Destinations

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“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” ~ Paul Theroux

As a verb, Google the word “destination” and you will find endless web sites for spas, resorts, retreat centers, honeymoon locations and exotic, far-away places. When you think “destination,” what typically comes to mind? Probably Paris, skiing the Alps, Disney World, safari, a tropical beach or perhaps a historic cultural site, among many possibilities.

What if, instead, a destination was somewhere within you? A place where you could intentionally focus on your inner self, where you could practice extreme self-care and where you could reground and renew.

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When was the last time you created space in which to realign with your mind, your body and your spirit… without, as Toltec Wisdom says, the “mitote” clouding your thoughts or your visions? Nurturing our personal wellness, our wholeness, is one of those matters we too often neglect. Until we are forced.

How often have you considered anticipating things rather than having expectations? Might you find value in some alone time where you could avoid over thinking things? What if you were to break away for a bit rather than ‘following the crowd’? How often do you find yourself operating on ‘auto-pilot’ just to keep up in this demanding world?

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The grand voyage given to each human being as a birthright wasn’t intended to be a rat race in which we speed, mindlessly, from one activity to the next. Our birthright is to experience life in all of its euphoria and its challenges. Experience it! But not at a disproportionate cost of overlooking one’s whole self — the physical, emotional and spiritual you.

When you consider your next ‘destination’, maybe visiting your inner landscape of personality and purpose could, as a possibility, become more audible. Maybe some inner healing and restorative work would be appreciated by your mind, body and soul. 🙂

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If you’d like to more deeply explore your inner self, here are three environments in which you can reflect and renew:

  • Sedona, Arizona, USA. Sedona (pictured above) is a geological wonderland with hiking trails, remote lodges and the breathtaking Red Rock State Park. It is also well known as a spiritual and energy vortex.
  • The Camino de Santiago, Spain. Also known as The Way of St. James, hikers walk the route for non-religious reasons: travel, sport, or simply the challenge of weeks of walking in a foreign land. Many consider the experience a spiritual adventure to remove themselves from the bustle of modern life.
  • A Vision Quest is, traditionally, a rite of passage in some Native American cultures. The multi-day vision quest ceremony is one of the most universal and ancient means to find spiritual guidance and purpose. In practicing cultures, a vision quest is said to provide deep understanding of one’s life purpose.

75 thoughts on “Destinations

  1. Hi Eric,

    When I read the heading, my intuition sent me a clear signal – this can’t be about physical destinations and I was right…just like your invocation, I too wonder whether the real destination lies deep within us, lately I have experienced that haven…free of all worldly yearnings and pursuits, very tranquil, breathing peace…often disturbed by external influences. The most amazing aspect of this destination is that it encompasses that celestial light, which I fantasize about…in poetry.

    • Intuitive people do the very thing you describe, Balroop. 🙂 To your thought, I’m unsure any of us truly knows what lies deep within each of us but reflecting inward certainly does a lot of good, powerful things for those who choose to explore who they are and ‘do’ inner work. Thanks for sharing your personal experiences here!

  2. I find tranquility on safari. Planet Earth has a way of soothing me, making me take stock of what I have, where I am, where I’m going, and what I need to do to get there. Another great post, Eric.

    • Nice word, tranquility. Communing with Planet Earth, in innumerable ways seems a physical destination for many – in which to contemplate, restore, whatever it is that one seeks. I know how significant safari are for you, Ger. Applaud you for creating that time to experience who you are, where you’re going and perhaps, why!

  3. Sedona – one of my favourite places on earth (even named the dog after it!) And I have two friends who are currently walking the Camino de Santiago. They got rained on today! Both places for me are for the “inner landscape”.

    • Many of us need/choose to place ourselves in a completely distraction-less physical environment to do this work. As others have commented, one need not go to Sedona (or wherever). Some people can get to that inner space via meditation, through yoga, or in the quiet of some room in their home. For me, part of doing this work and having a meaningful experience is in leaving the everyday environment in which so much of the “mitote” swirls. Here’s to whatever and wherever works as your “inner landscape,” Bruce.

  4. We were in Sedona many years ago. It was wonderful! When we returned to New York I found that with self-hypnosis, meditation and accupressure I can have in my apartment the same restorative healing (body, mind and spirit) as in Sedona.

  5. Wonderful Eric.. Our inner view is there waiting to show us tranquil spaces, sublime Peace and renewed energy.. All travel costs entirely Free.. We don’t have to wait until the Holiday Season either…
    Just Book in with your own Mind… and enjoy the Spa of Self Healing any time, any day of the week… We get to choose the location… Its a mere thought away! 🙂
    Brilliant Eric
    Blessings Sue

    • “Just book in with your own mind.” I like that, Sue. It really can be that easy, regardless of where the inner work is done…. unless one chooses to physically travel; then there might be some costs. 🙂

  6. The wonderful thing is that we don’t have to go anywhere to appreciate this inner destination. Its always there for us. Thank you sharing this powerful perspective Eric.
    Even better when we make it a daily practice rather than a special event 🙂
    Val x

    • Making it a daily practice is indeed valuable, Val. It’s just that in today’s world some people do not have the luxury to do so. People with more what I’d call discretionary time, when coupled with intentionally doing inner work, are the fortunate ones. As will nearly everything, there is choice associated with it. Just as some people like the prospect of a physical destination, given the anticipation with intentionally going somewhere to do the work. Think: yoga retreats. 🙂

  7. I visited my inner self once and it scared me. 😀 Seriously though, I don’t think there’s anything more refreshing and renewing to the spirit than being alone in nature and just listening to that inner voice. And like Val, I also believe it can be done without actually going anywhere special. Love this post, Eric. It was a great reminder to me to do this more often.

