Finding the Sacred in Your Every Day World
By Laura Giles
As a director of sacred travel tours, I am well aware of the magic that can happen when spiritual growth seekers set off to explore their inner world by changing their familiar landscape. I've seen and experienced many spurts of growth and even'transformations. The combination of the change in land, culture, rituals, and being with like-minded people seem to facilitate the process of enlightenment. The wonder of the experience can be something held inside and treasured or something that leaves the wanderer with a yearning for more.
But in our economically and politically uncertain times, many people are unable or unwilling to venture beyond their own comfortable walls. So what's a seeker to do?
Sacred travel has as much to do with the seeker's intention as it does the destination. While many sites like Machu Picchu and the Great Pyramids of Giza are chosen as sacred travel destinations for their well established reputations of energy and mysticism, all space has its own energy. By focusing on your intent and using what is provided in your own environment, your journey can happen in your own home town or even your own back yard!
First research the history of your own geographic area. Are there any associations with spiritual groups, old ruins, or temples around? Many people are drawn to places where miracles occur because the energy can still be tapped into for use today; however, any place with a history of worship still has that latent energy around that you may access.
But don't limit your search to religious sites. Open your eyes. Look outside the box. Religion, even the polytheistic type, isn't required for a sacred journey. Some people prefer to get away from buildings and cities and venture into nature. It is in the natural world that some find serenity and inspiration most accessible. If this is true for you, perhaps you only need to travel as far as the nearest state park to partake of nature in all her splendor. Natural places with vortices use the spiraling, concentrated energy to manipulate chakra energy, and thus well-being. But you don't need a vortex to experience movement. You may find inspiration in the call of a bird, the fluttering of a falling leaf, or the silence of a cool night.
Is there some area nearby that resonates with you? It could be because of a historically significant event happened there or because you just seem to have an affinity for it. Places like battlefields and historic buildings can evoke these feelings. It is not unusual for trips to places like these to unleash deja vu or trigger dreams. Scents, foods, and music can also elicit feelings of familiarity. When you are drawn to something or are moved by something for no apparent reason, it is often because of past life associations. These are wonderful opportunities to explore. Going into the past to find your future is not an unusual quest.
Should your schedule or your budget restrict travel altogether, you can create a sacred journey inside your own house. Find a space where you will be uninterrupted. It should be comfortable and inviting. Place objects around that feel good to you. Pay attention to color and textures. You may prefer to have some music or keep it totally silent.
Whatever you do, set aside this time and this space with the intention of going inside and being at peace. Just let yourself be open to whatever comes. If it's nothing more than a relaxing meditation session, accept it. It may not come at that time, but your preparation may leave the way open for something later. It could be a dream, a premonition, a feeling, or inspiration. When we are ready to receive divine gifts, it's often amazing how quickly they come. They may not be what we thought or how we thought, but it's always what we need.
The main thing to keep in mind with sacred travel is that the most important thing you bring to it is yourself. Inside all of us lives a Gypsy, a wanderer, a pilgrim. It's as if we are beckoned to exchange the mundane for strange and unusual places that move us outside our comfort zone so that we are forced into living our soul's journey and finding our sacred truth. Our finances and political situation cannot squelch that longing. So sometimes we have to get creative in feeding our longing.
With the universe providing abundance in all realms, isn't it worth it to explore what your own environment has to offer that may nurture your soul? After all, if the promise of sacred travel is enlightenment, transformation and a brush with divinity, isn't it worth it to give it a chance?
is a holistic counselor in private practice in Virginia.