Pilgrimage, Quest or Adventure in Your Own Backyard?
The Seamless Way – Pilgrimage, Quest or Adventure in Your Own Backyard?
January 25, 2019
While the days of the magical quests may be gone and Dorothy made the decision to look for adventure in her own backyard, the heart’s desire is still in the seeking. Hollywood has made big bucks telling the same story over and over again. The names of the hero/heroine may change, not to protect the innocent, but to entice the viewer’s unconscious to keep seeking. Now, most of the population may be under a sleeping curse, there are a few that are seeking…and may feel, as I do, “That I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” This song lyric from U2 is one of the earworms that has haunted, bewildered and inspired me for a long time. I keep looking, seeking, desiring something more…though I am uncertain of what it is.
In the great stories, the quest or journey or pilgrimage had an assumed result. It may have been a coming of age thing or the ascension to the throne or to calm/slay a beast that was a threat. In all the stories the hero has a floundering moment (or moments) of self-doubt, fear and failure. If you have ever planned a trip that felt like a pilgrimage or taken on a life changing task, I am certain doubt and fear have been your companions. We must face our foes, like fear and doubt, and befriend them. How do we own this daunting task?
Recently, I had an undeniable call to take a pilgrimage. Truthfully, this call has been with me for years. I have ignored it, made excuses about not going and suppressed my heart’s desire to the point of numbness. When I was, metaphorically, hit over the head…I bought a ticket for an airplane…and so the journey began. As soon as I did that, the nay-sayers arrived at my door…questioning my timing, chiding me about my “vacation” at the wrong time of the year. This is not a vacation…this is a pilgrimage, a quest, a journey. Dare I say that? My dear friend, Merriam-Webster, defines pilgrimage as, “a journey of a pilgrim (obvious), especially to a shrine or sacred place,” or “the course of life on earth.” By definition, like Dorothy, we don’t have to venture past our own backyard to find what we are looking for, and yet, sometimes we have to venture far to value what is already at home inside. The scared dwells inside.
Timing is everything! The path is marked for the trained heart that trusts. Ha! That’s a statement. I am not feeling so trained, nor am I a trusting soul. I question and doubt most things, especially people. So, following this path of my pilgrimage has already been very enlightening and I haven’t even boarded the plane, or set foot on Tara! This place of uncertainty is, in fact, the hallowed ground of the hero’s quest. The gauntlet that must be faced is not the dragon in the far-off land of the exterior, but the one that sleeps inside. I can feel my dragon awakening. I can feel the surge of questions, longings and possibilities. And with all of this, I am unable to articulate the purpose of my trip to those who ask about my “vacation”. I feel stymied and tongue tied! Rare is it that I am at a loss for words. And yet, this is where I find myself. I am befriending this uncomfortable place and feelings.
So where is it that I journey and who am I seeking to meet? The truth is I already know her. I could say that I am seeking the Goddess Brigid and the Saint Brigid. I am going to celebrate Imbolc, in a far away country. Brigid has been with me for a very long time. She is the patron of smiths, healers and poets. She is a lover of beer and apples. She is the helper of many and stands like a great oak as sentry and strength. She brings hope, patience and a swift kick, if needed. She champions for those that need protection from oppression and she is a lover of nature. My hope is that I embody at least some of her qualities. Truthfully, I see the Spirit of this mentor calling forth these qualities in me…
As I journey to walk the land that she walked, the land of my ancestors, the land that many see as a magical place, rich and green…am I really venturing outside of my own backyard? It feels like home to me, at least on the soul level. A wise friend once said to me, “I can’t wait for you to realize all that you already know.” That is the truest of quests, the mystical journey and the dragon to be awakened that is resting inside your own heart. I invite you and even challenge you to dare to WAKE IT UP! Let it sleep no more. This world needs us awake and alert from our hearts!
Beth is a seasoned and experienced bodywork and wellness professional. She is available to present on wellness, bodywork and somatic topics; or individual bodywork and coaching sessions. Bring Beth to your area for workshops, speaking events or team building projects. Personal and business coaching are also services that Beth provides. Consider coaching for individual or small groups/teams. Contact Beth for more information and rates.