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. If the post inspires you to “do” this more often, then it’s a win-win for you and I. 🙂 I personally relate to your appreciation for being in/with nature and just listening. Hear, hear!

  8. My old “go-to”chestnut for whenever someone made me feel like ” I never get lost because everyone tells me where to go”? Water…Ocean always soothed my soul, and funny now in the next part of my life we are moving down two blocks from Delaware Bay. Great read Eric!

    • Ahhh, another with a water affinity. Don’t know if you’ve ever read my about page… but I am (and have always) been drawn to and strengthened when in the presence of water. How fortunate, Marci, to be relocating close to the Bay. It must be intended. 🙂

    • Thanks, Brad. It’s the pragmatic in each of us that acknowledges life’s realities, right? If we’re ‘whole’ it makes riding the roller coaster that much easier — even enjoyable at times.

  9. Wonderful post. I love the thought of our lives being a grand voyage. An environment to reflect and refresh our inner beings is only a quiet room away, or any peaceful place in nature.

  10. Would really really love to go to Sedona one day. Hiking does it for me when it comes to reflection. Also a plus as a physical activity. Ultimately, we all know our own destination to go to whenever we need to look inside. We just always have to reminded to go it esp. when we find ourselves speeding up to the demands of life.

    • You, the avid and frequent traveler, are at choice to make Sedona a destination. If the prospect of physical activity coupled with some spiritual reflection is what matters to you, Rommel, then I’ll/we’ll look forward to one day reading your photo-based Sedona post. 🙂

  11. I loved this post Eric! I used to think “beach” or “safari” as my desirable destinations…now I live on the beach and have ben privileged to do many safaris…so now my destination is simply nature. Immersion. Quiet. Renewal. Wherever that spot might be.

    • Either way gets the job done, right Sue? As a frequent traveler, you get to enjoy the benefit of doing inner work locally or while touring. Here’s to your continued exploration, inward and outward looking!

    • Cabin fever. Maybe Seasonal Affective Disorder. I’m not suggesting you experience either as I’m fairly certain we know just where you’re coming from. 🙂 Many of us feel similarly. Give us our sunshine, blue (or cloudy) skies, fresh air, earth and natural beauty and we’re good to go.

  12. Intriguing post, Eric. My daughter hiked 500+ miles of the Pacific Crest Trail this summer and I think it had a major impact on her emotionally. The Camino trail is something my husband and I have discussed doing -at least a portion of. I like the spiritual component of that trail.

    • When I lived in the PNW, Denise, I used to hike parts of the PCT in WA state. It was heaven on earth (well, except the one time I tripped on a root and landed on a forest axe — but that’s another story). How refreshing to learn about your daughter’s experience. I suspect she’ll not forget it. Me, too, to the Camino. Here’s to our intentions manifesting!

  13. Great post, Eric. I need alone time everyday and strive hard to make it happen. When it doesn’t I can feel it affect my spiritual and emotional well being. I have never thought of looking within myself as a destination…great concept. Thanks!

  14. I just love the very thought of “extreme self care.” I often find myself answering the call of the “urgent” rather than reflecting on how I struggle with that! I really appreciate the way you’ve encouraged setting time aside to gain the necessary life-giving perspective, Eric. I’ve wanted to go to Sedona for the longest time. I will have to seriously consider prioritizing that time. Thank you!

  15. Ahh what a beautiful post. Always nice to come back to your blog and get that reminder to come back to self-care and alignment of mind, body and soul. Toltec wisdom as a daily practice, when I can remember to do it, has changed my life and relationships profoundly. Thank you for this.

    • You are welcome. The Toltecs, in the simplicity of their beliefs and practices were on to something beneficial, long before we came along. Glad to learn that your daily work is yielding positive changes in your life. Keep remembering. 🙂 Always appreciate your stopping by, Aveline.

    • It matters not where or how we find our inner destination, Jenny. What is significant is that were are aware of being there and doing the work that calls us there. Much appreciate your creating time to read and comment!

  16. Hi Eric, a great post with a different perspective on our inner journey. There is no greater destintation than the search for our true selves. Words of wisdom and inspiration!
    I came across your blog through a comment you left on another, having had a browse and enjoying reading your works I’m now following you, looking forward to future posts 🙂

    Peace and joy to you
    Robert

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