When someone remarked that there was no information about me anywhere on my website, my first thought was “This isn’t about me. It’s about us. It’s about humanity.” After hearing suggestions from several colleagues that it was necessary for me to provide my story, I relented. So, here is my story—well, an abridged version of the birth of the Sanctuary.
My name is Deveron Long. I live in Riverbank, California, a small agricultural town nestled in the glorious riparian landscape along the Stanislaus River in the Central Valley. Because I work in an environment of constant deadlines, change, and stress, I have found it absolutely essential to my survival to tend my health and wholeness with great care. For this reason, daily meditation and time spent in nature have been important spiritual practices for me.
Several years ago, as I was meditating in the hot tub (a regular early morning ritual), my mind slipped through a strange portal of consciousness. Somewhere between mindful breaths, I heard a voice speak to me. Create a sacred space. . . were the only words I heard clearly—very clearly—as if someone sitting in the spa had leaned over and whispered them into my ear. The sound startled me out of my altered state. My eyes flew open, but there was no one there but me and the trees and plants in my backyard.
Assuming that I had dozed off and this was a bizarre dream fragment, I ignored the words, as well as the strange tingling/pulling sensation in my temples. Within the hour, the routines of life had taken over, pushing the experience to the back of my mind. But the message from the Universe was not forgotten.
Over the next few weeks and months, sporadic images flooded me: walking paths meandering through rolling green hills; willowy tree limbs tickling the surface of a large pond; an orchestra of morning birds healing weary humans with their song; the heavy river soothing the landscape with its slow currents. Create a sacred space. . . What did this mean?
It wasn’t until I enrolled in the masters program at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology that the pieces of this vision came together, and I saw the Sanctuary for Humanity as the sacred space I needed to create. It was a beautiful healing space in which to return to our whole, authentic selves, and somehow it was to be my gift to humanity—but how would I be able to do this?
Thanks to my husband, Daniel, a talented graphic designer, the Sanctuary has been born in a virtual space for all humanity. Here in this sacred virtual space I will grow and learn how to help others cultivate their wholeness and explore the depth and meaning of their existence—as I continue to explore mine.
The one deep truth I hold in my heart is that our purpose here on this earth is not to transcend our experience but to embrace our humanity and accept with compassion who we really are. The earth has much to teach us about living a richly embodied life. My personal lesson has been to trust that I can offer this gift to all of humankind with love and gratitude. The Universe will help me figure out the details so that one day we may heal our wounds as we walk the landscapes to wholeness—somewhere in the Central Valley. The Sanctuary grows from within me. With your blessings and support, may its spirit interconnect us all.
In Humble Gratitude,