Any journey can be a pilgrimage – it is the intention that sets a journey apart from a regular trip somewhere. Often on my holiday travels out of my hometown I make an intention at the start to understand more fully an issue that is current for me. When setting our intentions it is important to choose something that is of genuine concern to us at the time. The honesty we choose our intention with often indicates the degree of power we experience in the response of our surroundings. If we are just ‘curious’ often little is seen. However if we just feel we have a sense of needing ‘something’ with no further conscious clue as to what it is that is on our minds, we can intend that the issue of concern will be made known to us. This can be enough to trigger our unconscious and the world around us into giving us the signs we need to bring what in ourselves has been unconscious to the forefront of our mind – It may not be easy, or comfortable in places, but it is usually powerful and accurate when we approach it with this genuineness and willingness to be shown the answers we seek.
Once we have set the intention then the next step is to let it go – this is important. If we struggle with ‘trying’ to find meaning and understanding in every event then our attempts can fail as we are in a sense ‘pushing the world’ to answer us as we expect. Rather we have to have an attitude of impartial observer on both our inner experiences (whether seemingly caused by the outside world or not) and also on the external experiences we are drawn to and have. The traffic jam may not be our fault, however how we react to it may be insightful in our current dilemma – do we approach things in this way on our issue – are we being shown how impatient we are feeling in our issue of concern. Or indeed are we being shown how we automatically make the best of delays and hold ups, settling in to playing games in the car or making good conversation. There is no judgment needed on how we react – only the awareness and observation of it – often the full answer only truly appears as we reflect on the journey as a whole – noticing all the stages we passed through, the things we gained from them and the overall picture the universe was making clear at that time. So we allow ourselves to observe the changing environment’s circumstances and also those that naturally arise from within. Often times our mind starts to naturally consider and explore our intended area of concern and as we causally think on ourselves, our plight and our choices, we see ourselves reflected back to us in the surroundings. We are drawn to notice the people place, weathers, animals and their behaviours that reflect either our current deep internal state or our next steps.
The natural world can draw our attention to something we have not understood of ourselves or our pathway before. The rushing of a river in a particular way, the light reflecting colours of a certain kind, the sudden appearance of an unusual bird whilst at that moment considering a particular point. All these synchronicities show us sources of inspiration for our dilemmas.
In my current trip to Scotland there were many signs for me – some immediately apparent such at the rainbows as I touched down on the mainland, having had separated time away from the ‘main land’ of my life I felt I had returned renewed, that the rain has washed away the old and was showing me here it was time to allow things to be, and to move forward. The struggles and storms ended. – this was repeated on Ben Nevis as I considered this action – more rainbow sights showing me beauty in my life – before my very eyes. Other signs were less immediately obvious – such as the response I was having to a book I was reading – how the character was depicting my very attitude, and the one I wished to avoid… hence my dissatisfaction with the book – yet determination to complete it – only at the very end did the picture come to my consciousness – just how I was being towards myself and also how a shift in myself could change so much. Other signs such as the beauty of the sun – the self esteem – burning off the clouds obscuring the landscapes, the process itself being very beautiful and precious, how sometimes not revealing all can be a process of joy and beauty, and allowing oneself to ‘warm’ to a situation before unfolding all. Messages came to me from friends, family and strangers – sometimes with their conscious awareness sometimes they were unaware that they had said the words to answer my queries, told me what I needed to hear in simple heartfelt words. The pilgrimage took me on a journey – a deep journey and I am returned from it now – refreshed renewed and cleansed of the old with gratitude and joy.