Every day is a pilgrimage.
And vacations are exciting ways to unplug, discover, and explore worlds away from home.
But to pack your bag, strap on your sandals, and step out your door on a spiritual pilgrimage is a unique journey.
It’s one of the things I love to do. So much, that as guide, I take people on healing journeys to Abadiania, Brazil, where the extraordinary Entities of Light and Love work through the medium, John of God.
Here are ten things I love about spiritual journeys:
1. You make time for what’s most important — you
You make time and space for yourself, your inner life.
2. You leave your life as you know it
You leave behind your daily routines, work, and world. This opens up the space for you to explore new possibilities and discover new ways of being.
3. You set out to discover something essential
Your quest holds something important and meaningful for you, even if you aren’t entirely sure what it is.
You may even set intentions. When you do, you create a focus for what you want from your journey and engage with possibility and change. You say yes to transformation. You may be intrigued by how your intentions manifest or morph into something different en route.
4. You open to new perspectives
You take the time to reflect on your life with a panoramic lens. Among other things, you contemplate:
- Who you are
- Your relationships, work, and community
- Your health in all ways
- Where you are on your path of life, and where you want to go from here
- Who you want to become
- What you want in your life
5. You come home to yourself
It’s a time to shed the doing of your life and just be. It’s a time to come home to who you are.
6. You sift and shift
It’s a time to sift the wheat from the chaff:
- What’s outlived its usefulness?
- What are you ready to release?
And a time to shift:
- What’s waiting to be born and emerge?
- What are you ready to step into?
Outside and away from your usual routine, you more easily envision your potential. And the possibility of who you can be and what can be.
7. Your presence deepens
In new situations, it’s easier to live in the moment. You’re more present; you’re more playful.
You try things you may not have done before. You may do things differently. You experiment with different ways of being, different roles with yourself and others. You have space in which to imagine, dream, and invite your future.
Like a bud blooms open petal by petal, so moment by moment, day by day, your presence deepens and unfolds its fullness.
Often, what happens a few weeks before you leave indicate some of what your journey may be about. Like tea leaves in a tea cup, the people, events, and patterns that enter, change, or leave your life, tell you of the winds of transformation swirling around you. How you respond is your connection and flow with the magic of the Universe.
9. It’s a time to dive deep
Ah… diving. There’s no worthwhile journey without entering the dark. There’s nothing quite as wonderful, fearful, and refreshing as diving deep into yourself. What will you see and feel? The fearful, the uncomfortable, the ugly, the heartbroken — what will bubble up to be lifted and cleared?
10. You drop into your heart and soul
It’s a time to enter the cave and castle of who you are on your deepest levels. To revisit why you’re here on the planet. To open to love. To open to awe. To open to the magnificence and magic of life, and who you are.
What other gifts do you receive from spiritual journeys? I’d love for you to share them here.
Change knocks at your door in so many different ways.
Sometimes it’s a gentle nudge, a push, or even a shove.
But when Kali enters your life, she bangs open and blows down your door. And often, it’s after you’ve received several messages to change, which you may have ignored or simply not known how to put into practice.
When she enters your life, your transformation becomes center stage.
She strides into your life with a tempestuous stomp of her legs, shakes her unruly mass of thick black hair, the smell of smoke and sandalwood wafts from her earthy powerful figure, and deep, rich laughter gurgles up from her dark belly. She is bold, strikingly beautiful, and powerful.
“Come,” she says. “It’s time.”
She won’t let you dilly-dally or hesitate or deny or wheedle. She won’t wait for you to finish a project or wash the last dish or complete a conversation. None of the ploys or defenses or resistance you typically use to stall and procrastinate have any effect before her unyielding gaze.
She won’t take “no” or “just a moment” for an answer. She washes you away from your sweet, safe, secure shore in a wave of her wisely fierce love.
Because it’s your time to transform.
Who is Kali?
