make you feel inspired, motivated and energized. Everyone, regardless of their background, interests, or career, deserves to enjoy peaceful spaces within their home. When you create a space surrounded by things you love and memories that brings you comfort that makes you feel more serenity.

Being a person who is independent and had to live through a lot of tough times on her own, Alisa always struggled to belong. Having lived on her own since she was eighteen, getting help wasn’t something she ever could count on. “I guess that’s how life was preparing me to serve others through learning first about my own resilience and strength. Through all of these uneasy times, the only thing that remained my support system was my animals. Those who never disappointed me, always protected, understood, and loved me no matter what.

Pets can offer a comforting respite from feelings of anxiousness and depression. Animals assist us to remain in the moment instead of agonizing over the days gone by or fretting over the future. When we can remain mindful of the present, even if only for a short while, we become less tense and our anxiety diminishes. “All of us are so lucky to be able to have such loyal friends. Such loving and selfless creatures, who will always be by our side. There is so much God in them. So much unconditional love and we can feel it with every cell of our body. I am filled with appreciation and love towards all of my furry and feathered friends. My parrot Creo, Dachshund Priya and Pomeranian Loki are such a huge part of my life and are my family.”

Parrot Creo, Dachhund is priya Pomeraian Loki
Alisa Gracheva, Creo, Priya & Loki for Livingston Magazine.

Alisa specializes in spiritual counseling, energy work & reiki, meditation, psychotherapy and life coaching. She has spent years studying and practicing alternative healing modalities, including sacred plant medicine work, integration, sound healing therapy, light therapy, energy work and spiritual guidance. Alisa often sees her private clients at home. She provides therapy sessions that are a bit unconventional and out of the ordinary sometimes, and they often involve the presence of calming plants and fury companions. During the class the session consists of an energetic cleansing with Sage or Palo Santo, education on the process of sound healing, guided meditation, breath-work, and the sound healing bath where they experience waves of higher and lower vibrations to heal on multiple levels. The integration and energy work concludes the session.

“Sending yourself on a guilt trip because you spend a day or two on a couch will not give you a great quality break and a productive outcome. Another practical exercise if your guilt monster creeps up on you; get a piece of paper and a pen, and write down what tasks were completed to remind yourself how much you have accomplished. And remember, if you already collapsed on this lazy couch, that will most likely mean that you’ve done more than enough! Celebrate it! As We can only do that when we stop, reflect and acknowledge our victories!”

Your headspace is often mirrored in the physical space you inhabit. When our minds wander, we tend to misplace our belongings. Without order, the items accumulate and the chaos begins to set in. Covid-19 forced many of us to look within; to be comfortable while motionless, to be self-sufficient while our activities were limited. Everyday meditation practice can bring more calm and peace to our soul, mind, and body, and, therefore, magnetize and collect our energy to promote health and to protect us from any outside stressors and viruses. To feel the true power within, it’s important to actually go in and be mindful to be truly present.

“When was the last time while taking a shower we felt how water feels on our skin? How it’s cleansing and taking away the troubles of the day? How often when enjoying delicious meal we feel the true blessing of having any type of food we want with little to no effort? How often we look at those we care about and truly appreciate them as this may be the last time we see each other in this lifetime? How often we indulge the beauty around as we as go about our day? And it is always there. Such simple practices will help us use our mind as an instrument and not to be used by it. When we can focus like that and go within. With practice we can reach the full potential. The wisdom of the ancestors, the guidance from the Divine and our true power.”

Select a designated space for meditation. It can be located anywhere within your household, however, it should be an area where you can experience silence and minimal disruptions. If you consistently meditate in the same place, you will naturally form an association between that location and relaxation, leading you to unwind simply by being there. If you would like to create a meditation space at home, Alisa recommends a gong as the resonance of the bass provides a sense of grounding. “There’s something sacred about the sound you produce when you strike the mallet into the cymbal. If you are running around the house thinking about everything you have to do, that deep sound immediately grounds you. It allows you to reconnect with the divine, and move into your Zen Zone.” It also doubles as a conscious reminder. By using it as an auditory indicator during your meditation sessions, you form an association between the sound and your meditative mindset. Therefore, the next time you hear the same sound, you spontaneously recall the relaxed state you felt during your prior meditation.

Alisa Gracheva for Livingston Magazine

We’re all spending more time at home, so why not use this as an opportunity to create a different atmosphere without having to leave your house? We are now occupying our living spaces more, and venturing out less, so it presents us with a chance to take a mental vacation without even leaving our house. Our environment affects our experience, and although life can seem like the same thing day after day, you can create a unique atmosphere in your own home by creating a private oasis even in the tightest of spaces.

“You want your home and working environment to be as calm as possible. You want to have enough space to feel comfortable. You want to feel safe, relaxed and at ease when you are at home. You want to feel gratitude towards your space. We come home to unwind and to recharge our batteries on a daily basis. I like to see my plants flourishing from all directions, see the lush greenery visible from all sides. Each and every day we pause, we take it easy and we revive our spirits in the room.”

