home-15646_640I spend lots of time talking with people about what their best lives would look like.  On the surface they’re searching for things like a new career, or a new home, or a new relationship. Some want to write a book or build a new company.  Others want to volunteer for a worthy non-profit.  Many want to travel the world.

What they’re really searching for is a feeling.  They believe  “When ______________ appears in my life, I will feel __________________.”  Whether it’s a new love, a promotion, the car or dining room table you’ve lusted after for years, or pretty much everything else you want, there’s always a feeling you believe you’ll feel upon the attainment of that desire.

At the core of pretty much everything we want is peace, love, or connection.  To me, that feels like coming home.  A feeling of relief, of being able to exhale.  Of letting my guard down and trusting that all is already well.  It’s sort of like the “ahhh” you feel when you take off a tight pair of shoes or pants.  I don’t know about you, but that moment’s pretty heavenly for me!

My friend and teacher, Martha Beck, and I recently welcomed a new group of coaching students to her training program.  During our call, she said:

Every prayer you’ve ever prayed, 

every longing you’ve thrown out into the Universe 

was heard and answered immediately, 

and the answer was always ‘yes.’  

BUT…the Universe never sends your mail 

to any place but your real address.  

Your real address is peace.  It’s self-love.  It’s calm.  

In that moment when we can go home, we can collect all our mail.

It’s our job to keep finding ways to return home and collect our mail.  Some people pray.  Others meditate.  Still others find home in creating art. There are so many ways to connect and feel the abundance of our Universe.  It’s just a matter of finding which ones work for you.  The important thing is to try, and to notice what feels best.

For me, “home” is in the labyrinth, where I can walk slowly (or not), pray (or not), and create enough quiet sometimes that I’ll spot the mail that’s been waiting for me to find it.  Home’s also in a certain red Adirondack chair, tucked under some trees, down on Wildflower Pond (which happens to be in my backyard).  When my hands are in dirt, or when I’m standing quietly with a horse, I’m home, too.

Where’s home for you?  Have you gotten any good mail lately?

 

Last week, I hosted a labyrinth walk in Austin, TX.  Twenty-two people made their way along the winding path of my portable labyrinth. Some were walking slowly, some backwards, some dancing, some twirling.  Some were crying, some were laughing.  All were moved during their pilgrimage in JW Grand Salon 3-4 at the JW Marriott Austin.

A hotel ballroom and a canvas labyrinth ringed with battery-powered tea lights may seem an unlikely place for a pilgrimage, but I’ve learned over time that pilgrimages take place in the most unlikely of settings.  Whether there’s walking involved or not, we set out on a path, leaving the unknown.  We experience a “road of trials” (think: Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey) in the form of twists and turns.  We arrive at a quieter place, at the heart of things.  In the labyrinth, it’s often the center (but not always).  We receive information – a feeling, a word, a knowing, an emotion, a decision – that we take with us as we make our way back to the place or community from whence we came.  We’re the same, and yet not at all.

Pilgrimages are intentional.  We set out to learn something, to find a rich experience that will inform our lives.  They don’t always have to involve a long trek or even a walk, but they’re good for our souls.  Where will you go on your next pilgrimage?