Kali is the Dark Mother who destroys in the service of creation. The third Hindu goddess in the cycle of creation-sustenance-destruction, she destroys what’s served its time, its usefulness, and any cloaked ignorance.
But hers is no senseless or merciless destruction. She severs with her sword of infinite compassion, wisdom, and love.
She is the great awakener of all that is asleep, stagnant, and as yet undeveloped in you.
Black as the night, she is goddess of the dark void, of destruction, the mystery of not knowing, and the slow, quiet search of becoming.
Her faces are many: violent, terrible, maternal, furious, tender, destructive, cruel, and indifferent. And she shows you what you need to see when you need to see it.
Her lolling tongue feeds on life, prana–your life. She must eat what’s alive so you can give birth to who you will next be. She must also taste what you forbid to yourself.
All her destruction is to make space and give life to what’s waiting to transform, come alive, and be born anew in you.
She is transformation
Everything must transform—this is a universal law. We get so accustomed to, identify with, and grasp who we are and what we do. We clutch at life to have it stay the same.
But to be alive, we must change. Otherwise we’re stagnant, diseased, or dead.
It can seem cruel, impersonal, even heartless when your relationship, career, or what matters to you is going so well to have it be torn down or blown away.
But there’s a wisdom to her violence: there’s more to who you are. So much more. And she’s going to help you become that.
She is here to rebirth you.
She breaks structures
Violence is her way. Swift, shocking, and direct, she shatters all structures, outer and inner. She tears down your environment so you question your reality. So that you ask yourself:
- What is really true for me now?
- What is most important?
- What have I not been listening to?
You may find you lose your job, relationships, and often, what you believe and hold as true.
It’s her way of guiding you towards your purer truth.
She mirrors your shadow
Kali calls you to face what’s taboo, repressed, and denied. Regardless of social, familial, or cultural dharma, she makes you look at everything you’ve closeted away. Because what you forbid to yourself is a life you don’t allow.
She forces you to step out of what you know. She forces you to find new ways of being.
She makes you look at what you’re most afraid of. She summons the warrior in you who can stare right back at your deepest, darkest fears.
And so, she frees you from fear itself.
She takes you into your nakedness
She disrobes you of your pretenses, excuses, denials, defenses, illusions—of any and all falseness. Until you’re able to stand alone in your nakedness and know yourself as you fully are.
There, surrounded by her quiet, still darkness, you can finally see and know yourself. There, you find and know all that is true to you and for you.
There, you are naked, true, and real.
She fires up your power
If you’ve been disempowered in your life, as so many have been in overt and subtle ways, Kali rouses your warrior. Bold, fearless, fierce, and rippling with righteous rage, Kali barges right through social norms to tell you it’s okay, good—no, absolutely essential—to be powerful.
She draws out your boldness, assertiveness, and rides alongside with you, cheering your power.
Most of all, she gives you permission to be angry, powerful, and rise up against everything that’s kept you down, kept you silent, kept you small, kept you “in your place”, kept you going along with what you haven’t wanted to”… (you can keep going).
For she’s the most powerful of Goddesses. And she wants you to have, stand in, and live from your incredible power.
She awakens you
She awakens you to a new reality. She stretches you to step out of your limited view, perspective, and stance to see the larger whole of who you are and your life.
She awakens you to the polarities of the Divine—life and death, creation and destruction, tenderness and cruelty, pain and pleasure, light and dark. And when you can see and hold them, with all the accompanying shock and awe, then you truly enter into the Divine Dance with her.
She asks you for everything you have
Kali represents the ultimate surrender. She asks you for everything you have—your identity, ego, beliefs, wants, desires.
She asks you to let go of everything you hold dear. Only when you’re ready to destroy and let go of all that you are now, can you open and discover who you are more deeply, more truly.
When you do, you become even more the precious pearl of who you are. You radiate your divinity even brighter. She gathers you into her arms with the most tender maternal love. And you receive more than you can imagine is possible.