It is healing watching your plants grow, you gain satisfaction from within. Making your home a little greener with a houseplant or two is also an easy way to purify the air. “Some of the most air-cleaning plants include the Boston fern, spider plant, English ivy, snake plant, and peace lily, all of which have a lush, green texture.” Houseplants can work as a natural cleanser in the same way as salt lamps, bathing, smudging, aromatherapy, incense, crystals, and sounds can while also increasing the positive vibes in your home and living spaces.

Sound healing becomes a powerful tool on the way to wellness

Alisa believes every thing and every thought has a vibration. “Sound healing is an ancient modality that harnesses tonal vibrations to bring the body into a balanced harmonic alignment. Exploring sound as a healing modality can be a powerful asset in the quest for wellness. High-frequency sounds can bring a harmonious energy to your space, while at the same time helping to balance your chakras.” As a sound wellness practitioner, Alisa uses a variety of instruments such are singing crystal bowls, singing tubes, tibetan bowls, chimes, gongs, handpans, and other tools. Some of the benefits of a sound healing session include the reduced level of stress and anxiety, deep relaxation Insomnia relief, alignment with the naturally healthy body rhythm, lowering blood pressure and normalizing pulse, chakras cleansing enhancement of awareness, aleviating physical pains and discomfort and much more.

Himalayan salt lamps are a popular and easy-to-find home accent that adds ambiance and offer many purifying and detoxification effects. “They act as a shield to protect from negative energy, electromagnetic radiation (the energy emitted from our technology) and air pollutants. Different healing properties are attributed to individual crystals. The gemstone Amethyst, for example, is thought to have tranquilizing and shielding properties that act like a sponge for destructive energy. Positioning amethyst on a mantel, or centrally in a home, permits the crystal to purge the entire area.”

A bathing ritual can also help to let go of the stress of the day and taking a moment for yourself. The warm water, the smells of the soaps, essential oils, dim lighting, scented candles, soothing music and the addition of Epson salts can really help to create a relaxing atmosphere. It’s about literally and figuratively soaking in the moment and spending some time alone, undisturbed, with no distractions. “English cowherd Henry Wicker made a remarkable discovery of Epsom salts in the hot-springs of Epsom in 1618. They contain magnesium sulfate, which is absorbed by the body, and helps to soothe muscle tension and relax contracted muscles. Immersing oneself in an Epsom salt bath can also be utilized to address certain problems. Epsom salt baths are relaxing to your body and mind. They are stimulating to your circulatory system, promote sound sleep, reduce inflammation and soothe the nervous system. It is not recommended for people with high blood pressure or severe varicose veins to use Epsom salt baths.”

The ancient practice of smudging, or burning herbs and incense, has its roots in many of the world’s oldest cultures and spiritual practices. “As a smudging practitioner, I usually begin the ritual by meditating; the goal is to be mindful in your space. Once you are ready, take a deep breath and light your smudging tool of choice with a small flicker of fire, making sure it doesn’t ignite too much.” As your incense smoulders, traverse through each room that necessitates purification. Outline doorways, dark corners, and window frames with the smoke. Utilize this time to impart the space with your affirmative notions and virtuous intentions.

Through the potential benefits of smudging, sound, salt and crystals, you will ultimately be the one who truly shifts the energy of your space. “We get so caught up with the requirements of our daily living. Due of my line of work, self-care is the most important thing that one can do to avoid a burnout. And this is something that has to be practiced on a regular basis to balance the demands of a daily life and sanity. Nothing is better than coming home after a long day. When I arrive home, I instantly feel revitalized. Today, we should all give thanks to our home. Appreciating the fact that we have such a wonderful place to unwind at the end of a hard day.”

Alisa advocates for the importance of appreciating the simple pleasures of life. She encourages individuals to pause, declutter their priorities, and immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. Whether it’s marveling at a breathtaking sunset or finding wonder in the smallest living beings, such as plants and animals, these moments of connection remind us of the fragile yet extraordinary nature of existence. She reminds us to cherish these experiences, for they enrich our hearts and infuse our lives with purpose and gratitude.

Sound sanctuary. Alisa Gracheva for Livingston Magazine

For more information on Alisa Gracheva and her healing modalities visit her official website.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What do I love about my home? What about it do I find calming?
  2. What can I do to make my home more relaxing? What can I add or remove, so my home makes me feel calmer and more peaceful?
  3. What is the most relaxing home I have ever been in? What can I apply to my own home to make it more appealing to me?

Livingston Magazine is an international, independently published magazine exploring society through the eyes o people from around the world. Through diverse voices, we feature inspirational people and their stories. "We connect with an audience interested in more than just the trend, but the deeper meaning of life." - JB Livingston, Founder/Editor-In-Chief.
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  1. Exciting adventure is now concluded! 🙏 It was amazing to work with you again and to share some insights on creating a sanctuary inside your home.🫶🏻 More to come with Livingston Magazine!
    And, I love you!

  2. Very useful advice in this particular article! Its the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Quite the powerful healer, she is! Doors opened up within me that I never knew were there. 🙏 Thank you for such an amazing healing experience.

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