Healing is like an extended vacation that is full of mystery. Sometimes, you set the agenda, travel to your chosen destination place and enjoy the view. Other times, there are variables involved that complicate the experience. Perhaps there was traffic along the way and your tour started without you. Maybe you got there and just as you were stepping out of the car, a monsoon hit and the whole attraction got wiped away (yes, an extreme example but sometimes life manifests this way). The bottom line is that we usually don’t know where our healing journey will take us but the willingness to travel is a necessary tool in making progress. Without our feet carrying us, we are quite immobile.
Often, when defining a healing objective, we don’t even know what our expectations are. We only know that we are feeling stuck and want to move. Whether our heart needs to open or our nose needs to stop running, there is some form of blockage that is keeping our feet planted firmly on the ground. Typically, standing still does not produce lasting results. The other option is to move, Sounds easy. What direction should we go in? What speed should we travel? Should we do it alone, with a companion, or maybe in a group? Should we bring gear with us? Food? How do we live our life in the real world behind? Maybe we can bring our life with us? All of these questions force us to step outside of our comfort zone and travel deeper inward. This is where the magic begins.
Leaving home is scary, for a variety of reasons, but once you are gone, you will probably enjoy the vastness that transcends the mundane of the ordinary. What is usually scarier than leaving home is finding your way back. Finding your way back to your life, back to your routine, back to everything you left behind is a much trickier task than the departure. It requires a reconciliation, tenderness, and the willingness to be forgiving not only to our community but to ourselves.
As a younger person with few responsibilities, I travelled freely and lived life large and loud. As I approach life with more maturity and depth, my travels are more inward, esoteric, and usually do not leave my body. Instead of making a pilgrimage to a mysterious destination, I chant, meditate, run, walk, or challenge myself to partake in a healing event that is new or unfamiliar. This is how healing happens for me every day, over and over and over. And often, my healing journey takes me to places that are dark and scary but when I emerge on the other side, I bring with me much depth.
I challenge you, dear reader, to step outside your comfort zone today and engage in some self-loving act that transcends your usual routine. Drink more water, eat more vegetables, go for a walk, go to a yoga class, get a massage, go to a meditation circle, plant some seeds, talk to a stranger, teach a child something….or just be silent and listen. The more we intentionally step away from ourselves, the deeper the pull becomes to return and it is a difficult dance. It is the healing journey that never ends.