In what other ways do you dance with Kali? I’d love for you to share here.
Your intention is one of your most powerful forces.
How can you best use and wield it?
Your intention has energy. When you consciously make one you, quite literally, imprint its energy into your field and world.
Your intention has the power and capacity to co-create what you want. Deeply want, that is.
What’s the difference between intention, wishful thinking, and want?
Wishful thinking is simply wishing. “It would be nice to have ____”. When you wish for something, you don’t really believe you can have it. There’s often doubt mixed in with your wish. So it remains a wish without your engagement to actualize it.
Your want is stronger than wishful thinking. Your desire’s more engaged. You put forth energy towards what you want. Wants and needs are often at your physical, emotional, and egoic levels.
Your intention comes from a deep, whole place within you. Your intention includes and is larger than your physical and egoic well-being— it also involves your heart and soul. And is often connected with your life purpose.
When you have an intention, all of you embarks on a journey to attain it.
It’s more than a goal, as is a want. With an intention, you begin a process of personal growth and unfoldment.
How does the power of your intention work?
1. You show up
When you have an intention, you show up to yourself. For yourself. You say to all of yourself: “I want That. It’s essential to me.” Your identity and maybe your life purpose are connected to What You Want.
When you create an intention for yourself, you tell yourself you’re ready to have What You Want or be Who You Are. You send a message to your subconscious. You send a message to all of you. Even if you don’t know how you’re going to get there, the truth of What You Want vibrates in your body.
2. You message the Universe
Whether you call it the Universe, Energy, the Divine, Source, Goddess, or God, It’s a staggeringly powerful, alive, and intelligent energetic field of potential, possibility, and love. It’s vibrant, wise, incredibly sensitive, and waiting.
It’s been waiting for your call. And when it hears your message, it responds. It has to. Because like attracts like.
It creates and brings waves and waves of opportunities, circumstances, and people to you who will help manifest your intention.
3. You focus your energy
When you hold and sustain an intention, it gains momentum, focus, and clarity in you. It narrows from a broad, general field to a sharp specific, laser-like focus.
You might find the more you hold it, the more it defines how you think and feel about yourself.
You fuel it with your interest, focus, and what it means to you.
And when you surrender to your intention, you may find that it carries you in its own current of becoming.
4. You create a vibration
As a vibrational being, your thoughts, wants, and intentions are vibrations. Just like when you shout “Love!” in a valley and hear the resounding echoes of “love!, love!, love!…” back to you, so when you set an intention, the Universe has to respond with a similar vibration to help you manifest it.
When you have an intention, you set in motion a host of movements and forces that combine and interact to manifest What You Want and Who You Are.
This is the “co-” in co-creating. The wonderful part of this is that you don’t have to know or manage or control how the Universe will do this. You might do your very best to figure it out. You might try very hard to plot it all out. But it’ll be clear very soon that it’s not your job. At all. In fact, if you do so, it only slows you down.
So it’s better to stay on your side of the fence, focus your intention, and do your own work.
5. You transform
Often and likely, there are Things in the way of What You Want and Who You Want to Become. Like, who you are now. Or limiting beliefs, fears, wounding, or your ego, which create a vibrational difference between Here and There.
Your journey is in bridging the gap.
Your journey is getting There from Here. For which you may have to clear or release old beliefs, patterns, or judgements. And step into new ways of being.
Which means letting go of who you are today.
And you will. Because when you set an intention, you decide to transform. That’s the power of it.
6. You do something
Do one small (or big) thing to move towards your intention. There’s power in your stepping forward to meet and manifest your destiny.
Every action you take sharpens and focuses your intention even more. Every action you take brings you closer. Every action is a becoming, an unfolding from Here towards There, from Now towards Then, and from Who You Are now to Who You Will Be.
Your action keeps the telephone line open between you and the Universe.
When you act, you say, “I trust in myself. I trust in the Universe. I trust this will come to pass.”